Forum Activity for @Duffy Sheardown

Duffy Sheardown
@Duffy Sheardown
11/06/12 10:19:15AM
55 posts

Unwanted fragrances in potential new shop


Posted in: Opinion

Hi Giovanna,

I had a drain-cleaning company move in next door to my industrial unit. Nice guys and I'd recommend them as drain cleaners but not as neighbours. They moved out after a month when I complained about the smell but I was still throwing chocolate away 6 months after that despite throwing all the doors open, having fans blowing and giving the place several thorough cleans. I'm not sure what the risk is exactly but unless you can get rid of the smell by cleaning the place and thoroughly ventilating I'd be wary.

Duffy

Duffy Sheardown
@Duffy Sheardown
06/06/12 11:54:50AM
55 posts

Refining/conching temperatures.


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

Hi Paul, You need to experiment! Can I suggest that you aim to start off at around 60C and gradually raise it to perhaps 65 to 68C over the first day or however long you are conching at. As usual there probably isn't a "right" and "wrong" - it is what works in your conditions with your beans. Too high and you may negatively affect the flavour and too low and you may not drive off the bitterness.

Duffy

Duffy Sheardown
@Duffy Sheardown
12/15/11 03:32:45AM
55 posts

Question about grinding and conching


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

Hi Maria,

I have a Cocoa Town grinder and I normally grind the nibs by themselves for 12 hours before adding sugar and heat. AFter 12 hours you should have something pretty tasty and it should also improve over the next hours. Give it 24 hours and keep tasting every hour or so until you think it is ready. The amount of time you need depends on how you like your chocolate and how long you can wait!

Duffy

Duffy Sheardown
@Duffy Sheardown
10/17/11 12:06:47PM
55 posts

Aluminium foil for chocolate


Posted in: Classifieds

Hi Maria,

Keylink in the UK sell foil and will cut it to the sheet size that you want. I did notice recently that the price has nearly doubled in the last 18 months so maybe there are better options.

Duffy

Duffy Sheardown
@Duffy Sheardown
10/02/11 02:44:40PM
55 posts

Selmi Plus 2010 model Trouble Shooting


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

There's no such thing as a dumb question - if you don't know the answer this is as good a place to shout as any!
Duffy Sheardown
@Duffy Sheardown
09/30/11 02:35:20PM
55 posts

Selmi Plus 2010 model Trouble Shooting


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

On Mine part of the grill hooks over to the outside and this has a small magnetic switch on it. As I said, without it it won't work. My model also has a seperate "U" section with the switch on so that you can have the stirres turning and put your hands in. So they have a safety switch and supply the means to instantly circumvent it.

I checked today and mine displays the same thing without the switch in place. As you look at the temperer from the front it is on the outside right hand side. Nothing plugs in - it must be magnetic.

Duffy

Duffy Sheardown
@Duffy Sheardown
09/28/11 11:29:51AM
55 posts

Selmi Plus 2010 model Trouble Shooting


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

My Selmi displays that message if the grill that stops you waving your hands in amongst the moving stirrers isn't in place. There's a micro-switch on the grill that allows the stirrer and everything else to work when it is in place. If it isn't that I have no idea, sorry.

Duffy

Duffy Sheardown
@Duffy Sheardown
06/13/11 09:06:50AM
55 posts

Santha Melangeurs


Posted in: Geek Gear - Cool Tools

Do they really work with nibs? I know of one company who make chocolate from liquor simply because they cannot nibs directly into their Chocoeasy machine. Do you need to pre-grind the nibs before they go into the machine?
Duffy Sheardown
@Duffy Sheardown
04/26/11 12:35:08PM
55 posts

Organic Beans Question


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

Check out a pos last year from Jim Lucas who discussed what controls his beans have to go through to get from Brazil to the USA - and about the precautions you have to take when using the very nasty chemicals involved.

Duffy Sheardown
@Duffy Sheardown
01/26/11 05:27:49PM
55 posts

Wet grinders in the U.K


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

Hi Joseph,

That grinder isn't the one I have but looks like a development of it - the footprint is about the same, anyway. I always used a "Champion" juicer to pre-grind the nibs following advice from the "Chocolate Alchemy" web-site but haven't tested it just with nibs. No reason that I can see that it wouldn't cope - if you introduce them slowly and carefully. Wait until the first handful has turned into liquid before you add more.

I'm in NE Lincs if you want to see either of my grinders working.

Duffy

Duffy Sheardown
@Duffy Sheardown
01/19/11 05:33:05PM
55 posts

Wet grinders in the U.K


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

Hi Joseph,

I bought the Inno grinder to start making small batchs of chocolate at home. I had a problem and they responded pretty well - and they also shipped quickly and cheaply. After a year I bought their bigger machine and am overall happy with that too.

I had asked around a few Indian restaurants and shops etc hoping to find something similar already in the UK but had no luck at all. The Inno Concepts worked out cheaper than the Santha when shipping costs were taken into account.

The machines are both pretty basic and there are lots of comments on upgrades, replacement parts and so on on another forum (Chocolate Alchemy) which is well worth checking out for advice too.

Duffy

Duffy Sheardown
@Duffy Sheardown
12/01/10 06:16:30PM
55 posts

Bean to bar in Africa


Posted in: Chocolate Education

Hi Karlien,You could probably call in and see my small bean-to-bar facility in England. It's 4 hours by train from London though, on the Lincolnshire coast.Duffywww.redstarchocolate.co.uk
Duffy Sheardown
@Duffy Sheardown
11/13/10 01:25:54PM
55 posts

Is there such a thing as GREAT Fair Trade chocolate?


Posted in: Opinion

It's always going to be tough for farmers - and it isn't always because they are poor, uneducated or whatever we blithely assume on their behalfs. Here in the UK milk farmers sell milk at below production cost to the supermarkets - and find themselves powerless to do much about it. Some sell direct at Farmers Markets, at the gate or add value by producing artisan cheese, ice cream and so on. Not everyone can do this. Net result is dairy farmers going out of business at a steadily increasing rate and big (cheap) imports of milk from around the world.This is in prosperous, educated, organised England. It seems all we can do is vote with our wallets - don't buy supermarket milk, don't buy bulk chocolate, pay more for quality cocoa beans. It feels like we have no power but it depends how many there are. Fairtrade is a way for the consumer to feel like they are making that (slightly tougher) choice and heling in some small way. As a movement it is to be applauded but it isn't the whole answer.DuffyRed Star Chocolate
Duffy Sheardown
@Duffy Sheardown
12/14/10 04:45:31PM
55 posts

I like to start chocolate company from bean to bar


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

Check out some of the older posts on this forum and on the Chocolate Alchemy forum. One of the first things you will need to decide is how much chocolate you want to make - and how much money you will have to spend. Until you have answered those questions every answer is conditional. Do you want to make 50kg a week or 5,000kg, for example. Do you have a million dollars or ten thousand? Can you make any equipment yourself?

Can I suggest that you take some time to read some older posts and then ask very specific questions?

Duffy

Duffy Sheardown
@Duffy Sheardown
08/25/10 01:43:07AM
55 posts

refining


Posted in: News & New Product Press

The "best" method depend on what you are trying to achieve and what throughput you are aiming for. I have a 30kg granite grinder and use that to refine the nibs for a good few hours before adding other ingredients and starting the conching part of the process. When supply cannot meet demand I might need to find something else but at the moment that is working fine.My other concern was cleaning - as I use several types of bean and make small batches I only want to have to clean as few machines as possible to minimise losses. This way I only clean the grinder and. later, the temperer.DUffy
Duffy Sheardown
@Duffy Sheardown
06/09/10 02:16:09AM
55 posts

Tips for clearing a chocolate-clogged drain?


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

When putting a sink into my factory the plumber rigged up a very simple trap in the outlet pipe from the sink. He glued a simple aluminium baffle half way across a small plastic tank. Basically, the waste water goes in, the chocolate floats to the top and is held out of the waste outlet by the alluminium.It's his version of an expensive fat trap and cost almost nothing to rig up. I haven't explained it very but if you look at professional ones you will see what you need to try and do.Duffy
Duffy Sheardown
@Duffy Sheardown
05/24/10 11:01:03AM
55 posts

Antique equipment


Posted in: Classifieds

Check out the "Buy Sell group" and look for the April 15 post by Colin Gasko. Was sorely tempted myself but shipping to the UK would be expensive.
Duffy Sheardown
@Duffy Sheardown
03/22/10 09:06:31AM
55 posts

Source for cacao beans (not roasted nibs) in medium quantity.


Posted in: News & New Product Press

John Nanci is a great supplier on the chocolatealchemy site
Duffy Sheardown
@Duffy Sheardown
03/05/10 05:46:18AM
55 posts

Unfair Trade in Belize - How Kraft Shafts Cocoa Farmers


Posted in: Opinion

I would want to also ask them why I can't use the phrase "Fairtrade sugar" in my list of ingredients ont he back of a wrapper after paying the premium? Oh - I have to pay the premium AND pay the organisation? Now I understand....DuffyRed Star Chocolate Ltd
Duffy Sheardown
@Duffy Sheardown
01/05/10 09:38:43AM
55 posts

Bean to Bar Blog ?


Posted in: Travels & Adventures

Funny - I have the same equipment as Rogue Chocolatier!
Duffy Sheardown
@Duffy Sheardown
01/05/10 09:32:08AM
55 posts

Bean to Bar Blog ?


Posted in: Travels & Adventures

Thanks - I enjoyed reading that
Duffy Sheardown
@Duffy Sheardown
01/04/10 03:00:28AM
55 posts

Bean to Bar Blog ?


Posted in: Travels & Adventures

Not yet...but as soon as I get the final sign-off to start selling bars the web-site will go live and I will be blogging about how I got to the start line!
Duffy Sheardown
@Duffy Sheardown
01/03/10 01:53:31PM
55 posts

Metal Mold Refinishing


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

What are the backs of the moulds like? Are they really made of steel? Aluminium (sorry, UK spelling!) seems more likely. Try polishing or re-working an area on the back of a mould to see if you like the result before attacking the used side.Duffy
Duffy Sheardown
@Duffy Sheardown
12/17/09 06:29:54AM
55 posts

Godiva "Breaks the Mold" for its new Chocoiste store in Tokyo's Harajuku District


Posted in: News & New Product Press

Curiously uninviting - maybe it would look better with people in it; it might look less like they aren't part of the deal.
Duffy Sheardown
@Duffy Sheardown
12/08/09 02:56:39AM
55 posts

Valrhona Chuao 2002


Posted in: Tasting Notes

In the UK I've been told (by the Trading Standards people) that I have to have a "Best before" date on the chocolate I'm making. I asked how it was best determined and they suggested I copy what other chocolate makers do! They agreed that this isn't particularly rational but doubted that an exception could be made.Duffy
Duffy Sheardown
@Duffy Sheardown
05/28/10 12:19:03PM
55 posts

Has anyone used the NETZSCH chocolate machines?


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

Hi Chantelle,I use the ECGC65 grinder from Cocoa Town - here are my impressions after 6 months useage:- it arrived late- the machine has no switching on it so it is switched on and off at the wall. I can sort this but I also need to put a cage around it for safety reasons- the wheels and base were not a great match to start with. Despite their advice I ran the machine for a good few hours through many changes of water until they were a better fit and running more evenly- the drum leaked at the edge of the steel where it meets the granite. Only a small amount and they sent me glue to fix it, which worked.- I have made I think 22 batchs through the machine up to now. I throw the nibs in gradually from lunchtime until the machine will run and not clog and then leave overnight with no heat applied as a "refine" step.- Next morning I add pre-ground sugar (done beforehand in the same machine) and the conching process starts. The machine generates a bit of heat in the bowl anyway so you don't need to add much heat to it.- Overall, a few very minor teething issues but it works and the chocolate tastes pretty good. The texture is good now that I pre-grind the sugar too.- I will be buying another one - they are cheap and efficient.DuffyRed Star Chocolate Ltd
Duffy Sheardown
@Duffy Sheardown
10/13/09 09:33:01AM
55 posts

Chocolate shop in Tbilisi


Posted in: Allow Me to Introduce Myself

Hi Salome,Good luck with your venture - it will be challenging and exciting. Ecole Chocolat do web-based courses that get good reviews. I am doing one at the moment and find it very helpful and it wasn't expensive. Apart from that I'd start by reading through a lot of the old posts on this forum and any others you can find - lots of good advice all over the place (techniques, equipment, recipes etc as well as business help) and lots of fine people to ask questions.Keep us posted!Duffy
Duffy Sheardown
@Duffy Sheardown
10/14/09 04:19:27PM
55 posts

Temper, temper!


Posted in: News & New Product Press

I had some bar moulds in the oven, just warming slightly. After I'd poured the new batch of chocolate into the moulds and cycled them all twice I popped the bars out of the moulds and went up to check the e-mails etc. Later I decided it was time to cook tea and put the oven on to heat up. The good news is that polycarb moulds release fairly easily from stainless oven racks the bad news is I had to buy another mould. Still kicking myself but at least no chocolate was wasted!
Duffy Sheardown
@Duffy Sheardown
09/17/09 06:19:44AM
55 posts

Is there such a thing as a "true chocolatier"?


Posted in: Opinion

Who gets to decide? It can only be the public. Sounds pretty offensive though and disrespectful. Vote with your wallet.
Duffy Sheardown
@Duffy Sheardown
08/12/09 05:42:30AM
55 posts

Business start-ups with no experience?


Posted in: Opinion

Well, that is kind of almost me you are talking about. In that I am starting a bean-to-bar business - but I have been making chocolate for some time. As I can't sell anything until I have correctly licensed premises (the next headache) I send out samples and ask people for honest comment. I appreciate that free chocolate compromises the responses but comparative tests suggest that I am making good progress and decent chocolate.I hope that the chocolate market will develop like the tea/coffee/wine market - lots of choice to suit everyone. Surely we WANT more people making chocolate - doing their own thing, bringing us chocolate from their own viewpoint, that they think is worth producing. Capitalism will surely out in the end - the poor producers will lose reputation and/or go out of business and the better ones will thrive.Won't people remember the make of chocolate they didn't like and avoid that? Do people just buy the word "artisan"? Isn't it more likely to be "Joe Blow Artisan" and the first bit will be discarded?
Duffy Sheardown
@Duffy Sheardown
08/23/11 10:22:59AM
55 posts

Looking for Good Sources of Certified Organic Cacao Beans


Posted in: Classifieds

Hi Kate,

Try Santiago Paz at santiagonorandinoatyahoo.es - that is who I have been dealing with. I've just ordered 500kg from them as the test samples they sent were very interesting.

Regards,

Duffy

Duffy Sheardown
@Duffy Sheardown
08/16/11 09:29:58AM
55 posts

Looking for Good Sources of Certified Organic Cacao Beans


Posted in: Classifieds

Steve,

Check out Cepicafe for Peruvian beans. Quality is excellent - just about to get some myself - and they are certified Fairtrade and organic I believe. If you need a contact let me know and I will send you the details.

Duffy

Duffy Sheardown
@Duffy Sheardown
10/08/09 11:12:18AM
55 posts

Salon du Chocolat 2009 in Paris


Posted in: Travels & Adventures

Hi Anna,I am travelling to Perugia in order to attend your show. Will I need any documentation to get into the "Eurochocolate World" section? I have just set up a business producing chocolate and would like to meet some cocoa producers.Regards,Duffy
Duffy Sheardown
@Duffy Sheardown
10/06/09 12:04:14PM
55 posts

Salon du Chocolat 2009 in Paris


Posted in: Travels & Adventures

Hi Folks,Not sure about Paris yet but I am going to Perugia for Eurochocolate and it would be good to meet any other listers. I'm there Staurday to Saturday and my scehdule is pretty flexible.Regards,Duffy
Duffy Sheardown
@Duffy Sheardown
06/02/09 05:11:48AM
55 posts

custom made chocolate


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

Hi Saeed,I should think Clay was saying that suppliers based in America might not be the best recommendations because of the distance you would need to ship everything. Do you want to make what you need yourself?Duffy
Duffy Sheardown
@Duffy Sheardown
04/22/09 03:55:24AM
55 posts

Chocolate Dude Tabletop Tempering Machine


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

Hi Nat,No, the ACMC has a similar manual control. There is a thermometer probe which controls the heat on/fans on and the only indication that you are up to or down to temperature is the fan switching on or off. Works fine if you are in the room or close by.
Duffy Sheardown
@Duffy Sheardown
04/12/09 11:22:44AM
55 posts

Air Brushing & Table Top Depositor


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

What are you spraying and at what temperature? Does the mix set as it hits the cooler moulds or might it run?Thanks,Duffy
Duffy Sheardown
@Duffy Sheardown
04/03/09 04:18:44AM
55 posts

Maltitol ??


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

There is a thread on the Choc Alchemy site talking about the chemistry of all this - worth checking out.
Duffy Sheardown
@Duffy Sheardown
03/31/09 04:29:09AM
55 posts

Small time cacao and fruit grower in Costa Rica


Posted in: Allow Me to Introduce Myself

Hi Jesse,I think there will be no shortage of folks hoping to buy good-quality beans, nuts and fruit from you! Talk to Clay, see if he will market your beans.Good luck,Duffy
Duffy Sheardown
@Duffy Sheardown
03/03/09 04:24:38AM
55 posts

Chocolatiers = Re-melters?


Posted in: Opinion

I think it's one of those things that everyone will endlessly chase - the term "artisan" will get taken over by the huge manufacturers and as a result the effective meaning of the term to the lay-customer will change. Folks who see themselves as artisans will be affronted and think of another way to describe what they do and distance themselves from the big companies. And so on, ad infinitum.The use of the term "re-melter" sounds like someone getting their attack in first!
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