Hi TCL friends,
I recently bought my first melanger and ran a small test batch and it worked perfectly! So I put a second, 7.8 pound batch of chocolate in my Spectra 11 and it ran well for something like 8 hours when I noticed the wheels only had intermittent contact with the floor of the tub. In other words, the wheels were turning, but had sort of a pause in them, and I could hear it too. I could hear the wheel making contact with the stone floor and thus turning, but then perhaps have chocolate under it and sort of lift off and slow down, and then reconnect. I put my finger on the wheel and could stop it.
I had 7.8 pounds (3500 g) of chocolate in it. The temp was 105F. The chocolate was flowing around the wheels and scrapers robustly. It felt like I needed to turn the screw down more to make contact with the bottom, but the screw was turned all the way tight.
I am not sure what to do. I could run a smaller batch, but that is not very efficient. I could put more cacao butter in it, but that is not what I want either. I could modify the assembly so I can make the stone capable of dropping more, but that might damage the stones?
Does anyone have a solution? Oh, and I report that the Spectra came with one wheel with two grooves, and one wheel with 3 grooves.
Not sure if this is the answer but sometimes chocolate seeps into the wheel cavity along the rod and hardens, thus slowing the wheels. You can unscrew the wheel cap and remove the wheel. If you find that the chocolate has hardened then simply clean the rod and reassemble.
Well, I raised the temperature up to 108F and the problem went away! So I guess my chocolate was just too thick and created too much resistance. It's spinning away now perfectly, running at 109F.
I am so relieved, as the Spectra is doing a superb job of refining my sugar crystals and I hope to have a silky chocolate for the first time.