The Chocolate Life

Discover Chocolate and Live La Vida Cocoa!

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  • Santa Barbara, CA
  • United States
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Mike's Friends

  • Preston Stewart
  • Paul Picton
  • Richard Foley
  • Benoît
  • Sebastian
  • Robyn Dochterman
  • Patrick Pineda
  • Eric Cayton
  • Deanna Moore
  • Ruth Atkinson Kendrick
  • Tom Bauweraerts
  • Brad Churchill
  • Alison Holland
  • Ian
  • Marabel Farms

Mike's Discussions

roll refining

Started this discussion. Last reply by Mike Jul 13. 10 Replies

Hello,  can someone tell me if it is required to pre refine nibs and sugar prior to running through a three roll refiner (e.g., one with 6 x 12 rolls)?  If so, what is the desired particle size for…Continue

Where to find chocolate bar boxes

Started May 28 0 Replies

I've been recently searching for an affordable source for chocolate bar boxes.  I have received a few quotes and the pricing seems really high (almost a dollar per box when buying 1000 pieces without…Continue

Conche question

Started this discussion. Last reply by Mike May 13. 2 Replies

Can anyone tell me the gap size between the blades and wall of a Frisse or Thouet type conche?ThanksContinue

Pre Grinders and particle size

Started this discussion. Last reply by Andy Koller Aug 13. 13 Replies

Hi All,I'm considering adding a pre-grinder to my set up (probably a nut butter type), but I'm wondering if any one out there already using one can tell me what particle size you get after a single…Continue


Mike's Page

Latest Activity

Ben Rasmussen replied to Mike's discussion Building a vibrating table in the group Home Brew Chocolate
"I've started the following thread in the DIY group to discuss possible modifications or improvements to Anthony's design (which I've been using for a couple years now): Vibrating Table"
Dec 11
Mike and Benoît are now friends
Dec 8
Mike replied to Benoît's discussion Universal Grinder/Conch for sale (NEW) in the group Classifieds - For Sale or Wanted
"What is the price for this machine? "
Dec 7
Brad Churchill and Mike are now friends
Oct 18
Mike replied to Katie Partington's discussion Streaked bars
"12C?  That is probably way too cold for your chocolate.  Try getting them to within a few degrees of your chocolate temp.  It might help to get an IR thermometer to check the mould temp just prior to moulding. "
Oct 14
Mike replied to Katie Partington's discussion Streaked bars
"Can you clarify---is it the air side or the mold side that gets streaks? If its the air side it might be too much air flow/turbulence. "
Oct 12
Mike replied to david castellan's discussion Chocolate equipment for sale in the group Classifieds - For Sale or Wanted
"Hi, can you email me at oka-road-mail@-yahoo.c-om (remove dashes)?  I have a few questions about a few things you're selling. Thanks"
Oct 8
Andy Koller replied to Mike's discussion Pre Grinders and particle size
"Hi Brad, have read the discussion here about wheter pre-grinding is necessary or not. And I can see the viewpoints of the persons answered to this. To me, I would personally skip pregrinding without hesitation BUT there is one point why I'm not…"
Aug 13
Mike replied to Tom's discussion Cracking Beans for Winnowing in the group Home Brew Chocolate
"Thanks for posting, I'd never heard about that brand until this post.  It looks like as a stock model it would produce lots of fines/dust, which, especially if you're not screening the crushed beans, is all loss. Do you know if they…"
Aug 3
Mike replied to Krista's discussion Salesperson
"A good way to decide is to figure out A) if sales for you is their only gig, and B) if so, what would be a decent monthly "salary" to make it worth it for them.  From there, figure out what % of your sales gets them to that…"
Jul 16
Mike replied to Mike's discussion roll refining
"If I had a set up to make a 75% chocolate that allowed me to roll refine a ~50:50 mixture of coarse liquor and sugar, then had a separate machine to refine the rest of the nibs to their final particle size, rheologically speaking, would it be worth…"
Jul 13
Sebastian replied to Mike's discussion roll refining
Jul 10
Mike replied to Mike's discussion roll refining
"Will the cocoa butter still be squeezed out if the paste (or the rollers) is at a lower temperature?  My goal with a three roll mill is to control particle size (and stay within my budget), and refining on anything else would either lessen that…"
Jul 10
Sebastian replied to Mike's discussion roll refining
"best case scenario is to mill your liquor fine enough separately that it doesn't need to go through the refiner, other than to act as a lubricant for your sugars. you can certainly send coarse liquor + sugar through at 75% (making it 35%+ fat)…"
Jul 8
Mike replied to Mike's discussion roll refining
"I don't have any plans for a 100% bar, but I wanted to use that as an extreme example.  I typically do 75% bars, but it sounds like even at that fat % it would be a big mess.  I know other companies are making 70--75% bars using a 3…"
Jul 8
Sebastian replied to Mike's discussion roll refining
"you want to feed 100% liquor through a roller mill to reduce the particle size?  if that's your question, it'd work, but it'll be terribly messy.  what you'll find is that, because your liquor is high in fat - the rolls…"
Jul 7

Profile Information

Dark, Milk, White?
Most memorable chocolate experience:
making it for the first time from scratch
My favorite chocolate is:
still looking for it

Comment Wall (1 comment)

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At 5:28am on December 17, 2011, Ruth Atkinson Kendrick said…

Hi Mike.  Sorry this is late--'tis the season.  ruth (at) sweetchocolot (dot) com.


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