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 Frank Schmidt on June 15, 2009 at 12:40pm
June 15, 2009

I have developed a recipe for dark chocolate made with Panama cocoa beans and sweetened exclusively with xylitol.

This recipe includes other ingredients and is about 60 % cocoa content.

Xylitol as a sweetener has several advantages but also raises a few process difficulties which I have overcome in my recipe. The “cooling effect” is not disconcerting with the addition of peppermint.

The hope is that with this xylitol sweetened chocolate, it will be possible to supply people who are at risk for “dry mouth tooth decay” with a method of reducing the likelihood of cavities due to the demonstrated effects of xylitol on cavity causing germs.

Dry mouth tooth decay is a common side effect of some prescribed drugs and radiation/chemotherapy to the head and neck during cancer treatment.

Studies of the Kuna peoples of Panama and their chocolate consumption show that they have few cardiovascular problems and reduced cases of hypertension. These heath benefits have been attributed to their chocolate consuming habits while living a traditional lifestyle.

Studies in Sweden with children chewing xylitol sweetened chewing gum show reduced levels of S. mutans (the cavity causing germs) and reduced salivary acid.

Two research articles are listed below (links) in support of the hoped for benefits derived from my chocolate recipe.
Comment by Duffy Sheardown on March 30, 2009 at 5:53pm
Yes, and thanks again. I thought I'd be trying to palm about 8kg of rubbish off on friends and family who'd smile and politely eat it until I'd left the building.
I've had a good dark chocolate from Ivory Coast Forastero beans too - similar Ghana not as impressive. I'm starting the long process and getting hooked...
Comment by Duffy Sheardown on March 30, 2009 at 12:29pm
I have turned the rest of this batch of beans into milk chocolate, following comments from Sam. Very lovely indeed. If you can do that with unfermented beans then I am impressed.
Comment by Jeff Pzena on February 22, 2009 at 10:48am
It depends on the form of the roasted beans. If they were milled and winnowed and you just have the nibs, it would be more difficult. It is very subtle but the nibs will have slight purplish hue. If they are still in the husk, you will find unfermented beans have a smoother husk. I work with Cotton Tree Chocolate Company in Belize and buy beans from the Toledo Cacao Grower's Association (TCGA). They only purchase fermented beans from the farmers but the farmers only ferment beans if they intend to sell to the TCGA. If for personal use or local sale, the beans are not fermented.
Comment by Duffy Sheardown on February 22, 2009 at 10:19am
Hi Jeff,
An interesting thought. Is there any way to tell from the physical appearance of a roasted bean how/whether it has been fermented?
Comment by Jeff Pzena on February 22, 2009 at 10:05am
In response to Duffy Sheardown's experience with astringency, it may very well be that the coffee shop in Guatemala was selling unfermented cocoa beans. Mayan people prefer unfermented beans. In place of fermenting, they simply wash the beans then dry and roast them.
Comment by Duffy Sheardown on February 21, 2009 at 5:32pm
Hi Samantha,
A full answer, as I'd expect. It sounds like the issue has arisen through no processing mistakes that I've made, which I will take as an encouragement. And of course a lesson - be careful where you buy beans! The remaining beans will still be useful and in fact the flavour and astringency still work with some of the flavoured chocolates that I used: coffee and a ginger spice mix.
I'm sure that I can find better beans from Guatemala! I have to accept that I cannot control all aspects of production and will work towards finding suppliers with the same goals as myself.
Comment by Duffy Sheardown on February 20, 2009 at 11:14am
Just made my first ever batch of chocolate and it has turned out pretty well. I bought the beans in already-roasted condition froma coffee shop in Guatemala and I have no idea what type of bean they were, or how old they were or how they'd been roasted.
They smelt a little flat before I started but my question is this - the chocolate (65%) leaves a dry taste in the mouth along with the aftertaste. I assume that this is due to the prescence of tannins? If so, is there anything I could have done differently or is it the case that the dryness is there and there's nothing I can do?
SUggestions welcome!
Comment by H.C. 'Skip' Bittenbender on January 15, 2009 at 1:56pm
I 've uploaded a recent publication, Making Chocolate from Scratch, for hobbyists with cacao trees in Hawaii.
Comment by Annette Jimison on December 8, 2008 at 4:48am
James, you are a great detective or something. This is so excellent. I just read how most cooking oils are made and I want to start extracting my own, now. Thanks!

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