Cocoa butter and cocoa solids
Posted in: Tasting Notes
For small-scale ferments we've been using acrylic and polycarbonate cylinders with a perforated drainage plate and sweatings reservoir. We drop a disk of the same material into the cylinder to cap the fresh seed/pulp. I've experimented with inoculating using both yeasts and Acetobacter pasteurianus
. With very small fermentations we've found that with no inoculation at all, it's a total crapshoot with regard to yeast/bacteria/mold competition... with the molds winning most of the time and ruining the entire mass. In contrast, too much yeast inoculant appears to completely inhibit the acetic phase, much to the detriment of the finished product. One of the signs of a complete ferment including Acetobacter spp. (besides the vinegar reek) is a rapid and easily observable reddish darkening of the pulp and seed coat.The harvest season in Hawaii is starting very soon, so there will be a lot more research regarding post-harvest handling and fermentation in Hawaii this winter.