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Carbonate honey? Science enthusiast finally did it after three years since the first attempt

Posted July 8, 2017

Carbon dioxide dissolves into liquids that have water very well. In fact, that is how our carbonated drinks are made. Honey has water when it is fresh, so one should be able to make carbonated honey. However, it is much more difficult to do that you may think. Now Cody don Reeder showed how it can be done at home.

People like carbonated drinks just because they have this fizzy sensation, which creates this funny sensation on the tongue. Carbonating drinks is actually not that difficult – CO2 just has to be places with the liquid in a sealed and pressurized container, until it partially dissolved into liquid. Technology is actually pretty simple and there are machines that do that at home. Honey, on the other hand is different.

Honey finally became carbonated after sitting in a tube pressurized with CO2. Image credit: Cody’sLab

Cody don Reeder has a popular science YouTube channel. He enjoys doing all sorts of science experiments, ranging from homemade rocket fuel to aquaponics system to grow vegetables. He’s been doing it for most of his life, long before YouTube existed. One of his early experiments on YouTube platform was actually an attempt to carbonate honey. He placed several pieces of dry ice into aplastic bottle with honey and allowed it to melt. As dry ice melted, it released CO2 gas, which pressurized the bottle. However, that was not enough to actually carbonate the honey.

Reeder left this experiment for almost three years, until he rediscovered sealed bottle recently. Of course, we wanted to see if that time was enough for the honey to get carbonated – it was sitting under pressure of CO2 for quite some time already. However, an initial test revealed that honey was still not carbonated. It means that pressure was not enough for a small amount of water that is in liquid honey. Since Reeder had experience with sealing glass tubes with gases under extreme pressure that was what he tried next.

He placed a small amount of honey in a tube, put the tube in liquid nitrogen and allowed some CO2 in from a balloon. Then he sealed the tube and let it come up to room temperature. It took a couple of tries, but finally he managed to increase pressure inside of the tube enough for honey to become carbonated. Liquid honey became foam as pressure was released and, as Reeder stated, tingled tongue when tasted.

Although you probably will not attempt to replicate this, it is interesting that he managed to do this without specialized equipment. He even reached a supercritical point of CO2 in that tube. Which just goes to show that you can do cool science experiments if you really want to and are passionate about science.


Source: Cody’sLab

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