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Has anyone tried to do the Conching and Refining process with a Speed Stand mixer? Sort of like a substitute for good old Melangeurs. Will it work? :)

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I've heard of a mixer with paddle used as a conche - no idea about the result, but I have heard of it done. NOT, however, for refining.

Gap's right--a mixer doesn't have the ability to refine nibs into chocolate. I'd guess that, at best, it would break some of the nibs into smaller pieces.

I d like to learn more about mixers with paddles used as a conche, if anyone has more to share. also the heating element aspect, how that would be integrated. thanks. Newbie in R&D...still on the tabletop ;) Currently refining with Cocoatown wet stone grinder ECGC12SL and have had splendid fun with that, now on to learning the conche....

This has come up a few times, but no one's ever posted any real info about it. I'd be interested to hear how it works from anyone who has actually tried it.

My guess is that a mixer probably isn't going to be able to do a very good job as a conch, as it doesn't have much ability to produce shear. It would probably expose more of the chocolate to air, though, allowing moisture, etc. to evaporate. 

Thanks for sharing insight, Ben.

From what I've heard you're spot on. I've only heard of it used for small test batches in labs where they're just trying something out (eg., using a new milk powder or something) at a basic concept level before moving onto more high tech production.

I also wonder if it is possible to make a crude ball mill with this setup though???

I hadn't thought of that. That could probably work.

So, the answer to the original post may actually be yes!  :)

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