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Refining and Conching


Ask the Alchemist #70

I’m so glad you have the Premier Grinder now. But I now don’t know which one to pick. Which is your favorite?

One day in, and I’ve already had this question multiple times. Fair enough.


It’s kind of like asking which of your children you love more. Or for those of you without children, which parent. Or brother. Or sister. You get the idea. You might get along with one more than the other. You might go to one over the other in certain situations. But one rarely is a ‘favorite’.

It’s the same thing here. Really, it’s your call. But here are my thoughts on them laid out.

I like the price ($195) of the Premier vs the Spectra 11 ($479)

I like the 9 lb capacity of the Spectra 11 vs the Premier at about 6 lbs.

I don’t like that the Spectra 11 seems to have a tendency to go through belts faster than I like.

I don’t like that the cone on the Premier’s bowl strip its threads after some time (mine was over a year of heavy use) (they are looking at addressing this – and keep in mind this is an unmodified Grinder, not officially a modified Melanger).

I like that they both have Warranties.

I like that they both can grind nibs, although I’ll admit because of the Spectra’s belt appetite, the Premier does do a more efficient job.

I like the foot print of the Premier.

I like the larger grinding area (larger wheels) of the Spectra.

That’s about it. And counting up, it’s basically a wash. It comes down to preferences, budget and need.



Ask the Alchemist #33

I want to make chocolate for baking. Do I need to still go through all the steps of refining, conching and tempering? How is the process of making baker's chocolate different from the process of making semi-sweet chocolate?You do not have to go through all of the steps you list above, but you do need to do most of the to one degree or another. And in one small case, I will back pedal and say you will have to do them all. First off, I want to get some definitions out of the way – or more to the point, I want to list some synonyms.

  • Baker’s chocolate
  • Chocolate liqueur
  • Cocoa mass 100%
  • Unsweetened chocolate

These, being synonyms, are all the same item. I’m going to go out on a limb, and assume that you recognize at least one, and you don’t officially need an actual definition.Way back in the dark ages of home chocolate making (about 1 BCA – that’s Before Chocolate Alchemy) I experimented with just using the Champion juicer to make one of them there things above – the result was something that looked like one of them there things, but was not one of them there things. It turns out, it was a matter of scale. Although the Champion had released the cocoa butter and the mass flowed, it had not released it all, and it just didn’t quite behave right. The flavor was muted, it was too thick, and it would not temper well. But just a couple hours refining in a Melanger, and suddenly, like Alchemy, it was transformed into one of them there things above. Going back to scale, basically that particles were just not small enough. Instead of sand, it is still gravel.

So, you need to refine. And that can occur much faster than if you had sugar in there – again, just a couple few hours. After that, you move into the conching zone. And really, I find that totally optional, and in nearly all cases overkill if you are going to be baking. I won’t refute that conching is a remarkable process…but it is a relatively subtle process that will be totally lost (to my tastes) in baking.

Now, semi-sweet vs baker’s chocolate. Gah, I had marketing terms sometimes. If there is sugar in your chocolate, you can consider it semi-sweet and most of the time, that is what we make. It’s close enough. Painting with a very broad brush, if it is not milk chocolate, and it is not 85% chocolate (that would be ‘dark’) then it is semi-sweet.

Tempering – here is that one that on the surface I want to just say ‘no, you don’t need to do that’ but, I have found in one case, where it does seem to make a difference. Chocolate chips and chocolate chip cookies. Very simply, if you are melting the chocolate down as an ingredient, then there is no reason in the world to temper it – you are just destroying the temper when you melt. If on the other hand you are, you are using some of that ‘semi-sweet’ chocolate, and you want to make your own chocolate chips (which purely for the work involved, I don’t recommend – chocolate chucks people, chocolate chucks), then there is a difference in how the chips behave during baking if you don’t temper. Simply said, we are used to tempered chocolate chips, how they hold together, how they feel in the mouth, etc, and untempered chocolate chips, while still good, seemed to lack something.

That’s about it…except for one final item.

Over the years, I’ve basically said lecithin is optional, and from the standpoint of fine eating chocolate. It still is. But what I have discovered is that if you are baking with it, and especially if you are mixing the chocolate into water based ingredients (truffle fillings, cake batters, tortes, etc) then a little bit (1% or so) greatly increases workability and reduces the chances your chocolate will ‘break’ and you will have cocoa butter floating around. There has been a few occasions that when I made truffle fillings, and tortes, both without flour or another binder, that oil floated to the top. Using the same exact recipe, but with the addition of a small amount of lecithin kept everything together and much more manageable.

OK, NOW, that’s it.



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 for roasted nibs as it's just to cumbersome and creates too many loop holes in the store, but I will do roasted nibs if you take the initiative and ask.  Anything 10 lbs and under (total order) I'll do for free as a courtesy.  Over that and it's $1/lb and I'll contact you after the order is in to settle up. Also, I've very please to announce there are now Customer Accounts.  Chocolate Alchemy is coming into the 20th century.  You can look up old orders, the current status of orders, adjust your information, etc.  Please be aware though, and I know it can be confusing, there are TWO sets of customer accounts - one for Retail and one for Wholesale.  I recommend making your user name and password the same if you use both stores, but be aware, there are completely un-connected.

Right now the customer accounts are in beta mode, meaning there may be glitches here and there.  If you find one, please let me know about it.  Likewise, if you would like to see a particular feature, let me know and I will pass it along to the developer.

Finally, I've spent the last week testing out a new model of Melanger from Spectra (formally Santha, but the Melangers are officially being offered by Spectra) - the Spectra 11.  Photos and a review will follow, but briefly, I like it and give it two thumbs up.   It's basically a redesign of the bowl and how it attaches to the motor.  Over the last couple years there have been some shaft bearing issues - leaks basically.  This new design seems to over come this issue by removing the whole bearing.  A semi permanent (it unscrews) shaft now runs directly from the flywheel, through a delrin hub, and and then screws down, covering the shaft, effectively eliminating two weak spots and protects another.  And they have put the lid back to riding on top of the top tension nut (the way it was years ago), so you no longer have to worry about condensation.  It will be retailing for about $40 more and should be available in a couple weeks.



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.



The Ultra Melanger

Update: After a few final tests this weekend, I have finished up the review and photos. Pluses and minuses, but overall a good product.



So what is the same?

They have 110 V, 1/4 hp motors They refine in about the same time. They look a lot a like. The bowl is not dishwasher safe.

What is better?

Steel parts. Lighter wheels. Easier handling. 1 year warranty. In limited tests it seems to grinds nibs into liqueur a little better and faster. A little quieter

What is worse?

It is a little more expensive. The shaft has a small gap at the bottom that can trap unrefined chocolate (but scraps out ok). The half cover is a little awkward. You can’t taste the chocolate easily with it running. It flings chocolate a bit due to the cant of the wheels.

Do I like the Santha or Ultra better? You tell me. I am still undecided.


I want to give people a first look at the Ultra Melanger.  I will have more detailed pictures up over the weekend and will address any questions people have.  Right now, the biggest question I am getting is "Do you recommend the Ultra over the Santha?"  In a nutshell, no, I am not 'recommending' either above the other.  Both do the the job - both have their quirks.  I leave it to you to decide which is right for you.



Chocolate Making 101

My dear partner Penelope put this together, noting that so far there is not one single page outlining the entire chocolate making procedure start to finish.  Well, now there is. Chocolate Making at Home 101

It won't give you everything you need in detail (hence the '101') but gives a great overview.  For all the detailed information follow the links under Alchemist's Notebook to the right.



Melangers are in

The newest shipment of Melangers have arrived in port. They are available and we are taking orders but they won't ship until next week sometime due to back logs. And for those paying attention, Santha has requested that they be referred to as Spectra now. It's the same item. And look for more information about the Spectra 20's and 40's this weekend.


Both lots (2033 and 2404) of Dominican Republic Conacado are now available also, plus a small special where you can order a 1lb of each at a discount.



Some musings

For some reason, there have been a few spats of difficulties lately with too thick or thin chocolate in the Melangers. One person reported only being able to get 4 lbs of chocolate into the Melanger before it spun itself out. The culprit was 3 times the cocoa butter the recipe called for. I don't know why they decided on that much, but it made the warm mixture too thin. I suggested if they wanted to use that recipe then to refine with a more moderate amount for the base time, then add the extra at the end.

I had three people write about chocolate that was too thick. One tried to cut back on the fat content too much (you can't really just randomly decide to alter one ingredient radically and expect it to behave the same) and the final on read the recipe in volume, not weight. meaning for 8 oz of cocoa butter they used a cup (really only about 6 oz), and likewise for the sugar. The "8 oz" of sugar (the 1 cup) was more like 12 oz, so they have a VERY thick chocolate that gave the Melanger a bit of trouble. So, just to be clear, all ounces are weights folks, not volumes. Finally, I may have never addressed this specifically, but it came up the latest tempering articles. You can temper over and over. You don't have just one shot. I had one customer giving away "failed" tempering batches because she thought they were totally ruined. Nope - keep it clean and dry and you can temper over and over until you get it right.



12th Night, tortes and the aztecs

How's that for a title? I celebrated 12th night last night (secular form actually) and for dessert I prepared a fresh Tabasco (bean of course) based flourless torte - just to die for.   I thought I would share both parts.

69% Dark Tabasco chocolate - 6.25 lbs 5 lbs of Tabasco cocoa

5 oz  Natural cocoa butter

30 oz unrefined cane sugar

Roasted the Tabasco cocoa in two 2.5 lb batchs in the Behmor, Profile p1, 14 minutes roast time.  Cracked the cooled beans in my Cocoa Mill, winnowed them and ground them into liqueur in my Champion Juicer.  I melted my cocoa butter in the Melanger, added the Tabasco liqueur.  I did something I have never tried before which was a little elevated temperature refining.  I put the drum and contents in my oven until everything was 140F.  I heated my sugar to 180 F (and no, is doesn't melt).  I then started the Melanger running and added the sugar.  Brought the whole mass to 155 F.

Now, before you try this at home, I have an aluminum center mount for the wheels (the nylon gets brittle) and have replace the seal on my Melanger (don't ask why I had to do that) so I can take mine over the 150 limit.  If you want to try it, just go to 145 or so and all should be good.

In any case, the extra heat helped to drive off some of the acidity of the beans, but more importantly catalyzed some nice acid induces hydrolysis flavor reactions in the chocolate and really smoothed out the flavor and bumped up the complexity of the chocolate.  The temperature only stayed elevated for 4-5 hours.  I think 8-10 would have been better, but I will have to play with that more.  I considered the chocolate finished at 20 hours.


The chocolate itself has some great liveliness and was deemed almost too sweet by some household tasters.  Says something for a nearly 70% dark chocolate.  I used 1 lb to make the following torte.

Chocolate Torte

1 lb 70% chocolate (homemade is best in my opinion)

2 cups sugar

2 cups butter

8 eggs

(If you like coffee, 6 oz of espresso can be added to the eggs for a Mocha torte)

Preheat  oven to 350 F.  For really even baking, make a 1" water bath with a 12" pan and get that also pre-heating. Pull your espresso and let cool if you want a Mocha torte.  Melt the butter and chocolate together.  Also let cool to room temperature. Butter and dust with cocoa powder a 9"  pan.  I find a springform or cheesecake (removable bottom) pan works well.

Whisk the eggs and sugar together.  Whisk in the espresso if desired.

Fold in the cooled chocolate mixture (chocolate to eggs so you don't set the eggs).  The "batter" may well gel up - kind of odd, but ok and what allowed me to put the nice spiderweb pattern on the torte.

Pour into the prepared pan and put in the oven (in the waterbath if you are doing that).

Bake 45 minutes.  Edges will be set but the middle may jiggle a little.  It's ok.  Remove and let cool.

This supposedly serves 16. It is VERY rich.  I like it the next day best. The rest of the  chocolate we molded up.  I tested out a new mold.  It holds 72 0.2 oz chocolates.  I will be selling a limited amount of these.  Look for them in the next week or so.  Someone (thanks Jasmine) got creative as soon as they were out.


Our Ode to the Aztecs.

We just ran out of Ocumare, and are very low on the Papua New Guinea . But the new Panama should be in Wednesday, and available soon there after.



The "New" Stone Melangers are in

In no small part to Chocolate Alchemy, Santha is now calling their motor ventilated wet grinders Chocolate Stone Melangers. So, I will probably start referring to them that way. So if you see mention to the Santha Melanger, or Stone Melanger, it is the Santha Wet Grinder made and adjusted for us chocolate makers. To distinguish it solidly from their other line, they will only be coming in maroon but there is now the choice of a 99 hour electric timer. The regular Melangers will still be $265 (including shipping in the 48 upper US states), but the timers will increase the price to $295. And since I have not spoken about them in a while, the non-timer units are also available in 220 v and we can handle out of country shipping. Shipping varies pretty wildly out of the country, so please write and ask if you want to know the prices. In general non-US units are about $50-100 more due to shipping. In response to a couple of customers innovation (thank you Alan and Brad), I experimented with my Melanger this weekend, testing out how well it handles taking grinding nibs. Both Alan and Brad have modified their Santhas to a larger motor and reported being able to bypass the Champion and liquefy the nibs directly in the Santha. Well, I am pleased to report that the stock Melanger can also do the job. I have not pushed it to a high capacity yet, but check out the photos below of 2 lbs of roasted Cuyagua. The main "trick" is that you run the unit with no spring, or no nut at all. The weight of the rollers does it all and it does not bind up.

At the beginning, the nibs running freely.And if you have not seen it before, that is the hot new maroon color all Melangers are now coming in.
15 minutes in and it is just starting to get pasty and sticky
At 30 minutes, the mass suddenly started to "flow". Still course, but flowing.
45 minutes and it is quite fluid and getting smoother almost as you watch.
One hour and we are where we would be with the Champion (except the few nibs that need to be scraped down).

All I did was put the rollers in, without even the top nut. I started the Melanger and poured in my WELL CLEANED (more on this later) nibs. After 15 minutes, I could tell something was happening. Thirty minutes in it started flowing and after an hour, everything was nice and smooth. I added the cap around 15 minutes, but I don't think it matters. I did not add any external heat at all - just the weight of the rollers and friction took care of it.

OK, Great you say - I don't need to buy a Champion Juicer. Well, frankly that depends on you. By using the Melanger only, you need to make sure your nibs are VERY clean of husk because you have nothing filtering it out. In the Champion, the liqueur comes out the bottom, and any husk you have left in, comes out the front. By eliminating the filtering step, the onus is completely on you (if you get nibs from me, they WILL have some husk left) to make sure it is all gone or at a level you can accept. The up side is you don't loose anything to the void in the Champion. If you put in 1 lb 6 oz of nibs, you have 1 lb 6 oz of nibs, not somewhere around a 1 lb like in the Champion. So, until I do more testing, and tasting, I will reserve judgment which method I like best, but regardless, there you go - another option in your Alchemical bag of chocolate making tips and tricks.

And something to look for in the next few days. I have mentioned you can either use the Crankandstein cocoa mill or the Champion juicer (another use for the Champion you may or may not want) to crack nibs. I have done a efficiency test, evaluating dust, husk and nib recovery using the two machines. I will get those numbers and pictures up soon....back to the lab...



Santha Wet Grinder - Alchemist Stone Chocolate Melanger

We are currently out of stock of the Santha Wet Grinder. Even though it is marked "out of stock", if you want one when they come in, you are welcome to place the order (and please tell me if you want to pay now or later) and you will get it fresh off the boat. Also, there are a couple of nice things with the next batch. Rumor has it that Santha will now be calling these Alchemist Stone Chocolate Melangers. I feel honored. Mostly it will be the same unit, except for two changes for the better. There will be a integrated 99 hour timer available and due to a little prompting from yours truly, they have improved their wiring. If you ever saw inside some of the originally, they were a little less than professional. Frankly, I was just glad to have a machine that would let us make chocolate, but I am very happy they are taking constructive suggestions and implementing them.


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The new continuous use, factory modified Santhas should be in around the end of the month. There will not be any with 99 hour timers. That will be next time. I have been doing a little cleaning and updating of the site. The Tempering section has been updated with pictures and I have added a couple new chocolate recipes. In particular I have added a White chocolate and adjusted some of the current directions to include refining by the Santha.

Oh, and just because I said I would post it, aside from mouth feel, here is how I determine when the chocolate should come out of the refiner. It's viscosity starts to change and it (no offense here, men have them too) nipples up.

These three samples are one hour apart, the final one being at 12 hours. I refined it for another 3 hours after that.

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Jamaican Cocoa Beans - Experiments

I have been experimenting with the Jamaican Cocoa beans. I finally got a good shot of the beans that show off that polish of theirs.

And while we are at it, here is 7-8 lbs of the Jamaican 72% chocolate in the Santha (note the hot new color available) before and after the addition of my sugar. I will post a final picture of chocolate after refining and some photos showing how the texture changes hour by hour.

And then finally, just a little experiment to show that you can not just add "a tiny" amount of water to dissolve sugar. I hate to give absolutes, but I think I just might be safe on this one - with a qualifier or two.

You can not add ANY water to chocolate and have it flow and behave like "normal" chocolate.



Review and New Jamaican Cocoa Beans

Some time ago I was able to directly compare the Santha Wet grinder and the Sharp. The quick summary is that I did not find the Sharp usable for Chocolate refining. You can read the review here And the shipment of Jamaican Cocoa beans have arrived. I will have the review up this weekend and they will be available then.



July Updates

The ordering system will be off-line for a few hours today for maintenance. If you find the system gives you an error, or a "page not found", please try back later. And just to give you a few things that have been happening here, we just received our order of various molds. There are hearts, truffles, bar molds and some really beautiful half egg shapes that are great to use for making filled chocolates. I am taking the photos of all that now, and should have them up and available in a few days.

Also, arriving any day, I should have a Sharp Wet grinder to start testing, modifying and evaluating. Sharp is interested in making the air flow modification at the factory, depending on my work and reviews.



Santha Wet Grinder Modification

As purchased, the Santha Wet Grinder can not be run more than an hour at a time. For refining chocolate, this is a hassle. I have been doing some tests to determine why it over heated and what I could do about it. It turns out that the motor was simply not getting enough air flow. I cut a hole in the top of motor housing, and added some extra vent holes at the bottom, and now it does not over heat. So far I have run it 24 hours straight, 3 days in a row, with no problems.

Mine now looks like this.

You can see how I did the full modification Here

I think it is easy enough that anyone can do it with basic tools, but I am thinking about offering the Santha-Hack service if there is interest. Is there?

Happy chocolate refining.



Refining Chocolate at Home

I have been waiting for this moment for almost two years now. For those of you who have been following the progress here, or have tried to make chocolate at home, you will know that so far, the granules in sugar have left a gritty texture to homemade chocolate. I have been working to find a solution. Well, I have found it. It is not all the way there yet, but it is by far the best yet. And I think it is not all the way there yet, simply because I have not run it long enough. On my first test I ran it a little over 3 hours and there was a marked improvement in the chocolate texture and particle size reduction. Based on the continuous changes it was making, I figure about 5 hours to refine. Oh, you want to know what it is? Well, the good news is that it is not an R&D product and so it is available.

The bad news is that it is not an R&D product and it is a little expensive - about what a Champion runs - around $265.

It is a Santha tabletop Wet grinder. It has a heavy motor that rotates a granite slab and two large heavy granite rollers at about 150 rpm. The whole thing is just under 50lbs! Oh, and I just saw they say it is "light weight" - don't you believe them - this thing is a heavy duty monster - and that is great! Just have a look.

If you notice, it looks a whole lot like a commercial Melangeur.

I had something exactly like this on the drawing board and here it is - very cool. Right now, I am confident that it will run an hour at a time with no fear of overheating, but more than that and the motor needs a fan on it to keep it cool. Not too tough actually. On the other side, the chocolate benefits from some gentle heating. I just pointed a hair dryer at it for 2-3 minutes. After the first hour though, the chocolate becomes more liquid like and the whole thing generates enough heat by friction that additional heat is not really needed.

Here is a sampling of the chocolate over the refining time, roughly at half hour increments. The lighting was really not good enough for you to see the textural changes, but what is obvious is how much better the viscosity is. As the refining progresses (left to right, then down), it definitely becomes more "chocolate like".

Finally, I can tell you it will not grind the nibs into liqueur. It starts to and then effectively locks up from lack of heat. I even tried heating the nibs and it just didn't work. So to make chocolate at home, you will still need the Champion Juicer (with a fine juice screen, someone called my attention to the fact that I only mention this in passing). But this finally gives us the ability to start REALLY producing some chocolate!

Stay turned - I will update the Refining area in the next week or so. Actually, go check it out now - I did some major updates just the other day.

Now the real fun begins - discovering the techniques to make really great chocolate now that we have the tools we need!



Ball Mill Refiner #2

I purchased two rock tumblers a couple of months ago. Within a day the larger one had stopped working so I was left to experiment with the smaller one. Well, it did the job somewhat, but not fully. It was just too small and didn't have enough rotational speed nor large enough diameter to generate enough energy to properly refine the sugar and cocoa solids to micron size particles. The chocolate was smoother, but not smooth enough. You could tell it was still homemade. The new replacement tumbler showed up earlier this week so I set it up to refine some sugar. I put the about three cups of sugar and three cups of SS shot in a 2 quart glass jar. I had to put some larger diameter tubing on the rollers so the glass container would rise above the sides of the tumbler and not scrape the sides, but this had the added benefit of increasing the rotational speed of the drum. You can really see the sugar and shot moving well.

Oh, and someone asked about the glass. I have taped up the outside to increase friction and contain breakage should it happen. And no, I am not terribly worried about "grinding" the inside of the glass surface. Both the sugar and chocolate seem to create there own protective coating pretty quickly, so no glass bit show up in either.

I will report back how this new set up works.



Some Interesting Links and a Thought for the Day

As is the case in most subjects I know something about, I suddenly come across information that shows me just how little I actually know. In the last couple of weeks, as I work on the conch/refiner, I have been researching conching, and specifically the temperatures at which chocolate is conched. My understanding was 120-130 F at the most, and over that you can burn the chocolate. It would appear that is not the case in all circumstances. The biggest surprise is that conching is often at 70-80 C, much higher than I originally thought. I am now incorporating that into the proto-type conch design. That said, I do have to point out that I did notice that I could tell a difference in the chocolate conched at on 110 F. It was dark chocolate though, not milk chocolate. Also, I have been meaning to put this link up. Wayne, is really big into chocolate, especially milk chocolate. He has a lot of just generally interesting stuff on this site, but what is really great is both that he has gotten into making his own and just how inventive he is. As one person put it, he is a real McGyver - duct tape! Anyway, he did not have the greatest go of chocolate making , but also used equipment he had on had, and not necessarily what I would suggest using. On the other hand, his section on tempering chocolate is absolutely wonderful. Please read it. In my spare time I will put that link in the tempering section here, plus incorporate a lot of his information.

So, I will leave you with this to ponder.

"The more I learn, the more I know; the more I know, the more I learn; the more I learn, the more I learn I didn't know what I thought I knew. I thought I knew a lot, but now know I did not. I do know that I don't know what I don't know so I must keep learning what I do not know even though I do not know what I do not know. In the end, it looks like I will know nothing because the more I learn, the more I know I know less than I thought I knew. I think I would rather know nothing, and be wrong about that than know I know it all and be wrong about that!"

I think that sums up the path of Chocolate Alchemy (and maybe life)