I just used my CocoaTown ECGC-65A for the first time last week and ended up with black powder all over the floor and under the bowl that appears to be shredded rubber from the belt. I pre-ground the nibs and it was a very small batch, less than 15 lbs so there should not have been any undue stress on the belt.
When I called CocoaTown they told me it was because the room temperature in my facility is too cold (65-68F) and needs to be at least 80 degrees F. Is this true? If so, you obviously would need to have a separate heated room for the melanger.
Any insight at all would be greatly appreciated as I am so very frustrated with their customer service!
Just Good Chocolate
This same thing happened to me after just a handful of batches. Its my experience that the folks at CocoaTown will do and say anything to not have to replace the belts on their machines. I ended up buying replacements from http://www.royalsupply.com/store/pc/viewcategories.asp (you will need to get the number off your belt to make sure you get the right size).
That is the craziest thing I have heard in a long time. Any good V-Belt can handle a wide temperature range. My car back in Canada would not shred belts at -40. It seems that the alignment is not correct. I would also recommend using link belts.
Thanks, you guys - I will definitely look into getting a different belt. Moral of the story being, once you buy a CocoaTown don't plan on utilizing their customer service :)
As has been suggested by Paul and in other discussions here on TCL, take a look at Power Twist fiberglass link belts. They don't stretch and seem to last forever. I used 3 small cocoatown melangers for a few years without having to change or even tighten the belt.
As far as I know, they don't make the power twist in the size required by the ECGC-65 (at least they didn't when I bought my replacement belts).
I concur though that for the santha's they are a must.
What size belt does it use?
That sounds awful! I haven't used it enough to be able to recommend or not recommend, but the chocolate I have been making so far has turned out really good. I have to say, if I felt like there was an alternative I would certainly purchase from someone else.