Forum Activity for @Ning-Geng Ong

Ning-Geng Ong
@Ning-Geng Ong
08/02/17 09:48:44PM
36 posts

Certs & Docs Needed to Ship Beans to the US


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

I work with cocoa in Malaysia, and am looking to ship dried cocoa beans to the US.
What documents / certificates would the shipment require?
Much appreciated.

Photo not exactly related to the question, I apologize, but couldn't help sharing how my farm looks at dawn.


Dawn at Culture Cacao Farm.jpg Dawn at Culture Cacao Farm.jpg - 123KB
Ning-Geng Ong
@Ning-Geng Ong
10/03/16 09:46:11PM
36 posts

Cocoa Planting DNA Selection for Flavor


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

I'm looking for scientific methods or lab processes to indicate flavor profile that are available to planters and farmers.

Planting for yield and resistance is the practice up till recently and needs to change for the sake of fine flavor chocolate. 

I would like to start this thread for any resources that would empower planting decisions. Taste profiling or organoleptic tests with dried beans is widely practised but I would like to know if there are other approaches.

This would greatly help me make propagation decisions. Much appreciated!


updated by @Ning-Geng Ong: 10/03/16 09:46:13PM
Ning-Geng Ong
@Ning-Geng Ong
10/03/16 09:32:18PM
36 posts

Cocoatown Stone Re-grinding


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

Hi Paul, did you find an answer to your question? I am interested in your discovery if it makes a difference or not, intuitively I would say the rollers need to be resurfaced to introduce some gripping texture but let me know what is the case for you. Appreciate it.

Paul Picton:

Hello. After two years of constant use, the stones in my large cocoatown grinder is very smooth. The smooth seems to contribute to more roller sticking and less smoothness in the chocolate. Has anyone re-roughened the surface of these stones? Any thoughts, comments?



Ning-Geng Ong
@Ning-Geng Ong
03/17/16 08:19:38AM
36 posts

Transport material cocoa nibs


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

Gotcha, thanks for the clarification!
I imagine a sealed plastic bag in a carton box should satisfy your nib transportation.
Just like when transporting almonds and other seeds or nuts.

GuBa:

It is about the roasting of the nibs in there shell. I have read that when roasting the cocoa beans, the shell takes up a part of the fat that is released during heating. 


updated by @Ning-Geng Ong: 03/17/16 08:20:09AM
Ning-Geng Ong
@Ning-Geng Ong
03/16/16 01:26:25PM
36 posts

Transport material cocoa nibs


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

I see where you are coming from but I don't exactly understand the statement about nibs having higher fat content.

Ning-Geng Ong
@Ning-Geng Ong
03/16/16 10:00:07AM
36 posts

Transport material cocoa nibs


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

Hello Guusb, why not start with dried beans instead of nibs?

Ning-Geng Ong
@Ning-Geng Ong
03/16/16 02:35:32AM
36 posts

Which cocoa bean roaster to consider?


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

Tonny, Thanks for sharing, I'm excited for you. 

Ning-Geng Ong
@Ning-Geng Ong
03/15/16 08:16:18PM
36 posts

Which cocoa bean roaster to consider?


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

@peterk, can you please share the your breakage discovery across the four different roaster types? Avoiding breakage during roasting is of importance to me.

Ning-Geng Ong
@Ning-Geng Ong
03/03/16 08:06:41PM
36 posts

Which cocoa bean roaster to consider?


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

Thanks for spelling it out nicely, Clay.

Ning-Geng Ong
@Ning-Geng Ong
02/29/16 09:45:37PM
36 posts

Which cocoa bean roaster to consider?


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

Sebastian, who's this person?! I'm so looking forward for some literature on cocoa roasting, although there is a wealth of data from coffee roasting, it would be so good to have a source to shed some light on cocoa.

Also on your comment about a standard lexicon, I take bright as a profile with detectable acidity, what level is optimal is totally subjective but at least we can agree on relative terms, "this roast profile is less bright than that one". Yes?

Ning-Geng Ong
@Ning-Geng Ong
02/29/16 02:22:29AM
36 posts

Which cocoa bean roaster to consider?


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

Clay, thanks! Your comments are invaluable. Will have to digest that over later.

Daniel, beans are moving vigorously in the fluid bed roaster, so you are right in that air flow can be simulated through other equipment, like the modern combi ovens. but I can't think of a good simulation for the movement and tumbling of the beans, other than to use a fluid bed to test it out.

Ning-Geng Ong
@Ning-Geng Ong
02/26/16 05:40:34AM
36 posts

Which cocoa bean roaster to consider?


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

Beautifully answered, Sebastian & Clay. Here goes:

not interested with alkalization
mild to mid roast but would like the flexibility of temp curve control, and fan control
bean roasting
30lb to 60lb batches would be ideal to keep in line
with potentially the cocoatown 65lb grinders
but roasting in batches of 8-10lb is fine too

My original question was to try to find out if there are any quirks with this style of roasters (fluid bed):
does it produce higher acidity compared to drum or oven roasting, or lower (from coffee's perspective would be higher, but would like a confirmation nonetheless)
is it more temperature responsive (guessing yes, since it is faster to heat up air than say a drum, also would like a confirmation)
do the beans winnow better (not sure about this one)
is convection roasting at the same temp more volatile friendly or otherwise. (not sure)

Ning-Geng Ong
@Ning-Geng Ong
02/24/16 08:23:17PM
36 posts

Which cocoa bean roaster to consider?


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

I'm considering alternatives to oven roasting, and recently seen a vertical airflow roaster from Selmi.
Has anyone worked with the Selmi roaster:http://www.selmi-chocolate.it/en/prodotti.asp?id_categoria=2&id=25
or a similarly designed roaster?

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

Ning-Geng Ong
@Ning-Geng Ong
11/30/15 02:45:48AM
36 posts

How Stupid do the Mast Bros Think We Are?


Posted in: Opinion

I've watched the water makers parody, and shared that link out, some colleagues actually thought the product was credible... Anyway, the parallels with Mast Bro's video is uncanny, down to the intro, the retake, the zoom, the pace of speach... I would believe it if someone told me that the water makers vid is a parody on Mast Bro's video.

 

Ning-Geng Ong
@Ning-Geng Ong
06/02/15 04:44:46AM
36 posts

Edible flower inclusions in chocolate bars


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

Hi, I'm looking to add some colors to my bars / barks / brittles with edible flowers like roses and Nasturtiums.
But the concern is that they would wilt too soon.

Does anyone here have any experience with edible flowers with chocolate?
I'm considering a light sugar glaze for preservation, but hoping I might get some feedback here before I try that.

Thanks!

Ning-Geng Ong
@Ning-Geng Ong
05/27/15 01:03:08AM
36 posts

What to do about To'ak Chocolate?


Posted in: Opinion

Was doing some much-delayed reading on To'ak and finally took a look at the website. Not having faced the bar or tasted it I do have to give credits to the marketing -- de-husked, roasted bean plackaged with the bar, chopsticks provided, wooden box packaging etc. I do agree with Annmarie that the navigation is a bit laggy.

Anyone else noticed that the sequence of flowering to fruiting depicted on their website is mistakenly reversed in the early stages?

Ning-Geng Ong
@Ning-Geng Ong
04/07/15 05:23:25AM
36 posts

Raw chocolate-- what is it really?


Posted in: Make Mine Raw ...

Following this logic of prioritising antioxidants, would consuming fresh cocoa bean be superior to raw chocolate? I'm asking because the fermentation process and taking the beans out of the pod, in contact with the atmosphere reasonably has the same effect on the beans as cutting apples. This is not discussion just for discussion sake but would really alter my ideas about what I can do with fresh pods.

Ning-Geng Ong
@Ning-Geng Ong
04/07/15 03:47:08AM
36 posts

What the Chocolate Industry Needs is A $100 Bar of Chocolate


Posted in: Opinion

My take on the feasibility of a $100 bar is from the perspective of the market. More people need to geek out (be educated) on chocolate like they do on coffee and wine. When there are sufficient flavor junkies looking for the next chocolate high, the chocolate makers that gets a loyal following will naturally be forced to raise prices for not being able to meet all demand. In the mean time, I'm grateful for all the sharing and community spirit that is taking us there... :D

Ning-Geng Ong
@Ning-Geng Ong
04/07/15 03:40:18AM
36 posts

Whole Bean Chocolate, Raw Chocolate, etc and the law


Posted in: Opinion

To me the whole bean chocolate marketing and to some extend the raw chocolate marketing are NOT targetting the flavor-centric audience like me (and you?). I have an aunt that swears by the benefits of raw food, and naturally would grab for the raw chocolate on the shelf, despite its flavor, or lack-of. The motivation here is one that is emotional, and no amount of rationalizing against whole bean / raw choc would change any minds... For the record, I made a chocolate with extra shells that were winnowed, just for kicks, and I really don't taste any merits in terms of flavor. I first hoped that the sugars from the pulp may come through slightly but after the fermentation and roasting, only the cardboard profile is dominant. I've since moved on.

Ning-Geng Ong
@Ning-Geng Ong
05/16/13 02:42:11AM
36 posts

melanger necessary?


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

Hi Beth, I had also made chocolate using coconut sugar instead of table sugar. The humidity issues must be dealt with before the sugar comes in contact with the cocoa or the shelf life and finishing of the final product will be compromised. Are you facing this challenge?

Ning-Geng Ong
@Ning-Geng Ong
12/20/12 01:54:16AM
36 posts

Winnowing equipment for hobbyist


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

I can't help but drool at the vertex winnowers from Boston Cocoa. But dropping 35k into something that I'm currently not doing for profit is just not an option.

I'm asking other bean to bar hobbyist on what are they doing for the winnowing process? I only need to winnow about 2-10kg a batch.

I have tried using a blow-dryer on cracked beans to rather disappointing results.

Thank you.

Ning Geng


updated by @Ning-Geng Ong: 04/09/15 11:49:37PM
Ning-Geng Ong
@Ning-Geng Ong
11/09/12 07:11:25PM
36 posts

That One Bar of Chocolate


Posted in: Opinion

Thanks for sharing, Clay. If that's a 100% cocoa content bar, does it feel slightly clayish at the back of the tongue?

Ning-Geng Ong
@Ning-Geng Ong
04/12/12 09:41:13AM
36 posts

Fermenting Cacao Seeds: To Drain or Not to Drain?


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

Good question. I will attempt a wet fermentation (fully soaked in liquid) and report on my findings. I drain the liquid from my micro-batches to separately ferment into cacao wine.

Ning-Geng Ong
@Ning-Geng Ong
04/06/12 10:47:31PM
36 posts

Sugar crystal not breaking down in Melanguer after 24 hrs


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

I am using cocoatown's but I had to modify the equipment and reduce the pressure on the granite rollers because it was depositing stone into the composition previously.

Ning-Geng Ong
@Ning-Geng Ong
04/06/12 04:43:18AM
36 posts

Sugar crystal not breaking down in Melanguer after 24 hrs


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

35% sugar in my batch of chocolate has been in the melanguer for 24 hours.

I used table sugar thinking that the melanguer would take care of it after a day.

But it hasn't. The chocolate feels like eating fine sand. It is in fact sugar because it does melt in the mouth.

I have another 20 hours to go till I want to stop this batch but right now Im not certain if the sugar will break down by then.

I did not expect the sugar to give me more problems than the cocoa nibs.

Your tips and guidance are much appreciated.

--Ning


updated by @Ning-Geng Ong: 04/21/15 03:55:31AM
Ning-Geng Ong
@Ning-Geng Ong
03/25/12 01:20:54AM
36 posts

Fermented cacao beans-bar


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

Without any heat application, the fermenting bean pile will exceed 114F (temp taken from middle of pile) on its own from the microbial activities.

Ning-Geng Ong
@Ning-Geng Ong
02/15/12 07:14:02PM
36 posts

Cocoa pods


Posted in: Classifieds

I would be happy to ship to you fresh / dried cocoa pods in any sizes, cut, uncut, at any ripeness, subject to harvest timing. Also available are leaves, flowers, etc. I have previously shipped to Marios Skyrianides, who is another member in Cyprus.

Ning-Geng Ong
@Ning-Geng Ong
04/25/11 06:48:53AM
36 posts

Fermentation Troubleshooting


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

Thanks Richard and Nat,

I initially tried fermenting without active inoculation but the results were inconsistent. My batches are small (I can count the pods with two hands) but I'm proud to do something with the fruit which would otherwise dry up and wither on the branches.

The next harvest will be bigger as I can see some trees that are laden with fruits, so I'm eager to get this batch right.

I'm at the 7th day of drying, it is raining EVERYDAY since last week and I can hardly get any full days of sunlight between the clouds. When the beans feel light is when I'll stop, perhaps 1 more day...
Ning-Geng Ong
@Ning-Geng Ong
04/19/11 06:50:05AM
36 posts

Fermentation Troubleshooting


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

Salam.

Lactobacter is fine but I am not sure where I can obtain live acetobacter, or vinega mothers.
Thanks again.

-Ning

Ning-Geng Ong
@Ning-Geng Ong
04/19/11 06:28:51AM
36 posts

Fermentation Troubleshooting


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

Thank you Nat,

The pods are ripe and not black when picked. The pulps are thick, moist and sweet, not dry. And the beans were not sprouted when I started the fermentation.

I only turned on day 4. I fermented for 7 days. Next batch I will turn every day and raise the temp to 45 C.
I am currently using baker's yeast. I could try live yogurt, but what is the benefit over baker's yeast?

Should I discard the sprouted beans from this batch?

-Ning

Ning-Geng Ong
@Ning-Geng Ong
04/18/11 11:47:42PM
36 posts

Fermentation Troubleshooting


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

Cheers and sincere appreciation to the active members in this forum for all the information sharing and support.

I'm a chocolate lover and have taken this passion one more step by trying to make bars from beans.

I am currently in the third attempt:

#1: beans got mouldy from natural fermentation after 3 days, I dried it anyway but will not take it much further.

#2: beans were fermented for 4 days, dried, then discovered they were not flavorful possibly from under-fermenting.

#3: this time adding yeast, with temperature control 35-40C, beans are fermenting beautifully with aroma forming, fermented for 8 days, cut test shows moist, dark folds, but about 15% of the beans have sprouted.

Here are my concerns...
Should I toss out the sprouted beans? Is this normal?
I only harvest the ripest pods, they are the sweetest and I assume would make the best chocolate, no beans are sprouted at the time of harvest. Did I harvest the pods too ripe?
Should I raise the fermentation temperature or shorten the duration?

I appreciate any help in producing my first chocolate bar! Thank you.

Ning


updated by @Ning-Geng Ong: 04/11/15 01:55:20AM
Ning-Geng Ong
@Ning-Geng Ong
04/18/11 11:28:01PM
36 posts

preserved cocoa pods how do i get one


Posted in: Chocolate Education

Hi Laura,
I'm in Malaysia and have pods that I may be able to ship to you.
Im saying this in no certain terms because the Australian government has very strict control over all organic matter that is crossing into Australia.

If you can sort that out I will be able to ship some pods to you in a condition that you prefer.

My trees produce bright yellow to orange pods when ripen, some trees produce pods with a smooth surface and other trees with a rough surface.

true_1@hotmail.com

Ning

Ning-Geng Ong
@Ning-Geng Ong
10/29/10 10:23:48PM
36 posts

Uses for cocoa leaves and bloom.


Posted in: Chocolate Education

I've been told that young leaves make for excellent salad but I also recall reading that cocoa leaves have a level of toxicity, so I'm not sure if they are safe for consumption. Please share your knowledge on this issue.

I'm also curious if there are any culinary uses for the cocoa flowers, on their own I would assume that it is not recognizable to most people, and they're not very big to begin with.

updated by @Ning-Geng Ong: 04/11/15 01:22:35PM
Ning-Geng Ong
@Ning-Geng Ong
10/29/10 10:02:29PM
36 posts

Cocoa butter and cocoa solids


Posted in: Tasting Notes

Cocoa butter is a favor carrier, on its own it is tasteless.

Cocoa butter is essential as an ingredient as far as encapsulating the non-soluble particles, with insufficient fat, chocolate will not melt smoothly in the mouth. The ideal amount of fat is thus dictated by the particle size, smaller sizes 15-18 microns will require more butter to encapsulate due to a larger surface area. Even smaller sizes don't make sense as our tongues cannot identify particles beyond this range, and the chocolate will feel muddy.

Cocoa butter is priced between premium beans and commodity-grade beans. So for premium chocolates, quantity of cocoa butter will tend to be at least sufficient because it reduces cost to use cocoa butter. For commodity chocolates, cocoa butter may be insufficient if the producer wants to cut costs.
Ning-Geng Ong
@Ning-Geng Ong
09/27/10 02:23:28AM
36 posts

I ‘d love your comments and feedback on Chocolate Mold designs


Posted in: Opinion

other than bubbles, my other concern is the surface of the chocolate after molding. It would be desirable if the finish is glossy, at least in some parts. chocolate that are matte in finish may convey a negative visual impression about the product, process or storage.