Almost ready to fire my new operation up but as yet have no machine suitable for grinding sugar before adding to the conch. Any ideas for something that could do a kilo or two per batch? One that might be available in Europe?
What particle size are you looking for- what type of conch is the sugar getting put into? If your not looking for final particle size a food processor will powder it, the santha style melanguer also can powder it. But it also depends on what type of conch your using-does it refine the sugar more?
All the best
I've got the Inno Concepts big grinder - similar deal to the biggest Santha, with a revolving granite base and 2 granite wheels. So, I'd like to get as small as I can but the grinder will finish it off.
I haven't done any tests with the new grinder yet because clean water in still comes out dark grey after an hour or two so plenty of bedding in still to be done before I commit any beans to it. I don't think granite is arecognised flavour for chocolate bars!
One of the owners of Innoconcepts, a company here in the US that sells Santha grinders, has the following to say about using the grinder with water only:
Can you please mention that any time we grind the unit without any food and just water, the stones are going to wear out and the water is going to look grey? We suggest that the customers add little water (before using the unit for the first time) and soap, let it run for few seconds, drain it, pour some more water, just rinse it and start using it.
With respect to sugar pre-grinding. If all you need to grind is a kilo or two, a high-capacity, high power food processor will do the job. Consider adding chopped up vanilla bean to the sugar at this time and take care of pre-grinding the vanilla at the same time. Just put it on run and let it go for 30 seconds to a minute (YMMV) and it will end up very fine.
They sent me a message after reading my post. The stones when they arrived didn't look to be completely matched to each other but after a few hours with water they look a lot better. I didn't want to risk granite dust in the chocolate or waste valuable (you try getting hold of beans in the UK!) beans.
I'll add a food processor to my Xmas list!