Level: Novice

Reading Time: 4 minutes

How do we store chocolate that is coming out of the Melanger? Does it have to be tempered first? Or can we just pour it into a container?  I can’t seem to find the answer.

I’m a really big fan of logic and critical thinking.  Chocolate Alchemy has been around 15+ years.  There are over 1000 pages on this site and over 3 million words written about chocolate making.  Plus there is a pretty good search feature and a basic tutorial.

I say all that by way of trying to make the point that if you are wondering about something pretty basic like storage conditions and you can’t find the answer, then there is a really good chance that it isn’t important.  Right?

That is what is going on here.  It really isn’t important on the level that it is going to ruin your chocolate.  Basically, you can store it in a boat but I would not store it with a goat. You can store it on a train and in the dark but I would not store it in the rain.  You can store it in a box, but probably not with a fox.  You can store it in a house, but not I would store it with a mouse.  You can store it most anywhere. Ok Sam? Here, have some green eggs and ham.

Just keep it sealed and cool and dry.  It is no more complicated than that.

You can keep it either untempered or tempered.  It does not really matter.

Your main goal is just to keep the foxes and mice away from it, and isolated from anything that could give it a weird odor (hence no goats).  For that last reason, storing it with onions and garlic isn’t going to be the best decision.  Chocolate pretty readily absorbs odors.  Those are the main reasons why you want it sealed. If you have an odor and fox free free area, feel free to keep it open

Refrigerators tend to have some pretty strong odors and even sealed, odors can penetrate some plastics.  This is why just cool is preferable to cold in most cases.  It isn’t so much the temperature as the location of keeping it cold. I’ve also run into people keeping chocolate in unheated basements thinking more is better in regards to cool, but many basements and unheated garages are also moldy or funky and often a bit humid.  Basically those are things you want to steer clear of.

And that leads us to dry.  Chocolate and water don’t play well together

I really get it that you have just put a bit effort and money into making your chocolate and you don’t want to ruin it, but also stop trying to over think it.  If it is really and truly important I’m going to make sure that information is prominent and as in your face as I can get it.

With that in mind, also keep in mind what I’m addressing here is just a low level Novice question.  There ARE various subtleties of aging, temperature windows, etc that might affect your chocolate but none are so important as to ruin it if you missed a little detail.

I want to break these questions apart just a little more and see if you could have applied a bit of logic to answer your own question based on other information that is out there.

Does it have to be tempered?

To that I would ask why would it have to be? 

It is pretty common knowledge that you can temper chocolate over and over if it blooms.  That means that chocolate being in a state of bloom, or more specifically not tempered is an ok state to be in.  It just follows that you don’t have to temper it immediately since if you don’t temper it, it will bloom and that is perfectly ok.  Right?

I have also been asked if the container matters to which I respond “why would it?”.  Does it matter what contain you put your dinner left overs in?  How about that partly eaten loaf of bread? Is there a Feng Shui of containers?

I just want you to think of chocolate as another form of cooking and apply what you know, or can find, about how to work with and store a basic non-perishable food.  It is really no more complicated than that.

Cool and dry, sealed if you like or need, and in whatever container is the most convenient, keeping in mind once it hardens, can you get it back out.  If it won’t just pop back out, it is probably a good idea that the container be little heat proof so you can melt the chocolate, or you can destroy it (like a cheap plastic bag).

I think that covers it and is probably too many words for something as simple as this. But my stance going forward with the from the ground up series is that if you had the question I didn’t make it clear enough somewhere else so I am going to repeat it here.