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My name is Erik and I'm fairly new at making chocolate I've probably made about 12-13 batches of bean to bar dark chocolate. I'm interested in starting a small bean to bar company. I hope to learn as much as I can from this blog and this site.



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Sounds like we're just about as far along in the process. I've made about as many batches. Where are you from? Where do you get your beans and butter from?

I'm from Desert Hot Springs California. I get my beans and butter from Chocolet Alchemy.

OK, you're doing the high end stuff. :-)

I live in Honduras, originally from Texas. They grow and sell the beans down here, but finding quality beans, ones that have been properly fermented, is difficult here. Also, I've got to create my own cocoa butter using a screw press, they do not sell that here.

I am hoping someday I can find a good source of cacao that I could help export. I can buy beans for $1.80/lb here at the market, but the quality stuff might be a bit higher.

A screw press that's interesting. I've looked into machines for the butter but they are expensive. How well does the screw press work?

The screw press is not as effective as the conventional butter press. A bit, maybe 20%, of the solid is still in the butter. It's not cost effective for someone in the USA to use, because your beans are so expensive there. However here in Honduras, where they don't even sell cocoa butter, it's the cheapest way to enable bean to bar. It's also more time consuming, requiring about an hour of hands on labor, to make 2 kg of butter. On the bright side, you don't feed this machine heated chocolate liqueur as you would a butter press, you just feed it room temperature cocoa nibs.

A local machinist wanted $700 to make a conventional butter press powered by a hydraulic car jack, but he had never made that type of machine before, so it was risky.

The screw press machine itself, ordered from Alibaba, was delivered to me for a total of $230. 

Ok Mark,

Thanks I guess I'll save for a conventional butter press.

Welcome, Erik, and congratulations! Don't be shy with your questions -- this is a great forum with a lot of very helpful, knowledgeable and generous people. All the best to you with your chocolate making!




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