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cakedecorator1968

Spraying Chocolate: Equipment, Materials, and Techniques

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3 minutes ago, Louise nadine brill said:

Thank you for responding so quickly! The trouble with me being 5 or 10 years behind everyone else, and everyone being so generous with information - is that I sometimes confuse the chronology 😬😬😬. I remembered a post from @Kerry Beal saying that as much as she loved her turbine airgun, she found herself using her Paasche brushes more often. I may have mistaken a gravity for the H series syphon - but I think this paasche came with a gravity cup that i will see if i can affix. Switching up the needle may only help if i can get paint to it 😂I enjoy your posts not only for the wealth of knowledge, but for your candour regarding battles with “new fangled” equipment - your first venture into airbrushing etc...I completely relate. Thank you again!

Sorry that post was supposed to be a reply to @Jim D. . Thank you also @Kerry Beal . P.s. The EZ Temper is the only piece of chocolate equipment I have that has NEVER been a source of frustration. ❤️

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while I am here....can i ask opinions on this? I have a California Air Tools compressor 1hp 5.5gallons ( based my choice on @Jim D. ‘s experiences, and my budget), and one Sprayit LVLP mini gun - which i haven't used yet. I was going to wait until the weather cools down, and I do larger projects. That was assuming I could knock out some small stuff with the Paasche 😑😑. Can i just buy more cups/ guns to use with my CAT for backspraying moulds? Recommend brands? Can i keep coca butter in the spray gun cups and reheat later, ir do they need to be cleaned after each use?.

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32 minutes ago, Louise nadine brill said:

 Can i just buy more cups/ guns to use with my CAT for backspraying moulds? Recommend brands? Can i keep coca butter in the spray gun cups and reheat later, ir do they need to be cleaned after each use?.

 

Not sure what you mean. You have a Sprayit gun. Do you mean buy more spray guns? Not sure why you would need another one. Most are HVLP,  and you have to look for one that comes with a small cup (usually called a mini-gun). I have a 2 HP CAT compressor, and it struggles with the mini-HVLP gun I have, but it does work.

 

As for keeping cocoa butter in the gun: If you mean keep a color in the gun, then heat it up next time, and continue spraying, that won't work because the cocoa butter won't be in temper. I clean out the gun as much as I easily can, but--to be honest--I don't clean it out completely. I get as much as I can back into the container in which I keep each color (having just placed a large Chef Rubber order today and still recovering from the cost, I save as much cocoa butter as I can each time). When I am ready to go the next time, I know the gun will have some solidified cocoa butter inside, but I put the whole thing in a heat cabinet (a dehydrator, to be specific), and it melts out in a very short time. Then I blow that remaining color out and continue with a new color. I know some people feel strongly about having a spotlessly clean spray gun and I admire those people, but I'm not one of them. I don't leave the cocoa butter long enough between sessions as to become rancid. I stand ready to be corrected on this approach, but as long as cocoa butter doesn't smell bad (and I have not encountered that), I just march on with the view that there is nothing inherently unsanitary about solidified cocoa butter.

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5 hours ago, Louise nadine brill said:

Thank you for responding so quickly! The trouble with me being 5 or 10 years behind everyone else, and everyone being so generous with information - is that I sometimes confuse the chronology 😬😬😬. I remembered a post from @Kerry Beal saying that as much as she loved her turbine airgun, she found herself using her Paasche brushes more often. I may have mistaken a gravity for the H series syphon - but I think this paasche came with a gravity cup that i will see if i can affix. Switching up the needle may only help if i can get paint to it 😂I enjoy your posts not only for the wealth of knowledge, but for your candour regarding battles with “new fangled” equipment - your first venture into airbrushing etc...I completely relate. Thank you again!

To be fair - I use the Paasche when I have only a couple of molds to do and when I don't want to wake up the child, who's bedroom is right above my chocolate room. It's still more time consuming and blocks up more than the Fuji. 

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7 hours ago, Kerry Beal said:

To be fair - I use the Paasche when I have only a couple of molds to do and when I don't want to wake up the child, who's bedroom is right above my chocolate room. It's still more time consuming and blocks up more than the Fuji. 

As I use my Grex airbrush when I am doing a small batch and bring out the Fuji only when there are many molds. The Fuji uses much more cocoa butter than an airbrush, and although it does splatter well, it does not do gradients well. And a recent discovery: When I have used tape in a mold (as when making stripes), the airbrush has a lower airflow and so dislodges the tape considerably less. A current goal: to see if there is a way I haven't discovered yet to restrict the cocoa butter flow of the Fuji so as to pump less c.b. through it. What we really need is a company that makes an airbrush/paint gun specifically designed for the chocolatier and devotes personnel to providing customer service specifically for that audience.  As far as I know, that company does not yet exist (Krea Swiss makes equipment for the general confectioner, but not for what we are discussing in this thread).

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1 minute ago, Jim D. said:

As I use my Grex airbrush when I am doing a small batch and bring out the Fuji only when there are many molds. The Fuji uses much more cocoa butter than an airbrush, and although it does splatter well, it does not do gradients well. And a recent discovery: When I have used tape in a mold (as when making stripes), the airbrush has a lower airflow and so dislodges the tape considerably less. A current goal: to see if there is a way I haven't discovered yet to restrict the cocoa butter flow of the Fuji so as to pump less c.b. through it. What we really need is a company that makes an airbrush/paint gun specifically designed for the chocolatier and devotes personnel to providing customer service specifically for that audience.  As far as I know, that company does not yet exist (Krea Swiss makes equipment for the general confectioner, but not for what we are discussing in this thread).

So what you are saying is there is room for a new product on the market? Perhaps we should work with Fuji to create it and make our fortune - wait - I've got enough on my plate and it isn't making me a fortune! I"ll let you talk to them.

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8 minutes ago, Kerry Beal said:

So what you are saying is there is room for a new product on the market? Perhaps we should work with Fuji to create it and make our fortune - wait - I've got enough on my plate and it isn't making me a fortune! I"ll let you talk to them.

I definitely think there is room on the market. Fuji mentions food prep on their website, but I didn't find that translated into customer service (there is better customer service with the previous owner of the company now at hlvptek.com).  Grex has some very good videos on using their airbrushes for food prep (cake decorating in particular). They do make an HVLP gun, but it's not aimed at chocolatiers (the smallest cup holds 20 fl. oz.). Their customer service is excellent and showed some knowledge of the particular challenges of using cocoa butter, but it's not really their focus.

 

What I would like is a gun with a built-in heating method that would keep the cocoa butter fluid (like the Krea chocolate one), and I do think there is a small (but fanatical ;)) market for such a device. And people who work in chocolate are accustomed to paying outrageous prices for just about everything they use.

 

But I definitely think you are the person to develop this. After all, you have worldwide experience with selling a device to that fanatical market and the connections to make it a "must-have" device in a fairly short period of time! And finally, you know how to provide excellent and immediate customer service. I would migrate to Canada to join your customer service team. All you would need is to get a few famous chocolatiers using the Beal spray gun on their Instagram feeds, and all of us would be clamoring to have it, no matter the price.

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On 8/21/2019 at 7:55 AM, Jim D. said:

I definitely think there is room on the market. Fuji mentions food prep on their website, but I didn't find that translated into customer service (there is better customer service with the previous owner of the company now at hlvptek.com).  Grex has some very good videos on using their airbrushes for food prep (cake decorating in particular). They do make an HVLP gun, but it's not aimed at chocolatiers (the smallest cup holds 20 fl. oz.). Their customer service is excellent and showed some knowledge of the particular challenges of using cocoa butter, but it's not really their focus.

 

What I would like is a gun with a built-in heating method that would keep the cocoa butter fluid (like the Krea chocolate one), and I do think there is a small (but fanatical ;)) market for such a device. And people who work in chocolate are accustomed to paying outrageous prices for just about everything they use.

 

But I definitely think you are the person to develop this. After all, you have worldwide experience with selling a device to that fanatical market and the connections to make it a "must-have" device in a fairly short period of time! And finally, you know how to provide excellent and immediate customer service. I would migrate to Canada to join your customer service team. All you would need is to get a few famous chocolatiers using the Beal spray gun on their Instagram feeds, and all of us would be clamoring to have it, no matter the price.

If you had any idea how far in the hole I am with my ‘worldwide experience’!


Edited by Kerry Beal (log)
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Sigh. I think there must be something wrong with my Paasche - getting  very  very little pressure to the nozzle - just trying to spray air - no cocoa butter added. It is  performing as if there was a leak -  but there is no leak. Using the same hose i dug out my Master Airbrush brush and the pressure is fine. So compressor is working, hose is woking. I cant imagine what it might be, and of course no troubleshooting instructions came with it. It’s such a shame because it feels like good quality and i am sure it’s spray would be nicer than my inelegant Master Airbrush - if i could only get it to work! 

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1 hour ago, Louise nadine brill said:

Sigh. I think there must be something wrong with my Paasche - getting  very  very little pressure to the nozzle - just trying to spray air - no cocoa butter added. It is  performing as if there was a leak -  but there is no leak. Using the same hose i dug out my Master Airbrush brush and the pressure is fine. So compressor is working, hose is woking. I cant imagine what it might be, and of course no troubleshooting instructions came with it. It’s such a shame because it feels like good quality and i am sure it’s spray would be nicer than my inelegant Master Airbrush - if i could only get it to work! 

I recommend calling Paasche directly. I had very good experience with their customer support.

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20 minutes ago, Jim D. said:

I recommend calling Paasche directly. I had very good experience with their customer support.

Ok great idea! I’m so used to expecting zero customer service these days that it didn't even occur to me to call a company directly 😬

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@Kerry Beal, thanks very much for mentioning this new toy--I had not heard about it. And yes, it does look very much like the Fuji spray. I will definitely look into this (you know I can't resist anything that might make the elusive splatter an easier technique). Ruth seems to have great success with her Fuji, but for me splattering is a hit-or-miss proposition.

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Upon further checking, I see that the fan spray cap is not new. In fact, I must confess that I bought it when I got the Grex and had forgotten it. I have never pursued trying to splatter with it. The website says it can be attached without any hassle, but somewhere I saw that the airbrush needs to be disassembled to use it.  I gave up on it temporarily and have never gotten back to it. In all my back and forth with Grex tech support about splattering, the spray cap was not mentioned. I'll have to pursue this further.

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11 minutes ago, Jim D. said:

Upon further checking, I see that the fan spray cap is not new. In fact, I must confess that I bought it when I got the Grex and had forgotten it. I have never pursued trying to splatter with it. The website says it can be attached without any hassle, but somewhere I saw that the airbrush needs to be disassembled to use it.  I gave up on it temporarily and have never gotten back to it. In all my back and forth with Grex tech support about splattering, the spray cap was not mentioned. I'll have to pursue this further.

I think I have that cap too. Would love to hear if you have any luck splattering with it.

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14 minutes ago, cslas said:

I think I have that cap too. Would love to hear if you have any luck splattering with it.

I assume this means you were not successful at splattering with the Grex and its regular needle? I wonder if the fan cap has too wide a spray to make it practical for molds (too much overspray). When I have some time, I'll try to find out. Meanwhile maybe you can try it and report back.

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5 minutes ago, Jim D. said:

I assume this means you were not successful at splattering with the Grex and its regular needle? I wonder if the fan cap has too wide a spray to make it practical for molds (too much overspray). When I have some time, I'll try to find out. Meanwhile maybe you can try it and report back.

No, sorry, I should have clarified. I haven't tried it yet. The only experience I have thus far airbrushing is applying the velvet effect to some entrements. I just upgraded to this airbrush and haven't actually used it yet, so it was more of a bonus when I saw your conversation suggesting it might be possible. I'm just getting into chocolate (taking the Ecole Chocolate course), so maybe I'll give it a go on my bonbons that are due in October. I will let you know if I'm able to pull it off.

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1 hour ago, Jim D. said:

The website says it [the fan spray cap] can be attached without any hassle, but somewhere I saw that the airbrush needs to be disassembled to use it.  I gave up on it temporarily and have never gotten back to it. In all my back and forth with Grex tech support about splattering, the spray cap was not mentioned. I'll have to pursue this further.

 

I did pursue my question and was reminded that Grex airbrushes do not come with the 0.7mm needle. You have to purchase a 0.5 airbrush and a conversion kit to the 0.7. So that's what I did, and the kit included the fan spray nozzle. Once you have the 0.7 needle installed, then it is indeed quick to exchange the regular spray cap for the fan spray one--so there's no need to take the airbrush apart each time.

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I use my HVLP gun at around 30-40 PSI and can do splatter just fine. It's 0,7mm.

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I have just completed experimenting with the fan spray cap and the Grex airbrush. Insofar as my efforts went, it does not do splatter, not even close. The amount of overspray is large. I never need to wear any kind of mask when splattering with the Fuji, but I definitely should have had one for this trial. I suspect my innards are now colored "Mediterranean blue." So it would seem that the options for splattering are (1) some kind of brush, e.g., a toothbrush, (2) using a flat stick and ricocheting the cocoa butter from an airbrush onto the stick and then into the mold, (3) a regular HVLP gun with a pressure regulator (not sure this works with all HVLP paint guns, but see Rajala's touting of his in the post above), or (4) the Fuji with pressure turned down. Perhaps others know of additional methods that work and can add them to this thread.


Edited by Jim D. (log)

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2 hours ago, Jim D. said:

Perhaps others know of additional methods that work and can add them to this thread.

 

Also the drip CB in front of the airbrush and blast it with air to splatter method.

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That is what I am doing at the moment, with my ole badger compressor and bottom fed spray. It's an ok method but it doesn't give a uniform pattern.

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Vanessa

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Hi all. Long time stalker, first time commenter here. I've done a lot of thread reading regarding spraying colored cocoa butter but I have to confess, being a hands on visual learner, that the numbers and decimals and psi's ya'll talk about don't mean much of anything to me quite yet. I have a Fuji Q4 Platinum that I bought over a year ago {I just obediently ordered whatever Fuji kit Kerry Beale recommended} and I would love to get maximum usage out of. Because, you know, the $$$$. haha

So far, it's really just been a whole lot of guess work with the adjustment knobs and such.  I need to become consistent with it but don't really know where to start. I'm wondering how to get a decent splatter, how to get good single color coverage without wasting half a bottle, and any other techniques that ya'll might find helpful. 

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