I just made a batch of chocolates that taste great, but have bloom. I am suspecting the problem is the molds were not properly cleaned as there was no bloom on the chocolate on the bottom of the chocolates. I have had similiar problems before.
Does anybody have a suggestion for how to clean the molds really well by hand (I don't have a dishwasher), or is there a good cleaning solution to use?
Hi All, an update:
my friend (chemical engineer) says that 1 cup per 40 lit (S.H diluited at 40%) is safe (-ish) , just to be careful if in a concentrated form.
As for any "Hydroxide" chemical, there is risks of skin burn.
So if you get in contact with S.H., rinse your skin with running cold water for a good 5-10 min.
if it still burn after 1 hour or longer, just seek medical attention for precautions.
is somebody using a dishwasher for mold cleaning? it might be a great time saver if possible.
All of my molds are polycarbonate. I spray them with lukewarm water until I can see no chocolate remnants. Then I fill the sink with lukewarm water and a little Palmolive and I splash each mold around in the water for a few seconds -- no washcloth or anything else. Then I rinse the molds with reverse osmosis water, rap them on the counter a couple of times, and let them air dry on towels. I have perfectly clean molds with zero water spots. Chocolates release beautifully and I never see any chocolate residue in the cavities themselves. They seem to be slowly but surely building a microscopic CB presence. I also wipe the molds and cavities with a shammy before each use. I've noticed no ill effects at all. But after reading through this thread I worry...
Am I woefully ignorant of something here?
Every comment seems to be about cleaning the molds. Could it be that the molds were too cool? I know that's why chocolate sometimes sticks. I was told that molds are supposed to be 80 degrees. I use my warming oven. I also have a surface temp thermometer that is really helpful.
Thank you very much for all the information that has been shared. Would anyone please share supliers or brands used.
You can slightly heat the mold before filling so there aren't any temperature shocks in the chocolate, also gives the chocolate a nice shine (even when it's not polished)
I have two halogens in a stove hood. I used to place molds beneath the lights and they would warm. But I noticed that some warmed more or better than others. So now I lay a sheet of Al foil under up to six molds and the halogen lights warm them all very evenly. And, yes, the chocolates have a FANTASTIC shine to them. I really notice a difference when I forget to pre-warm the molds this way.
I used Sodium Hydroxide (lye) today for the first time and it worked pretty good. I used 15 cups of water to 2-1/2oz of pure fod grade lye. I thought the solution would do everything but some crevices on the undersides needed to be lightly scrubbed out. I used a potato brush.
How can I be sure all the washing solution is off the molds? I swish the molds around in clean water I change every 10 molds or so. Is that enough? I'm thinking of running the molds through my diswasher on rinse.
I got a film on every mold. I don't know what to do next. Clean them all by hand with soap? What went wrong?
1. you didn't use HOT water
2. you didn't use enough Sodium Hydroxide. The water should be pink.
Dry them right after either with compressed air, or a microfibre cloth. They will look like new.
Tried it again with very very hot water and doubling the lye and I still have a film, just not as thick. I wish I had access to whatever solution you're using Brad, as I just have food grade lye, and now I'm out of that. A few questions:
Do you soak your molds in the Sodium Hydroxide solution for some amount if time or do you just swish them around in it?
I'm rinsing the molds in a bucket of hot water. Maybe I want to run hot water from a sprayer?
I'm using a solution of 5 oz Sodium Hydroxide to 15 pints of water, or about 2% Sodium Hydroxide. Clearly that's not enough. What % do you think your solution comes out to?
I can't get any food grade lye around here, I have to order it. I can get pure Sodium Hydroxide crystals, but I don't know if it's food grade or what that means. It's sold as a drain cleaner. But if I rinse it, SH should be gone either way. Do you think that's safe?
What's the brand name of the product you use?
What is the film? Is it soap (sodium hydroxide+fat from the cocoa butter=soap)? Can I just polish it off or should I clean the molds with Dawn?
I'm about to try a 4:1 solution of Greased Lightning on one of my molds that has the film. I'll post how it goes.
Greased Lightning leaves a scent on your molds so don't use it. I tried it on a mold I never use. Dawn and water got rid of the film.
I'll try Sodium Hydroxide again later.