My cocoa bean cracker prototype (for almost one year, until now) has been performing well and I am very happy with it. I am thinking of creating a stainless steel version. Or, perhaps make it more compact and perform better.
My current contraption consist of two main parts, a roller and a stationary plane. The roller grabs bean and rubs it against stationary plane, crushing it gently, partially separating nibs from husk, so it can be winnowed efficiently.
What I mean efficient is as fast as possible with quality result. Getting most of the nibs and dumping of most husk as possible. Of course, manually removing the husk by hand will yield the best result but it always takes forever.
Recently, I am noticing a lot of dust in removed husk. Not sure if some are nibs or husk. They are just too small to discriminate. I think I need to set aside some beans every roasting batch, e.g. 100 grams. Manually removed husk and compare results. If the resulting difference is too great then I need to reinvent my prototype. I should have thought of this before.
Maybe, creating another prototype with easily replaceable parts. The current are rather hard to replace. Need replacing almost half of it for a slight modification.
Another idea that I tested, and not yet successful, is the current implementation of Dandelion Chocolate. The principle is to fling the beans on side of steel drum. It breaks the bean and have better separation of nibs from husk.
So I tested. First, flinging beans by hand against the wall. All flung beans were broken with good nib sizes and no much powder. Second, flinging beans with two blade impeller. It was good when the bean breaks, it was bad when not and it had so many unbroken.
I am thinking how can I make the impeller hit every beans. The Champion Juicer that is being use by some artisan chocolate makers have impeller type implementation. However, according to review, it tend to over-cracked and produce too much dust.
Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.