First off, we will be closed for a few days, until Monday, August 8 th. In the mean time, I wanted to talk a little about some things that have been on my mind as I follow this chocolate making path. What comes most to mind is the importance of using the right tool for the right job. Each piece of equipment and step sets you up for the next tool and process. Some people are wanting ONE piece of equipment to make chocolate at home with (and want it for $50). Well, there might be a way, but I don't know how.
Right now, it goes like this.
You need a way to roast your beans. A conventional oven works fine for that but a roasting drum is easier in the long run.
The Champion Juicer will remove husk, but that is hard on it. Cracking with a Cocoa mill helps the Champion do it's job of grinding the cocoa beans to liqueur and removing trace husk.
The Santha is used to refine your chocolate after it comes from the Champion. It might be able to grind cocoa beans, but it can't remove husk like the Champion can and you really don't want husk in your chocolate.
I am going to try and go into each of these in a bit more detail over in sort of an ongoing series of things I have learned, discovered and believe about making chocolate at home.
Also, if you have any questions, please ask and I will address them.