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Melanger experimentation


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1 hour ago, crisw said:

I love the idea of the fruit-powder white chocolate. Is it tempered at the same temps as regular white chocolate?

Nope - dark chocolate temperatures because the only fat is cocoa butter.

 

 

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I think I'll start a campaign to try to convince @Kerry Beal to use her amazing powers as a chocolate ambassador to convince someone in the bean-to-bar field to join these forums. :D I'd like to be able to ask questions about things like how they determine where to go with various beans in terms of percentages and how they decide when to take a batch out of the machine beyond general guidelines. Basically, some basics beyond put this+that+the-other in the machine for x amount of time. Even somebody willing to do an article where they cover things like I mentioned above would be great. I'm not looking for a step-by-step with specific formulas or anything like that, just an overview on how their decision making process works when they decide a bean should end up as a 65% instead of a 70% or might not be as good for a milk as another bean... that sort of stuff.

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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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21 minutes ago, Tri2Cook said:

I think I'll start a campaign to try to convince @Kerry Beal to use her amazing powers as a chocolate ambassador to convince someone in the bean-to-bar field to join these forums. :D I'd like to be able to ask questions about things like how they determine where to go with various beans in terms of percentages and how they decide when to take a batch out of the machine beyond general guidelines. Basically, some basics beyond put this+that+the-other in the machine for x amount of time. Even somebody willing to do an article where they cover things like I mentioned above would be great. I'm not looking for a step-by-step with specific formulas or anything like that, just an overview on how their decision making process works when they decide a bean should end up as a 65% instead of a 70% or might not be as good for a milk as another bean... that sort of stuff.

 

Do you have Dandelion's Making Chocolate?

 

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2 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

Do you have Dandelion's Making Chocolate?

 


I do not. Never even heard of it... I'll do a search and check it out.

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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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On 11/26/2018 at 6:36 PM, Tri2Cook said:

I think I'll start a campaign to try to convince @Kerry Beal to use her amazing powers as a chocolate ambassador to convince someone in the bean-to-bar field to join these forums. :D I'd like to be able to ask questions about things like how they determine where to go with various beans in terms of percentages and how they decide when to take a batch out of the machine beyond general guidelines. Basically, some basics beyond put this+that+the-other in the machine for x amount of time. Even somebody willing to do an article where they cover things like I mentioned above would be great. I'm not looking for a step-by-step with specific formulas or anything like that, just an overview on how their decision making process works when they decide a bean should end up as a 65% instead of a 70% or might not be as good for a milk as another bean... that sort of stuff.

 

I do work a lot in the bean-to-bar-field, advantadges of being a chocolatier in a cacao producing country!

If you have any question just shoot, for now i'll try to answer my take on the topics you posted about.

 

Quote

how they decide when to take a batch out of the machine beyond general guidelines

 

It´s all about the expected thickness you want your chocolate and the texture you want to achieve, in general guidelines you want the particle size to be aboout 20-30 micres, so the tongue is not able to perceive any texture and the mass is fluid enough.

If you go lower that that you start having viscosity issues or need to add more cocoa butter...

if the particle size is to high your chocolate will be gritty and the general experience is not so good.

 

Quote

just an overview on how their decision making process works when they decide a bean should end up as a 65% instead of a 70% or might not be as good for a milk as another bean

 

This is indeed a very interesting topic and i can tell the guidelines change a lot from maker to maker.

My personal take on this concept is to start from understanding the flavor profile of the beans i have, for this step roasting is critical as you can achive different results on the same beans depending on the roasting profile. I do use 3 different roasting profiles (1 long and slow, 1 mid ramp, 1 high ramp) and make a liquor batch from each, you taste the 3 liquor batches to get a general idea on the profile of your beans and what type of roasting is better for them.

After i have a general idea i do start to think on what kind of chocolate is better to express the flavours and aromas i found while tasting... something like this: fs the beans are fruity maybe i want to go a bit higher in the %, if they are bitter maybe a bit lower, if the cacao flavor is strong it's a very good candidate for a milk bar... 

After toying a bit i do try a few test batches to find the best fit for the chocolate i want to make, until i find something im happy with.

 

The best source of knowledge you can find online for chocolate making IMO is at the chocolate alchemist website (just google it). also in the "thechocolatelife" forums. hope it helps!

 

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8 hours ago, felipetruji said:

hope it helps!


It helps a lot! Exactly the type of information I was looking for. Thanks!

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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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  • 2 weeks later...

Words to the wise...

 

Inspired by Kerry's lovely fruit confection, I tried the same with blueberry powder. The results were outstanding- intense purple color, huge berry flavor.

 

So I tried again, with cherry. I couldn't find cherry powder at a reasonable price, so I put freeze-dried cherries in my food processor and ground them to powder. I should have recognized what might be coming when that powder immediately turned lumpy... But I went ahead with my experiment, and about 30 minutes later had a melanger whose wheels were glued to the floor with sticky cherry goo... well, it was time to take my melanger apart and give it a thorough cleaning anyway, and now I have about 270 gm. of cherry-flavored cocoa butter to use in baked goods :)

 

Not sure if the cherry powder is just so hygroscopic that it pulled enough water out of the air to gum up the works or if the cherries were insufficiently dry. But for the next try, with mango, that mango's going in the dehydrator for a few hours beforehand!

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2 hours ago, crisw said:

Words to the wise...

 

Inspired by Kerry's lovely fruit confection, I tried the same with blueberry powder. The results were outstanding- intense purple color, huge berry flavor.

 

So I tried again, with cherry. I couldn't find cherry powder at a reasonable price, so I put freeze-dried cherries in my food processor and ground them to powder. I should have recognized what might be coming when that powder immediately turned lumpy... But I went ahead with my experiment, and about 30 minutes later had a melanger whose wheels were glued to the floor with sticky cherry goo... well, it was time to take my melanger apart and give it a thorough cleaning anyway, and now I have about 270 gm. of cherry-flavored cocoa butter to use in baked goods :)

 

Not sure if the cherry powder is just so hygroscopic that it pulled enough water out of the air to gum up the works or if the cherries were insufficiently dry. But for the next try, with mango, that mango's going in the dehydrator for a few hours beforehand!

Oh dear. Dehydrator sounds like a good idea for prevention.

 

 

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6 hours ago, crisw said:

I couldn't find cherry powder at a reasonable price, so I put freeze-dried cherries in my food processor and ground them to powder. I should have recognized what might be coming when that powder immediately turned lumpy... But I went ahead with my experiment, and about 30 minutes later had a melanger whose wheels were glued to the floor with sticky cherry goo... well, it was time to take my melanger apart and give it a thorough cleaning anyway, and now I have about 270 gm. of cherry-flavored cocoa butter to use in baked goods :)

 

Not sure if the cherry powder is just so hygroscopic that it pulled enough water out of the air to gum up the works or if the cherries were insufficiently dry. But for the next try, with mango, that mango's going in the dehydrator for a few hours beforehand!

 

I think one of the keys is to have everything, including the melanger base and wheels, nice and warm.  I've had incidents of adding too much dry stuff or cool stuff or cool dry stuff and having to chisel a hard mass out and re-melt it.  Major pain, but once everything was warmed together and runny enough to keep moving in the machine it was fine.  We temper on stone because it cools the chocolate quickly; granite grinding wheels will do the same.  Put them in a low or warm but turned off oven, or warm them with a hair dryer.  Start with the warm cocoa butter then gradually add the warmed FD fruit powder and sugar, making sure the machine can handle it before you add more.

 

 

 

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12 hours ago, pastrygirl said:

 

I think one of the keys is to have everything, including the melanger base and wheels, nice and warm.  I've had incidents of adding too much dry stuff or cool stuff or cool dry stuff and having to chisel a hard mass out and re-melt it.  Major pain, but once everything was warmed together and runny enough to keep moving in the machine it was fine.  We temper on stone because it cools the chocolate quickly; granite grinding wheels will do the same.  Put them in a low or warm but turned off oven, or warm them with a hair dryer.  Start with the warm cocoa butter then gradually add the warmed FD fruit powder and sugar, making sure the machine can handle it before you add more.

 

 

 

Yeah, I didn't add that part. Everything dry was at 120F and the cocoa butter was about 130F before I put it all together. It seemed to go in fine- the gunking up happened after it was in the melanger. 

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I had a similar experience as crisw with some freeze-dried blueberries. When I added them to a warm melanger, with warm cocoa butter in there, it eventually just compressed the blueberry powder to a thick muck on the bottom stone of the melanger.

 

I suspect that it may be partially because I was lazy in the powdering of the blueberries, and still had a number of big chunks in there. I figured the melanger would crush them, not just compact them on the bottom. It took a couple of hours of soaking to be able to pull the compacted blueberry chunks off the bottom, and is definitely not something I want to repeat. Anyone have any suggestions, other than powdering the blueberry better, so that my second try this weekend doesn't end in tears?  

 

 

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I've done this twice. Once with blackcurrant powder and once with mango.


I ran the powder with caster sugar until the sugar was a powder as well and added melted cocoa butter after that. No issues, viscosity got a bit weird though, but I was able to mould bonbons with. So in the end I guess it was pretty successful.  

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  • 2 months later...
5 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

I'm embarrassed that I've never gotten around to using my mini bowl until now.  I seasoned with the sugar method.  There was powdered sugar even inside my chamber vacuum sealer.  I was most impressed.

 


The machine makes some nice powdered sugar though, doesn't it? :P :D 

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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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10 hours ago, Kerry Beal said:

I'm working on him for a better lid for the little bowl - no joy so far!

 

 

 

You could vaquform one!

 

Seriously a better lid would be a big improvement.  I love the little bowl, it is so much easier to work with than the big bowl.  Last night I even thought about getting a second one but I was saved from temptation because they are out of stock.

 

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1 hour ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

I love the little bowl, it is so much easier to work with than the big bowl.


I never got around to ordering it. I decided it's kinda right in the middle of what I would want. The large bowl is perfect for the batch size I usually do, the small bowl isn't as small as I'd like for testing purposes. But that's not a negative towards the small bowl, I assume there must be a lower limit where the mass would still be sufficient to do the job properly. If I decide to add anything to the melanger, it will probably be a second large bowl. That way I can start a batch of something different immediately after finishing a batch instead of having to wash and wait for it to dry thoroughly. 

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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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1 hour ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

You could vaquform one!

 

Seriously a better lid would be a big improvement.  I love the little bowl, it is so much easier to work with than the big bowl.  Last night I even thought about getting a second one but I was saved from temptation because they are out of stock.

 

Indeed I could! Wonder if it would be heavy enough.

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21 minutes ago, Tri2Cook said:


I never got around to ordering it. I decided it's kinda right in the middle of what I would want. The large bowl is perfect for the batch size I usually do, the small bowl isn't as small as I'd like for testing purposes. But that's not a negative towards the small bowl, I assume there must be a lower limit where the mass would still be sufficient to do the job properly. If I decide to add anything to the melanger, it will probably be a second large bowl. That way I can start a batch of something different immediately after finishing a batch instead of having to wash and wait for it to dry thoroughly. 

 

I took the opportunity to get a second large bowl at the Niagara workshop and recently finally got the stones and holder to have two set ups, more because I do nut butters a lot, but wanted to experiment with nib to bar chocolate and wanted to keep the two separate. 

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  • 4 months later...

I never know if I should create a new thread or not on this forum. Since people bump threads which are years old for questions. With that said;

 

My melanger is getting a bit worn, the material to seal off at edges preventing leakage is starting to get super hard and today some if it let go from the center while I was cleaning it. Have anyone experienced this? I'm thinking if I should go with some food grade silicone to replace the now missing parts?

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  • 1 month later...
On 7/14/2019 at 11:55 PM, Rajala said:

I never know if I should create a new thread or not on this forum. Since people bump threads which are years old for questions. With that said;

 

My melanger is getting a bit worn, the material to seal off at edges preventing leakage is starting to get super hard and today some if it let go from the center while I was cleaning it. Have anyone experienced this? I'm thinking if I should go with some food grade silicone to replace the now missing parts?

 

Melangers.com has this:

 

https://www.melangers.com/collections/spare-parts/products/food-grade-2-part-high-strength-epoxy

 

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8 hours ago, pastrygirl said:

I dropped my roller stones on the concrete floor and chipped a chunk from the edge of one wheel.  Aside from a slight loss of efficiency, any reason why I can't still use it?


That could potentially be a weak spot that could continue to break away much more easily. At least, that sometimes happens with the grind wheels on bench grinders. I honestly don't know if it would be the same with these. I'd email the melanger dude, he's always responded to any questions I had. Tiny pieces of it breaking off would mean tiny bits in whatever you're making. A big chunk falling off could jam up the machine and do who knows what.

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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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  • 8 months later...

Has anyone ordered melangers from Chocolate Melangeur? They offer free shipping whereas from Melangers.com it would be almost 50% extra to the price. However I'm struggling to find out whether they're a reliable place to buy from? On Facebook there's just 3 reviews, and one of them from 2018 isn't that positive. Or alternatively, if someone knows European shops that have for example the Premier melangers (or others of similar quality), then please do let me know! 😊

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