This is the beauty of record keeping. I always have the option to review my clumsy manufacturing process. While recording, the output of cocoa winnowing process caught my attention. It was only averaging to 69%. It was way too low compared to what I read from chocolate forums. They can usually reach 77-79%. Other are claiming up to 85%. One commercial type winnower is boasting an astonishing value of 99.9%. It is a WOW but ridiculously unbelievable.
If I base my assumption on 77 to 79 percent recovery (according to forums), it means I am loosing 8 to 10% nibs. It means a lot. Loosing 10 kg for every 100 kilos and 100 kilograms for every one ton. I should work it out to gain a better recovery rate.
Cracking gap adjustment. I used to set the gap until I see no whole dropping beans. However, this produces too many powder which are suck up when winnowed. Setting the gap wider produces less powder but permits passing through of some whole beans. It increase recovery greatly but reduces winnowing efficiency in return.
After thorough research and several trials, I achieved 80% recovery. The trick is classify the cracked beans according to sizes and winnow each classification separately, adjusting blower/suction power for each. I used one screen size to separate the cracked beans into two and winnowed each separately using specific suction adjustments.
I think I’ll try more increase sizes next time.