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Humidity? Too cold fridge? Problems with bloom

Hello!

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

Tony

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Hi Arthur,

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.

Thanks again,

Tony

Hi Tony,

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%...

Hi Arthur,

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.

Tony

Hi Arthur,

 

Do you know if the humidity meter is ISO certified?

Thanks

Omar

Hi Arthur,

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.

Tony

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