Appears in

Chocolates and Confections

By Peter Greweling

Published 2007

  • About
After fermentation is complete, the beans must be dried. The immediate result of drying is to stop the fermentation process, but the major objective is to make the beans stable for shipping and storage. Beans that are not dried to approximately 8 percent moisture are prone to mold formation, which can result in severe loss of quality. Various methods can be employed for drying beans, depending on climatic conditions and the availability of energy. Ideally, the beans are spread out in a layer a few inches deep to dry in the sunshine. Periodically throughout the day, the beans are raked in order to expose all their surfaces to the sun and air; at night they are covered either with a roof on wheels or with tarps, to protect them from dewfall. If the climate permits, this method of drying is ideal, as it requires no machinery and no energy source other than the sun, and it dries and cures the beans slowly and evenly, resulting in a superior product.