I am getting ready to try my hand at making bean to bar chocolate. I am considering purchasing a Santha Spectra 11 Melanger. There is also an option for a model of the Santha with an added speed contol. Can anyone advise me if I should purchase the model with the speed control? Will this make a better product, what are the benifits to this? The cost of the speed control option practially doubles the cost of the Melanger. I was also wondering about the CocoaTown Melanger in the same price range $500ish. Does anyone have an opnion on which of these Melangers might work better or achieve a higher level of results?
Thank you for any input you may have on this topic, it is much appreciated!
At this level, IMO, you'd be better off buying two machines rather than one with a speed control. On a larger machine the speed control is a handy option.
One of the main differences between the Santha and CocoaTown designs at this size are in the way tension is applied. In the CocoaTown there is a hinged top that is spring loaded to provide the tension. On the Santha you tighten a nut that puts tension on the spring, which makes it adjustable tension. (This is both good and not-as-good). You can adjust the tension (good), but it's difficult to get exactly the same tension each time (which is not-as-good because it makes it difficult to put exactly the same pressure on the stones each time, leading to less-consistent results).