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I have a small pan for panning chocolate covered coffee beans. Building up by pouring choccolate takes forever and is a vast waste of time. It is also something of an art as if I go too fast I get "doubles" (where the product joins together). If I go too slow the chocolate seems to "starve" and becomes porous. I can't do a "continuous pour" as I need to stop & start a lot so as to avoid both doubles and "starvation" so I basically have to stand there for some hours as I build up.

I think that spraying could be an answer. The system needs to hold a decent amount of chocolate (min 20 liters pref 70 liters), be held at the right temperature, not make too much mess when the chocolate is atomised and probably be able to be controlled in appropriate "spurts" to give time for the product to harden between coats. It must be easy to clean too as I  use several types of chocolate including chilli which has to be well cleaned out.

I have looked around for a while but have only found systems that are both large and costly (around US$35,000) with lots of pipes coming in from holding tanks. I am seeking something in the US$6,000 range max that is simple and easy to use. Selmi have a brilliant system BUT it relies on electronics from their own pan which is very expensive (around US$24,000). Besides - I already have my own 15Kg output pan (which cost me less than US$2,000 delivered).

I am in Australia but am pleased to buy from anywhere.

Any thoughts would be really welcome!



Tags: coating, spraying

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does the spray head heat up on the electric spray gun?  Compressed air moving through the head of a spray gun comes very close to freezing.  This seizes the chocolate making you use choice words and starts you looking over your shoulder to make sure no children are present.

I would love to have more info on that electric spray gun and the makeup of the parts....


Is the quality suitable for food????

Why doesn't the chocolate set up in the spray head?

Do you happen to have video or can you get some????

You might be on to some new way to save thousands if not hundreds if this is food grade and works.


Hi Jeremy

To answer your questions- most guns are paint guns... i) they cool the chocolate down quickly... and the beta crystals form much quicker in smaller, cooler areas like nozzles and springs etc. causing blockages ii) Rarely do they use  food grade materials (plastics / metals etc.).

We have a few food spray guns that you can check out for using with chocolate- one with heating & insulation.  Here is a video of the hotCHOC heated chocolate sprayer.

Or you can stick with a air brush and hair dryer if you are working for very short periods- sometimes inconvenience but gives a nice shine.

Hi, Colin. Forgive me for asking, but are you using a fan to deliver cool air into the pan during the engrossing stage? If not, then you will never be able to control the process of coverage or drying. Double occur when excessive amounts of chocolate settle in the deadzone area which is the fall line of the cascading motion create once the chocolate is forst applied and coverage/drying begin.

If you are using a fan, then the problem may be that the air flow volume is too low - you need to have enough air to evacuate the volume of the pan everything 3-4 seconds and also the air must be in the range of 17-20C. Since  the fan is drawing make up air from the room in which it sits, the humidity and temperature in your panning room should be 50% RH or so and 17-20C.

If you need more help just let me know at




This is great advice and one of the things I think people overlook. Not only does the room need to be the right temperature but the airflow into the pan also needs to be considered to set the chocolate properly, keeping in mind that the chocolate does not actually need to be in temper for use in panning.

:: Clay

I can answer any and all questions about panning, as we sell both new and used table top and commerical sized pans plus a full range of chocolate melting equipment. I also had my own panning company a few moons ago.

Send on specific questions and I will be happy to address machinery, procedural and supply questions.



Thanks for that. Yes, I have a domestic fan blowing air through the pan. I have been experimenting with temperature and am mostly in the 17-29 C range although I had been advised to bring that up to make the product smoother and had gone to 22 C. That I find to be a problem so I am encouraged by your comments.

You mention the fall line and I am concerned that the size of my pan is so small that the fall is too small (less than 30cm (12 ins) so the air has little time to act on the chocolate. What do you think?

I may well take up your offer for advice in panning and am saving your email. Thanks so much. It is really hard to find experts in this area.

What a great forum! :-)


Clay - you make a great point about the temperature IN the pan. I will measure that as although the room is reasonably cool and the correct RH (which I battle with) I suspect that heat is coming from the back of the pan. I need to look at that.

The size of the pan does not affect the fall line but if you overload the pan that can be detrimental.

Go to 20C on the air, make sure that the air flow faces toward the side of the pan opposite the fall line and also be certain you have enough CFM.


We sell a small pneumatic spray gun with tank and a self cleaning nozzle that has a pin that goes in and out to clear the plug that inevitably develops.

I do not have the info set up as a link so if you want details pls send me your email address thanks.


I am interested in info in that pneumatic spray gun 

Thanks for both of those bits of info Jim. At present the air flow faces into the fall but I shall change that. I am using a domestic fan so the CFM is anyone's guess. There must be a flow meter I can purchase.

My email is colin dot green at captaintaincoffee dot com dot au and I'll be very interested in you spray system.



Hi all, our electric spray guns are the only food-approved ones available and are good for liquid chocolate and other materials such as jam, marinades etc. There are different nozzle sizes depending on the viscosity of liquid being applied, and the surface are requiring covering.

Further info and Youtube demo videos on our website via this linkand we look forward to helping your requirements.


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