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: 299
Latest Activity: on Saturday

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

Scaling Up Refining Times Based on Weight?

Started by Dave Huston. Last reply by Andy Koller Jul 23. 19 Replies


Started by Clay Gordon. Last reply by Andy Koller Jul 19. 26 Replies

Comment Wall


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

Comment by Juan Pablo Buchert on Saturday

Dear Bean to Bar chocolate makers, we are Nahua Cacao of Costa Rica.   We ferment, dry and select our cacao, that we produce and buy fresh from smallholders farmers in the Upala area.  Always from the Trinitario sort.  We believe that chocolate artisans should have access to premium cacao beans at reasonable prices.  It is very interesting to be able to try other chocolate makers' interpretations of the same cacao beans.

We can now ship small quantities of Premium Costarican cacao beans to the Continental US at the following prices.

Cacao Lb    Total $

   2.5               $22  

   5.0               $40  

    7.5              $53  

  10.0              $65  

  12.5              $77  

 15.0               $90  

 20.0              $118  

  25.0            $145    

  30.0            $170  

  40.0           $225  

  50.0           $275  


These prices includes shipping to any address in the Continental US.  We are still negotiating with the logistics company to be able to provide similar prices to other destinations.  PayPal ok.

I noticed that some members of this forum are our clients.

For more information and orders, please contact Juan Pablo at 

Comment by Ismael Neggaz on Saturday
Hi all. I have my own business making chocolate Candies
I would like to start making my own chocolate from bean to bar.
I love to share & learn from each other
Comment by Tim Huff on August 23, 2014 at 6:05pm

Hi everyone!  New to the group here.  Also new to chocolate making.  I found a simple recipe on Youtube for dark chocolate (cocoa butter, honey, vanilla extract, and cocoa powder) that turned out wonderful!  I'm starting to experiment with variations on that recipe, sometimes with decent results.  I'm anxious to expand into bean-to-bar chocolate and looking forward to learning a lot from this group and this website!

Comment by Deborah on July 20, 2014 at 10:42pm

Regarding the passionfruit question, I boil down the pulp and juice until it is thicker and add it to the chocolate. Has to be the same temps to mix and not seize. Hope this helps :)

Comment by Deborah on July 20, 2014 at 10:41pm

Hello Everyone, Just popping in to introduce myself and say hi. I'm an environmental scientist from Australia, experimenting with chocolates! I don',t at present, do bean to bar but do make chocolates from cacao and butter to sell at the local markets. They are very popular but there is a limited clientele. I want to learn as much as I can before venturing further so am keen to follow your progress :)



Comment by Fargo Della Harding on July 18, 2014 at 6:22pm

Has anyone tried tamaind with chocolate?  I wanted to flavour my chocolate with passion fruit ...pressing the seeds for oil---but a great disapointment, the oil from the seeds don´t have any flavour---and it was a lot of work....To cover dried fruit with dark chocolate seems to be a natural thing to do...has anyone done this---and how does one package it, so it won´t spoil

Comment by Delcour Thomas on September 26, 2013 at 9:16am

I heated it in the oven to 120F as usually, and added it in the melangeur directly. It was still quite dry. It was difficult at the beginning, the liquor was compacting at the bottom, I had to add it very slowly, little by little ,and I had to warm it up with my heat gun, to start seen it becoming little bit more wet. But it wasn't enough so I added cocoa butter after 1h.

Maybe I should a warm it in a double boiler too as the oven might dry it even more.

Comment by Thomas Forbes on September 26, 2013 at 8:55am

I found hand tempering inconsistent and I was unable to manipulate temperatures and keep the mass more liquid like.  I purchased a chocovision rev 2 which has worked well.  If the chocolate takes too long to harden in the molds, bloom can appear. 

I purchased liquor that dry and hard.  I heat it on a double boiler and get it to 115F and it is nice and liquid.  When the women in the DR run the nibs through their pre-grinders (one uses a machine and the other a hand corn grinder) it comes out pretty gooey.  It is usually 90F outside at the time, so sometimes they have to wait for the paste to harden a bit before they ball it up.  What happens when you heat this powdered nibs?

Comment by Delcour Thomas on September 26, 2013 at 8:36am

Thank you Thomas for your fast answer, the melangeur is allright but it is very difficult to temper by hand the thick mass and the molding isn't easy either.

Did you already have a dry liquor? When I pre-grind the nibs the liquor come out pretty much in powder. Is this normal or should it be wet? 

Comment by Thomas Forbes on September 26, 2013 at 8:18am

I usually stay in the 5-8% added butter.  I usually do not have any problems with the melanger with just liquor in the machine.   My machine needs a belt change.  After 40 or so batches over the last two years, it struggles to keep going when I add the sugar. 


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