Ask the Alchemist #48

Is the Puruvian bean a slightly less oily bean? The liquor was decidedly thicker than my Conacado. This is not something I keep track of currently, but painting with a rather broad brush, being a Criollo, it would tend toward having a lower cocoa butter content. That said, the observation and conclusion you are drawing […]

Ask the Alchemist #45

“I have been reading about bacteria and pathogen content on the shells of raw cocoa beans, and commercial techniques used to prevent them from transferring into chocolate. Would there be any benefit for home and small artisan chocolate makers to using practices like misting beans with water at the end of roasting, or maintaining a […]

Ask the Alchemist #14

At what point in the chocolate making process should I add things like nuts, herbs or spices, and how would this affect refining and tempering?” I’ll try and keep this short and sweet. The base answer to when to add additional ingredients is that it all depends what you want. Nuts – I like them […]

Website Migration

The site will be migrating today to a new server.  There may (or may not) be some small periods of down time. Also, I’ve been updating some of the Alchemist Notebook pages – they are not linked in, but you can view them directly here: Roasting Cracking and Winnowing (with history of the Aether, plans, […]

Does size really matter?

David and Goliath? Me and Mini-Me? Bigger is better? The tiny powerhouse? Frankenstein vs….damn can’t think of a small monster. Well, I really wanted a good one-liner there, but inspiration eludes me.  So I’m just jump into what I want to talk about.  Cocoa bean sizes.  As is the definition of ‘average’, most cocoa beans […]

Roasted beans and customer accounts

A little while ago I acquired an antique roaster.  It’s in the process of being refinished, but in the meantime is completely functional.  As a result, all cocoa beans are now available as Roasted.  The odd 35 lb option is because that is the capacity of the roaster.  Right now I don’t have an option […]

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