Forum Activity for @Sebastian

Sebastian
@Sebastian
01/07/17 07:39:23PM
754 posts

Help needed for a pest issue - 'warehouse moth'


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

Not at all.  Fumigate regularly.

Sebastian
@Sebastian
01/07/17 10:20:51AM
754 posts

Help needed for a pest issue - 'warehouse moth'


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

It would not prevent an infestation, since the larvea are already on the beans, and the beans would then mold if kept in a sealed plastic bag.

Sebastian
@Sebastian
01/02/17 04:44:24PM
754 posts

carmelized milk powder seize while grinding


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

Depending on how in depth you want to go, here's a bit of a primer on Tg of dairy powders, that touches a bit on the phenomenon over time.  Little dated, but still decent info.

Solid and Liquid States of Lactose - Springer

Sebastian
@Sebastian
01/02/17 01:57:11PM
754 posts

carmelized milk powder seize while grinding


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

It's likely a combination of denatured milk protein and amorphous lactose (having gone past it's glass transition temperature).  Keep your temperatures below 70C on your milk products and you shouldn't see this.  There is no way that i know of to process that hard material out once it has been formed.  Prevention is the key here.

Sebastian
@Sebastian
01/02/17 06:54:29AM
754 posts

carmelized milk powder seize while grinding


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

are the 'pieces' very hard and granular?

Sebastian
@Sebastian
01/01/17 02:34:47PM
754 posts

carmelized milk powder seize while grinding


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

My guesses:

1) You've got water coming in somewhere

2) You denatured your milk protein when you baked it (if your temp really was 30C higher than 75C - then I'd lean in this direction)

Sebastian
@Sebastian
12/06/16 02:29:01PM
754 posts

looking colloid mil


Posted in: Classifieds

To do what?  JML colloid mills are really inexpensive, and can work very, very well for making liquor out of nibs if that's the intent.   You'll need to clean the living daylights out of it before your first use, and will want to have a hot water loop jacketing it.  They can be found from many sources.

Sebastian
@Sebastian
11/23/16 12:20:16PM
754 posts

Chocolate bars bending in the fridge.


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

Remember, if you find you have an airflow issue, it's really very easy to add a small cooling fan(s) (similar to what computers use to cool their processes) to existing cooling cabinets.  Might be a more budget friendly option than buying new units.  Good luck!

Sebastian
@Sebastian
11/23/16 08:09:37AM
754 posts

Chocolate bars bending in the fridge.


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

well, not knowing your chocolate recipe and not being able to see exactly what you're doing, or  how you're doing it - makes it difficult to say what you must do.  I would say that adding cold inclusions/toppings certainly would be one of the things that i'd assess, as from here it appears that it certainly could be a factor.  Whether it is or not, or if it's the largest factor, remains to be seen...

Edit - do your bars tend to warp more if they're towards the top, mid, or bottom of that unit?  Or does it not seem to matter?


updated by @Sebastian: 11/23/16 08:19:24AM
Sebastian
@Sebastian
11/22/16 09:10:27PM
754 posts

Chocolate bars bending in the fridge.


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

If i'm reading that right, your inclusions are colder than your chocolate.  That'll cause localized cooling at a faster rate.  w/o knowing more about your cooling setup, it sounds to me like there's an uneven airflow issue.

Sebastian
@Sebastian
11/22/16 05:20:52PM
754 posts

Chocolate bars bending in the fridge.


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

A dollar says it's the result of uneven cooling.  Is your topping material about the same temperature as your chocolate?

You may wish to consider leaving your chocolate in the cooling unit longer.  You may also wish to put a fan into your cooling unit to move the air inside it around.

Sebastian
@Sebastian
11/19/16 12:20:36PM
754 posts

Chocolate bars bending in the fridge.


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

Specific formula please, and photos if you have them?

Sebastian
@Sebastian
11/15/16 05:31:09PM
754 posts

Hello World!


Posted in: Allow Me to Introduce Myself

Have fun with it!

Sebastian
@Sebastian
11/11/16 06:32:18AM
754 posts

Chocolate bars bending in the fridge.


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

Can you post your formula, your cooling settings (temperature both in and out of the cooling unit, time spent in both areas, etc), your bar dimensions, if there are any inclusions in it, and how you know you're tempered?

Sebastian
@Sebastian
11/08/16 06:50:12AM
754 posts

Malt extracts


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

Adding anything with water in it is going to be problematic for you to process.  Powder will be easier.

Sebastian
@Sebastian
11/02/16 06:44:32AM
754 posts

Milk Powders


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

50% isn't bad for a gut feel guess!  you remind me of a guy i used to work with.

Sebastian
@Sebastian
11/01/16 09:01:58PM
754 posts

Milk Powders


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

Peter - does your last name begin with a 'k', and you enjoy running, by chance?

Sebastian
@Sebastian
10/22/16 06:39:41PM
754 posts

Chocolate With Added Cocoa Powder


Posted in: Opinion

I think it's fair to say i understand a bit about that 8-)  i'm still curious as to what you think the average margins are for commercial confections though, given you'd indicated they were very very slim.

Sebastian
@Sebastian
10/16/16 07:42:44PM
754 posts

Chocolate With Added Cocoa Powder


Posted in: Opinion

Out of curiosity, what do you think commercial candy bar margins are?

Sebastian
@Sebastian
09/20/16 08:52:57PM
754 posts

Adding essential oils before or after you have tempered chocolate?


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

you're going to be adding so little to be honest it doesn't matter. Essential oils are incredibly concentrated.

Sebastian
@Sebastian
09/14/16 07:28:29PM
754 posts

coffee inclusions causing blooming HELP


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

Nothing special required here.  Make sure your chocolate and coffee are about the same temperature when you add the coffee - if that's not it, then chances are you're not tempering your chocolate as well as you think you are, or you've got humidity issues.

Sebastian
@Sebastian
08/30/16 02:49:21PM
754 posts

Inexplicable change in chocolate strucutre- please help


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

25 years of experience makes me say that 8-)  Unless you're using a temper meter, you're not going to be able to say with any certainty if you're tempered or not, or to what degree you're tempered.   Crystalline sugars will only vary in moisture by a few %'s max, so you're unlikely to get a significant moisture contribution from them, and even if you did, it's going to give you rheology problems instead of temper problems.  Unless you've got a 3rd variable that you didn't mention (ie oils of a different type - nuts, excess milk fats, etc) being added - it's almost assuredly a tempering problem. Thermocouples drift or go bad on those units all the time.  What worked just fine yesterday may no longer work today if you're experiencing drift in a thermocouple.

Post your exact recipe here and we'll be able to troubleshoot more effectively.  But it's tempering.

Sebastian
@Sebastian
08/30/16 06:58:14AM
754 posts

Inexplicable change in chocolate strucutre- please help


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

I'm gonna bet you a dollar that it's not as well tempered as you think it is...

Sebastian
@Sebastian
08/27/16 10:57:48AM
754 posts

turning chocolate into gold


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

So, my friend tells me it's just that - gold dust in cocoa powder.  Now, it's not actually, literally gold dust, but rather the decorative stuff.  According to him not all of them work very well, and his experience is that the gold dust from albert uster imports - the one that says 'inedible' - works great ( http://www.auifinefoods.com/gold-dust-inedible-5861050000)

I've no idea why it would stick to chocolate but not to cocoa powder - my guess it's some electrostatic property, but why it's preferentially choosing chocolate over cocoa - no idea.  Someone give it a try and see how it works.  Wonder if the AU gold dust has an ingredient list on it?  While i've got a boatload of mica powders i could use, i'd pretty strongly suspect they'd just coat the cocoa powder - they're incredibly fine powders.

Sebastian
@Sebastian
08/20/16 12:43:36PM
754 posts

turning chocolate into gold


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

yeah, i didn't read it very thoroughly.  lots of speculation from the little i did read.  w/o knowing what it is, it's hard to say.  i've work quite a bit with gold leaf, and it's a nightmare to handle.  i suspect it's not gold powder/leaf/whatever at all, but something else. Exactly what?  I dunno...

Edit - i've got a good friend who's a CMPC - let me ping him to see if he know's the details of what's going on, and then we can get into the science


updated by @Sebastian: 08/20/16 12:50:33PM
Sebastian
@Sebastian
08/20/16 09:34:48AM
754 posts

turning chocolate into gold


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

Very neat. I'd not seen that before.

Sebastian
@Sebastian
08/14/16 06:55:04AM
754 posts

overcrystalization?


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

I wouldn't get too hung up on the % of a certain crystal form - you have no way of measuring or controlling it that precisely, and in a batch system such as i assume you are working with, that % will continue to change over time anyway.  Focus on controlling the things you can - your temperatures, your quantities, your environment, your cooling, and your agitation - and i think you'll be far happier than trying to guess what the quantity of a crystalline structure is w/o having a x ray spectrometer on hand 8-)  If you would like to get more technical about measuring your degree of temper, i'd recommend investing in a tricor temper-meter, which works on the principle of measuring the heat of crystallization generated/released when matter converts from a liquid to a solid (or reverse).  Far less expensive than a spectrometer, much easier to use, and tells you what you need to know without requiring a PhD to interpret the results. 

Sebastian
@Sebastian
08/13/16 08:51:47AM
754 posts

overcrystalization?


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

Hi Lly - i'll admit up front i didn't read the links in detail, but rather scanned them.  To be honest, i'm not a huge fan of mycryo - sure it works, but it's an absurdly expensive way of tempering.  Shaving in tempered cocoa butter can work just fine (actually, it can be tempered chocolate, it'll do the same thing) - as long as your untempered base is of suitable temperature.  If it's too hot, you'll just melt the seed butter/chocolate and it wont' do anything but lower the temperature just a tad, perhaps.  If your base chocolate is too cool, you've already got some crystallization going on, and it'll be a hot mess.

When i'm tempering small quantities at home, i'll use the 'bring the untempered chocolate temperature to 32C and seed it with tempered chocolate' approach - but as with anything, there is more than one way to do things.  If you're working with milk chocolate, you may need a little more seed; dark chocolate (w/o AMF in it) will require a little less seed.

Edit:  The other thing to consider would be an EZ Temper unit, which is a small scale cocoa butter precrystallizer.  Works great, and uses standard cocoa butter. I'm a big fan of owning the capability.  Down side is that it's a little expensive for some.


updated by @Sebastian: 08/13/16 08:53:38AM
Sebastian
@Sebastian
08/12/16 05:43:26PM
754 posts

Industrial chocolate auction


Posted in: Classifieds

De nada!

Sebastian
@Sebastian
08/12/16 11:30:50AM
754 posts

Industrial chocolate auction


Posted in: Classifieds

https://www.aucto.com/catalog/nriindustrial/auction-of-major-chocolate-making-facility-in-pennsylvania-day-2/5161

A Cargill plant has relocated, resulting in much of their equipment being auctioned off - including some lab equipment.  Some very good equipment here at firesale prices should you be interested.  Note, i have no interest in the sale - just ensuring awareness of it as some of you might find some of the goods useful, at prices you'd not otherwise be interested in 8-)


updated by @Sebastian: 08/12/16 02:17:43PM
Sebastian
@Sebastian
08/10/16 06:52:22AM
754 posts

overcrystalization?


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

If the thickening is indeed due to overseeding (over crystallization, or over temper), simply take a hot air gun (hair dryer), and blow hot air into the mass while it's agitating to 'de-seed' it a bit until the rhehology is sufficient.    Note if you 'de-seed' it too much, you'll need to begin tempering again, and if the thickening isn't due to over temper, this method won't fix anything.

Sebastian
@Sebastian
08/09/16 05:20:22PM
754 posts

overcrystalization?


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

What was the temp of the chocolate?

Sebastian
@Sebastian
07/31/16 07:05:42AM
754 posts

Anybody ever have vanilla make a batch of chocolate sour?


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

I would not expect vanilla to have any ability at all to increase sourness.  Perhaps taste your vanilla directly (or disperse it in water) - to see if there's a defect in your vanilla bean.  Any defect that would result in sourness should be very visually obvious, i'd think,  unless the beans were soaked in vinegar or something. 

If you're using a single fold extract (ie 1x strength), 0.5% is usually sufficient.  Obviously tastes vary, but that's a good starting point to consider.  Add towards the end as vanilla's a fairly volatile flavor and if you add it at the beginning of a 72hr grinding cycle, you're going to lose quite a bit of it.

Sebastian
@Sebastian
07/25/16 06:50:29AM
754 posts

Aging chocolate - what is the real taste of my chocolate?


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

Many times i've seen a 'story' develop, that's a romanticized narrative created that sounds plausible to the passers-by, but isn't grounded in science, and either doesn't have anything to back it up, or is caused by something else entirely, but not recognized as such.  This narrative can pick up momentum such that others begin doing it as well (there was a trend here for a while, for example, where people thought wearing magnetic bracelets would cure everything.  It's complete and utter bollocks, of course, but they still sold millions of them.)  

If you're storing your liquor to age it, there's not a great deal of benefit to doing so other than you don't need to run your production equipment as often, and logistically it may be easier.

If you're storing your chocolate to age it, there can be a benefit to doing so if it's stored in it's final form of consumption.  If you're storing bulk chocolate with the intent of further processing it, there's not much benefit to doing so.

A very large chocolate user (not, not producer, they use chocolate to make candies that actual industrial chocolate mfrs produce for them - but they use 10's of millions of lbs of chocolate/year), used to mandate that the bulk chocolate produced for them be aged for 90 days before they would use it.  Why?  Because at the time the owner of the company (it was a private company) - his mother believed that doing so was necessary for the chocolate to taste 'right'.  Crazy.  He allowed his mother - who's not part of the business - to drive immense supply chain complexity that had absolutely no bearing on how they used the chocolate.  Craziness that added zero value (in fact it added carrying costs) to their business.

Sebastian
@Sebastian
07/22/16 04:54:57PM
754 posts

Aging chocolate - what is the real taste of my chocolate?


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

Gap - yes.  Aging it untempered does almost nothing (there is some volatilization that's occuring), but again, the main driver is crystallization and melt.  If stored untempered, it's still crystallizing to some point, but the first thing a user will do is temper it, which will destroy any crystallization that may have happened to occur by happenstance.

LLY - i can't speak to what books you are reading, but i can say that just because you've read something, doesn't mean it's true.  Even if what you're reading is what i'm saying 8-)  Although, to be clear, i'm pretty confident that what i'm saying is true.  As in really, very confident.  

Flavor is an incredibly complex beast.  Flavor is due 100% to chemistry, yes.  Flavor change, however, is also chemistry, just a different kind.  Physical chemistry plays a huge part of how your body perceives flavor.

Sebastian
@Sebastian
07/22/16 04:51:14PM
754 posts

Rapadura sugar? Unrefined, evaporated cane juice?


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

That is definately enough time to dry out the sugars.  Perhaps your scale isn't precise enough to capture the difference?  4% of 100g, for example, would be 4 grams of moisture loss (which is a TON of moisture for a refined sugar, by the way - i'd expect that number to be closer to 1, or less)

Sebastian
@Sebastian
07/20/16 04:50:06PM
754 posts

Aging chocolate - what is the real taste of my chocolate?


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

When you temper chocolate, you're converting some % of your liquid cocoa butter to solid cocoa butter crystals.  Much of it actually remains liquid, even after you've demoulded your chocolate.  It may look solid - and much of it is - however there's still a very significant portion of cocoa butter that remains fluid.  Over time, some of that liquid cocoa butter will continue to crystallize.  It never, ever, fully crystallizes (there will always be some portion of liquid cocoa butter - it will be much more than you think!).

Why is this important?  Because how fat melts is important to how flavor releases.  As you've already noted, the chocolate you demould today tastes different than that exact same chocolate 30 days from now.  Why?  It's predominately because of the above mentioned crystallization kinetics.  There's a couple of other reasons, to be sure, but that one has the largest impact.

All chocolate (that does not have inclusions in it, or added volatile flavors) - will have stabilized to the point where trained panelists can no longer detect a statistically relevant rate of change after about 28 days, when stored in a controlled, stable environment.  Physiochemically, the crystallization kinetics continue to evolve.  However, between 28 days and 35 days - there is no statistical difference detected.  At some point - very far out - there will again be a difference (related to hardness, as both the volume fraction of crystals is larger as well as the physical form of the crystals begins to change) - but we're talking years out.  If you've got an extreme or highly variable environment, everything above changes.  

For products that contain a lot of milk, depending on how it's processed, you can run into something called the glass transition (Tg) temperature, impacting lactose.  It essentially turns it from a crystal into an amorphous fluid.  This again changes how flavor is released (both due to how it dissolves, as well as how much moisture it's able to hold on to - this gets into specific physical chemistry that i won't go into here).

Also be aware that your packaging can impact flavor (either via diffusing aromas from the packaging into the chocolate itself, or by letting the aromatics of the chocolate escape if they don't have good barrier properties).

Sebastian
@Sebastian
07/17/16 08:31:18PM
754 posts

Fermentation Scientist in the making


Posted in: Allow Me to Introduce Myself

A good source of information that often escapes people's radar are PhD thesis'.
Sebastian
@Sebastian
07/16/16 11:02:19PM
754 posts

Fermentation Scientist in the making


Posted in: Allow Me to Introduce Myself

inter cellular transport of materials is responsible for much of the flavor development reactions that occur (or the precursor reactions).  metallic compounds participate in a number of flavor reactions.

Sebastian
@Sebastian
07/13/16 06:39:00AM
754 posts

Fermentation Scientist in the making


Posted in: Allow Me to Introduce Myself

Grapes used to be grown on the hillsides of farmers in Israel 3000 years ago, and crushed by stepping on them by farmers who were subsistence level.  Today they're processed in state of the art industrial complexes.

If the demand is there, and it comes with either an improvement in quality, control, or cost - sure.  

Sebastian
@Sebastian
07/06/16 08:37:35PM
754 posts

Fermentation Scientist in the making


Posted in: Allow Me to Introduce Myself

The other thing that comes to mind would be to focus on the impact of alcohol soluble micro-nutrients and self-reducible metals in the fermentation heap.

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