I've attached a photo of two beans that were in my current batch. Is this basically the same thing in both beans? The bean has germinated and sprouted - the sprout is in the top bean and the bottom bean shows just a hole where the sprout has fallen out of?
Can someone confirm/correct me on this? And also, is my terminology (germinated, sprout) correct?
The next question is then - what impact on the final chocolate do these beans have? Is a few making it through OK or will they negatively impact flavour pretty quickly?
You are correct, that hole is where the germ had perforated the testa (skin) when it germinated. And generally speaking, this is bad. When you have germinated beans in a fermentation, they are almost always the first ones to get moldy (makes sense, the perforated skin allows the bean to fill up with juice/microbes during fermentation. If your cacao has more than 1% of these, the source is not cleaning their cacao very well.
Great - thanks for your response.