The Chocolate Life

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Discussion moved from this page (which has the live links). Originally posted by: Annette Jimison.

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For small batches of chocolate, can an Indian wet grinder, such as the Ultra Pride +, http://www.innoconcepts.com/prideplus.htm, work as a small melangeur? I think that this is a smaller unit than ones I have seen offered on other websites.

Oh! I also am interested in anyone's comments on a Corona grain mill for cracking the beans. I understand that it can sufficiently crack the roasted cacao beans. Again, I do not do a large load of beans, so a small item is sufficient for me. I don't want to put the beans in a bag and hit them with a hammer, which is why i am opting for a Corona.

Has anyone tried a roasting drum from this vendor on Ebay? http://cgi.ebay.com/COCOA-CACAO-BEAN-ROASTER-DRUM-fits-RONCO-SHOWTI...

It looks like a fellow chocolatier has found a good niche product. Anyway, he says "Why purchase an expensive Cocoa (cacao) Bean Roaster when you can buy this extremely easy to use and very inexpensive Cocoa Bean Roaster Drum to roast cocoa beans with your RONCO SHOWTIME 6000 Pro Rotisserie appliance!!"

Has anyone tried roasting this way? I like the inside of the drum, and think that it would do a better job than roasting in an oven where I have to go burn myself while I turn the beans while they roast. I think this could work. Anyone with experiences in using these items?

I think those are the three pieces of equipment that I need input on. The roaster with drum, the Corona grain mill, and the Spectra Ultra Pride +. Thanks for giving me your advice! Annette

Oh! One other question. Compared to the quality of commercially made chocolate, how do you rate your chocolate's taste, look, aroma? What differences do you really see?

Thanks!

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This is the process I use for home brewing chocolate.

Following fermentation and drying I roast about 1000 g of bean in a drum roaster I purchased on e-bay. It's aluminum with a large number of holes. Roasting is done with a rotiserie over a medium gas flame. I've been roasting at about 400 degrees as measured on the the bar b que thermometer. I have no idea how this translates to bean temperature. Roasting time depends on how long it takes for the beans to pop. I wait until popping stops. At this point I turn off the heat and continue rotating until I can remove the beans with out burning my hands on the drum. The beans go directly to the the Crankinstein for nibbing. A hair dryer is used for separation of the beans and skins. A winnowing machine would be nice. The nibs are then processed in the Champion juicer to form chocolate mass. The mass is then placed in a Santha stone mill for at least 24 hours. I add 10 percent cocoa butter, a small amount (not measured)of lecitin, 30 percent sugar by weight and the seeds of two home grown vanilla beans. The chocolate is tempered, poured onto aluminum foil and scored for easy division into small pieces for tasting. I am currently fermenting (day three) a 4 pound batch of raw beans using bakers yeast. I've been home processing small batches of chocolate using this procedure for a little over two years. Any advice on fermentation or ideas for improvement of home processing would be appreciated. One thing I learned early was that I was not to process chocolate in the kitchen being quickly banned to the garage at first and then to the greenhouse where chocolate mess (not mass) and noise are. tolerated.

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