Looking to purchase 65lb grinder/melanger

Jennifer Davis
@jennifer-davis
11/05/14 05:08:49PM
17 posts

I am looking to purchase a 65lb chocolate grinder/melanger. I would love to hear suggestions.

I currently have 3 small grinders. 2 Santha and 1 cocoatown. The Santha grinders have been a pain and we have had to rebuild them and make changes constantly so I am leery about purchasing one of theirs unless someone has had any other luck with them.

Would love your feedback and ideas.


updated by @jennifer-davis: 04/10/15 10:47:12AM
David Menkes
@david-menkes
01/29/15 02:19:48AM
32 posts

Have you heard about Bavahni's project? He's doing a 65lb and a 100lb "Premier" grinder.

James Hull
@james-hull
01/29/15 08:15:48AM
46 posts

i would be very interested in the larger premier grinders as i currently use 4x of the 2ltr tabletop ones, and have had no problems runnning chocolate for days at a time in them. Real work horses

Clay Gordon
@clay
01/29/15 01:09:48PM
1,616 posts

FBM introduced a new machine at SIGEP that I helped them design - the >> RUMBO <<.

The design is a hybrid of the Indian wet grinder and a traditional Lehmann melanger. The bowl and the base are fixed and the grinding stones turn. The grinding stones are direct-drive: no belts or chains, and the motor is variable-speed.

The base and the grinding stones are also made of real granite. The people who cut the stones for the RUMBO are the same people who cut the stones to repair actual Lehmann melangers. The grinding stones weigh 45kg each as well.

Perhaps more importantly, the RUMBO incorporates a forced hot air mechanism into the design. You can heat the stones and base before you start grinding so that the fat starts to liquefy more or less immediately. Furthermore, you can keep the air blowing while refining (or not) your choice.

Also, the machine unloads itself. There is an opening in the side of the machine and the scrapers push the chocolate out of this opening. No more tipping the bowl and having to reach in to scrape the chocolate out. The bowl is in two parts and is removable so you can reach the innards for cleaning.

Finally, it's price competitive with a fully-loaded CocoaTown 65. About 10% more. Rated batch capacity is 40 liters, but the bowl is 120L. The more chocolate you put in the machine the longer the processing time. We are looking at ~24 hours to grind/refine to the desired particle size, then transfer to a Kleego50 for conching (in under three hours).

If anyone is interested, please send me a private note and I will send you the catalog page.




--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
David Menkes
@david-menkes
01/29/15 01:31:23PM
32 posts

As an alternative, Indi is selling theirs for $4k shipped.

Erin@indichocolate.com

Potomac Chocolate
@ben-rasmussen
01/29/15 03:18:29PM
180 posts

@clay: not having to tip the melanger to empty it sounds very nice. :)


updated by @ben-rasmussen: 01/29/15 03:18:53PM
Clay Gordon
@clay
01/30/15 12:20:48PM
1,616 posts

Potomac Chocolate:
@clay: not having to tip the melanger to empty it sounds very nice. :)

Ben -

Just one of the little things we took a careful look at as we were designing the machine. The fact that bowl comes apart in two pieces so that you can remove it completely is unique. While we wanted it to be efficient (i.e., get to particle size fast) that was not the only aspect of usability that concerned us.




--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
ben-picton
@ben-picton
02/12/16 12:26:45PM
1 posts

@clay or anyone else with a Rumbo... I'm very interested in the Rumbo. Your description above helps but I'm curious if the drain valve is flush with the inside bottom of the melanger or if there a lip? If I could find a picture of the inside of the Rumbo that would help a lot! Depending on what flavors or even milk chocolate we make we'll need to clean it thoroughly. Thanks!

Powell and Jones
@powell-and-jones
02/12/16 06:04:47PM
30 posts

Clay Gordon: FBM introduced a new machine at SIGEP that I helped them design - the >> RUMBO <<.

The design is a hybrid of the Indian wet grinder and a traditional Lehmann melanger. The bowl and the base are fixed and the grinding stones turn. The grinding stones are direct-drive: no belts or chains, and the motor is variable-speed.

The base and the grinding stones are also made of real granite. The people who cut the stones for the RUMBO are the same people who cut the stones to repair actual Lehmann melangers. The grinding stones weigh 45kg each as well.

Perhaps more importantly, the RUMBO incorporates a forced hot air mechanism into the design. You can heat the stones and base before you start grinding so that the fat starts to liquefy more or less immediately. Furthermore, you can keep the air blowing while refining (or not) your choice.

Also, the machine unloads itself. There is an opening in the side of the machine and the scrapers push the chocolate out of this opening. No more tipping the bowl and having to reach in to scrape the chocolate out. The bowl is in two parts and is removable so you can reach the innards for cleaning.

Finally, it's price competitive with a fully-loaded CocoaTown 65. About 10% more. Rated batch capacity is 40 liters, but the bowl is 120L. The more chocolate you put in the machine the longer the processing time. We are looking at ~24 hours to grind/refine to the desired particle size, then transfer to a Kleego50 for conching (in under three hours).

If anyone is interested, please send me a private note and I will send you the catalog page.

Hi Clay,  That's one heavy looking beast, should last a long time!   

Please tell me more about the Kleego 50 / 100,  I got some info and brochures recently from Tom at TCF.    Installed units Stateside currently?

Private note if you prefer.  

Thanks   Mark

Clay Gordon
@clay
02/29/16 05:18:59PM
1,616 posts

Mark -

Sorry for the delay replying. I saw this when you posted it (on my phone) and just found it again.

There are Kleegos at French Broad (2) and Starchild, among others.

The Kleego was designed to take the output of a melangeur and it functions as a real conche. Indian wet mill grinders do not conche effectively or efficienty - there is no control over temperature, no control over airfow, and the shear action is still grinding.

The shear in a Kleego is provided by counter-rotating stirrers. The top stirrer is fixed speed and the speef of the bottom stirrer is adjustable. The working bowl is wrapped with electrical resistance wire and the temp can be adjusted to 60C+. The built–in fan blows something like 100m3 of air/hour, and the temperature is adjustable from ambient up to ~70C. There is a pump that continously circulates the chocolate.

The action of the stirrers beating the chocolate against each other provides the shearing/beating action. 

What we've found is that the Kleego can conche many chocolates flat in about 2 hours running it hot. This is not the way people use it, obviously, but what it does give you is headroom. If you can conche a chocolate in two hours (as opposed to two days) you can afford to experiment and create conching profiles. Many people get it hot quickly and run it hot until the acetic acid disappears and then lower the temperatures of the bowl and the air. You can reduce them all the way to ambient and just concentrate on texture development or you can warm things up and play with flavor development. 

The great thing is that you have the headroom (in engineering terms) to test. Sometimes people do over-conche, but what they do then is blend small amounts back into other batches. This blending can be done to even tastes out (consistency), but also to create flavors that could not be acheived conventionally.

The RUMBO is a beast - real granite base and stones! - and FBM improves the mechanism to increase efficiency. The newest version has two mechanism for adjusting pressure - one on the drive shaft and one on the axle of each wheel. While the stones weigh on the order of 50kg ea, I was told that the force exerted by the stones exceeds 300kg. There is no easy way to lift the stones and run it loose - that's what the Kleego is for. The RUMBO, even though hot air is built-in, is also not designed as a conche. The hot air is there to warm the stones and to help liquefy the fat in the nibs. Another area of improvement is the scrapers - the RUMBO empties itself, the mechanism doesn't tilt. Also, the bowl does not turn, which eliminates a potential safety hazard.




--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
Powell and Jones
@powell-and-jones
02/29/16 06:27:04PM
30 posts

Hello Clay,

Thanks for the useful info and insights,  sounds like I'll be ordering a 50L Kleego to try out.  I've already decided to move away from stone grinding for production,  I would have to agree with all of the limitations you mention for the smaller grinders. Yes, the revolving drum driven by a powerful 1- 1.5hp motor in the larger versions is a potential OSHA /Liability issue to my mind too.

With a Kleego I will be able to use a data logging system to profile the conching process, another useful feature of this particular set up.  I don't have an option for a larger Conche 100L - 250L set up yet until we move downstairs, but the faster throughput of the Kleego will work for us presently.... I'll keep you posted....

Cheers   Mark

Erin
@erin
05/31/16 10:58:10PM
31 posts

Hi Jennifer (thanks David), full disclosure, I sell the Diamond Custom Machines Commercial Refiner in both 70 and 100 lb capacity.  I would be more than happy to answer any questions you have.

You can PM me here but may have a quicker response if you send an email to info@indichocolate.com (no spam please).

Thanks,

Erin

Humboldt Chocolate
@humboldt-chocolate
09/02/16 01:21:54AM
2 posts

Does anyone with a Rumbo have a processing time for running a full bowl?...opposed to the 40kg recommended batch.

chefpatissier
@chefpatissier
01/08/17 07:11:38AM
7 posts

Hello All.  
Was wondering if anyone had used the Rumbo also as a conche?  Obviously not ideal but curious about the possibilities.

Potomac Chocolate
@ben-rasmussen
01/10/17 11:45:11PM
180 posts

Hello,

Since the Rumbo shares the main overall design ideas with all other melangers (stones spinning on a stone base), I'm sure it can be used to conche as well as any other melanger (maybe even a little better, due to some of the changes like the off-center stones). Also, my guess is that some, if not most of the makers using it are using it to both refine and conche, although a separate conche will work significantly better. Melangers are just not particularly good at conching, which is why you have to run them for days and days to achieve some of the effects of a real conche.

As a melanger, I think the Rumbo looks like one of the best out there. Having the wheels turn, rather than the bowl, seems like a great idea, and the drainage spout for emptying is genius.

-Ben

chefpatissier
@chefpatissier
01/12/17 10:48:34AM
7 posts

Potomac Chocolate:

Hello,

Since the Rumbo shares the main overall design ideas with all other melangers (stones spinning on a stone base), I'm sure it can be used to conche as well as any other melanger (maybe even a little better, due to some of the changes like the off-center stones). Also, my guess is that some, if not most of the makers using it are using it to both refine and conche, although a separate conche will work significantly better. Melangers are just not particularly good at conching, which is why you have to run them for days and days to achieve some of the effects of a real conche.

As a melanger, I think the Rumbo looks like one of the best out there. Having the wheels turn, rather than the bowl, seems like a great idea, and the drainage spout for emptying is genius.

-Ben

Great feedback.  Thanks Ben

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