Tropical chocolate making

Tibor Baan
09/17/15 12:46:26AM
9 posts

Dear All,


I have been making some good chocolate on a tropical island but running into some problems with the appearance and texture  of the bars.

The bars come out dull in appearance and change texture after kept at "room" temperature (at 25-27C). they become gritty in the mouth and the fat doesnt melt so well.

I believe that the high moisture content is to blame as the liquor takes up water from he air during refining and conching. This in turn promotes sugar to absorb it and I think causes a mild siezing effect but not so much that the chocolate is not workable.

Here is a sample recipe:
45% nibs
25% butter
30% sugar

The refining room is not climate controlled and the humidity can be between 60-80%, sometimes even 90%, with temperature between 25C - 35C. I use conch refiners

The tempering room is climate controlled and using a continuous temperer with two temperature zones. The conditions in the tempering room: temp set 24 hours at 20C and humidity moves between 55-75%. The chocolate tempers ok but it always solidifies dull. I set the bars with the air blowing on them at 18-20C placed on a wire rack.

I would appreciate some suggestions regarding the problem I am having.


Happy chocolate making

09/17/15 12:15:46PM
754 posts

May not be what you want to hear, but it's likely that until you condition your refining room, the problem will not go away.  It's also possible that you're not tempering sufficiently.  Could be a combination of the two.  Best to get your RH down in the sub 70% range.

Clay Gordon
09/17/15 07:50:57PM
1,680 posts

Sebastian: I was going to say the same things. I would start with getting the humidity under control to see if that helps (might need to get it down as low as 55 RH, at least that's my experience in some places). If not, then cooling things down is the next step.

clay -
Tibor Baan
09/17/15 10:49:40PM
9 posts

Dear Clay and Sebastian, thank you for the reply. That is what I thought.

I have just ordered a 50Liter per day dehumidifier and will move it and the refiners in a 15m2 room, that will be sealed off as much as possible. I hope that will do the trick. I am not planning to aircon it, it is installed though. Lets see how low I can get the humidity.

I was also wondering about the temperer location. Which is better for moulding?

- a dehumidified room at 50%-60% humidity at 29-35C (80-95F)


- an aircon room at 60-75% humidity at 20C (70F)

I use a continous temperer with 2 temp zones

I am keeping ny moulds in the tempering room at 20C which might be too cold for them.

Setting of the chocolate in the moulds will have to be in the aircon room.

Thank you

09/19/15 08:24:08AM
754 posts

Generally speaking, the lower your humidity the better.  I think you'll have troubles if you're moulding in a hot (35C) room.    20C might be a bit cool, so i'd shoot for something in between personally.


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