I recently made the jump from making chocolate with cocoa liqueur to grinding the beans and it's been GREAT. The flavours from the beans is just amazing, it's such a difference. But I'm slightly worried I may be doing something wrong with my Champion because when I'm done grinding the nibs and I take it apart to wash it the cutter wheel is practically glued to the motor shaft by coca liqueur and husk. Is this normal? Am I feeding it too quickly and thus forcing it back there?
Also, any hints on how to not have nibs go flying at the beginning? The later handfuls aren't as bad but the first few it's almost like popcorn, no matter how fast I try and get the tamper back down they pop out everywhere!
I can't speak to your cutter wheel problem. I've never experienced that before. You could try slowing down your feed rate a bit. I guess a good question to ask you is if you're feeding the nibs in by hand or with some other device?
As for flying nibs, if you mean nibs flying out of the waste/pulp extruder, I usually just lightly cover the end with my hand to deflect the initial flying nibs into a waste liquor bowl that I placed there. Shortly thereafter, it turns to paste/husk as a waste stream.
If you mean nibs flying out of the feed shaft, I usually fill the shaft full of nibs PRIOR to turning on the Champion and then use the plunger/tamper to force them through the Champion. I don't usually have flying nibs from the feed tube. I always stop the Champion before re-filling the feed tube, then turn it back on, and tamp the nibs through the Champion. It's tedious, but that's what's worked for me, by hand, without trying to automate the process more.
I've been feeding them in by hand for the most part, sometimes I pour them from a bowl.
And yeah I was talking about flying out the feed shaft, turning it off and loading it up struck me as making it possible to overload the Champion (too much stuff going through too quick) but I guess as long as I'm not filling it up and then forcing it in with the tamper it should probably work fine.
I'll try the turning off while adding method and see if that helps both issues, thanks
Anne - If you take a small amount of olive oil (just enough to coat your fingers) and apply it to the shaft before you put on the cutter, that should take care of your problem.
As for the nibs "pop corning" out of the feeder, I can suggest two things: 1) You can keep your machine running, but when you remove the tamper make sure you quickly pour in enough new nibs to fill the feed tube up about a third of the way. By doing this, the weight of the new nibs keeps the previous ones from jumping out. 2) Once you pour in the new nibs, drop your tamper on top of them and let it sit on top for a moment before you actually push down. The new nibs and tamper together will keep most of the old nibs in the machine. Of course no matter what you do a few of those bad boys are going to come flying out- there's just no way around it! Good luck.