About to give up!

Lisa - Girasole Chocolate
@lisa-girasole-chocolate
07/08/10 05:09:46PM
24 posts

Hello my friends,

I'm going to try one last time to get this "tempering" thing down before I throw the machine in the street and run it over repeatedly!!! It's just not adding up....I follow directions very well but I'm obviously doing something wrong or screwing up a particular step in the process. Please....if someone out there uses the ACMC Tempering Machine I would appreciate it if you could tell me where I am going wrong.

I use Guittard Couverture Milk, White and Dark

Start temp at 115 degrees and leave at temp for 10-20 min.

Turn on rotation motor once chocolate starts to melt.

After 10-20 minutes, add 1/3 chocolate to seed,

reduce temp to (below) and leave at temp for 10 min.

For Milk 84, White 82, Dark 86

Bring temp back up to temp (below) and leave for 10 min.

For Milk 86, White 86, Dark 88

Chocolate should be ready to use.

I'm very sad because I am not enjoying this any longer. One day my chocolate comes out beautiful and the next day it is absolutely horrible! I would appreciate any help before I throw in the towel.

Lisa


updated by @lisa-girasole-chocolate: 04/18/15 10:34:08PM
Sebastian
@sebastian
07/08/10 08:01:15PM
754 posts
call guittard, ask for thalia, give her your lot number and describe what you're doing, and she'll walk you through it in more detail 8-)
Bayla Sussman
@bayla-sussman
07/08/10 11:29:04PM
10 posts
I love my ACMC's.I think Sebastian's advice sounds good. Are you adding the seed too early. Is it too melted by time you get to the right temperature for crystalization?Once you get it, the fun will be back.Sometimes it gets so humid here in Vrginia that I don't get quite the shine I want, but I still get the snap.
Ruth Atkinson Kendrick
@ruth-atkinson-kendrick
07/09/10 12:51:39AM
194 posts
I have an ACMC but haven't used it for awhile. I would put the chocolate in, set the temp at 115, put on cover and walk away. Maybe over night, maybe for a few hours. Start spinning, lower temp to working temp, fill the back of the bowl with callets. Wait until lower temp is reached. Test on parchment and proceed. My Hillard is on the same principle, and it works beautifully. The chocolate in the back of the bowl seeds the rest. You can dip while there is unmelted chocolate behind the baffle. In fact, you should always have unmelted chocolate in the back. Thalia is a good suggestion also:-) She is very knowledgeable. p.s. I use my E Guittard dark at 90-91, milk at about 88 and white about 87.
Lisa - Girasole Chocolate
@lisa-girasole-chocolate
07/09/10 08:28:42AM
24 posts
Perhaps you are right! My seeding chocolate is always completely melted by the time it reaches the proper temp. I think I will wait until the temp drop a little more before adding. I just wanted to make sure that it all melted by the time it was ready to use. It's hard to scoop out all those little wafers before using. Lisa
Lisa - Girasole Chocolate
@lisa-girasole-chocolate
07/09/10 08:29:04AM
24 posts
Thank you....I will call her today!
Lisa - Girasole Chocolate
@lisa-girasole-chocolate
07/09/10 08:31:29AM
24 posts
I thought you were suppose to add seeding chocolate to the front of baffle? (already melted chocolate)
Lisa - Girasole Chocolate
@lisa-girasole-chocolate
07/09/10 08:37:51AM
24 posts
One more question....are the temps you gave me the temps you use to work with when ready to use or, are these the temps you temper with before raising to working temp?
Carlos Eichenberger
@carlos-eichenberger
07/09/10 09:43:42AM
158 posts
Lisa -- I don't use seed chocolate in the ACMC at all... For milk it goes up to 120, dark 125, then down to 79-80 for milk, 81-82 for dark, then back up to 90 working for milk and 92 for dark. The chocolate needs to only just reach the low temps before you raise them again. This has given me consistent results for the past 2 years.Also, your room conditions are of paramount importance. Temp and humidity should not be too high or your work will be affected.
Ruth Atkinson Kendrick
@ruth-atkinson-kendrick
07/09/10 09:57:04AM
194 posts
It goes to the back of the divider. That way, seed continues to melt, seeding the chocolate. I don't drop the temp and then raise again. Just melt, and set the working temp. The seed chocolate mixes in with the melted chocolate. If you don't want to use seed, do like Cheebs and drop the temp lower and bring up to working temp.
Sebastian
@sebastian
07/09/10 10:01:09AM
754 posts
There are many ways to temper chocolate. All of them depend on getting the right type of cocoa butter crystal to form. Heres just a very brief overview of two you're likely using:1) Seeding - it's the addition of properly tempered chocolate or cocoa butter (containing the right type of cocoa butter crystal already) to your untempered mass (wrong types of crystals, or none at all). Two things are critical for this to work - 1) the starting seed chocolate/ccb MUST be in temper 2) the temperature of your liquid chocolate AFTER the seed has been added and melted MUST be between 87-92F (varies by type of chocolate).2) Tempering - this is the process of FORMING the right type of crystal, not adding it. You need to melt your chocolate to 115 F (or so) to 'erase' any 'memory' (melt all the crystals out, the good and the bad). Then you drop your temperature to about 80F (mas o menos - it varies by type of chocolate), while agitating it (the bowl is rotating). This forms 4 different types of crystals - some the ones you want, some ones you don't want. To get rid of the ones you don't want, after you've reached your ~80F temperature, you raise your temperature to ~87-92F. This melts out the 'bad' ones while retaining the 'good' crystals. If you go over 92F, you need to start over as you've likely melted all your good ones.As someone noted, if your room temperature is too hot, it doesn't matter if you achieve temper in your unit, an the room temp will simply destroy it again. Tempering's actually very simple once you get it down, but there are a ton of little factors that can impact it.
Andrea B
@andrea-bauer
07/09/10 03:37:55PM
92 posts
I don't use this type of tempering machine but you should also verify that your chocolate is actually reaching the temperatures you set the machine to at each stage. I'd probably test it a number of times over several different attempts to temper just to be sure. I also thought your temperatures were a bit off (i.e. I melt to 120 degrees initially and then the seed temps I use are different as are the working temps) but that already seems to have been addressed as well as other variables like air temperature and humidity. I hope you don't give up and can work this out. Andrea
Jeff Stern
@jeff-stern
07/09/10 08:51:01PM
78 posts
First, you should check the temperature ranges for tempering your different chocolates-these can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. I know, for example, Barry Callebaut prints them on their bars of courverture. Dark is usually more like a 90-92F range, milk and 86-88, and milk 83-86ish. Second, dont add seed until its nearly down to the range of temper (proper crystallization). That is, add your seed for dark around 95 or lower-it works fastest if you add small pieces that will completely melt, preferably shavings of tempered chocolate-or you can add a chunk, give it more time, and then fish out whats not melted once youre ready to go to work and its tempered. You dont need to go through the whole temperature curve for tempering if you are seeding, that may be part of your problem. When initially melting the chocolate however, make sure the temperature is up there at 110 or so, that guarantees all crystals, good and bad, are melted out. When you have added your seed, give it at least 15 minutes or more, check it on the back of a spoon. It should set up in no more than 2-3 minutes in a 62-68F degree environment, which is optimal for chocolate work. You should observe it closely, the chocolate should look uniform, with no spotting, blotches or streaks. If it sets up quickly but still has any of these characteristics, the chocolate is either not completely tempered yet (crystallization is not homogenous throughout your batch), or you have some bad crystals, or both. Give it more time and movement, and check again. If the spotting, blotchiness, or streaks dont go away, start over from 110F again. Hope this is useful. Best of luck,Jeff
Dave Elliott
@dave-elliott
07/10/10 01:23:03AM
17 posts
I've been having similar frustrations with a newly acquired chocovision rev2. I got great results for a couple of batches and now I'm getting some streaking and swirls.What approaches are people using after pouring their molds? I've had drastically different results depending on whether I refrigerate. The non-refrigerated molds are not tempering, while bars placed in the fridge about 20-30 minutes after pouring are fairly well tempered, but with some minor blemishes.The temperature in my work area is around 75, but humidity has been very high lately due to heavy rains.Thanks to all for the useful suggestions!
Dave Elliott
@dave-elliott
07/10/10 01:25:18AM
17 posts
I had been wondering why the rev2 called for adding seed chocolate at the beginning of the temper cycle when the melted chocolate is still at 108. The seed is pretty useless until the front of the baffle melted chocolate is below 95, right? I'm going to try grating my seed and adding at a lower temp as per your rec. Thanks!
Lisa - Girasole Chocolate
@lisa-girasole-chocolate
07/10/10 09:25:17AM
24 posts
Thank you Jeff and everyone else that has responded to my question. I have lots of good tips now to try and improve my results. It's so frustrating when you get a good result and try a second time only to flop! I will master this chocolate thingy if it kills me! Thanks again everyone for all your help. Lisa
Bayla Sussman
@bayla-sussman
07/10/10 11:08:28AM
10 posts
David,I have a Chocovision too. If you add a large block of seed after you hit the blinking light, you can lift it out again when your chocolate is tempered. (Learned this from Genie Ranck of The Chocolate Spike.) Why they specify adding seed at this point? Not sure, but is works. You can call them or ask at a show; they are very nice. Adding shavings is a good idea when you are seeding manually.For molding: that humidity can be killer. That said, do you bring your mold temperature up so you're not pouring warm chocolate into a cold mold. Do you wipe out your molds first with a cotton dish towel, maybe there are release marks? Do you have a fan to circulate the air above the molds once poured? Do you let the chocolate start to set up before refrigerating?As for the temperature of your workplace: I know there are two schools of thought. I've been taught to keep the temperature at 65 to 68. And I've been taught to keep the temperature at 74. Both have worked for me. When the room is warmer, into the cool room or fridge faster. Humidity? Lately I've been living in a sauna and the A/C can't keep up. We do our best. I have a dedicated unit in the cool room, but it's still a problem. We do our best.Hope this helps.
Dave Elliott
@dave-elliott
07/10/10 11:51:27AM
17 posts
Thanks Bayla - those are useful tips. Hadn't thought of the fan. I tried refrigerating directly after pouring and also after the chocolate sets. Similar results: decent snap and temper, but with small blemishes (release marks I believe). The immediate refrigeration bars had a bit less shine to them.I just learned that polycarbonate molds need some special care in the last week and am starting to polish more assiduously - it's a drag!Say hello to the Virginia mountains for me - I miss them!

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