I might have a rare problem in that I extract my own cocoa butter using a screw press. The machine serves the purpose of making chocolate. The problem I am left with is doing something with the cocoa solids it removes.
The solids crumble into flakes, which I can grind down a bit using the wet grinder. I just add about two cups at a time to the grinder and run it about 20 minutes. At that point it is fine enough to bake with or use in making chocolate syrup, but not fine enough to mix into liquids, or in this particular case, ice cream.
A local dairy would like to give me the business of producing cocoa powder, but it must be fine enough to dissolve in their ice cream mix. According to the manager, the cocoa I produce is too coarse and shows up grainy in the ice cream. I am not sure what particle size you would find in say, Hershey's, but apparently I am not there.
Does anyone know of any economical solution for this? We have a Kitchenaid stand mixer and I've been looking at the grain mill which makes flour from grains, but I don't know if that would grind it fine enough or not. If not that mill, would any other commercially available mill work?
Making a mesh, I wonder too if that's a possibility. We have machinists here, but not sure if they could do something to that level of detail. Larry showed a link above to a company that makes mesh.
As far as doing the sampling, there's a logistic problem. We live in Honduras and the vendor is in China. Getting things in and out of Honduras to/from the USA is difficult enough. I'd have no clue how to do that with China.
If we can get our microscope back from a friend, I will try and measure Hershey's, and then see if Hershey's works for the dairy.
The cocoa we crush with the grinder works well for baking recipes, we just don't know a lot of people in our area who bake very often. The dairy, on the other hand, buys 50 lbs of cocoa, imported from Spain, to make their ice cream.
I watched the video included on those eBay machines, showing how they operate. I am wondering if it would work to add some mesh behind or in front of the screens they provide. Such as, buy some 400 mesh and place it in front of the 250 mesh screen.
Possibly. Mind the tolerances so that your hammers don't end up turning your screen into screen dust.
Thanks. After I made that last reply I was weighing the pros and cons of putting the 400 screen in front of the 250, and vice versa. Still, even as low as $500 sounds for this craft, I am going to wait until I can produce a chocolate bar worth continuing on with. I am still hoping it's the under fermented bean. I tried being really careful about getting no shell/husk in the chocolate, and grinding for a couple days, but I still did not notice a drop in bitterness. Our neighbor is on the lookout for properly fermented beans among the other cacao farmers he knows.