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cakedecorator1968

Spraying Chocolate: Equipment, Materials, and Techniques

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2 minutes ago, minas6907 said:

Do you use the brushes that came with the compressor, you do you just use the compressor with nicer brushes?

 

I have a grex tritium airbrush that I picked up at Chef Rubber.  It came with the 0.3 nozzle, but I swapped it for 0.5.

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10 minutes ago, minas6907 said:

Ok cool, I'll look into the Iwata compressors. Right now I am sort of leaning toward purchasing a separate compressor and airbrush. If I do, what else would I need? How do I determine the size of hose I need? Is it universal? Is there something I'm not thinking of besides compressor, hose, and airbrush?

 

The cooler looked pretty cool at first, kind of a neat idea, but those vortex guns look spot on! In all truthfulness, however, I cant see myself getting one, just a bit too pricey.

This is something I was wondering about. How necessary is a water trap? If you don't have one, am I right to assume that you could have water from the air spray out with the cocoa butter?

I was looking at the PointZero on amazon, it sort of seems like a generic compressor and airbrush kit. I haven't seem anything else about PointZero aside from the product on amazon. Do you use the brushes that came with the compressor, you do you just use the compressor with nicer brushes?

 

Thanks all for the replies, I was this process was less annoying haha.

Yup right sized nozzles, quick release for airbrush is good, also different hose for each brand of airbrush.

 

 

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On the water trap---I didn't have one at first. No problems, but thought it would be a good idea. It never trapped any water:). We live in an extremely dry climate and probably isn't necessary for here. I think the problem would be moisture in the CB.


Ruth Kendrick

Chocolot
Artisan Chocolates and Toffees
www.chocolot.com

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Thanks for the replies everyone, really, I do appreciate it. Realistically, I dont think I can stay in the budget I had in mind, I rather spend a little more then frustrate myself with cheaper equipment. Right now I have my eye set on a compressor from California Air Tools.

 

On the topic of airbrushes, I've read in misc posts here and other forums about the Badger 250-2, which is siphon fed. I figured I'd get one, its cheap enough. When it comes to cocoa butter, is siphon fed difficult to manage? I suppose siphon and gravity fed both have up and downs...which is part of teaching myself this. Realistically I'll learn more when I get up and running.

22 hours ago, Kerry Beal said:

Yup right sized nozzles, quick release for airbrush is good, also different hose for each brand of airbrush.

Thank for the information. Thats what was a bit confusing, so each brand airbrush will have a different fitting and require a different hose? I really figured it would be universal. As for nozzles, can you elaborate? Are they all interchangeable? I'm looking for nozzle sets on amazon and not really finding anything. Really, I'm in the dark about which gravity fed airbrush to get. I figured either Paasche or Badger. From reading, I've seen that larger tip size is apparently what I want.

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3 hours ago, minas6907 said:

 

Thank for the information. Thats what was a bit confusing, so each brand airbrush will have a different fitting and require a different hose? I really figured it would be universal. As for nozzles, can you elaborate? Are they all interchangeable? I'm looking for nozzle sets on amazon and not really finding anything. Really, I'm in the dark about which gravity fed airbrush to get. I figured either Paasche or Badger. From reading, I've seen that larger tip size is apparently what I want.


I can't speak for all of the various brands but the Paasche airbrushes I bought came with all 3 nozzle sizes. They came with a 6 foot hose as well but I'm seriously considering grabbing a 15 or 20 foot so I can mount the compressor somewhere out of the way and just run the hose to my work table. I'm using a Paasche compressor so there was no issue with connections to deal with but they sell specific hoses designed for using different combinations of other airbrushes and compressors with their airbrushes and compressors so I'm assuming there is no universal standard.


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 15/02/2018 at 6:34 PM, Jim D. said:

 

I'm not sure why you find that a problem. Does the PSI on yours drop to zero just before the motor turns on to refill the tank? Mine drops until the PSI reaches a certain set point, when it comes on, but during that process, there is still enough PSI to continue working. The small compressors (such as the Iwata Studio series) provide compressed air on demand, and so don't require a tank for storage. The downside, of course, is that their PSI is low (and, in the case of the Iwata that I have, their price is relatively high).

 

Ah, I was in a rush. Forgot to mention that I live in an apartment, I'm thinking that my neighbour below me don't want to hear a vibrating sound all the time. But with the 1 gallon tank, I think that would be enough without going below the wanted pressure - since you need to wait short moments for the layers to dry. :) 


Edited by Rajala (log)

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So I've been trying a bit with spraying my moulds and an issue I have, that isn't related to the mould spraying itself, is that when the shell contracts from the mould, I get chocolate over my cocoa butter when I cap my bonbons. Any suggestions how to avoid this? I got the suggestion to cap earlier, before the chocolate contracts too much - but when would that happen? What's your experience with this? See the image, this is what I'm talking about, around the edge of the bonbon.

 

27893697_1982079885445754_46456717725180

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2 hours ago, Rajala said:

So I've been trying a bit with spraying my moulds and an issue I have, that isn't related to the mould spraying itself, is that when the shell contracts from the mould, I get chocolate over my cocoa butter when I cap my bonbons. Any suggestions how to avoid this? I got the suggestion to cap earlier, before the chocolate contracts too much - but when would that happen? What's your experience with this? See the image, this is what I'm talking about, around the edge of the bonbon.

 

I have had that happen, particularly with demisphere molds (which is what yours looks like). Did you also have the issue that when you are adding ganache (or whatever the filling is) the chocolate shell can be dislodged easily? That is also a characteristic of flatter, spread-out cavities (while being an inconvenience, it is also a positive sign that your chocolate was in temper and is going to come out of the cavities easily at a later stage of the process). As for the chocolate showing around the bottom of the finished bonbon: I have always assumed it is because I did not completely cover the cavity with colored cocoa butter--that is, up to the very top. If you leave any spots unsprayed, they are, of course, going to show the underlying chocolate color--it's easy to miss this when you are in the process of spraying and you don't want to make too thick a layer of cocoa butter and you are hurrying because the cocoa butter may be getting too thick or cooling too much. The gap in color could also happen when you scrape after capping the mold. Not everyone agrees with the following, but I think you need to scrape off all the excess cocoa butter after spraying the mold so that you have a completely flat surface when you pour and scrape what will become the bottom of the cavities. Immediately after spraying a mold, I invert it over paper towels and rub it back and forth to get off as much c.b. as possible. Later I use an offset spatula and paper towels to clean off what I missed. Experience has taught me that leaving any bumps of c.b. will make scraping uneven.

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8 minutes ago, Jim D. said:

 

I have had that happen, particularly with demisphere molds (which is what yours looks like). Did you also have the issue that when you are adding ganache (or whatever the filling is) the chocolate shell can be dislodged easily? That is also a characteristic of flatter, spread-out cavities (while being an inconvenience, it is also a positive sign that your chocolate was in temper and is going to come out of the cavities easily at a later stage of the process). As for the chocolate showing around the bottom of the finished bonbon: I have always assumed it is because I did not completely cover the cavity with colored cocoa butter--that is, up to the very top. If you leave any spots unsprayed, they are, of course, going to show the underlying chocolate color--it's easy to miss this when you are in the process of spraying and you don't want to make too thick a layer of cocoa butter and you are hurrying because the cocoa butter may be getting too thick or cooling too much. The gap in color could also happen when you scrape after capping the mold. Not everyone agrees with the following, but I think you need to scrape off all the excess cocoa butter after spraying the mold so that you have a completely flat surface when you pour and scrape what will become the bottom of the cavities. Immediately after spraying a mold, I invert it over paper towels and rub it back and forth to get off as much c.b. as possible. Later I use an offset spatula and paper towels to clean off what I missed. Experience has taught me that leaving any bumps of c.b. will make scraping uneven.

 

Yeah, it's a demisphere. When you mention it, I never had as much chocolate showing on the edge as with this one. I thought it might've been that I scraped some of etc, but it doesn't seem to be the case - and the suggestion I got was that small amount of chocolate manages to get between the mould and the chocolate shell. It kind of make sense, and if you look at the picture below (right side), you can actually see that there's a small layer of chocolate on the edge of the shell. It wasn't dislodged easier than usual this time, but I've had times where the shell moves around when capping. :)

 

27578881_2034319020183315_78746850982625


Edited by Rajala (log)

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2 hours ago, Rajala said:

 

Ah, I was in a rush. Forgot to mention that I live in an apartment, I'm thinking that my neighbour below me don't want to hear a vibrating sound all the time. But with the 1 gallon tank, I think that would be enough without going below the wanted pressure - since you need to wait short moments for the layers to dry. :) 

 

Crucial thing to know that you have to take neighbors into consideration. First, it's good of you to think of them. I spent many years living in apartments below people until finally my #1 criterion for choosing a place was that it had to be on the top floor. But even there you do have to consider those below you. If I were in your situation, I would find a way to cushion the sound--if the compressor is small enough, put it on a stool or table or wooden box with as much padding as possible beneath it--definitely not directly on the floor. That kind of noise can drive even nice neighbors to violence! :angry:

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13 minutes ago, Jim D. said:

Crucial thing to know that you have to take neighbors into consideration. First, it's good of you to think of them. I spent many years living in apartments below people until finally my #1 criterion for choosing a place was that it had to be on the top floor. But even there you do have to consider those below you. If I were in your situation, I would find a way to cushion the sound--if the compressor is small enough, put it on a stool or table or wooden box with as much padding as possible beneath it--definitely not directly on the floor. That kind of noise can drive even nice neighbors to violence! :angry:

 

I have no idea how much he can hear it. I actually do it like this at the moment; lift it up - start it. Put it down when it's filled and unplug. Then spray a layer and start it up again holding it in the air, to refill the tank. It's like 56 dB or so, so it's not super noisy, but the vibrations is probably a problem.

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10 minutes ago, Rajala said:

 

I have no idea how much he can hear it. I actually do it like this at the moment; lift it up - start it. Put it down when it's filled and unplug. Then spray a layer and start it up again holding it in the air, to refill the tank. It's like 56 dB or so, so it's not super noisy, but the vibrations is probably a problem.

I would say from that evidence that you are an ideal neighbor to have above a person, very considerate! But your method does explain some of the issues you are having, especially turning off the compressor. Quite naturally it will take some time to get back up to pressure, starting from scratch. Compressors with tanks are intended to come on when more air is needed so that operation is more or less seamless. I think my padding idea might allow you to run it continuously, but of course I don't know how loud it is (and you are right, it is the vibration that makes a difference). How well do you know your neighbor? Can you ask him? Or is that stirring up trouble, making him notice something he had not up to this point? 

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2 minutes ago, Jim D. said:

I would say from that evidence that you are an ideal neighbor to have above a person, very considerate! But your method does explain some of the issues you are having, especially turning off the compressor. Quite naturally it will take some time to get back up to pressure, starting from scratch. Compressors with tanks are intended to come on when more air is needed so that operation is more or less seamless. I think my padding idea might allow you to run it continuously, but of course I don't know how loud it is (and you are right, it is the vibration that makes a difference). How well do you know your neighbor? Can you ask him? Or is that stirring up trouble, making him notice something he had not up to this point? 

 

I have it standing on some styrofoam at the moment, but I don't believe that it's enough. I should probably, as you suggest, put it on a chair or so as well. I have thought about asking him next time i run in to him, but I hardly ever see him. I can hear him play his guitar occasionally though. But as long as I do this lifting thing, I couldn't be bothered to go knock on his door - he might hear a sound for around a minute maybe four five times over ten minutes(?). I've been using it once a week since I bought it, so it's not like I'm spraying 50 moulds at 11pm on a Tuesday evening. :D 

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45 minutes ago, Rajala said:

 

Yeah, it's a demisphere. When you mention it, I never had as much chocolate showing on the edge as with this one. I thought it might've been that I scraped some of etc, but it doesn't seem to be the case - and the suggestion I got was that small amount of chocolate manages to get between the mould and the chocolate shell. It kind of make sense, and if you look at the picture below (right side), you can actually see that there's a small layer of chocolate on the edge of the shell. 

 

I am not clear on what you mean by "small amount of chocolate manages to get between the mould and the chocolate shell." Do you mean some chocolate gets between the polycarbonate and the colored cocoa butter? I don't see how that is possible. I have never seen the colored c.b. contract at all. The idea is that when you pour in the warm chocolate, it binds to the colors to form a unit. Maybe if your layer of c.b. is too thick, you could get a problem. In any case if there is contraction, I don't see how you would stop it, unless you make the chocolate shell so quickly that there is no time for contraction--but you already said you had that advice. If you have more pieces, you might try carefully scraping off the chocolate that is showing at the edge and see if there is c.b. behind it. If there is, we will know that that theory is correct. I don't have similar chocolates right now, so can't test it myself.


Edited by Jim D. (log)

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1 minute ago, Jim D. said:

I am not clear on what you mean by "small amount of chocolate manages to get between the mould and the chocolate shell." Do you mean some chocolate gets between the polycarbonate and the colored cocoa butter? I don't see how that is possible. I have never seen the colored c.b. contract at all. The idea is that when you pour in the warm chocolate, it binds to the colors to form a unit. Maybe if your layer of c.b. is too thick, you could get a problem. In any case it there is contraction, I don't see how you would stop it, unless you make the chocolate shell so quickly that there is no time for contraction--but you already said you had that advice. If you have more pieces, you might try carefully scraping off the chocolate that is showing at the edge and see if there is c.b. behind it. If there is, we will know that that theory is correct. I don't have similar chocolates right now, so can't test it myself.

 

No, it gets between the moulded shell and the mould when capping. Look at the picture, you'll understand what I mean. When the shell including the coloured cocoa butter together contracts, there's a tiny tiny amount of room between the shell and the mould, allowing some chocolate to slip in.

 

5LLqhQG.png

 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Rajala said:

 

No, it gets between the moulded shell and the mould when capping. Look at the picture, you'll understand what I mean. When the shell including the coloured cocoa butter together contracts, there's a tiny tiny amount of room between the shell and the mould, allowing some chocolate to slip in.

 

Now I see what you mean. I have never had this happen (at least that I have noticed) except with the demisphere molds. I will be using some of those molds in the coming week, so I will do some experimenting. Since those molds release so easily, I will try taking out a few pieces at various stages to see if the issue occurs. Have you had it happen with other molds? ... Now that I think about it, I had this same issue with filled Easter eggs last year--and those molds have a similar shape and also released very easily. At the time I thought I must have missed spraying the top edges. Meanwhile others with more experience may have ideas.

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12 minutes ago, Jim D. said:

Now I see what you mean. I have never had this happen (at least that I have noticed) except with the demisphere molds. I will be using some of those molds in the coming week, so I will do some experimenting. Since those molds release so easily, I will try taking out a few pieces at various stages to see if the issue occurs. Have you had it happen with other molds? ... Now that I think about it, I had this same issue with filled Easter eggs last year--and those molds have a similar shape and also released very easily. At the time I thought I must have missed spraying the top edges. Meanwhile others with more experience may have ideas.

 

Probably normal with the contraction that happens during crystallization. Did you use a heat gun to heat the tops prior to capping, Mats? I’ve seen professionals have the same thing happen to them, including Melissa Coppel. 

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7 minutes ago, nammer said:

 

Probably normal with the contraction that happens during crystallization. Did you use a heat gun to heat the tops prior to capping, Mats? I’ve seen professionals have the same thing happen to them, including Melissa Coppel. 

Did you see this from Melissa Coppel in person or in a photo or ... ? That would be very interesting as she is such a perfectionist. I've had a few more thoughts on the issue:  It's really not possible to cap the mold quickly because there is the filling to be piped plus time for it to set. Heating the mold before capping is an intriguing idea. I heat my molds when there is caramel involved (this has virtually stopped leakage from apple caramels), but do not use heat otherwise. Another thought: When I was at the chocolate workshop last year in Vegas, the chocolatiers we saw used demispheres almost exclusively (I remember squeezing into a tight closet at Jean-Marie Auboine's to retrieve as many of these molds as I could carry). Yet I never saw the problem with any of their chocolates.

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2 hours ago, Jim D. said:

Now I see what you mean. I have never had this happen (at least that I have noticed) except with the demisphere molds. I will be using some of those molds in the coming week, so I will do some experimenting. Since those molds release so easily, I will try taking out a few pieces at various stages to see if the issue occurs. Have you had it happen with other molds? ... Now that I think about it, I had this same issue with filled Easter eggs last year--and those molds have a similar shape and also released very easily. At the time I thought I must have missed spraying the top edges. Meanwhile others with more experience may have ideas.

 

I've had it happened with other moulds as well, but not this much - so it's possible that this one is more prone to have this happen - as we've discussed. 

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2 hours ago, nammer said:

 

Probably normal with the contraction that happens during crystallization. Did you use a heat gun to heat the tops prior to capping, Mats? I’ve seen professionals have the same thing happen to them, including Melissa Coppel. 

 

No, I didn't. I never do that. :$ Maybe I should try that a bit. I have one, guess I'm a bit lazy, huh? :D 

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heating prior to capping won't stop that issue, because the chocolate has already contracted. If you heat it so much that it re-expands, you'll break it out of temper. It's more noticeable on circular shapes because you get an even contraction in all directions.


Edited by keychris (log)
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8 minutes ago, keychris said:

heating prior to capping won't stop that issue, because the chocolate has already contracted. If you heat it so much that it re-expands, you'll break it out of temper. It's more noticeable on circular shapes because you get an even contraction in all directions.

 

 

Haha, I think we discussed this elsewhere :D 

 

I see, that makes sense. I wonder what you could do to make this result being less visible. If you're capping with a guitar sheet, what about placing it surface down on a flat surface? 

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1 hour ago, Rajala said:

 

Haha, I think we discussed this elsewhere :D 

 

I see, that makes sense. I wonder what you could do to make this result being less visible. If you're capping with a guitar sheet, what about placing it surface down on a flat surface? 

 

Another thing might be that you are putting too much chocolate in the mould while you’re capping, so the weight of it is enough for it to seep through the mould/chocolate gap, or your chocolate may be too fluid. Just a guess.

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1 hour ago, keychris said:

heating prior to capping won't stop that issue, because the chocolate has already contracted. If you heat it so much that it re-expands, you'll break it out of temper. It's more noticeable on circular shapes because you get an even contraction in all directions.

 

 

I think it could help because you would only melt a paper thin layer of chocolate on the butt end of the shell, enough to slightly bridge the gap between the mould and shell, thus preventing the capping chocolate to seep through. I don’t know, the Callebaut school teaches capping with a heat gun for better capping results. Doesn’t hurt to try if nothing else works. 

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19 minutes ago, nammer said:

 

Another thing might be that you are putting too much chocolate in the mould while you’re capping, so the weight of it is enough for it to seep through the mould/chocolate gap, or your chocolate may be too fluid. Just a guess.

 

That might very well be one reason. Most of the times when I cap, I end up having way more than I need on the mould itself. When I looked at a video of Melissa Coppel, she used very little. I always take extra to make sure that it's enough. I'll try with a little bit less next time. Thanks for that suggestion.

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