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Do you need to refrigerate dried beans while soaking them?

CathyR Jan 5, 2013 09:16 AM

I made a white bean soup recently, using a recipe for the first time. Recipe said to soak the beans overnight, in the fridge. First time I ever remember this recommendation. I'm curious. Is it necessary? Would it make a difference in the soup?

  1. chefj Jan 5, 2013 09:19 AM

    They could start to ferment but not usual and bringing cold beans up to a simmer takes a little longer.
    Soaking in a brine yields better beans and will not ferment.
    Lots of other threads on these boards.

    1. Breadcrumbs Jan 5, 2013 09:19 AM

      Good question Cathy. I've been soaking beens for years and never once put them in the fridge. I always leave the bowl on the counter in the kitchen. That said, we do keep our home at a cool temp (65-68°F).

      1. Uncle Bob Jan 5, 2013 09:43 AM


        1. Lmonach Jan 5, 2013 09:53 AM

          I've never refrigerated and only once had a fermenting problem (hot summer and I let them sit too long).

          1 Reply
          1. re: Lmonach
            meatn3 Jan 5, 2013 12:27 PM

            Exactly the same as my experience!

          2. Patrincia Jan 5, 2013 09:59 AM

            I used to think not, but then I had a bowl of beans get funky on me, even though they were only soaking for about 8 hours. So now I soak in the fridge.

            If you're short on space in the fridge, I've had great success with the quick soak method. Cover the beans with water, bring to a boil, turn off heat and cover for 1 hour, drain and process as if the beans had soaked overnight.

            1. k
              kengk Jan 5, 2013 10:00 AM

              I never have. I could see it maybe if your house was very warm.

              1. m
                magiesmom Jan 5, 2013 10:38 AM

                I never in 40 years of soaking beans at least once a week have done it in the fridge.

                1. t
                  tardigrade Jan 5, 2013 11:07 AM

                  The only problem I've had leaving beans to soak overnight on the counter is that sometimes the cat thinks bean water is a tasty treat made just for her. They will start to ferment after a day or so, but if you're planning to cook them soon there shouldn't be any problems - people have been soaking dried beans long before the invention of the fridge.

                  A clean dishtowel over the bowl will keep out dust, stray bugs, and curious cats.

                  1. jpr54_1 Jan 5, 2013 01:02 PM

                    I live in So. Florida and have soaked beans both in refigrator and on counter with no problems

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