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Hello!

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get the least amount of air bubbles possible when doing molded (polycarbonate) molding?

Right now, we do our airbrushing, let that sit for awhile (30-60 minutes, sometimes longer) and fill the molds.  We definitely have better luck on molds that are flatter on the inside, if that makes sense but the ones that have a design in them seem to give us some problems.

I'm wondering if we might be able to do things like thin out the chocolate with cocoa butter (prior to tempering), or maybe even use a paint brush very lightly to 'push' the chocolate into the corners.  It's not all corners.

Also - does anyone make just shells ahead of time?  You know like make shells, and just store them in something like a humidity controlled, cooled unit until maybe the next day for filling and capping?

Thanks in advance for any input!

Brian

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One way to get air bubbles out of a molded substance is by putting the filled mold in a vacuum chamber while the substance is still molten and pulling a vacuum on it. Haven't tried it myself with chocolate though...

The big companies make a huge variety of premade shells, and they are sold by the zillions to pastry chefs and restaurants worldwide for later filling. Here's 101 from Uster: http://www.auiswisscatalogue.com/1-VESL.html
Hi David - Thanks for replying.

We do use pre-made shells for our caramels but the truffles we prefer to use molded shells. Interesting concept about the vacuum though. Thanks for the link too!

Brian
I feel your pain. I hand paintbrush each mold (several coats each) to avoid it, but it's extremely time consuming. You can build a shaker/vibrating table that may help, as well. At school, we'd rap the mold against the table a few times to try and dislodge bubbles. I personally prefer the time consuming method as it allows me to really control the thickness of the walls, but that's just me and I'd certainly change my method if I were working on a commercial scale.
Hi Shane,

We do use a vibrating table as well as the good ol' fashioned bang-em-on-the-table method but still have a few issues. Maybe I'm looking for something that's really hard to get at the artisan level and that's 0 air bubbles! :)

Brian
It's "rustic"! :)
hahah...Nice...we're totally going to have a rustic collection too!
I haven't found a 100% method of getting rid of air bubbles. It is always the molds with the most detail that give me an issues. I hit them on the table as other people here have already described and sometimes use a vibrating table as well. Depending on how many molds you are filling you can buy a cheapo dental vibrating table on Ebay and see if it works for you. I fill my molds by hand and have started to move the mold back and forth as I am filling it - not exactly shaking it but the chocolate is in its most liquid state and I think this has helped move the choclate into the trouble spots while pushing the air out. There are always one or two pieces that still have an air bubble. I have also given up on a few molds that never seem to work (like the slanted cone shape - nothing has ever worked to get chocolate at the point of the cone...)

I have stored molds that have chocolate in them in a cool, dry place until I am ready to fill them and cap them and have not had any problems. Certainly until the next day shouldn't be an issue. I think a lot of people (like me) will fill a bunch of molds one day, making fillings and fill the next day and cap the day after that. This is especially true for me if I am making a big variety of flavors at once.

Andrea
Use a small skewer into each cone to get the bubbles out of the tip.

Shells made ahead have never been a problem - and usually come out shinier for the delay.
Thanks Andrea and Kerry -

Yeah that's the issue mainly - with shells that have higher detail.

Back at it tonight to do some work!

Brian
Check the viscosity of your chocolate. You should be using a fairly thin one on detailed molds.
Thanks Ruth, definitely will be checking that tonight and making some adjustments.

Brian
Dear Brian,

If you don't have a machine for this than use a small rubber hammer it sound strange but it's all about the vibrations.
Or vibrated it on a table. Look at www.callebaut.com / callebaut tv a perfect site.

Kind Regards
Wim Verhagen

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