Naturally, Vanilla beans do not come in dark, crispy, and shiny looking. Therefore, to make Bourbon Vanilla Beans, we have to process at least 6-9 months to get them Black color and wonderful aroma.
The beans harvest in green color or yellowish-green (Riped beans). After that, we start the production process. we call it the curing process. After the curing process, the beans give the buttery aroma and flavor.
Furthermore, the most common curing process is the bourbon method. And also, it is a simple four steps process.
Bourbon Curing methods are;
Dipping the beans
In this process, newly harvested vanilla beans are dipping into boiled water. Most importantly, the temperature should be around 160 degrees and dipping time is 30 seconds up to 3 minutes (depending on the size of the vanilla pods)
In this process, we have to wrap the pods (Boiled vanilla beans) in wool cloth and store them into a dark airtight container. This step must be done fast because the enzymes can convert the cellulose to vanillin. As a result, the Vanilla beans come in the nice vanilla aroma.
Drying the beans
Now, in this step, we dry the beans out in the sun during the day. Generally, this takes 3 to 4 weeks to make sure each pod has about a 30% moisture content. In addition, if we dry too much the beans can split or crack.
In the fourth step, we place the beans in wax paper-lined boxes for around a month. During this time period, vanilla beans give a good flavor and aroma. and you can use it for your baking, cooking products, and cosmetics.