I am contemplating the purchase of a small enrober. I need to pan freeze-dried fruits (especially strawberries and I'd like to try raspberries too) but the panning process breaks the fruit up and is almost impossible to achieve. So I thought that enrobing first and then panning could be the way to go.
To date I have mostly panned coffee beans (I am totally self-taught) and as such have not needed to temper the chocolate. But with strawberries I do need to temper the chocolate then enrobe and then finally pan.
I have read Sam's forum with great interest and the excellent advice given by the Selmi rep and others too.
I need a compact unit and the best overall price I can get as my budget is low (although elastic). Both the Selmi and FBM units look good to me on paper but I have NO experience with either - in fact I have never even seen one!
I am based in Australia but that said, I bought my pan out of China and I guess that sourcing from anywhere at all is not real problem. Ongoing service IS important of course.
Any thoughts from anyone please?
I represent FBM machines to ChocolateLife members, and the Prima is the smallest machine FBM makes that accepts an enrobing line. You don't mention what your budget is so I don't know if it will stretch that far.
In my reply to your other post related to this question, I wondered if the product would fall through the belt. One way to address that issue would be to send samples to FBM for them to look at. They'd be able to tell you in an instant if the machine could handle it. Are you interested in doing that? If so, contact me privately and I can help set this up for you.
Thanks for this Clay. I do have your email too and will respond. I didn't know that you represented FBM. I can see that I need to read "The Chocolate Life" with a LOT more care!
Enrobers are beasts with attitudes, haha! If you can visit any others with a machine I'd definitely recommend it. We have a Perfect enrober as our introduction to them and it takes quite some time to setup, attention to detail to run, and then a breakdown cycle. Go into your purchase eyes wide open and all that. :D
Thanks Andy! I'll certainly take that on board! A supplier here told me that installing one would cause me lots of problems and I'm not sure what he meant about that! Maybe I can indeed find someone local with one that I can visit. I am really interested in the Prima and I think there are a couple near me.
Hi Colin, i have an enrobing belt that runs with a Prefamac, and i must say that Andy is right. It takes time and afford to put it together,
If you want something REALLY small, try one of the HIlliard's Hand Coaters. I have one with a 3-inch belt and it has served me well for 3 years now. A LOT less expensive than any of the wheel or continuous machines, it's a perfect "starter" enrober.
Thanks for this Cheebs. I am indeed looking at the Hilliard 6 inch enrober. However it strikes me that it may be TOO small. I bought a small pan and a few months later it is too small for my increasing needs, although it was the right decision overall. I'll certainly take your thoughts on board although I'm leaning towards the Prima.
We do mainly molded bonbons but are looking to produce more enrobed. How has your Hilliard been for service? any problems. ALso how easy is it to break down and switch couvetures, really? We have not entertained the idea of a small scale enrober, simply because it seems as though it would take more time to setup and break down the machine than it would to have 2 people hand dip 1000pcs.
I haven't run across anyone near us with one in use to see in action.
Breakdown is a breeze, I have two tempering machines and one enrober. Switching the enrober from one tempering machine to the other is a 15-minute job, tops. If you only had one tempering machine, an extra kettle would make it almost as easy to switch.
As far as service, anyone with a little bit of mechanical skills can easily service one of these units. No complex parts here!
On average, we do 180 pieces/hour on this machine.
I have a Gami tempering and enrober I purchased second hand. I have loved both machines. The enrober (purchased new) is super simple to set up and use, but takes a good deal of time to clean. My only complaint on this enrober is the wax paper feed. There are times it works perfectly and others where it keeps feeding a little even though I have pulled the stops. Little frustrating when I'm on the other end of the belt and see candy dropping off the other end...
David, these are the things that worry me. I am semi-blind with this as I don't know enrobers and I have to imagine things that can be a problem. So your thoughts are really helpful. I do need something that is easy in all points including cleaning, set-up, no especially finicky bits such as you describe with the wax paper feed. And as there will be no-one to show me (although maybe I can find a set-up near me with a friendly owner) I'll needto be able to "get it" reasonably quickly.
Just Continuing to my other reply that was cut off.
Hi Colin, i have an enrobing belt that runs with a Prefamac, and i must say that Andy is right. It takes time and put it together, and it take double the time to clean it!.
We have used once to try coating 2000 truffles in one shot and it was a disaster, we ended up doing it by hand...
Now we have ordered an FBM with dedicated enrobing belt: such belt, made by them, run in sync with the tempering machine, as all the other gadgets included (fan, cold/hot air blower, curtain etc..) on top of it it "warms up" so that the chocolate doesn't set on the wire belt and it can be taken a part to be washed in a dish washer! It runs out of the machine computer board so it should also be easy to use..
I will post more about it once the machine arrives.