Forum Activity for @Carlos Eichenberger

Carlos Eichenberger
@Carlos Eichenberger
08/02/12 06:46:51PM
158 posts

tea and chocolate


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

Try making a cold infusion. Just put your tea and cream in a jar and leave in the fridge for 24-36 hours. DO NOT SQUEEZE THE TEA when done, just let it drain. Use as you would use any normal cream. Use a little more than you would need to compensate for what will be absorbed by the tea.

Carlos Eichenberger
@Carlos Eichenberger
07/20/12 02:10:10PM
158 posts

Guitar Cutter.. Which one to Purchase ?


Posted in: Opinion

Totally agree with George. Any money you save on the plastic guitars you'll spend buying replacement wires for them...

Carlos Eichenberger
@Carlos Eichenberger
07/02/12 02:11:10PM
158 posts

What is a good, small enrober to buy?


Posted in: Opinion

If you want something REALLY small, try one of the HIlliard's Hand Coaters. I have one with a 3-inch belt and it has served me well for 3 years now. A LOT less expensive than any of the wheel or continuous machines, it's a perfect "starter" enrober.

Carlos Eichenberger
@Carlos Eichenberger
06/10/12 10:01:43AM
158 posts

Cocoa mass


Posted in: Chocolate Education

Cocoa Mass or Cocoa Liquor is the normal way for chocolatemakers to safely store their production materials for extended periods of time. So yes, I use cocoa mass almost every time I make chocolate. (The exception would be when we start from nibs)

So, to answer point 2, it was just fine.

Carlos Eichenberger
@Carlos Eichenberger
06/09/12 09:53:55AM
158 posts

Cocoa mass


Posted in: Chocolate Education

1. Cocoa mass is simply roasted, winnowed and coarsely ground cacao

2. It is the first stage of the grinding process

3. Yes

4. None basically... just don't expose to extreme conditions

5. Yes

Carlos Eichenberger
@Carlos Eichenberger
04/09/12 01:39:54PM
158 posts

What is the best equipment for cooking caramels


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

We use the 1800w (120v) for small batches about three to five times a week. For larger batches I just purchased a 3000w 220v model that does the job very well. However, this still is only capable of making medium-sized batches (2-3 kilos) efficiently. A used Firemixer would probably be a very good investment if you want to cook 25-kilo batches.

Carlos Eichenberger
@Carlos Eichenberger
03/21/12 08:58:52AM
158 posts

Where to find used machines


Posted in: Tasting Notes

I've always had very good luck with theClassifieds at the Retail Confectioners' Association website.

Carlos Eichenberger
@Carlos Eichenberger
03/21/12 08:55:41AM
158 posts

Chocolate pourer


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

So to use this plate (1950 Euro) she also needs a 12,000 Euro Selmi... yes that's by far the CHEAPEST solution anyone has come up with.

Carlos Eichenberger
@Carlos Eichenberger
03/20/12 08:05:50PM
158 posts

small chocolate climate control display for Fair events?


Posted in: Geek Gear - Cool Tools

I've been toying with the idea of cannibalizing a small wine cooler for the TE guts. Something like a Vinotemp or Cuisinart in the 20-30 bottle range. Why? Because of the thermostatic control. Most come with a very nice digital temperature controller with a probe. I've often seen damaged units on sale cheap at the local warehouse store.

From personal experience I know the Cuisinart can hold 50F even when filled with bottles -- or chocolate LOL, as that was my very first chocolate cooler.

This would make the display's temperature adjustable. In my case the TE cooler just runs full-tilt all the time and sometimes can get a little too cold, especially if the display is left filled overnight with the lights turned off.


updated by @Carlos Eichenberger: 09/09/15 07:41:08AM
Carlos Eichenberger
@Carlos Eichenberger
03/20/12 07:50:28PM
158 posts

Chocolate pourer


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

Just FYI, I can do ~100 bars per hour or more using the previously mentioned syringe and a cheap dental vibrator. It's really very convenient because you only have to use one device to extract, measure and pour your chocolate.

For example, your 2.5 oz bars would translate to ~71 grams or just about 55cc (using the formula I gave you above) of chocolate.

Everyone else seems very fond of the $500 (funnel) or $10,000 (wheel machine) solutions, well here I am giving you a $5 one...

Carlos Eichenberger
@Carlos Eichenberger
03/20/12 01:18:55AM
158 posts

small chocolate climate control display for Fair events?


Posted in: Geek Gear - Cool Tools

Oh don't bother with EIC their products are way too expensive. And, they're wrong, the TE AC does work, I actually have a 1000 btu unit in a larger display case (4 tier, 4 foot wide) but that one was $1700 -- ouch! Still cheaper than the $4k plus display cases available.

Carlos Eichenberger
@Carlos Eichenberger
03/19/12 06:50:13PM
158 posts

small chocolate climate control display for Fair events?


Posted in: Geek Gear - Cool Tools

Roy, the trays are also custom-made. Any decent plexiglas shop should be able to duplicate those no problem. I also foundthese online, but boy are they pricey!

Carlos Eichenberger
@Carlos Eichenberger
03/17/12 06:30:15PM
158 posts

small chocolate climate control display for Fair events?


Posted in: Geek Gear - Cool Tools

Haha thanks Clay took the words right out of my... fingers?

As far as costs the cabinet, LED lighting, power supply and trays, custom made here in Guatemala, came out to ~$800. The cooler I got for like $39 on a liquidation sale online.

Carlos Eichenberger
@Carlos Eichenberger
03/17/12 02:03:29PM
158 posts

small chocolate climate control display for Fair events?


Posted in: Geek Gear - Cool Tools

Hi, as most people here have stated, you will probably not find a commercial product that does what you need. In my case I've been using, with great success, a thermoelectric cooler to keep my custom-made display case cool. The beauty of this is it operates on 12 VDC. I use a power supply to convert from 120VAC. It easily cools 15 degrees below ambient. Vinotemp makes the TE units, as well as many other manufacturers. In my case I used a unit from a Mobicool portable active cooler. You can see it on the case's left hand side. Lighting is LED, also powered by the 12V power supply.

Here it is filled with bonbons:

Carlos Eichenberger
@Carlos Eichenberger
03/12/12 06:15:20PM
158 posts

Chocolate pourer


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

A 100cc syringe works perfectly. Chocolate has a density of ~1.27 grams/cc so it's very easy to measure out your bars. Look for them in vet supplies.

Carlos Eichenberger
@Carlos Eichenberger
10/03/11 09:10:30PM
158 posts

Airbrushing assitance?


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

To temper the butters we use the turbo-tempering method: in the airbrush container heat to 120 or so in microwave (just the glass, no hardware!), stir very well, put in freezer for 3 minutes, stir again and measure temp, put back in for 1-2 more minutes til you get the colors to 79. Back in the microwave (careful with this! it works very quickly!) for 2-3 seconds at a time til it's at 92-93. Stir well, cap and use.
Carlos Eichenberger
@Carlos Eichenberger
10/03/11 12:48:55PM
158 posts

Airbrushing assitance?


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

What Omar said... I had the same issues until I started tempering all my cocoa butters. Never happened again.
Carlos Eichenberger
@Carlos Eichenberger
08/19/11 11:23:17AM
158 posts

Chocolate & Photography


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

This is an excellent topic! Funny how sometimes people are thinking the same thing? I was JUST about to post something along these exact same lines.

One item that has become indispensable in my lighting repertoire is a diffuser. It makes photographing shiny objects a lot easier by putting it between your light source and product.

Another item I now can't live without is a color card. It makes setting your white point so much easier, and from that you can make all your pictures look very similar, as far as color is concerned.

Also, for the vast majority of my pictures I use a tripod and slower shutter speeds. This lets me play around with the aperture (and therefore depth of field).

Clay, one thing I don't see mentioned much are lighting angles... what are the recommended or standard angles and how many light sources should on use or food photography (as a general and not ironclad rule?)

Carlos Eichenberger
@Carlos Eichenberger
07/29/11 08:58:17PM
158 posts

BenoƮt Nihant Chocolatier goes "Bean to Bar"


Posted in: Travels & Adventures

Best of luck in your new venture. It is indeed an exciting and very different world than being a fondeur.

I'll be in Belgium in September and would love to drop by.

Carlos Eichenberger
@Carlos Eichenberger
07/22/11 05:45:41PM
158 posts

Packaging


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

Yes, Glerup and Mod-pac are good, for smaller runs sugarcraft will be your go-between at Mod-Pac.

There's also Nashville Wraps and Chocolat-chocolat.

Now that we do more volume we found a local printer to do our boxes.

Carlos Eichenberger
@Carlos Eichenberger
07/16/11 12:12:48PM
158 posts

Stone Grinder for Raw Chocolate


Posted in: Make Mine Raw ...

It most definitely WILL go above 104 F. I've measured up to 140F with a laser thermometer. Next batch we do in a small grinder I'll take a picture.
Carlos Eichenberger
@Carlos Eichenberger
07/15/11 06:02:24PM
158 posts

Melted Chocolate


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

If it was bars for eating you bought, they're ruined (but just for immediate eating! They can still be salvaged for working)

If it's for working with, no problem. Just re-melt and temper. Should be good as new.

Carlos Eichenberger
@Carlos Eichenberger
06/24/11 02:24:23PM
158 posts

West Coast of Costa Rica: good for growing Caco Plants ?


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

Agreed... but definitely the norm is 2100 or lower. I've seem trees here in Guatemala at 3500+ but they were few and far between, and the yield was low and the beans tiny. At some point it's just not cost-effective.
Carlos Eichenberger
@Carlos Eichenberger
06/20/11 08:19:48PM
158 posts

West Coast of Costa Rica: good for growing Caco Plants ?


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

Um, Costa Rica is 9 degrees NORTH of the equator, so you might want to re-check your coordinates.

It really depends what type of land it is. Cacao grows between 0-2100 ft in altitude, in very wet conditions. Naturally, the flatter the land the easier it is to grow/harvest cacao. Most of the plantations in Costa Rica are using the 4x4 scheme, which means a tree planted every 4 meters in a grid pattern.

As far as required investment, it really hinges on the extension of the land, how overgrown the land is, how hilly or flat, and how much infrastructure is already in place. Plan on spending easily 50% more than originally budgeted, that's just the way things are in Central America. Time frame for first harvest from clones: ~4 years.

As far as selling the cacao, remember that to be useful to the chocolate industry it must be fermented and dried. Only if it is of exceptional quality will you get people to make the trek to you, so the best plan would be to actively market the product internationally and line up your buyers well in advance.

Carlos Eichenberger
@Carlos Eichenberger
06/19/11 12:53:12AM
158 posts

Premade truffle shels- necessity or copout?


Posted in: Opinion

Nothing wrong with it at all. I know many top chocolatiers that use the V shells. Do it and make some money!
Carlos Eichenberger
@Carlos Eichenberger
06/16/11 10:05:06AM
158 posts

ACMC Tabletop Chocolate Tempering Machine Digital Temperature Readout 6 lb capacity


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

I think the bulb thing is a non-issue. There are industrial applications that will require incandescent bulbs for years to come. Also, other countries will be very slow to follow suit. We have a 10-15 year window at least before they start becoming scarce.
Carlos Eichenberger
@Carlos Eichenberger
06/15/11 07:22:16PM
158 posts

ACMC Tabletop Chocolate Tempering Machine Digital Temperature Readout 6 lb capacity


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

Great starter machine, we outgrew it in about a year and now we use it for keeping tempered white chocolate. Certainly served its purpose to get us off the ground. Now we use 80-lb Hilliard's machines for dark & milk.
Carlos Eichenberger
@Carlos Eichenberger
06/13/11 01:15:40PM
158 posts

alternative to mycryo


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

Clay, I use normal tempered CB regularly and have noticed no discernible difference. Caveat: I have only used it for tempering, not as a thickener for desserts.

However, from what I remember of the Valrhona class, it really didn't matter as it was used for its solidification properties rather that its tempering properties, and it could be melted to just about any temperature.

Carlos Eichenberger
@Carlos Eichenberger
06/13/11 12:25:02PM
158 posts

alternative to mycryo


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

Absolutely! Just temper your cocoa butter as if it were chocolate and mold into blocks or whatever you want. Grate with a Microplane. Voila! Mycryo substitute for much less!
Carlos Eichenberger
@Carlos Eichenberger
06/13/11 08:15:43AM
158 posts

Where can I find a Guillotine?


Posted in: Classifieds

Me too! Please post pics.
Carlos Eichenberger
@Carlos Eichenberger
05/30/11 08:00:49PM
158 posts

Chocolate Artist Software/Printer


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

If you're familiar with design software like Photoshop or Illustrator (to name just 2) you can completely skip the clunky and expensive Deco software!

All you need are the transfers from Tomric plus the edible inks from kopykake. I use the Canon ip4700 and it works quite well. Of course you have the white issue, but that can be circumvented by using white chocolate for your prints or spraying a white background with either white cocoa butter or white edible ink. Just did some VW logos for our local club and they looked great.

Carlos Eichenberger
@Carlos Eichenberger
05/24/11 05:37:18PM
158 posts

If Selmi is the Cadalac what is a JKV and why?


Posted in: Chocolate Education

The difference in price is more of a fundamental difference in function between the machines.

The Selmi, as a continuous tempering machine, will keep the chocolate in temper throughout the working day without needing to slowly raise your working temperatures during the day. This is achieved with a closed refrigeration/heating loop that as the name suggests, continuously de-tempers and re-tempers the chocolate.

The JKVs are wheel machines, normally with light bulbs as a heat source and forced air for cooling. They use seed chocolate for tempering, and as such will need some attention through the day. The chocolate will thicken and you will need to gradually raise your temps until it's no longer in proper temper. Then it's time to stop and re-temper.

So, you're paying that extra money for extra throughput and added convenience. On the other hand, if you're a DIY type, these machines (Selmi) are much more difficult to fix yourself.

I personally like Linda use Hilliard's machines and they are certainly up to the task. They are rugged and simple to operate and maintain (they use light bulbs/forced air too). I was lucky enough to find all my gear used for an unbeatable price. For me it was an easy choice because of the DIY aspect, since I do most of the maintenance/repair work myself.

Carlos Eichenberger
@Carlos Eichenberger
03/25/11 07:02:18PM
158 posts

Marshmallows in Hot Chocolate


Posted in: Opinion

Doubt you'll find it there. I got it when attending one of their Master classes.
Carlos Eichenberger
@Carlos Eichenberger
03/24/11 09:02:11AM
158 posts

Marshmallows in Hot Chocolate


Posted in: Opinion

We already do (natural) vanilla, strawberry, raspberry, mango and passion fruit marshmallows using the Valrhona recipe. They are truly delicious and are relatively inexpensive to make. No relation whatsoever to the mass-produced bag crap. Huge (huge!) sellers, both in naked and chocolate covered form.

The vanilla marshmallows, burnt a little with a blowtorch, play beautifully with hot chocolate.

Carlos Eichenberger
@Carlos Eichenberger
03/24/11 08:54:15AM
158 posts

I need some help with mint milk chocolate source


Posted in: Classifieds

Why not just use natural peppermint oil to flavor your milk chocolate? That way you don't have to buy a specialty chocolate for just one product. You could probably find it locally in PR at stores that supply the candymaking industry or hobby.

Edit: woops missed jo's post stating exactly the same! great minds and all...

Carlos Eichenberger
@Carlos Eichenberger
03/11/11 07:24:32PM
158 posts

Immersion blenders


Posted in: Geek Gear - Cool Tools

I use two -- for smaller batches (about a quart) a Cuisinart 400w stainless steel model with detachable head; it's been an amazing workhorse, going on 2 years now. For larger batches (up to a gallon) we use a Waring model... not sure which one but it's one of the smaller units. It works just fine and has two speeds.
Carlos Eichenberger
@Carlos Eichenberger
03/11/11 01:19:33PM
158 posts

Cocoa cake pulverizer?


Posted in: News & New Product Press

The same folks that make the CocoaTown melangeurs have this pulverizer on their site...

They actually sent me a sugar sample ground with that unit and the particle size seemed adequate. I had completely spaced this contact!

Carlos Eichenberger
@Carlos Eichenberger
03/11/11 01:07:40PM
158 posts

Cocoa cake pulverizer?


Posted in: News & New Product Press

Yes, for some people 400 lbs might be a pittance, but to me, it's a lot. And I was wrong, we have about 1000 lbs already :(

Still, those mills all seem to be geared towards much larger production scales

Thanks anyway for the input!

Oh, how about this guy? $1k http://cgi.ebay.com/Micro-Hammer-Cutter-Mill-Spex-cat-5200-Culatti-AG-/370488838858?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5642db0aca

Carlos Eichenberger
@Carlos Eichenberger
03/10/11 04:26:47PM
158 posts

Cocoa cake pulverizer?


Posted in: News & New Product Press

We've emailed before. I'm Carlos Eichenberger of Danta Chocolate in Guatemala.

Please send specs and prices to the email address used for previous communications.

Carlos Eichenberger
@Carlos Eichenberger
03/10/11 10:21:01AM
158 posts

Cocoa cake pulverizer?


Posted in: News & New Product Press

I'm accumulating a LOT of cocoa cake and have not been able to find anyone local that is willing to pulverize it. Any suggestions for an inexpensive solution? I easily have 400 lbs of cake and a lot of demand for the cocoa powder!

At the moment we're pulverizing small amounts with a food processor and varying size sieves but it's ridiculously time consuming.

Ideally the solution would be under $1k.


updated by @Carlos Eichenberger: 04/10/15 03:29:50AM
Carlos Eichenberger
@Carlos Eichenberger
03/05/11 01:53:48PM
158 posts

Summer shipping tips & tricks?


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

Great tip!!! I personally know the owners of two pharma distribution companies, will offer to trade them for chcocolate!
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