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Spraying Chocolate: Equipment, Materials, and Techniques


cakedecorator1968
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13 minutes ago, pastrygirl said:

 

That IS down.  Normally I spray around 60 psi.

 

13 minutes ago, pastrygirl said:

 

That IS down.  Normally I spray around 60 psi.

Ah - ok then. Experiments will have to continue on my end. 

 

Wonder if I start with the Roxy and Rich as the first variation.

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I am wondering how to get a metallic/gold finish when spraying chocolate showpieces. When I mix gold powder with cocoa butter it looks amazing when melted, but when it crystalizes it seems like the gold disappears leaving a dull brown color. I am looking for a gold finish like Amaury Guichon on his telescope; 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

OK, so I'm gonna break down and invest in a new airbrush.  I may have mentioned before all I have is one for cake decorating, which isn't that powerful.  The old KopyKake I had did work somewhat with a Badger 250, but I tried it with a different gun, and it was cold and the cocoa butter clogged it up, so it did a blow back I'm assuming and there was a loud pop and now the control knob doesn't work anymore.  I hated that thing anyway. The other one is by Dinky Doodle, and is made for cakes and cookies.  It's a teeny thing.

 

So, here are a couple of things I'm looking at if anyone has the time for feedback.

https://spraygunner.com/grex-tritium-ts-micro-spray-gun-set-0-7mm/  

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07YBG8XQJ/ref=ewc_pr_img_1?smid=A1DXN92KCKEQV4&psc=1

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00WM1VPKE/ref=ewc_pr_img_2?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1

 

I'm looking at maybe spending around $500.  I'm not going to be doing major production from what I can fore see.  When we move and I have my separate kitchen set up, I might try to do some things for holidays, etc.  I'm mainly going to be focusing on cakes, but offering chocolates as wedding favors.  

But, if I'm going to airbrush, I want to be able to do it with the least amount of hassle (if that's possible with cocoa butter :) ).

 

TIA!

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@RWood, I assume you have read through the discussion in this thread, particularly on the Grex.  I strongly recommend it, the 0.7mm needle is what you need, but I would get the gravity flow, not the side.  With the cup on the side, you are adding an unnecessary extra path for the cocoa butter to travel, and cocoa butter needs as straight a path as possible.

 

The California Airtools compressor should work fine for what you want.  If you think you will ever do more with chocolate and require a spray gun, you might want to think more air capacity, but this one is fine for an airbrush.  The other compressor does not have enough capacity to keep your airbrush going without interruption.  

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18 minutes ago, Jim D. said:

@RWood, I assume you have read through the discussion in this thread, particularly on the Grex.  I strongly recommend it, the 0.7mm needle is what you need, but I would get the gravity flow, not the side.  With the cup on the side, you are adding an unnecessary extra path for the cocoa butter to travel, and cocoa butter needs as straight a path as possible.

 

The California Airtools compressor should work fine for what you want.  If you think you will ever do more with chocolate and require a spray gun, you might want to think more air capacity, but this one is fine for an airbrush.  The other compressor does not have enough capacity to keep your airbrush going without interruption.  

 

Yes, I read the thread and was still cross eyed ☺️.

Thank you for the input. I will look at the Grex again, I didn't realize this was on the side. 

I don't think I will ever need something like a Fuji, so I think the CAT compressor is fine.

I appreciate your help!

 

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This is the gravity feed grex, with the cup on top. https://spraygunner.com/grex-tritium-tg7/

 

I initially bought mine with the 0.3mm fittings, that was slow going, eventually upgraded to 0.5 and finally the 0.7.  It's not hard to change out the needle and nozzle, if cake colors are more fluid than cocoa butter you might want to start in the middle.  Do you know what size your other airbrushes are?  https://spraygunner.com/grex-0-5mm-nozzle-kit-tk-5/

 

As for keeping the cocoa butter from clogging up, that's always a challenge.  I keep my gun warm in my ez temper or an extra melter and warm it with a hairdryer as needed to keep it flowing.

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11 hours ago, pastrygirl said:

This is the gravity feed grex, with the cup on top. https://spraygunner.com/grex-tritium-tg7/

 

I initially bought mine with the 0.3mm fittings, that was slow going, eventually upgraded to 0.5 and finally the 0.7.  It's not hard to change out the needle and nozzle, if cake colors are more fluid than cocoa butter you might want to start in the middle.  Do you know what size your other airbrushes are?  https://spraygunner.com/grex-0-5mm-nozzle-kit-tk-5/

 

As for keeping the cocoa butter from clogging up, that's always a challenge.  I keep my gun warm in my ez temper or an extra melter and warm it with a hairdryer as needed to keep it flowing.

 

Thanks, I went back and found it. I had noticed the difference before, but had looked at so many, they all blurred together. 

 

I think I will get other sized nozzles so I can experiment. I have no clue what my other airbrushes are, I'll see if I can find out. It's a basic gun, but nothing in the info on it said anything about size. There compressor is a teeny little square thing. It's fine for liquid airbrush colors on cakes and cookies. 

 

I've been looking into a dehydrator anyway for quick drying of gum paste flowers, so I'll check out the one Jim mentioned. It looks similar to one I was thinking about, but his looks bigger and has a better temperature range. 

I hope to get a small melter at some point as well, so that's another one the list. The EZtemper would be great, but with the price, I don't think I'll be doing enough to justify the cost. 

Thanks for the recommendations!

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4 hours ago, hvea said:

any airbrush suggestions for less than 100$? I normally spray but need an airbrush for fine details. probably looking for 0.5mm nozzle

It's hard to do fine detail with any airbrush and coloured cocoa butter - but staying below $100 I'd probably get a Badger.

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On 11/2/2020 at 11:29 PM, pastrygirl said:

This is the gravity feed grex, with the cup on top. https://spraygunner.com/grex-tritium-tg7/


I keep thinking I want one of those but that's a lot of money when I already have two Paasches sitting here so I'm still trying to convince myself it's worth it. I found the Paasches on sale for a really good price and jumped on them before I was aware of the benefits of gravity feed, which they are not. 

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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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  • 1 month later...

I got a cheap airbrush at the end, as I mainly use a spray gun

 

I am working on spraying using a russian pipe.

here is an example

 

the problem is the dye appears to be too liquid on the mold and the correct shape doesnt form and it looks like a puddle on the mold

 

I am using the cocoa butter at 32 C and the room temp is 16-17 C (I use these using spray gun and never had a problem)

 

any ideas?

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How do you temper the cocoa butter? 32° seems fairly warm. But with a room at 16-17°, having issues with too liquid butter when it's sprayed in the mould - the cocoa butter can't be tempered correctly.

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  • 2 months later...

Hello everyone. 

I am new to the forum, tried to search for the topic, so sorry if the similar top has had a place. 

I am started using Grex Tritium with 0.7mm nozzle with CAT 4610AC at around 50-60 PSI using 50cc metal cup. 

The CB that I put in is around 30,5-31,5 degree C. What I have found is that the CB temperature inside the cup and the brush drops very rapidly (I can measure the temperature close to the needle with the thermometer) .

I understand this is due to the cold compressed air and likely due to the metal cup itself. However its become really cumbersome as I have to heat up the brush almost after every mold and if I don't, at the second mold the CB can easily be at 26C. The surrounding temperature is around 20C

 

With my old brush I had glass jars that held temperature pretty well. Just wondering if anyone experiencing the same issue and maybe there are some suggestions how to get around this. This will be greatly appreciated. 

 

Thank you!

 

 

Edited by Polian (log)
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16 hours ago, Polian said:

Hello everyone. 

I am new to the forum, tried to search for the topic, so sorry if the similar top has had a place. 

I am started using Grex Tritium with 0.7mm nozzle with CAT 4610AC at around 50-60 PSI using 50cc metal cup. 

The CB that I put in is around 30,5-31,5 degree C. What I have found is that the CB temperature inside the cup and the brush drops very rapidly (I can measure the temperature close to the needle with the thermometer) .

I understand this is due to the cold compressed air and likely due to the metal cup itself. However its become really cumbersome as I have to heat up the brush almost after every mold and if I don't, at the second mold the CB can easily be at 26C. The surrounding temperature is around 20C

 

With my old brush I had glass jars that held temperature pretty well. Just wondering if anyone experiencing the same issue and maybe there are some suggestions how to get around this. This will be greatly appreciated. 

 

Thank you!

 

 

 

I use the same equipment and have almost exactly the same experience.  I am not sure how the compressed air (which is probably at room temperature) could be a significant factor in cooling the cocoa butter in the cup, but the metal cup certainly is.  I am afraid that this is one of those "that's the way things are" situations.  The cocoa butter is much warmer than the surrounding air and will cool as time passes.  If my room temp is somewhat warmer, then I can do 2-4 molds without stopping, but usually I play it safe and run the heat gun briefly around the cup and the airbrush after each mold.   This does not take a lot of time once you get the routine down.  Switching to a plastic cup would probably help hold the temperature of the cocoa butter, but I asked Grex about how heat-resistant that cup is, and they recommended against using a heat gun with it.  I have also mentioned to Grex that it would be great to have a larger metal cup, with the thought that a larger mass of cocoa butter would take longer to cool off.  The person at Grex was polite but noncommittal about developing such a product.  I think Grex is not fully aware of how widespread the use of their airbrushes is in the chocolatier community.  My dream is that Grex (or someone) will develop an airbrush with something surrounding the cup to keep it warm, something like the Krea hotCHOC.  Perhaps this could be the next project of the developer of the EZtemper!

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yeah, it is what it is

 

I keep my airbrush warm, which helps but only as far as spraying two molds instead of one before having to warm it up. I keep the gun in my EZ temper or in a melter with my cocoa butter colors so at least I'm not putting CB into cold metal.

 

There is a heated spray gun on the market but it doesn't look appropriate for fine detail or small molds

https://www.kreaswiss.com/hotCHOC-chocolate-gun

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Thank you for your replies and sharing your experiences . I appreciate it!
Glass would be probably best choice for heat retention. I believe Grex has glass jars - but only as side gravity option siphon attachments - so does not work.

I was even trying to wrap the cup with the aluminum foil and put a rubber band around to keep the foil in place.. lol. need to keep experimenting on this ).  I also keep the cups (I have few) warm as well, so it works for the first "go around" 

So.. will stick to a routine of reheat a go but without time consuming rechecking temperature in the cup every time (as this is what I have been doing, worrying not to get CB too cold). 

 

Edited by Polian (log)
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15 minutes ago, pastrygirl said:

yeah, it is what it is

 

I keep my airbrush warm, which helps but only as far as spraying two molds instead of one before having to warm it up. I keep the gun in my EZ temper or in a melter with my cocoa butter colors so at least I'm not putting CB into cold metal.

 

There is a heated spray gun on the market but it doesn't look appropriate for fine detail or small molds

https://www.kreaswiss.com/hotCHOC-chocolate-gun

 

I keep my airbrush warm in a dehydrator, and that helps a lot, but the brush does cool off.  Yes, that is the Krea product to which I referred.  I looked into it, but it would take so much cocoa butter that it would be completely impractical.  But they are on the right track.

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58 minutes ago, Jim D. said:

 

I use the same equipment and have almost exactly the same experience.  I am not sure how the compressed air (which is probably at room temperature) could be a significant factor in cooling the cocoa butter in the cup, but the metal cup certainly is.  I am afraid that this is one of those "that's the way things are" situations.  The cocoa butter is much warmer than the surrounding air and will cool as time passes.  If my room temp is somewhat warmer, then I can do 2-4 molds without stopping, but usually I play it safe and run the heat gun briefly around the cup and the airbrush after each mold.   This does not take a lot of time once you get the routine down.  Switching to a plastic cup would probably help hold the temperature of the cocoa butter, but I asked Grex about how heat-resistant that cup is, and they recommended against using a heat gun with it.  I have also mentioned to Grex that it would be great to have a larger metal cup, with the thought that a larger mass of cocoa butter would take longer to cool off.  The person at Grex was polite but noncommittal about developing such a product.  I think Grex is not fully aware of how widespread the use of their airbrushes is in the chocolatier community.  My dream is that Grex (or someone) will develop an airbrush with something surrounding the cup to keep it warm, something like the Krea hotCHOC.  Perhaps this could be the next project of the developer of the EZtemper!

Yeah right!

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24 minutes ago, Jim D. said:

 

So what else have you got to do now that the EZ is done?  I always thought you were someone who enjoyed a challenge.  The "EZspray" airbrush.

Perhaps it's the 10 hours plus per day of Covid related work around the homeless population housed in our numerous shelters. It's kind of keeping me busy!

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52 minutes ago, Kerry Beal said:

Perhaps it's the 10 hours plus per day of Covid related work around the homeless population housed in our numerous shelters. It's kind of keeping me busy!

And that is a huge under estimate! 

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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