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howabout these acorns. are they alright?

 
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Hey there, we are shelling our acorns now and it looks like they didn't dry very well. Some got brown-black in spots (but no mold) and we are wondering if anyone has experience with this happening and how they turn out for leeching and eating.  thanks!
acorns.jpg
[Thumbnail for acorns.jpg]
 
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The top left ones look ok to me, the rest...not so much.
 
gardener
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they don’t look like they’ve dried down much at all. what species are they? i agree, the bottom and right groups look like different stages of the same, maybe fungal decline.
 
zurcian braun
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Yeah, they've dried some, but definitely need more time. not sure what species because we gathered them in the city but they were definitely some kind of white oak.

we've always dried acorns in a single layer on screens and such but we just moved to a new spot and only had a woodstove and some paper bags. so we hung the bags up over the stove and gave the acorns a shuffle every day.

i'd say it wasn't a successful drying method! i was hoping that some folks with more experience with white oak acorns might say that some of their acorns always blacken a little bit and that they don't worry about it. ah well... next year:)
 
greg mosser
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when all goes right, white oak acorns dry to a fairly uniform tan color. blotchiness isn’t a good sign.
 
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Were the acorns gathered off the tree?

The bottom two groups look like they were picked up off the ground.

I may be wrong though I thought I had read not to pick them off the ground because of insect damage, etc.
 
greg mosser
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insect damage, you can usually tell. the main danger in nuts from the ground is potential fungal activity, and the toxins that can bring (aflatoxin, largely). the problem is that the ground is where all the nuts end up! if you have an 80-foot tall oak, the only nuts you’ll have access to will be on the ground. to me, that means i should collect what i can and keep my standards high when sorting. after all, some of those nuts landed there just before i picked them up.

i’ll add that acorns can bruise when they fall in a way that makes a dark spot (probably a tannin thing) that doesn’t decrease the edibility if the acorns are processed within a few days, but that’s always just on the one side they landed on. dark blotches in a couple spots on an acorn is no bueno.
 
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I would agree with what others have said, only the top left look good. I gathered about 50 lbs. of Oregon white oak acorns this year. I dried some in a dehydrator, and froze the rest. Personally I prefer the freezing method as I already have freezer space. I processed some into flour and am hoping to process more into chunks. What are you planning to do with your acorns?
 
zurcian braun
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Thanks for the responses. Yes they were gathered from the ground. I don’t know of anyone (including indigenous groups from the east to the west, homesteaders etc) who gathers acorns from the tree. Regular burning, not picking the early drops, and not keeping anybody with a hat helps make sure you don’t end up with a bunch of weevils. If you pick from the tree, not only does that sound really difficult, but you’re not letting the tree tell you when the acorns are ready! This was definitely an issue of moisture. But it’s helpful to know that they don’t usually turn out like this (we are from used to red oak). Thanks all!
 
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