I need to buy a micrometer to measure the chocolate thickness.
Which one do you use?
Which one shouldwe use?
updated by @omar-montilla: 04/10/15 04:44:55PM
I didnt knew about this kind of tools (I do know). Have you test it?.
I think this will be more difficult to find in Venezuela but I am going to look for. I couldn't find in Amazon either.
We order a balls mill to refine chocolate but our "machine maker" (a temperamental one) tell us that he was going to do a colloid mill. He said that the colloid mill will do the same work. If it didnt he will build the balls mill. We need the micrometer to see if the colloid mill realy works.
A grind gage will do ok for rough and dirty process control. will do a terrible job at PSD.
Lots of different types of colloid mills. Be sure you run your product, at your formulation, through the mill before you spend a lot of money to buy it. You'll want to understand if it makes what you think it will before you own it. Regardless, after coilloid or ball milling, you're going to have another grinding step, i assume? Or are you planning on running your milk, sugars, and nibs through the colloid mill? Probably not what you want to hear, but i don't think i'd treat a colloid mill as a 'one stop grinding shop'.
Edit - i'm afraid omar, that you'll find that any tool, used to measure micron precision, that's worth using at all, will likely cost more than you think it will, and take longer than you'd like it to for it to arrive. You'll have to decide if it's a need to have or a nice to have.
We are going to buy cacao liquor, cacao butter, milk and sugar, and we are going to have a machine, intended to be used before the refining process as blender (mixer) and after for the conching process.
Im afraid to but I think its a "need to have". At this point Im just want to make the best choice.
chocolate is a suspension of mostly solids in a bit of fat, the more fat you add, the more disperse your solids are, and the less likely that they'll be 'stacked' or agglomerated together on your measuring device. strictly speaking, you don't need to add a dispersant to your chocolate to measure it, but it sure does help with the precision.
Remember there are caveats with any tool. Caliper type micrometers with spinner adjustments:
1) only measure the largest piece in the sample, and the sample presented to the tool is very, very small
2) can actually crush the largest piece by using the spinner to close the gap, thereby resulting in a smaller reading than it should be (can compensate for this at some level by having a pressure guage affixed to it)
3) only measure in one axis. ie, if you put a pencil in it and measure the width of it, you'll get a small reading. however, it's unlikely the pencil would be presented in such a fashion as to have the tool 'see' it from eraser to lead - which would be a much, much larger reading. those types of shapes exist in chocolate.
Still a very useful tool, just need to be aware of what it's actually telling you and what it's limitations are 8-)
It's important to have the right tool for the right job. Each tool has it's limitations, and once you ID the right tool, it's just as important to understand how to use the tool. For the vast majority of folks on this site, a micrometer will likely be the right tool - as long as it's used right. For this group of people, actually, the mouth itself is probably the right tool. Given sufficient experience, I've found that I've been able to 'resolve' down to 15-16 um particle size (largest particle), w/in a +/- 4/5 um range. Most of you making chocolate here aren't going to need a deep, deep understanding of particle size, shape, or distribution, and spending lots and lots of money to get a number that your tongue could probably tell you may not be money well spent.
It's important to ask yourself "why do i need this piece of information, and what will i do with it". If the # itself isn't important to you , and really the information you're looking for is 'do i have a chocolate with a good mouthfeel or not' then just put it in your mouth 8-)