HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Anyone willing to share experience roasting CACAO (5 msgs / 191 lines)
1) From: Alchemist John
Hi.  Cocoa roasting in the Behmor is turnkey.  You need to roast more 
cocoa than coffee since cocoa roasts cooler.  I suggest 2-2.5 lbs on 
the 1 lb setting.  Pick any profile, reduce the time to 16 minutes 
and start.  As a first go, that should give you a good roast.  If 
cracking starts, hit cool.  Cocoa only has one crack, and is 
equivalent to 2nd in coffee, meaning you start losing varietal 
character pretty quickly after cracking.
Any specific questions?
At 02:58 PM 2/25/2009, you wrote:
<Snip>
John Nanci
AlChemist at large
Zen Roasting , Hand Grinding, Blending & Espresso pulling by Gestalthttp://www.chocolatealchemy.com/Homeroast mailing list
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2) From: Les
Alchemist John is too humble.  He is the Tom Owen of Home Chocolate!
Just like homeroast is a world better than commercial so is home
chocolate.  The "Sweet Marias" of chocolate is "Chocolate Alchemy".
Go ahead a google it if you want to explore the world of homeroasting
chocolate.
Les
On Thu, Feb 26, 2009 at 6:58 AM, Alchemist John
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3) From: Sean McIntyre
Thank you for the responses on my cacao roasting in the Behmor query.
 I had been searching for some time for information on whether or not one
might be able to roast cacau beans at home and make chocolate from them.
Alchemist John's website was the answer. Yes, he's being humble. I
discovered his website from reading Shawn Askinosie's bio at his company
website. I'm a fan of their premium, small batch dark chocolate--the taste,
the production approach, the business ethos. Askinosie notes in his online
bio that it was chocolatealchemy that got him started experimenting
with making his own from bean to bar. Since then I've discovered another
small (teeny-tiny) batch chocolate maker on Kuai who also uses Alchemist
John's basic approach (but doesn't give him credit, online at least). The
give-away is the use of the Champion juicer to make the liquor.
I do have a number of specific, follow-up questions:
1) With 2.5 pounds of beans in the Behmor, how much nibs does one end up
with? From there, if one were to make bars of approx. 75% cacao (the rest
cocoa butter and cane sugar), how much chocolate, more or less, would one
end up with?  I ask because the beans are not at all cheap; I want to get a
sense of how much final product one can get out of them.
2) How does roasting cacao compare to roasting coffee? Is it more
straightforward, or does it have a similar complexity in terms of the
results you get based on the roast profile?
3) what the learning curve like on roasting cacao beans? Is one likely to
mess up a lot of beans before figuring out how far to go?
4) Is the difference between, say, a lightly roasted cacao batch and a
"darker" roasted batch very noticeable in the final product (say, a 75%
bar)?
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4) From: Alchemist John
Yeah, I will grant they are not cheap.  My long term hope is to make 
them popular enough that I can get the price down more approachable, 
and make up for it in volume.  I recall Tom talking about just how 
much coffee he had to sell before it was profitable.  I can 
sympathize.  But if you compare what you end up with, it is still 
price competitive.  Referencing what I address below, 2.5 lbs of 
beans may set you back $20-30 but you will end up with 2.5 lbs of 
high quality artisan chocolate which you can't buy for that price.
Answers.
1)  Figure about 20-25% husk that is thrown away.  Negligible 
moisture.  So 2.5 will give you around 2 lbs of beans.  Cocoa butter 
is not required, just an option.  And figures into the 75% if you 
care.  So 50% cocoa liqueur and 25% cocoa butter is 75%, just as 75% 
cocoa liqueur.   Mostly be aware of that.  If you add back the 25% 
sugar, you are back up to your starting weight.  So in this case 2.5 
lbs of beans can give you 2.5 lbs of chocolate.  In reality, since it 
sticks to things, you would be a novice, etc, expect 2 lbs.
2)  It is simpler.  There is some profiling that is helpful, but not 
nearly as bad.  To keep it honest though, I have been in the kitchen 
most of my life, have roasted 100's of pounds of cocoa and do it 
mostly by intuition, based on experience, learned through less than 
stellar episodes. :)
3)  If you use the Behmor, I would say you can reasonably expect to 
hit it the first time.  With an oven or other roast, maybe the 1st, 
maybe 2 or 3.
4)  It's going to be noticeable, but the line between light and dark 
is much thicker unlike coffee.  Too light and you will get acidic 
notes, too dark and roasty notes.  Scharffenberger I find over roasts 
in my opinion.  Dagoba is light, but uses beans that take it well.
Oh, and I wanted to point out about the Champion.  I 'discovered' it 
works with cocoa in Les's shop on his Champion.  Thanks Les.
At 01:20 PM 2/27/2009, you wrote:
<Snip>
John Nanci
AlChemist at large
Zen Roasting , Hand Grinding, Blending & Espresso pulling by Gestalthttp://www.chocolatealchemy.com/Homeroast mailing list
Homeroasthttp://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemIdx20">http://lists.sweetmariascoffee.com/listinfo.cgi/homeroast-sweetmariascoffee.comHomeroast community pictures -upload yours!) :http://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemIdx20

5) From: MikeG
John I'd be interested to see if you know of this
multi-level-marketing company: http://www.drinkchoffy.com/about/MLM is very big here in Utah, nearly part and parcel of Mormon
culture.  Note that they are marketing ground cocao beans at $15/lb
via the MLM model as a "healthful" drink.   What it's all about is
giving mormons and others who are prohibited or choose not to drink
coffee a hot, brewed beverage to consume.
Ever heard of these folks?   I think you will be amused by the
infomercial style news spot that evidently appeared on our ABC
affiliate sometime in the past.
Mike
Salt Lake City
On Fri, Feb 27, 2009 at 7:19 PM, Alchemist John
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Homeroast mailing list
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