Yes, we consider fermentation to be one of the single most important steps in the chocolate-making process, in terms of flavor profile. Fermentation helps modulate the natural bitterness and acidity of the cacao beans, effectively dialing down some of the harsher flavor characteristics and allowing the more subtle notes to rise to the fore.
Our fermentation process typically lasts anywhere between three to six days, depending on the flavor characteristics of the cacao at the time of harvest, ambient weather conditions during the fermentation process itself, and the flavor objectives for each given edition.
We ferment our cacao in Spanish Elm wood fermentation boxes. At intervals of 24-48 hours, the cacao is rotated or mixed within the fermentation box, with the aim to evenly distribute the heat that is naturally generated in the process. The temperature within the fermentation box steadily rises toward temperatures in the range of 45-48° Celsius (113-118° Farhenheit). This is where the flavor architecture begins to take shape.
Once fermentation is deemed complete, the cacao beans are moved onto drying racks, in which the cacao beans are exposed to fresh air and sunlight under a translucent roof. This halts the fermentation process.
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