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Vanilla Technical Session | Vanilla Curing Day 1 : Water-Killing

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By Piero Bianchessi, Former Owner and Operator of Venui Vanilla

Goal 1 : to kill the bean’s vegetative life and stop the beans over-splitting

Goal 2 : to start enzymatic activity in the vanilla bean

Tools :  (1) Saucepan (2) Watch   (3) Drainer  (4) Insulated box  (5)Thermometer  

            (6) Clear plastic sheets – food quality  (7) Stove  (8) Blankets (9) Small plastic bottles


(1) Grade and sort the beans into separate piles.

(2) Fill saucepan with water and heat to 63 to 65°C.

(3) Half fill the drainers with one-size bean. 

(4) Put the drainer into saucepan of hot water and scald for recommended times:

(5) Drain and air the vanilla beans onto a clean clear plastic sheet and wrap.

(6) Keep beans warm in an insulated box for 48 hours.


The water ‘killing’ process mainly refers to Vanilla planifolia.

You must use a Thermometer : If the temperature drops below 60°C you will not kill the vegetative life and the beans will over-split. If temperature is over 68°C you will kill the enzymes needed for making good quality vanilla.


(1) Beans keep splitting.

(2) Blistered beans?


(1) Beans are not scalded at the right temperature during water-killing.

(2) Water temperature is too hot!

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