Justin! thanks man; the boutique the culmination of an incredibly challenging journey and the beginning of another ;) i'm very fortunate.
So far things have been great, considering the season...there are slow days but over all i'm up; i'm crazy busy trying to get things right and keep up...a lot of loose ends to sort before we get busy w/ holidays.
How are things down there? i so envy your deep sea life...thats were i belong.
Ending thought on the airbrush. I only use a cheap badger now. From Michaels art supply. The difference is that it does not draw cocoa butter through the brush itself, so It dosent clog easily. They work great. Nothing more frustrating than having to prep 80 molds and deal with constant clogs....that badger costs 30 bucks.
I never hardly clean my mould cavities. Only when a have an occational color stick. I first spray with a pre-spray of 70% cocoa butter and 30% dark chocolate. Heated to 40 to 42c. stay right there at that temp. Be careful to not over spray (to much). this gives that mind blowing bass boat shine and subdues the bright colors a bit. Let it sit to cure, an hour or so, over night is cool too. Now
in goes the color. be careful to not heat the cocoa butter hotter than 42c. this is where you can get real creative with several colors etc. I recomend to use the artisan collection (chef rubber) it dosent contain any silica to clog brushes, like the satin varities and so on. If you are wanting colors to show brightly when you're shelling with dark chocolate, be sure to back up your colors with a white cocoa butter.
I learned a lot of information Ewald notter and Vincent Pilon. One big key is, don't be afraid to go through the learning curve. It humbles you, which is a healthy thing.
Good Luck my friend. Let me know if any of this helps you.
Regarding spraying . . . from application of the butter, how long until you try to mould. This can make a big difference. Too short and color moves, too long and color stays. We have some info on our website about use of colored cocoa butter (www.tomric.com) or contact me directly here or from our website.
Yes, this spraying thing can be frustrating hey? As I said in the Norman Love thread - I'm holstering my gun until I get some advice! Like you I tried so many different variables and always got inconsistent results. I'm waiting for a time that I can take a several days and just work on spraying (some time after mother's day). I'll provide a link to 2 eGullet threads on spraying that are very informative. Also, I went to Thomas Haas in Vancouver (http://www.thomashaas.com/) and he came out all smiles so I ventured to talk to him. The company that I was talking to about silent compressors had sold him a unit last year so I asked him about it. He invited me into the kitchen to show me how he has it piped into the wall and to show me what he thinks I should be using - an airbrush. He uses the airbrush for cocoa butter. I asked him if he tempered the cocoa butter. He said he uses it 1 degree warmer than tempered for the airbrush and 4 degrees warmer than tempered for the spraygun to compensate for the air flow tempering the cocoa butter while spraying. I did try this and it didn't work too well for me BUT I'm pretty sure I have to play with the PSI settings on my compressor - I don't think I was getting enough air volume to make a thin spray. In doing lots of reading about automotive spraying - that seems to be the key - lots of air, low fluid volume. I wish I had time to play but I just don't right now! Let me know if you figure something out.
Here are the egullet links:
Also, here is a link Ilana provided to a Paul DeBondt video. He is the one I did a 1 day course with that got me hooked on spraying. As you will see, his eggs are amazing. You will see him using his spray gun at one point. Take a look at how fine his spray is. You will also notice him using a small gun - that's just air to flatten out his piped lines...