In this group we are going to be covering the process of making chocolate at home using inexpensive equipment -- from bean to bar. Most, if not all, of the newest generation of American chocolate makers (Amano, Askinosie, DeVries, Patric, Rogue et al) got their start making chocolate in their homes using equipment that, for the most part, was not built to make chocolate.
Separate forum threads will cover harvesting and post-harvest processing (i.e., fermentation and drying) of cacao, as well as the steps that you must undertake at home to make your own chocolate:
5) recipe development
For each of the steps there will be complementary discussions that cover equipment, ingredient sourcing, tips, techniques, and pretty much everything you need to know to make chocolate at home. We are privileged to have a number of bean-to-bar chocolate makers on The Chocolate Life, including Alan McClure of Patric Chocolat, Jeff Pzena of the Cotton Tree Lodge in Belize (who lives in New York City and with whom I give classes), Hallot Parson, and others.
Collectively there is an enormous amount of wisdom and experience and my goal is to enable everyone who wants to learn how to make chocolate at home, from beans, to be able to do so.