HOW TO HANDLE VANILLA
For those who are new to the Vanilla world and those that have experienced the great magic of using Vanilla; either way, this short and simple write-up is to help you understand how to handle and store your Vanilla beans.
Contrary to vanilla extract, beans do not last forever. If stored correctly, vanilla beans can last at least from about six months to three years without losing their vigor. However, it has been studied that the quality, flavor, aroma, and supple texture can reduce if remains unused for some time after a year.
When storing your vanilla make sure that, you store it in a cool but not too cool and warm but not too warm place. Vanilla beans must be stored in a humid environment with temperatures ranging from 60 degrees F (15.5C) to 85 degrees F (29C). Too much heat or cold will dehydrate the pods, sucking all the nutrients and flavor out of the seeds. Do not keep the beans in the freezer or refrigerator because they may dry out, rot, or produce molds.
HOW TO STORE VANILLA BEANS.
It is advisable to keep these two aspects away when storing your vanilla beans that are air and moisture. Just begin with unpacking all the vanilla beans from their packaging and wrapping them in waxed paper; then place them in an airtight or vacuum container to ensure you get as much air out of the container. You can then store it in a dark, cool place like the pantry, cupboard, or basement. Keep away from the freezer of the refrigerator.
WHY MOLDS ON VANILLA BEANS
Temperature alteration and insertion of excess moisture, impoverished harvesting practices, or bacteria growth during the harvesting and drying process; the whole process of curing Vanilla beans, if done wrongly, could bring about molds on the Vanilla beans. Like any other mold, the vanilla-bean mold feeds on oxygen and bacteria as it grows.
HOW TO HANDLE MOLDY VANILLA BEANS
First, when you realize that the vanilla beans have molds, separate the moldy beans from the clean ones and then wipe the moldy vanilla beans with a damp cloth soaked in pure alcohol. Let the beans dry completely and then separate them from the unaffected ones; if the condition persists, you can then dispose them off because wiping them with a damp cloth soaked in pure alcohol and drying will not be the finest solution. It is advisable to use Vanilla beans as soon as you can to avoid the above.