The Chocolate Life

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Home Brew Chocolate


Home Brew Chocolate

This group is for ChocolateLife members making, or who are interested in making, chocolate from the bean.

"Home Brew" means you haven't gone out and spent millions-you're mixing and matching (and making) what it takes to make it work.

Location: Worldwide
Members: 316
Latest Activity: Dec 11

The Home Brew Group: Sponsored by CocoaTown

Making chocolate from the bean can be a lot of fun. Some special equipment is required, but the process is pretty easy to learn and to get good at. It must be, some of the biggest names in the craft chocolate biz have started on using kitchen appliances.

The group is sponsored by CocoaTown, the makers and importers of hobbyist and commercial melanguers, grindeurs, and accessories for making chocolate. CocoaTown is offering ChocolateLife members special purchase incentives. Learn more here.

Discussion Forum

Building a vibrating table

Started by Mike. Last reply by Ben Rasmussen Dec 11. 13 Replies

Problem tempering with Chocovision Rev 2

Started by Isaac Ekblad. Last reply by Kane Dijkman Dec 8. 4 Replies

bean to bar - planning the first time

Started by Jens Kamin. Last reply by Ben Rasmussen Dec 6. 3 Replies

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Home Brew Chocolate to add comments!

Comment by Steven J on December 19, 2012 at 8:44pm

Can you suggest any reading material or texts that would help in the home brewing process???

Comment by Klarista Chen on September 26, 2012 at 11:25pm

Hello Everyone!  My name is Klarista and just started to learn about chocolate after visiting a small cacao farm in Indonesia.  I'm not sure where to post my question about determining the type of cacao beans.  But hopefully (I would be very much appreciated) someone can share their experiences or reading articles on determining the types of cacao beans that Indonesian countries usually harvest.  I read on posts that there are three types of cacao beans produced in the world and was wondering how I can classify these beans? 

thanks for your attention and help! 


Comment by John Marshall on October 5, 2011 at 1:34am
And if you really want to push boundaries with flavours try this site or it's sibling less extensive site
Comment by Juan Pablo Buchert on October 4, 2011 at 11:04pm

Hi Camile,  we like

Dark Chocolate + Cardamom + Nutmeg + Cinamon + Chillies

Milk Chocolate + lemon + coriander seeds.

Comment by John Marshall on October 4, 2011 at 10:12pm
I would try nutmeg, and cinnamon, and then food grade essential oils such as bergamot, lime etc
Comment by Camille Harripersad on May 27, 2011 at 8:38am


Does anyone have any interesting recipes or spices added to chocolate when making either dark or milk chocolate? What else, besides vanilla, do you add when making chocolate? Cardamom?  Chilies? Allspice? Are there any spices that are better for dark chocolate as opposed to milk?

Comment by Robert O'Byrnes on January 29, 2011 at 2:28pm

Hello to all.  I have about 3 lbs of crillio and want to make milk chocolate. All that I have made to this point is dark.  Wondering if any of you would share a milk chocolate recipe.


Thank you,


Comment by Frank Schmidt on December 22, 2009 at 8:58am
A cheap and easy cold weather conching booth for the un-insulated workshop.

I was e-mailing Clay Gordon about this booth that I made for my chocolate making workshop to be used during cold weather months when the indoor temperature chills the chocolate mass in my Ultra wet grinder. The mass becomes so thick as to make the wet grinder nearly stall. In this photo you can see the electric radiant heater which produces warm air more than enough to heat the wet grinder and warms the mass. Problem is: this workshop is the size of a two car garage. Far too large for the space heater.

With two sheets of 4ft X 8ft. insulated foam board (building contractors here call it “blue board”) cut into pieces tall enough to cover the radiant heater and “hood” over the workbench and Ultra, you can see how the heat is trapped. This is intended to be easy to take on and off therefore it does not totally enclose the wet grinder and heater. Another piece of blue board could be cut and placed behind the grinder and connected to the booth to further trap the rising heat. I think this is half-inch board, not as thick as 5/8 inch.

I just used a box cutter to slice up the blue board after measuring it off; and used duct tape to connect the pieces together. Of course you could build a proper wooden frame around this booth and set the frame on four cheap casters from Ace Hardware so as to make the unit solid and mobile. My unit is so light weight it could probably be hung from the ceiling out of the way during warm summer months or just disassembled and then re-taped back together in the winter of the year. I can’t tell you the cost of the materials but it’s got to be the cheapest way to build a warming booth.

Comment by Kristin McGary on November 17, 2009 at 9:38pm
I want to learn.... feeling a bit overwhelmed with the incredible amt of info on this site.... digesting it in bite size pieces... must pack for a trip.. more from me to come!
Kristin Grayce
Comment by Frank Schmidt on November 1, 2009 at 6:14pm
I don't have a lot of experience with Madagascar, Gordon. I've only done one batch and it turned out well, not too thick as you mention. I don't think the temps in the high 130's have anything to do with thickness. I also have had what I thought were high temps with other beans during conching and that did not result in thick finished chocolate.

Water, humidity, could have something to do with it. If the beans had a high water content to start with and were not roasted so that all the water was burned off, then maybe that could account for it.

Another thought, Ask Alan Mc Clure, over at Patric chocolate. He's done a lot of Madagascar. May have some ideas on this. And he's great for sharing information.

All the best in your efforts. Madagascar is a great bean!

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