Tempering tips for the tropics

B2B Matt
01/26/17 19:46:38
7 posts

Hi everyone,

First post from an aspirational (but currently hobbyist) chocolate maker! Thanks to all contributors for creating a wonderful site for learning and sharing. 

I am a British expat living in Brunei on the island of Borneo. I am currently making bean to bar chocolate from the local beans but i am struggling with consistency when it comes to my tempering results. I was wondering if anyone has tempering guidelines for working in a tropical climate. I do have AC in the house but I think the unevenness of my working room temperature/humidity does not help matters. 

Any guidelines that have been tried and tested would be greatly appreciated but I suspect my main problem area is with filled mould cooling. What would be an ideal ambient temperature? Should I use the fridge?

Thanks for your time


01/29/17 21:11:54
288 posts


I would suggest a bit of time in the fridge when the chocolate is beginning to show signs of crystallizing around the edges - when it starts to crystallize rapidly it gives off the latent heat of crystallization and can get warm enough to throw itself out of temper in spots. Depending on the size and thickness of the bar you are making - this can be 10 to 30 minutes. You don't want to leave the chocolate in the fridge until it cools completely or water will condense on the surface and cause sugar bloom when it evaporates.


B2B Matt
02/01/17 01:44:19
7 posts

Hi Kerry

Thanks very much for your input. I did not realise that the heat of crystallisation would be enough to do that, i have been measuring surface temps of the setting chocolate and have witnessed the plateau at 27.5 Deg C but did not think that would be allowing for alternative crystal formation. I will try the fridge!

Many thanks


Andy Koller
02/01/17 20:38:50
15 posts

Hi Matt,

Brunei sounds like an interesting place to make chocolate as I believe the consumption will rise in this country, similar to the Arabic countries.

To come back to your question: I work currently in Indonesia with a chocolate team and I can see that controlled air temperature and humidity are quite important to get stable recurring results. It's of course not the only source for failure, but one possible.
So it might not solve your problem but for sure make it a more stable process.

To harden out the chocolate after molding sure us the fridge, to cool down before final heating up to 32 degrees for tempering, you can use the fridge as well but be careful, can go very fast and the mass is to low in temperature and you will  have to start all over again.

Hope that helps (if I did understand your question correct).

Best, Andy


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