Making Amanita Honey

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TenayaAmelia
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Re: Making Amanita Honey

Post by TenayaAmelia » Fri Jan 07, 2022 2:14 am

lostmushroomforest wrote:
Thu Jan 06, 2022 3:26 pm
The chance of the microbial contaminations you two mention in raw honey-based ferments is already very low due to the various antimicrobial compounds in the honey and the osmotic pressure of the honey at the moisture content used in this ferment. Though botulism spores have been found in honey (they are also found in soil and on the surfaces of fruit and vegetables), the organism cannot reproduce at the higher acidity / lower moisture content found in honey. The natural moisture content of raw honey can be anywhere between 15-20%, so its not like you are straying outside that range with a 18-20% moisture level. In addition, Amanita Muscaria has already been experimentally demonstrated to have antimicrobial properties. There is also the inhibitory effect of the other yeasts and bacteria in raw honey - specifically acid-producing bacteria. If you want to be as strict about food safety as you can with ferments, adding a Lactobacillus or Acidophilus based starter (kombucha, ACV, lacto-ferment brine) to the honey will lower the starting pH of your ferment and add acid-producing bacteria, both of which will inhibit the growth of bacterial/fungal spores of any pathogenic organisms contained in the honey.

That being said, fermented honey is a product that humans have safely made and consumed for thousands of years, and people have safely eaten hundreds, even thousands of years old preserved raw honey. The risk of botulism from consuming honey is primarily for infants or individuals with compromised immune systems, where botulism spores can colonize the intestinal tract. The main reason commercial honey is heat-treated and filtered is not for safety, it is to improve shelf appeal / pourability and to prevent any fermentation from occurring. The primary toxins produced by fermentation of raw honey under shelf conditions would be ethanol and other alcohols from yeasts. Contrary to popular belief, the honey pasteurization process does not reach high enough temperatures to destroy botulism spores. However, it does kill some of the other dormant microbes present in honey and destroy heat-sensitive organic compounds with potential health benefits.

I can also confirm from direct experience with raw honey ferments of garlic, ginger, and elderberry that fermented honey does extract water soluble actives from other herbs. Of course, lab results would be better, and I can say nothing about extraction efficiency, but I am not operating in an entirely hypothetical space here. The moisture content is essential to the whole fermentation process.

As far as fermentation destroying the actives, there is a risk of some yeasts consuming the muscimol using GABA permease, but that only occurs when they run out of sugars to eat. Something that could happen with Amanita beer, mead, or wine, but not with this. With my experiments making somabucha (Amanita kombucha) I have not noticed any degradation or negative transformations of the muscimol or other actives by the bacterial/yeast culture. But the effect is quite distinct from a low decarb tincture or raw mushroom, so I understand the desire to avoid fermentation if you are looking for those effects and their benefits.

As far as preservation goes, dried caps do not have an unlimited shelf life. The ibotenic acid in dried caps has been experimentally demonstrated to degrade over time. I'm not making any specific claims about the preservative effect of honey on these actives, but honey does contain antioxidants (flavonoids, polyphenols, etc.) which may have a preservative effect. If you were just using powdered dried caps and honey without any added liquid or starter culture, the hope is that the shelf life would be increased.


Tenaya, I hope you are not discouraged from making Amanita honey, I really think you are on to something here! This thread has inspired me, and I am considering making a small test batch with raw honey, dried A. Muscaria var. Guessowii, and starter tea from my somabucha batches.
Hi again & thank you so much for this follow up post & excellent information! I am so intrigued by the idea of Amanita Kombucha~ Wow!!!! I'm so happy this thread inspired you and I'm excited to hear about your experiments. Wishing you all the best, Tenaya

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Re: Making Amanita Honey

Post by TenayaAmelia » Fri Jan 07, 2022 2:17 am

lostmushroomforest wrote:
Thu Jan 06, 2022 8:36 pm
I decided to go for it! This was my recipe:

120g raw honey
1g fresh ginger, minced
6g crushed dried Amanita Muscaria var. Guessowii
3mL acidified honey kombucha

I mixed all ingredients together in a sanitized half-pint jam jar until the honey was creamy. Even with added liquid, the consistency was still honey-like, if slightly thinner. It was slightly thicker than the other honeys when they were done fermenting, so I'm hoping I got within the proper hydration range. It's already starting to bubble a little. Will update in a week on progress.
How exciting! Thanks for posting your recipe. I'm curious about the addition of the fresh ginger~ Did you have a specific reason for this other than for taste? I'd love to hear how your honey turns out. Please circle back and let me know! :-)

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Re: Making Amanita Honey

Post by Arktos » Fri Jan 07, 2022 7:06 am

I am struggling with the topic of preservation other than keeping dried mushrooms that this thread seems more and more interesting. The biggest problem I see is mold, especially if I don’t want to heat the mushroom, and maybe it can be solved by fermentation. Honey is interesting as there will not be any lack of sugars.
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Re: Making Amanita Honey

Post by Dbcooper » Sat Jan 08, 2022 6:07 am

lostmushroomforest wrote:
Thu Jan 06, 2022 3:26 pm
The chance of the microbial contaminations you two mention in raw honey-based ferments is already very low due to the various antimicrobial compounds in the honey and the osmotic pressure of the honey at the moisture content used in this ferment.
That is correct for honey just sitting there at its normal 15% water content and when fermenting. What I'm talking about is adding fresh mushrooms which are 95%+ water. Introducing all that water without fermenting can result in spores finding an environment conductive to them multiplying.

The OP is using dry amanita so that is not a concern. All I'm saying is that when you preserve anything you consume you want to play it safe.
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Re: Making Amanita Honey

Post by lostmushroomforest » Sat Jan 15, 2022 3:43 pm

@TenayaAmelia It's exciting to see others exploring alternative methods for Amanita preparation/fermentation. I feel like there is a lot of discovery/rediscovery still to be done.

If you are looking for the least decarb, I would just throw in the mushrooms powderized + dry and only stir initially to emulsify. Since you have a lower moisture content, the honey will last longer and act as a better preservative with little to no microbial activity. Hydrating the mushrooms from atmospheric humidity in a humid climate is a smart way to get close to the ideal moisture content for fermentation though. I can't speak for the level of decarb from fermented Amanita honey yet, so I think it would be better to air on the side of caution and go with fully dry mushrooms for your desired effect profile.

I added ginger to my ferment for several reasons - there are microbes present on ginger root (yeasts, Lactobacillus) that are excellent for regulating fermentations. Ginger also contains chemicals that inhibit the growth of certain pathogenic microbes and others that stimulate the growth of Lactobacillus microbes. The water from the fresh ginger is also pulled into the honey, increasing the moisture content slightly and getting into the ideal fermentation range. There are also amylase and protease enzymes in the ginger root, which I am hoping will break down the mushroom to some degree and release more actives.

So far the fermented honey seems to proceeding like the other non-Amanita ones I have made. No off odors from the mushroom breaking down or spoilage microbes - just smells like molasses and bread with a hint of spice. It has been a little over a week.

If you are interested, I talk about making somabucha in this thread:
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=712&p=3257#p3257

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Re: Making Amanita Honey

Post by TenayaAmelia » Mon Jan 17, 2022 8:14 pm

@lostmushroomforest Thank you so much for all of your comments on my Amanita Honey thread. I did go ahead an prepare it using crushes/nearly powdered cracker dry Amanita, stirring it once. I just divided some of it to freeze, and am keeping some for more immediate use in the fridge. It's delicious and I love it! I've tried very small samplings with a beautiful effect~ I think I perceive more of an Ibo start, with the Musc kicking in after an hour or so. I look forward to hearing about how your honey turns out~ It sounds so delicious. I appreciate your guidance and encouragement in making the honey~ It gave me the confidence to try it, and I'm so glad I did. It feels like a beautiful way to preserve the Amanita I collected near my home.

Wishing you a blesses new year,
Tenaya
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