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Melanger experimentation


tikidoc
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7 hours ago, cdh said:

Isn't a slab of dry ice in a cooler with a fan a servicible, if ephemeral freeze dryer?  I've seen references to that as a means of getting things like strawberries freeze dried. 

 

As @KennethT said above, you need a vacuum. Freeze dry is a slightly misleading term, you first have to freeze the product, and then you place it under vacuum at room temperature and due to the wonderful laws of physics / thermodynamics / some science thing, the frozen water will sublimate directly to vapour phase without passing through that messy liquid water bit.

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That looks beautiful Kerry.

I've done some with raspberry (50% raspberry and 50% cocoa butter, with more  CB added at the end before tempering). It tastes wonderful but the texture is almost a little 'gritty', despite an overnight in the melanger. Does this happen with the mango or has anyone else had issues with the texture? Any suggestions?

IMG_2377.JPG

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1 hour ago, pastrygirl said:

Does it matter when you add sugar?  Will I get a different result if I grind the nibs alone for a while vs adding everything into the melanger at once?

Not sure - but when you add the fruit alone or fruit and sugar alone you get a whole lot of dust happening.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Kerry Beal said:

Not sure - but when you add the fruit alone or fruit and sugar alone you get a whole lot of dust happening.

 

 

 

Powdered fruit sugar! What's the best approach for this? Do you add cocoa butter first and gradually add sugar/fruit? Adding cocoa butter to a dry mass seems like a great way to get big lumps? 🤔 

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9 hours ago, pastrygirl said:

Does it matter when you add sugar?  Will I get a different result if I grind the nibs alone for a while vs adding everything into the melanger at once?


I don't think the problem with adding everything at the beginning is the end result, I think it's that there's not enough heat and liquid (cocoa butter) at the beginning to avoid getting a thick mass that makes the machine struggle. If you're adding enough melted cocoa butter up front to keep things flowing, I don't see why it would matter when the sugar goes in. But maybe there is some chemical reason for it to matter, I honestly don't know.

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It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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4 hours ago, Tri2Cook said:


I don't think the problem with adding everything at the beginning is the end result, I think it's that there's not enough heat and liquid (cocoa butter) at the beginning to avoid getting a thick mass that makes the machine struggle. If you're adding enough melted cocoa butter up front to keep things flowing, I don't see why it would matter when the sugar goes in. But maybe there is some chemical reason for it to matter, I honestly don't know.

 

8 hours ago, Rajala said:

 

Powdered fruit sugar! What's the best approach for this? Do you add cocoa butter first and gradually add sugar/fruit? Adding cocoa butter to a dry mass seems like a great way to get big lumps? 🤔 

 

Oh I’ve definitely experienced adding too much cold dry stuff, having it seize up and become a giant pain to clean out and start over. That’s on my ‘never again’ list :/

 

Some chocolate maker or another had posted on Instagram that they grind for 12 hours before adding sugar.  It doesn’t take anywhere near that long to simply liquefy the nibs so I’m curious. I do start with the chocolate and oily ingredients and gradually add the dries - I’m not really adding everything all at once, just not waiting 12 hours to add sugar. 

 

For me, keeping everything warm seems to help.  I put my machine in a large cardboard box to trap the heat it produces and create a little 90-95F hot box to keep all the fat melted and everything moving. 

 

 

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4 hours ago, pastrygirl said:

 

 

Oh I’ve definitely experienced adding too much cold dry stuff, having it seize up and become a giant pain to clean out and start over. That’s on my ‘never again’ list :/

 

Some chocolate maker or another had posted on Instagram that they grind for 12 hours before adding sugar.  It doesn’t take anywhere near that long to simply liquefy the nibs so I’m curious. I do start with the chocolate and oily ingredients and gradually add the dries - I’m not really adding everything all at once, just not waiting 12 hours to add sugar. 

 

For me, keeping everything warm seems to help.  I put my machine in a large cardboard box to trap the heat it produces and create a little 90-95F hot box to keep all the fat melted and everything moving. 

 

 

Box is a great idea

 

 

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In that case, I don't know what the reason for waiting that long would be. I've never waited anywhere close to that long to start adding sugar and anything else a particular batch may call for. As far as heat, I just keep my heat gun handy and give the stones a shot now and then when I'm adding ingredients if it seems like it's needed. So far, once an ingredient is incorporated, I haven't had any issues with the heat produced by the friction not being sufficient to keep everything flowing nicely. Sugar loses some degree of sweetness over time exposed to heat but I don't know what the temperature where that begins to occur is so I have no idea if that could be a possible reason... to more accurately control final sweetness. I guess a test run of identical batches and run times adding sugar early and late would give a reasonable comparison to decide if there's any noticeable reason to do one or the other.

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It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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I received the replacement bowl, and I think it is fine. Supposedly it is a different bowl, but it appears that the plastic at the top of the stalk in the middle of the bowl where the wheel assembly sits has been shaved down, allowing the wheels to sit on the bottom of the bowl. Have not used it yet, but I anticipate it will work fine.

 

Which brings me to another question. People have been discussing using sugar or other things in the bowl prior to making chocolate, to “season” the bowl. This was not an issue with the full sized bowl that came with the machine, since it was used at the workshop. I was not able to find any instructions for this on the site, and the bowl did not come with any paperwork. How much should I use and for how long?

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1 hour ago, Rajala said:

Do you guys know if it's safe to wash the drum and the accessories in a dish washer?  🤔

 

I hate washing it. :D 

I would be very hesitant given the adhesives involved.

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4 hours ago, Kerry Beal said:

I would be very hesitant given the adhesives involved.


Me too. Fortunately, it's really not all that difficult to clean. There are a couple of tight places that I use a toothbrush for but the rest is really quick and easy. If I'm not in a hurry and let it sit in a sink full of warm water for a while, I don't even need the toothbrush.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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19 hours ago, Kerry Beal said:

I would be very hesitant given the adhesives involved.

 

While true, it can get really hot while just working. Or are you thinking more about the soap in the dishwasher?

 

On another note; I will be getting my freeze dried blackcurrant soon. What's the best approach to make "fruit chocolate"? I get the impression that you grind the fruit powder with sugar and add the cocoa butter? Do you use a heat gun to heat up the drum a bit? Any suggestions are welcome. :)

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18 minutes ago, Rajala said:

 

While true, it can get really hot while just working. Or are you thinking more about the soap in the dishwasher?

 

On another note; I will be getting my freeze dried blackcurrant soon. What's the best approach to make "fruit chocolate"? I get the impression that you grind the fruit powder with sugar and add the cocoa butter? Do you use a heat gun to heat up the drum a bit? Any suggestions are welcome. :)

I'd start with the fruit and the sugar and when it starts getting too dusty - add some melted cocoa butter. I didn't need the heat gun - but might have been useful when things started to creep up the side and hardened there.

 

I have an inquiry out to Melangers.com re the dishwasher. 

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4 minutes ago, Kerry Beal said:

I'd start with the fruit and the sugar and when it starts getting too dusty - add some melted cocoa butter. I didn't need the heat gun - but might have been useful when things started to creep up the side and hardened there.

 

 

Thanks. Can't wait to see how this turns out, hehe. I bought two batches of  blackcurrant. I'm sure I'll mess up the first run. :) 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Experiment is on.

 

200 gram of blackcurrant, 330 gram of cocoa butter and 470 grams of sugar. It's super thick though. I guess the only option is to add more cocoa butter, little by little? Thought its viscosity would be much lower based on the ratios, but I guess I'm wrong.

 

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Btw, should I be concerned about that it's constantly 50 degrees? How will the cocoa butter be affected by this? Also, the machine itself, do you guys know if it's safe to keep it running for hours and hours at this temperature? 

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5 minutes ago, Rajala said:

Btw, should I be concerned about that it's constantly 50 degrees? How will the cocoa butter be affected by this? Also, the machine itself, do you guys know if it's safe to keep it running for hours and hours at this heat?  

 

 

Cacao butter itself can get pretty hot, it's the milk and sugar that make white & milk chocolates scorch so easily.  The machine seems fine as well.  I figure, the Premier I have is made for the Indian market, and it gets really hot in India - flawless logic, I am sure!  :)

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