Hello dear chocolatiers!
So our venture with chocolate is well underway and we are now in the process of dialling in our recipes for our final product.
We are using a Cocoatown ECGC-12SL (which is running great!) and we are wondering; How long we should be grinding it?
We are using raw nibs and grinding for 24-28 hrs with great texture results but there is still quite a bit of bitter (tannin??). From my research after grinding many manufacturers would now conch for up to 4 days to let some of these bitter compounds evaporate. If we just kept grinding for an additional day or so would we come up with a less bitter product? We like some bitterness but we need to reduce it a bit.
After tempering (which we do by hand on granite). We then pour into our molds and place in the fridge (because we seem to get untempered chocolate when we just leave the molds out to harden, any advice on if we can do something so that we dont need to refrigerate would be great). After about 15 minutes in the fridge we pull them out and remove them from the molds. This is where we are having some trouble keeping the bars from breaking. Is it because we are trying to remove them while cold? How can we make sure the chocolate comes out easily from the polycarbonate molds??
Any and all advice greatly appreciated.
Evan and Brianna
Grinding for a long time is just that. To conche you need to apply heat. A heat gun at 65-70 degrees for about 8 hours removes any volatiles and so improves flavor. I think there is video of this on this site. You may want to think about the end result ie. what is your desired outcome ? Then choose the right variations of temperature and time as well the actions you would need to get the right flavor and texture [mouthfeel] you desire.
Using a fridge to cool is a not advised as the temperature is too low, try a wine cooler. Maybe try to cool for a longer period.