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Tempering Chocolate

Chocolate

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#211 sixela

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 09:08 AM

Just so I get this right...Once I drop the chocolate from it's high of 118 to its low of 89, it's in temper and I can use it at that point?

Also, i'm looking at the crystallization curve on the bag of my callebaut and it gives me a range:
113-122
80.6
87.8-89.6
94.1

I'm assuming that once it goes beyond 94.1, i'm out of temper, and below that, I'm hardened...is this correct?

Thanks again!

#212 tammylc

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 11:37 AM

bkieth:
yes, it helps quite a bit---I'm going to assume that the callebaut couveture chips I'm using are already in temper, though I still have a couple of questions:

1. Does this asssume if i do the direct warming via the microwave or stovetop with these chips and it exceeds 88-90 degrees, it will go out of temper?

2. Does this also mean that if I do seeding technique that I will always have to add tempered chocolate as seeds? Which is to say, If I use chocolate that i screwed up on tempering, can I re-temper it without adding new tempered chocolate by bringing it up to the requisite temp and cooling it down to desired temp?


thanks so much for your help!


1. Yes, although I have found that if I go just a bit above and quickly add some fresh chocolate, it will temper fine. And the exact temper range will vary depending on the chocolate you are using.

2. Yes, if you are using the seed method you always need to have tempered chocolate as seeds. The only way to re-temper chocolate without fresh seed chocolate is to use a method such as tabling described above, which uses a completely different method to introduce the appropriate crystals.

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#213 tammylc

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 11:43 AM

Just so I get this right...Once I drop the chocolate from it's high of 118 to its low of 89, it's in temper and I can use it at that point?

Also, i'm looking at the crystallization curve on the bag of my callebaut and it gives me a range:
113-122
80.6
87.8-89.6
94.1

I'm assuming that once it goes beyond 94.1, i'm out of temper, and below that, I'm hardened...is this correct?

Thanks again!


To your first question - if you add fresh seed chocolate to chocolate that's at 118 and stir it until it's 89, then yes, it will probably be in temper. But you should always double check by doing a temper test anyway, because there's nothing worse than thinking chocolate is in temper when it's not!

Re. your temper curve - I'm not entirely sure how Callebaut gives its numbers. I'm particularly confused about the 94.1 measure. But I'd assume that 113-122 is the temperature you should heat your chocolate to to melt out all the crystals. If you were tabling the chocolate, you'd want to cool it down to 80.6 to introduce the right crystals, so that's what that number is. And the chocolate is in temper between 87.8-89.6.

The 94.1 might be the maximum temperature you can achieve once you are overcrystallized. Basically, the crystals continue to multiply, and eventually even though you are in the right temperature range your chocolate becomes to thick to work with. Then it's possible to heat it above the typical temper range and have it remain in temper, although you need to be cautious about it. But maybe some Callebaut users can weigh in on if that's what that number is for.

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#214 merlicky

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 09:36 AM

Just so I get this right...Once I drop the chocolate from it's high of 118 to its low of 89, it's in temper and I can use it at that point?

Not exactly. It depends on how you are dropping the temperature of the chocolate. If you just heat it up and leave it to cool, then the chocolate won't be in temper. If you heat it up and put tempered chocolate in it to cool it and seed it, then it should be in temper.

However, it is usually not best to use chocolate that has just reached the required temperature. Initially there might not be enough seed crystals distributed through the chocolate and you could get spotty temper or streaking. So, usually once the chocolate cools to under 90°F you want to agitate (stir) it for a little bit to get a good quantity of seed crystals throughout the chocolate.

#215 bkeith

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 06:35 AM


bkieth:
yes, it helps quite a bit---I'm going to assume that the callebaut couveture chips I'm using are already in temper, though I still have a couple of questions:

1. Does this asssume if i do the direct warming via the microwave or stovetop with these chips and it exceeds 88-90 degrees, it will go out of temper?

2. Does this also mean that if I do seeding technique that I will always have to add tempered chocolate as seeds? Which is to say, If I use chocolate that i screwed up on tempering, can I re-temper it without adding new tempered chocolate by bringing it up to the requisite temp and cooling it down to desired temp?


thanks so much for your help!


1. Yes, although I have found that if I go just a bit above and quickly add some fresh chocolate, it will temper fine. And the exact temper range will vary depending on the chocolate you are using.

2. Yes, if you are using the seed method you always need to have tempered chocolate as seeds. The only way to re-temper chocolate without fresh seed chocolate is to use a method such as tabling described above, which uses a completely different method to introduce the appropriate crystals.



Thanks, Tammy, for jumping in. I haven't had a chance to check in here since Wednesday morning.
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#216 sixela

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 03:17 PM

thank you all for passing on your understanding of chocolate --- i think i get it!!! (thank god)...one more question: what is happening in the tabelling process that allows un-tempered chocolate to be tempered? Thanks again for all your help!

#217 Kerry Beal

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 04:04 PM

thank you all for passing on your understanding of chocolate --- i think i get it!!! (thank god)...one more question: what is happening in the tabelling process that allows un-tempered chocolate to be tempered? Thanks again for all your help!

In tabling you are - as in merlicky's response - forming the form V crystals along with a variety of 'undesirable' crystals. When the tabled chocolate is added back to the remaining warm chocolate in the bowl it is warmed back up to the working temperature. If the working temperature isn't exceeded then you will melt out only the undesirable crystals, leaving the good beta or form V crystals to predominate and multiply.

#218 judyjeu

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 09:59 PM

Hi everyone - I've been making truffles for a number of years (hobby-level) using my Revolation 1 to temper the chocolate and dip the centers. More recently I've been using molds. Throughout this time I've stayed quite amateur/ignorant about the tempering process since the machine did it for me, although I had a high level understanding of what the machine was doing. I recently outgrew the Revolation, so I bought an ACMC Tabletop temperer. I've tried to temper four times in a row and failed each time, and I'm getting desperate. I've read everything on tempering out there (including these forums) but can't figure out the problem. I hope you can help.

Environment: 68F degrees (20C), 50% humidity
Chocolate: Callebaut bittersweet. Manufacturer recommends: 113-122F (45-50C) melt, 81F (27C) seed, 88F (31C) working temp. Chocolate is not tempered (already used a few times), except for seed chocolate. Trying to temper about 1.5 lbs at a time.

1st attempt: Followed ACMC directions - melted to 115F (46C), held for 10 mins, added small pieces seed/tempered chocolate (2 oz) directly to melted chocolate, cooled to 82F (28C) (seed completely melted), held for 10 mins, raised to 89F (32C), held for 10 mins. Tempering failed. My theory: perhaps I didn't add enough seed chocolate as I later read it should be 25% of total chocolate.

2nd attempt: Same as previous but this time added 6 oz of seed chocolate in medium sized chunks. Removed chunks when reached working temp - the removed chunks were 8 oz of chocolate (had melted chocolate stuck on it), so it doesn't seem like much if any seed melted. Tempering failed.

3rd attempt: Tried the Revolation since this worked for me in the past. Revolation melted at 110F (43C), cooled to 86F (30C), I added 4oz seed (only 1/8 oz melted & the rest removed), raised to 89F (32C). Tempering failed again. (The revolation uses preconfigured temps which are not adjustable.)

At this point after some research I concluded my problem could be that using the chocolate many times over without tempering it meant I had lots of "bad" crystals that needed to be melted out, so I should use a higher melting temp for longer. (And Greweling recommends melting at 122F/50C.) I also realized I didn't need to do both seed chocolate and the raise-lower-raise temp cycle.

4th attempt: Back to the ACMC. Melted at 120F (49C) for 2+ hours. Dropped temp. Added 6oz seed chocolate when temp dropped to 113F (45C) - medium/small chunks, most added behind baffle and some added directly to melted chocolate. Dropped temp to 89F (32C). Pulled out remaining seed and tested temper right away. Result: Failure again. Chocolate seemed thicker (?).

At this point I've started to question whether I am even correct in thinking it's not tempered, but I'm pretty sure it's not. Using the Revolation for years, I always just assumed it was tempered, so I didn't get good experience in learning characteristics of tempered chocolate. And generally it seemed to be tempered, since I could use molds with the Revolation and the shells would release OK. Generally with the Revolation I was starting with tempered/fresh chocolate, whereas in these attempts I'm not. Maybe that makes it more difficult.

Here are the symptoms I'm noticing that make me think it's not tempered: 1) If I smear a small blob on a flat surface, it dries very dull and is somewhat soft if I break it. 2) Not drying fast. 3) Not releasing easily from molds - I have to refrigerate/freeze, then whack the heck out of the molds multiple times to get the shells out, breaking half in the process and a bunch don't come out at all. Those that do come out look pretty good though - shiny on the outside and snap well. When dipping centers, works OK but seems thick (centers are chilled though), surface is matte but not horribly dull.

So...... any ideas about what I'm doing wrong? I'm grateful for any help you can give. Sorry, I know this is yet another "I can't temper" post, but I've read all the previous ones and still can't figure out my problem.

Thank you!!

#219 prospectbake

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 11:50 PM

I've never used a tempering machine when working with chocolate, but I'm a bit surprised its giving you that much trouble (isn't the point of those machines to make tempering easier?). My first guess is that the chocolate is contaminated somehow, water maybe? By your descriptions of the chocolate it most definitely is not tempered correctly. I would start with fresh chocolate, especially if you've been using chocolate that has been melted down after being in the fridge/freezer since it's likely absorbed some water. It sounds like your conditions are pretty ideal otherwise.

So while I can't really suggest how to use your machine, this is what I do (and I've yet to incorrectly temper a batch).
Starting with tempered chocolate I slowly melt it down over a bain-marie (heat turned off) until it's about 80% melted, take off the heat and continue to agitate, using my spatula to pull the chocolate up the sides of the bowl to help cool. The unmelted chocolate acts as the seed in this case, and once it reaches about 90 degrees, or feels slightly cool against your lip, I test, and use! Pretty simple, and I've used this for molded chocolates with excellent release, shine, and snap. I don't know what temperature I melt it to, but if you start with tempered chocolate there's really no need to go above 100 anyway (I don't usually even use a thermometer)
If I do use a seed (working with untempered chocolate or I can't find any mycryo), I don't add it until mid to high 90's since beta-crystals (the desirable variety) don't start forming until around 93, so if you add the seed too early you may just end up melting out the seed before the beta crystals could even start to form. I also make sure to agitate a lot to ensure a good temper, if the chocolate looks streaky it may be in temper but just need more stirring (I assume though that the machine does this for you).

It sounds to me that this machine is complicating things far too much! Chocolate is sensitive, but not that sensitive, and just takes a little practice. Hope that helps!

#220 lapin d'or

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 03:16 AM

I was wondering if you have been able to double check the temperature of the pool of chocolate against a thermometr so you are sure the machine is giving you good temperature information?

And also when you decide to pull out the seed chocolate and check for temper has the main pool of chocolate had time to start developing enough good crystals. The seed chocolate is just that, it starts the development of the right crystals but even at the right temperature you may need to wait and just keep the chocolate stirring for a while for the whole pool of chocolate to get seeded enough. Then if it starts to get over crystallised you need to melt a few out.

I have often read that to temper an amount less than 1kg is not so easy and it looks like you are working with a bit less than that but that advice may just apply to tempering 'manually'.

Hope that helps, I have not used a table top temperer so no direct experience to call on.

Lapin

#221 Marmalade

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 04:21 AM

Try melting at 120 or so as you mention, dropping down to 90-92, and adding seed then. Wait at least 10 minutes or more and test for temper. You are probably adding your seed when the chocolate is still too hot. Good luck!
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#222 lebowits

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 07:53 AM

I use a larger Chocovision (X3210) but have hand tempered chocolate many times. Melt your chocolate to approximately 118F, add at least 10% of the weight of your melted chocolate in seed, large chunks work well, let the temp fall to 90F and remove remaining seed. Continue to cool and agitate to 82F - 83F, and then bring back to working temp which will vary based upon your chocolate (approx 88.5F for dark chocolate). Test your temper.
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#223 Digijam

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 08:26 AM

I'd second the advice to check the calibration of your temperature probe. I've got the same tempering machine(the ACMC) and quickly discovered that I need to up my figures a notch to compensate for its readings. Don't be afraid to work on the upper limits for your chosen chocolate type and to shut the machine down for a few minutes once you do get a working temper.

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Edited by Digijam, 17 November 2010 - 09:09 AM.

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#224 Kerry Beal

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 09:08 AM

Odd that the chocolate is not tempering well in either of your machines - perhaps there a problem with the chocolate?

#225 chocchic

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 09:38 AM

are you using seed chocolate straight from the Callebaut block or has it been previously tempered yourself? It may be a problem with improperly tempered seed crystals.

#226 judyjeu

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 11:16 AM

Thanks everyone for such quick responses! To answer a few questions - I don't think my chocolate is bad (no water touched it, wasn't refrigerated), although I have previously used it to dip chilled truffle centers so maybe it's possible the centers had some condensation. I have gone through the tempering process several times with my chocolate, so it is well "used" - but from what I understand that's not supposed to be a problem. On my last attempt I used a 2nd thermometer to make sure my ACMC wasn't way off, and they were pretty close (usually within 1 degree, occasionally 2 degrees briefly). My seed chocolate is Callebaut block, so it is definitely tempered.

Based on your feedback, it sounds like I'm adding my seed at too high a temp and also not giving it enough time to form the beta crystals at the lower temp. (Although adding seed too early doesn't seem like it would hurt anything if you still have unmelted seed at the end - i.e. all your seed wasn't melted at too high a temp, is this correct?) And given that my machine is always agitating the chocolate, it seems that although my chocolate might not be tempered as soon as it drops to 89, it would eventually become tempered after more time just from the agitation, which I didn't find to be the case.

This is what I'll try next: melt at 120F, hold for a while, drop temp to 93 and then add seed chocolate, drop to 82, hold for 10 mins, bring back up to 89, hold for 10 mins, then remove leftover seed. Is that leaving the seed chocolate in too long? I know it might be; I guess now I'm paranoid I'm not seeding enough so I'm trying to stack the deck in favor of that.

If this doesn't work then I'll try starting with fresh tempered chocolate instead of my very used untempered chocolate, and see if that works. At least that will eliminate one variable.

Thanks for your help!

#227 Chocolot

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 10:35 PM

You are making this way too hard. Melt the choc to 120. Turn the temp down to working temp-90? Throw some broken up block in the back of the baffle. Turn the bowl on and walk away. When it hits the working temp, you are ready to go. Leave the block in the back, or what is left of it. Keep seed in the back while you are working. This will slowly melt and you can continue working. If it seems to over crystallize, turn the temp up 1-2 degrees.

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#228 lebowits

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 07:54 AM

You are making this way too hard. Melt the choc to 120. Turn the temp down to working temp-90? Throw some broken up block in the back of the baffle. Turn the bowl on and walk away. When it hits the working temp, you are ready to go. Leave the block in the back, or what is left of it. Keep seed in the back while you are working. This will slowly melt and you can continue working. If it seems to over crystallize, turn the temp up 1-2 degrees.


I second this. In my own case, I remove the seed when the bowl reaches 90F so as to prevent over seeding.
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#229 grits12

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 07:08 AM

I'm new to working with chocolate. How do I temper fine chocolate?

#230 Maison Rustique

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 07:26 AM

I use a tempering machine (Revolution) and it works great. Mind you, I'm not tempering vast quantities for commercial purposes.
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#231 rickster

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 09:03 AM

Assuming you don't want to invest in a machine, I find using the microwave and an infrared thermometer to be an easy way to do it. You should look for instructions in a book, like the ones by Andrew Shott or Peter Grewling.

#232 RobertM

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 09:37 AM

Grits12: Please check out the forum on the 2012 Confection Conference that will be held in March in the Washington DC Metro area. Everyone is welcome to attend, I'm sure we will have a session on chocolate tempering techniques, giving you the opportunity to try different methods of tempering chocolate.

http://forums.egulle..._1#entry1829802

#233 Kerry Beal

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 03:39 PM

Here is a link to a demo I did a while back.

#234 Emily_R

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 09:09 AM

Hi all -

I'm about to have my first go at tempering chocolate for making spiced PB cups, and I've of course obsessively been doing research about how to temper. From what I've seen, if you have quality block chocolate that is already in temper, and don't heat it above around 95 degrees, it should stay in temper. I have a dehydrator with a thermostat that will let me set the chamber to 90 or 95 degrees. I'm wondering if I could simply chop my chocolate, put it in a glass bowl, and stick it in the dehydrator until the chocolate has melted?

Emily

#235 Chris Hennes

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 09:14 AM

Yep, but it takes a long time (overnight, typically). You might be better off just learning the seeding method for tempering chocolate, if you ever plan to do any more chocolate work.

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#236 tikidoc

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 10:11 AM

Yep, but it takes a long time (overnight, typically). You might be better off just learning the seeding method for tempering chocolate, if you ever plan to do any more chocolate work.


Agreed. As someone new to this whole chocolate making thing (and learning thanks to people like Chris) I can say that the seeding method is really not hard. Use a scale and a microwave and it's pretty easy.

The one thing I was surprised by is how quickly the chocolate can heat up in a microwave. When instructions say to go in 5-10 second increments once you are getting close to target temps, that is not an exaggeration. 5 seconds can heat a pound of chocolate several degrees, better to check the temp more often than necessary than to have to toss it and start over.

#237 Emily_R

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 11:10 AM

Thanks guys -- didn't realize it would take quite that long in the dehydrator. I'll try the seeding method. Don't have a microwave so I'll do the double boiler...

#238 stuartlikesstrudel

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 02:05 AM

Hi,

I've just started experimenting with a bit of chocolate making and am loving it - I've had a few problems with tempering and I'd love a bit of analysis of my results:

The chocolate i've been using is Lindt 70% dessert chocolate (labelled as a good one to use in desserts/pastry, not sure if it's actually different % cocoa butter).
However, it's out of date by 6 months now, and i don't know if that is the source of my problems. One of my blocks had gotten slightly warm and looked like this when I opened it, the fat had separated I guess, but when I melted it it looked fine.

chocBlock.jpg

Anyway, I tried to temper but didn't have a thermometer, so I'm pretty sure I got it wrong. That's fine, I've just bought one so will try again and anticipate more success! Do you think the results I've gotten (see below) are all caused by lack of temper, or is the age of the chocolate also a problem? The big blob is a pool of leftover stuff after I dipped, and it set up with a weird swirl pattern and also was a bit crumbly when I snapped it... this is what I'm unsure about (the streakiness I guess is just varying temperatures of the chocolate around the bowl?).

chocDisc.jpg

These are three truffles from the same batch of chocolate - the different combinations of matte, slight shiny bits (is that in temper?!) and even some blooming have me a bit confused.

truffles.jpg

And lastly, one general question that I haven't seen an answer for - I've been using the method in Kerry's Demo, but I wonder if the chocolate needs to be already tempered to work? (i.e if I buy "regular" chocolate from a supermarket, apart from maybe not tasting great, will it still temper if I get the technique correct?.

Thanks :) I look forward to many more adventures!

#239 Kerry Beal

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 02:07 PM

The demo was seeded as I recall - you need chocolate that is in temper to act as the seed.

#240 stuartlikesstrudel

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 04:47 PM

I don't think it was seeded in the demo... appears that the temperature and agitation as it cools is what makes it work.





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