Ive been doing more and more, playing at home with small batches of beans. <3#. I still dont have a way to make a proper liquor. Doing it in the melanguer, is....far from good and requires babysitting for ~45 minutes....
I was wondering at how well a Wondermill JR or a peanut butter machine would work? The Wondermill JR has a small youtube clip saying it does mash it up, but I was wondering how well that paste processes in a melangeur.
There's a video of the Wondermill JR grinding cacao here:
Ben, Thanks for posting up, I appreciate it.
I know you can, but how well does it work? It seems to me, the paste that comes out of the wondermill, is about the same consistency as when the nibs start to "gunk up" and stick when grinding them in he melangeur.
Has anyone tried a peanut butter grinder?
Sorry, just noticed that you referenced the youtube video in your original post. Not sure how I missed that...
I've used the Olde Tyme Peanut Butter Grinder in the past. The results were about the same as shown in the Wondermill video, although much faster.
The only thing that I've tried that actually made liquor--as opposed to a thick paste--was a food processor. It worked really well until I burnt up the motor. In another thread here, Clay mentions Vertical Cutter Mixers (VCMs) for pregrinding. They're basically just big, heavy-duty food processors.
I've also thought about using a grain mill like are used for beer brewing. One I've looked at is one of the Monster Mills, which are adjustable from 0 to .065" according to their site:
It seems we think alike. I ran across the monter brewing website a few weeks ago, too. Its more than I want to spend for a small hobby, but maybe?????
I must admit though, Im curious to know how well the monster mill grinds....ugh, I hate being curious. Any idea how the steel roller, grab the dry nibs? It seems like they might just spin ans spin and spin.....That being said, it works for the barley/wheat which are possibly larger and harder, and drier(?)?
My concern isn't that it will grab the nibs--I think the gap between the first two rollers should handle that fine--so much as how fine it will actually grind.
I called Pleasent Hill Grain Nut Butter Machines (http://www.pleasanthillgrain.com/nut_butter_machine.aspx), at one point they did do a test with cocoa nibs (they couldnt remeber the size of the peices, but I think to us its its irrelavent), and she said, it comes out like a chocolate cake batter. Then hardens after 30 minutes or so.
Do what you will with the info....
Cake batter consistency would be great, but it's not what I got when using one. I've spoken with another maker who was using one for a while, too, and their results were more like what I was getting than cake batter.
I kind of expected to hear that results may vary. The machine I called Pleasant Hills about is a huge commercial machine, $2500....so its probably got a bit more robust grinding system than a small tabletop unit. Its made to make smooooth butters.
Did you ever try putting the "paste" through the home table top butter maker again? Wondering if a second time round would yield better results.
What kind of food processor did/do you use? Im a CuisinArt fan, but I remember Chocolate Alchemy saying some just dont cut it.
I was using the PN1 version, which was the older version of the PN2 you linked to. I got it used, but it went for over $2k new.
I tried, but wasn't able to effectively feed the paste through the grinder again.
I'm not sure what brand of food processor it was. Sorry.
did you have/try new, grinding burrs? being used, it could have been worn. Just trying to figure out where/how the differences in results came from. Model? Used burrs?
Im leary about a Champion juicer because from the little reading Ive done on CA, it sounds like the juicer (parts) will/do wear out within a relatively short time. 100#? 1000#?
anyways a small machine like that is out of my league for home use! maybe a small p-b maker. Having burnt out a belt on my melangeur trying to do make the liquor IN the melangeur, I think its time I do it properly.
and / or
as I try to wrap my mind around what we are doing, I realize that what we are doing needs to be measured. The final product needs to be <30microns, but not everything is measured the same way. Not everything can produce a set of standards that will tell you how a machine will perform. Not everything has the same standard, like the p-b machine. It may only apply "x" amount of force, and produce "x" size particles. But then there is the variables. A cocoa nib has "x" density and requires "x" force and heat to create "x" product....
Aint life funny
I never replaced the grinding plates, but have spoken with another chocolate maker who used a new PN2 version. Their results were similar to mine.
For most of the time I've been making chocolate, I've just put the nibs straight into the melanger. The belts that come in the melangers are basically terrible. They almost always break and need to be replaced. I replaced mine with power-twist fiberglass link belts, as recommended in several posts here on TCL and on the Chocolate Alchemy forums, and have not had a problem with them since. Also, warming the bowl, roller stones and nibs helps a lot.