Tempering & Molding – chocolate solidifies too fast

Aaalxndr
@aaalxndr
07/07/15 08:35:59PM
11 posts

Hi all,

I've been making chocolate for about 9 months without much problem. However, since I've moved my production into a shared kitchen space held at 68F, I can't seem to mold fast enough. 

I'm using:

- ACMC temperer

- 72% Ecuador chocolate, 28% sugar

Dental Vibrator 

I heat to 120F, cool to 92F; add seed; stir like a bandit, and mold immediately. I spend most of my time stirring the chocolate and do all the shaking and banging of my trays to get the chocolate to set evenly. I fail every time. 

Any advice?

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updated by @aaalxndr: 07/07/15 08:37:02PM
Brad Churchill
@brad-churchill
07/08/15 04:48:26PM
527 posts

Your working temperature is too low and/or your chocolate is far too crystalized when you start working with it (it will be very thick).

Use your ACMC to temper the chocolate, and find a working temperature where the chocolate stays fluid in the machine for a period of time.  I have 6 ACMC machines and I work in lower temperatures than you do, so I know they will hold the chocolate in temper and in a fluid state for a long time.

Once you know what your acceptable working temperature is, then you can take chocolate out of the machine and mold it any time you like without issue.

Cheers

Brad

Aaalxndr
@aaalxndr
07/08/15 05:15:25PM
11 posts

Brad,

Thanks for the quick reply. I guess my knowledge of tempering is more limited than I thought. How can I create beta V crystals without the batch over crystallizing? Doesnt the working temp have to be <92 to maintain the temper?

That's definitely the problem though, because until I add the seed the chocolate is very workable.

Thanks!

Brad Churchill
@brad-churchill
07/08/15 05:47:25PM
527 posts

There are a few things a play when tempering chocolate, which nobody seems to mention in their online instructions:

1.  The thermocouple on your ACMC is NOT 100 percent accurate.  I have seen them out as far as 4 degrees.

2.  Humidity is going to play a factor in the crystalization of your chocolate.  Dry days it flows great.  Wet days it's like working with tar.

3.  The entire time you are working with your chocolate it is trying to form crystals.  You can control the fluidity (viscosity) of your chocolate simply by raising and lowering the temperature while you are working with it one or two degrees at a time.  Inexperienced chocolatiers will add cocoa butter to their tempered chocolate when it gets too thick.  This only compounds the problem they are trying to solve, and mutes the taste.  When your chocolate thickens, raise the temp of your ACMC a degree and wait a bit.  If it's still too thick, raise it up one more and wait a bit.  Once the fluidity is more manageable do a temper test.  You'll quickly find your threshold for working temperature, and will never look back.

Just remember: Chocolate works at IT'S pace - not yours.  Be patient.  Pay attention to detail, and in no time you too will be a Kung Fu Temper Master!

;-)

Brad

 

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