The Chocolate Life

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Startup Central

Are you looking to start a chocolate business? Want to talk to others who've been there or done that - or have you been there and done it and want to share with others? This is the place to discuss it.

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Startup Central

Do you make great chocolates? Know everything there is to know about tempering chocolate and cooking the perfect caramel? Able to turn out thousands of finished chocolates without blinking any eye?

Does the thought of using Quickbooks or writing a business plan sends you screaming into the walk-in begging for mercy?

This group is for you. When you join, please introduce yourself to the group in a comment on this page. Yes, I know you have a profile page, but it would be great to have you add a few words about you and your business in the context of this group. If you have a website, feel free to post a link to it. Please don't post a link to your profile page, people can just click on your profile photo to visit that.

PS. Below is the full picture I used for the Group photo. It's a chocolate store/cafe in Mexico. Those are stone mills (the kind Taza uses) to the right of the guy with his back to you in the blue shirt and notice that they are selling beans. The stone mills suggest that this store is located in Oaxaca.

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Comment by David Menkes 12 hours ago
I'll have to dig through my books to see what "acceptable" moisture content is but remember that cocoa butter content is a huge factor in viscosity.
Comment by Dave Huston 14 hours ago

Thanks David!  I follow you so far, but now I have another question.  What's usually an acceptable (or industry standard) level of residual moisture in roasted beans?  I would think zero is not an option because it sounds like you'd have well...burnt beans.  Looking back through several batches of roast information, I seem to have typically removed 3-4% of moisture content.  Although I have no clue what the original moisture content was.  Assuming an original content of say 6% would mean I have had about 2-3% residual moisture in the last several batches I've made.  Those batches all tasted pretty good and molded fine, although some were a bit more difficult than others.

Comment by David Menkes 23 hours ago
Hey Dave,

So all cacao (should) have some amount of moisture in them - usually 5-7%. What you want to do is figure out exactly what your moisture content is if your beans, and how much of that moisture you're roasting out.

So take 100g of beans and roast them in a toaster oven until they're completely black and burnt (watch for smoke)! Weigh the beans after. They should be 95g or maybe less. That's your moisture content.

Now do a roast with 500g (or whatever your test batch size is) and weigh before and after the roast. If the percentage is less than your burn test, you know you have some residual moisture in your beans. We put our roasted, winnowed nibs in a dehydrator overnight and weigh again.

As others have said, it also matters a great deal how much (or little) cocoa butter is in your beans. I've heard of rubbing tests to check for butter content but would love to hear from anyone else who has an easy test for cocoa butter content.

Hope this helps!
Comment by Dave Huston 23 hours ago

Hey Dale,

If you did end up adding some cocoa butter, let me know how it worked out?  Fingers crossed for you!!

Comment by Dave Huston 23 hours ago

Hey David,

Could you describe the burn test a bit more in detail?  I can't find anything more on the TCL or even a Google search about how this is done.  Thanks!!

Comment by David Menkes yesterday

Reducing moisture in the beans themselves before grinding also helps. I like to do a burn test on every batch of beans we get so that we know the moisture content. If the beans are around 6% moisture and the roasted weight is only 4% less than unroasted, there's still 2% moisture that can be removed.

Comment by Dale Anderson yesterday


Thanks so much for your response. I'll see if adding a bit of cocoa butter resolves the issue. This would be a lovely simple fix.

Comment by Dave Huston on Wednesday

Responding to Dale Anderson's Chocovision Rev Delta issue:

Hey Dale, I've seen this once with a 70% batch of Camino Verde beans from Balao, Ecuador right near the end of tempering process.  Turns out those particular beans have less cocoa butter (fat) in them than other origins I've made 70% out of.  I simply had to add in some extra cocoa butter, which bumped it up to about a 74% afterwards and everything worked fine.  Later, I looked around and found that several commercial bean-to-bar makers only had bars from these beans at >=75% cocoa content.  After that I made a second batch at 75% using just beans and sugar from this origin without experiencing this issue.

Comment by Dale Anderson on Wednesday

Chocovision Rev Delta Help Needed.

I've been running 3-5 Rev Deltas pretty much all day every day for 4 years. Recently, I've had a problem that I haven't been able to figure out. A machine will near the end of the tempering process (in the period after "seed out") and will over crystallize and begin to bunch up against the scraper at the left side of the bowl. Ambient temperature is the same for all machines (~73 degrees), relative humidity <45%, no water dripping/seizing of the chocolate (the same chocolate can be retempered in a different machine later with good results). I've moved the machines to different locations (to control for drafts, etc.), tried different baffles, sent the beasts back to Chocovision (they find nothing wrong). It only seems to happen with my 68% dark chocolate (not white or milk). Has any one experienced this and found a way to address it? Thanks for any help.

Comment by Hector Velásquez on November 6, 2014 at 12:51am

I tell him that I opened my own company makes back years, we have been doing intensive work, with the purpose of obtaining a premium quality of our Fine cocoa, we performed lifting profiles, and integrating more producers to our projects.
Hecdave Cocoa Arriba S.A. is a Family company with the aim of working directly with groups of cocoa farmers , I do not speak much English but try to communicate .
Our main objective is to meet the quality needs of chocolatiers who want the best cocoa for their products , we took 15 years in the management of cocoa are currently exporting cocoa in small batches, our cocoa is different 100 % Arriba Fino de Aroma , we profiles
by Wt organoleptic properties, control and traceability and postharvest handling .
We process liquor , butter , powder , and can ship grains and nibs are open and happy to meet your requirements.

If you want to know more about our work, contact us at our email . .

Waiting for your comments very soon,

Best Regards,

Hector Velasquez

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