I have Cocoatown ECGC 65 melanger. Wanted to test some new beans from Guatemala (from uncommon cacao). I ran 26 pounds of chocolate/sugar at 72% for 28 hours. I even added 1 pound of cocoa butter at the end to try and get the texture right with out avail. The chocolate is pasty, viscous, and is unworkable. It starts to get this way when the tempering machine hits 83 degress F on its way back up to 89.
- I don't pre heat or pre grind my sugar
- i did the nibs by themselves for 12 hours before adding sugar
- I winnow my beans shortly after roasting, as my cracker likes the beans to still be slightly warm
The chocolate seems fine when in the grinder. Even in the first parts of the tempering process it seems ok. When the chocolate is heating back up from 83F in the tempering machine, it starts to get very thick and unworkable. It clumps up heavily and gets chunky. (I have savage bros 50lb unit).
After adding a large amount of cocoa butter, i did manage to get some out of the machine, but the texture was gritty,pastey, and chalky-powdery on the inside.
If it's fluid before you try to temper it or work with it, then you simply need to understand the process of tempering and how very tiny changes in temperature can affect the fluidity of the working chocolate. Once you truly understand what's happening during the tempering process, you can create a tempered chocolate that is nicely fluid, or as thick as wallpaper paste. Adding cocoa butter to make it more fluid is the LAST thing you should do. I have a very easy to understand video on tempering on my facebook page at Choklat. You would be well served to watch it. Brad
The above posts about tempering are absolutely right. If it's getting too thick at your lower temperature, your lower temp is probably too low.
One thing to keep in mind with the Savage Bros machine is that while your chocolate is at 83F, your water jacket is lower (mine is usually in the low 70s). After switching from cooling to warming, it takes a while for the water jacket to warm up. In that time, it's still cooling the chocolate, so you'll want to switch it sooner. I generally switch when the chocolate is around 86F.
The good new is there's an easy fix if it gets too thick and chunky--just warm it up more. Set the water jacket temp to 92 or 93 and wait. After a while it will thin back out. I always mold when my chocolate is right around 92F.