I just prepared about 9.23 kilograms of 76.2 percent cocoa liquor (the rest is sugar, to make it more pleasing to senses). I am setting my time tomorrow for molding job. Take the liquor into bar forms till the last drop.
Currently. I have four molds, each having 3 bar grooves. I can fast temper enough liquor for two molds, about 10 minutes, and, let it set in refrigerator for 25 minutes. While waiting, I prepare another for the other two. When the set time is up, I replace it with freshly prepared. So, I can make six bars every 25 minutes. The 9.23 kg liquor will take me about 8 hours time to craft about 115 of 80 grams chocolate bars.
I find it ridiculously long production time with a very small output.
I have other molds of smaller bar size and already experimented increasing output with it. Placing four molds at a time in refrigerator was expected to cut time it half. However, ref cooling capacity is not enough to keep up. I pushed my luck further and tried placing six molds at a time. If the first was failing after four rounds, the latter was worst, failing already at second.
Refrigerator has a lot of limitation and I think I cannot mess with it. I am planning on building a static cooling cabinet with air conditioner as cold air source.
For starter, a four to six racks cabinet. Each rack holding two trays. And, six chocolate molds. With the current preparation time of 10 minutes and mold set time of 25 minutes, the first two trays are ready for reuse after the third preparation. If my assumption is right, that is 36 bars per hour. If we go back to the 9.23 kg liquor, its molding duration is expected to go down from eight to only three hours.
Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.