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From All Hand Work to some Mechanization


xxchef
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I'm a seasonal candy maker, part by choice and part by necessity. Our candy season runs from October through the winter holidays (usually New Years). 2011 was a phenominal year for us, demolishing all previous years' sales records. We're a 2-person operation and I was hand dipping up to 1000 pieces and going through as much as 50 lbs of chocolate a day using only a small microwave and a 4 lb temperer. It was too crazy.

Naturally, my mind turned periodically to some of the nice melters, temperers and enrobers that I've seen and have been discussed elswhere on EG. I've got a pretty good handle on my needs and budget and am hoping to make a first stab in the mechanized direction with a small temperer/enrober. My figures indicate that it should only have a 1-year (3-month, actually) payoff at current production levels (which I certainly expect to increase!), costs and prices.

Sounds like a slam-dunk but still I hesitate.

What am I not thinking of?

The Big Cheese

BlackMesaRanch.com

My Blog: "The Kitchen Chronicles"

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I started off with a 8 lb melter and a cruddy chocovision table top jobbie.

The following year I got a 25 lb melter, which I used exclusively for dark. Milk went in the 8 lb, white in the chocovision.

In October I got another 25 lb melter. I split this one 50/50 for milk and white. The 8 lb melter, melted. Gawd what a stench.

By April I got a wheel for one of the 25lb melters. Right after got it,my table-top made in Korea vibrator went. Got a new,larger,and quiter vibrator. Had to pay freight charges all over again. I can pop the wheel into the milk melter, but have to clean the whole thing before going from milk to dark

The following Ocotober I got a new 8lb melter, exclusively for white.

Build your equipment gradually, in accordance with your orders

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I am also a 2 person operation-mosting a one and a half person:-) I started with an 80# Hilliard that I had used for hand-dipping for years. When I switched to molding and fork dipping, it wasn't as useful. Was lucky enough to snag 3 Savage 50# tempering melters. I put away the Hilliard. I still had the issue of fork dipping all those pieces. It was the bottleneck of the operation. I took the plunge and got a Perfect wheel enrober. I thought I was crazy as it was a $12,000 investment and I had never seen one before. It paid for itself in the first year. I could never have done the volume without an enrober and it was the most economical one I could find. It is far from perfect but it is much better than fork dipping! I have said many times..I don't know what I would do without it. There are also times that I want to do harm to it:-) Take the leap of faith and go for it. Business will only improve.

Ruth Kendrick

Chocolot
Artisan Chocolates and Toffees
www.chocolot.com

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Ive seen that there are a lot of people here on the forum(s) that do chocolate really really well. Ive only done fudge a long time ago (smooth, not grainy :raz: )

would one pointout, or start a chocolate mechanics thread? Id like to learn about it but wont be doing it.

Melters? Wheelers? vibrating tables?

many thanks!

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