Thursday June 9, 2005

As purchased, the Santha Wet Grinder can not be run more than an hour at a time. For refining chocolate, this is a hassle. I have been doing some tests to determine way it over heated and what I could do about it. It turns out that the motor was simply not getting enough air flow.

I cut a hole in the top of motor housing, and added some extra vent holes at the bottom, and now it does not over heat. So far I have run it 24 hours straight, 3 days in a row, with no problems.

Mine now looks like this.

You can see how I did the full modification Here

I think it is easy enough that anyone can do it with basic tools, but I am thinking about offering the Santha-Hack service if there is interest. Is there?

Happy chocolate refining.

04:11 pm : Posted to: General : Please leave a comment (4)

Posted Comments for this update:

[Sat 11:11] Brad Churchill email ~ site
I'd be interested in buying the "hack" from you along with my order of beans, etc. etc. Can you please email me a price for all? Thanks.
[Tue 19:08] Trent email ~
How did it work out? How was the final product?
[Wed 09:43] Alchemist John ~ site
Really good. Great texture and mouth feel. As this is primarily a refiner, it did not over conch. Lots of bright flavors. Basically, it allows you to take it to whatever refinement stage you desire. Some people are reporting smoothness at 4-5 hours. For me, it is taking 13-16. It could be that I am just over critical of the sugar grit.
[Fri 18:09] Elmware ~ site
Myself, I wouldn't be offering to modify an appliance for others, but put a "Do so at your own risk" notice instead. Modifying appliances could void the waranty and maybe make it more hazzardous.

You might want to also consider adding some sort of screen as an air filter to the wholes where the motor is.

Wednesday June 8, 2005

We are now offering Champion Juicer and the Santha Wet Grinder. The Champion takes your roasted cocoa beans and liquifies them into cocoa liqueur. Then the Santha works as a refiner and conch, reducing the cocoa and sugar particle size in your chocolate and smooths out the flavor profile.

We have also added fine Whole vanilla beans. The are from Madagascar and are of the Bourbon variety. They add a nice depth of flavor to your chocolate creations.

Finally, we have decided on some molds and should have those in within a month or so.

12:54 pm : Posted to: General : Please leave a comment (2)

Posted Comments for this update:

[Sun 00:40] kimbrooks email ~
You are doing a geat job on your site! keep up the great work. Its nice to read the process written like a diary, it seems like we are having a conversation! this really makes the whole chocolate making process MUCH easier to understand. Thanks for the great site, My family and I will be attempting our first tries in a few months! Have a great day! ~~~Kim
[Wed 09:45] Alchemist John ~ site
Thank you Kim. That means a lot. I really want to demistify the whole chocolate making process. I hope if you read about it enough, it becomes common place, and easier the first time. I know that now that I am going from bean to bar on a regular basis, I can have finished chocolate in 48 hours, with very little mess.

Wednesday June 1, 2005

The Carenero Superior shipment has arrived and is now available. The Review is up. This crop is a little brighter and cleaner than last year's crop (and less expensive again). The Sampler pack is also available again, now that we have three origins in stock.

And a quick update: I successfully modified my Santha Wet grinder for continuous use. It ran all weekend, 12 hours a day. It will of course void the warranty, but that is the price you pay for innovation. I will tell you have very soon. It was very simple and virtually anyone can safely do it.

07:33 am : Posted to: General : Please leave a comment (3)

Posted Comments for this update:

[Wed 16:09] Brad Churchill email ~ site
Good to Hear! I've been to a number of commercial food equipment stores here in Calgary looking for a wet grinder, and none had even HEARD of such a thing! For me, this is the only piece missing, so if you have the solution, I'm interested in hearing how, and am ready to start spending money!
[Thu 12:47] Alchemist John ~ site
I have most of the "How to Hack your Santha" page almost done. Should be up Monday, with a link through the Refining page. It basically involves removing the motor case, adding air flow holes, and putting it back together. Pretty simple and effective. I don't know why Santha hasn't done it. On that note, I am talking to them about making it a design change, and they are willing to talk.
[Fri 00:28] atp ~
They're probably reluctant to add vent holes as it would reduce the water resistance of the grinder (at least the ones I made with my dremmel tool certainly did). Something designed to be used in a kitchen usually has to tollerate a little splash of water now and then, my Santha might not any more :(

Cocoa Beans
Cracking & Winnowing
Conching & Refining
Tempering & Molding

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