Five Cocoa Pods Fermentation Trial

Now I have five medium pods. Thanks to my sponsor.

I just assumed the five are medium pods. Not really sure. I lack experience when it comes to cocoa farming. Pods color are three greens and two yellows. Three seems fine while the other two have some issues.

One of the yellow pod has a rotting end. I opened it carefully and separated the part affected by rot. Curious, cut open one bean. It is color violet. Seems okay. The odor is okay too so I decided to include it in the experiment. It probably taste bad. I can never be sure unless I try.

suspected rotten beans

The second problem. One green pod is not fully ripe yet. The beans with mucilage intact is hard and full. Not separated yet from pod inner surface. I scraped them out forcefully with spoon. Then separated each bean with bare hand. It was hard and some of bean shells were damage by metal spoon. So getting raw fruit increases the chance of bean damage.

raw cocoa pod opened

Fully ripe beans are loose while raw are sticking to each other. I am guessing this is one of the causes of clumped beans. During large harvest. Mistake in harvesting is inevitable and workers are not keen enough to attend to every bean.

I visited the vessel after  two days. There are lots of molds growing on the surface. A contamination for sure.  No molds observed in my first trial.  I mixed it anyway.

I intentionally included a cut bean for the sake of observation. Too see whether the color is changing from violet to brown.  I am seeing it, cotyledon color getting brown.

The aroma is a mix of acid and wine.  This is better than before I think.

The mucilage is coming off nicely now. Mucilage of suspected raw beans are also degraded. Determining which is now impossible.

Some beans have visible sprouts. It has something to do with late harvest I think. If pods are harvested too late in their ripening stage, seeds will begin to sprout.

Timing is the key to prevent both raw and sprouted beans.

I set the beans for drying after the fifth day. Not sun drying. Just air dry outside.  Some mucilage are already dry, flat and darkened after eight hours.  Beans are beginning to clump together. I pulled them all apart. Clumped beans are reject so I don’t want those.

I got a bit busy and lost track of this. Sorry!

For the drying part. I never did sun drying. I simply put it in woven basket and placed in open air. It was noticeably dried after seven days.

So even without sun rays, it is possible to dry beans right after fermentation. As long as there is plenty of air circulation. That is for small batches at least. Hope this works out for larger volumes.


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