Jump to content

lironp

participating member
  • Posts

    134
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by lironp

  1. On 8/7/2018 at 4:33 PM, YetiChocolates said:

    Ok... I’m now a convert. I decided to wash my molds with soap and buff the water out with a cotton ball (because of the calcium content in my water) and I have to say the chocolates do come out pretty shiny! Here’s a couple photos. And it cuts my cleaning time in half so I’m pumped!E64AA345-F916-42C9-864A-0D731DBD9783.thumb.jpeg.698c1bb6c35b3696cc16e7e014f374b3.jpeg00216C96-82AE-4DBB-B69A-440A3369177A.thumb.jpeg.2e34cd2bfb7431216755b209d0a6831e.jpeg

    Just finished reading through this thread, but apparently missed this part- arre you saying washing the mold with soap reduces the need for polishing each cavity?

  2. 6 minutes ago, lironp said:

    Adding my 2 cents for @SweetSymphonybyM as Jim recently helped me a ton with this :)

     

    Here is the setup I got that works like a charm:

    TG5    GREX Tritium Top Feed w/ 0.5 mm Needle
    TK-7  GREX Nozzle Conversion Kit 0.7mm (I switched to the 0.7 needle straight away, but I think there was someone using the 0.5 needle and said it was ok)
    CP50-1    GREX Tritium Top Feed Cup 50mL  (I actually don't need the large cup yet- I prefer several small cups as I switch colors quite a bit so far)
    GMAC    GREX Quick Connect w. Air Flow Valve  (this is genius- allows you to control the air pressure easily from the airbrush)
    AD12    GREX Adapter 1/8” M x 1/4” F (the 1/4" F is what my compressor required- that will depend on your compressor)

    GBH-10   GREX 10' airbrush hose (I got the 10' so I could move a little more)

    1/4" NPT quick connector- the hose goes into AD12, which then needs a quick connect to connect to the compressor. Apparently there isn't much of a standard for quick connect, so I went to our local hardware store, they gave me 3 different types of 1/4" NPT quick connector, and told me to return whatever didn't work (and they said that if none of them would have worked I should get a set of coupler + plug kit to replace the coupler that is already part of the compressor).

    California Air Tools 8010 Ultra Quiet & Oil-Free 1.0 hp Steel Tank Air Compressor, 8 gal, Silver - this is the compressor I got that was recommended to me by grex support. It is quiet, large tank, and has enough power to get everything out. 

    Master Airbrush® Brand Universal Clamp-on Airbrush Holder- for putting the airbrush down without the paint spilling from the cup.

     

    Hopefully this is helpful- took a little bit of work to figure out, but everything is working like a charm.

    I do also recommend purchasing from https://jerrycarterairtool.com/ who are the nicest guys ever and have amazing customer support, and not chef rubber (who don't have all the pieces, and also have consistently terrible customer support).

     

    Regarding the natural cocoa butters - I tried 2 types:

    1. Pomegranate infused cocoa butter- it keeps clogging my airbrush, and the little that does come out is so dull you can barely see it on the chocolate.

    2. The zen series (which I think they claim is also natural)- much better than the infused, but still not as bright as the artisan or jewel which is my favorite. 

     

     

     

    oh, and my "spray booth" is a big cardboard box :) Because it is very easy to control the pressure with the GMAC regulator, I don't get much overspray so nothing outside of the box gets color on it (and I did just spray around 20 molds at once)

    • Thanks 1
  3. On 9/19/2020 at 7:14 PM, Jim D. said:

    @SweetSymphonybyM 

    Originally I decided the information below was too detailed and esoteric to include on eGullet, but now I'm going ahead, with the idea that it might be helpful to another in the future.

     

    The diagram referred to is a drawing Grex tech support sent me; and can be found at this link.  Please note some changes/explanations for the diagram mentioned below.  I must state at the outset that I have very few mechanical/technical skills; I mostly followed directions and read a lot online to get this done. It is a setup for a more or less "permanent" connection for an airbrush; if you want to allow for using a paint gun, there are a few adaptations I could describe if desired.

     

    I got all Grex items from Jerry Carter Air Tool, the only business I could find that had everything (Grex does not sell merchandise directly). Jerry himself was very helpful. 

     

    TG5    GREX Tritium Top Feed w/ 0.5 mm Needle
    TK-7  GREX Nozzle Conversion Kit 0.7mm
    CP50-1    GREX Tritium Top Feed Cup 50mL 
    GMAC    GREX Quick Connect w. Air Flow Valve 
    AD21    GREX Adapter 1/8” M x 1/4” M 
    AD24    GREX Adapter 1/4” F x 1/4” F 

    GBH-06   GREX 6' airbrush hose

     

    As is obvious from the list, I use a 0.7mm needle, but for that, you have to purchase the 0.5mm airbrush and also the upgrade kit. Whether the 0.7 makes a huge difference, I do not know. But I do know that pastrygirl on eGullet is now thinking of upgrading to the 0.7, so she might be able to furnish more information on why she feels that way.

     

    The 50mL cup is definitely what you need; otherwise you will go crazy refilling the cup.

     

    The quick-connect air flow valve (which is attached between the airbrush hose and the airbrush) is really useful (more info below).

     

    The two adapters (AD21 and AD24) are for the "permanent," non-quick-connect setup.

     

    Items I bought elsewhere:

    The Grex airbrush holder did not work for me at all, so I bought this one from Harbor Freight, for the grand total of $9.99. It works great. It does need attaching to something so that it doesn't tip over, and I found a small piece of tile at Lowe's to which I glued the holder.

     

    I also got a moisture trap/filter at Lowe's. I'm not sure it's necessary, but I figured it couldn't hurt and it is recommended by many. Note that in setting up to airbrush, you will need some way to prop up the filter so that air flows from top to bottom.

     

    And you will need a roll of plumber's teflon tape. If a connector has an O-ring to seal it tightly, that is sufficient, but there are some connectors that don't, and they need tape for a tight seal.

     

    And here are my notes on the hookup of the system. Please excuse me if you already know a lot of this.

     

    From the compressor, you need a typical air hose long enough to reach from compressor to close to where you will be airbrushing. Here's an example of such a hose.  If you add a moisture trap, you need two such hoses (one from compressor to moisture trap, another from trap to airbrush, so they will be shorter hoses).  The hose needs (or two hoses need) a male connector to the compressor, female connector on the other end. For this I have a quick-connect connector (1/4" male to connect to compressor, 1/4" female to connect to the air hose).  Here's an example of such a quick-connect fitting.

     

    From this hose to the moisture filter/trap,  the diagram provides two options. The Grex AD24 (which is 1/4" female to 1/4" female) is sufficient (I see no reason for a quick-connect connector here since the setup will be "permanent").

     

    Then the moisture trap needs to be connected to the airbrush hose. This is the end of the moisture trap that is blue in color in the diagram. Unless you plan to use another spray gun (such as an HVLP one), you don't need the quick-connect options and the AD21 is sufficient (note that the AD12 connector close to the green airbrush hose in the diagram) should have been included within the red rectangle, as it is not needed unless you are using the quick-connect option.

     

    Then the airbrush hose needs to be connected to the airbrush. For this I strongly recommend the quick-
    connect option (G MAC) as this has a pressure regulating knob that comes in handy. It is also great to be able to disconnect the airbrush quickly to clean out one cocoa butter color and/or place the airbrush in a warmer between brushings. As a side note: The Grex cannot do splattering with cocoa butter, and the pressure regulator will not make that happen, but it does come in quite handy when the viscosity of cocoa butter is causing an issue.

     

    If you have questions, don't hesitate to ask. I knew none of this stuff when I started, and I owe practically everything to Grex tech support. Just one example:  Having teflon tape is so taken for granted in the airbrushing/spraying/plumbing worlds that nobody told me I needed it until I spent a lot of time trying to make connections airtight and asked Grex.

     

    I paid $300 for a Grex-branded compressor (actually from California Air Tools), but if I had it to do over, I would get something more like the California Air Tools 8010A ($198 on Amazon)--larger air capacity than mine, same (relatively) quiet operation, and less money.  Since Grex no longer sells the compressor I bought, this is the one they recommended to the person I previously helped with these decisions. My entire setup (with the more expensive compressor) cost approximately $850, so this would be around $750.

    Adding my 2 cents for @SweetSymphonybyM as Jim recently helped me a ton with this :)

     

    Here is the setup I got that works like a charm:

    TG5    GREX Tritium Top Feed w/ 0.5 mm Needle
    TK-7  GREX Nozzle Conversion Kit 0.7mm (I switched to the 0.7 needle straight away, but I think there was someone using the 0.5 needle and said it was ok)
    CP50-1    GREX Tritium Top Feed Cup 50mL  (I actually don't need the large cup yet- I prefer several small cups as I switch colors quite a bit so far)
    GMAC    GREX Quick Connect w. Air Flow Valve  (this is genius- allows you to control the air pressure easily from the airbrush)
    AD12    GREX Adapter 1/8” M x 1/4” F (the 1/4" F is what my compressor required- that will depend on your compressor)

    GBH-10   GREX 10' airbrush hose (I got the 10' so I could move a little more)

    1/4" NPT quick connector- the hose goes into AD12, which then needs a quick connect to connect to the compressor. Apparently there isn't much of a standard for quick connect, so I went to our local hardware store, they gave me 3 different types of 1/4" NPT quick connector, and told me to return whatever didn't work (and they said that if none of them would have worked I should get a set of coupler + plug kit to replace the coupler that is already part of the compressor).

    California Air Tools 8010 Ultra Quiet & Oil-Free 1.0 hp Steel Tank Air Compressor, 8 gal, Silver - this is the compressor I got that was recommended to me by grex support. It is quiet, large tank, and has enough power to get everything out. 

    Master Airbrush® Brand Universal Clamp-on Airbrush Holder- for putting the airbrush down without the paint spilling from the cup.

     

    Hopefully this is helpful- took a little bit of work to figure out, but everything is working like a charm.

    I do also recommend purchasing from https://jerrycarterairtool.com/ who are the nicest guys ever and have amazing customer support, and not chef rubber (who don't have all the pieces, and also have consistently terrible customer support).

     

    Regarding the natural cocoa butters - I tried 2 types:

    1. Pomegranate infused cocoa butter- it keeps clogging my airbrush, and the little that does come out is so dull you can barely see it on the chocolate.

    2. The zen series (which I think they claim is also natural)- much better than the infused, but still not as bright as the artisan or jewel which is my favorite. 

     

     

     

    • Like 1
  4. 1 hour ago, teonzo said:

     

    You need to consider many more factors.
    Spraying colored cocoa butter in your kitchen means everything else in that room will need to be cleaned. You could get a spraying booth that works fine (other money), limiting the clean-up, but you would have to give a thorough clean-up to your kitchen no matter what. This means time, this means money (other added costs). Sprayed cocoa butter has the tendency to go anywhere, with the risk of ruining other appliances, especially if they are the cheap models. If sprayed cocoa butter ends inside a motor of one of your appliances, then there is the risk that this motor is going to break. Time ago I witnessed the maintenance of a depositor, it had cocoa butter inside everything, and that place sprayed cocoa butter like 2 hours per week.
    Within that price range you will always have to face one trouble or another with your set-up. You won't have enough pressure reserve to do your experiments. You will have to wait some time between each mold. You will start cursing with the cocoa butter getting cold while you wait. So on. No matter what you choose, you will end up unsatisfied. Simply because when you will learn a technique then you will want to pass to another one. Which is the reason why you are looking for an airbrush: with your current tools you are limited, you want to do something else. You will always have these limits, unless you get the big tools, which are well above your price range.
    So you should ask yourself if you are going to keep it as a simple hobby or not. To answer this question you need to consider millions of factors that only you know.
    If you want to keep it as a simple hobby, then my suggestion is to buy the cheapest solution, then be patient. Which you already are, since you are doing chocolate bonbons by hand at home. Get the solution with the smaller overspray, so your clean-up will be limited.
    If you are aiming to get more serious, then wait until you are confident about spending more money, then spend it once for the correct set-up that will satisfy your needs for more years possible. Or you spend the less money possible, or you spend the money to get the best set-up possible. Better avoiding in-between choices.

     

     


    Teo

     

    That's a very good point regarding tye overspray, and final convincing in getting an airbrush now. 

    The grex sounds like it is worth the extra price- small oversray, large tip, changing fan and piston which is more comfortable.

    I contacted their support to ask what the compressor requirements are for the 0.7 tip, and it requires a more industrial one (they recommended California air 4620ac. (60 psi is not enough with 0.7 tip according to them).

     

    Since it is double the price of the husky, and the spec is actually not as good (smaller container, less HP and CFM), I think I will get the husky which seems like the cheapest for now and will stay around if i switch to a spray gun at any point- does that make sense, based on the points you mentioned? (I want to make sure this setup addresses all those points)

     

    That, combined with the airbrush and accessories for connection comes to around $450 which I can live with 

  5. 4 hours ago, teonzo said:

    The big question here is not what it's best for you now, but what your future plans/hopes are. Where do you think you will be in 2023, 2025, 2030? Are you keeping your chocolate making as a little home hobby, or do you plan/hope to turn it into your main job?
    If you plan to go bigger over time, and hopefully make it your main job, then it has no sense to save money now to buy something that will be useless in less than 2 years, it would be wasted money. If this is the case, then you need to start making a multi-year plan and see what your hopes are.
    If you want to keep where it is now (a weekly home hobby) AND you worry so much about spending $300 instead of $200 (worrying about money is always a good thing), then just buy the cheapest alternative out there. Whatever you buy in that money range will leave you unsatisfied, you will always want something better/quicker/bigger. You just need to consider that you are already spending a lot of patience doing chocolate, you will still need patience, just a little less than now. If you want something really effective then you need to raise you budget considerably.

     

     


    Teo

     

    Thanks Teo :)

    I do have a full time job in software, so this isn't professional for now. However, because it isn't professional, I am also ok on spending more money to make things less arduous so I keep enjoying it (so am fine going up to in budget), I just am having a hard time figuring out what the best solution is for me, considering I don't have a lot of volume.  

    If I up my budget to the $400-$500 frame, it sounds like the grex + appropriate compressor would be the best solution for me, does that make sense?

     

  6. 16 minutes ago, Jim D. said:

     

    I was looking through the Home Depot compressor offerings. My compressor is 2HP but only 4.6 gal. According to what Teonzo wrote earlier in the thread, it would be nice to have at least 2 or more HP, but it is the capacity that affects your work the most. HP seems to be what raises the cost. The Husky ones have lower HP, but more capacity. All of the ones I looked at offer sufficient PSI for both the Grex and an HVLP gun.  As I said previously, my HVLP gun (the same type as the Grizzly you are looking at) struggled with a 4.6-gallon tank. Teonzo recommended 50 liters (13 gal.) minimum, 100 if possible. Home Depot has several Husky models with 20 gal. (76 liters); the least expensive I saw is $219. If you go with a smaller tank model (as you mentioned you are thinking about), it will probably be fine with the Grex, but if you move to an HVLP, you will need to invest in a second compressor (or drive yourself crazy waiting for compressed air). You mentioned having spent enough time thinking about this. I would say it is time well spent. The decision has to do with what direction you expect your work to go. I hope I don't sound like a know-it-all (I certainly am not); I am just thinking of all the expensive mistakes I made along the way. If you can swing the more expensive Grizzly, it will allow for several options. I will try to get @teonzo's attention and hope he can offer his advice on your options.

     

    Now for the easier question:  If you start with a new bottle of cocoa butter, you can microwave it in short bursts, shake the bottle, and it will probably end up in temper.  I transfer cocoa butter to little glass containers and heat them (in my dehyrator) to well above 100F. Then I cool them in cold water (just to save time), and use a little cocoa butter silk from the EZtemper to bring them into temper. There are, of course, alternatives, such as using some fresh cocoa butter as seed, but nothing as quick as @Kerry Beal's silk. Do you have an EZtemper yet?

    I don't :)

    i do use mycryo to temper chocolate which is super fast, and for splatter pattern with a toothbrush i would just wait for the CB to cool down, then give it some good shakes in the jar and and that would do the trick, although I don't really know what the official temps are for just CB.

     

    regarding the compressor- thanks again for your help, you sound nothing like a know it all and I do appreciate your advice!

    it seems that to get a compressor that is strong enough for a spray gun, even a cheap one would probably be $300+ , not to mention a massive toy I dont have anywhere to store (working in home kitchen for now).

     

    so with that, i will likely spend on the grex airbrush you recommended, buy the 0.7 nozzle (i see the default it comes with is 0.3), and now my last question is really what is the cheapest compressor that would work well with that airbrush (not necessarily a model, but what spec should I look for- capacity, HP and etc?). I dont mind the price if the husky I mentioned, but if i am not buying something that will work with a spray gun anyway, i would rather get something smaller and lighter than the husky.

  7. 7 minutes ago, Jim D. said:

    There are different opinions on the subject of whether colored cocoa butter must be tempered. One theory (which is enticing because it makes everything much easier) is that the cocoa butter gets tempered as it flies from the gun. I have never seen anyone with any proof that occurs. Ever since I took an online course with Andrey Dubovik on decorating shells, I have tempered all cocoa butter. Melissa Coppel does so. Kirsten Tibballs does. I just don't want to take a chance.

    Ok, good to know that :)  How do you temper cocoa butter? In the bottle?
     

     

    47 minutes ago, lironp said:


    So I have been spending way too much time going back and forth on this.
    I think where I am now, is buying a compressor that will be strong enough for a spray gun and the grex, so I can get the HVLP and the grex at some point.
    From what I have read, I need at least 2 HP for the grizzly, is that correct? I went to homedepot and they didn't have any compressor with that much HP, they did have a Husky 1.8 hp, 8 gallon capacity and 3.7-4.8 SCFM for ~$150, do you think that will work for the grizzly? (Are there any minimum values for capacity and SCFM that are needed for a spray gun?)

     

     

    Thinking about this some more- 
    The grex is $200. If I decide to buy that it seems like it can do with a much cheaper/smaller compressor, and no need to spend $300 on a large compressor.
    For the grizzly, do you think the husky I described above could work? Or too little HP (also the grizzly spec says 6 CFM, does that mean the CFM here isnt enough?)

  8. 18 minutes ago, lironp said:


    So I have been spending way too much time going back and forth on this.
    I think where I am now, is buying a compressor that will be strong enough for a spray gun and the grex, so I can get the HVLP and the grex at some point.
    From what I have read, I need at least 2 HP for the grizzly, is that correct? I went to homedepot and they didn't have any compressor with that much HP, they did have a Husky 1.8 hp, 8 gallon capacity and 3.7-4.8 SCFM for ~$150, do you think that will work for the grizzly? (Are there any minimum values for capacity and SCFM that are needed for a spray gun?)

     

    And actually one more question- it seems that because the grex is an internal mix, you need to temper the CB before using it, vs external mix airbrushes where you just need it at the right temp?

  9. On 8/10/2020 at 10:12 PM, Jim D. said:

    No, this is the Grex I have (the Tritium model with the .7mm nozzle). The Bakedeco setup is not robust enough (the compressor is 1/8 HP, much too little power, the nozzle is only .35mm, and the cup is very small--Grex makes a 50ml size). The compressor is approximately what I got in the beginning, and I had to replace it as I began doing more molds. I mean, it will work with the .35mm needle that comes with it, but you will be frustrated waiting for enough compressed air to spray adequately and I don't think .35 will be satisfactory at all.  HVLP guns have different sizing, and nozzle sizes are larger than those for airbrushes. If you need to keep the expense low, I would probably go with the Grizzly spray gun (which is only $43) and a larger compressor.  If you hate the Grizzly, you will be out a relatively small amount and will have a compressor that will work for whatever you decide to use. The dehydrator I use is $190 and works well for heating cocoa butter, a spray gun, and chocolate in preparation for tempering.


    So I have been spending way too much time going back and forth on this.
    I think where I am now, is buying a compressor that will be strong enough for a spray gun and the grex, so I can get the HVLP and the grex at some point.
    From what I have read, I need at least 2 HP for the grizzly, is that correct? I went to homedepot and they didn't have any compressor with that much HP, they did have a Husky 1.8 hp, 8 gallon capacity and 3.7-4.8 SCFM for ~$150, do you think that will work for the grizzly? (Are there any minimum values for capacity and SCFM that are needed for a spray gun?)

  10. 1 hour ago, Jim D. said:

    @lironp, a few thoughts on your decision:  I have used 4 different airbrushes, and by far the best has been the Grex. I find the gun-like trigger action easier and more comfortable to use than the more prevalent ones with the trigger on top of the gun. The Grex is more expensive than many other airbrushes, especially if you upgrade to the .7mm nozzle, which works better for cocoa butter, and it requires more compressed air and so a stronger compressor. If you keep it warm (which I consider a "must"), it sprays beautifully. I bought a dehydrator to keep it warm, and the model I purchased is great. The Grex has a larger size cup, and that is a crucial consideration; stopping to fill up the cup as you spray is a major nuisance.

     

    HVLP spray guns are, of course, similar but are different in many ways. I bought a very inexpensive one from Harbor Freight tools. It sprays more rapidly than an airbrush but uses more cocoa butter. Mine does not do splattering, but some of them do. Here is a link to a Grizzly model recommended by @Bentley, and he stated that it does splatter very successfully.  Of course, an alternative for splattering is to use toothbrush, recommended by some famous people in the field (such as Andrey Dubovik).  I also have a Fuji spray system, another version of an HVLP gun. It works very fast but uses a huge amount of cocoa butter. From what you wrote, it is beyond the price range you are looking at.

     

    As people have posted in this thread (see especially the comments by @teonzo), the compressor is a crucial choice. It's not just the HP but the amount of storage of air that counts. My Grex works fine with my 2HP, 2-tank California Air Tools compressor, but the El Cheapo HVLP gun kept the compressor running almost constantly to provide enough air at high enough a pressure. If you go with an HVLP gun (such as the Grizzly), I would recommend a compressor larger than what I purchased.

     

    So if you will be doing 10-20 molds, an argument could be made for either choice. An HVLP gun will use more cocoa butter and will get them done faster than an airbrush, and if you want to do splattering with whatever you choose, the Grex does not do splatter, and only certain HVLP guns do. No matter what choice you make, I would strongly recommend getting something to keep the cocoa butter and gun warm. My dehydrator has changed my life (as far as decorating molds, goes!).  And, sorry to say, you might be able to stay within your desired budget, but it will be difficult, and (in my opinion) allowing for expansion (making more chocolates in the future) will save you in the long run. I predict that as you get into more elaborate decorating of molds, you will be hooked, like so many of us on eGullet.

     

     

    Just now, lironp said:

    Thanks for your super detailed response, highly appreciated @Jim D. & @Sweet Impact Mama!

    I have been splattering with a toothbrush until now, but I think I was being greedy wanting to do that automatically :)

     

     

    In the video I linked to above, Thayer recommends 1.7-2.2 nozzle for a spray gun to get a really smooth finish, but I don't see anything in that realm- is that applicable to the very expensive models?

    Is there really any advantage to using a cheap spray gun over the grex or even the Paasche H single action? It sounds like that will force me to buy a more expensive compressor and with the volume I predict for the next few months wont save me too much time. 

     

    Is this the grex model you are referring to?

    https://www.bakedeco.com/detail.asp?id=22697&trng=fgle&gclid=CjwKCAjw4MP5BRBtEiwASfwAL3wnb4A3_XBksU-U3kYURsg22MnXx-ByZb68zApHlrDazTRBTj47hxoCAIwQAvD_BwE

     

     

     

  11. Thanks for your super detailed response, highly appreciated @Jim D. & @Sweet Impact Mama!

    I have been splattering with a toothbrush until now, but I think I was being greedy wanting to do that automatically :)

     

     

    In the video I linked to above, Thayer recommends 1.7-2.2 nozzle for a spray gun to get a really smooth finish, but I don't see anything in that realm- is that applicable to the very expensive models?

    Is there really any advantage to using a cheap spray gun over the grex or even the Paasche H single action? It sounds like that will force me to buy a more expensive compressor and with the volume I predict for the next few months wont save me too much time. 

     

    Is this the grex model you are referring to?

    https://www.bakedeco.com/detail.asp?id=22697&trng=fgle&gclid=CjwKCAjw4MP5BRBtEiwASfwAL3wnb4A3_XBksU-U3kYURsg22MnXx-ByZb68zApHlrDazTRBTj47hxoCAIwQAvD_BwE

     

     

  12. Hello everyone!
    After taking a break from chocolate making for a few years, I am back and doing some small production right now.

    Most of what I do is dipped, and for molds i either brush with luster dust or splatter colored cocoa butter with a brush.

     

    I would like to buy an airbrush/spray gun and after reading through this thread and watching this very informative video I still feel lost.

     

     

    Requirements:

    Volume: In the next few months, I will want to spray around 10-20 molds per week (ideally all on the same day, with multiple colors- my favorite is chef rubber's jewel collection). This isn't a large amount, but I do also have a day job, so wouldn't want to spend more than 2 hours at most on this amount of molds.

    Decoration: I would like to also use it for splatter and not just spray (unless that drastically increases the price). 

     

    Ideally, I would want to spend up to $200 on a gun/brush + compressor, unless that is completely unrealistic for my needs (and then will rethink cost vs requirements).

    So now I am trying to figure out whether I need a brush or a gun, and based on that what should I buy. 

    I understand a spray gun is much faster and more comfortable to use than an airbrush. While there are quite a few spray guns that are around $50-60 (I have no idea if they are suitable for cocoa butter), because they require a larger compressor that may be out of my budget?

    The airbrushes themselves seem to be better for more detailed work (such as spraying through a piping tip, which I am not going to do anytime soon :)), how long would it take to spray an entire mold with one? It also seems like the canisters are very small, so not sure how many pauses would be required to refill them?

     

    Would appreciate any guidance on what would better suit my needs, and based on that any specific product recommendations, TIA!

     

  13. In the course we didn't have time to let this set, so we actually piped the ganache into rosettes.

    After now making this twice at home, I have 2 tips:

    Work very quickly to spread the filling after whipping, it hardens very quickly.

    Refrigerate before cutting with a guitar (or knife), which is what the Chef told us we would have to do although I had to see it to believe it!

    Could anyone else reading this thread and who wants the recipe please PM me with the request, I have completely lost track of who I have sent the recipe to...

  14. Do you blend the ganache before piping it? That helps crystallize the chocolate, which eventually thickens it.

    From my experience, you can pretty much get any ratio of cream:chocolate to thicken enough to mold (and sometimes even for dipped chocolates), depending on how crystallized the ganache is.

    What temperature is the ganache in when you pipe it? That's another factor in how it will set.

  15. This subject has ben on my mind for 2 years now, and I have finally cracked it.

    I loved Jean Paul Hevins salted caramel mousse, and La maison du chocolat's milk chocolate caramel mousse, and have racked my brains on how they get this result- this is not a buttercream (too tasty for that). No frappe/ egg whites in the ingredients list for la maison de chocolat's chocolates (and not that texture really). Can't just be a regular whipped ganache, since it's shelf life is pretty decent, and it took a while to dry out...


    Yesterday I finished Frederic Hawecker's chocolate and confections course, in the Barry Calebaut chicago chocolate academy.

    One of the recipes we made, was an orange caramel ganache. At one point chef said that this ganache can be whipped and get a really good texture.

    Bells started ringing in my head- is this finally it??? Have I cracked the secret?? I asked if this was the technique for La maison's ganache. After he got over his surprise of someone knowing of that ganache, he went on to say that this technique is only used by La maison du chocolat, Patrick Roger and Jean Paul Hevin (as far as he knows), since it is pretty hard to cut.

    This is a caramel based ganache, with a relatively high butter content, that is whipped at exactly 14 degrees celsius. Before cutting with a guitar, it is refrigerated, since it is pretty soft, and even then it is very hard to cut without the corners breaking (which is why he said few people make this).


    After harrasing him enough, he was willing to leave out enough of that caramel ganache to whip later on (this wasn't originally in the course plan), and bingo!! After whipping it, we got the same texture from that orange chocolate mousse! That course was worth every penny :)


    I can PM the exact recipe, to anyone that is interested.
    • Like 1
  16. This is now my 4th effort at posting. I did clear cookies etc. Thanks for a great thread!! I very nearly missed it.

    I will, in the future, always put out a post to the forum of the country I am visiting in order to avoid missing out on meeting interesting people and seeing places I may not know about!! There is a chocolatier here on egullet, named Jeff Stern, who lives in Quito. Once when my hubby was in Guayaquil on business, they met up. The result was me getting a bunch of delicious chocolates. This was a good few years back. I enjoyed the Republica del cacoa chocolate as well!! Here are some photos of what I received.

    attachicon.gifEcuador1.jpg

    attachicon.gifEcuador2.jpg

    attachicon.gifEcuador3jpg.jpg

    attachicon.gifEcuador4.jpg

    attachicon.gifEcuador up close.jpg

    Yes, I have them all, I bought one of each type, and then some after my first taste. They had a store in the airport, where I could get some more chocolate before going back home :)

    Before my next visit to Israel, I'll try to see if I can get my hands on their dark-milk chocolate for you! It was a 65% milk chocolate, which was amazing!

  17. You were in Ecuador and you didn't send me an email? Por vergüenza. I would have directed you to the shade plantations of pure Arriba in Guayas, which are much more interesting..... Sun-grown cocoa doesn't approach the flavour of shade-grown, as it seems you noticed in your tasting. The growing practices are also very different for the two methods.

    República de Cacao and Kallari are probably the best chocolates produced here, with both companies using primarily wildcrafted Arriba (nacional is a poor designation for this cultivar, as it is easily confused with the national cultivars of other countries this way. Arriba only grows in Ecuador...) The yield might be lower with wild plants, but the quality is easily the highest.

    R de C uses Belgian processing techniques, while Kallari uses German ones, and the difference is notable between the two. It's a shame you couldn't find Kallari's 75% bar, which is a standout and often wins international medals. It's got tremendous complexity without being too bitter on the palate.

    You're also missing one of the best coastal producers, Valdivian, who are mixed sun and shade growers on the northern coast. Their Gold bar is a standout with a very nice blend of smoky dark flavours and creaminess.

    If only I'd known you were in Ecuador, I should have asked here before the trip!

    I did not know what you said about the sun grown vs. shade grown, in plantations that are shade drown, what provides the shade?

    Also, what is the difference between Belgium and German processing techniques?

    We tried the Kallari 85% which was very nice, though not as interesting as R de C in my opinion.

    We bought all of these bars in a supermarket, so I just bought what they had- didn't see Valdivian, I'm sorry to have missed those both.

    The Pacari we bought was pretty bad, I don't know if it was just the types we bought, or is that their general quality?

    In any case, I was happy to see so many producers in Ecuador, and not just plantations.

×
×
  • Create New...