We were told when we started down this path that it was just not possible to make chocolate at home. The equipment was too expensive or just did not exist, the techniques were too difficult and the average Joe Consumer would just not want to do it. Besides, there were no raw materials (cocoa beans) available. Well, we had heard all this before in the home brewing industry and the home coffee roasting market. I brew my own ales and roast my own coffee.
Oh, and a final note about how it works here. There is a running log on the main page. New developments, experimental results and other pertinent information is "posted" there as it becomes available, usually once or twice a week, sometimes only once a month. In addition it is a rudimentary forum in that you can leave posts and comments, but we also have an actual Forum that we encourage you to visit. If you have a question about something you just read or something you want answered, just click on "Please leave a comment" and do so. Comments are checked every day or so and responded to as possible. Also, we don't know everything. Someone else reading just may have the answer. Aside from anything else, Chocolate Alchemy is about sharing knowledge. There are no trade secrets and nothing is taboo here. Of course, you are always welcome to e-mail us directly at Contact at chocolatealchemy dot com.
Late in 2004 we engineered a piece of equipment that works to refine and conch chocolate at home. The Alchemist Stone Chocolate Melanger! They rest they say is history.