Hi Everyone! I hope someone can help me... I live/work in New Jersey, where it is VERY humid right now and for the past few weeks. I am a Chocolatier in training and I am convinced that the Chocolate is kept improperly at my place of work, making it un-temper-able? I think/hope there should be a different tempering curve but I just don't know. If there is anyone out there, who tempers Chocolate in a naturally humid place often, and can help me I would greatly appreciate it.
How to temper Chocolate in Humid Conditions?
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Uh, you can't.
Hanging on the wall in the chocolate room at work, I have one of those clocks with a built in thermometer and a guage showing r/h (relative humidity). They're not expensive and really a must. When the r/h goes above 65% it's time to toss in the towel, ain't nothing you can do about it. Chocolate will thicken up and turn to sludge, won't set properly, and generally drive you nuts.
Well, actually you can do something about it. My chocolate room is small, around 8' x 8' with a built in, el cheapo ($200) air conditioner. Air conditioners remove humidity as well as cool down the room. You can also get de-humidifiers, which only remove humidity, but they are almost as expensive as air conditioners. Remember this one law of physics: The warmer the air, the more humidity the air can carry.
If you can't get the boss to splurge for air conditioners, or find a separate room specifically for chocolate, then you have to come into work early in the morning or late at night. At these times the temp is cooler, no dishwashers or steam kettles are going, or oven doors (convection oven doors are notoriously bad for this) belching out hot air.
Hope this helps
Thanks so much. I am definitely going to suggest a de-humidifer. I actually have a small room just for Chocolate that is supposed to be set at 45% Humidity between 62-65 degrees. But when I checked it with a thermastat it was up to 65% humidity and at 65 degrees. It's been that way for a few weeks now. It is a huge pain in the butt.