Making Amanita Honey

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Making Amanita Honey

Post by TenayaAmelia » Wed Jan 05, 2022 6:47 pm

Hi friends~

I am interested in making Amanita honey. The idea keeps coming into my head intuitively. I collected and dried my first Amanita Muscaria that I collected locally, and I plan to crumble it and pour honey over it and cure it for several months, then use a tiny bit at a time to microdose. Has anyone here tried this? Is it necessary for me to remove the gills before I prepare? (I know gills should be removed before smoking for instance)

I did a little research and saw that folks make honey with other species of entheogenic mushrooms, so I am excited to try this.

I'm open to any responses or tips~ Thanks!

Warmly,
Tenaya
Northern California
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Re: Making Amanita Honey

Post by lostmushroomforest » Wed Jan 05, 2022 9:17 pm

This is an excellent idea! It makes me wonder if this was ever used as a method of preserving / enhancing the effects of Amanita in Slavic countries with a long cultural history of honey production / Amanita consumption. I think it should be OK adding the gills unless you want it to be super concentrated, since there are still actives in the gills. What level of decarb are you looking for the honey?

If you are looking for low decarb, the method you described will work well. If you don't plan on filtering out the amanitas at the end of the process, I would powderize them instead of crushing them for best extraction.

If you are looking for higher levels of decarb, I would also recommend using raw honey so it has the necessary microbes for fermentation, and stirring daily during the first week or so of fermentation to increase bacteria / yeast populations.

If you decide to go the route of fermented amanitas, the only issue I see arising is the hydration level of the ferment due to the dried mushrooms. Part of what makes fermented honey work is the addition of a small amount of water from the garlic/herbs/hot pepper/fruit etc, which creates an environment (18-20% moisture content) where dormant bacteria + yeast in the raw honey can begin their fermentation process. The osmotic pressure between the honey and the mushroom pulls out the water along with water soluble actives. More actives will be dissolved into the hydrated honey as the bacteria/yeast break down the mushroom.

However, I am not sure if hydrating dried mushrooms can be done with enough accuracy to ensure the moisture content doesn't overshoot the 18-20% range, and it would also limit the amount of mushrooms that can be put into one batch of honey. One way around this would be adding a small amount of filtered water to the honey to adjust the moisture content to the 18-20% range (assuming raw honey moisture content is at close to 15%). At that point the hope is that the fermentation process / hydration of the mushrooms will extract actives.

Since you are in uncharted territory, we don't know if there will be sufficient Lactobacillus populations from the honey and the proper environmental conditions in the ferment to get close to full decarb. If you are interesting in experimenting, you could split the mushrooms/honey into two batches - one with just honey and water and another where you add Lactobacillus containing brine from a live ferment (i.e. sauerkraut brine, pickle brine, kombucha). This would hydrate and kickstart the ferment simultaneously. This could generate some very useful information about the decarb potential of fermented Amanita honey. Thanks again for sharing and I look forward to hearing more about the results!
Last edited by lostmushroomforest on Thu Jan 06, 2022 10:20 pm, edited 9 times in total.
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Re: Making Amanita Honey

Post by Dbcooper » Thu Jan 06, 2022 2:15 am

From a practical standpoint is more than a culinary thing. Long story short once dehydrated the mushroom is preserved. Adding honey should not have a bearing on any further preservation as far as the active compounds are concerned. Considering how little humidity is in honey (around 15%, in contrast if you look out of the window a random tree trunk is between 45% and 200% water by weight) it is anybody's guess if it could extract the compounds into the honey itself. It also complicates micro dosing, which is already complicated by how much variability of active compounds the mushroom has. Once dried to the same level (cracker dry) 15 grams are 15 grams. Soaking it in honey it depends on how much honey to mushroom ratio you are dealing, with which is harder to meter even if you try to squeeze the honey. Again; we don't know if the actives are leaching into the honey so more or less honey could throw your dosing off.

Side note: preserving with honey (starting the process with fresh mushrooms) has its dangers. Honey often enough contain botulism spores which at normal concentrations are only a health concern to children under 12 months of age (undeveloped immune system and all that). Fresh mushrooms could add enough water for the botulism spores to reproduce; safe preservation with honey requires heat in order to destroy the toxin.
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Re: Making Amanita Honey

Post by Arktos » Thu Jan 06, 2022 2:53 am

I think it is essential to follow the food administrations recommendations about food preservation.
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Re: Making Amanita Honey

Post by lostmushroomforest » 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.
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Re: Making Amanita Honey

Post by Arktos » Thu Jan 06, 2022 4:41 pm

This is interesting. I will follow this thread. I hope you will contribute.
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Re: Making Amanita Honey

Post by lostmushroomforest » 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.
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Re: Making Amanita Honey

Post by Arktos » Fri Jan 07, 2022 12:32 am

I have searched but not found it. Where do I find source that when sugar is available microbes do not attack the substances in the mushroom?

I got inspired by this thread and will start by making pickles. If sugar protects the substances, that is good news. I just need to find the source.

I will not hijack this thread. I will start a new about pickles when the time is right.
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Re: Making Amanita Honey

Post by TenayaAmelia » Fri Jan 07, 2022 2:08 am

lostmushroomforest wrote:
Wed Jan 05, 2022 9:17 pm
This is an excellent idea! It makes me wonder if this was ever used as a method of preserving / enhancing the effects of Amanita in Slavic countries with a long cultural history of honey production / Amanita consumption. I think it should be OK adding the gills unless you want it to be super concentrated, since there are still actives in the gills. What level of decarb are you looking for the honey?

If you are looking for low decarb, the method you described will work well. If you don't plan on filtering out the amanitas at the end of the process, I would powderize them instead of crushing them for best extraction.

If you are looking for higher levels of decarb, I would also recommend using raw honey so it has the necessary microbes for fermentation, and stirring daily during the first week or so of fermentation to increase bacteria / yeast populations.

If you decide to go the route of fermented amanitas, the only issue I see arising is the hydration level of the ferment due to the dried mushrooms. Part of what makes fermented honey work is the addition of a small amount of water from the garlic/herbs/hot pepper/fruit etc, which creates an environment (18-20% moisture content) where dormant bacteria + yeast in the raw honey can begin their fermentation process. The osmotic pressure between the honey and the mushroom pulls out the water along with water soluble actives. More actives will be dissolved into the hydrated honey as the bacteria/yeast break down the mushroom.

However, I am not sure if hydrating dried mushrooms can be done with enough accuracy to ensure the moisture content doesn't overshoot the 18-20% range, and it would also limit the amount of mushrooms that can be put into one batch of honey. One way around this would be adding a small amount of filtered water to the honey to adjust the moisture content to the 18-20% range (assuming raw honey moisture content is at close to 15%). At that point the hope is that the fermentation process / hydration of the mushrooms will extract actives.

Since you are in uncharted territory, we don't know if there will be sufficient Lactobacillus populations from the honey and the proper environmental conditions in the ferment to get close to full decarb. If you are interesting in experimenting, you could split the mushrooms/honey into two batches - one with just honey and water and another where you add Lactobacillus containing brine from a live ferment (i.e. sauerkraut brine, pickle brine, kombucha). This would hydrate and kickstart the ferment simultaneously. This could generate some very useful information about the decarb potential of fermented Amanita honey. Thanks again for sharing and I look forward to hearing more about the results!
Thank you so much for your encouragement and thoughtful response. I had a little thrill when you mentioned Slavic usage~ I am of Slavic descent, so this is very meaningful for me. :-) I will read through your post again carefully~ I will try to powderize the Amanita I collected. I live in a a foggy/humid environment~ Do you think it would be worthwhile to just leave the mushrooms out to absorb some of the atmospheric moisture?

I was aiming for a less decarbed preparation (so more Ibotenic Acid), because I am wanting a more stimulating/focusing effect. I am also currently taking a tincture as a microdose from Harmony Acres that I love, and I want to explore another side of Amanita. I have raw honey to use. The concept of fermented honey is new to me...but I'm intrigued.

Thanks again for your reply! Warmly, Tenaya

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Re: Making Amanita Honey

Post by TenayaAmelia » Fri Jan 07, 2022 2:10 am

Dbcooper wrote:
Thu Jan 06, 2022 2:15 am
From a practical standpoint is more than a culinary thing. Long story short once dehydrated the mushroom is preserved. Adding honey should not have a bearing on any further preservation as far as the active compounds are concerned. Considering how little humidity is in honey (around 15%, in contrast if you look out of the window a random tree trunk is between 45% and 200% water by weight) it is anybody's guess if it could extract the compounds into the honey itself. It also complicates micro dosing, which is already complicated by how much variability of active compounds the mushroom has. Once dried to the same level (cracker dry) 15 grams are 15 grams. Soaking it in honey it depends on how much honey to mushroom ratio you are dealing, with which is harder to meter even if you try to squeeze the honey. Again; we don't know if the actives are leaching into the honey so more or less honey could throw your dosing off.

Side note: preserving with honey (starting the process with fresh mushrooms) has its dangers. Honey often enough contain botulism spores which at normal concentrations are only a health concern to children under 12 months of age (undeveloped immune system and all that). Fresh mushrooms could add enough water for the botulism spores to reproduce; safe preservation with honey requires heat in order to destroy the toxin.
Thanks so much for your response!

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