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Do you need to refrigerate dried beans while soaking them?

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?

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  1. 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. 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. 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

            Exactly the same as my experience!

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

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

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