Tempering with Beta 6 crystals

Irma Wiese
05/29/08 10:59:23AM
6 posts
Has anybody used Beta 6 crystals for tempering? I just wanted to know how the results compare to other tempering methods (machine, seeding, etc.). What are the advantages/disadvantages?
updated by @irma-wiese: 04/11/15 01:52:20AM
Patrick Sikes
06/14/08 09:36:28PM
9 posts
I am very intrested in this topic as well... No members have tried the beta 6 crystals?Here is a couple links to get the discussiong going:http://www.cheftalk.com/forums/professional-pastry-chefs-forum/19949-beta-6-crystals.htmlhttp://www.auiswiss.com/culin_whatsnew.cfm?catid=1237
Clay Gordon
06/16/08 04:50:52PM
1,680 posts
According to Stephen Beckett in The Science of Chocolate, there are six crystal structures that cocoa butter can take. There are various labels used to describe these forms and Beta 6 is actually a combination of two of them - Beta 1 and Form VI.Forms V and VI are the most stable, however, Form V is the one that is achievable by the normal tempering process:Form VI is in fact more stable, but under normal conditions is only formed by a solid to solid transformation and not directly from liquod cocoa butter. This means that chocolate with fat in Form V will, after a period of months or sometimes even years, start to bloom. This is because some of the cocoa butter is still liquid, even at room temperature, and energy is given out as the fat is transforming to the lower energy state. This combination of effects pushes some of the fat between the solid particles on on to the surface.The Science of Chocolate is a great book. I can't recommend it more highly as a solid reference to the technical aspects of chocolate making and working with chocolate. Click on the image below to order the book from Amazon.

clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
Lloyd Martin
06/19/08 01:06:49AM
1 posts
I've used Mycryo a few times for tempering chocolate, and it does work, but I think that it is harder to use than seeding using either chunks or callets because the seed has the thermal mass to help cool the chocolate down. That said, I find it incredibly useful as a substitute for solid cocoa butter since it is a powder and is therefore easier to mix with other ingredients. I use it to mix with powdered colors to make "Paint". I can use it as a binder and mix it with other dry ingredients and then melt everything together. And when I first started using it, Mycryo was actually cheaper then bulk cocoa butter (that may not be true anymore).
06/19/08 01:59:13AM
22 posts
Meh, I have Mycro and use it, but it is very expensive compared to bulk cocoa butter. There's no magic to Mycro, all it is, is cocoa buter heated to around 48 C and then sprayed on to a frozen roller, then scraped off. The extremes between the two temperatures "shocks" mycro into pure beta 6 crystals.I think the prescribed amount is 1%, (1 gram auf every kilogram) melted couveture, but the couveture must be around 35 C.I still get in the (cheaper) Kessko cocoa butter in the 5 kg pails, but of course it is like cement in a bucket. What I do is throw the whole bucket into a warm oven overnight (around 30-35 C) and then pour the melted butter into cling-film lined trays about 1/2" (2-3 cm) thick. When cold I coarsely chop this in the food processor and use it to thin out couveture or to mix with fat-soluble colours for molding chocolates. This is NOT a substirute for Mycryo as it has no beta 6 crystals, but it is in an easily dispensable form.
Clay Gordon
07/22/08 10:40:00PM
1,680 posts
One of the best uses of Mycryo is dredging chicken breasts that need to be held for some time before they are baked or fried off for service. The crystals are real stable and because it is solid, it doesn't run all over the place like an oil would. Plus it's real stable at high temperatures (doesn't burn all that easily) and imparts a slightly nutty taste.

clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
Annette Jimison
11/11/08 01:31:30AM
14 posts
Is there a taste difference? Can you tell a difference in the product with the beta crystals? Sounds interesting. Nothing more has been developed in this vein, has there? It's been years since some of the articles I have read online. Any more input?
John DePaula
01/28/09 12:30:40PM
45 posts
1% Mycryo per 1000g couverture = 10g Mycryo.You're right: Mycryo is not a substitute for cocoa butter. If I only need to thin couverture, I use bulk cocoa butter; however, for tempering I sometimes use the Mycryo esp. if I don't have a lot of seed chocolate on hand.I wasn't always a big fan of Mycryo. In pastry school, we used it once and I thought the results were not as good as using one of the more traditional methods of tempering. Since I've started using it more in a professional environment, I think it's an excellent product and definitely has its place.
03/22/09 06:44:27PM
288 posts
The solid to solid transformation of Form V to Form VI crystals is responsible for the untempered appearance of chocolate that has been in the package too long.What I wonder - if you use the beta 6 crystals, I assume you grow Form VI crystals rather than Form V - so will your chocolate change over time or will it remain tempered forever in the package?


Daniela Vasquez
11/14/15 03:24:47PM
58 posts

I arrived quite late in this subject but I'm very interested. I'm reading and re-reading The Science of Chocolate book, it's one of my all-time favorites but I haven't gotten to the part that speaks of beta 6 crystals and its tendency to bloom.

How can you know if your packaged chocolate blooms and it's due to change in temperature or crystals? Why is the 6th called "the more stable" if it blooms with time? I haven't read about this topic anywhere else.

Troy Lapsys
11/21/15 08:36:01PM
5 posts

There have been a number of studies on the transition from Form V to Form VI, or Beta 5 to Beta 6 (they are identical, just two different naming conventions in the literature) that have been interesting.  Two that I like are found here (I am not using standard referencing):

Relation of fat bloom in chocolate to polymorphic transition of cocoa butter - http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11746-998-0101-0


Fat Bloom and Chocolate Structure Studied by Mercury Porosimetry - http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2621.1997.tb15455.x/abstract

The first (written in 1998) goes over the different views of what causes fat bloom in the transition from V to VI.  Two elements I found interesting - tempered chocolate stored at 5 degrees C showed no elements of bloom in long term storage, and there was a direct correlation of fat bloom formation to storage in conditions of alternating temperatures (not necessary just hotter).

The second (written in 2006) concludes that even well tempered chocolate is porous - with a weak correlation between the percentage of cocoa butter present with the "empty space" present in the tempered chocolate.

In combination, this would tend to indicate that fat bloom forms when some low-melting point oils within the tempered chocolate structure slowly migrate, helped by the structure alternately heating and cooling, to the surface of the well-tempered chocolate as the chocolate becomes denser (tighter packed triglyceride structures) over time in storage.  There are of course variations in bloom formation mentioned in the studies due to changes in humidity and the like, but that is a problem I rarely have being in the desert.  From a practical standpoint, I am exploring the effects of storage at 5 degrees C for my ganaches to see how long and if they maintain an acceptable mouth-feel when brought back to room temp. 

In regard to tempering with Beta 6, given the above there should be no theoretical difference in final result than using the 5 - the Beta 6 has the same basic structure, just (simplistically) more densely packed (and you do not get Beta 6 crystals in chocolate when tempering with Beta 6 crystals - you get 5). The heat of your melted chocolate, even at 35 degrees C, is going to impart enough energy to the Beta 6 to bring it back to Beta 5.

I also do use Mycryo extensively.  I prefer using standard seeding, but if I have a relatively full vat I will use a little standard seed to drop the temperature a bit more quickly, then finish it off with Mycryo.  I have found in practice that I get a great end result in any of the three variations: 100% tempered chocolate as seed, part tempered chocolate and part Mycryo, and all Mycryo as the seeding element.  The chocolate does seem to thicken faster, however, limiting production times, when using the Mycryo instead of tempered chocolate as the seed at equivalent temperatures.



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