Chocolate Making Equipment - Dry Batch Conche Mixers
McCarter vessels are designed & built by WM. A. Schmidt and Sons under
the jurisdiction of ASME guidelines using medium gauge materials & welded-reinforced
construction. Standard unit material is carbon steel ASTM A36.
Optional materials are stainless steel, ASTM A240-304/316
The penultimate process is called conching. A conche is a container
filled with metal beads, which act as grinders. The refined and blended
chocolate mass is kept liquid by frictional heat. The conching process produces
cocoa and sugar particles smaller than the tongue can detect; hence the smooth
feel in the mouth. The length of the conching process determines the final
smoothness and quality of the chocolate. High-quality chocolate is conched for
about 72 hours, lesser grades about four to six hours. After the process is
complete, the chocolate mass is stored in tanks heated to approximately 45–50 °C
(113–122 °F) until final processing.
This process removes unwanted flavours, coats the solid particles with fat
and develops the desired flavours. Conching may be carried out in long troughs
in which a roller travels from one end to the other. However, circular conches
are more common. They have a larger capacity and are more efficient than long
troughs. Conching creates a wave and adds air to the mixture, to ensure that the
flavour develops perfectly. Cocoa butter and an emulsifier are gradually added
to keep the chocolate liquid and make the recipe to the correct proportions.
Aromas are sometimes added towards the end of conching.