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I am struggling some with "bitterness".  My thinking is that I am running the nibs through the Juicer too many times trying to get the cocoa liquor yield up. 


Could this be the cause of the bitterness?  If so, how many passes should I run?


Thanks for any feedback.  

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I roasted today my beans from Venezuela; before roasting the beans were not acid, no bitterness, just a taste of butter.

Firstly I tried the same temperatures and time as for DR beans, just to compare the results. The result for the beans from Venezuela was: the beans developped bitterness and no chocolate aromas; I tried another roasting, at lower temperature, for 15minutes, and the flavours were so different ! beautiful chocolate taste, no acidity, no bitterness. I tasted the nibs with some cane sugar and it was delicious.

Do you think that 15min ( 140°C ) is ok, or it's not too much... ? the result was good, but I see that many of you roast the beans for at least 20minutes. 

Thank you in advance.

Maria - 

It's not so much the difference in gross origin (Venezuela vs the DR), it's differences in the variety (genetics) of the bean modified by various aspects of terroir, and I include post-harvest processing techniques as a part of terroir.

If 15min at 140C is what works for you - then that's what works for you. Your beans, your roasting technique. 

The exact times and temps for others does not really matter. 

EXCEPT ... in the absence of testing, 15min at 140C does not guarantee that pathogens (e.g., salmonella) on the outside of the beans are killed to an "acceptable" level. So, you probably want to do some lab analysis on a regular basis (e.g., each new shipment of beans at least) to make sure that everything is safe.

Hi Clay,

thank you for your help. Actually I buy the beans from a broker and he gives me all the sanitary certificates. Do you think that there is a risk ?

A read that salmonella and all the possible bacterias are killed if the temperature is 70°C or more. May be for cocoa beans is different ?

Is the broker telling you that the whole beans you are receiving are, in effect, sterilized?  If so, I would absolutely, unequivocally, insist that they demonstrate proof of that if you do not have a kill step of your own, and I'd challenge their results by having them validated yourself with a 3rd party.  A piece of paper saying they're clean is meaningless.


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