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We were just randomly throwing out ideas today here in Hawaii while making chocolate, and we wondered why don't people heat the room their tempered chocolate is poured in to the appropriate 88-92° F temp so that one doesn't have to worry about the molds being the wrong temp and shocking the chocolate, and you also wouldn't need to worry about the batch of chocolate you have tempered cooling and becoming too thick to pour, and if you had a depositor, you wouldn't have to worry as much about the chocolate solidifying in the pipes & hoses.

 

We're not suggesting tempering in such a room since it would be hard to cool the chocolate on the downslope to 80° F, but you could move the tempered chocolate bowl to a 90° room once it was tempered where the molds were waiting to be filled.

 

This may also not be easy in temperate places where chocolate is usually made, but it'd be pretty easy in tropical areas like here in Hawaii! You could even have the exhaust of the AC for the tempering room feed into the heated molding room to save energy on both ends.

 

Let me know if you know a good reason this wouldn't work.

 

Thanks,

-Nat
____________________
Nat Bletter, PhD
Chocolate R&D
Madre Chocolate

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Hi Nat, 

I'm not so sure about the room temperature of 28C/32C. (88/90F.?), i think that it might take to long to cool down (wrong  crystal formation, blooming or something else?) or the shock from 90F. to a cool room 55F. would be to strong with a texture, shiny loss.

 

I keep my studio at constant 20/21 C. (68F)  so the chocolate when hit the mold has first cooling "shock" of about 10C. then goes in a cooling/storage room at 16C, so in theory another cooling shock of 5C.

It works perfectly.

Here in Cape Town i have tried to work chocolate when room temp was about 90F (i didn't have AC) and it was a drama...

 

Then another question: how you are going to deal with delicate milk choc. and white chocolate? 

 

Cheers,

Antonino 

Desideri Chocolatiers

I think a warm room for molding is a great idea.  I'm not sure I would have it quite so hot for a variety of reasons but mostly because I'd be too worried about getting the chocolate out of there right away to set.  I also don't think I would introduce the exhaust of the AC into that room - too much humidity.  In a course I took with Wybauw he said most chocolatiers keep their working rooms too cool.  He recommended room temp. (72F).  He also said that industrial set-ups keep their molds at the same temp. as the tempered chocolate.  But in an artisan set-up, without cooling tunnels, proper cooling would be an issue with molds that warm - and most likely the chocolate would bloom.  If you have a cooling tunnel then that's a different story...

If you try that set up I'd love to hear your results. 

I also think having a heated room would be a good idea (and probably unavoidable in Australia :).

You would need a heat exchanger for the exhaust of the AC.

I saw a factory that they did this.  If you do it at home, I'd also suggest in the hot room a dehumidifier or that air is gonna get pretty anti-chocolate.

I work in a 72-75 degree room and never have issues with the molds being too hot or too cold,it is necessary though to cool the choolate rather quickly as its setting up or it will retain heat and go out of temper(bloom) milk chocolate is especially prone to bloom, so cooling fast is a must.
Using the continuous tempering machines like Selmi you never have to worry about the chocolate getting overcrystallized and thick or a depositer getting clogged.
Would be nice to do something with all that heat though...

Perhaps generally not a bad idea, if you can immediately remove your filled molds or what have you to a much cooler area as others have pointed out. Otherwise, because of the warm ambient temperature, you will have the problem with latent heat of crystallization, and nothing would crystallize properly, and all your molded pieces would bloom. Also, even if you are holding properly crystallized chocolate in the 90-93F range, it will still continue to crystallize and thicken to a solid form (though still a very soft one) unless you are regularly doing something to break crystal down, like fluctuating the temperature to the upside occasionally.

 

I visited the Recchiuti operation in San Francisco two years ago, and he had made a "hot" room from a walk-in freezer by removing the cooling component and adding a heater. Basically, he kept it at somewhere in the upper 90 degree range and had large, painter size buckets of warm, liquid chocolate stored there. So whenever he needed warm chocolate, to say add to the enrober or other machines, he wouldn't have to wait for it to melt. He could just go in and grab a bucket of whatever type chocolate he needed. However, I don't believe he had the chocolate crystallized or "in temper" in old speak.

 

I work generally in a 62-67F environment and never have trouble with molding, with the exception of thick bars which have to be blown with a fan to remove the heat quickly.

What do you guys think of a heated room for mould storage only. keep the room at 30 - 31C. whenever type X mould is needed, the moulds would get trollied to the moulding section which has a perfect room temperature of 20 C.

Thoughts?

I think energy wise its much easier to quick heat your molds with a hairdryer to warm them than heating a room 24 hrs a day to use them for 5 min. At .45 a kilowatt hour, a rate 4x the mainland for electricity, Nat no doubt started this conversation over sticker shock of the energy bill.

ahh yes good call Melanie. besides, you'll need a heater anyways once used the first time after the moulds go through the cooling tunnel.

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