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Build your own chocolate tempering machine


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4 minutes ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

Apparently not.  I stepped out to the store and when I returned I had lovely fluid chocolate at 30.3.  I stirred between thirty seconds and a minute but it flunked the temper test.  I stirred again for a few minutes but still no success.

 

I'm letting the bowl cool down.  Not sure yet how far.

 

I vote for 27 then warm back up to 31 or so.

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47 minutes ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

Passes the temper test but the chocolate looks too thick for molding?  Certainly too thick for ladling into molds.  I'll try anyway and report back.

 

Trying to remember what chocolate it is. I think it was the same stuff we used in Texas and it wasn't too viscous - but we didn't do any shell molding with it.

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46 minutes ago, Kerry Beal said:

Trying to remember what chocolate it is. I think it was the same stuff we used in Texas and it wasn't too viscous - but we didn't do any shell molding with it.

 

You told me it was this:

https://www.cacao-barry.com/en-OC/chocolate-couverture-cocoa/chd-p64exbg/extra-bitter-guayaquil

 

 

Here were my results tonight:

 

Bars09242018.png

 

 

About what I was expecting actually.  The bars unmolded easily and had nice snap.  No finger prints.  But there was no question about tapping out air bubbles, the chocolate was too thick.  It was rather like molding playdough.  I had to abuse the spatula to force chocolate in the mold.  And by the time I filled one mold the rest of the chocolate had solidified in the bowl (this was at 31).  Same result as yesterday.  Didn't help that my hands had cramped.  Reminded me of stirring polenta.

 

So at 31 by Teo's method I have beautifully fluid chocolate that is not in temper, and by this method at the same 31 temperature I have solid chocolate.  Amazing the difference four degrees will make.  There must be a solution.  Thanks again to both of you for all the help.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

You told me it was this:

https://www.cacao-barry.com/en-OC/chocolate-couverture-cocoa/chd-p64exbg/extra-bitter-guayaquil

 

 

Here were my results tonight:

 

Bars09242018.png

 

 

About what I was expecting actually.  The bars unmolded easily and had nice snap.  No finger prints.  But there was no question about tapping out air bubbles, the chocolate was too thick.  It was rather like molding playdough.  I had to abuse the spatula to force chocolate in the mold.  And by the time I filled one mold the rest of the chocolate had solidified in the bowl (this was at 31).  Same result as yesterday.  Didn't help that my hands had cramped.  Reminded me of stirring polenta.

 

So at 31 by Teo's method I have beautifully fluid chocolate that is not in temper, and by this method at the same 31 temperature I have solid chocolate.  Amazing the difference four degrees will make.  There must be a solution.  Thanks again to both of you for all the help.

 

 

Do you think your chocolate has been subjected to humidity?

 

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5 minutes ago, Kerry Beal said:

Do you think your chocolate has been subjected to humidity?

 

 

I don't believe so.  I've seen no condensation anywhere near the chocolate.  Any way to test?  The weather has been damp but I have an hygrometer and I have been running the air conditioner.  Right now the relative humidity is 49.

 

 

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13 minutes ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

I don't believe so.  I've seen no condensation anywhere near the chocolate.  Any way to test?  The weather has been damp but I have an hygrometer and I have been running the air conditioner.  Right now the relative humidity is 49.

 

 

Not really any way to test - but it does cause the chocolate to get thicker and difficult to work with. 

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1 hour ago, Kerry Beal said:

Not really any way to test - but it does cause the chocolate to get thicker and difficult to work with. 

 

But if the problem were water wouldn't the chocolate still be seized when I heated and cooled by Teo's method?  I have read that there is such a thing as over-tempered chocolate but I have not found much about it.

 

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Don't cry, it's only chocolate!

Is it getting movement as it reheats from 27C to 32C? (Or whatever values that is in Fahrenheit). It could be getting too much movement, which speeds up propagation of the crystals and ... yup, thickens the chocolate. It can be tricky to do if you've never done it before!

You can test and see if it's overcrystallised or moisture effected: just heat it back up. If it becomes nice and fluid at 40-45C, it's fine, but if it stays gluggy and thick it's probably cactus and only good for baking now.

 

Allegedly you can do this tempering method

in a thermomix too, but I've never been able to in mine, I find the same as what you're finding here: set the temperature for say 50C and the chocolate never reaches that temperature, then because of all the heat in the base it takes hours to cool down!

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15 hours ago, Kerry Beal said:

You think if she doesn't seed and doesn't take it below 31º C that she is going to get it into temper?

 

Yup, that's how some tempering machines work.

 

 

 

Teo

 

Teo

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10 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

So at 31 by Teo's method I have beautifully fluid chocolate that is not in temper, and by this method at the same 31 temperature I have solid chocolate.  Amazing the difference four degrees will make.  There must be a solution.  Thanks again to both of you for all the help.

 

I can think of 2 possible explanations on why it wasn't in temper with the method I suggested:

- insufficient agitation (if the temper test fails, then agitate more);

- wrong temperature (don't know how precise your machine is, maybe try to check with a thermometer that the chocolate really is at 31°C and not more).

 

If you want to use the down-up method (go to the lower tempering window temperature then raise it to the high tempering window temperature) then I would suggest to go down to 29°C and not 27°C, since 27°C gives you a block of solid chocolate.

 

 

 

Teo

 

Teo

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1 hour ago, keychris said:

Don't cry, it's only chocolate!

Is it getting movement as it reheats from 27C to 32C? (Or whatever values that is in Fahrenheit). It could be getting too much movement, which speeds up propagation of the crystals and ... yup, thickens the chocolate. It can be tricky to do if you've never done it before!

You can test and see if it's overcrystallised or moisture effected: just heat it back up. If it becomes nice and fluid at 40-45C, it's fine, but if it stays gluggy and thick it's probably cactus and only good for baking now.

 

Allegedly you can do this tempering method

in a thermomix too, but I've never been able to in mine, I find the same as what you're finding here: set the temperature for say 50C and the chocolate never reaches that temperature, then because of all the heat in the base it takes hours to cool down!

I was never happy with the thermomix tempering. And you lost a ton of chocolate to the bowl.

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5 hours ago, keychris said:

You can test and see if it's overcrystallised or moisture effected: just heat it back up. If it becomes nice and fluid at 40-45C, it's fine, but if it stays gluggy and thick it's probably cactus and only good for baking now.

 

I've remelted the batch a couple times.  It remelts beautifully.  I'm about to head into work.  I'll see if my boss has an opinion.

 

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5 hours ago, teonzo said:

 

I can think of 2 possible explanations on why it wasn't in temper with the method I suggested:

- insufficient agitation (if the temper test fails, then agitate more);

- wrong temperature (don't know how precise your machine is, maybe try to check with a thermometer that the chocolate really is at 31°C and not more).

 

If you want to use the down-up method (go to the lower tempering window temperature then raise it to the high tempering window temperature) then I would suggest to go down to 29°C and not 27°C, since 27°C gives you a block of solid chocolate.

 

 

 

Teo

 

 

One of my vices is collecting thermometers.  The probe in the picture has been checked against my precision reference thermometer.  And the Precise Heat Mixing Bowl is surprisingly accurate, though not a substitute for an external thermometer.

 

What I haven't tried is using the PHMB for mixing.  I've just been stirring the chocolate with a spatula.  The machine will happily stir for hours, day and night.  And I ended up with horrible hand and leg cramps.

 

Unfortunately I doubt I will have a chance to experiment for the next two days.

 

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Thunderstorms tonight:  rain, heat and humidity.  Not nice weather, a front is passing through -- so I dared not take up my chocolate.  But for a sanity check I gave a second look at my thermometers.  The meter and probe I've been relying on are reading a little low, but I believe close enough for chocolate work.  With my anova bath set at and reading 33.4, the thermometer measured 33.3.  Whereas my reference instrument measured 33.42.

 

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About 6 years ago I came up with an economical way to melt and keep large amounts of chocolate in temper using my sous vide machine. I now own three, because they're cheap, great when I'm holding chocolate workshops and for marbling, etc. and do the job so why not? You can use a cambro and cut the lid, or a cooler, or anything similar. This is the original setup (well, the original one I used foam core board to test it out with). I had a friend cut out a hole for the bowl and one for the sous vide and I can fill it almost to the top of the steel bowl.  I put in 6-12lbs of chocolate (you could make a larger setup and fill it with more) and melt it at about 52C. I stir it now and then to help it along and once melted I remove the bowl (carefully, sitting it on a towel) and temper it with seed or cocoa butter silk. Remove some of the hot water and add ice or cool water to bring the temperature in the bin down to the holding temperature you need for your chocolate, mine being 32c for dark. If the chocolate starts to get used up the lower weight will make the bowl want to float up. So, sorry, not seen here, but you can use a bar or clamps to help keep it from moving. I have never had a problem with water or condensation messing with my chocolate. If you've used a bain marie with chocolate, you know how to be careful with it. 

I'll be making a video this weekend if anyone's interested in watching the process from start to finish. 

IMG_8991.jpg

IMG_8998.jpg

Edited by Artisanne (log)
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After my disappointing results two days ago I decided to borrow a leaf from Kerry's playbook.  I was facing a deadline that had to do with grand kids.  So I anovaed up some cocoa butter(and congratulations to @Artisanne for choosing the correct color of anova, it makes all the difference).  I added what sure looked like silk to my melted chocolate at about 1 percent, with the chocolate at about 33.5.  Hopes of an instant solution were dampened by a temper test.  I cooled the chocolate down to 31 and did another temper test with similar result.

 

At this point I was cooling the chocolate down to 29 to see what might happen, but between 31 and 30 the chocolate went in temper.  I don't know if it was stirring by Teo's method or if it was the silk, but the chocolate was in temper and still fluid.  Fluid enough to ladle into molds!  The mass was thickening with time so I scraped the last blobs I could gather on the spatula into a lovely heart mold that Kerry sent.

 

This sure made an incredible mess...or possibly a quite credible mess for some of us:

 

Mess09272018

 

 

My Thermoworks is waterproof, not sure if it is chocolate proof.  Any suggestions for cleaning molds without washing them would be most welcome.  Licking doesn't count.  No picture but my kitchen floor looked like I'd stepped in dog poop.

 

I have a cooling cabinet that fortuitously accepts quarter sheet pans.  Six bars just fit on a quarter sheet pan.  Sometimes one gets lucky.

 

Hearts09272018

 

 

As hopefully will be my coworkers this afternoon.  Thanks again for the help and encouragement!

 

 

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6 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

After my disappointing results two days ago I decided to borrow a leaf from Kerry's playbook.  I was facing a deadline that had to do with grand kids.  So I anovaed up some cocoa butter(and congratulations to @Artisanne for choosing the correct color of anova, it makes all the difference).  I added what sure looked like silk to my melted chocolate at about 1 percent, with the chocolate at about 33.5.  Hopes of an instant solution were dampened by a temper test.  I cooled the chocolate down to 31 and did another temper test with similar result.

 

At this point I was cooling the chocolate down to 29 to see what might happen, but between 31 and 30 the chocolate went in temper.  I don't know if it was stirring by Teo's method or if it was the silk, but the chocolate was in temper and still fluid.  Fluid enough to ladle into molds!  The mass was thickening with time so I scraped the last blobs I could gather on the spatula into a lovely heart mold that Kerry sent.

 

This sure made an incredible mess...or possibly a quite credible mess for some of us:

 

Mess09272018

 

 

My Thermoworks is waterproof, not sure if it is chocolate proof.  Any suggestions for cleaning molds without washing them would be most welcome.  Licking doesn't count.  No picture but my kitchen floor looked like I'd stepped in dog poop.

 

I have a cooling cabinet that fortuitously accepts quarter sheet pans.  Six bars just fit on a quarter sheet pan.  Sometimes one gets lucky.

 

Hearts09272018

 

 

As hopefully will be my coworkers this afternoon.  Thanks again for the help and encouragement!

 

 

 

the stepping in dog poop remarked made me laugh out loud. Chocolate can be so messy especially if in a small kitchen. If you wash the molds in just hot water, you can "dry" them with cotton makeup remover wipes or muslin and a little isopropyl alcohol which will evaporate and leave a nice shine. 

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8 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

 

 

My Thermoworks is waterproof, not sure if it is chocolate proof.  Any suggestions for cleaning molds without washing them would be most welcome.  Licking doesn't count.  No picture but my kitchen floor looked like I'd stepped in dog poop.

 

 

Hairdryer to warm the molds - shop towels to wipe if you don’t want to wash. I also have a heated catering warmer that I put shop towels on and rub the molds on. If the chocolate released normally I don’t find the cavities need anything more than a polish.

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23 hours ago, Artisanne said:

About 6 years ago I came up with an economical way to melt and keep large amounts of chocolate in temper using my sous vide machine. I now own three, because they're cheap, great when I'm holding chocolate workshops and for marbling, etc. and do the job so why not? You can use a cambro and cut the lid, or a cooler, or anything similar. This is the original setup (well, the original one I used foam core board to test it out with). I had a friend cut out a hole for the bowl and one for the sous vide and I can fill it almost to the top of the steel bowl.  I put in 6-12lbs of chocolate (you could make a larger setup and fill it with more) and melt it at about 52C. I stir it now and then to help it along and once melted I remove the bowl (carefully, sitting it on a towel) and temper it with seed or cocoa butter silk. Remove some of the hot water and add ice or cool water to bring the temperature in the bin down to the holding temperature you need for your chocolate, mine being 32c for dark. If the chocolate starts to get used up the lower weight will make the bowl want to float up. So, sorry, not seen here, but you can use a bar or clamps to help keep it from moving. I have never had a problem with water or condensation messing with my chocolate. If you've used a bain marie with chocolate, you know how to be careful with it. 

I'll be making a video this weekend if anyone's interested in watching the process from start to finish. 

IMG_8991.jpg

IMG_8998.jpg

 

 

This is brilliant, and I for one would love to see a video!

 

 

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My chocolates were a success at work.  One friend said till now she'd never liked dark chocolate.  The difficulty was convincing folks I made them.  I'd say the Precise Heat Mixing Bowl was a success for tempering.  I was working with 600 grams of chocolate though a kilogram at a time seems not out of the question.  I wouldn't want to try much more than that.  Obviously a kilogram limitation is a disadvantage for commercial chocolate makers.  But then one can melt batch after batch.

 

The downside is that if your Precise Heat Mixing Bowl is full of chocolate you can't make ice cream or yogurt.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

In browsing around the KitchenAid site I found a fact sheet on the PHMB:

 

https://producthelp.kitchenaid.com/Countertop_Appliances/Stand_Mixer_Attachments/Stand_Mixer_Attachment_Tips_and_Tricks/Precise_Heat_Mixing_Bowl_Tips

 

 

If the large knob is pressed for three to five seconds the unit switches from Fahrenheit to Celsius or back.  It works.  I can now temper in Canadian!

 

...not that they put the information in the manual.

 

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