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Melanger issue: High temperature


Douglas K
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I made my fifth ever batch of chocolate over the weekend, a 45% milk chocolate. I did the usual warming of everything, and the batch started off without a hitch. After running 24 hours I got ready to cool the chocolate to temper, and the stone seemed awfully hot. Sure enough the chocolate was 147 degrees F. Normally it comes out at around 120. The chocolate seemed kind of thick, but this is my first batch as low as 45%, so not sure if that’s normal. The chocolate tempered just fine, and tastes fine for have gotten so hot. I’m wondering if I got a minuscule amount of water in the batch? I’m not sure how that would have happened, though thinking of everything ad nauseum I can think of possibilities. The ingredients themselves are all ones I’ve used before without issue, though first time with the roasted nibs, but they came from the same reliable source as all my other nibs. Just curious if anyone else has seen this happen.

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Hi - another thing to check is the total fat content of your chocolate . . . not enough fat (from nibs, added cocoa butter and milk fat) and the grinder potentially has to work too hard to keep moving through the chocolate and that can heat things up. I aim for fat content of 30%+ for my machine.

 

147F is 64C if my maths is right which is getting to the upper range of the epoxies used in a lot of the grinders . . . ie., it can start to melt the glue.

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My recipe was 27% nibs, 18% cocoa butter, 18% whole dry milk powder, and 26% sugar. By my calculations that between 35 and 36% fat, but it’s possible the nibs were lower in fat and could be the cause of the issue. Nothing fell apart, and no chunks of anything in the chocolate, but I was definitely worried.

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I am thinking I found the culprit, somewhat embarrassingly enough. When cleaning it the other day, I pulled off the grinding wheels, and was trying to clean inside the shaft area when I moved one of the bushings out. I didn’t realize they would come out so easily. Normally when I work with something pressed in like that it’s much tighter. Anyhow, I took them all out, and sure enough there was still some chocolate as well as water from washing. I will definitely be adding that step to my cleaning regimen. I’m somewhat obsessive with cleaning have worked in the wine and beer industries, and being a home brewer so it really isn’t much of a chore for me.

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