cocoa bean cut test, advice and help needed!

James Hull
@james-hull
03/27/15 11:02:59AM
46 posts

Hi everyone,

read on here that it is a good idea to do a cut test of the fermented cocoa beans when they arrive. So i took a 100g sample of the cocoa bean and started chopping them up. I have a little picture table with examples of what the colours in the beans mean/represent, and am now a bit concerned about some of the ones i have cut up. I have attached pictures and grouped them in their colours. First one (biggest group) is the partly purple-chocolately brown coloured ones which are all good?

2nd group (and 2nd largest group) are these yellow/brown ones, i am worried these are mouldy? or maybe overfermented?

3rd group are these very obvious purple ones i am not sure if this is a good purple or a bad insufficiently fermented purple? plus one of these purple beans has a bit of white on it, not sure what this is? 

this last group of just the one bean was a very dark brown and was very crumbly which i think probably means it has been overfermented?

any help and advice would be brilliant. i dont know if this is quite common to have such a variety in just 100g or not, and so i dont know whether i should keep using them, or contact my supplier etc.

cheers chocolate community!

 


updated by @james-hull: 04/09/15 06:12:07AM
Larry2
@larry2
03/27/15 02:18:25PM
110 posts

That's quite the mix of beans. Here is a useful link. http://ccib.gov.tt/node/116

I'm not an expert, just regurgitating what I've gleaned from TheChocolateLife

It looks like your purple ones are underfermented and the yellow/brown ones are unfermented. :(

James Hull
@james-hull
03/27/15 04:45:21PM
46 posts

Hi Larry, 

i saw this link posted to someone else on here (think due to their roasting issues) which is what made me think that I have never actually checked the beans using a cut test, and now I am wondering whether I should mention/complain about the fairly major differences between just 100g of these beans. I don't suppose there is much I can do if they are under fermented is there?

Sebastian
@sebastian
03/28/15 07:44:56AM
754 posts

A cut test is *always* a good thing to do if you're looking for quality control.  The thing is - there's no right answer, what you're looking for and willing to accept is a function of what you want in your end product.  Purple beans indicates either the beans were unfermented or lightly fermented, and they will be higher in bitterness, astringency, and lower chocolate flavor.  Brown / dark beans indicates they are well fermented - how well is difficult to say from the cust test alone, but they'll likely have higher chocolate flavor, and less astringency and bitterness.  Very dark and crumbly probably means they're very old beans that have been in the pipeline for a long time.

 

Are you happy with the chocolate those beans are making for you?  If so, then do taht cut test 10 times and use those results as your baseline fo what you want to see.  Sadly, doing a cut test *after* you've recieved your bulk shipment makes it very difficult to do anything about your bulk shipment if you're dissatisfied. I have no idea what your scale is, but you may want to consider setting up a sampling/preshipment program where your supplier sends you a small amount for y ou to test, after which you give the green light to ship based on the results.

James Hull
@james-hull
04/14/15 08:02:32AM
46 posts

Hi Sebastian,

thanks for the info. on tasting the different coloured beans i was getting the flavours exactly as you describe. I have made a few batches, and have been pretty happy with the outcomes so far, so with that in mind, and the fact that i am just starting out so very small productions at the moment i will just carry on, using your advice. However as demand seems to be growing i may have a bit more leverage with my supplier to do like you suggest and send a small test batch before I bulk buy.

Thanks for the help

Sebastian
@sebastian
04/16/15 05:37:47PM
754 posts

Glad it was helpful - good luck!

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