Forum Activity for @Ben Rasmussen

Potomac Chocolate
@Potomac Chocolate
06/05/15 10:17:55AM
191 posts

Opinion on Continuous v Batch Tempering


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

@aura An older model Savage Bros. 50lb table top tempering machine.

Potomac Chocolate
@Potomac Chocolate
06/03/15 09:03:19AM
191 posts

Opinion on Continuous v Batch Tempering


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

The Savage Bros. temperers do not need to be seeded. They use a water jacket hooked up to a cold water supply to cool the chocolate.

Also, I haven't had any issue with keeping the pump warm, but not too warm. Just run it on the timer with the heater off. 

Potomac Chocolate
@Potomac Chocolate
05/18/15 12:23:02PM
191 posts

A Visit to Potomac Chocolate


Posted in: Travels & Adventures

Thanks Ruth and Kerry! I had a great time meeting all of you! Thanks Ruth for setting it up!

Potomac Chocolate
@Potomac Chocolate
05/08/15 09:37:23AM
191 posts

Bug reports


Posted in: FAQs on Using the new Site

Hi Clay. 

Any news on getting the group discussions updated? In my opinion, they're almost useless now, since there's no way to easily see when a thread was last updated.

Also, the search results issue I mentioned in my 3/12/15 post is still happening.

Thanks,
Ben

Potomac Chocolate
@Potomac Chocolate
04/09/15 08:21:21AM
191 posts

Need help with tempering machine


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

It should help, but it'll still take a long time. Making the room cooler, or pointing an a/c unit at the tank would help, too. Adding seed or tabling would be much quicker, though.

Potomac Chocolate
@Potomac Chocolate
04/08/15 11:54:05AM
191 posts

Need help with tempering machine


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

The process you describe should work fine, but it will probably take a long time to cool. I don't believe the jkv-30 has any active cooling, right? Does it just circulate air around the tank? You could probably speed it up some by adding a fan on the chocolate.

Potomac Chocolate
@Potomac Chocolate
03/20/15 10:00:47AM
191 posts

History of Tempering


Posted in: History of Chocolate

Hi Robert,

I found this reference in 'Chocolate: History, Culture and Heritage' (page 1672 in the link, but page 620 in the hardcover version):

https://books.google.com/books?id=zwVS5gsJMUcC&lpg=PP1&dq=chocolate%20history%20culture%20and%20heritage&pg=PA1672#v=onepage&q=tempering&f=false

It doesn't say much, though.

-Ben

p.s. good to 'see' you! I hope things are going well.

Potomac Chocolate
@Potomac Chocolate
03/12/15 10:33:51AM
191 posts

Bug reports


Posted in: FAQs on Using the new Site

Hi Clay, 

I just noticed something when doing a search. I did a search on 'pricing' looking for an old thread to send to a friend and several of the results didn't display a title or link. So, it was impossible to actually click through to the thread.

There are a couple on the third page of results:

https://www.thechocolatelife.com/search/results/jrForum/3/10/search_string=pricing

There's one by me and one further down by Matt Caputo that aren't working. There's also one on the second page of results.

Thanks,
Ben

Potomac Chocolate
@Potomac Chocolate
02/17/15 02:38:33PM
191 posts

Bug reports


Posted in: FAQs on Using the new Site

Hi Clay,

Yes, I'm referring to the sorting of the discussions themselves, and what info is shown about the discussions, on the group pages. You previously changed the sorting of the comments in a discussion to be much more readable.

Thanks,
Ben

Potomac Chocolate
@Potomac Chocolate
02/16/15 08:40:51AM
191 posts

Bug reports


Posted in: FAQs on Using the new Site

Hi Clay,

Just wanted to bring the group discussions back up. Currently, they show when the thread was started and the number of replies, and are sorted according to start date. On the previous site, they showed, and were sorted by, the last comment date. I think the previous way was much more useful, as it made it easy to see which threads have been updated recently. On older threads in particular, new comments could easily go unread with the current method.

-Ben


updated by @Potomac Chocolate: 09/10/15 07:56:52AM
Potomac Chocolate
@Potomac Chocolate
01/30/15 01:53:05PM
191 posts

Bug reports


Posted in: FAQs on Using the new Site

The home brew chocolate group seems to be missing.

Potomac Chocolate
@Potomac Chocolate
01/29/15 03:18:29PM
191 posts

Looking to purchase 65lb grinder/melanger


Posted in: Classifieds

@clay: not having to tip the melanger to empty it sounds very nice. :)


updated by @Potomac Chocolate: 01/29/15 03:18:53PM
Potomac Chocolate
@Potomac Chocolate
01/28/15 11:48:56AM
191 posts

Bug reports


Posted in: FAQs on Using the new Site

Thanks Clay. The reordered comments are working for me, and are much better, in my opinion.

And thanks for looking into the search funtionality. Let me know if there's anything I can do to help.

Potomac Chocolate
@Potomac Chocolate
01/28/15 09:01:11AM
191 posts

Bug reports


Posted in: FAQs on Using the new Site

Just noticed an issue with the search function. It appears that it only searches titles for group discussions, and the first post for forum discussions.

As examples, a search for the word 'foil' does not return the following group discussion, which has 'foil' in the first post:

http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/group_discuss/1134/chocolate-bar-wrappers

...and a search for 'infrared' does not return the following forum discussion, which has 'infrared' in the second post:

http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/forum/tech-help-tips-tricks-techniques/4441/chocolate-thermometers


updated by @Potomac Chocolate: 02/16/15 10:19:18AM
Potomac Chocolate
@Potomac Chocolate
01/28/15 08:56:17AM
191 posts

Bug reports


Posted in: FAQs on Using the new Site

Thanks Clay. I think the search results look a little weird since they're inconsistent between the forum results (with detail) and the group results (without detail). My preference would definitely be to have the group results show the same detail as the forum results. It just gives you a little more info to help you decide which link to click.

For the group discussion comments, I would definitely prefer them to be oldest to newest. This is how the forum discussions work, so it would be consistent. But I also think it just makes more sense, considering that existing/older discussions on this site are used as a resource for new and existing users. Newest to oldest may work ok if you're actively tracking an ongoing discussion (although, I think oldest-to-newest makes more sense for this, too), but doesn't when referring back to it later or reading a discussion for the first time. In those cases, the user would read the original post at the top, then jump to the last page and scroll to the bottom, and then read a comment, scroll up to the top of the next comment, read down, scroll up, and so on.

Potomac Chocolate
@Potomac Chocolate
01/27/15 06:51:27PM
191 posts

Bug reports


Posted in: FAQs on Using the new Site

Yep, I see the Shared Journey discussion now, too. I think it just didn't register that it was a link to the discussion since it didn't have the date, icon, first lines, etc. I must have just thought it was another section header.

The first post I see on that discussion is yours of 12/1/14, which is the most recent comment posted to that thread.

Thanks,
Ben

Potomac Chocolate
@Potomac Chocolate
01/27/15 02:00:40PM
191 posts

Bug reports


Posted in: FAQs on Using the new Site

Thanks for looking into this Clay. The discussion that I first noticed this was this one:

http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/group_discuss/1068/barbecue-grill-convert-to-roaster

But the issue is much more apparent on a thread with more comments, like this one:

http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/group_discuss/666/shared-journey

It would be very awkward to ready that discussion start-to-finish with the current sorting.

On a separate issue, the search doesn't seem to search the group discussions. I tried to search for 'shared journey' but it didn't find the thread linked above.


updated by @Potomac Chocolate: 01/27/15 02:00:55PM
Potomac Chocolate
@Potomac Chocolate
01/27/15 01:07:44PM
191 posts

Bug reports


Posted in: FAQs on Using the new Site

Hi Clay. In the group discussions, is it possible to have comments displayed chronologically top-to-bottom like they are in the forums? Currently, they're showing in reverse order which makes it difficult to read an entire conversation.

Also, is it possible to have the group discussion list be ordered by the date of the last comment, instead of the creation date (again, like the forums)? 

Thanks,
Ben

Potomac Chocolate
@Potomac Chocolate
12/18/14 12:17:36PM
191 posts

DIY Winnower


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

Yep, exactly.

You'll need to change the way you control airflow, though. My thinking was to replicate what I'm doing with my winnower, and use a pvc ball valve. So, I would hook a PVC "T" connector to the husk output of the zigzag winnower. One side would go to the dust deputy and the other would point straight up and go to a ball valve. By adjusting the valve, you'd control the airflow through the winnower.

Potomac Chocolate
@Potomac Chocolate
12/18/14 11:51:06AM
191 posts

DIY Winnower


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

Thanks! I look forward to seeing the video.

One idea would be to hook it straight up to a vortex dust collector on a 5-gallon bucket, replacing the built-in shell collection chamber. I use one for my current winnower and can winnow 30 Kg or more before having to empty it.

Potomac Chocolate
@Potomac Chocolate
12/18/14 11:10:54AM
191 posts

DIY Winnower


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

I'd love to see it in action, too! What kind of yield are you getting? Any problems with husks in the nibs or vice versa?

Potomac Chocolate
@Potomac Chocolate
12/18/14 08:10:54AM
191 posts

What to do about To'ak Chocolate?


Posted in: Opinion

Thanks Annmarie! :)

Potomac Chocolate
@Potomac Chocolate
12/17/14 03:30:06PM
191 posts

What to do about To'ak Chocolate?


Posted in: Opinion

When I'm doing it, I'm aging it untempered in a block. In the discussions, others say they're aging tempered bars, though.

Potomac Chocolate
@Potomac Chocolate
12/17/14 03:19:39PM
191 posts

What to do about To'ak Chocolate?


Posted in: Opinion

Hi Annmarie,

I haven't had To'ak or looked too closely into any of their claims. That being said, there are several discussions on these forums, as well as elsewhere, debating the benefits (or lack thereof) to aging chocolate. Personally, I age one of my chocolates and feel that it results in a much better flavor (the other two don't really benefit from aging). I've also spoken with another maker, who makes some of my favorite chocolate, who mentioned that one of their chocolates is aged for over a year before it is ready.

All this is to say that the claim that their bars gets better with age is not necessarily an outrageous claim.

-Ben

p.s. I agree that the bar in the photo does appear to have some tempering issues.

Potomac Chocolate
@Potomac Chocolate
12/11/14 12:57:29PM
191 posts

rpm few Melanger has a 24-inch?


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

Hi Mariano,

Most of the melangers go around 120-140 rpm, but I'd include speed control if I was building one. How are you making it? Care to share your design?

-Ben

Potomac Chocolate
@Potomac Chocolate
12/04/14 12:48:34PM
191 posts

Thermoformed mold idea


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

Something like this was discussed in this thread:http://www.thechocolatelife.com/forum/topics/mold-release-ring-formation-issue-in-mold

In that one, though, the idea was to glue a rigid bar to the bottom of a mold.

For yours, I think you may have problems with the mold retaining temperature and the bars not cooling correctly. Do you warm your molds?

Potomac Chocolate
@Potomac Chocolate
09/29/14 10:33:35AM
191 posts

Roaster review


Posted in: Opinion

I was recently emailing with another small chocolate maker who told me about an upgrade to the Behmor that gives a lot more control (although not complete control). You can set the power to the heating elements from 0% to 100% in 25% increments as well as switch the drum speed between 8 and 16 rpm.

I believe that the new Behmor 1600 Plus is basically the old Behmor with this upgrade already installed. I think this would be good for doing tests on bean samples or small batches.

Potomac Chocolate
@Potomac Chocolate
09/28/14 08:11:32AM
191 posts

Sweating Sea Salt


Posted in: Tasting Notes

I had this happen to me a few times in the past, but it was due to the humidity in the room. I haven't had it happen again since I got that under control.

Potomac Chocolate
@Potomac Chocolate
09/25/14 08:56:18AM
191 posts

Cocoatown Melanger Belt Change


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

If I remember correctly, I think the belts on the small melangers are about 3 feet long.

Potomac Chocolate
@Potomac Chocolate
09/08/14 08:14:15AM
191 posts

Liquering


Posted in: Opinion

I'm not sure what you mean by liquoring. Do you just mean that the chocolate maker who makes the chocolate you use does not pre-grind his nibs before further refining? If so, I don't think that should cause the problems you're having, as that's what myself and many other makers do, and the resulting chocolate tempers fine.

Potomac Chocolate
@Potomac Chocolate
09/02/14 08:16:29AM
191 posts

tempering which is better Hilliard's Little Dippe or chocovision revolation delta?


Posted in: Tasting Notes

Hi Mariano. There's a lot of discussion on these two tempering machines (among others) on this forum. If you search for little dipper or chocovision, you can see what's already been said. I think there are a few threads that specifically compare the two.

-Ben

Potomac Chocolate
@Potomac Chocolate
09/02/14 08:10:12AM
191 posts

Dallas Chocolate Conference/Festival


Posted in: Uncategorized

Hi Jacob,

I've taken part in it for the past two years and will be again this year. Looking back through my emails, it looks like it's been called the 'DallasChocolate.org Chocolate Conference & Festival' since 2012.

The chocolate side of things this year looks to be as great as ever, with a lot of great chocolatiers and chocolate makers in attendance.

Santiago Peralta of Pacari will be doing a class on cacao growing and processing, and Art Pollard of Amano and I will be doing a class on the bean to bar process.

All in all, I think it will be a great event.

Ben

Potomac Chocolate
@Potomac Chocolate
08/11/14 07:18:38PM
191 posts

Display boxes for chocolate bars


Posted in: Classifieds

I've used various glues as well as a couple different 'glue tape' type things. The best I've found so far is the Scotch Tape Glider:

http://www.amazon.com/Scotch-Advanced-Glider-4-Inch-36-Yard/dp/B00409NNYM/ref=pd_bxgy_ac_text_y

The applicator is very handy when doing a lot of wrappers, and the tape is less expensive than any of the others I've tried.

Potomac Chocolate
@Potomac Chocolate
07/01/14 09:30:10AM
191 posts

Help - streaks in my chocolate


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

Hi Sabrina,

This is a pretty common problem that most of us have had at one time or another. There are a bunch of discussions about this here on the Chocolate Life. If you do a search for streaks, you'll find a lot of good info about how to avoid them.

Good luck!

Ben

Potomac Chocolate
@Potomac Chocolate
05/06/14 09:15:01AM
191 posts

CocoaTown Belt Shredding


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

What size belt does it use?

Potomac Chocolate
@Potomac Chocolate
05/05/14 01:41:41PM
191 posts

CocoaTown Belt Shredding


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

As has been suggested by Paul and in other discussions here on TCL, take a look at Power Twist fiberglass link belts. They don't stretch and seem to last forever. I used 3 small cocoatown melangers for a few years without having to change or even tighten the belt.

Potomac Chocolate
@Potomac Chocolate
04/29/14 07:57:38AM
191 posts

Cocoatown Melanger Belt Change


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

The older model ECGC12 that I had used a 3/8" width belt. I'm not sure what the newer model ECGC12SL uses, but I'd assume it is the same. I don't know how long it was/is, but it doesn't really matter since the link belt's length is easily adjusted.

Potomac Chocolate
@Potomac Chocolate
04/28/14 03:01:02PM
191 posts

Cocoatown Melanger Belt Change


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

I'd really recommend switching to the PowerTwist fiberglass link belt that Felipe linked above. They don't stretch and you'll probably never need to replace it. I ran a few Cocoatown ECGC-12s for 3 years or so using them without ever having to change or tighten the belt.

Potomac Chocolate
@Potomac Chocolate
04/27/14 09:47:20AM
191 posts

Chocolate Tempering Machine


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

Hi Siham. There are several discussions on this forum discussing tempering machines and people's opinions of them. I'm linking a couple of them below, but there are many more that you can search for.

-Ben

http://www.thechocolatelife.com/forum/topics/chocovision-x3210-or-delta-good-for-bean-to-bar

http://www.thechocolatelife.com/forum/topics/which-tempering-machine-to-purchase-fbm-gami-selmi-or-wheel-type

http://www.thechocolatelife.com/forum/topics/1978963:Topic:14103

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