Originally Posted by smizak
Those things are fermenting on the forest floor when they're harvested. I've also heard of people getting infections when using those untreated in secondary.
I can't say this for all nibs, but the ones that we sell are NOT fermenting on the forest floor when harvested. They are pulled and the pods are fermented in a controlled environment and cared for each step of the way.
I've used them for about a year now and I've never sanitized them or had a contamination issue that I or judges have been able to detect. I would guess that the nibs are acidic enough to not let things grow on them. But that is a guess.
Currently I have a beer with nibs in it for about 8 months with no contamination issues and a HUGE coco-like flavor.