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Spraying Chocolate: Equipment, Materials, and Techniques


cakedecorator1968
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4 hours ago, teonzo said:

The big question here is not what it's best for you now, but what your future plans/hopes are. Where do you think you will be in 2023, 2025, 2030? Are you keeping your chocolate making as a little home hobby, or do you plan/hope to turn it into your main job?
If you plan to go bigger over time, and hopefully make it your main job, then it has no sense to save money now to buy something that will be useless in less than 2 years, it would be wasted money. If this is the case, then you need to start making a multi-year plan and see what your hopes are.
If you want to keep where it is now (a weekly home hobby) AND you worry so much about spending $300 instead of $200 (worrying about money is always a good thing), then just buy the cheapest alternative out there. Whatever you buy in that money range will leave you unsatisfied, you will always want something better/quicker/bigger. You just need to consider that you are already spending a lot of patience doing chocolate, you will still need patience, just a little less than now. If you want something really effective then you need to raise you budget considerably.

 

 


Teo

 

Thanks Teo :)

I do have a full time job in software, so this isn't professional for now. However, because it isn't professional, I am also ok on spending more money to make things less arduous so I keep enjoying it (so am fine going up to in budget), I just am having a hard time figuring out what the best solution is for me, considering I don't have a lot of volume.  

If I up my budget to the $400-$500 frame, it sounds like the grex + appropriate compressor would be the best solution for me, does that make sense?

 

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1 hour ago, lironp said:

Thanks Teo :)

I do have a full time job in software, so this isn't professional for now. However, because it isn't professional, I am also ok on spending more money to make things less arduous so I keep enjoying it (so am fine going up to in budget), I just am having a hard time figuring out what the best solution is for me, considering I don't have a lot of volume.  

If I up my budget to the $400-$500 frame, it sounds like the grex + appropriate compressor would be the best solution for me, does that make sense?

 

 

I won't presume to speak for Teo, but your volume is not that different from mine, and, at this time, I use only the Grex with the compressor I have described previously. So you will probably be fine--for now.  But I do have the Fuji HVLP sprayer for holiday work, and its speed in covering molds is impressive. What Teo is suggesting is that the future should also be considered (something I did not know I should do, foolish as I was). I had not gotten the impression you were willing to spend more, but I would probably buy a compressor large enough to handle both the Grex and an HVLP gun. With a quick-connect hookup, you could easily switch from one to the other and so use the Grizzly gun for splatter, then switch to the Grex for covering a mold (if you didn't want to use so much cocoa butter as a gun takes). If you are as certain as it is possible to be that your quantity will not go up dramatically, then the Grex and a somewhat smaller compressor will work.

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8 hours ago, Jim D. said:

 

Has good reviews, but I don't think its 1-gallon capacity would be enough for the .8mm Grex needle.

There is a 0.8mm needle now?

 

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So looking back in this thread when you bought the 2 HP compressor - you mentioned that they said the 1 HP would have been sufficient but they didn't have any. Pricing out the 2 HP is a little dear for Canada - but I realized looking at this chart on their website that as long as we can get these numbers for 0.7mm  nozzle then a less expensive compressor should work. It will run a bit more if it doesn't have the 4.5 gallon tanks of course. But the 0.6 HP California Air Tools unit does -

1.60 CFM @ 40 PSI     

1.20 CFM @ 90 PSI 

 

Certainly the 2 HP is 'stronger' - with the following numbers - 

 

6.40 CFM @ 40 PSI      

5.30 CFM @ 90 PSI 

But my suspicion is that the 0.6 HP should be sufficient to work with the 0.7mm nozzle.

 

 

image.thumb.gif.f08cc26dcffe1f1df40f4c59e8e03c19.gif

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17 hours ago, lironp said:

I do have a full time job in software, so this isn't professional for now. However, because it isn't professional, I am also ok on spending more money to make things less arduous so I keep enjoying it (so am fine going up to in budget), I just am having a hard time figuring out what the best solution is for me, considering I don't have a lot of volume.  

If I up my budget to the $400-$500 frame, it sounds like the grex + appropriate compressor would be the best solution for me, does that make sense?

 

You need to consider many more factors.
Spraying colored cocoa butter in your kitchen means everything else in that room will need to be cleaned. You could get a spraying booth that works fine (other money), limiting the clean-up, but you would have to give a thorough clean-up to your kitchen no matter what. This means time, this means money (other added costs). Sprayed cocoa butter has the tendency to go anywhere, with the risk of ruining other appliances, especially if they are the cheap models. If sprayed cocoa butter ends inside a motor of one of your appliances, then there is the risk that this motor is going to break. Time ago I witnessed the maintenance of a depositor, it had cocoa butter inside everything, and that place sprayed cocoa butter like 2 hours per week.
Within that price range you will always have to face one trouble or another with your set-up. You won't have enough pressure reserve to do your experiments. You will have to wait some time between each mold. You will start cursing with the cocoa butter getting cold while you wait. So on. No matter what you choose, you will end up unsatisfied. Simply because when you will learn a technique then you will want to pass to another one. Which is the reason why you are looking for an airbrush: with your current tools you are limited, you want to do something else. You will always have these limits, unless you get the big tools, which are well above your price range.
So you should ask yourself if you are going to keep it as a simple hobby or not. To answer this question you need to consider millions of factors that only you know.
If you want to keep it as a simple hobby, then my suggestion is to buy the cheapest solution, then be patient. Which you already are, since you are doing chocolate bonbons by hand at home. Get the solution with the smaller overspray, so your clean-up will be limited.
If you are aiming to get more serious, then wait until you are confident about spending more money, then spend it once for the correct set-up that will satisfy your needs for more years possible. Or you spend the less money possible, or you spend the money to get the best set-up possible. Better avoiding in-between choices.

 

 


Teo

 

Teo

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9 hours ago, Kerry Beal said:

So looking back in this thread when you bought the 2 HP compressor - you mentioned that they said the 1 HP would have been sufficient but they didn't have any. Pricing out the 2 HP is a little dear for Canada - but I realized looking at this chart on their website that as long as we can get these numbers for 0.7mm  nozzle then a less expensive compressor should work. It will run a bit more if it doesn't have the 4.5 gallon tanks of course. But the 0.6 HP California Air Tools unit does -

1.60 CFM @ 40 PSI     

1.20 CFM @ 90 PSI 

 

Certainly the 2 HP is 'stronger' - with the following numbers - 

 

6.40 CFM @ 40 PSI      

5.30 CFM @ 90 PSI 

But my suspicion is that the 0.6 HP should be sufficient to work with the 0.7mm nozzle.

 

 

I agree that the 0.6HP compressor would work as far as producing the required pressure (60 psi I was told by Grex tech support, which, according to the chart you included, would mean 1.01 CFM). But I would find the 1-gallon capacity of the tank very limiting. My 4.6-gallon compressor turns on fairly frequently, so I would think a 1-gallon machine would be almost continuous.  There are certainly less expensive compressors out there that would work, such as this one from Husky (which has an 8-gallon tank for $149--though it does get mixed reviews).

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1 hour ago, teonzo said:

 

You need to consider many more factors.
Spraying colored cocoa butter in your kitchen means everything else in that room will need to be cleaned. You could get a spraying booth that works fine (other money), limiting the clean-up, but you would have to give a thorough clean-up to your kitchen no matter what. This means time, this means money (other added costs). Sprayed cocoa butter has the tendency to go anywhere, with the risk of ruining other appliances, especially if they are the cheap models. If sprayed cocoa butter ends inside a motor of one of your appliances, then there is the risk that this motor is going to break. Time ago I witnessed the maintenance of a depositor, it had cocoa butter inside everything, and that place sprayed cocoa butter like 2 hours per week.
Within that price range you will always have to face one trouble or another with your set-up. You won't have enough pressure reserve to do your experiments. You will have to wait some time between each mold. You will start cursing with the cocoa butter getting cold while you wait. So on. No matter what you choose, you will end up unsatisfied. Simply because when you will learn a technique then you will want to pass to another one. Which is the reason why you are looking for an airbrush: with your current tools you are limited, you want to do something else. You will always have these limits, unless you get the big tools, which are well above your price range.
So you should ask yourself if you are going to keep it as a simple hobby or not. To answer this question you need to consider millions of factors that only you know.
If you want to keep it as a simple hobby, then my suggestion is to buy the cheapest solution, then be patient. Which you already are, since you are doing chocolate bonbons by hand at home. Get the solution with the smaller overspray, so your clean-up will be limited.
If you are aiming to get more serious, then wait until you are confident about spending more money, then spend it once for the correct set-up that will satisfy your needs for more years possible. Or you spend the less money possible, or you spend the money to get the best set-up possible. Better avoiding in-between choices.

 

 


Teo

 

That's a very good point regarding tye overspray, and final convincing in getting an airbrush now. 

The grex sounds like it is worth the extra price- small oversray, large tip, changing fan and piston which is more comfortable.

I contacted their support to ask what the compressor requirements are for the 0.7 tip, and it requires a more industrial one (they recommended California air 4620ac. (60 psi is not enough with 0.7 tip according to them).

 

Since it is double the price of the husky, and the spec is actually not as good (smaller container, less HP and CFM), I think I will get the husky which seems like the cheapest for now and will stay around if i switch to a spray gun at any point- does that make sense, based on the points you mentioned? (I want to make sure this setup addresses all those points)

 

That, combined with the airbrush and accessories for connection comes to around $450 which I can live with 

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24 minutes ago, lironp said:

That's a very good point regarding tye overspray, and final convincing in getting an airbrush now. 

The grex sounds like it is worth the extra price- small oversray, large tip, changing fan and piston which is more comfortable.

I contacted their support to ask what the compressor requirements are for the 0.7 tip, and it requires a more industrial one (they recommended California air 4620ac. (60 psi is not enough with 0.7 tip according to them).

 

Since it is double the price of the husky, and the spec is actually not as good (smaller container, less HP and CFM), I think I will get the husky which seems like the cheapest for now and will stay around if i switch to a spray gun at any point- does that make sense, based on the points you mentioned? (I want to make sure this setup addresses all those points)

 

That, combined with the airbrush and accessories for connection comes to around $450 which I can live with 

 

I wrote this question to Grex tech support:

 

Quote

The Tritium manual says the PSI can vary between 4 and 80 psi. For the .7mm nozzle that I have installed and taking into consideration that I will be spraying cocoa butter, what pressure do you recommend that I start with?

 

And received this answer:

 

Quote

I would start around 30psi.  That's sustained pressure, so I would pull the trigger on the airbrush, then set the regulator while the air is still running.

 

But I (and many others on this forum) have found 60psi to be more satisfactory, and that's probably why I said earlier that 60psi is required (I had forgotten exactly what Grex told me). I can't imagine that more than 60 would be needed. Perhaps the Grex person with whom you spoke meant that the compressor should be capable of more than 60, since you don't want to run a compressor at its full capacity all the time. The GMAC pressure regulator between the hose and the Grex airbrush allows you to regulate your pressure easily without going to the compressor all the time to do that.

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Check out compressors from Rolair - the JC10plus is quiet, sufficiently powerful I believe made in the US.

 

Jim - I assume the pump turns on each time you use air from the tanks?

 

 

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3 hours ago, lironp said:

That's a very good point regarding tye overspray, and final convincing in getting an airbrush now. 

The grex sounds like it is worth the extra price- small oversray, large tip, changing fan and piston which is more comfortable.

I contacted their support to ask what the compressor requirements are for the 0.7 tip, and it requires a more industrial one (they recommended California air 4620ac. (60 psi is not enough with 0.7 tip according to them).

 

Since it is double the price of the husky, and the spec is actually not as good (smaller container, less HP and CFM), I think I will get the husky which seems like the cheapest for now and will stay around if i switch to a spray gun at any point- does that make sense, based on the points you mentioned? (I want to make sure this setup addresses all those points)

 

That, combined with the airbrush and accessories for connection comes to around $450 which I can live with 


lironp, I'd like to thank you, profusely, for having this lengthy dialogue about this subject. AND apologize for ever recommending the Paasche  H. 🙄  I just watched some older links ya'll posted in this topic.  Just for reference, when you are a serious introvert, with social anxiety, you learn most of your skills alone. I had NEVER realized just how effective a good airbrush should be until watching those videos. *sigh* If I told you guys how long it takes me to just coat one set of molds with my paasche - well, you'd pat me on the head and show me what the real professionals use. Then if you saw what my hands are like, one week into December...

All that to say, I just ordered a grown up gun from Midwest Airbrush (local company with really good prices on them!) and can't wait to give it a try.  Thanks for all the help!

 

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I bought a grown up airbrush!  This is the model I got. https://www.midwestairbrush.com/neoforiwtrsi.html

Plugged it in, poured in some colored cocoa butter and it coated things incredibly quickly - except that the overspray is insane!  I'm still using my 3 year old Point Zero 1/5 hp tankless air compressor, which seems to run consistently between 40 and 60 psi. Can't seem to get it cranked down to run lower.

Is over-spray caused by the psi being too high?
 

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32 minutes ago, Sweet Impact Mama said:

I bought a grown up airbrush!  This is the model I got. https://www.midwestairbrush.com/neoforiwtrsi.html

Plugged it in, poured in some colored cocoa butter and it coated things incredibly quickly - except that the overspray is insane!  I'm still using my 3 year old Point Zero 1/5 hp tankless air compressor, which seems to run consistently between 40 and 60 psi. Can't seem to get it cranked down to run lower.

Is over-spray caused by the psi being too high?
 

It's a very attractive airbrush! Midwest has such good sales. 

 

Grab one of the GMAC pressure regulators that @Jim D. mentioned earlier and see if that will let you dial down the pressure. 

Edited by Kerry Beal (log)
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  • 2 weeks later...

Got a few new toys. When I was in Vegas for the IBIE last September - I got friendly with the folks from Grex and brought home the Tritium T5 brush. I've been attempting to use it with my sucky little 1/5 horsepower compressor that works nicely with my Paasch brushes - so not a lot of joy.

 

All this discussion above led me to the Rolair compressor which is made in the US and had the numbers I needed for the Grex.

 

IMG_2053.thumb.JPG.d3a5d49a3be5c0a1a497e3ba7464a286.JPG

 

It lives in the elevator closet so I really don't hear it cycling much and it's only 60 DB so pretty quiet for a compressor.

 

IMG_2052.thumb.JPG.05090770ecf0cb62fccea2a657db025a.JPG

 

IMG_2032.thumb.JPG.6c1c6b9b543210f4652dcc0579f679e9.JPG

 

Friday this little baby showed up - it's a lab incubator - just a tiny one - I have a larger one on order so it can hold the Fuji as well - but I picked up this one for a song so I couldn't resist. I can't believe how much easier it is to have all your tools warm (and not too hot) when you start and the ability to tuck the airbrush back in there between changes to keep it warm. I can even close the door with the Paasch air hose attached to the brush. 

 

My new cardboard box replacing spray booth is a work in progress. I spent the evening with the guys cutting it out from plexiglas as their first design idea didn't work. Unfortunately neither did their second really - so tomorrow morning I take the parts back and we redesign. But leaning some of the pieces of Plexiglas here and there against this and that, with a piece of paper on the top to replace the piece that can't be tucked where it needs to be tucked and I was at least able to play.


I had a complete  brain fart when I tried to put a piece of paper up on the side of the plexiglas to test spray on - two magnets repel each other - DUH. Need a piece of steel on one side and a magnet on the other. 

 

IMG_2034.thumb.JPG.9b4f1c8372a3c79a2a9ddbb36bb0b202.JPG

 

IMG_2054.thumb.JPG.f1feeb5e387be4efe01d3fd8c3d0e842.JPG

 

IMG_2022.thumb.JPG.92a62f9bad14ec5996220e504f242d77.JPG

 

Discovered that the crying elves I got in kindergarten for my inability to draw straight lines has not not changed. No more straight lines!

 

 

IMG_2035.thumb.JPG.071130ccfc209d37b142eac476581791.JPG

 

IMG_2039.thumb.JPG.84dd2aafc0c0cf93505b57b0a91b6ca6.JPG

 

 

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@Kerry Beal, beautiful shine on the shells. What's the climate like in your space?

 

I didn't know you had sprung for a Tritium. So how do you like it?  And how does it compare (in your use) with the Fuji?  I like that the Grex people are getting more inquiries and sales from chocolatiers because the more they know about what we do and how we use their equipment, the more help they can be (in my theory, at least). For example, I would love a larger stainless or aluminum cup than the largest they make.

 

As I have stated, I use mostly the Grex for normal production (Christmas is another matter), but last week I got out the Fuji for splattering. No question, it does a good job (depending on the skill of the splatterer, of course), usually better than a toothbrush.

 

And, last question, what PSI are you using to spray?  I am using 60, tried lowering it last week, kept wondering why it was taking so long to cover molds, raised PSI back to 60, got much better results. You do use more cocoa butter and there is more backspray/overspray, but....I guess Chef Rubber has to make its money somehow and that's why they make respirators.

 

I did spring for the CakeSafe spray booth and am liking it very much. It faces head-on the issue that cocoa butter is a different substance from the paint that is normally airbrushed and takes a completely different approach. Rather than suck the cocoa butter out through a hose, this device filters it out at the source of spraying, which, of course, means replacing a filter rather often.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Jim D. said:

@Kerry Beal, beautiful shine on the shells. What's the climate like in your space?

 

I didn't know you had sprung for a Tritium. So how do you like it?  And how does it compare (in your use) with the Fuji?  I like that the Grex people are getting more inquiries and sales from chocolatiers because the more they know about what we do and how we use their equipment, the more help they can be (in my theory, at least). For example, I would love a larger stainless or aluminum cup than the largest they make.

 

As I have stated, I use mostly the Grex for normal production (Christmas is another matter), but last week I got out the Fuji for splattering. No question, it does a good job (depending on the skill of the splatterer, of course), usually better than a toothbrush.

 

And, last question, what PSI are you using to spray?  I am using 60, tried lowering it last week, kept wondering why it was taking so long to cover molds, raised PSI back to 60, got much better results. You do use more cocoa butter and there is more backspray/overspray, but....I guess Chef Rubber has to make its money somehow and that's why they make respirators.

 

I did spring for the CakeSafe spray booth and am liking it very much. It faces head-on the issue that cocoa butter is a different substance from the paint that is normally airbrushed and takes a completely different approach. Rather than suck the cocoa butter out through a hose, this device filters it out at the source of spraying, which, of course, means replacing a filter rather often.

 

 

Just ran down to check the temperature of my room - IR thermometer tells me it's around 22.5º C. Humidity in the house is around 47%

 

I couldn't make it splatter yet - thought I might be able to like the Fuji by turning down the intake but no joy there. I need to pull out that other little piece we got to see if I can get that to work. 

 

I must say that I like it a lot with the set up I have now. I'm using 60 PSI - haven't experimented with any other pressures - perhaps it might splatter with a lower pressure?

 

I got a rather large cup to go with it - I've got 3 sizes of cup - I think the biggest might be 90 ml but I don't see it on the website. (nope - it's the 50 ml)

 

Did you get the commercial spray booth? Do they make a washable filter?

Edited by Kerry Beal (log)
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20 minutes ago, Kerry Beal said:

Just ran down to check the temperature of my room - IR thermometer tells me it's around 22.5º C. Humidity in the house is around 47%

 

I couldn't make it splatter yet - thought I might be able to like the Fuji by turning down the intake but no joy there. I need to pull out that other little piece we got to see if I can get that to work. 

 

I must say that I like it a lot with the set up I have now. I'm using 60 PSI - haven't experimented with any other pressures - perhaps it might splatter with a lower pressure?

 

I got a rather large cup to go with it - I've got 3 sizes of cup - I think the biggest might be 90 ml but I don't see it on the website. 

 

Did you get the commercial spray booth? Do they make a washable filter?

 

That was the same as my humidity today, so I went ahead and made caramel. Hard to get below 50% days in Virginia in August.

 

I have tried every conceivable pressure (and the fan spray attachment) to get the Grex to splatter, but it doesn't. It does splatter paint--if that helps!

 

The largest cup is the 50 ml. It is plenty for most of the time, but a 75 would be great for the other times.

 

I got the commercial spray both. The single box is sufficient. The second filter (attached inside the box) is washable. The other two beyond that are not but do not need to be replaced often. It is the outer one that catches the cocoa butter.  Last week, I used three of them while spraying a total of 22 molds. The fan is very quiet and very powerful. It is easy to see the cocoa butter being sucked toward it (and away from me). It's not perfect, especially with certain colors (white, light blue--anything with lots of white in it, I think), but it's better than the box with a fan behind it I used previously. The filters are not expensive, but if someone's production were larger than mine, it might be an issue. I bought a whole roll of the material and will cut my filters to size (sounds like something someone I know might do!).  There is a video on the CakeSafe site where they place a white board behind the fan box and then spray colored cocoa butter into the fan. No color gets through. I was skeptical enough that after I watched the promotional video (included on the CakeSafe site) of a chocolatier touting its benefits that I emailed David Ramirez Chocolates to ask if they really liked it that much. Within minutes the owner of the company had the chocolatier doing the spraying email me. I gave her a call, and we had a long conversation when I asked all the tough questions I could think of. In the video she wears a white chef's coat, and it stays clean. We agreed that certain colors will always produce backspray, but she is very enthusiastic. If anybody wants to see it, here it is:

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi everybody, my name's Maryna and I'm a kitchen appliance addict. 😔

 

After a year of lusting after the Fuji system recommended by Kerry, and going back and forth between completely convincing myself I don't need it at all (not sure I'm into colored bonbons because of the unsafety of edible paint) - to I needed it yesterday, how can I produce quality chocolates (mind you, I'm a home enthusiast, doing around 6 molds per month, at best) without spraying cocoa butter.

 

As a complete novice to sprayers and compressors, I would spend countless hours researching/reading forums every time the urge to purchase a system would strike, scribbling down systems/configurations to get on pieces of paper that are now found in random places all over house, only to forget most of the information learned during  after convincing myself that I don't need it...

 

Well, yesterday all of this culminated into a completely researchless purchase on ChefRubber's website - being in a state of upsetness at my SO, I justified purchasing the Ultimate Cocoa Butter Spraying Kit + the natural cocoa butter colors. Then the morning came...and with it, buyer's remorse))....Questions for you guys:

             Why is that compressor so expensive being of such a small capacity?

             Does anybody know the ingredients in the natural cocoa butter line? Are they truly natural and safe?

             Is that a "true" spray gun, or should I just call it an airbrush?

             Will it be able to spray 50/50 mixture for velveting easily?

 

Jim, glad to hear your feedback on the spray box! Became interested in it a couple of pages back and am now convinced I'm in URGENT need of one))...definitely going on my Christmas wish list!)

 

Sometimes I think my full-time job exists for the sole purpose of supporting my addiction(((...my poor, poor husband....😪

            

 

 

 

 

801198.jpg

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@SweetSymphonybyM, you ask some questions, but have you definitively made the purchase?  That was not clear ("buyer's remorse" is not the same as an order cancellation).  I'm not sure if there is a point to saying anything about your purchase if it's "a done deal," so to speak  The major part of this kit from Chef Rubber is a Grex Tritium side-feed airbrush. The 1/2 HP compressor has a 1.5 gallon tank.

 

There is a discussion of the Chef Rubber natural colors in another thread.  And I recall other discussions of the topic in various places on the forum (CR now has two lines of natural products).

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Just now, Jim D. said:

@SweetSymphonybyM, you ask some questions, but have you definitively made the purchase?  That was not clear ("buyer's remorse" is not the same as an order cancellation).  I'm not sure if there is a point to saying anything about your purchase if it's "a done deal," so to speak  The major part of this kit from Chef Rubber is a Grex Tritium side-feed airbrush. The 1/2 HP compressor has a 1.5 gallon tank.

 

There is a discussion of the Chef Rubber natural colors in another thread.  And I recall other discussions of the topic in various places on the forum (CR now has two lines of natural products).

 

Yes, the purchase has been paid for). Thank you for the reference re: natural cocoa butters, I will review. 

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1 hour ago, Jim D. said:

@SweetSymphonybyM, you ask some questions, but have you definitively made the purchase?  That was not clear ("buyer's remorse" is not the same as an order cancellation).  I'm not sure if there is a point to saying anything about your purchase if it's "a done deal," so to speak  The major part of this kit from Chef Rubber is a Grex Tritium side-feed airbrush. The 1/2 HP compressor has a 1.5 gallon tank.

 

There is a discussion of the Chef Rubber natural colors in another thread.  And I recall other discussions of the topic in various places on the forum (CR now has two lines of natural products).

Okay, you have me worried... 😬

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10 minutes ago, SweetSymphonybyM said:

Okay, you have me worried... 😬

I shouldn't have said anything. You will be able to spray molds successfully with that setup.  Do be careful with the included bottle of airbrush cleaner for cocoa butter.  You might want to use that the first time you use the airbrush (to clean out any "factory residue") or for practicing before you start decorating (which is what I did), but you don't need it when actually brushing colored cocoa butter.  But make sure it doesn't have anything in it besides cocoa butter (or water is OK if you dry the airbrush out thoroughly afterward but I doubt CR is selling just a bottle of water). For routine cleaning, just clear the cocoa butter out with a heat gun or other heat source and add the new color.

 

As for the cocoa butter, when you said "the unsafety of edible paint," I trust you were exaggerating and do realize that it isn't paint we are using but cocoa butter with (usually) artificial (USDA-approved) colorants added. 

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