Forum Activity for @Sebastian

Sebastian
@Sebastian
07/05/16 06:42:11PM
754 posts

Fermentation Scientist in the making


Posted in: Allow Me to Introduce Myself

I would say that the chemistry and microbiology of fermentation is very, very well understood.  It may not be public knowledge that is freely available, but it's quite well understood.  If you are looking to do something that has not yet been done, I'd not focus here.

Where I see the industry eventually moving to is an industrialized modernization of fermentation, much like how wine is produced. Stainless tanks, controlled oxygenation and headspace, temperature control via jacketing, etc. Some in the industry are already thinking in this direction, but to my knowledge no one has begun the work on it on a large scale.  That might be something to begin exploring.

Sebastian
@Sebastian
06/12/16 02:19:27PM
754 posts

opinions for tempering wheel?


Posted in: Opinion

Lots of pnuematic delivery systems out there - i'd never heard of the one called the peppy pumper, but it gets my vote on the name alone 8-)

Sebastian
@Sebastian
06/11/16 08:08:38AM
754 posts

sunflower lecithin


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

Generally speaking sunflower lec will be less effective than soy lec.  If you've not been using lec at all, then it'll still give you a huge improvement.

Sebastian
@Sebastian
06/11/16 08:06:36AM
754 posts

opinions for tempering wheel?


Posted in: Opinion

You sure you want a wheel? I'm not a huge fan of them as they can result in lots of air bubbles getting trapped.  An alternative i might suggest would be a heated/jacketed kettle - something like a smith kettle or one from a company called the savage brothers.  Not sure what your budget is, but you should be able to find one for about $5,000 USD or so.  can temper and maintain temper as small as ~20 lbs and as large as, well, as large as you'll ever need (of course the larger units cost more money)

Sebastian
@Sebastian
06/05/16 06:29:19AM
754 posts

Cocoa butter and cocoa solids


Posted in: Tasting Notes

The name of the game here is to be sure to try it on your chocolate before buying.  Everyone's pushing online calibrations (ie it reads your sample, and adds it to it's baseline calibration file with the argument that it makes everyone's stronger).  Because of the high matrix sensitivity of NIR, "Jimmys" calibration curve doesn't mean anything really to "Johnnys" actual chocolate - as Jimmy has different process, raw material sourcing, and formulation than Johnny does.

Their argument is sort of a 'wisdom of crowds' argument applied to calibration.  It just doesn't work that well i'm afraid.  if you've got a very similar type of chocolate and process it works fantastically well (in fact i've built networks of matrixed NIR nodes all around the world to do just that) - but as a general 'catch all' for anything chocolate - not so much.

Sebastian
@Sebastian
06/02/16 09:20:37PM
754 posts

Cocoa butter and cocoa solids


Posted in: Tasting Notes

Remember that NIR is VERY matrix dependent (and temperature dependent).  Be sure you have a calibration curve for each type of chocolate that you're plan to run (ie, a generic 'milk chocolate' calibration won't be very accurate for all milk chocolates, and certainly not for dark or white chocolates).  Run all your samples at a fixed temperature (including the plate the samples will sit on - probably easiest to get a small warming oven and set it to 50C and just keep everything inside of it).

good luck!

Sebastian
@Sebastian
05/27/16 10:33:25AM
754 posts

Cocoa butter and cocoa solids


Posted in: Tasting Notes

Sorry - one more thing that's relevant - how many/how often do you expect to do this testing? If it's once a day, i'd say go gravimetric.  You'll need gravimetric to validate the calibration curves of the instruments anyway.  If you need to run 5 samples every hour - than you'd  need a small army of tech to prepare the samples, and an instrument's your way to go.

Sebastian
@Sebastian
05/27/16 06:42:15AM
754 posts

Cocoa butter and cocoa solids


Posted in: Tasting Notes

Lots of pros and cons here.  A few highlights to consider:

NMR and NIR will be be expensive instruments to acquire ($50-90k?).

NMR can be heavily influenced by metals content - so your process becomes very important.  IE if you have a ball/attritor mill, the media will abrade off small pieces of metal and will impact your results.  

NIR is heavily matrix and temperature dependent - you'll need to have a robust calibration curve for accuracy.  Actually that's true with NMR as well.

If you have the funds to spend, and the expertise to create and maintain a calibration curve - i prefer the NIR, as you can calibrate it to predict other things as well.  I've never used Oxford instruments specifically, but that they indicate in their literature that you only need 2 calibration points would concern the hell out of me.

A 3rd option is gravimetric extraction.  Grinding your sample up, extracting the lipids with a solved, evaporating the solvent, and measuring what's left behind.  Far less expensive up front costs, but you are now dealing with a solvent, and the consistency of the tech doing the prep work is important.

Sebastian
@Sebastian
05/26/16 07:14:53PM
754 posts

Cocoa butter and cocoa solids


Posted in: Tasting Notes

Sure - put it into a calibrated NIR and push the start button.  

I assume you mean an inexpensive, easily accessible way for the home user?  No. Perhaps make friends with a local university and ask them to make it a class project to calibrate their equipment to your product, in exchange for some free product...

Sebastian
@Sebastian
05/22/16 06:54:08PM
754 posts

Rapadura sugar? Unrefined, evaporated cane juice?


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

It's relatively easy to do a moisture test - measure out some of your sugar, weigh it, bake it at a low temperature (250F) for say 2 hours, then re-weigh it - the different win weight is moisture loss.  Note:  you may need to play with your times/temps for the best accuracy.

Sebastian
@Sebastian
05/19/16 05:54:22PM
754 posts

peppermint chocolate


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

Knowing the strength (or the 'fold') of the flavor is helpful to guide usage levels.  Most of what you're buying off the shelves is a single fold (single strength) - i might suggest a starting point of 0.1% on a weight basis and evaluate.

I've worked with some essential oils, however, that requires FAR less than that (as in 0.00000x%) - so little that it's hard to even measure it correctly.  It's pretty unlikely that's what you're finding, but it's always good to be aware that it's out there.

Sebastian
@Sebastian
04/26/16 06:36:41PM
754 posts

How does additional fat/non fat ingredients affect tempering?


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

I think you'll find those topics have been answered a few times here.  I'd urge you to do some exploring in the forum archives 8-)

Sebastian
@Sebastian
04/06/16 03:40:52PM
754 posts

Traveling to Costa Rica May 2016 - Recommendations?


Posted in: Travels & Adventures

CATIE is always a good resource

Sebastian
@Sebastian
04/05/16 05:15:46PM
754 posts

Low-cost / DIY temper meter?


Posted in: Geek Gear - Cool Tools

it measures the latent heat of crystallization - when liquids crystallize, or when crystals "melt" they either absorb or release heat.  A tempermeter measures the amount and time of this heat over a very specific cooling scenario, and then does some math for you to make the results usable.

I'd be the very first to sign up for 10 of these from you if you built one for $100 8-)

Sebastian
@Sebastian
04/04/16 05:01:42PM
754 posts

Help with some chocolate machinery info, please


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

Clay Gordon:

While a temper meter like the Tricor is not a bad recommendation, if I recall correctly from talking with their tech guys (and Sebastian please correct me if I am wrong on this), is that it requires having a sample of properly tempered chocolate to compare against. So it's kind of a chicken and egg situation. You can't measure proper temper unless you have properly tempered chocolate to begin with. They do make a machine to measure rheology and that might be interesting.

No, the tricor does not require a properly tempered 'control', if you will. As with any analytical instrument, it does require calbiration, which it maintains internally.  Since things like flavor release, color, hardness, bloom stability, etc all are a direct function of temper - and since temper is not a yes/no state (there are ranges of temper), if the lab was going to be used to assess such things, having a temper meter becomes a critical tool in defining your 'acceptable window' of temper to minimize the impact of temper on those other variables you are evaluating.  W/o it, you may come to the conclusion that beans xxx are 'better' than beans yyy for whatever reason, and that reason may have absolutely nothing to do with the beans, but rather the fact that the chocolate made with xxx beans was on the far 'left' of the temper spectrum, and the chocolate made with yyy beans were tempered to the far 'right' of the spectrum.

Sebastian
@Sebastian
04/04/16 12:43:10PM
754 posts

Help with some chocolate machinery info, please


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

That's optimistic.  I'd consider 35-37% as the minimum operational range.

Sebastian
@Sebastian
04/03/16 04:31:58PM
754 posts

Help with some chocolate machinery info, please


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

I would not personally use the ball mill for anything other than making liquor, given your setup.  Also consider that it's going to be a very loud piece of equpiment to operate.

For automated small batch tempering, you might consider the chocovision revolation unit (or perhaps a couple of them).  If you're lookign for consistency in tempering results, also consider a tricor temper-meter.  

Something i omitted above would be two very precise scales - one that's a very small measurement (0.000x grams), and one that allows for kg size measurements (xx.xxkg) - those can run you a few thousand dollars as well.

Sebastian
@Sebastian
04/03/16 01:47:12PM
754 posts

Help with some chocolate machinery info, please


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

That's helpful David - thank you.

A couple of thoughts, if I may.

Roasting - while i have not used the Inox directly, i suspect it's a perfectly suitable piece of equipment. I also suspect that it's more than you require, and i might recommend a Binder oven as an alternative.  Fantastically good temperature control and heat distribution for a fraction of the price.  Regardless of the oven you select, i'd recommend having your machine shop fabricate some standardized roasting trays to hold a fixed amount at a fixed depth with airflow through the bottom.  This will help you with your oven 'recovery' time (when you open the doors and put x amount in, your temperature will drop - the amount of time it takes the oven to come back to it's set temperature is it's recovery time, and is very useful in creating a standardized assessment method).

Winnowing - again, it probably a perfectly suitable unit, but if you're open to it, you can build something equally as suitable for 1/5 of the price yourself.  Now, part of what you may want this lab to be is a showcase as well - meaning looks are important - if that's the case, i'd stick with purchasing the commercial unit as a DIY winnower - while as effective, isn't likely to look as nice.

Disc mill - perfectly suitable.  why do you want this?  you've got a ball mill listed later, which i'm assuming  you want to use to make chocolate liquor.  A disc mill is going to perform the same task as a ball mill.  Not sure you need both.  An alternative to both of them i might recommend is a colloid mill.  a number of years ago i was looking for a suitable milling operation that i could install in the jungle anywhere in the world, and i secured a JML colloid mill literally off of ebay to test it.  very cost effective, and while it required me to clean the living daylights out of it beofre i used it, i found it to be a remarkably robust, easy to operate, and efficient piece of equipment for making liquor.

Roll Refiner - i'd recommend testing this unit before you buy it to ensure it can achieve sufficient particle size reduction.  Some 3 roll refiners don't have sufficient tensioning built into them to get to small particle size (20um - some of them struggle with achieving even 50 um).

Tempering - if you're going to be doing 5kg batches, it frankly might be easier to hand temper them.  A good hot plate, an aluminum rectangular pan, and your cooling tunnel will enable this.  There are a number of small batch tempering units that are in that 5kg size range that cost $1-2k that are suitable as well.

You also want to give some consideration to how are  you going to cool your chocolate once it's been tempered.  This can be as simple as modifying a refrigeration unit to be suitable for chocolate, but in your environment, tempering without cooling will be very problematic for you.

Any refractometer you get should have at least a 0-30 brix range - anything higher than 30 isn't going to be useful for you, assuming you're going to use it to assess cocoa pulp.  Not sure what you're going to do with a hygrometer.  Other useful pieces of equipment, assuming you're also going to be working with the cocoa beans, include a set of good stick thermometers, a field portable pH meter, and i'd strongly recommend somerthing called a Dickey John mini GAC+ to allow you to do rapid cocoa bean moisture analysis.  If you're going to be working in the field with fermentation and drying, i might also suggest a good set of data loggers that record both temperature and humidity.

Sebastian
@Sebastian
04/03/16 07:35:28AM
754 posts

Help with some chocolate machinery info, please


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

David - it's also helpful to understand why you're makign chocolate (what the purpose is).  Is it to highlight columbian cocoa to support the agronomy?  Is it to establish a standardized means to assess various clonal materials and post harvest practices?  If i had to guess i'd suspect more #1 than #2 as 5kg is a lot for standardized assessments.

Sebastian
@Sebastian
03/28/16 04:28:45PM
754 posts

KitchenAid Precise Heat Mixing Bowl


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

For those who are DIY'ers of the group - you might consider getting some carbon fiber tape, and a few wires and a thermostat and a battery you can make your own controllable heat tape that you can then custom fit around your bowls.  Sure there's heat tracing wire already out there, but it's thicker and, well, if you just bought it - then you're not the DIY type 8-)

Sebastian
@Sebastian
03/28/16 12:37:14PM
754 posts

Help with some chocolate machinery info, please


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

David - i'd encourage you to identify what's important for your equipment, and folks can better help direct you.  IE - how much do you want to make, and with what frequency?  Will it be used every day?  What particle sizes ranges are relevant?  What type of temperature control do you want, and why?  

Once it's understood what you want to do with it, and how it will be used, you're likely to get better information.

Sebastian
@Sebastian
03/28/16 12:23:10PM
754 posts

Hi!


Posted in: Allow Me to Introduce Myself

Welcome!  It's a good place to hang your hat and learn 8)

Sebastian
@Sebastian
03/27/16 01:28:33PM
754 posts

Rusty looking cacao: is that a defect?


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

De nada.  Happy Easter folks.

Sebastian
@Sebastian
03/27/16 07:33:06AM
754 posts

Rusty looking cacao: is that a defect?


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

Daniel - those look completely fine to me. I'm going with #1 above - just polysaccharide reside - i don't see any visual indicators of other defects from that photo. 

Sebastian
@Sebastian
03/26/16 04:09:04PM
754 posts

Rusty looking cacao: is that a defect?


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

It's one of two things.  It's either remants of the polysaccharide material that holds the shell to the nib, or it's mold.  It's probabaly the first one, but do me a favor.

Attempt to quantify how many of the rusty beans you see (edit: i mean, give me a rough % - is it 5% of the total bean?  30% etc), and then take 20 of them, break them in half, and take a photo of what you see inside and repost that?


updated by @Sebastian: 03/26/16 04:28:27PM
Sebastian
@Sebastian
03/18/16 04:51:41PM
754 posts

How does one make a creamy ganache with Coconut Oil?


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

Daniel Herskovic:

Thanks Sebastian and Clay!

I have got a few follow up questions for both of you... I tried making the Meltaway by Greweling. It is ok. I find the texture to be a little hard (before it melts in you mouth). I notice in those Lindt truffles they have a creamy texture -- more like a ganache than a meltaway. Do you think they use a special mixer to achieve that?

For the Olive Oil Version, should one emulsify that just like a ganache -- I use a robot coupe. I thought putting olive in a food processor turned it bitter.

Thanks for all the insight! I have learned a lot from both of you!

Interesting tidbit:  a huge amount of the virgin olive oil on the store shelves has been blended with other oils.  olive oil is very expensive, and frankly most people don't really know what virgin olive oil really is.  it's also difficult to analytically prove that the oil's been blended in - that said, some folks you know on this board have spent some time developing spectral methods that can determine the origin of oils, and if they're pure or not.  Those methods were used by the good ol' us of a to do a market basket assessment of olive oils - and lo and behold, i forget the numbers, but something like 70% of what was tested was deemed to be tainted.  Manufacturers were (are) doing this to realize cost savings.   Sneaky business, that is.  Oils of a more commoditized nature (coconut, palm, canola, soy, etc) aren't really affected because they're already so low in price, there's not much incentive to blend in less expensive oils to impact their cost structure.

Sebastian
@Sebastian
03/18/16 04:42:34PM
754 posts

How does one make a creamy ganache with Coconut Oil?


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

The other noteworthy thing is this:  cocoa butter hardness varies.  A lot.  A tremendous amount.  Grewling likely doesn't know this, and when he writes his recipies, he's using standard chocolate, the vendors of which may or may not be controlling for hardness by DSC.  If you thought the recipe was ok, but not quite there, don't hesitate to modify it a bit to suit your tastes - your chocolate may have been a bit harder than the one he used, or simply your tastes are different than his.  Add another 1% liquid oil and see if that is more the texture you're after or not.  Trial and error here is your friend.  Also if the chocolate you're starting with has milk fat in it or not (and how much) will play a huge role in textural issues (milk fat will make it softer).

Sebastian
@Sebastian
03/18/16 04:31:12PM
754 posts

How does one make a creamy ganache with Coconut Oil?


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

So, the smaller the droplet size of your oil (remember, you're making a dispersion), the smoother your texture will be.  I'm n ot going to comment on precisely which equipment Lindt is using, but the more agitation (energy) you can put into your mixture, the better you'll like the results i wager.

Any oil that is liquid at room temperature will work for you for this.  Even some that aren't liquid at room temperature will work due to something calle eutectics (but that's another lesson for another time).  Note that the reason your oils are liquid at room temperature are because they are 'built' from fatty acids that are short.  The shorter they are, the lower the melting point of  your oil, and also the less stable they are (more likely to go rancid).  If you mix the mixture vigorously for a long time, you're incorporating air into your mixture as well.  This isn't a problem for a lot of oils, but if elect to use oils that are very unsaturated, and very short fatty acid chains - you'll end up with rancidity more quickly as a result.

Sebastian
@Sebastian
03/18/16 04:12:37PM
754 posts

How does one make a creamy ganache with Coconut Oil?


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

Pretty easy, actually.  First, you need a low melting point coconut oil (there's many different kinds - i suggest a natural coconut oil with a MP of 72F).

Then, simpy mix it in with you melted chocolate, and any flavorings you want for your center.  The 'soft' liquid coconut oil will interfere with the cocoa butter's ability to crystallize, and as a result,  you'll get a softer texture.  I might suggest 8% add in to begin with.  Some folks swear that you first have to temper your chocolate before adding the oil, some swear you don't.  I'm in the second category.  Try both and see what you prefer.  Play with the levels of your oil addition until you achieve the texture you're after.

Since the Aw is very, very low, you'll essentially never have spoilage issues.  Shelf life will now be a function of oil rancidity.

Sebastian
@Sebastian
03/17/16 06:22:02PM
754 posts

Transport material cocoa nibs


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

GuBa:

It is about the roasting of the nibs in there shell. I have read that when roasting the cocoa beans, the shell takes up a part of the fat that is released during heating. 

It does not.

Sebastian
@Sebastian
03/13/16 08:59:59AM
754 posts

Raw Cacao product supplier


Posted in: Make Mine Raw ...

You guys crack me up.

Sebastian
@Sebastian
03/06/16 05:39:38PM
754 posts

Roasting nibs instead of whole beans


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

I would say that rheology depends on MANY factors, your PSD being just one of them.  How much moistuer you have post roast in your nibs, how much you can drive off in your conche, how effectively you emulsify, your other ingredients, etc all play vital roles in rheology.

Sebastian
@Sebastian
03/06/16 03:56:07PM
754 posts

Roasting nibs instead of whole beans


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

That then becomes a little more complicated.  The lining on your macintyre will abrade away over time, resuting larger particle sizes the more you use it.  You can have it relined, but the specifics of your PSD will be pretty related to the health of your lining currently.  Also, are you using crystalline sugar (ie standard table sugar)? The starting size of your crystals also has an impact of how they break.  Most 'table' sugar type sugar is int he 600-3000 um starting particle size range, and can benefit from going through a 2 roll prerefiner to reduce the amount of fines they can generate.

Sebastian
@Sebastian
03/06/16 03:31:39PM
754 posts

Roasting nibs instead of whole beans


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

Depends entirely on what distriubution you get.  If you end up with a distribution that tight, but very small particle size - then no... as with many things, the devil's in the details here.  Most prerefining configurations will result in less super fines, which will give you a lower viscosity (less thick) chocolate.  Some configurations won't.  How do you plan to prerefine and how are you currently refining?  Sorry if youp'd already noted that...

Sebastian
@Sebastian
03/05/16 05:47:04PM
754 posts

Roasting nibs instead of whole beans


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

Pre-refining will likely give you a tighter PSD.

Sebastian
@Sebastian
03/05/16 11:08:26AM
754 posts

Roasting nibs instead of whole beans


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

Interseting - i've never seen a searzall - now i want one.  The heart wants what the heart wants.

It'd probably work.  I'd urge you to set it at a fixed height above and below the beans, and belt feed the beans through.  You'll need to do some trialing and error attempts to identify the correct height and residence time of the beans to get the moisture to flash out w/o roasting the beans.  But i suspect it's doable.

Sebastian
@Sebastian
03/03/16 06:33:10AM
754 posts

Hello (again)


Posted in: Allow Me to Introduce Myself

Welcome!  I've got two bresaola's that just hit target weight this week, into the cold smoker they go!

Sebastian
@Sebastian
03/02/16 08:24:19PM
754 posts

Which cocoa bean roaster to consider?


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

No need for disclaimers 8-)  your opinion is just as valid as anyone elses!  I always like hearing the perspective of folks as to what's important to them, and what their thought processes are regarding their informed perspective.   Thanks for sharing yours!

Sebastian
@Sebastian
03/02/16 04:59:05PM
754 posts

Which cocoa bean roaster to consider?


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

Out of curiosity Peter - what makes you say that's one of the best whole bean roasting technologies?

Sebastian
@Sebastian
03/02/16 04:57:39PM
754 posts

Roasting nibs instead of whole beans


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

It would have no impact on reheology.

The best way to remove the shell is to 'pre roast' or micronize the whole beans to faciliate some moisture removal from the shell to reduce it's adhesion to the nib, and result in it's easier separation from the nib.

  3