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Hello !

I  am just starting a small business ( beans to bars) in Bulgaria. I will use the grinder from CocoaT and I would like to ask you how long it takes the process of grinding and developing flavours. 2 days is ok ? or more ?

Hope that people who use the same grinder, can give me more information.

Thank you in advance !

Maria

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Hi Maria,

 I have a Cocoa Town grinder and I normally grind the nibs by themselves for 12 hours before adding sugar and heat. AFter 12 hours you should have something pretty tasty and it should also improve over the next hours. Give it 24 hours and keep tasting every hour or so until you think it is ready. The amount of time you need depends on how you like your chocolate and how long you can wait!

Duffy

Hi Duffy,

Thank you very much for your answer.  So in less than 48 hours I can have some good chocolate. As I don't want to add emulsifiers I was worried that I had to grind and refine the liquor more than 48 hours.

Hope that I will have my grinder soon !

Thanks again !

Traditionally chocolate was conched for 72 hours.  If you continue to conch, I've tried for 5 days, the flavor continues to change, developing some very nice notes.  The rate of change starts to plateau out in 72 hrs, why it was how long tradition did it.  Try a batch, pulling once a day for the 5 days.  You'll be amazed.  It comes down to your desired taste, versus how long you can afford to do it.

Hi Mark,

thank you for you advices ! I will try to conch for more than 48 hours, to see the difference. May be later if I buy another grinder or a conche, I can do it easily and all the time.

Maria: There is no direct correlation between conching time and quality across machine types. Modern conches are built in a way to produces very high quality results in surprisingly short periods of time. 

How long you conche depends on a lot of factors, based on the flavor profile you are looking to achieve. The beans you use provide the starting point, and proper roasting is the first phase. Different roasts will bring out different flavors which will be affected differently by the conching. When starting out, check every hour for the first 4-8 hours and you will be astonished at the change. From there, every couple of hours for the next 24-36  hours (if you are using one of the CocoaTown machines or Santha, or longitudinal conche).

The challenge is to get the flavor you want in the same time frame as getting the texture right. You can overdo either quite easily. 

The key point is that 72 hours (or 96 hours) is not better because it's longer. It's very possible that at 72 hours all of the "life" in the chocolate will be evaporated out. As a chocolate maker, it's up to you to determine what results you're looking to achieve and to experiment until you hit upon the combination of times and temperatures that deliver the results you want. You want to conche for exactly the right amount of time that is correct for the chocolate you are making. It may be different for different chocolates.

One thing you can do to affect conche times is to blow (warm) air into the conche bowl. This can accelerate the evaporation of undesirable aromas (such as acetic acid). This can shorten conche times by getting flavor development ahead of texture development.

Hello Clay !

Thank you very much for all the information. I learnt a lot of things from what you wrote. So, conching is very particular and personal process. It's up to me to determinate the taste that I am looking for. Very creative process ! 

Thank you again !

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