Forum Activity for @Gap

Gap
@Gap
08/31/13 08:17:20PM
182 posts

Conching temperature control in wet grinder


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

Alchemist above indicates 150F which, if my maths is right, is 65C

Gap
@Gap
08/13/13 06:05:52PM
182 posts

Conching temperature control in wet grinder


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

I've been experimenting more with this recently. It's not something you need to use all the time, but it is a tool that has proved very effective on some beans and chocolates. I tend to have the heat gun on almost minimal power so (1) the airflow is not over the top and (2) the heat gun does not overheat - it is a cheap brand I own :-). It means it can take an hour to get to the temperature I have set, but over the course of a long conche that is incidental.

And yes, I love my Premier :-)

Gap
@Gap
07/01/13 07:51:18AM
182 posts

Conching temperature control in wet grinder


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

Hi All,

just thought I would share a recent idea I had for conching in my wet grinder. Conching is often done at temperatures higher than that reached by a wet grinder. So I borrowed my father-in-law's sous vide temperature control unit and came up with the setup in this video (I'm sure it could be setup neater, but this was just to see if it worked).
http://www.thechocolatelife.com/video/tempcontrolconch

Basically the sous vide machine measures the chocolate temperature. I enter the temperature I want the chocolate to be at and the machine switches a heat gun (pointed into the grinder bowl) on and off to achieve that temperature.

I refined the nibs for 6 hours, added the sugar and refined for another 9 hours. I then switched on the temperature control unit and "conched" for 15 hours at 60.5C. I added the additional cocoa butter 8 hours into that conching period.

The machine I used was a Sous Vide Magic, but there may be others that do something similar.

The final chocolate seemed to have a better mouthfeel and flavour, so I think it worked as a conch. The next step is to try a longer conching period and maybe increase the temperature (especially for milk chocolate). The only thing I am weary of is I don't know the maximum temperature the expoxies/glues used in the wet grinder can withstand.

Anyway, I've only tried this once for now. Let me know if you have any questions about my setup or any improvements/alternatives I could try.


updated by @Gap: 04/12/15 02:03:29AM
Gap
@Gap
06/23/13 05:20:24AM
182 posts

Marking the Passing of an Inspiration: Mott Green


Posted in: News & New Product Press

I recently found this 30 minute piece about Mott and the Grenada chocolate factory and thought it worth sharing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3o2UwvVp2iw

Gap
@Gap
05/28/13 06:32:52PM
182 posts

To temper or not to temper


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

Untempered for me as well

Gap
@Gap
05/21/13 07:12:08PM
182 posts

Best Drizzling Method?


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

Piping bag?

Gap
@Gap
09/20/14 05:39:54AM
182 posts

praline paste storage


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

If you mean nut paste praline then the book "The Praline" by Leroux is good

http://www.amazon.com/The-Praline-St%C3%A9phane-Leroux/dp/287386804X

Gap
@Gap
04/10/13 08:13:15AM
182 posts

Single Origin Chocolate - Standards?


Posted in: Chocolate Education

Interesting question Ruth. I think I have read that it is possible but I am not even close to being an expert on this topic . . . . hopefully Sebastian can chime in with a moredefiniteanswer.

Gap
@Gap
04/10/13 12:41:41AM
182 posts

Single Origin Chocolate - Standards?


Posted in: Chocolate Education

My understanding is this is the same issue with bars marked, for example, as Criollo strain. There might be 10% criollo or 100% but who knows - there is no standard to say what it should be. And often the farms the beans comes from might have more than one type of tree on the plantation anyway, so criollo stock could actually have other beans mixed in with them.

Gap
@Gap
04/09/13 07:29:30PM
182 posts

Single Origin Chocolate - Standards?


Posted in: Chocolate Education

From what I've read (which admittedly is limited) there doesn't appear to be a "standard". Ie., you don't need to have a certain % of single origin beans in your chocolate to claim the whole bar is single origin. I guess this goes to what Jim is saying - if you source some of your beans from Madagascar, then you can probably claim single origin Madagascar chocolate - but who knows if it is 10% Madagascar beans, 50% or 100%????

Anyone heard/know different?

Gap
@Gap
04/05/13 04:58:35AM
182 posts

Chomping at the bit, but I'd like some advice first...


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

That's a good point actually re the Champion - even though I have one, I don't pre-grind the nibs in it before adding to the melanger . . . I just put my winnowed nibs straight into the melanger.

Gap
@Gap
04/05/13 02:05:35AM
182 posts

Chomping at the bit, but I'd like some advice first...


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

Depends how much you want to make and your budget.

I have a Melanger (I use a Premier Wet Grinder) and a Champion Juicer. I use the Champion for cracking beans because we happened to have one before I started making chocolate (I don't use a Crackenstein) and I use a hairdryer to winnow (I don't use a Slyph). I roast in an oven (so I don't use a Behomer).

I make 1-2kg batches at a time and find my setup works quickly and efficiently for me.

Gap
@Gap
04/03/13 06:40:18PM
182 posts

Heating cabinet for chocolate airbrush


Posted in: Tasting Notes

I use my Mol d"Art melting tank. Ihave a 6kg tank and find it hold the gun and 4-5 colours. I leave them overnight before I plan to use them and leave them in the tank while I'm working as well.

Gap
@Gap
04/03/13 01:53:41AM
182 posts

Holding working temperature; tips? Difference between tempering machine and a melter


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

A melter (such as a Mol d'Art is used for keeping chocolate at working temp. It melts the chocolate at a high temp, then you temper the choc and reduce the temp on the melting tank. When you put the tempered choc back into the unit, it holds it at the correct temp. A melter will simply hold the choc at a given temp, it will not temper the chocolate for you.

A tempering machine will do both - it will melt your chocolate, temper it and then hold it at the working temp.

Gap
@Gap
03/26/13 05:58:15PM
182 posts

Can anyone help me with how to use this metal egg mold?


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

Hi Donna,

sorry, but I can't picture what you mean by the hinges but I haven't seen anything like you're describing before. Maybe someone else can chime in?

Solid eggs can be done depending on the size of the mould. If it's too big, it may take too long to cool, throwing your chocolate out of temper. If it's a smaller size, it will prob be OK and just need a little longer in the fridge than I described above. I would mould the egg first and then put the pecans into the mould. Personally, I prefer toasted nuts, but I think you could do whatever you prefer.

Gap
@Gap
03/26/13 04:39:58AM
182 posts

Can anyone help me with how to use this metal egg mold?


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

Hard to say without seeing it. My guess is:

1. Temper your chocolate

2. Polish the inside of your metal mould with cotton wool

3. Smear a thin layer of tempered chocolate on the inside of the mould using your finger

4. Let it set

5a (if the mould has an opening when two sides are clipped together): Clip the mould together and pour tempered chocolate into the mould - fill it up and then tip it out of the opening

5b (if the mould is completely closed when clipped together): put some tempered chocolate in one side and clip the mould together. Then slowly move the mould around in a circular motion to keep the chocolate moving inside to form an even and thick coating of chocolate.

6. Let it cool. If your mould is making a good sized egg, it might be best to give it a while in the fridge (maybe 5-10 minutes).

7. Unmould. It doesn't matter if you wait too long to unmould, but it will matter if you're too quick and this just comes from experience - knowing your chocolate, mould and conditions. Without knowing your mould, I would say give it 15 mins in the fridge and see if it releases easily from the mould. If not, give it a bit longer.

Good luck - 3D moulds are a piece of cake once you've done it once or twice and can produce some great things for Easter.

Gap
@Gap
04/27/13 01:55:24AM
182 posts

Small quantity of cocoa beans for sale (I want to buy)


Posted in: Classifieds

It is of interest to me - buying small lots of cocoa beans. I saved this thread for future reference, but having it in one spot that makes more sense would be good.

Gap
@Gap
10/22/14 05:27:29PM
182 posts

Making Milk Chocolate


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

When you microwave, just do it in 20-30 second bursts with plenty of stirring inbetween.

Gap
@Gap
10/22/14 04:58:43PM
182 posts

Making Milk Chocolate


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

I don't know Jack. I think all you can do is experiment a little. If it were me, I'd chop up the block you have into little pieces and then try to melt in the microwave. If it doesn't go liquid then maybe something else is amiss (could it have siezed due to moisture?).

If it does melt OK, then add the cocoa butter and incorporate by stirring and try to add it to a warm wet grinder while the mixture is still relatively warm (say 45C).

Gap
@Gap
10/22/14 04:35:57PM
182 posts

Making Milk Chocolate


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

I'm not Tom, but I might be able to help.

I think your total fat content is too low. Assuming the cocoa beans have 53% cocoa butter, your total fat in the recipe would be 50% x 53% + 25% x 26% = 33%. If you are using a standard wet grinder, you should probably aim for 36-40% fat and maybe add some lecithin (liquid lecithin up to 0.4%) to improve the "flow" of the chocolate.

Just looking at the math, if you add 10% cocoa butter and 0.4% liquid lecithin to your current recipe by total original weight, the new recipe ratios (by total new weight) would be

Liquor: ~45.3%

Sugar: ~22.6%

Whole Milk powder: ~22.6%

Cocoa butter: ~9.1%

Lecithin: ~0.4%

That would have a fat content of ~39% based on the assumptions above and should spin in the wet grinder. I have no idea if it's what you're aiming for (it would be a 54% milk chocolate) or if it would be to your tastes, but I think it would work in the wet grinder.

Gap
@Gap
02/27/13 09:34:34PM
182 posts

Making Milk Chocolate


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

My darker milk is:

32% cocoa nibs

13% cocoa butter

27% sugar (sucrose)

9% skim milk powder

19% full fat milk powder (26% fat) - spray dried milk powder

0.4% lecithin

To me, this one tasted like a chocolate milkshake

Gap
@Gap
02/27/13 09:16:59PM
182 posts

Making Milk Chocolate


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

It gives a result pretty close to what most people associate milk chocolate with. For me, I prefer a darker milk but this keeps a lot of friends and family happy.

Gap
@Gap
02/25/13 05:28:21PM
182 posts

Making Milk Chocolate


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

My last batch of milk chocolate (which we were pretty happy with) was:

11% cocoa nibs

26% cocoa butter

28% sugar (I split it 19% sucrose and 9% lactose)

4% skim milk powder

28% full fat milk powder (26% fat) - spray dried milk powder

0.4% vanilla

1.75% dark malt extract

0.4% lecithin

This recipe gave total milk fat of 7.5% which means the tempering can be tricky. Also, the milk powder I was using was spray dried - if it was some different sort, there may be more free fat available meaning 7.5% total milk fat is too much. I added malt because I like the taste, but 1.75% was probably too much - would try 1% next time.

Gap
@Gap
01/30/13 04:36:53PM
182 posts

Time allotment


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

Kelly - this is a bit like asking how long a piece of string is but I'll try and give some guidance from my (limited) experience.

I seem to remember the Behomer Roaster has a 2lb - 2 1/2lbcapacity and the times seem to be roughly 16-20 mins per roast (I haven't used one before, so I'm just going from what I've read). So 20lb would be 2-3 hours of roasting time.

I haven't used a Crankenstein, but cracking doesn't take a long time - 20lb would take me approx 10-15 mins at home using a Champion, so I can't imagine it would take much longer than that . . . maybe half an hour??

Homemade winnower will depend entirely on your design and how efficient it is.

Pre-grinding I don't do but I have seen it done on Youtube videos and it seems fairly quick with a hand-crank device . . . maybe another 30 mins

Spectra . . . this is your swing variable. I've had my chocolate in the machine for as little as 8 hours and as long as 30 hours. Depends on the beans, sugar, milk powders etc you're using and flavour you're aiming for.

Tempering and moulding can be time consuming initially but is something you get quicker at and depends on your setup. I have not used a Little Dipper, but believe it is a melting tank rather than a tempering machine. I hand temper and mould my bars with a Mold Art 6kg melting tankand would take ~2 hours for 20lbs based on my setup. 20lbs is a lot though - if you wanted to do it all in one go you'd need quite a few bar moulds and a large capacity melting tank.

Cleanup also takes time and depends on your setup and how clean you work.

Gap
@Gap
01/09/13 07:30:19PM
182 posts

Bean to Bar Maker Co-operatives


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

There was a discussion a while ago where (I think) Sebastian suggested buyers for fine flavoured cocoa beans should considerpooling their buying resources to enable container load purchases to be made. Ie., Bar Maker A can't afford a full container, but partnering up with B, C & D, together they can buy a container load of beans from a growers co-op.

What about extending this a bit further: say Bean-to-Bar Makers A, B, C & D get together and are based relatively close to each other. They buy their beans in bulk together (cheaper beans). Once the beans are delivered they each go off and interpret the beans in their own way, on their own premises,and package in their own packaging and with their own brandname. But then have a co-op retail store where bars from A, B, C & D are all sold together and the retail store is owned by Bar Maker A, B, C & D.

The advantages seem to be better buying power (and potentially better access to beans given larger purchase quantities),each Bar Maker keeps their individuality when it comes to making chocolate andthere are better economies of scale on the retail side (ie., each only pays 1/4 rent, marketing, electricity, wages to retail staff, websiteetc). You could even make a marketing point that each Bar Maker has their own interpretation of the same beans.

SoI wonder why it hasn't been done before? Or has it been tried before/is it currently being done? Are the logistics of organisingmultiple business partners who have their own bar making factories just too hard? Or is it too hard to get agreement on a retail store front? - I wouldn't have thought so, but I've never tried to do it. Or is retail of bean-to-bar just too hard and most Bar Makers are aiming for wholesale clients?

Anyway, I am interested to hear what others think . . . it seems to be one way to consolidate some of the smaller parts of the market and benefit from economies of scale,but allow each Bar Maker to keep their individuality.


updated by @Gap: 04/10/15 10:54:41AM
Gap
@Gap
12/30/12 03:19:48PM
182 posts

Cocoa bean diagnosis


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

Great - thanks for your response.

Gap
@Gap
12/29/12 11:26:43PM
182 posts

Cocoa bean diagnosis


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

Hi,

I've attached a photo of two beans that were in my current batch. Is this basically the same thing in both beans? The bean has germinated and sprouted - the sprout is in the top bean and the bottom bean shows just a hole where the sprout has fallen out of?

Can someone confirm/correct me on this? And also, is my terminology (germinated, sprout) correct?

The next question is then - what impact on the final chocolate do these beans have? Is a few making it through OK or will they negatively impact flavour pretty quickly?

Thanks for your help


updated by @Gap: 04/16/15 10:15:16AM
Gap
@Gap
12/17/12 11:59:28PM
182 posts

Do I need to store my home made gianduja in the refrigerator?


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

The commercial gianduja I use gets stored at room temperature (usually in a dark cupboard at 18-22C). My homemade gianduja is softer at room temperature than the commercial stuff, so I'm still working on my recipe

Gap
@Gap
12/17/12 09:40:40PM
182 posts

Hands-on Bean-to-bar Chocolate School: Curriculum, Cost, and more


Posted in: Chocolate Education

I think the actual making of chocolate could even be broken into seperate courses itself - especially if you are talking making hobby chocolate at home versus making chocolate commercially.

Gap
@Gap
12/16/12 07:06:53PM
182 posts

Hands-on Bean-to-bar Chocolate School: Curriculum, Cost, and more


Posted in: Chocolate Education

Only my opinion, but I wouldn't have thought 3 days is enough to teach someone to make bean to bar chocolate, operate the machineryand how to setup thebusiness. Would you be assuming a certain level of knowledge re some topics?

Gap
@Gap
12/09/12 03:54:03PM
182 posts

Chocolate bar packaging for lazy people


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

I've seen people do it with just food-safe paper (straight onto the chocolate). Also vacuum pack the bar (expensive though, and not great for filled bars where pressure of vacuum can cause problems).

Gap
@Gap
11/27/12 03:40:01PM
182 posts

Is it safe to make truffles without enrobing?


Posted in: Tasting Notes

I can't remember the exact numbers, but from memory the shelf life of uncoated truffles is considerably less (measured in days rather than weeks)

Gap
@Gap
11/25/12 05:02:47PM
182 posts

Is it worth tempering gianduja?


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

Yep, temper to 27C

Gap
@Gap
11/19/12 12:21:19AM
182 posts

How much chocolate for my melter


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

2kg is pretty much the smallest amount I use in mine.

Gap
@Gap
11/08/12 07:29:54PM
182 posts

What the Chocolate Industry Needs is A $100 Bar of Chocolate


Posted in: Opinion

I think a few people have touched on this in various ways, but an important part of the whole wine/chocolate thing is: a bottle of wine is (usually) to be shared whereas a bar of chocolate is (usually) for an individual.

Maybe a bar is not the best vehicle for delivering 75-100g of $100 chocolate? Maybe tasting squares that can be eaten like a cheese platter would be a better format to share the chocolate? Extending the cheese platter analogy, you could have various origins for different tastes. Just throwing it out there . . .

Gap
@Gap
11/01/12 06:15:00PM
182 posts

White chocolate


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

I made this recipe last weekend and enjoyed it

Cocoa butter - 33%

Sugar - 36%

Skim milk powder - 7%

26.4% fat whole milk powder - 23%

Vanilla - 0.2%

Lecithin - 0.4%

I left that in the grinder for 20 hours.

Gap
@Gap
10/25/12 11:43:48PM
182 posts

Care and feeding of chocolate bar molds


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

I'm sure everyone has their own way of doing it. For me, I use hot water that melts the chocolate off the mould with a soft sponge (nothing abrasive). The water is hot - I usually have to cool it down at some stage as it gets too hot for my hands.

Then I leave them (wet) on a towel to dry overnight. The next monring I put them away and when I take them out to use them again, I give them a quick polish with cotton wool. I use cotton buds to clean inside sharp edges.

Gap
@Gap
10/24/12 04:50:41PM
182 posts

Identifying couverture chocolate


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

Sorry - posted this in the wrong discussion y'day. Page 3 of this article might come in handy as well

http://www.thenibble.com/reviews/main/chocolate/couverture-chocolate3.asp

Under the heading How Couverture is different from Eating Chocolate.

Gap
@Gap
10/24/12 12:13:11AM
182 posts

Identifying couverture chocolate


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

Try this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Types_of_chocolate

Under the European Union heading are several categories of chocolate and what their requirements are. In that table is listed Couverture Chocolate (Dark) and Milk Couverture. From my understanding, White chocolate is generally not considered a couverture due to the lower amount of fat - someone may correct me on that. If you want to do a bit of Googling, it's easy enough to find the EU standards in full.

Gap
@Gap
10/24/12 12:16:55AM
182 posts

Sunflower Lecithin


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

Fine Chocolates 3 by Wybauw is a great book on how to extend the shelf life of chocolate confections. As per Daniela's post, I have never used lecithin for this.

http://www.amazon.com/Fine-Chocolates-Great-Experience-Extending/dp/9020990209/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1351052172&sr=1-1&keywords=fine+chocolates+3

Gap
@Gap
10/22/12 07:48:12PM
182 posts

Gianduja at home


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

When I mix a gianduja at home from commercially available products, I use ~50% milk chocolate and ~50% hazelnut praline paste (which is itself, ~50% sugar and ~50% hazelnuts). So breaking it down, mine is approximately 50% milk chocolate, 25% sugar and 25% hazelnut.

I'm not sure how much further/higher you can push that hazelnut %. Too far and the hazelnut fat will start to interact with the cocoa butter and make tempering the gianduja hard.I'd think you could go higher, but don't really know.

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