Need Opinions on Cooling Fridge or Tunnel

jujucabra
@jujucabra
08/15/16 04:06:30PM
7 posts

We are a small scale confectionery, still fine tuning our processes, and I am in need of a cooling tunnel or chocolate fridge. Any leads on small-scale equipment would be appreciated!

We temper 25# batches (often with inclusions), hand-fill molds and then vibrate with a small dental vibrator. Our current method is putting bar molds in the fridg for 15-20 minutes and then transferring to a speed rack with cover/AC unit - this is proving to be unsatisfactory, so we're ready to move on to the next step. 

Thanks in advance!

Clay Gordon
@clay
08/15/16 04:33:02PM
1,678 posts

When you say "This is proving to be unsatisfactory" can you provide some more information about what ways? Throughput? Quality?




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clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
jujucabra
@jujucabra
08/15/16 05:19:19PM
7 posts

We are experiencing unheard of levels of fat bloom in our finished product, which we believe to be environmental. The relative humidity of the cooling rooms are below 50%, but at time the temperature fluctuates, as it did this weekend, when a batch of 450 bars were setting.

Pics below.

bloomedmocha0815.jpg

Clay Gordon
@clay
08/16/16 11:40:17AM
1,678 posts

Is this on the surface or all the way through? What's the texture of the bars that ar affected?

Do you have a recording thermometer/hygrometer? What's the temperature of the room ... and what's the temperature of the fridge?




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clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
antonino allegra
@antonino-allegra
08/18/16 06:24:58AM
143 posts

If you plan to only do chocolate bars then i can suggest a tempering unit and  vertical folded tunnel as Clay suggested. It saves space and is very efficient.

However, if you plan to do other items (enrobing) an horizontal tunnel will be a good compromise. You just need quite a long one tho...

Clay Gordon
@clay
08/18/16 01:15:13PM
1,678 posts

antonino allegra:

If you plan to only do chocolate bars then i can suggest a tempering unit and  vertical folded tunnel as Clay suggested. It saves space and is very efficient.

However, if you plan to do other items (enrobing) an horizontal tunnel will be a good compromise. You just need quite a long one tho...

Keep in mind that a cooling tunnel that is designed for enrobed items is not optimal for molds as there is no airflow to the bottom of the mold. So - a purpose-built tunnel for molds is going to be better.

If you are doing batches of 450 bars at a time, the question I have is how many batches per day and week are you doing. If the answer is one then a fridge designed for holding and crystallizing chocolate is going to be a better idea. It will be much smaller and much less expensive.




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clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
jujucabra
@jujucabra
12/28/16 10:05:32PM
7 posts

Update - we got our temperature under control, still using a makeshift cooling tunnel (covered speed rack, perforated sheet pans, AC unit) with good results. We are producing approx 25 molds at a time, but plan to bump that to 50 as soon as we get our electricity sorted in this building. I'm planning our expansion to another workshop, and getting opinions on machinery - the FBM Clima 50 is looking mighty nice to me. Clay, any thoughts on that? 

Clay Gordon
@clay
12/30/16 02:06:57PM
1,678 posts

The Clima is good option when you need to balance throughput with available space. The Clima is not cheap when compared with some DIY solutions, but it requires very little space (comparatively) and it's easy to put molds onto the Clima input belt without having to move from the depositor so in that respect it's quite labor efficient. At roughly 3.5 molds/minute (timing can be adjusted to increase/decrease time in the tunnel based on cavity thickness) the cooling time is about 13 minutes. We have success cooling 100gr bars in molds with 3 cavities at this speed.

You can find a downloadable US/60Hz catalog page here. Pricing may change in January, so prices are guideline only (as it's December 30 and there's no time to place an order before Jan 1).




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clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
Jim Dutton
@jim-dutton
01/01/17 10:50:57AM
76 posts

"a fridge designed for holding and crystallizing chocolate is going to be a better idea."

I did not know of such a fridge. Is it possible to get a link to an example?

Clay Gordon
@clay
01/02/17 11:13:24AM
1,678 posts

Jim -

Angel Refrigeration in the UK represents Everlasting and other brands, and I am their agent in the US. Everlasting makes several temperature and humidity-controlled cabinets specifically for chocolate.

Here is a link to Everlasting chocolate refrigeration products on the Angel Refrigeration web site. The option I recommend most is not listed, but it's a two-door version of the Choc71 and Choc101 solid-door models. The two doors are arranged one over the other (not side by side), so you are only opening half the fridge at a time. The 71 holds Euro-sized sheet pans (which you can order through Angel). The 101 holds US-sized sheet pans through the inclusion of racks along the sides. If you are interested I can get you prices.

:: Clay




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clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
Jim Dutton
@jim-dutton
01/03/17 01:46:30PM
76 posts

Don't go to a huge amount of trouble, but I would help if I had approximate pricing on the mini-refrigerator model. My space limitations (as well as what I'm guessing the model you recommended would cost) suggest the mini would be more my speed.

Clay Gordon
@clay
01/03/17 06:29:05PM
1,678 posts

Jim Dutton:

Don't go to a huge amount of trouble, but I would help if I had approximate pricing on the mini-refrigerator model. My space limitations (as well as what I'm guessing the model you recommended would cost) suggest the mini would be more my speed.

Jim - no trouble as I am in fairly regular contact with the people at Angel Refrigeration (Everlasting does not sell retail so it is necessary to go through a dealer and there is no US dealer). I don't think these are available in 120V, but I can get in 220V single-phase.




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clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
Jim Dutton
@jim-dutton
01/03/17 07:17:29PM
76 posts

My brief search to find out what a 220V single-phase appliance actually entails for a U.S. house was not conclusive (or, more likely, I didn't understand what I read). If that conversion takes a lot of effort/expense, then don't go to the trouble of checking the price.

Clay Gordon
@clay
01/03/17 07:31:42PM
1,678 posts

Jim:

You can get away with up-converting 120V to 220V for this application -- I did not know that this would be put to use in a home setting. The Clima is 220V 3-phase, so not something you'd put into a residential setting.

An electronic converter that is designed for use with appliances will be fine. I have a couple of options I could recommend in the ~$100 range.




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clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
bullionchocolate
@bullionchocolate
05/01/17 05:03:23PM
7 posts

Hi Clay,

I was hoping you could help. I know you have experience with Choc 71 chocolate fridges. Before i commit to buying one. I just wanted your opinion on how effective they are. Do they guarantee no bloom / streaks on the back of the chocolate. Marks that are normally caused by the environment i.e humidity.

Any feedback would be fantastic.

Many thanks,

Max 

Clay Gordon
@clay
05/01/17 11:46:06PM
1,678 posts

bullionchocolate:

Hi Clay,

I was hoping you could help. I know you have experience with Choc 71 chocolate fridges. Before i commit to buying one. I just wanted your opinion on how effective they are. Do they guarantee no bloom / streaks on the back of the chocolate. Marks that are normally caused by the environment i.e humidity.

Any feedback would be fantastic.

Many thanks,

Max 

Max:

If your tempering skills are bollocks then the fridge will not guarantee good results. However - assuming the chocolate is well-tempered, the fridge will do a great job of cooling it down so the result is its yummiest; no streaks on the backs, could reduce the number and severity of release marks (but cleanliness is one contributing factor there).

Short of a very expensive dedicated mold cooling tunnel or an Irinox cabinet, this is a great option.

:: Clay




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clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
Juliana Desmond
@juliana-desmond
05/16/17 08:20:00PM
6 posts

Hi Clay,

I am in the market for a cooling cabinet and was hoping for some suggestions. We are a very small kitchen just starting our cannabis chocolate in Tucson, Arizona. I am considering Hilliards cooling cabinet which is in the $3500 price range. Do you have any recomendations for alternatives with a similar price and size? I appreciate any help! Thank you :) 


updated by @juliana-desmond: 05/16/17 10:37:52PM
LLY
@lly
07/22/18 05:56:11PM
52 posts

Clay Gordon:

Jim -

Angel Refrigeration in the UK represents Everlasting and other brands, and I am their agent in the US. Everlasting makes several temperature and humidity-controlled cabinets specifically for chocolate.

Here is a link to Everlasting chocolate refrigeration products on the Angel Refrigeration web site.

Clay, what do you say about the blast chillers?

https://www.vantagehouse.com/chocolate-equipment-results/BLAST-CHILLERS/Blast-Chillers

Should generate very quick cooling times; but, does it create a thermal shock?

Cheers

Clay Gordon
@clay
07/23/18 11:07:20AM
1,678 posts

LLY:

Clay, what do you say about the blast chillers?

https://www.vantagehouse.com/chocolate-equipment-results/BLAST-CHILLERS/Blast-Chillers

Should generate very quick cooling times; but, does it create a thermal shock?

Cheers

You do not want to use a blast chiller – the goal is to cool things down to about -40F as quickly as possible. Thermal shock is an understatement.




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clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
LLY
@lly
07/26/18 11:36:26AM
52 posts


Quote:

You do not want to use a blast chiller – the goal is to cool things down to about -40F as quickly as possible. Thermal shock is an understatement.

As far as I'm concerned they are adapted to chocolate, i.e. higher temp and different air flow, aren't they?


The generic term 'blast' might be confusing.


updated by @lly: 07/26/18 11:38:22AM
Clay Gordon
@clay
07/26/18 12:14:49PM
1,678 posts

LLY:


Quote:

You do not want to use a blast chiller – the goal is to cool things down to about -40F as quickly as possible. Thermal shock is an understatement.

As far as I'm concerned they are adapted to chocolate, i.e. higher temp and different air flow, aren't they?


The generic term 'blast' might be confusing.

I was not being clear. The goal of a blast chiller is to cool things down very quickly. This is to reduce the size of ice crystals that might form as much as possible. Large ice crystals formed during slow freezing damage cell walls and so, when thawed, e.g., result in soggy fruit. 

A good temperature range for crystallizing chocolate is about 13-15C not -40C (which is = -40F). 




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clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
LLY
@lly
08/02/18 02:19:08AM
52 posts

I had a quick chat with the UK representatives, they said that the temperature inside the blast chillers is around 12C but the ventilation is very good; therefore, it works only in small-medium size fridges.    

Anyhow, they are more suitable for micro-batch. The highly recommended one is the 71 choc fridge that could accomodate up to 80 moulds at a given moment, I will go for it🙂


updated by @lly: 08/02/18 02:24:04AM
Clay Gordon
@clay
08/02/18 12:11:54PM
1,678 posts

I have been in touch with the UK importer of Everlasting (Angel Refrigeration) for at least four years and have sold several of the 100-series units to chocolate makers here in the US. 

If you look at the specs for the blast chillers the goal is to be able to take product from 90C at the center to 3C at the center in under 90 minutes. Shock freezing takes product from 90C at the center down to -18C. 

NOW, if you can set the temperature of the blast chill cycle to ~12C that could work.

If you are looking at a 71-series cabinet, get the 72-series cabinet with the double doors. Slightly more expensive but you could, for example, use the bottom half for short-term storage and the top half for crystallization. In any event, when you open one door you're only pulling cool air from one half of the cabinet and so recovery time will be faster.




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

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