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Jim D.

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    www.santiagochocolates.com

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    Staunton, Virginia

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  1. Others on eG have dealt with the spray issue in a kitchen and have utilized large sheets of plastic over nearby objects. Doing this very often will probably impel you to get that rental space sooner! One suggestion meanwhile is to utilize painting techniques (with brushes, sponges, etc.) in molds so that you minimize airbrushing. One technique we learned from Andrey Dubovik is to paint several layers of translucent colors in a cavity, then spray an overall covering layer. It makes a marbled look that can be quite beautiful. You can see examples in the thread on the Dubovik course.
  2. My, for someone who wasn't sure about pursuing the airbrushing of chocolates and who made only a few of them a month, you certainly have some impressive equipment. A melter is what many chocolatiers use to warm up their spray guns and cocoa butter. At 7" tall, it will hold Chef Rubber cocoa butter bottles upright. You can place cocoa butter and airbrush in the melter the night before you work, and all will be ready in the morning.
  3. The booth catches most of the backspray, but with colors containing a substantial amount of white, some escapes into the surrounding area. As I wrote previously, a fan aimed at the spray booth helps some with this issue. The amount of cocoa butter getting into the air is substantially less than when I was using just a big box with a filter in the back and a large fan behind it. I think a fan strong enough to suck up all the ambient cocoa butter would be something more akin to a jet engine. So I still wouldn't airbrush in my kitchen--that's what basements are for.
  4. @SweetSymphonybyM, after you get used to your new system and if you really get into spraying molds (and how could you not after all this research and investment?), you might want to consider a heat source to keep cocoa butter flowing through the airbrush. There is a lot of info on that, and I think each of us might have his or her own favorite device. So if you find yourself becoming frustrated by how often you have to heat up the brush, get back in touch.
  5. The California Air Tools compressor is slightly quieter, has slightly higher HP; the Dewalt has higher air capacity. I think you will be fine with either as both have adequate capacity. I might favor the quieter one. I have now used the CakeSafe some more and am still pleased. It's not perfect, but I have come to understand that spraying cocoa butter will always produce some cocoa butter in the air (and thus in one's nostrils). I don't see how any device could remove it all from the air because of the viscosity of the substance. The idea is to minimize that issue. I now use a
  6. All I can tell you for sure is that mine has a capacity of 4.6 gallons, and it works but has to run frequently to keep up with the HVLP gun. I trust Teonzo's knowledge, so I think 13 gal. is sufficient. But if you can get a larger capacity for the same or less money, then I would probably go for that. My understanding is that when a compressor has to run a lot, it wears out faster. The ideal would be a 2 HP with 13 gal. capacity or more, but (again, just what I get from reading) 1 HP is sufficient.
  7. In a quick search I couldn't find where I called for 13 gallons, but Teonzo recommended it. Certainly the more capacity, the better (within reason), but beware of noise levels (the decibel levels are usually provided).
  8. @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 a
  9. I'll be posting my ideas presented to another eGullet member on the same subject shortly. I'm researching some details/sources for materials to try to be of help.
  10. Several of us on eGullet took Andrey's online course. There is an entire thread devoted to that course. Melissa Coppel is currently offering live online courses worth considering as well. Or subscribe to the Savour School online videos--Kirsten Tibballs is really useful. You really won't find many kits available, and in my humble opinion, you will always do better if you select the components you really want (and ones that will serve you well in the future). A little patience will reward you. And Andrey's course has very little info on equipment. He actually uses a fairly simple airbrush
  11. Turns out you can do velveting with an airbrush, or so Callebaut says in a video I found. Since you would be spraying out a more viscous liquid (chocolate + cocoa butter) than just cocoa butter, you would need sufficient psi. So you might want to search for some online examples of velveting and see if you can find psi mentioned. My advice is to find the connectors. It isn't all that complicated, and I have a graphic that Grex sent me showing it all. Another eGullet member just went through this process, and we handled our back-and-forth through PM, so I'll see if she has any objection to my
  12. I myself am a big fan of blissful ignorance. But now that Kerry has said it, I'll second her suggestion that you cancel. You are overpaying for the compressor. If you want to use a spray gun (in addition to an airbrush), you need more capacity--see what Kerry found in the way of compressors a little earlier in this thread. I have a compressor of 4.6 gallon capacity, and it struggles with a spray gun. I have learned that it's the air capacity of a compressor that matters. And particularly if you want to do velveting, I think you need a spray gun (though I have not done that technique). I ha
  13. I shouldn't have said anything. You will be able to spray molds successfully with that setup. Do be careful with the included bottle of airbrush cleaner for cocoa butter. You might want to use that the first time you use the airbrush (to clean out any "factory residue") or for practicing before you start decorating (which is what I did), but you don't need it when actually brushing colored cocoa butter. But make sure it doesn't have anything in it besides cocoa butter (or water is OK if you dry the airbrush out thoroughly afterward but I doubt CR is selling just a bottle of water). For rout
  14. @SweetSymphonybyM, you ask some questions, but have you definitively made the purchase? That was not clear ("buyer's remorse" is not the same as an order cancellation). I'm not sure if there is a point to saying anything about your purchase if it's "a done deal," so to speak The major part of this kit from Chef Rubber is a Grex Tritium side-feed airbrush. The 1/2 HP compressor has a 1.5 gallon tank. There is a discussion of the Chef Rubber natural colors in another thread. And I recall other discussions of the topic in various places on the forum (CR now has two lines of natura
  15. Those are exactly the same bowls I use for small quantities. I love those Nordicware bowls. I too sometimes reheat the chocolate emptied out on parchment. Sometimes in a big batch, when the chocolate in the Delta machine is clearly becoming over-crystallized, I scoop up that dumped chocolate, heat it enough to get it definitely out of temper, then add it to the chocolate in the machine. This works very well to deal with that over-crystallized state (which creeps up on one because its signs are not so clear-cut as might be wished).
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