I am curious about opinions when it comes to temperers/melters.
My need is melting/agitating to a specific temperature and then keep it there until/during molding/enrobing.
A melter not agitating the chocolate will make it set unwillingly no? I am trying to get something that will relieve me from stirring my tempered chocolate while I am molding/enrobing. the size for each batch would be under 12lb.
At that size, you probably want to take a look at a Chocovision X3210 or Delta with a holey baffle. With the holey baffle, you can do up to 17 lbs.
The Delta was my first pic, but then I thought about just having a melter that would keep it at specific temperature, the issue would be that I still would have to agitate the chocolate with the melter I am guessing? It would defeat the purpose if that is the case. Currently I can get the chocolate to 88f and keep it in temp. then do what I need to do fine, but I am tired of the stirring and the time it takes, with pouring into molds I can keep stirring while doing it, but with truffles and enrobing it gets too messy.
Yep, with just melter, you're going to have to keep stirring it manually. One of the Chocovisions would do that for you, as well as temper the chocolate, too.
What Ben said... I have a Revolation X3210 which is almost indistinguishable from the more expensive Delta... I got mine, brand new, from Sarah's Sweet Fountains for a very reasonable $1,585 . It works great .
Priceless advice, thank you! . . . although I look on their site just now and the price is $2099:(
How long ago did you get yours?
I got mine a couple years ago for about $1800 including extra bowl and the holey baffle. Clay here at the Chocolate Life offers some discounts on some of the Chocovision machines.
Having experience with the smaller Chocovision Rev 2, I can say that having the chocolate stirred and kept at a certain temp automatically is a great convenience. Of course, it is necessary to adjust the temp as time goes on; otherwise the chocolate just keeps getting thicker. The reason I have been considering the purchase of a melter, however, is the big disadvantage of any machine with a round bowl: it is almost impossible to empty the contents of a mold back into the tempering machine without making a serious mess. I am forced to empty molds onto parchment--which also causes a mess and takes counter space. I saw a video of someone dumping molds into a Delta or an X3210, and the machine was just about covered in chocolate. If only someone could invent a reasonably priced melter with an agitator of some sort....
Is there a larger bowl that can be purchased separately for the smaller $500 range temperers like one can do for the larger ones?
No, a larger bowl would not fit into the machine. One can purchase extra bowls (which I have done) from Chocovision, but they are just for convenience, not for quantity. The "holey" baffle gives the larger machine more effective capacity, but although I read that Chocovision was developing such a baffle for the Rev 2, that never came to be. So to get more capacity, the user can either (1) heat more chocolate separately and pour a little of it into the tempered batch--but I found it a nuisance to try to estimate how much was not too much to add or (2) heat more chocolate separately to the start point for tempering (113 F. for the dark I use), use what is tempered in the machine until the level is low, then turn the machine off and back on to start the melt cycle again, and add the extra melted chocolate to fill the bowl-it sounds ridiculous, but since the extra chocolate is quite warm, the Chocovision goes into the temper cycle right away. Obviously a larger machine would be great, but I just don't do batches large enough to make good use of it.
I think someone on one of the forums made their own holey baffle for one of the smaller machines by just drilling some holes in one of the regular baffles.
I would get the Delta or the x3210 and if I can get it at the price that Paul John Kearins did.
If they are priced evenly, then which one to pic?