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eglies

Cleaning chocolate moulds after airbrushing

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Serious help please¬†ūüė¨

In production of airbrushing many moulds at a time:

  1. Paint and scrape the mould immediately for each mould every time
  2. After scraping the mould you cant get everything off so you need to clean each mould on paper
  3. As a result paint from the edges of the mould chips off 
  4. Please see picture attached and if anyone has any suggestions it would be greatly appreciated.

 

Any tricks on scraping and cleaning moulds after airbrush when in production.

 

Thank you

Egli

IMG_3030.JPG

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If your cocoa butter chips off like that, you may be using too much. While you may want full coverage and an opaque layer of color, so much cocoa butter that it forms a shell of its own can be too generous.

 

Or simply skip the paper towel step.  Scrape the molds as well as you can while they're soft and fresh and don't obsess over perfectly clean.  Unless you're molding with white, a few stray bits of color scraped back in the melting tank when you make the shells aren't going to matter.


Edited by pastrygirl (log)
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I find this happens most often with white as a backing layer (as pastrygirl suggested, the layers are getting too thick). I don't think there is any way to stop it:  crystallized cocoa butter tends to crack, especially the longer you wait to remove it. It's the same principle governing the making of stripes--if you wait too long to remove the tape, the stripe has little chunks missing. If the white I see in the photo is in fact a backing layer, I don't find the little chips make any difference--the colored cocoa butter underneath will still show and nobody will notice a slight variation in the color. (I can't believe I'm defending being casual about blemishes in chocolates, but that's what happens after doing this for too long!)

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What temp are you putting the chocolate into airbrush?¬† I know when I put colors or chocolate through mine, I have to put it in at a higher temperature (95-99¬į ish depending on what it is) since it "tempers" as it rapidly leaves the nozzle.¬† If I try to do it at the actual temper temperature, it is way too thick and sets up too quickly in¬†the mold.¬† I still want it to be "wet" so I can scrape it before it sets up.¬† It should not crack or chip if it is not completely set up yet unless you try to keep scraping trying to make it perfect (I used to be guilty of this).

 

Is that possibly what is happening?

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11 minutes ago, Merry Berry said:

What temp are you putting the chocolate into airbrush?¬† I know when I put colors or chocolate through mine, I have to put it in at a higher temperature (95-99¬į ish depending on what it is) since it "tempers" as it rapidly leaves the nozzle.¬† If I try to do it at the actual temper temperature, it is way too thick and sets up too quickly in¬†the mold.¬† I still want it to be "wet" so I can scrape it before it sets up.¬† It should not crack or chip if it is not completely set up yet unless you try to keep scraping trying to make it perfect (I used to be guilty of this).

 

Is that possibly what is happening?

There are various approaches to the optimal temp for spraying. Those of us who took Andrey Dubovik's online course learned from him that 86F is the temp at which c.b. should be sprayed--and in (what seems to me) a very cool room. As far as I know, it is still a theory that the action of spraying tempers c.b., and when you think about it, how could we ever know one way or the other? I am not aware of any device that can measure the temp of c.b. as it is flying through the air. It would seem to me that at 95-99F there would likely be few Type V crystals remaining. But your experience must be evidence that temps that high don't have a negative effect on the result. I also find that if I scrape the mold immediately after spraying it, the time spent scraping results in the c.b. in the airbrush dropping in temp and therefore requiring very frequent reheating. You don't find that to be case?

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Anecdotally, I have noticed you can count on many things to lose roughly 10¬į give or take as it leaves the nozzle.¬† For the same reason, ServSafe says dishwasher sanitizing rinses using heat and water must do so at 180¬įF instead of 165¬įF since it could lose up 15¬į in heat before it hits the dishes.¬† I saw this in action a while back, but for the life of me, I cannot remember exactly what I was doing.¬† I want to say I was playing around with some type of nozzle,¬†and measuring the surface temp of the liquid with an infrared.¬† It had lost about 10 degrees in heat and I remember thinking about the ServSafe example.¬† But obviously, take that for what it is worth since I cannot remember the exact scenario.

 

I don't usually have any trouble with the cocoa butter cooling off since it is usually a quick process.  If I have to, I hit the cocoa butter and/or sprayer with a hair dryer or heat gun.

 

I have never heard of using 86¬įF.¬† I would think that would be way too low, but as you said, if it works for you and an expert is telling you it works, then use what works.¬† Maybe I will have to try it.¬† That¬†is probably one of my favorite things about being a chef.¬†¬†Sometimes there are so many ways to successfully do something culinary-wise that I always roll my eyes, when I work somewhere and they SWEAR up and down you have to do it their way or otherwise it will fail tragically.¬† "Because I said so" is rarely enough science-based thinking for me to pay attention to haha.

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Perhaps @Kerry Beal will weigh in about the tempering of cocoa butter. I must agree that when Andrey said 86F, I was puzzled because I had always thought the working temp of cocoa butter should be about the same as dark choc (ca. 90F), but there is no questioning Andrey's results. To tell the truth, I have had as many successes as failures with c.b. sticking to molds regardless of the temp. I am also reasonably sure that the temp inside an airbrush or paint gun fluctuates much more than we would care to know! That's why the Krea Swiss heated guns are so intriguing--just wish they made one suitable in size for cocoa butter.

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In production, it helps to have a second person to scrape. Spray 4-5 molds, then the other person can start scraping while the sprayer continues spraying, starting with the first mold sprayed. Then the cocoa butter is set up enough that it won’t drip into the cavities, but not so set that it chips off the edges. 

 

Alternatively, a single person could spray 4-5 molds, then scrape them all‚ÄĒalways starting with the first one sprayed and working backward. Then work on the next handful of molds.¬†

 

At work we sprayed 60-100 molds of the same design at a time. If you want a good tricep workout, scrape 4-5 designs in a day ;) .

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1 hour ago, Jim D. said:

Perhaps @Kerry Beal will weigh in about the tempering of cocoa butter. I must agree that when Andrey said 86F, I was puzzled because I had always thought the working temp of cocoa butter should be about the same as dark choc (ca. 90F), but there is no questioning Andrey's results. To tell the truth, I have had as many successes as failures with c.b. sticking to molds regardless of the temp. I am also reasonably sure that the temp inside an airbrush or paint gun fluctuates much more than we would care to know! That's why the Krea Swiss heated guns are so intriguing--just wish they made one suitable in size for cocoa butter.

I don't think I do it the same way twice. I like to keep my cocoa butter around 35¬ļ C - then cool it down a degree or two and optionally temper with the EZtemper.

 

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3 minutes ago, Kerry Beal said:

I don't think I do it the same way twice. I like to keep my cocoa butter around 35¬ļ C - then cool it down a degree or two and optionally temper with the EZtemper.

 

So you didn't follow Andrey's 86F/30C idea?

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I've always sprayed at 86-88F (30-31C) with no problems. This is the method they teach at Savour in Melbourne.

 

The cocoa butter in @eglies original post - if it's thick enough to chip, it's too thick as @pastrygirl said.

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Thank you all so much for your replies. I will check if it is too thick and maybe another method is using the heat gun to get it slightly soft to clean. 

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3 minutes ago, eglies said:

Thank you all so much for your replies. I will check if it is too thick and maybe another method is using the heat gun to get it slightly soft to clean. 

I would not use a heat gun--too much danger of ruining the cocoa butter. What I do is to fold a heating pad in half, get it warm, and keep a stack of single paper towels inside it to warm them up. Then I rub between the cavities with the towel to remove cocoa butter.

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I have one of these warming trays with no edges (and it's quite warm)

 

IMG_9391.thumb.jpg.618e9f278a6f69139b5ff6e53ad75613.jpg

 

I put shop towels on it 

 

IMG_9392.thumb.jpg.8be894d0c73c19fc04cdb997074c283f.jpg

 

Then rub with dirty molds across the warm shop towels 

 

IMG_9393.thumb.jpg.47d0562b14be98e8f9b2168a23eda4a3.jpg

 

IMG_9394.thumb.jpg.ddf06392183b7dbafdbca03ad72c51d0.jpg

 

IMG_9397.thumb.jpg.e34dc6604495e51c87c817066692cd62.jpg

 

 

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Concerning the thickness of the cocoa butter. How can i avoid this when i want my colours to be vibrant (using maximum 2 colours and then the white as a backlayer to pop the colours)? I followed Andrey's class and he used many colours but dont remember them being as thick as mine. 

 

Another questions after having read all these great comments! Im a little confused about the temperature of cocoa butter. Ive been tempering my c.b to 29-30C and in order to achieve that gloss i need to have a room temperature of 19C. Do i need to be that strict? 

 

 

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1 hour ago, eglies said:

Another questions after having read all these great comments! Im a little confused about the temperature of cocoa butter. Ive been tempering my c.b to 29-30C and in order to achieve that gloss i need to have a room temperature of 19C. Do i need to be that strict? 

 

No. 

 

I do like a cool room but can't always control it, low humidity is nice too but also beyond my control.  I've gotten cavalier about tempering CB.  If I'm airbrushing, as long as it's not hot, it seems to work.  I have to heat my airbrush so thoroughly and so often that it seems like a waste of time to be super strict about temperature.  Do what works for you with the tools you have and the factors you can control. 

 

I made these last week, shiny enough for me!

B30B5EBD-1597-424C-AA51-C30E8A6D93B3.thumb.jpeg.ff5f9e6d22bb0d8660610b75a801233b.jpeg


Edited by pastrygirl (log)
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1 hour ago, eglies said:

Concerning the thickness of the cocoa butter. How can i avoid this when i want my colours to be vibrant (using maximum 2 colours and then the white as a backlayer to pop the colours)? I followed Andrey's class and he used many colours but dont remember them being as thick as mine. 

 

Another questions after having read all these great comments! Im a little confused about the temperature of cocoa butter. Ive been tempering my c.b to 29-30C and in order to achieve that gloss i need to have a room temperature of 19C. Do i need to be that strict? 

 

 

I have come to believe that one of the crucial facts to know about Andrey's techniques is that he was decorating only a couple of molds at a time--he did not have to be concerned with the temp of the c.b. getting too low (though he did use a heat gun from time to time). In addition, many of his colors were translucent, and therefore thinner. Finally, he held the airbrush farther from the mold than I tend to do; the result is a thinner layer (but more overspray--which he got).

 

48 minutes ago, pastrygirl said:

I have to heat my airbrush so thoroughly and so often that it seems like a waste of time to be super strict about temperature. 

This insight is also good to bear in mind. There is no way the c.b. being sprayed stays perfectly in temper as time passes--unless you stop frequently and check it, reheating if necessary--and during that checking time, it's continuing to change. If my spraying space is cool, I tend to stop and reheat from time to time just in case, but not usually stopping to check the actual temp of the c.b. (in the case of the Fuji sprayer, it's a major nuisance to have to remove the pressure cap and stick a thermometer inside the cup). If the c.b. thickens noticeably and spraying slows, then I check the temp, stir up the c.b. with the Thermapen, and reheat as necessary.

 

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21 hours ago, pastrygirl said:

 

No. 

 

I do like a cool room but can't always control it, low humidity is nice too but also beyond my control.  I've gotten cavalier about tempering CB.  If I'm airbrushing, as long as it's not hot, it seems to work.  I have to heat my airbrush so thoroughly and so often that it seems like a waste of time to be super strict about temperature.  Do what works for you with the tools you have and the factors you can control. 

 

I made these last week, shiny enough for me!

B30B5EBD-1597-424C-AA51-C30E8A6D93B3.thumb.jpeg.ff5f9e6d22bb0d8660610b75a801233b.jpeg

 

Ok, of course it would be impossible to check the temp of c.b each time but i'm wondering about the temperature of the room. Ive been advised to have a room temperature of 19C. This can get difficult as the summer times come. Whats the maximum temperature i can have in my workshop?

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You have all been of great help and really solved some issues i've been having. Thank you so much¬†ūüėĀ

 

I have another one for you. Ive attached an image of my bonbon which has been making these layers. This happens when i seal my chocolate (as an empty shell there are no signs of this). What may i be doing wrong? 

 

file-35.jpeg

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I find chocolate work challenging if the kitchen is much above 70f (21c). You can use fans to keep the air moving and put molds directly in the fridge if you have to make it work. I leave the exhaust hood on all night and make chocolates in the cool, wee hours of the morning during warm weather. 

 

As for the photo, was it bottomed  in white?  Tempered chocolate shrinks a bit, sometimes the chocolate used to bottom the bonbons can get pushed into the cavity and end up on the outside of the shell. 


Edited by pastrygirl (log)
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2 hours ago, pastrygirl said:

As for the photo, was it bottomed¬†¬†in white? ¬†Tempered chocolate shrinks a bit, sometimes the chocolate used to bottom the bonbons can get pushed into the cavity and end up on the outside of the shell.¬†ÔĽŅ

 

This happens frequently with more shallow cavities (as with demispheres, cocoa pods, quenelles, half-eggs). Your cavities don't look really shallow, but I'm sure it's what pastrygirl said. There has been a discussion of this before (don't have time now to search for that thread), and the consensus seemed to be that it is very difficult if not impossible to prevent this problem. As someone pointed out, it happens to the best chocolatiers in the world. I know that it happened to bonbons made by Andrey Dubovik in his online course. It's possible to scrape off the excess color, but that is very time consuming. One thing you can do with molds having shallow cavities is to be sure they are level at all stages of the process. What happens is that in this type of mold, the shells often release prematurely (it is a positive thing in that it shows they will come out of the mold without difficulty, but it has the downside you have discovered, and if you are piping something sticky like caramel, it will sometimes lift the mold right out of the cavity). If you hold the mold at eye level, it is easier to check whether any shells are tilted. If they tilt, then you will get that problem.

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10 hours ago, eglies said:

You have all been of great help and really solved some issues i've been having. Thank you so much¬†ūüėĀ

 

I have another one for you. Ive attached an image of my bonbon which has been making these layers. This happens when i seal my chocolate (as an empty shell there are no signs of this). What may i be doing wrong? 

 

file-35.jpeg

 

to my eyes, you're capping in milk chocolate, and you can see the small amount of milk around the edge as you would expect from contraction. The white I have two theories for: the first is that when you're handling the moulds before you spray the white you're wiping off some of the red somehow, the second is that you're putting on so much red cocoa butter that it's contracted before you're applying the white and the white is then moving into the space between the red and the mould when you spray it. Can you show us pictures of every stage of the cocoa butter so we can see how much you're putting in?

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