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Cooling Chocolate Molds: Temperature, Tunnel
May 28, 2006
6:46 am
gerrypez
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October 24, 2005
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What is the correct cooling temperature profile for chocolate? I notice a difference in chocolate shine and taste depending on the cooling method. I’ve tried fans, refigerator and freezer, and none seem ideal. The refrigerator and freezer can leave water condensation on the chocolate.

Which leads me to the question of a small cooling tunnel. I’d like to design one (with the right temperature plus air flow), and I’m considering using a portable air conditioner as the cooling source. Has anyone tried this before? Any ideas on how to make a small cooling tunnel?

Cheers,

Gerry

May 29, 2006
9:30 pm
Bala C
United Kingdom
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Hi Gerry,

I beleive that moulds should be cooled at maximum 10 degrees c below your room temperature. So, if your room temp is 20DegC, your cooling temperature should be no less than 10degC. I used to get the same in the fridge – I now have a beer cooler and the temp is around 12 deg C. The other option is to have an air conditioning unit directed onto some shelves and put the moulds there.

Good luck

Bala :)
http://www.thechocolatecellar.co.uk

Bala :) www.thechocolatecellar.co.uk
May 30, 2006
12:15 am
Sebastian
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September 30, 2004
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depends on the size. if you’re small (is 500 lbs/hour lots for you? if so we’ll consider you artisan and in the smaller class) you can design a tunnel with a single temperature profile – i’d suggest 45F. Keep in mind the temperature of your room it’ll discharge into and it’s relative humidity are very important. if you’re thinking larger scale, you’ll want a tunnel with a trizone set up – the first 1/3 of it should be 55, the middle portion 45, and the discharge portion 55 (as guidelines – tunnels are VERY unique and each has it’s own personality). your air flow w/in the tunnel is JUST as important as the temperature, so don’t neglect that.

May 31, 2006
6:10 am
gerrypez
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October 24, 2005
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Bala, Sebastian,

Thank you. I did some research, and you guys are right. Here are my notes (sorry, in Farenheit) on cooling from Minifie’s book:

1) Chocolate is poured from tempering (88F) into the molds (molds should be 70F, room temperature)
(2) Molds are cooled with 60-65F air (chocolate cools from 88F to 70F)
(3) Molds are then cooled with 50-55F air (chocolate cools to ~60F)
(4) Molds are warmed with 60-65F air (chocolate warms to 65F)

Notice the air temperature is different than the chocolate temperature during cooling. And relative humidity of the cooling air is important. The last time we made bars I noticed some dew on the chocolate, and now I understand why.

So for fun I’m going to build a small cooling tunnel. I’m going to use a portable air conditioner, as the fan and cooling (steps 2-4 above). With that I should be able to control both airflow and temperature.

> if you’re small (is 500 lbs/hour lots for you?)

We are smaller than small! 10 lbs an hour and we feel like heros.

Gerry

May 31, 2006
11:45 am
Sebastian
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If I were you, I’d make a cooling cabinet – ie a box that has an air conditioner connected to it set to about 45F, no moving belt as with a tunnel, a few shelves, etc. For 10 lbs, airflow is much, much, much less important – all you reallyneed is a good cold envinronment for that quantity..

May 31, 2006
3:45 pm
patsikes
Tampa Bay Area, FL, USA
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November 17, 2005
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I am thinking about buying a small wine refrigerator for this purpose…. Sebastian, do you think that would be a good option? I think the temp will the right on, but what about humidity?

Patrick Sikes
P.S. I Love You Fine Chocolates
http://www.psiloveyouchocolates.com

Patrick Sikes www.MyChocolateJournal.com
May 31, 2006
6:21 pm
Sebastian
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I’ve never considered it. My guess is that if you want to use it for setting up your chocolates, the wine ‘fridge is going to be fairly tightly sealed, meaning that the heat from your chocolates might not dissipate very well given that it’s tough for it to get out. The flip side of that is if you’re only doing very small quantities, it’s probably not an issue. Many wine cabinets maintain a constant humidity that’s in the 60-70% range if memory serves, which, while not terribly high, is probably higher than ideal and you may see sweating/condensation on your items once removed. btw, this is a concern no matter what your cooling cabinet/tunnel setup – you need to have your RH undercontrol in your main work area…

June 26, 2006
3:07 am
gerrypez
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October 24, 2005
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We experimented with a small cooling tunnel for chocolate this weekend. We used a portable a/c unit that blows at 55F, and built a rack for our molds. It worked great; the chocolate cooled in 20 minutes and stayed dry. Much better than a refrigerator or freezer.

http://www.yummy-dummy.com/cooling.htm

June 7, 2011
12:48 am
laschiaffino
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June 7, 2011
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gerrypez, would you mind providing some details on how you made your cooling tunnel/cabinet? Something like that would be a godsend for me!

 

thanks in advance