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Jim D.

society donor
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Everything posted by Jim D.

  1. Do you know why Hubby insists on this each time? I must confess that when I read this, I went down to the basement and drained mine immediately (visions of house blowing up, etc.), but I would like to know a bit more before I become so virtuous.
  2. I tend to share the view of Kate Weiser, whose business is in Dallas:
  3. Congratulations, and good luck. As for the specific questions: Labels: I have two inclusions in each box: The main one has my contact information and a guide to the flavors (photo + description). Every box has the same guide, which I have "printed" (photocopied actually) on glossy paper at a print shop. The other item is the ingredient list. Our state requires ingredients and weight of product, so the latter will vary depending on the number of pieces. I print ingredient lists on my inkjet printer and cut them to size. Each label will include all ingredients, but I account f
  4. I was also going to mention chablons. Martellato makes all sorts of shapes, including circles of varying dimensions. Chocolat chocolat had the size I wanted and might be able to obtain others. You might have to layer two of them to get the height you want.
  5. I am confused. Earlier you wrote: Couverture is not the same as confectionary coating (a snob might say it is the opposite, but of course we don't have those types on eG). If I may dare to give advice to someone much farther along in the business than I am, if you use the real thing, you can charge more and have claim to the quality of your chocolate.
  6. The compressor, of course, shuts itself off when you stop calling for it to produce air (that is, disconnect the airbrush from its hose). When I am finished airbrushing for a chocolate batch, then I turn mine off with its switch. At that point I also disconnect it from the power source. Totally unnecessary, I am sure, but it's my "Proctor Silex" moment. Once I had a practically brand-new Proctor Silex toaster oven. It was sitting quietly on the counter, not turned on, no toast in it, nothing to provoke it, and suddenly the heating elements came on. Fortunately I was at home and near it,
  7. Actually plumber's tape. Painter's tape may also work, might eventually peel off. Plumber's teflon tape sort of "melts" into the connection (you can tell by my mastery of technical terminology that I hold a master plumber's license).
  8. If the purple color comes completely from luster dust, that is very impressive. What kind of chocolate is behind it? These are beautiful. Where do you get the luster dust? My process (haven't done it in ages) is the same, but the color seemed to be absorbed, certainly did not show up like yours.
  9. Welcome to eGullet. That is an interesting idea. So you had no trouble with anything sticking to the mold when you unmolded the bonbon? I would be concerned that some gold flakes would stay in the mold and leave little holes behind. But it looks good. I've never had much luck with using luster dust and similar decorations--they are either invisible or melt into the chocolate.
  10. With 27 gal. it shouldn't turn on often at all. Maybe once a week. 😄 When Kerry took a class with Luis Amado, I think he had his compressor in an adjoining room/space. But I know you are working in your kitchen, so that probably doesn't help. You do get used to the noise after a while of doing this.
  11. Is the compressor damaged visibly? I ask because an air leak can be from incorrectly installed connections. Some connections require plumber's teflon tape.
  12. Beautiful. Congratulations. The shine is very impressive, and the airbrushing looks as if you have been doing it all your life.
  13. At what psi do you have the compressor set? And approximately how much do you lower the pressure with the GMAC (I know that is difficult to tell because there is no gauge)? I lowered the pressure to 30 psi at the compressor control and had the GMAC completely open, and the spraying was incredibly slow, so I had to reset at 60 and lower it a small amount at the GMAC valve. I was going to post previously that setting the pressure lower will result in less backspray but in slower spraying. It all depends, I suppose, on your patience. I use the term "backspray," by the way, for the cocoa butt
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. @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.
  18. 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
  19. 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.
  20. 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).
  21. @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
  22. 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.
  23. 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
  24. 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
  25. 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
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