I have a home chocolate studio, but find keeping storage temp at 65 is a challenge in Central Florida. I am going to toy with my wine refrig and see if I can up the temp. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
One of the least-expensive ways to get decent capacity temperature-controlled storage is to use a standard chest freezer with a thermostat over-ride such as the one manufactured by Johnson Controls (they're used a lot by home brewers). Humidity may be an issue depending on where the unit is located, so some sort of humidity absorber in the chest may be necessary.
You can easily use the red wine temperature setting on your wine fridge (usually about 55F) - there's no real penalty for keeping the chocolate that cold. You will have humidity issues to deal with unless you have a quite sophisticated fridge.
Thanks for your reply.
got my wine frig up to 58 degrees. Still tinkering with it. I thought a refrig drys things out...if so, where does humidity come into play. Thanks again
when you open the door then warm air and warm things you put in produce the moisture...and if you don't see any ventilation holes in fridge...voila...there you are :)
I would actually doubt the humidity inside your fridge has any great impact on it because generally speaking due to the cold the humidity is actually lower. What actually occurs when you put your chocolate in the fridge is it simply gets cold! Then when you take it out into the warmer tempurature outside the humidity in the air creates condensation over the surface of the chocolate which will happen even on a fairly low humidity day simply because its more to do with the rapid change in temperature. What then happens is the sugar in your chocolate which is usually in a suspension of sorts (we don't make chocolate with water) then disolves in the water created by the condensation. When the condensation is removed/evaporates you are left with what is known as sugar bloom as the sugar comes out of solution. People do all sorts of things to prevent this, you can wrap it in cloth/towels but you need to make sure its not going to effect the aroma/flavor of the chocolate whatever you put around it. The other more common type of bloom displayed by untempered chocolate is actually fat bloom.
Long term a 15 degree celcius wine fridge probably works best but to avoid these problems even in hotter climates I would still suggest the bottom of a linen closet or any cool/dry place in your house at room temperature provided its not going to melt. The other thing is chocolate is so much more enjoyable when its not cold because it will melt faster in your mouth! If you are going to buy a wine fridge though, I have also heard the cheaper ones are more unreliable but I guess you get what you pay for like with most things.
Thank you for your insight....will probably go with bottom of linen closet ... since we have ceramic tile floors.
I live in Kalgoorlie in central Australia, the temp here gets as high as 50 c outside in summer. I use wine fridges to store my chocolate that maintain the temperature between 12 -18c. I have had no issues at this stage and I use the relatively cheap Prima 72 and 28 bottle Wine Coolers. However humidity is not a big issue here for us.