6whole clovesThe spice, not more garlic! Inside a tea infuser or tied in a cheesecloth bundle
About 10 cups water
1tablespoonred wine vinegar
Place the beans in a colander and rinse under water. Wash well to rinse out any dirt clumps and pick out any tiny rocks or twigs you might see. Pour into a large soup pot or Dutch oven and cover with water to about 4 inches above the top of the beans. Set in a safe place and let sit for 8 hours or overnight.
When it's time to cook the beans, discard soaking water by draining the beans in a colander. Give them a quick rinse. Return soaked beans to the pot and add the onion, garlic, bay leaf, and cloves. Add about 10 cups water, filled to about 4 inches above the top of the beans. Set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, until the beans are tender, 30-40 minutes (longer for higher altitudes). You can tell the beans are done when you blow on them and skins peel back (I also bite into a couple just to be sure!)
Remove from heat and stir in the salt and red wine vinegar. Remove the bay leaf, bundle of cloves, and any large bits of onion and garlic you can find.
Scoop them up with a slotted spoon to serve immediately or let then cool then spoon drained beans into airtight zipper bags to freeze for later. They also keep in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-4 days.