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As simple as that, lentils beans and other legumes are sold both with and without husk, and often I make beans with the husk germinate in a jar.

Do those without husk germinate as well? Or are they simply dead?

I'm asking this because my girlfriend told me she's using de-husked legumes, but that they take longer and less of them actually do sprout.

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De-husking and industrial storage reduces the germ's longevity quite a lot, although quite a lot of germs will still be viable if the humidity and microbial conditions are very stable, perhaps even a year.

De-husking will accelerate this graph: enter image description here

The husk is designed to keep the germule in peak condition in the wild until whichever season it is supposed to germ, through droughts, rains, cold weather, changes in humidity, predation, infection.

If the germ is de-husked and left in natural conditions, it rapidly loses vitality and deteriorates. In storage it's kept in conditions made to discourage microbes, so it will last longer, but it will absorb ambient humidity changes and deteriorate much faster than with a husk.

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