Thursday October 20, 2005

Some time ago I was able to directly compare the Santha Wet grinder and the Sharp. The quick summary is that I did not find the Sharp usable for Chocolate refining. You can read the review here

And the shipment of Jamaician Cocoa beans have arrived. I will have the review up this weekend and they will be available then.

06:57 am : Posted to: General : Please leave a comment (7)

Posted Comments for this update:

[Fri 00:02] faustianbargain email ~
hi..longtime lurker here.

i have a question re cocoa butter percentage. i can get couverture at 55% cocoa butter content. can i add cocoa butter(and proportional amounts of lecithin) to increase the cocoa butter. what are the tempertature considerations?

re santha...i have a sumeet ULTRA that works just like santha and is infact better. you can find it here it is 219 usd(1.2 lt capacity) and there is also a 2lt version for 299 usd.

[Fri 10:48] Alchemist John ~ site
Sure, you can add more cocoa butter. The rule of thumb is to add an extra 0.2% lecithin, so if you add and extra 500g cocoa butter, you would add an extra 1 g of lecithin.

As for the Ultra, from my very original research I say a number of long term reliability issues, but I have never tried one. Why do you say it is better? What do you base that on? Have you compared it head to head against a Santha?

[Wed 13:50] faustianbargain email ~
sorry. havent compared them head to head. i have an ultra and it is compact. we did have a santha wet grinder a long time ago but not the newer tilting model. i just noticed your post re santha's 0-99 timer. ultra has to be turned off after 20 minutes. ultra is probably not the way to go here.
[Tue 07:55] Cindy email ~
John, I have the sharp and also have issues with the rollers, looks like I might have lost it yesterday. Walked away for about 2 min., and came back and it was smoking, looks like the rollers froze but the motor kept trying to work. Will try again this weekend, but looks like I may have to purchase a new Santha when the new ones come out. I was wondering if you could post how we are suppose to use the Santha correctly. I have been using mine, however I would just like to make sure that it is not me. I am not sure of the consistancy of the chocolate, how thick should it be? Just a question that I thought others new to chocolate may have. Thanks.
[Wed 17:32] Alchemist John ~ site

I am sorry to hear about that. Makes me wish I had got that review and comparison up sooner.

Have you checked out the Conching and Refining section in the "Alchemist's Notebook" area to the right. I have the basics there. Would you like that expanded or does tell you what you want to know? I am here to supply information, and if something is not sufficient, please let me know.

[Thu 03:42] Inger email ~
I wonder what is cacanero beans in Michel Cluizels chocolate? To my knowing (being a happy amateur) there is only 3 sorts of cocoa beans.
[Thu 10:33] Alchemist John ~ site
Inger, there are three species of Cocoa, Criollo, Forastero, and the hybrid of th two, Trinitario. But for each of those there are hundreds of strains each with their own flavor profile. As for Michel Cluizels chocolate (I assume you mean Carenero) it is Carenero Superior, a Trinitario, and the same Carenero Superior that I carry. It has the potential to make an amazingly complex chocolate.

Wednesday October 12, 2005

We have a couple of new molds to offer. Nothing real fancy, just kind of fun. There is a new pumpkin mold and fish mold.

The pumpkin because Halloween is coming up, and the fish because my life partner said "get it" and...I did.

Also, due early next week, we have a brand new Cocoa bean due it. It is a polished grade one Jamaican. I know there are getting to be a number of cocoa beans out there, but this is a little different. It has been kiln dried and polished because of the tumbling action of the drier. Aside from that, the sample I received made a fine smooth tasting chocolate. Nothing exotic, snappy, or fruity. Just good dependable chocolate flavor. I am really looking forward to experimenting with this one.

Oh, and for those of you who know me, I would hope you would know by now, I try not to particularly "spin" things. So when I say, this is a small lot (the smallest I have had), and I don't know how long it will last, that is all I mean - I am not trying to garner sales. Get some while it is here if you want it as I don't know when I will have it again. It came around this time last year and I had to pass on it. I grabbed it this time, and it will probably be another year before it comes around again.

06:44 pm : Posted to: General : Please leave a comment (2)

Posted Comments for this update:

[Wed 20:18] penelope ~ site
And the pumpkin would, of course, have nothing to do with how much his partner *likes* pumpkins, or how much his five year old daughter *likes* pumpkins. Between the two of us we lugged home (well, lugged to the car and drove home) a 33 lb pumpkin yesterday.

penelope, the partner

[Wed 22:43] Alchemist John ~ site
Um, well...yes dear. That too.

Monday October 10, 2005

The current crop of Santha Wet Grinders is out of stock. All Santha presently has available is their new version with a 0-99 minute timer. If you would like one of these, we would be happy to supply you with one, but it will turn off after 99 minutes and you will need to restart it. Not really a bad thing since it will need to cool down a little if you have not modified it to run longer.

On the other hand, if you wish to wait until mid-November for the next shipment, I have great news. There will be factory modified Santhas available for continuous use and even a select few with 0-99 HOUR timers made especially for us.

So, if you want one with a current timer (0-99 min) go ahead and order (it will be marked "out of stock") and tell me that is what you want. Otherwise, I will accept pending orders for the ones with 0-99 hour timers (5 are on the way). For the "regular" modified ones, please just wait until they are in.

11:42 am : Posted to: General : Please leave a comment (2)

Posted Comments for this update:

[Thu 08:57] Alek email ~ site
Hello, Seeing that the Santha Grinder id out of stock, I've found the "Butterfly cute 3 stone wet grinder". Anybody knows about that one? Any good. It sells online for $ 190 so I'd like know about it before buying. Thanks
[Fri 07:28] Alchemist John ~ site
I have a Sharp vs Santha comparison report that I should have up this weekend. The reason I mention it is that the Sharp "should" work, but failed terribly in my tests. I would be wary of any of the others beside Santha. You often get what you pay for.

Also, although I can't find the specification now, the 70 watt load on the Cute grinder seems rather low - I am sure the Santhas is much higher and you need that power. I have to go find that number or actually measure it.

Friday October 7, 2005

We are getting a slight face lift today, so if something does not look or act right, I know.

UPDATE: Everything should be back to normal now. Thanks.

01:31 pm : Posted to: General : Please leave a comment (1)

Posted Comments for this update:

[Sat 19:16] email ~

Cocoa Beans
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Conching & Refining
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