I was wondering if anyone can tell me what is in this picture and how it affects bean to bar

09/25/13 09:10:35PM
2 posts


This is my first post. Thank you in advance with any information you can provide me with.

I just made my first batch of chocolate from bean to barthis week. I originally started out making an 80% with beans ordered fromChocolate Alchemy(Belize being the origin).

After using Chocolate Alchemy's excel spreadsheet to calculate ingredients, it turned out to be a 90%.

Anyway, the initial taste was great and texture was very smooth but there was a lingering bitterness at the end. I read some posts and came to the conclusion that it could be a few factors: either my refiner (premier wonder grinder) was brand new and I didn't run any sugar through it before grinding beans or there was residual husk left after the winnowing process. I refined/conched for 48 hours.

So for this next batch, I am shifting through the nibs and am coming across what look to be stems (picture attached).

I am correct? And do these affect the end taste. The problem is that this amount is just from 3 handfuls of nibs so to take these out from even a 2lb batch would take a few hours.

Can these be left in or do i need to be patient and take out all the stems?

Sorry to be so long winded.

updated by @trimaniac: 04/17/15 11:47:35AM
09/25/13 11:07:33PM
205 posts

This is just the germ, true it is more bitter and harderbut don't bother taking themall out.You can get rid ofquite a few of them by using a fine kitchen sieve, when I crack my beans I push everything through a 1/4 inch sieve (to remove whole beans so I can crack them again and have a uniform size) and then use a kitchen sieve to remove dust and quite a lot of the germ.

As for the bitterness I don't think the germ here is responsible. More likely the beans inherent bitterness, I have found this origincan give that lingering bitterness especially if roasted too long and esspecially if the batch you have is not well fermented. Also with a 90% formulation you will notice it more, go for something more like a 70% and see how that goes. A good way of using beans that are a bit too bitter is to make milk chocolate with it.

09/26/13 09:44:37AM
2 posts

Hi Tom,

Thank you very much for answering my question. I will remove them with some sort of strainer. I didn't even think of that.

As for the beans, I purchased them from Chocolate Alchemy and had them roasted and winnowed. I know I am doing things backward but I am building a winnower and since I had the beans and the refiner, I wanted to experience what a finished bar would be like. I will study the comments on here and the forum on Chocolate Alchemy in regards to tips and reference points for roasting.

Thank you again!


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