The Chocolate Life

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Hi! I’m Nod, and I’m from Thailand!

Making Chocolate has always been my dream since I was in 3rd Grade, and when the teacher asked me what I would like to do in the future, I answered making chocolate, now I want to make my childhood dream come true. I start learning how to make the chocolate Beans to Bar seriously about 6 months ago reading thick books, and browsing through this website, I have tired making the beans to bar 5 times now, and it keeps on failing. I follow the tips such as leaving the chocolate for a week or two before tempering, to get rid of those unpleasant sour tastes. Don’t over heat it for it will make the chocolate bitter. Using milk powder to reduce the bitterness, but the taste is still unpleasant.

May I know what I did wrong?

My Cocoa Beans I ordered them from a farm in the southern Thailand, I think it’s Forastero, I’m not sure the farm didn’t tell me, and when I smell it for the first time, it smells very weird, I don’t know how to describe it, it smells sour, not chocolate at all.

I soak them in the water to wash off the dirt and I put it in a steamer, for the book I read says that it would enhance the flavor, and then I put it in the oven for about 50°C for 5 minutes, and then raise the temperature to 105°C and then to 135°C for 30 minutes, and then I take it out and let it cool, but the cracking is very difficult, so for all of my other trial I put the beans in the pan with low flame and roast them for about 15 minutes, until it crack.

Then I put it in a blender, and blend it until it turns to liquid, took me an hour to do that, and then I put it in a food processor for the whole afternoon and let it work through night, and when I taste it again the next morning, it taste horrible, very unpleasant, it have all of the elements of the word nasty, the sugar didn’t melt, it’s sour and bitter, and the particle size so large, and it melt too fast. So I let those chocolate rest for 3 weeks and then I conch again for the whole night, the only thing better was the sour taste is gone. I didn’t measure the temperature during the conch; I believe it’s about 35-45°C.

I have a feeling that my beans are extremely acidic, how do I get the chocolate texture for the texture I’m getting is very harsh, and it melt too fast. How can I fix it? Should I order a stone grinder like Santha Grinder from India?

Thank you so much!

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Yes, get a propper grinder. Also i think your roast is a bit low in temp, i would so something like 5 min at 170 deg celcius then 150 deg celcius for about half an hour. The sugar wont dissolve in the cocoa liquor it has to be ground in that is why you need a propper grinder. A propper grinder will also help to remove some of that acidity by alowing hou to conch properly. Also your beans may be the probelm here if they are not fermented well, you cant turn bad beans into good chocolate, it only works the other way around.

Good luck

Thank you Tom for your advice,

And I wonder how does a good, well fermented cocoa beans supposed to smell like?

I'll pose update on my next batch, thank you!!!

Should smell a bit acidic and a bit chocolatey. Never musty or mouldy smelling.

As Tom said, try to find another roasting. If your beans are acid, you have to roast them at higher temperature. I had the same problem with my Domenican Republic beans, I changed the temperature and the result was completely different, no acidity, and very good aromas. 

Good luck !

Maria is your method for roasting your Dominican Republic Beans is it:

170C for 5 minutes

150C for 10 min

130C for 10 minute?

Do you soak your beans in the water or steam them before roasting?

Tom thank you for your advice, I tried roasting my beans today, and one of the bean smell so good, will have to make all of the beans smell like that. :)

Thank you Tom and Maria! I roast a small batch today, and it came out wonderful, the smell is so nice, and right now I smell like chocolate, the best perfume smell ever!

Great stuff! Yeah makes the house smell fantastic!

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