I'm new to this, so will welcome any advice.
I'm tempering by hand, using a double pan, recently using tempering aid but have also used the "adding extra chocolate to seed" method.
I have fairly consistent results (after buying several thermometers of increasing accuracy and price!).
The inconsistency is that some chocolates gain a white (sugar?) bloom, not a butter one, when stored for a week in a sealed plastic container.
For this question I'll add specific information: Callebaut 54%, tempering aid, heat to 45C, cool to 34C (adding the aid then), stir well.
I then pour into polycarbonate moulds, put into a freezer for a few minutes, then knock them out. By the time I have put them into a box they have condensation on them.
I have the same problem if I use a fridge and not a freezer.
I've just bought a hygrometer so I can see the humidity in the room, and a dehumidifier which I plan to use tomorrow.
Perhaps I'm cooling them too much, so any advice about temperature would be useful. Perhaps it's just too humid - it's certainly not too hot in the room right now! Should I keep them in a sealed box with silica gel?
It's just so disappointing, I thought I'd started to get the hang of all this!
Thanks for the information - I did buy a cheap gadget to measure the humidity - but it is too cheap, I bought a second one and they are 10% different! So I think I will buy a more accurate one.
Can you explain -cool "from 16 down to 13C, then again 15/16C" ... so I cool it to 13 then let it warm a little at 15/16 for 40 minutes? The problem I see is getting the mold to release the casing if I don't cool it low enough.
When I started with chocolate I had no idea that the science was more important than anything else - it's brought back school work of 50 years ago! I find myself comparing the way chocolate works with the way iron and steel solidify and crystalise, which, I assume, is the basis of the word "tempering" - with steel one heats, cools rapidly (hardening), then re-heat to a specific temperature (tempering) to get the properties one requires. I didn't think I'd ever use the metallurgy I learned!
I find it fascinating, and presents such a wide spectrum of challenges.
In ideal world the chocolates should fall out of the mould when you flip it over, which is the result of using a right method: preheating mould, cooling at the right temperature and time, then demoulding.
The way the cooling has to work is basically in a curve, ideally in a manufacturing there a cooling tunnels used for that, we have four sections in a cooling tunnel, which are set at the following temperatures: going in - 16C(10min.) 14C(10min.) 13C(10min) and 16C(10 min). Total cooling time = 40minutes. the reason for such a high temperatures at the inlet and outlet is to do with shock. A bit of a detail- http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=shock%20chocolate%...
That is really interesting, you obviously are an expert.
Thanks for the link too.
As you may have gathered from my previous post, I'm not a youngster, and in my previous work I have always tried hard to know the theory behind the practice - I'm slowly getting to grips with chocolate.
My chocolate work has slowed for a time as I've been fitting out my "chocolate kitchen" - I've got a couple of dogs, so I have made a second kitchen in my house to keep them dog-hair free.
Thanks again for your time.
Do you know if the humidity meter is ISO certified?
I thought I'd give an update.
I took your advice - I have made a cooling place - I put sides below a work table, and fitted a portable air conditioner in it with a vent to outdoors for the warm air part. (I also had to take the air conditioner apart and adjusted the thermostat to give me lower temperatures). I now have a cupboard with dryer air and I can get from room temperature down to 8 degrees C if I want it that low. The shelves have different temperatures, so I can move the molds about to try to copy your figures.
The results have been great - thanks for all your help.