Hello All, Chocolate newbie here. I am looking to start a small-mid scale chocolate making business in Ghana & trying to source machinery at the moment. This is no small feat as we have virtually no companies making or selling equipment here. My question is this: I initially planned on importing several smaller sized melangeurs from the US and the scaling up in future. After intensive research, especially a lot of reading on this site I'm not sure that's the best option. I have however managed to find a local engineer who is able to custom make a ball mill. It will definitely be a bit pricey and also much larger capacity than I initially intended to start with. What are your thoughts please? Is it a good idea to start with a relatively large ball mill or should I stick to importing the smaller melangeurs. Thanks in advance!
One thing to consider is that chocolate refined in a ball mill will need to be conched afterwards. Chocolate made in a small stone grinder does not necessarily need a separate conching step (although it certainly can be conched separately, too).
Another option to look at is a universal conche refiner. These are available from producers in Europe and China. As the name says, they can refine and conche and I've found them to be more efficient than stone grinders as well as giving me more control over the two processes.