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Kerry Beal

Chocolate Lab and Teaching Room

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I envy your workspace, even if it has a bit of a setback. Hopefully the vent will get sorted out soon.

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Back in 2009 I posted on this thread that I had a 'toy' in the garage with all the sinks and stainless tables and was going to tell you about it when I got it set up.

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I picked this up from a fellow who had bought it at auction from a company in Texas that had gone out of business. He decided he didn't need it for his business so opted to sell it. I got it for a really good price - the Selmi, the enrober and an EZ Fill Depositor. The EZ Fill has gone to a good home which helped defray the shipping cost of the unit. I learned a lot about how to transport large expensive objects cross border!

Well here we are in 2012 and I'm finally there! Those round tuits are hard to get your hands on. The delay was waiting for the hubby to apply himself to the 220 wiring, the 3 phase converter, the various controls and boxes on the electrical room wall and finally getting it cleaned up and working. Fortunately there is very little that is mechanical, electrical or electronic that he can't get running if there is any hope for it at all.

The sucker was filthy - inside and out. He ran gallons of water through the cooling system - finally stopped getting black after a couple of days. When we put the first batch of chocolate in to clean out the old stuff that was still under the bowl - we couldn't get any chocolate to come up through the spout - after taking it apart again he discovered the auger was running backwards and was so gummed with old chocolate that he had to take that whole part apart and clean it thoroughly. Not easy as this is one of the first models that doesn't have the easily removable auger.

Turned out that the main circuit board was frapped and needed to be replaced at the cost of about a grand, and I purchased a new tailing bar for the enrober as the original is damaged and that causes it to squeak.

I also had to purchase a goodly amount of food grade ethylene glycol as a coolant.

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So on Friday I had Kyle and his mom over to see it in action. Kyle was my youngest student ever - he was 9 when he first came to learn - we had to put a stool beside the counter so he could reach. He's almost 15 now - still making chocolate - and doesn't need the stool anymore. Those who have attended the chocolate conferences will remember him. A small bundle of energy! He was totally in agreement with enrobing oreos and the home made Snicker's bars.

As you can see there is still a fair bit I need to learn about balancing the speed of the chain, blow of the blower, tap of the tapper and height of the tailing bar to perfect the bottoms on various size and shaped pieces. One size does not fit all for sure.

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The temper in this thing is perfect! I still had 5 kg or so of chocolate in the unit - so later in the evening I started working on my easter moulds. Several moulds that I've had a lot of trouble with breakage before came out perfectly! That was very exciting let me tell you. I love the idea of limitless tempered chocolate when I start on a large project like Easter or Christmas 3D mould production. I rescued my two huge bunny moulds from Niagara College yesterday - so they are next.

I am so jealous there simply isn't a word for it.

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Oh my--is Gary still alive???

Yeah - knew he'd be doing it - just hoped he'd be finished. Think I'd have learned by now!

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Oh, no! :shock: Leave it to the contractors to mess up your space!

I am really jealous that you have this dedicated space for your chocolate work - that's fantastic. You've got some awesome toys to play with, too! I am still working to convince hubby that I *really* need a choc workshop in the basement, but so far he's been less than enthusiastic. Also not sure how this idea would go down with the building inspector. From what I understand (and you mentioned this upthread) there are some fire and ventilation issues that they might be picky about. Ah, well. Something to work towards.

I hope the vent goes in soon, so that your choc room can return to its natural state, and you can resume teaching. Any airbrushing courses coming up after Easter?

I think the problem is only if you have a heat source in there. I only use induction so it's not a problem.

Airbrushing course can be arranged any time you want.

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I think the problem is only if you have a heat source in there. I only use induction so it's not a problem.

Airbrushing course can be arranged any time you want.

Sounds really good, I'm really excited! Will PM you after Easter to set something up, if it's ok for you.

Thank you, Kerry!

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Hope all is running smoothly there!!! Looks fabulous. Used toys... hmmmm!!! Maybe at a garage sale I can find one...

Enjoy it all!!!! Fabulous!

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Came home today - tables are in place - the vent is still not hooked up but at least the room is useable again.

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Just re-reading previous posts and noticed your refrigerator - with your tools on the door of the unit. Assuming you use magnets to adhere them, what an amazing concept! Do you have any issues with the tool and magnet coming off the fridge in one piece?

Yet, another idea from you that I plan on stealing....

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Just re-reading previous posts and noticed your refrigerator - with your tools on the door of the unit. Assuming you use magnets to adhere them, what an amazing concept! Do you have any issues with the tool and magnet coming off the fridge in one piece?

Yet, another idea from you that I plan on stealing....

Went back to look at your fridge door after reading RobertM's post.

What kind of magnets are these and where do you get them please and thanks.

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Magnets from Lee Valley. Occasionally the magnet comes off with the tool - particularly the chef's knife and the drywall taping knives - but it's not a huge issue.

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Did some enrobing yesterday - over 200 oreos, over 200 coconut wafers, a container of those lovely triple ginger gingersnaps from Trader Joe's (damn - need a Trader Joe's close by) and a couple of Dare brand Bear Claw cookies which are a big soft cookie. Anna and I have an event coming up at a posh girl's school in Toronto later this month.

One thing I've noticed is the blower works 'better' on one side of the chain than the other - need to figure out if there is a way to fix that - suspect there isn't.

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Sounds like so much fun! Who eats all these cookies afterwards???

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Sounds like so much fun! Who eats all these cookies afterwards???

The oreos and coconut wafers are going to the charity fund raising thing - the seconds to work or upstairs for hubby and kid (all oreo seconds are already gone). Not sure what I'll do with the ginger snaps - they were excellent and may not leave the house!

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I don't blame you, Kerry, the TJs ginger snaps are awesome. Trader Joe's is one of my absolute favorite places to shop. Let me know if you need me to send you anything, Kerry, I am in TJs at least a couple times a month.

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I don't blame you, Kerry, the TJs ginger snaps are awesome. Trader Joe's is one of my absolute favorite places to shop. Let me know if you need me to send you anything, Kerry, I am in TJs at least a couple times a month.

I may just have to take you up on this. I have a supply of the cookies right now - but they won't last forever!

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One thing I've noticed is the blower works 'better' on one side of the chain than the other - need to figure out if there is a way to fix that - suspect there isn't.

Is the blower box hollow, or does it have internal baffling?

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I don't blame you, Kerry, the TJs ginger snaps are awesome. Trader Joe's is one of my absolute favorite places to shop. Let me know if you need me to send you anything, Kerry, I am in TJs at least a couple times a month.

I may just have to take you up on this. I have a supply of the cookies right now - but they won't last forever!

Just let me know. It's the least I can do with all the stuff you carted down from Canada for me! As long as I can sample a chocolate covered ginger snap or two next spring!

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Tonight was the night I needed to enrobe over 200 of Greweling's Hot Chocolates - ever last blessed one of them has tails. I'll be trimming til the cows come home tomorrow.

After the chocolates I decided to enrobe some Old Dutch Ripple Chips - request of one of the nurses at work. The machine had a tendency to want to eat them so I had to watch carefully as they came off the belt.

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I must have annoyed the Selmi as I was removing the remaining chocolate - it seems it's now calling me names. Reminds me a little of my GPS.

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How do you trim the tails, please? What's the best way? Thanks.

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After the chocolates I decided to enrobe some Old Dutch Ripple Chips - request of one of the nurses at work. The machine had a tendency to want to eat them so I had to watch carefully as they came off the belt.

I don't blame the machine for wanting to eat them! (And I wonder how the machine would feel about running some pretzels through. :biggrin: )

I want to come over and play at your house! I'll even be able to bring TJ's gingersnaps later this year when the store in Rochester opens.

MelissaH

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Heard that TJ's was opening in Rochester - can't wait.

Trimming tails is going to involve a paring knife.

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He

Trimming tails is going to involve a paring knife.

Kerry, another chocolatier that I know with a Selmi has 'tails' issues. I wonder what's up with that?

Ruth, does our beloved Perfect have 'tails' issues?!

For those of you who dip with a fork, Wybauw gave us a trick in one of his classes to avoid having to trim. I love it! When depositing a dipped bonbon onto your sheet, the issue is usually the little drag that happens when the fork is removed. This can leave a little line of chocolate at the top of the bonbon. He said when you are pulling out your fork - just at the finish - you push your bonbon ever so slightly so it ends up covering up that line. It's really quite simple to do and I do it without thinking now. Haven't trimmed since then. Best trick I got out of that class!

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