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I was wondering if anyone can tell me what is in this picture and how it affects bean to bar


This is my first post. Thank you in advance with any information you can provide me with.

I just made my first batch of chocolate from bean to bar this week. I originally started out making an 80% with beans ordered from Chocolate Alchemy (Belize being the origin).

After using Chocolate Alchemy's excel spreadsheet to calculate ingredients, it turned out to be a 90%.

Anyway, the initial taste was great and texture was very smooth but there was a lingering bitterness at the end. I read some posts and came to the conclusion that it could be a few factors: either my refiner (premier wonder grinder) was brand new and I didn't run any sugar through it before grinding beans or there was residual husk left after the winnowing process. I refined/conched for 48 hours.

So for this next batch, I am shifting through the nibs and am coming across what look to be stems (picture attached).

I am correct? And do these affect the end taste. The problem is that this amount is just from 3 handfuls of nibs so to take these out from even a 2lb batch would take a few hours.

Can these be left in or do i need to be patient and take out all the stems?

Sorry to be so long winded.

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This is just the germ, true it is more bitter and harder but don't bother taking them all out. You can get rid of quite a few of them by using a fine kitchen sieve, when I crack my beans I push everything through a 1/4 inch sieve (to remove whole beans so I can crack them again and have a uniform size) and then use a kitchen sieve to remove dust and quite a lot of the germ.

As for the bitterness I don't think the germ here is responsible. More likely the beans inherent bitterness, I have found this origin can give that lingering bitterness especially if roasted too long and esspecially if the batch you have is not well fermented. Also with a 90% formulation you will notice it more, go for something more like a 70% and see how that goes. A good way of using beans that are a bit too bitter is to make milk chocolate with it.


Hi Tom,

Thank you very much for answering my question.  I will remove them with some sort of strainer.  I didn't even think of that.

As for the beans, I purchased them from Chocolate Alchemy and had them roasted and winnowed.  I know I am doing things backward but I am building a winnower and since I had the beans and the refiner, I wanted to experience what a finished bar would be like.  I will study the comments on here and the forum on Chocolate Alchemy in regards to tips and reference points for roasting.

Thank you again!



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