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Spraying Chocolate: Equipment, Materials, and Techniques

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#271 Kerry Beal

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 04:41 PM

Re the Badger - I think the cancer causing part is using the canned air.



#272 egermino

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 11:23 AM

I've read through this thread to try to get an idea of a good airbrush/compressor to buy for finishing chocolates with, and it seems like a Paasche external mix might be a good way to go. But I'm still not clear on how different options influence the results when spraying cocoa butter (e.g. external versus internal mix, single action versus double). Is there a particular model that folks would recommend, especially for small batch work? Also, what are the considerations when choosing a compressor? 



#273 Jim D.

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 02:07 PM

I've read through this thread to try to get an idea of a good airbrush/compressor to buy for finishing chocolates with, and it seems like a Paasche external mix might be a good way to go. But I'm still not clear on how different options influence the results when spraying cocoa butter (e.g. external versus internal mix, single action versus double). Is there a particular model that folks would recommend, especially for small batch work? Also, what are the considerations when choosing a compressor? 

At Kerry Beal's suggestion I purchased the Paasche HS Single Action airbrush (external mix).  There have been some people on this forum who use internal mix airbrushes, but I think those require more attention as you are spraying (more frequent reheating).  I got a large supply of the glass bottles for this airbrush and just keep cocoa butter in them ready for remelting and attaching to the airbrush.  As you probably already know, using chocolate in an airbrush is a compromise; these devices weren't really meant for chocolate.  So the simpler the better, I think.  I got a heat gun and have to reheat the spraying part several times while spraying one or two trays, but that is a fairly minor hassle.

 

For a compressor I got the Iwata SmartJet Pro, more expensive than some others, but very quiet.  Incidentally the adapter provided by Iwata for Paasche airbrushes does not fit easily with the sort of cone-shaped Paasche bottles.  Paasche sent me a replacement hose (free of charge) that works perfectly.  Very good customer service.


Edited by Jim D., 27 March 2014 - 02:09 PM.


#274 shubashuba

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 11:04 AM

Hi everyone, I'm not too sure if this is the right place to post as I'm rather new to the forums. Mods please shift it if I'm posting in the wrong place! Basically, I have an airless spray gun which isn't working. If anyone has experience with guns and can offer some help, I'd be incredibly grateful!

 

The model of my gun is the Clarke CAS110 (see http://www.machinema...ctric-spray-gun or attached images. The company, Clarke, is probably based in the UK. I've sprayed with it only twice before using cocoa butter mixed with colored white chocolate with no problems, though I probably didn't clean it very well. The last time I used it was nearly 4 months ago, and I brought it out again yesterday to spray a cake for a friend's birthday only to have it fail on me. The gun didn't seem to suck up any liquid, not even water, and I noticed that the motor sounded a lot less noisy than usual. It used to be freakishly loud, and this time it was a lot softer.

 

I'm not really familiar with these guns and not sure how to go about even unblocking the system. The manual only suggests dismantling and cleaning the nozzle and valve components, which I've shown in the last picture, and it still didn't work. I haven't called them the company up for assistance mainly because I don't think they will be very happy to hear that I was spraying chocolate with their gun. Any advice?

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#275 Lisa Shock

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 01:49 PM

Did you run vegetable oil through it after your last use?



#276 Stu Jordan

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 08:32 PM

Use your hair dryer and gently blow heat over the affected areas - this will melt the blocked chocolate. That gun won't spray chocolate due to the small nozzle size, so maybe try doing 50% cocoa butter/ 50% chocolate instead


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#277 dcarch

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 09:55 PM

I don't have a spray gun like yours, but I am familiar with similar tools.

 

I don't think there is a motor in the device. The unit uses a vibrating magnetic drive ( which makes terrible noise) to propel the liquid.

 

From your picture of disassembled components, I think you may be missing to take apart another component.

 

The vibrating magnet pushes a steel piston which sucks the liquid up the siphon tube. Often the piston gets stuck because the coil spring is not strong enough to push back against high viscosity liquid.

 

You will need to take apart and open up the whole tool. It is not very complicated inside.

 

You need to find a way to force the piston out and wash it clean so that it can move freely again.

 

dcarch


Edited by dcarch, 13 May 2014 - 10:02 PM.


#278 shubashuba

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Posted 21 May 2014 - 01:06 PM

Despite darch's good will and patience, I've given up after a long battle with my jammed spray gun. I've tried prying the piston attachment open until it got bent out of shape, soaking it in vodka, boiling water and dishwashing liquid, even acetone and sonicators (sneaky use of school equipment) but it still doesn't suck up liquid, so I've finally decided to just buy a new gun. I've obviously learnt from my lesson, so would like to seek advice here before buying one. I've tried searching around the forums and on the net, but am still not very sure which model, specifically, is reliable. Several websites just say 'wagner' in a general fashion but I know a chef who uses the Wagner 180P - is it okay for simple, more 'macro' spray jobs (not for airbrushing chocolate and fondant or things like that)? More importantly, what are the steps that I should take every time I finish spraying? Should I dismantle everything down and dump all the parts in hot water, or must I flush everything with cooking oil and things like that? Thanks!



#279 gfron1

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 08:39 AM

My two cents after having gone from Wagner to Fuji to Badger.  Regardless of the system, invest in a warming box (Steve and I both have good success with a dehydrator), set it at 33ºC and store your gun in it.  What I learned at the workshop that we just had in Vegas is to invest in a second gun and leave them both in so I always have a warm gun.

 

Why 33º?  Your molds should be at 19-21º, the cocoa butter should be at 30-32º and the room should be at 20º.  The cocoa butter should not exceed 34º so by setting the gun at 33º you keep it at the higher end of the range to allow for cool down as you use it.


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#280 Jim D.

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 10:15 AM

 Regardless of the system, invest in a warming box (Steve and I both have good success with a dehydrator),

Would you mind saying what brand/model of dehydrator you use?  Thanks.



#281 gfron1

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 10:45 AM

It doesn't really matter - just a box one not round tray.  That's my way of saying I have a lot of crap stacked on and around it so I don't think I can find out easily but I purposefully bought a cheapy.  When I upgrade I'll buy one with temperature control instead of a knob.

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#282 Jim D.

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 12:53 PM

I asked about the brand because of the temperature control issue.  I would want to find one that maintains temp (more or less) accurately.  So many devices that have a temp control seem to offer just an approximation of what the dial says. 



#283 gfron1

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 06:04 PM

Mine is http://www.sausagema...ehydrators.aspx, but again, what you're looking for is what I'll be upgrading to very soon.  This one was gifted to me.


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#284 Kerry Beal

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 06:26 PM

Steve is using an Excalibur.  



#285 Chocolot

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 09:03 PM

I use an Excaliber. Cabela sells Excaliber under the Cabela brand and it is much cheaper.


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#286 keychris

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Posted 24 May 2014 - 01:36 AM

Mine's an Excalibur as well!



#287 gfron1

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Posted 24 May 2014 - 06:37 AM

would someone mind linking to the product on Cabela's page.  They show an excalibur at 299, but there are cabela brand machines at 239 and 189.  Which one are we talking about.  I ask because they have a $5 shipping special this weekend.


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#288 Chocolot

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Posted 25 May 2014 - 02:22 PM

Rob, I saw it on one of their ads a while ago. Maybe just a one time deal?


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#289 YetiChocolates

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Posted 25 May 2014 - 03:43 PM

I got my excalibur on Amazon for I think $160-$170.  Well worth the money spent, saves me so much time as I do not have a microwave, so I have to warm my cocoa butters in hot/warm water...large pain in the keister :).  Throw them in the night before and by the AM they are ready to go.


Edited by YetiChocolates, 25 May 2014 - 03:43 PM.


#290 Matthew Kirshner

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 04:45 PM

Hi Everyone,

 

 a couple months ago I bought a new airbrush kit.  I like the gun but hate the compressor.  The gun is Master G23 and it came with 12v mini portable.  I was hoping on to get some advise on a new compressor(model, where to buy, etc..) The application is mostly for spraying cocoa butter into molds, but ever now again also used for cakes.  It does not have to be portable, it will be brought into work and left there. 

 

any thoughts welcome, thanks in advance.



#291 MSRadell

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 05:05 PM

I have this one: http://www.amazon.co...rush compressor although I don't use it for pastry it should work very well for that.  It produces a large amount of air with 0 pulsation and is quite quiet.


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#292 bakeaway

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 03:16 PM

Hi everyone, I'm not too sure if this is the right place to post as I'm rather new to the forums. Mods please shift it if I'm posting in the wrong place! Basically, I have an airless spray gun which isn't working. If anyone has experience with guns and can offer some help, I'd be incredibly grateful!

 

The model of my gun is the Clarke CAS110 (see http://www.machinema...ctric-spray-gun or attached images. The company, Clarke, is probably based in the UK. I've sprayed with it only twice before using cocoa butter mixed with colored white chocolate with no problems, though I probably didn't clean it very well. The last time I used it was nearly 4 months ago, and I brought it out again yesterday to spray a cake for a friend's birthday only to have it fail on me. The gun didn't seem to suck up any liquid, not even water, and I noticed that the motor sounded a lot less noisy than usual. It used to be freakishly loud, and this time it was a lot softer.

 

I'm not really familiar with these guns and not sure how to go about even unblocking the system. The manual only suggests dismantling and cleaning the nozzle and valve components, which I've shown in the last picture, and it still didn't work. I haven't called them the company up for assistance mainly because I don't think they will be very happy to hear that I was spraying chocolate with their gun. Any advice?

 

 

Hi, is this a paint gun or a food gun? I've come across various thread like this where paint guns just can't cope with chocolate, after all they are designed for paint. Perhaps if you are having trouble it's worth looking at the type of gun you are using and if you are working with chocolate regularly, perhaps getting a heated gun would be a better option. There's been a lot of advertising on linkedin and twitter about a heated gun, here's the link to one of their videos, it may be what you need...

https://www.youtube....h?v=QqCSMi_faRQ

 

Hope it helps :-)



#293 andiesenji

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 12:45 PM

I don't know if anyone might be interested but I have two airbrushes up on ebay.

 

One is a Paasche, used once with food coloring - testing, cleaned, dried and put away.   item #  181466692725

 

The other is one I bought at one of the "Tools of the Trade" art shows because it has a trigger instead of the button, which I thought would be easier on my hand after I developed arthritis.  However soon after I stopped catering altogether and never used it. 

It is very versatile in that it can handle thicker materials than most airbrushes.  The full instruction sheets are in the "Photos" .  item #  181466702743

 

At the time I had several other airbrushes, including a Paasche AB turbo, two or three Badgers, an Iwata and a Devilbiss, all heavily used.  I stuck these two in a cupboard in my studio and forgot all about them. 


Edited by andiesenji, 16 July 2014 - 02:22 PM.

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#294 gfron1

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Posted 19 September 2014 - 10:53 AM

I have a back to basics question on my first day of the new chocolate season.  At the eG choco workshop in Vegas we were told that cocoa butter should be held at 30-32º and room at 20º.  I've always had my cocoa butter in a non-digital dehydrator, and have never really checked the temp - with mostly good success.  Today I checked and I was up at 45º!  I went ahead since I was just doing trial runs today and had some pooling or beading of the cocoa butter on the mold.  I assume this was because I had it too hot.  So the basic question...can I just back the temp down to 32º or do I have to do more steps that than that to get it back in temper?  Thanks.


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#295 keychris

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Posted 20 September 2014 - 03:10 PM

I always stir it as it cools, it encourage the beta crystals to propagate, but I've seen other people on here that don't bother with any of that nonsense and just use it at the right temperature. Personally, I feel I get better results when I stir it. YMMV!



#296 Kerry Beal

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Posted 20 September 2014 - 03:18 PM

I'd give it a shake every now and then as it's cooling.



#297 gfron1

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Posted 20 September 2014 - 05:13 PM

Thanks guys.  I think I'll have one tray that won't release but the others should be fine then...now if I can get my shelling viscosity to thin down a bit!  Its a 36 hour battle at this point.


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#298 mostlylana

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Posted 22 September 2014 - 11:04 PM

Ahhh spraying... I hung up my spray gun a few years ago.  I really need to get it out again and play.  I'll repost the info I got from Derrick Tu Tan Pho about spraying.  It's great basic info...

 

"What he said is most important is temperature. He said to shake it until it reaches 32C -33C. He said the shaking is putting it into temper. However, he said if you are using a high volume spray gun at 40 - 50 psi and you have a cool room 18 -19C, you can get away with having the chocolate/cocoa butter at 45C because the high velocity of air is tempering the chocolate as it sprays (like an automatic tempering machine). He recommends a spraying distance of 10 inches to give the chocolate time to temper as it flies through the air (my words!). He said if the chocolate is closer to the temper range you can spray closer to the mold. 

He also talked about the temperature of the mold before spraying. He said it needs to be warm but not too warm. I know one of the posts here said 27C. He said that is too hot and will cause release problems. He said too cool a mold will also cause release problems. His advice - no warmer than 24C - somewhere between 22C and 24C.

Once you've sprayed your cocoa butter it should be left to set up on the counter - not the fridge. He said if you put such a thin layer of cocoa butter in the fridge it sets too fast and creates Beta 6 fat molecules which are very hard. Then when you fill your mold with chocolate to make shells, it doesn't bond well with the spray and you have release problems - the sprayed layer will stick to the mold. He said it should set up between 3 - 5 minutes on the counter just like when you do a temper check. He said if it doesn't set up in that time you haven't been successful. Make sure they are set up completely before molding.

Before you make shells he said it's no problem to leave the sprayed molds for awhile as long as they're at room temp. He said do not use the hair dryer to warm them before molding! He said the hair dryer will melt such a thin layer. He suggested to have your molding chocolate at the high end of the temper range to create a good bond with the sprayed chocolate. He even recommended around 33C for dark AS LONG AS IT'S STILL IN TEMPER - that's key."

 

The following week I spoke with Thomas Haas - our master chocolatier in Vancouver - he said he uses an airbrush for cocoa butter. I asked him if he tempered the cocoa butter. He said he uses it 1 degree warmer than tempered for the airbrush and 4 degrees warmer than tempered for the spraygun in order to compensate for the air flow tempering the cocoa butter while spraying. 

 




 



#299 tanya_simone

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Posted 07 October 2014 - 04:38 PM

Hello all! A little introduction :

 

I've been making little handmade chocolates for only a few months now on and off when I get time, I never before read anything about them until a couple of weeks ago, it all just started by accidentally making a batch of fudge wrong (it came out too runny and I didn't want to waste it and realised I could probably pipe it into something) so I decided to cover it in chocolate, so off I popped to the shop to buy a mould and everything started from there. They went down well with friends and family and so I began experimenting with textures and inventing my own flavours, making gooey fillings from fresh fruits and various other ingredients / flavourings.

I never knew tempering existed until I posted my sister some chocs 3 weeks ago and they had all bloomed the day after, when she recieved them (I now know all about this having done research on it, I was ignorant to it before because I love cold chocs so I always just kept them in the fridge and was blissfully unaware of *bloom*) So I've had to learn & sort out my tempering and thankfully now have lovely shiny, crisp chocolates.

 

I thought my little creations were super until I came on here a few days ago and saw the gorgeously painted, ultra-shiny perfect ones that other people had made, I was in love! This quickly made me realise I had to step up my game and I was well out of my league!

 

I have read pages upon pages of these forums and tried researched into colouring and air brushing etc but I still have a couple of things I'm unsure of (and would like to double check before I purchase any equipment, I also live in the UK and most of the good stuff I see is in America so don't want to waste time ordering the wrong things!)

 

OK!

 

1 - The airbrush itself, does it have to be specifically for chocolate making or can you clean it all out and then later use it for spraying icing? Or do you need to buy two different machines / nozzles?

 

2 - Just to clarify (I'm easily confused!) ANY form of colours for chocolates have to all be oil based, and the icing ones are water based?
So only cololoured cocoa butter can be used for the choc spraying and nothing else? I understand you can make your own coloured cocoa butters but they are very tricky to master and can go wrong very easily.

 

3 - I couldn't understand how everybody was creating things like 'passion fruit flavours' etc, since I try to make all my tastes from scratch when possible, I was baffled. Eventually I read just one line saying something about 'powdered fruit extracts' which blew me away as I didn't even know they existed.

If you were adding it to your fillings, how would I add it to the mix without it becoming grainy? I once tried to use Angel Delight (pudding mix) to make banana milkshake flavour chocs while experimenting, the taste was gorgeous (I'm a banana freak) but it was slightly grainy and so it went straight in the bin. Do I need to mix these powdered fruits up with anything before adding to my mix to stop this happening with them?

 

Sorry for the rambling and questions but I'm loving playing around with all this as it's so new and exciting. I admit, I'm one of those people that wants to jump straight in & get testing and trying things out for myself to see what works, but I do love finding out 'how' and 'why' things work too

 

Thankyou very much in advance for any replies, they are greatly appreciated indeed  ^_^

 

 

 



#300 Kerry Beal

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Posted 07 October 2014 - 05:17 PM

Welcome Tanya - sounds like you are learning a whole lot very quickly.  

 

I'd use a different airbrush for water based stuff than cocoa butter based stuff.  I'd be concerned if you did both with the same brush that you might get moisture in your cocoa butter and cause it to seize making it very hard to clean later.  That being said I've taken airbrushes that were used for liquid food safe colours and repurposed them for cocoa butter after I made good and sure that all moisture was out of them - but wouldn't use for both.

 

Colours for spraying in molds are fat based - generally colours for icing are water based.  You can also dilute chocolate in more cocoa butter and spray that in a mold along with the cocoa butter based colours.  Cocoa butter based colours are not that difficult to make yourself - though I've never managed to mix a green I'm happy with.

 

When trying to make an intensely flavoured filling I often try to get 3 sources of the flavour in there - so I'll use fruit puree, with the addition of freeze dried fruit powder and perhaps a bit of compound flavouring (a commercial product of intense flavour) to try and get something that can overwhelm the chocolate and cream components in the ganache.  Powdered stuff needs to be ground quite finely so it doesn't add a grainy feel.  Although ganaches can become grainy through poor mixing techniques as well.  


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