Raw chocolate, conching, roasted beans and experiments….

It seems to be generally known I don’t promote raw chocolate.  It’s not that I don’t approve of it (although I have some issues about it), it more that I just don’t really care for it and even more so, just don’t ‘get it’.  Although they are not my words, there is an article that I and many others contributed to that spells out quite accurately what I think about it.

The ‘Truth’ about raw chocolate

Item 2.  Conching.  Or maybe  conching vs refining.  I don’t actually have any definitive to report here, but circumstance has started me on an experiment.  I’m on day five of a test involving using the Melanger as a conch only – no refining.  The short story is that I removed the tension nut from the Melanger with the intention of pouring up my finished test chocolate…and promptly forgot it.  12 hours later I discovered it was still running, the temperature had dropped from about 118 (note to those experimenting with raw chocolate – the Santha Melanger can refine at or under 118 F if your recipe has a lower enough viscosity) to about 110 F and stabilized.  I pulled a small sample and noted it had not over refined, but had changed in flavor…hrm…sounds a lot like conching.  I’ve continued to pull a sample every 12 hours and will vertically taste them and report back.

Item 3 – roasted beans.  I now have an old Royal #5 roaster on site, and all beans will soon be available roasted in 15-25 lb batches.  If you have a need now, before I get them officially offered, just drop me a line and I will be happy to accommodate.

Items 4 – experiments.  Mostly thinking out load of things to come.

Long vs short roast times. Again, circumstance tossed me an interesting piece of data.  When I tested out the large roaster I purchased, I did it without any controls.  The result was 20 lbs of beans roasted in about 8 minutes.  Later I repeated the roast with control and doubled the roast time.  Hands down, in blind tastings of the resulting chocolate, the 8 minute roast was preferred.  More fruity, body and a better overall dynamic chocolate.  One time fluke?  more testing…

More conching after my vertical tasting.
Broma cocoa butter production.  This is a heated, gravity ‘pressing’.  People have asked, I don’t know, so I’ll experiment and report back.

Winnowing – AFTER I have the current design to the shop, I have two other designs I want to play with.

I’m sure there are more, but that’s it for now.

3 Responses to “Raw chocolate, conching, roasted beans and experiments….”

  1. I am looking for step by step instructions of how to make chocolate at home, what equipment i will need to do it.
    I am looking for Cocoa beans in Melbourne Australia at the moment to experiment with.

    I would appreciate any help you may wish to off.

    Kind Regards

  2. Polly, Check out the ‘Articles and other helpful page’ http://chocolatealchemy.com/articles-pages-and-other-helpful-links/

  3. Hi John,
    If one flips the wheels on the Santha Melanger they will act more like the old time conching. I leave it conch for 24 – 30 hours and the chocolate is nearly as smooth as store bought. Temperature does drop about 10 degrees at first but seems to build back into the 125 degree range after 14 hours or so. Also, my Kitchenaid Professional 6 series stand mixer achieves the same smoothness & gloss when run at the lowest setting for 24 hours or so. It must be heated with a conventional heating pad at 112 degrees, under the bowl. Standard batter mixing tool. Best regards,

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