I need assistance.
I am opening a chocolate company mostly selling truffles and maybe bars later (when I can do bean to bar (: which I am excited for!). I have a rev2 tempering machine, which is a great machine, but when I fill the molds, I cant just tip the mold over and dump the excess chocolate out into the machine (to make shells for filling) because the machine is so small. Its also a pain to fill the molds with a spoon and OMG does my current process make the biggest mess you could imagine. A 2 year old's chocolate dream actually.
So, I have decided that I need a bigger machine (bigger than my molds), with a dispenser OR a wheel. I like the wheel design that just makes a little fountain for you to fill the mold, then I can dump the excess right back into the chocolate supply.
Does anyone have any advice? I am willing to spend the money, but I am still learning and developing this small business. I absolutely love chocolate and and 100% confident that I will be successfull, so I am willing to pay, but I dont want to get suckered by some site with incredible markup prices.
I dont necessarily need a 40lb capacity, but should I spring for one anyways? What do you guys/girls think? I need expert advice.
Also, I do not have a shop. I am learning all this in my apartment. (1200 sq ft.) but dont mind a big machine. I use Cacao Barry (wish I could afford the Valrhona). I live in Colorado. Not sure what else to say. I wana make sure you have all the details needed.
Yes, I temper by seeding. Once the chocolate reaches 34C I stir frequently until it's tempered. Remember, tempering means you are developing beta crystals so you can't just let it cool without any seed and/or agitation (the 3 important factors when tempering are time, temperature and movement). When seeding you don't have to worry about doing much stirring when the chocolate is hotter than 34C. The beta crystals melt out above that temp. so adding seed above that temp. is essentially just to cool it down.
To check your temper, dip a small piece of parchment paper or the tip of a knife in the chocolate. It should set up within 3 - 5 minutes. Take a look at it - it should look smooth with a nice gloss. If it's streaky, you don't have a good temper.
I'm sure you'll find lots of info on tempering on this site or by just doing a google search. I found the Culinary Institute DVD's very helpful when learning how to temper.
Thanks a lot for the explanation. Have you had the opportunity of using a tempering machine with a wheel/dispenser? My guess is that the wheel with the dispenser does the agitation or movement, taking this part off our hands, doesn't it?
Is not worth paying more for a tempering machine with a wheel/dispenser?
Is there any reason that has kept you away from buying one of these machines different from its price (as it is at least twice the price of a big Mol d'Art)?
I ended up getting the 6kg Mol d'Art. I purchased it about 2 months ago, but just used it for the first time this weekend. I loved it! It was so much easier to dip in than the tiny Rev 2 that I had. One thing, though, it doesnt seem to be able to heat my dark chocolate any higher than 109 degrees, which was wierd. And it takes FOREVER to melt a large batch, so once it was in there, I just took the hair dryer to it (: that melted it pretty fast! Then I realized that the hair dryer is a great tool for a lot of things.
I have a question for everyone too: When I temper my chocolate, it is never glossy (unless I use a mold). When I dip my chocolates, they are always extremely mate. No shine whatsoever. But I thought I was tempering correctly because when I tempered it, they didnt melt on touch, and they had a nice snap. If they arent shiny, does that mean Im doing something wrong? Maybe not enough seed? This even happens in my Rev 2. Im using Cacao Barry and Guittard.
Klassy, you will never get 'shiny' when you are hand dipping. But you should get 'glossy' - a sheen. If your chocolate is extremely matte it sounds like your temper is off. Try this: when you test your temper on a piece of parchment or a knife and it is extremely matte but it sets up within 3-5 minutes - stir your chocolate quite vigourously for a few minutes to develop more beta crystals. Do your test again. You are right that you will get this result if you don't use enough seed - and also if the chocolate is still too hot so too many crystals are melting out. It's all about those crystals! If you aren't having any difficulties with molding (ie. needing to put your molds in the freezer for release) then maybe we just have different definitions of gloss and matte :)
Chocochoco, I decided on the Mol d'Art melters when I was first starting out. I did a lot of research and it seemed like more people were satisfied longterm with these than tabletop tempering machines. Also, I hate noise and these are silent :) I wasn't in the market for a large unit as I didn't know if chocolate was going to be something I would want to continue with. After several years I am now ready to purchase a larger tempering machine... and yes, I will get one with a wheel. I would prefer an automatic tempering machine but that can wait for the future. :) I think it's a good idea to start small and see how your needs develop. For example, I do mostly enrobing so I need a tempering unit with an enrobing attachment. As you grow your needs become evident. Best of luck with your decision making!
Thanks for your reply!
I will try to upload a photo of my chocolates and also of a paper test here soon just for an oppinion. I wont be making any more chocolates for probably the next week or so though. I will try your advice and be sure to stir it a bit more. I didnt realize how important that was. And I was using hardly any seed at all. Just a bit of a chocolate bar from Lindt (very very small amount). What percentage would you recomend? I typically temper about 5 pounds of chocolate at a time.
Was just taking a look at this thread and recalled finding some videos on "CallebautTV" that seem to fit your questions/situation. There are quite a few helpful videos, but this one might answer some of your quesitons:
PRE-CRYSTALLIZING IN THE MELTING POT