Soaking beans before cooking is a widespread practice. Another widespread practice is, before cooking rice, to spread it on a flat surface and remove stones or rotting grains.

After soaking beans, some separated skins float. Even some beans float. Should those be discarded? Are the floating beans infiltrated by some insects?

EDIT: So the last comment and the only answer contradict each other. Which one is it?

In other news, the beans in question were dirt cheap and turned out completely tasteless. However, when I've soaked beans in the past I've always gotten some separated skins (but no floating beans) - just not so many. So I don't know if these were tasteless because of being old or some other reason.

  • 3
    Does this answer your question? Is soaking beans 24 hours unrefrigerated safe?
    – moscafj
    Jan 28, 2022 at 11:11
  • 1
    The suggested duplicate certainly answers your first question.
    – moscafj
    Jan 28, 2022 at 11:12
  • @moscafj thanks! My question was a bad fit for SE anyway by being two separate questions. Focused it.
    – Vorac
    Jan 28, 2022 at 11:25
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    If you're getting separating and floating skins, those beans are probably too old and may not turn out well.
    – FuzzyChef
    Jan 28, 2022 at 17:59
  • In response to your "EDIT". WIth due respect to @FuzzyChef, I am just sharing my experience. I most often ignore floating skins, but sometimes just pick them out. As I mention below, floating beans are ignored. I would also add that freshness matters. The difference between fresh, quality, dried beans and cheap, old dried beans is significant.
    – moscafj
    Jan 31, 2022 at 15:06

1 Answer 1


I often purchase beans from Rancho Gordo. I am not shilling for them, but happen to really enjoy their beans. They are bean experts. It's just about all they do. I bring them up because their advice is to simply cook floating beans. That is what I do. After cooking, I've never noticed them.

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