Chocolate Refrigeration

Calum
@calum
06/02/15 06:29:46PM
24 posts

Hi all,

 

We are looking for a suitable fridge in order that we can speed up production of our bars and I stumbled across these fron Vantage House in the UK:

 

https://www.vantagehouse.com/chocolate-equipment-results/CHOCOLATE%5FRANGE/Chocolate-Range

 

Does anyone have any experance with this fridge Brand and is this suitable for cooling down bars in the moulds faster?

 

Thanks

Calum

 

 


updated by @calum: 09/11/16 06:07:48PM
Calum
@calum
06/04/15 01:38:32PM
24 posts

Anyone have any experiance of these?

 

Thanks!

TalamancaOrganica
@talamanca-organica-cacao-fine-chocolate
06/16/15 11:19:56AM
12 posts

We have been using a normal two door (top and bottom) refrig and as of recent (the last 2 times I made chocolate) the compressor on the refrig quit on me about 80 bars into the 100 (60gramers) I produce at a time. This was a real bummer, as I lost the temper on those last 20 bars, and had to retemper. Here in the tropics, working in an 84F environment in the shade of the cacao forest at mid day demands that refrig is obtained as soon as the chocolate hits the mold. I too am looking for a refrig to help me solve this problem. Thanks for the link.

 


updated by @talamanca-organica-cacao-fine-chocolate: 07/06/16 04:12:27AM
Clay Gordon
@clay
08/01/16 11:20:43AM
1,680 posts

Calum -

Vantage House is a UK distributor for Everlasting, which is located in Italy. I am representing Everlasting in the US through another distributor.

The largest unit accepts 20, full-size sheet (US) pans. Temperature control as well as humidity control. These are also fast recovery time units, which means they return to the set temperature and humidity points very quickly. There is also two-door unit which reduces air transfer when opening and closing doors.

These units are designed to crystallize and hold chocolate and do a good job at it. I would use perfed sheet pans. Let me know and I can get some pricing for you.

To address the point @helion brings up: humidity is more of an issue in some locations than others. I don't know where you are located, but in general, being able to control the humidity in the environment is a very good idea. Controlling humidity within the fridge (not just in the room) provides extra control that is valuable, it's not a replacement for humidity control in the working space.

A PID temperature controller is one way to take a fridge that does not operate in the 55F range and get it to operate there. It does this by turning the unit on and off. Robust compressors are an absolute necessity when cycling like this.




--
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clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
Clay Gordon
@clay
08/02/16 02:42:17PM
1,680 posts

@helion:

Thanks for the kind words ... but it is the community that does most of the important work here by being open and sharing.

50F is too cold. 55F is better.

Do you have a digital hygrometer in your work space? If not, get one. Ideally it will log the humidity over the course of the day and you can download that into a computer and keep track. If not it should measure the current humidity and the peak humidity over the past 24 hours.

A good starting working humidity is ~55%. The closer you can keep the entire work space at that level or below the easier your job will be. Humidity in the air will always condense on a colder surface if the humidity is above the dew point and the temperature of the surface is below the dew point.

Your best approach is to work to keep the ambient environment humidity (temp is ideally ~68-72F) as close to 55% as you can. You can do this with a dehumidifier - try and get one that exhausts the humidity into the warm exhaust air and then pipe the exhaust to the exterior. This will remove the humidity from the space and you will not have to plumb the humidifier to a drain or constantly dump buckets.

Just having a cabinet that lowers the humidity will not address your condensation problem. You can increase the temperature of the cabinet (up to 60F or so) but that will increase the amount of time required to cool. Increasing the airflow may help with that, to some extent, but you do have to remove the heat from the cabinet.




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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
Clay Gordon
@clay
08/07/16 12:18:45PM
1,680 posts

Helion:

@Clay What would you recommend as an ideal cooling time, assuming a temperature of around 55F?

Bearing in mind our coolers are not humidity controlled.

Is there an ideal chocolate temperature that the bars should reach before removal from the fridge for packing?

There is no simple answer because I don't know what kind of molds you are using (thermoform has different heat transfer characteristics than polycarbonate), the dimensions of the mold cavity (the thicker the bar the longer it takes), the temperature of the chocolate (it will take longer if the temper point is 32C compared with 30C), and the amount of airflow in the cabinet (how efficiently are you removing the latent heat of crystallization - which can be affected by what the molds are resting on). 

I don't know about the temperature the bar has to reach (outside? how do you measure the internal temperature?) but there are some important clues: what does the surface look like and what is the snap? A soft snap is an important clue that the bar is not yet fully crystallized.

All that said, in a 55F cabinet with chocolate at a 30-32C temper point (86-90F) in a polycarbonate mold with good airflow top and bottom - you are looking at 12-15 minutes minimum.




--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
Clay Gordon
@clay
09/11/16 02:36:28PM
1,680 posts

The bars should be easy to remove from the mold, have no release marks, and have a nice crisp snap.




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clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/

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