Hello fellow chocolate-lovers.
I'm wondering if anyone could offer guidance on which machine/ system to use as a step up from grinding clean cocoa nibs into cocoa liquor with a Champion Juicer.
I have a (very) small from-the-bean choco business and my current system for getting from nibs to liquor seems like it would be untenable on a larger scale.
What type of melanger are you using that allows you to skip pregrinding?
You can skip pre-grinding on any of the melangers that are discussed here and on Chocolate Alchemy. The key is to add the nibs slowly to the melanger. Also, heat helps the process. You can prewarm the nibs, and the bowl and roller stones, or just use a heat gun for a while when adding the nibs.
I have used a small Cocoa Town and put nib straight in the melanger. After 30 or so batches, it took longer and longer to get the nibs in the machine without freezing. I recently ordered a new belt and will see if it gets back to old form. I also purchased a new small Sprecta recently and it took the nibs with no problem. Let's see if it still handles it after some use.
The cylindrical stones of the spectra or premiere wonder grinder do seem to accept the nib a little easier than the cocoatown's conical stones. That being said, I used Cocoa Towns for several years with no problem.
Thomas: I'd highly recommend replacing the CocoaTown's belt with the fiberglass link belt. It's so much better than the stock one. I never had a problem with the belts in my CocoaTowns in the years I used them.
If you were purchasing an entry level melanger, based on your experience, which brand would you buy?
Give me another year using the Spectra before I can comment with any authority. I guess at this point it is flip a coin.