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Summer Chocolate Storage Solutions


Kerry Beal
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I store my bulk chocolate at room temperature and my finished chocolates in the basement which is a bit cooler. I had a question from a newer chocolatier out there who follows eG but hasn't quite worked up to posting yet (you remember how intimidating it was to post at first).

I thought I'd post the question here and get some opinions. Would a wine cooler be a good place to store bulk chocolate and finished bonbons? Apparently they can be kept around 55 degrees. The other question raised was moisture if you use one of these coolers to keep your chocolate cool.

Any thoughts? Anyone have one and willing to do some testing?

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I have seen other post around on this subject as well also...just don't have any links.

I have been planing on picking one up before it gets too hot down here in FL land. I remember hearing that it was suggested to place some desiccant in the bottom of the wine cooler to help keep the humidity down. Something like this rechargeable one http://www.chefrubber.com/Shopping/shopexd.asp?id=1182.

Patrick Sikes

www.MyChocolateJournal.com

A new chocolate review community

PS I Love You Fine Chocolates

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I thought about the wine cooler as well.Never got one though.

I still keep my bulk and finished chocolates down in the basement were it stays nice and cool thru the summer.What about those big foam cooler to store the chocolate.

Vanessa

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I thought about the wine cooler as well.Never got one though.

I still keep my bulk and finished chocolates down in the basement were it stays nice and cool thru the summer.What about those big foam cooler to store the chocolate.

I bought a large wine cooler for storing chocolate.....it now holds wine because of humidity issues. I'm in Florida and it just didn't work well...maybe in another location it would do better. Also, the temperature range on the cooler is lower than I'd like and it had a tendency to fluctuate into the 40-50 degree range.

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I thought about the wine cooler as well.Never got one though.

I still keep my bulk and finished chocolates down in the basement were it stays nice and cool thru the summer.What about those big foam cooler to store the chocolate.

I bought a large wine cooler for storing chocolate.....it now holds wine because of humidity issues. I'm in Florida and it just didn't work well...maybe in another location it would do better. Also, the temperature range on the cooler is lower than I'd like and it had a tendency to fluctuate into the 40-50 degree range.

In my new shop I built a cold storage unit and used a wine cellar refrigeration unit to cool it. It is basically like a walk in closet that I insulated, sealed very well and installed a wine refrigerator through the wall. It is large enough to put a dehumidifier in for the summer time but so far it has done a good job of maintaining 59-60 degrees and relatively low humidity. The cooling unit is called a WhisperKool and I got it from an onlne wine cellar company.

Chris

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Kerry,

I have a small wine cooler that i bought from the Brick. I wish it was bigger, but that is where I store all my bonbons. Currently I have my bulk chocolate stored at room temp in my kitchen. The bonbons in the wine cooler are in foil lined box and then wrapped in plastic to make it airtight. The bulk chocolate at room temp is wrapped very very well and then wrapped again in empty cereal bags...such as cherios, rice krispies, etc. because I find that this cello/plastic is very airtight. The key to all things is the airtightness. Of course temp does matter as I don't want the bonbons to freeze.

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Over here a chocolatier told me that he took an old fridgeand had it somehow "fixed" with a different thermostat and somehow got rid of the humidity. I will try to find out more andlet you all know... I saw his fridge - just an old one and everything in it was in perfect shape(the chocolate, I mean!)

Lior

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I bought a large wine cooler for storing chocolate.....it now holds wine because of humidity issues.  I'm in Florida and it just didn't work well...maybe in another location it would do better.  Also, the temperature range on the cooler is lower than I'd like and it had a tendency to fluctuate into the 40-50 degree range.

Hey Truffle Guy,

Have you tried using some desiccants in your wine refrigerator. I am over in St Pete and am thinking about going this way to keep my chocolate bar stash in.

Also, do you have a shop over in Tampa? Would love to come visit....

Patrick Sikes

www.MyChocolateJournal.com

A new chocolate review community

PS I Love You Fine Chocolates

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I think a wine cooler is an excellent place to keep your chocolate. However, as discussed by other members, humidity is an issue so it would depend on where you live.

Here in Utah, however, it isn't much of an issue so wine coolers work very well.

One thing to consider is that many refridgerators have a pan to catch the condensed humidity. It may be possible to run a tube from this pan to the outside to let any condensation drain.

-Art

Amano Artisan Chocolate

http://www.amanochocolate.com/

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I use my wine 'fridge to store my chocolate, and have been doing that for the past couple of years. I keep the chocolate in flat-ish tupperware-style bins; each bin takes up about as much space as two wine bottles, and holds perhaps a kilo or a bit less of chocolate in bar-form; each would hold more in buttons, etc. But keeping them in bins keeps the humidity reasonable, while letting me use the wine fridge for wine. I keep my wine at around 58F, which some people think is a bit high, but works fine for me.

Best,

jk

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I thought about the wine cooler as well.Never got one though.

I still keep my bulk and finished chocolates down in the basement were it stays nice and cool thru the summer.What about those big foam cooler to store the chocolate.

I bought a large wine cooler for storing chocolate.....it now holds wine because of humidity issues. I'm in Florida and it just didn't work well...maybe in another location it would do better. Also, the temperature range on the cooler is lower than I'd like and it had a tendency to fluctuate into the 40-50 degree range.

Pat

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Hi Kerry,

I was just trying to catch up with all the posts and noticed yours. I used a wine cooler in the past, but purchased an insulated pan carrier from Cambro. It allows me to transport some of my local larger orders without any worries. It comes with a plate that you can use to pre-chill the inside (although havent used it yet) but that would eliminate the condensation.

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Hi Kerry,

I was just trying to catch up with all the posts and noticed yours.  I used a wine cooler in the past, but purchased an insulated pan carrier from Cambro.  It allows me to transport some of my local larger orders without any worries.  It comes with a plate that you can use to pre-chill the inside (although havent used it yet) but that would eliminate the condensation.

Like this?

That looks like a great unit for transport of finished and bulk chocolate. I like the handles on top for lifting and carrying. How big is your unit? And how much does it weigh?

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For the Farmers' Market, I'm use this Igloo Ice Cube Max Cool 70 Roller, which I got at Costco for about half the price shown on the Igloo web site. The chocolates are in stacks of letter trays. I think I can get about 20 trays in there. The letter trays stack one inside the other but leave enough head room for the chocolates. When it's really hot, like over 100F, I will also mix in a few trays with sachets of ice (3x5 cello bags filled with water, sealed with my FoodSaver, and frozen). I can then include a sachet of ice to keep the customer's order cool enough while they're on the way home.

The rollers make transporting the chocolates fairly easy since you're trying to juggle a lot of things getting to/from the market.

Getting the trays out of a top loaded unit isn't that convenient. On the other hand, they stay cool.

John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

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For the Farmers' Market, I'm use this Igloo Ice Cube Max Cool 70 Roller, which I got at Costco for about half the price shown on the Igloo web site.  The chocolates are in stacks of letter trays. I think I can get about 20 trays in there. The letter trays stack one inside the other but leave enough head room for the chocolates.  When it's really hot, like over 100F, I will also mix in a few trays with sachets of ice (3x5 cello bags filled with water, sealed with my FoodSaver, and frozen).  I can then include a sachet of ice to keep the customer's order cool enough while they're on the way home.

The rollers make transporting the chocolates fairly easy since you're trying to juggle a lot of things getting to/from the market.

Getting the trays out of a top loaded unit isn't that convenient.  On the other hand, they stay cool.

Price is definately better on that one and I like the wheeled dolly, but I really like the front loading idea.

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Glad to see this thread ... some compulsive buying has led to about 8 lbs of imported chocolate in the pantry, and it would be nice to figure this out before the place turns into an oven.

Is there a problem with the fridge if you seal the chocolate from moisture? I'm going to use all the chocolate for baking, not for eating directly.

Notes from the underbelly

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Looks very similar. I have the s-series version.

It is not too heavy, I can carry it by myself. I looked at a cooler and trying to fit it out, but in the end decided the money was worth it for my needs. There is a castor kit option. And mine came with the cooling pack which is nice. Also comes with a thermo barrier so you can keep half hot and half cold. (Like I need hot working with chocolate!)

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Glad to see this thread ... some compulsive buying has led to about 8 lbs of imported chocolate in the pantry, and it would be nice to figure this out before the place turns into an oven.

Is there a problem with the fridge if you seal the chocolate from moisture? I'm going to use all the chocolate for baking, not for eating directly.

I prefer to keep my chocolate at room temperature, however if your place is going to turn into an oven, then I've heard that if you want to use the fridge, you should wrap air tight, and don't unwrap until it is completly back up to room temperature to prevent condensation.

Edited by Kerry Beal (log)
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In my new shop I built a cold storage unit and used a wine cellar refrigeration unit to cool it.  It is basically like a walk in closet that I insulated, sealed very well and installed a wine refrigerator through the wall.  It is large enough to put a dehumidifier in for the summer time but so far it has done a good job of maintaining 59-60 degrees and relatively low humidity.  The cooling unit is called a WhisperKool and I got it from an onlne wine cellar company.

Chris

That's invaluable for me, Chris. I'm just getting ready to turn my storage closet in my new shop into cold storage for the chocolates. Thank you so much!

Jennifer

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I store my bulk chocolate at room temperature and my finished chocolates in the basement which is a bit cooler.  I had a question from a newer chocolatier out there who follows eG but hasn't quite worked up to posting yet (you remember how intimidating it was to post at first). 

I thought I'd post the question here and get some opinions.  Would a wine cooler be a good place to store bulk chocolate and finished bonbons?  Apparently they can be kept around 55 degrees.  The other question raised was moisture if you use one of these coolers to keep your chocolate cool.

Any thoughts?  Anyone have one and willing to do some testing?

I want to thank Kerry for posting my question. I am the "newer" chocolatier she was referring to.

I also want to thank all of you for your helpful responses and suggestions. I bought a small

(18 bottle) wine refrigerator and some indicating dessicant and have begun to store both my bulk chocolate and finished bon bons in it. I will keep you posted on how this works out for me, both the pros and cons.

I am really happy to finally have participated in the forum and hope to post again soon.

Carol

Edited by carol lang (log)
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Welcome Carol!

this site is full of wonderful people, always willing to help answer questions and give support.

As you can see, your question inspired many different responses and I am sure helped others wondering the same thing. thanks for joining in!

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Hi Kerry,

I was just trying to catch up with all the posts and noticed yours.  I used a wine cooler in the past, but purchased an insulated pan carrier from Cambro.  It allows me to transport some of my local larger orders without any worries.  It comes with a plate that you can use to pre-chill the inside (although havent used it yet) but that would eliminate the condensation.

hi mary,

what size pans will fit? I don't see any dimensions.

Luis

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