Q. Many years ago I started using a rather unusual method for de-gassing beans. When it is time to soak the beans overnight I use Sprite or its generic equivalent instead of water. I then rinse the beans with water prior to cooking.
This method virtually eliminates the gas problem and there is no difference in the taste. This is one way to enjoy a good bean soup and not have to worry about the after-effects.
A. You offer an interesting twist on a familiar practice. Indigestible sugars in the coating of the beans are responsible for most bean-related flatulence. To minimize these compounds, soak beans in water that has been brought just to the boil, then discard the soaking water. Your technique is a variation.
Another reader suggested a different approach: “Add a potato while cooking dried beans. This works for me every time.”
Several culinary traditions also have hints that may help. Mexican cooks add the herb epazote to black beans, both for the taste and the anti-gas effect. The spices hing (asafoetida) and ginger are used in India.