Mini Cacao Butter press for Small Scale Single Origin Chocolate & Artisan Cacao Butter production

Tony.n
@tonny
03/06/16 01:26:56PM
54 posts

Hello,

I would like to purchase a small footprint cacao butter press for the purpose to maintain a single origin couverture and to produce artisan cacao butter from the any bean I work with. This for a small scale production not exceeding 25 lbs per day.

The machine must be sanitary and be costructed with stainless steel in all area that touches food (cacao liquor or nibs)

Is there any machines in the market today for this kind of production without paying high prices like Cacao Cuicina (25-30K) or Do I need to custom build this kind of machinery?

Does anyone or anyone you know has built/own a butter press machine or have any experience with this? Any suggestions where to start?

I saw in previous threads a butter press from China (Alibaba.com) with prices as low as  $200, I am not sure how well those work? I am concerned about the amount of heat during the press and its impact on the flavor and the color of the butter (brown, creamy ... etc.)


updated by @tonny: 04/03/16 12:25:09PM
Clay Gordon
@clay
03/06/16 03:19:43PM
1,680 posts

There are no cheap/good cocoa butter presses available that I am aware of. What I can see from a quick look is that there are a lot more options than the last time I looked.

One thing: colloid mills are the wrong tech for this.

This is a home machine. It might work, but I don't think it's going to get you to the level of production you need and I would expect it to fail pretty quickly as it's not designed fot he kind of duty cycle you suggest.

You will need to spend at least a couple of thousand dollars and then expect to inspect the electrics, replace motors and hydraulics, etc if not right away then quite soon. An expeller press might be a better choice than a hydraulic press at anything under $3-4kg.

You can make your own but in the end I don't know how much $$ you'd be saving. You need a support structure, the hydraulic press, and to machine the pot and the parts. It can be done and has.

Keep in mind that the yields you can expect are on the order of ~250-300gr per kilo of liquor and that's highly dependent on the fat content of the beans, the pressure you can exert, and the length of time of each cycle. If you're getting 1/2kg of butter per kilo of liquor and the cycle time is 30 minutes and the pot size is 2kg, it's going to take a while to get the amount you're looking for.




--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
Tony.n
@tonny
03/08/16 11:31:19PM
54 posts

Ok Thx Clay, it looks like I need to raise my budget; I am willing to spend more on a more descent machine something between 2K - 5K (I would like to stay as low as possible) do you have any recomendations? 

Clay Gordon
@clay
03/09/16 07:08:34PM
1,680 posts

I don't have any recommendations for commercially-made presses for under $10k or thereabouts - 50kg/hr.

You can go to school on the videos for Grenada Chocolate Company and Cacao Cucina to get an idea of how to put one together as you've indicated a willingness to make one.




--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
Potomac Chocolate
@ben-rasmussen
03/10/16 07:50:57AM
191 posts

This thread has a video of a simple press made by Mindo Chocolate: 

https://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/group_discuss/979/cocoa-butter-press

I don't know how much it is or it's production capability.

Tony.n
@tonny
03/10/16 09:50:51AM
54 posts

Potomac Chocolate: This thread has a video of a simple press made by Mindo Chocolate: 

https://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/group_discuss/979/cocoa-butter-press

I don't know how much it is or it's production capability.

Hi Ben, I remember I was in this thread a while ago and wanted to use a 20 Ton Floor Shop press from Harbor Freight (cost only:

http://www.harborfreight.com/20-ton-shop-press-32879.html?ccdenc=eyJjb2RlIjoiNzQzMDYzNTEiLCJza3UiOiIzMjg3OSIsImlzIjoiMTU0Ljk5IiwicHJvZHVjdF9p%0D%0AZCI6IjQ1MyJ9%0D%0A&hftref=cj

Back then, I did not have the detailed design of the cylinder and the other elments that are in contact with the liquor - Now I see that Mindo chocolate posted a Video - It looks interesting (Thx for sharing this post) - Now, I need to check with my local machinist how much it cost to make it here in Houston. I would like to like to see if I can come up with a hybrid design between the features in this one and the Cacao Cucina one:

Lab Cocoa Butter Press
 

Powell and Jones
@powell-and-jones
03/11/16 05:30:54PM
30 posts


There really isn't a good / cheap option at the scale you want to produce.  Making a few hundred grams of CB using one of the chinese made electric electric 'oil' press devices is possible. For a few hundred dollars I suspect they won't last long?  There are some Taiwanese built 100T cacao presses out there, I've no personal experience of them, looks like they could work and make several kilos a day, you would need 3phase power and a strong floor they weigh a couple of tons at least.

Scaling up is both difficult and and expensive.  You simply wouldn't get the level of production (25#/ day) you want from any home brewed set up built using a cheap automotive bearing press.  You need far more force and some means to heat the pressing pot in a controlled way and also some safety screening.  I've built a lot of my own bean to bar set up,  but personally wouldn't bother to try to build a DIY press using a chinese HF 12 T press etc...sure, OK for pressing the wheel bearings off a rear axle, but simply not up to delivering the force necessary to extract cocoa butter efficiently or safely.    

I do admire the home brew crew and in certain parts of the world using a gas blow lamp on the outside of a pot made from an old diesel truck engine cylinder, a metal slug and some old cacao sacking and a hand jack powered automotive press does appear to be a means to produce small quantities of CB of unknown quality?  Personally, don't think this would fly with food safety / insurance etc here in the States, certainly wouldn't meet, State or Federal GMP food codes.

You do really need to both preheat the liquor and heat the pressing chamber to ensure efficient extraction - 25% or better.)  There's complex machining and or welding involved in making a safe (proofed) pressure pot capable of withstanding the massive force being applied. The cost of the billet material needed would likely suprise you.   You need a perforated follower, CB recovery system and a heating system.  The food contact surfaces need to be 304 / 316 stainless or better, and the press frame etc needs to be NSF food safe powder coat, not some potentially cadium or lead containing chinese paint or powder coat.  Electrical needs to be EL code etc.  need a safety screen around the press to protect staff from injury etc,

The Cacao Cucina systems appear built and designed by a company that knows how to design and build this sort of item to comply with the standards and safety norms. They are USA based hence relatively expensive, is there any other viable alternative currently?  Also consider the specs.....

The Lab Cocoa press uses a 75T press as the 'engine', that's a heavy duty bit of kit.   FYI:  Just the cost of a decent quality DAKE brand 75T 'workshop press' is around $9 - 10K.  The 5kg scale Cacao Cucina press apparently uses a dual action 200T press, these cost at least $25K. These items also weigh 1500 - 2600#  can your floors take the load, do you have the necessary space and electrical?   

Even if you manage to build something (cheaper?)  according to the Cacao Cucina specs their 200T model can only process a 5kg batch of liquor, assuming a decent yield of CB that's just over a kilo of CB per batch!  Are you going to run that device 10-12 times a day to obtain 25# or hire a staff member to do it, while you continue with your 'day job' of making chocolate and running the rest of your business?

Why not do the return on investment calculation?   i.e.  Is being able to press CB from you own cacao a critical aspect of your business model?  If yes,  What's the cost of investment needed?  Can I obtain a loan to purchase the necessary kit hire the staff to produce at the daily scale needed.  What is the ROI / pay back timeframe?

Good Luck!  and please be very careful if you go DIY 

Mark


updated by @powell-and-jones: 03/11/16 10:14:27PM
Alek Dabo
@alek-dabo
03/20/16 04:13:43PM
31 posts

I bought the small Mindo press. It is just like in the Youtube Video.
It worked fine with a 20 Ton Jack but it is messy, takes a lot of time, requires a hot environment and to heat the cylinder for good results. I have used this piston/cylinder twice, and got 650Gr of nearly white butter out of 1.5Kg of liquor. 
However, I am happy to have now found a local producer of Cacao butter who uses organic fermented beans (most don't) and have not used the cylinder since. It is a lot of work for seemingly a small result. 




--
Alain d'Aboville
Fine Chocolates
alek@daboville.com
Tony.n
@tonny
03/20/16 10:24:48PM
54 posts

Alek Dabo:

I bought the small Mindo press. It is just like in the Youtube Video.
It worked fine with a 20 Ton Jack but it is messy, takes a lot of time, requires a hot environment and to heat the cylinder for good results. I have used this piston/cylinder twice, and got 650Gr of nearly white butter out of 1.5Kg of liquor. 
However, I am happy to have now found a local producer of Cacao butter who uses organic fermented beans (most don't) and have not used the cylinder since. It is a lot of work for seemingly a small result. 

Hi Alain, did you buy the small Mindo press or did you have it made by a machinist? Can you share the dimension of the Cylinder? (Diameter, Length and Wall thickness) - I am working on a design right now and I would like to get details about existing equipement.

How long does it take approximately to extract the 650g of butter?

Many thanks!

Tony


updated by @tonny: 03/20/16 10:29:37PM
Tony.n
@tonny
03/20/16 11:40:59PM
54 posts

Powell and Jones:


There really isn't a good / cheap option at the scale you want to produce.  Making a few hundred grams of CB using one of the chinese made electric electric 'oil' press devices is possible. For a few hundred dollars I suspect they won't last long?  There are some Taiwanese built 100T cacao presses out there, I've no personal experience of them, looks like they could work and make several kilos a day, you would need 3phase power and a strong floor they weigh a couple of tons at least.

Scaling up is both difficult and and expensive.  You simply wouldn't get the level of production (25#/ day) you want from any home brewed set up built using a cheap automotive bearing press.  You need far more force and some means to heat the pressing pot in a controlled way and also some safety screening.  I've built a lot of my own bean to bar set up,  but personally wouldn't bother to try to build a DIY press using a chinese HF 12 T press etc...sure, OK for pressing the wheel bearings off a rear axle, but simply not up to delivering the force necessary to extract cocoa butter efficiently or safely.    

I do admire the home brew crew and in certain parts of the world using a gas blow lamp on the outside of a pot made from an old diesel truck engine cylinder, a metal slug and some old cacao sacking and a hand jack powered automotive press does appear to be a means to produce small quantities of CB of unknown quality?  Personally, don't think this would fly with food safety / insurance etc here in the States, certainly wouldn't meet, State or Federal GMP food codes.

You do really need to both preheat the liquor and heat the pressing chamber to ensure efficient extraction - 25% or better.)  There's complex machining and or welding involved in making a safe (proofed) pressure pot capable of withstanding the massive force being applied. The cost of the billet material needed would likely suprise you.   You need a perforated follower, CB recovery system and a heating system.  The food contact surfaces need to be 304 / 316 stainless or better, and the press frame etc needs to be NSF food safe powder coat, not some potentially cadium or lead containing chinese paint or powder coat.  Electrical needs to be EL code etc.  need a safety screen around the press to protect staff from injury etc,

The Cacao Cucina systems appear built and designed by a company that knows how to design and build this sort of item to comply with the standards and safety norms. They are USA based hence relatively expensive, is there any other viable alternative currently?  Also consider the specs.....

The Lab Cocoa press uses a 75T press as the 'engine', that's a heavy duty bit of kit.   FYI:  Just the cost of a decent quality DAKE brand 75T 'workshop press' is around $9 - 10K.  The 5kg scale Cacao Cucina press apparently uses a dual action 200T press, these cost at least $25K. These items also weigh 1500 - 2600#  can your floors take the load, do you have the necessary space and electrical?   

Even if you manage to build something (cheaper?)  according to the Cacao Cucina specs their 200T model can only process a 5kg batch of liquor, assuming a decent yield of CB that's just over a kilo of CB per batch!  Are you going to run that device 10-12 times a day to obtain 25# or hire a staff member to do it, while you continue with your 'day job' of making chocolate and running the rest of your business?

Why not do the return on investment calculation?   i.e.  Is being able to press CB from you own cacao a critical aspect of your business model?  If yes,  What's the cost of investment needed?  Can I obtain a loan to purchase the necessary kit hire the staff to produce at the daily scale needed.  What is the ROI / pay back timeframe?

Good Luck!  and please be very careful if you go DIY 

Mark

Thanks Mark, I agree the 200-300 Chinese machines are not going to cut it and the Cacao Cucina press are expensive and overpriced. So I decided to desgin my own and have it made by a local machinist. I am now looking at Multiple designs like Grenada, Mindo and Cacao Cucina and come up with the optimal design.

As a first observation, Grenada is using a 6" OD Cylinder simliar to the Cacao Cucina.  

Cacao Cucina is using a 75 Ton press can generate a presure of 5,839 PSI over the 6" diameter circular surface

On the other hand, Grenada is using only a 20 Ton press over the same 6" diameter circular surface which leave them with 1,557 PSI, they can gain more 45% PSI  (2,242 PSI) with the same 20 T press if they narrow down the cyclinder diameter by 1" and increase its height enough to keep the volume of liquor the same (for example: Cyclinder with 6" D x 12" Height volume is 5.5 Liter and of 5" x 18" volume is 5.7 Liter).

The bottom line you will able to get a 5,605 PSI if you use a Dake 50 T press (Cost $4,000) and wrap the cylinder with a 110 V heater heating blanket Jacket with thermostat ($125) which close enough to get you where Cacao Cucina is without paying top dollars (at near 1/5 of the price) and this is all with seamless stainless steel tubes, plugs and butter collector pan with sanitary discharge. 

 

ChocolatsNobles
@chocolatsnobles
04/02/16 11:05:33AM
24 posts

Anyone know about the hydraulic presses from Hanaro or Delani? What little I know about the two:

Hanaro's website claims it's based in Korea, though I believe the same hydraulic presses (or just very similar) are made and sold by Chinese companies on AliBaba...? Last I checked they were 11-12k..? Video on their site:

http://www.nationaloilpress.com/hydraulic-oil-press-machine-hanaro-a-type/

As for Denali (from Peru, I think), I have no idea what they sell. First, they have a youtube video advertising a press that looks just like the Hanaro:

Cocoa Butter Press

If you click on the info link there, it shows you, via their English site, a totally different press for sale. THEN, if you dig deeper and go to their Spanish site (delani.biz) you find two machines meant to work in tandem: a.) what looks like the aforementioned, possibly Korean (or Chinese?) press enrobed, if you will ;), in metal and b.) a clarifying machine to rid the cocoa butter of impurities/cocoa mass.

Anyone have experience or information on these 2, 3, 4, or 5 machines? I sent an quote-inquiry via the English site, so I'll update when I hear back.

Sal Palma
@salvatore-palma
04/02/16 09:26:39PM
4 posts

Delani -  The machine you see in the video is manufactured in China.  It is a knock off of the original manufacture from Korea. National engineering company LTD.  I received a price quote on two of the machines ( from National ).The Hanaro Type A- and Type B. Type A  -  $ 12,500. Type B  - $ 13,500.  These prices were quoted to me through email in May 2015.  I also noticed that their price has come down between 11,000 and $12,000 on Alibaba.com.  The Chinese manufacture who has some what copied the Korean manufacture are allowing Trading companies to distribute their machine through AliBaba for the price of $3000 per machine. Give or take a few hundred dollars depending on what Trading Company in China (  which they all claim to be suppliers/manufacturers ) you email.  If you do decide to inquire about the Chinese machines I would also recommend  that you look closely at the trading process regarding payment and so forth. There is a website which I will attach here which you can find out if you're dealing with reputable supplier.  I have no affiliation with this company I just ran across their site while researching. They have very informative videos regarding suppliers from China. 

Question ? Has anyone constructed a press pot out of billet stainless steel.  I am looking into building my own press. 

Clay Gordon
@clay
04/03/16 12:37:35PM
1,680 posts

ChocolatsNobles:

Anyone know about the hydraulic presses from Hanaro or Delani? What little I know about the two:

Hanaro's website claims it's based in Korea, though I believe the same hydraulic presses (or just very similar) are made and sold by Chinese companies on AliBaba...? Last I checked they were 11-12k..? Video on their site:


Chris -

It's hard to tell who the original design/manufacturer of these presses is. Once a design becomes popular it gets knocked of then you end up with knockoffs of knockoffs and so on.

I have a copy of the info sheet on the Delani version of this press in Spanish. I don't see how I can attach it to this post but I have uploaded the file to my profile and you should be able to download it by clicking on this link.

Delani buys these presses from a manufacturer in China and ships them to Peru. There they are checked to make sure that they are wired properly and that there are no manufacturing defects. Delani also includes parts they manufacture that enable the press to operate more efficiently. And, as you can see in the photo on the info sheet they add an enclosure. Yeah, they are more expensive, but you get something that works, not something you're going to have to work on after you get it and before you put it into production.

If you are interested I can help arrange for a quote - I am representing Delani in the US.




--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
ChocolatsNobles
@chocolatsnobles
04/04/16 12:23:12PM
24 posts

Salvatore: Thanks for your response. My assumption was that National is the original designer/producer. When you spoke with them, did you happen to ask if the machines are actually built in Korea with parts manufactured in Korea? My concern would be that it's simply designed or conceived or sold by a Korean company while actually being made in China using cheap parts. If they are the real deal, it seems that many people would already be using them - if they work as they claim, the price is quite good, no? Surely if the design is good enough to copy, many someones out there must be using the originals successfully, no? Yet, all these forum discussions seem to lament a lack of smaller presses under $25,000...?

Clay: Indeed, that's the spec sheet I found on their Spanish language site, and the manufacturing/correcting scenario you described is what I assumed. I have already requested a quote via their site, though haven't heard back (though, weekend), so if you already have that information to forward to me, or if you care to share a ballpark figure with the forum, feel free.

Clay Gordon
@clay
04/04/16 12:35:02PM
1,680 posts

Chris:

The price is about US$14,000 for a 50kg/hr press (that's mass, not butter), before shipping. If you decide you want to place an order please do it through me so I can expedite and keep track of it for you.




--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
ChocolatsNobles
@chocolatsnobles
04/04/16 04:36:40PM
24 posts

Clay: In my opinion, even that "more expensive" price is fairly reasonable. Again, I'm surprised more people aren't using the Delani or the National models (or, at least, aren't mentioning them on the relevant forum discussions on this site). Thanks for the information, and I'll probably be in touch about that press in the future, barring the unexpected emergence of some better option.

Sal Palma
@salvatore-palma
04/04/16 06:20:54PM
4 posts

Chris : As far as the  parts being manufactured in China then reassembled and Korea I do not have that answer. You can contact him directly. Here is a quote from the company I have attached it to the bottom of this message. Let me know what you think. Good luck. 

Here is a you tube link of China Sourcing Academy.  Check out this site their videos will help you regarding sourcing from China. You could also hire them as consultants.  They have many different videos on YouTube. 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrgVIJD4dymgvTiEcOSoyFA

Here is the quote from National  Engineering. 

pdf
estimate (1).pdf  •  150KB

ChocolatsNobles
@chocolatsnobles
04/04/16 10:09:45PM
24 posts

Thanks again for sharing, Salvatore!

Clay Gordon
@clay
04/05/16 11:58:00AM
1,680 posts

ChocolatsNobles:

Clay: In my opinion, even that "more expensive" price is fairly reasonable. Again, I'm surprised more people aren't using the Delani or the National models (or, at least, aren't mentioning them on the relevant forum discussions on this site). Thanks for the information, and I'll probably be in touch about that press in the future, barring the unexpected emergence of some better option.

Chris:

Many chocolate makers don't make their own cocoa butter because they are committed to two-ingredient chocolate. For most of the rest who do, $15k in CapEx is a lot of cocoa butter! My personal feeling is that if you're using butter from a different origin as the beans then it's single origin but most use a definition that only covers the beans.




--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
ChocolatsNobles
@chocolatsnobles
04/05/16 04:04:10PM
24 posts

Clay:

If a chocolate maker is only interested in making truly single origin chocolates, then obviously that's a superfluous acquisition, but what if the producer is also making milk and white chocolate, various couvertures and selling the cocoa powder and cocoa butter (ie, for beauty products)? Ethically sourced cocoa butter is not that cheap, is it? Stretched over the life of the machine, is more than $15k worth of cocoa butter (and "powder" - yes, I'm aware the fat content will be higher than the typical 10-12%) not produced? Do these machines not last that long? Please, feel free to play devil's advocate ... ;) 

Clay Gordon
@clay
04/05/16 04:12:45PM
1,680 posts

Chris -

I agree with you totally. However, I have been involved in many discussions with chocolate makers where the idea of spending $15k as a CapEx for a butter press is way out of their budget.

I think one of the challenges is that many chocolate makers self–identify as "bean–to–bar" and their thinking ends at bars. There are a lot more things you can do with chocolate than just bars.




--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/

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