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Do you need both a chocolate melter machine and a temper machine?  Or does the temper machine do the melting as well?

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It depends on the volume you are pushing through the machine. Tempering machines will melt chocolate just fine. If you add a melter into the mix you will be able to temper more chocolate. Could you tell us more about what you are planning?
I.e. Will you be molding, enrobing by hand, enrobing by machine? And how many kilos per hour/day will you need?

Thank you Larry...we are molding. And we make about 30lb a day.  Thanks!

How big is your tempering machine? -Which Model is it? If it is similar to a Revolation Delta then adding a melter will really increase your capacity (as would a Holey Baffle)

If it is a larger machine, i.e. hilliards 80 lb/day or a continuous tempering machine i.e. FBM Prima (7kg working bowl) or a FBM Chocolab (12 kg bowl) , I don't know if it would make much difference at your current level.

Have you checked out the DIY tab of this site? Clay referenced an inexpensive melter which can be built to expand your production. It may be well worth it to go ahead and build one now for the flexibility you'll need at peak seasons.

Melters can be used to increase the throughput of most tempering machines, so having a supply of melted chocolate on hand is a good thing, especially if the capacity of the tempering machine is less than the amount of chocolate you are using in a day.

You don't need to spend thousands on a melter. Just yesterday I say a home sous-vide machine that can be used to precisely control a water bath to within .1F. If you put a plexiglass cover over the top of the water bath with holes cut out for the chocolate, you can easily create an inexpensive melter. Temperature control might even be precise enough to melt the chocolate without taking it out of temper. 


However, it could be used to temper chocolate using the seed method and replace a Mol d'Art costing $1000 or more.

When we are in production mode and are running low on chocolate (in our large tempering machine) we sometimes use a large container/bucket to melt about 5-7kg in a microwave. If you want to keep running without restarting the tempering process then just microwave out the chocolate to about the same temperature as the tempering machine runs at- for us its around 29-30c. We then add it in to the machine and retest to make sure its still crystallised (tempered).The stuff from the microwave will quickly crystallise with the rest of the chocolate in the machine. 

If you start doing this before you run out of chocolate then you can re-fill seamlessly without losing much time. 

It really helps when you are burning through your chocolate- like before easter! I would much rather have a melter/hot box, but that's just more money to spend! 


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