Ask the Alchemist #102

I am confused by your suggested start temperatures of 350-400F. This is almost the temperature range one would charge a batch of coffee! If I read roasting temperature suggestions here, are they referring to environmental temperatures (ET) or bean temperatures (BT), so indicating air temperature above the beans or approximation of the product temperature? For […]

Ask the Alchemist #82

From reading your forum and my own experience, your write up on how to tweak the Behmor programming is still confusing. Could you at least add Behmor instructions to each bean. And suggest how far over or under you can go and what it will do to the flavor. I know it should all be […]

Ask the Alchemist #78

How long can raw beans keep prior to roasting? After roasting ? Is the bean roasted, at its most vulnerable stage? How stable is chocolate tempered and non tempered? After removing finished chocolate from the melanger , can or should chocolate be tempered first or can it be put in ziplock bags straight from melanger […]

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 […]

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