I am looking for a small scale cocoa nib and cocoa bean roaster. Which roaster is a good fit? I am…

I am looking for a small scale cocoa nib and cocoa bean roaster. Which roaster is a good fit? I am looking to experiment with 2kg of nibs per batch.

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@kinsol – When I was in Brasil, the 50kg/day line was quoted to me as ~US$50k. I did not get prices on individual items. I have been looking into this a long time and I see a 2kg/batch roaster as too small to support a sustainable business. Okay for lab/hobby, though.

@DiscoverChoc @tsnuggs The 10kg cylindrical roaster from Jaf Inox is € 21,000. (That’s the price I was just quoted as part of the 10 kg btb line.) And I wouldn’t exactly call that small scale either.

@tsnuggs – I saw the JAF Inox roasters when I was in Brazil in July. Based on their design I would have said loading and loading nib would be difficult and I remember asking this question (though I could be misremembering) to the founder Adriano Pedroso. The pricing I have for a 10kg roaster is a part of a package that includes a 10kg/hr winnower and a 50kg universal refiner/conche for $50k. I am guessing it’s in the neighborhood of $10-15k (though I am asking). It is electric only.

@Xrawrxx – You do want to check that you can get into and maintain the temperature range for cocoa as it’s much lower than for coffee and ensure that the modification includes a variable speed control on the dum. But, otherwise it should work. These roasters are made in China but I have heard good things about them – and certainly they are priced well. I would also make sure that you get the instrumentation package and hook the roaster to a computer so you can record roast profiles.

I am using some special nibs thus the moisture is around 16 – 17%. I have checked, the Jaf Inox is not good for anything below 5kg, it is a 10 kg roaster. I am wondering will a coffee roaster like https://millcityroasters.com/shop/coffee-roasters/coffee-tech-fz-94-pro-lab-roaster/ work as well? I have checked they are able to modify for cocoa beans/ nibs.

@DiscoverChoc – The JAF- Inox web site stated beans or nib roasting, so I assumed nib too. Do you have any idea of the approximate cost of this roaster?

@Xrawrxx – moisture content if 16%?

Are you sure about 16%? Typical moisture level of dried beans is around 6-7%. And someone is cracking un-roasted beans and winnowing them? Most nib roasters are industrial scale, so the convection oven is not a bad option.

@tsnuggs – these roasters from JAF-Inox are not suitable for nib. I have seen their new small 10kg roaster and there’s a lot to like about it.

How about this one: http://jafinox-rdw.com/product/compact-cylindrical-roaster/. I do not have any experience using it.

What if cost is not really a problem? I am doing some research and working with nibs with a moisture of 16%. I am afraid using a convention oven might not be able to get rid of all the moisture after roasting. Initially i was looking at Selmi Roaster however they have mentioned it was not a good fit for nibs.

@Xrawrxx – If you want to roast nibs your best bet is to use a convection oven, probably the one you already have. The only small, inexpensive, bean roaster that I am aware of is made by Behmor. It’s basically a home coffee roaster but a lot of small chocolate makers use them for experimenting when starting out.
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