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Spraying Chocolate: Equipment, Materials, and Techniques


cakedecorator1968
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On 10/16/2020 at 9:57 PM, Jim D. said:

 

@Kerry Beal, from a PM I learned that she regulates the pressure at the compressor, no regulator at the airbrush end.  I can't begin to count all the times I have tried with my Grex (same nozzle size).  Maybe the cocoa butter is different--I'm grasping at straws here.

I recently did this for an experiment with our side siphon Grex, I turned the pressure all they way down, maybe 1-2psi (didn't register on our compressor). I will say the splatter does not look organic, very uniform, but it does work, super slow though, a tooth brush, or finger flick probably goes faster...

Spray3-1%MycryoDarkSplatter (1).jpg

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@Jim D.Thank you for all your recommendations. Finally finished all 35 pages.  @lironpand I are (funny enough/small world) part of a Mom's group chat in our neighborhood. I can tell you her chocolates are exquisite.  I look forward to connecting with her more about this subject as I know she has done a deep dive on equipment like I have.  I have like 5 detailed pages of notes and tons of screen shots of everyone's advice on building a successful spray area, and am now compiling it all into a spreadsheet, because that is how my brain organizes things. A little bit about me, since I am new here, I am a pastry chef in the greater Boston area and have been working professionally since 2006. I went to the CIA in NY and graduated in 2011.  I have worked in all aspects of pastry, except commercial/artisan confection & chocolate production.  I am currently and R&D Scientist at a cannabis company helping to formulate a new generation and luxury experience in cannabis edibles.  

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Okay one last post for the day - sorry my team and I are putting together all our learnings and I thought I would share.  My coworker found this attachment for your airbrush machines that will make the splatter effect. It is currently used in SPX/MUA realm.  We might buy one and try it out. I will let you know!

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 1/7/2022 at 10:53 AM, Lauren S. said:

@Louise nadine brillwas going through this post about your Peach PDF, have you tried adding a supporting fruit like apricot? I know Boiron has an amazing PDF chart that i use as a rough guideline. I know you can use their peach puree on its own, but I find with delicate flavors that can lose their flavor integrity when cooking it can be beneficial to use a supporting booster fruit.  Some fruits like Pineapple, Lime, etc have to be supported due to the acid amount or enzymatic activity, like bromelain, but in doing so you use the base fruit (usually apricot or peach), cook, then add the other purees closer to the end of cooking.  They turn out less jammy/oxidized/caramelized and the flavor pops more.

 


Lauren - thank you so much for this advice! I have never tried this before and it makes perfect sense. I will definitely giving this a shot after Valentine’s Day rush is over 😁😁

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On 11/22/2021 at 10:40 PM, lironp said:

🤣🤣🤣 We have a nice purple splatter all over now, my husband is ready to kill me!

Liron! How nice to see you here 😁 I am surprised we didn’t run into each other here before the FB groups were started. My bonbon education is almost all from egullet University…particularly from @Jim D , @Kerry Beal, @pastrygirl. We talked about how jealous I was that you got the Fujispray…and I am curious how you resolved the overspray and or cocoa butter cloud issues. I have managed surprisingly well with my Iwatas and Grex but during high production times I am forever cursing them, for clogging up. I’d also love to know which setup you bought. I know @Kerry Beal had created a chocolatier’s list with the folks at Fujispray several years ago. Wondering if it is still the same.  

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1 hour ago, Louise nadine brill said:

Liron! How nice to see you here 😁 I am surprised we didn’t run into each other here before the FB groups were started. My bonbon education is almost all from egullet University…particularly from @Jim D , @Kerry Beal, @pastrygirl. We talked about how jealous I was that you got the Fujispray…and I am curious how you resolved the overspray and or cocoa butter cloud issues. I have managed surprisingly well with my Iwatas and Grex but during high production times I am forever cursing them, for clogging up. I’d also love to know which setup you bought. I know @Kerry Beal had created a chocolatier’s list with the folks at Fujispray several years ago. Wondering if it is still the same.  

 

I know you didn't address this to me, but since I am a recent "re-convert" to Fuji, I might have some useful information.  A few days ago, in a rush to get the Valentine's batch done, I fired up my Grex.  Several hours later I had sprayed only a handful of molds.  I had to reheat it every couple of minutes (the room was 68-70F, so that was not the issue).  This happened once before, and Grex tech support had me ship the airbrush to them, they cleaned it, said there was nothing wrong except for some hardened cocoa butter.  It worked very well for a long time...until last week.  But I just can't depend on equipment that is not...well, not dependable.  So I got out the Fuji (fortunately two people to whom I had offered it for sale both said no), followed @lironp's fantastic advice for controlling overspray and excess use of cocoa butter, and finished up the molds in record time.  I'm not saying the Fuji is perfect (I can go into the issues I had if desired), but this time it certainly has worked better for me than the Grex.  I think the larger spray tip on the Fuji is the primary explanation.  And yes, there is a "chocolatier's setup" for the Fuji that you need to buy.  Fuji prices appear to be the same everywhere, but with Amazon, there is the bonus of free shipping with Prime.  Interestingly, since the last time I dealt with Fuji tech support, the website now includes a section on chocolatiers' use of the Fuji and @Kerry Bealis prominently featured.  Finally it would seem the Fuji people are waking up to the possibilities of selling the stuff to chocolatiers.

Edited by Jim D. (log)
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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi, I've lurked here for a VERY long time but have always been too bashful to post.  I have quite a bit of experience working with chocolate but my airbrush skills are one area where I am sorely lacking. I would like to practice but I don't have access to a spray booth. I'm wondering if anyone here had any experience/thoughts about spraying underneath a ventilation hood like you find on the hotline at a restaurant? Thanks in advance!

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1 hour ago, Jeannie C. said:

 I'm wondering if anyone here had any experience/thoughts about spraying underneath a ventilation hood like you find on the hotline at a restaurant? Thanks in advance!

 

If you have one, use it!

 

I don't spray directly under my hood because that would be working on top of my gas range, but it still sucks up most of the clouds of fine CB spray when working nearby.  There is a dramatic difference if I spray without the hood on.

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6 hours ago, Jeannie C. said:

Hi, I've lurked here for a VERY long time but have always been too bashful to post.  I have quite a bit of experience working with chocolate but my airbrush skills are one area where I am sorely lacking. I would like to practice but I don't have access to a spray booth. I'm wondering if anyone here had any experience/thoughts about spraying underneath a ventilation hood like you find on the hotline at a restaurant? Thanks in advance!

Welcome Jeannie. 

 

I'm reminded of the spray booth we set up at the first eGullet chocolate workshop - overhead hood, plastic, covered the gas stove with with a big board.

 

spray booth

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  • 3 weeks later...

I feel like this is a question I should be answering, not asking, but I’m frustrated … my molds are clean, my chocolate is in temper, but I’m still getting entirely too many tiny patches of color flaking off. Could there be water getting through my airbrush?  Is that a thing?

 

or am I still just doing it wrong, despite years of practice, a Selmi, and an ez temper? ☹️

 

5FCB4972-6741-4F49-929C-EBCED6829DF4.jpeg.74fd3c5665225ca7a0eb3762e7d073c3.jpeg
 

BE83CB25-7483-4A31-9B0F-3376FC1A3962.jpeg.9efad5b8932cffd81525df1f8253ad74.jpeg

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I feel your pain. I guess that is what keeps us interested! Just last week I had similar issues. This week nothing but beautiful bonbons. I’m using the same bottle of cb, temp about the same. Someone once told me that something was too cold. Your guess as to what😀

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Ruth Kendrick

Chocolot
Artisan Chocolates and Toffees
www.chocolot.com

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I would definitely get a new moisture trap.  You do live in a damp area of the world, but I don't really think that is the cause.  You would get spitting from the brush.  I have had little pieces of color flaking off, but they are usually at what is eventually the bottom of the cavity, and I have concluded they come from too-zealous use of a warming tray for cleaning cocoa butter from the tops of molds.  Did you perhaps miss spraying a few places and the chocolate underneath is showing through?  I had that happen a day or so ago.  I think my glasses were fogged up from cocoa butter spray, and I missed covering some areas of a few cavities.  Maybe you need more c.b. coverage.  But I am inclined to go with Ruth's "explanation"--there isn't one.  Same setup, same ingredients, same technique--totally different outcome.  I can't help having the same reaction you describe:  what did I do wrong?  I try to avoid that and just make some extra bonbons to account for the bad ones.  Sometimes, if my OCD is really strong and I am desperate for every single bonbon I made, I can take a paint brush and touch up the damage.

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I had this same thing happen on a couple of my Valentine chocolates. I had thought it was because of the point of the heart at first. They are the ones that had the most problems. I had some along the edges of others. The temper in all the others were perfect. I think they just have to mess with you sometimes to show you who’s boss 🤷‍♀️.

5E870BD5-BA35-4958-94E3-AA2A46AE2F98.jpeg

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Thanks  for commiserating.  It's been clear & dry the past few days, but maybe room temp is too cold.  I didn't take off my long sleeves or my hat all day 🥶

 

I can accept 5-10% loss to the chocolate gremlins, but more than that really cuts into the profits.  I thought the Selmi would solve all my problems.  I've turned up the working temp, turned it down ... same.  I had a lot of issues in Valentine's production, for me the hearts were all sticking in the top crevice (aka the butt crack).  I'd like to blame the shape but know better.

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1 hour ago, pastrygirl said:

It's been a little warmer and I've had better yield - maybe room temp does need to be above 65F? 🙄

 

 

 

Good to hear of the improvement.  When some of us were taking the Andrey Dubovik course, this topic was discussed a great deal.  Dubovik favored a lower room temp, and I know @gfron1 followed this advice with what I considered quite low temps (he had success).  I assume a lower temp would cause crystallization more quickly (maybe too quickly?), but my colored cocoa butter seems to crystallize almost immediately after spraying (thus the failure to be able to remove the c.b. immediately after spraying).  There are so many variables involved in spraying c.b. that I gave up and just settled for 68-70F for the room.

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On 1/27/2022 at 1:10 AM, Louise nadine brill said:

Liron! How nice to see you here 😁 I am surprised we didn’t run into each other here before the FB groups were started. My bonbon education is almost all from egullet University…particularly from @Jim D , @Kerry Beal, @pastrygirl. We talked about how jealous I was that you got the Fujispray…and I am curious how you resolved the overspray and or cocoa butter cloud issues. I have managed surprisingly well with my Iwatas and Grex but during high production times I am forever cursing them, for clogging up. I’d also love to know which setup you bought. I know @Kerry Beal had created a chocolatier’s list with the folks at Fujispray several years ago. Wondering if it is still the same.  

So great to see ypu here @Louise nadine brill!! I started out with chocolate and egullet about 15 years ago when i lived in Israel, then moved to the US and was lucky enough to attend a couple of the in person workshops.

 

OVer the years since, 2 kids, a full time job in software and work visa issues - i completely stopped for a while. After the pandemic started, instead of hoarding toilet paper and baking sourdough bread (well actually in addition 🤣), i went back to chocolate making, and started selling on a very small scale. Things took off, and i ended up quitting my software job and pursuing this full time , and back to this forum with old friends :)

 

regarding fuji, which is amazing- i got the q4 setup, and switched the aircap to 0.8 instead of the one it came with. Also bought the lightweight hose (note that it connects to the regular hose, doesn't replace it 🤣). Jessica from Bliss was lovely enough to share her shopping list with me (not sure what her egullet user is?) , I can send it to you if you like?

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  • 2 months later...
On 3/7/2022 at 2:51 AM, lironp said:

So great to see ypu here @Louise nadine brill!! I started out with chocolate and egullet about 15 years ago when i lived in Israel, then moved to the US and was lucky enough to attend a couple of the in person workshops.

 

OVer the years since, 2 kids, a full time job in software and work visa issues - i completely stopped for a while. After the pandemic started, instead of hoarding toilet paper and baking sourdough bread (well actually in addition 🤣), i went back to chocolate making, and started selling on a very small scale. Things took off, and i ended up quitting my software job and pursuing this full time , and back to this forum with old friends :)

 

regarding fuji, which is amazing- i got the q4 setup, and switched the aircap to 0.8 instead of the one it came with. Also bought the lightweight hose (note that it connects to the regular hose, doesn't replace it 🤣). Jessica from Bliss was lovely enough to share her shopping list with me (not sure what her egullet user is?) , I can send it to you if you like?

 

Pm me that plz.

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Just now, Jim D. said:

 

I think the poster means Jessica's shopping list mentioned by lironp.  The poster has sent me a message, and I have referred him to the Krea Swiss (and similar) sprayers as he or she wishes to do things like glazes and velvet effects.

Ah - then it is the 'chocolate package'I put together with Fuji. 

 

 

  • 3 ounce gravity cup
  • 0.8 mm air cap
  • wireless remote
  • Q4 platinum turbine with T-75G gun
  • whip hose 6 foot

 

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