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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: 298
Latest Activity: Aug 23

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


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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!
Comment by James Cary on December 7, 2008 at 8:47pm
A chocolate brittle? I think you may be right on adding in some butter to the mix.

Good idea on the press, Tom. I'd be interested to hear if pressing the burnt beans works.
Comment by Tom on December 7, 2008 at 5:32pm
Eric could you sqeeze out the cocoa butter and deodorise by heating. There is a neat little hand cocoa butter press at
Credit for the find goes to James Cary
Comment by Tom on December 7, 2008 at 5:29pm
I tried caramelised nibs recently, very basic recipe, heated 1/3 cup sugar 'til caramelised and added 1 cup of nibs and spread out to cool. Didn't really like the outcome, so I broke it up with a rolling pin and put the pieces in a dark milk chocolate - result was awesome! For caramelised nibs for eating I feel I need more sugar mix to coat and also have some butter and honey or glucose in the mix there.
Comment by Eric Durtschi on December 5, 2008 at 8:49pm
Oh no!!! I just had to scrap 30 pounds of Venezuelan Cata beans. My in-laws came over and I forgot about my precious beans. They are very burnt. However, if this has ever happened to you, they make a real good mole sauce like this. But... who needs 30 pounds of mole sauce :

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