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First chocolate tempering machine recommendations


Jade S
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Hi all,

Just joined after finding these forums while searching for chocolate tempering machines. My sister and I run a very small side chocolate business (she's a chef at a longterm care/retirement home) to make a little extra money around the holidays, but we are hoping to expand to year round. We're located in Whitby just outside of Toronto Ontario Canada. We are looking to purchase a tempering machine to increase our production and make things a little easier on us (currently we use a bowl and a Bain Marie (not the safest for me) and temper using the seeding method). We went through 100 kg of chocolate last year which was the most for us we usually only use about 60 kg or so. We only use Lindt couverture. I'm in charge of the research so what do you recommend? I've been looking at Chocovision Revolation V, EZTemper, and the TF20 with molding wheel from Design & Realisation.

I should mention that I'm totally blind so the easier the controls are the better. I like the fact that both the EZtemper and the TF20 are both made here in Canada that makes things easier when it comes to maintenance and repairs. My sister just bought a Mini MeltinChoc from DR for the tiny quantity of dark and white we do. What are everyone's thoughts?

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if you're looking at an EZtemper, you could just get that and melting tanks. The EZtemper will take care of your tempering and you won't need a machine for it.

 

if you don't mind me asking, what's the reason behind only lindt? Prefer the taste? Price / availability? IMHO there's a lot of better couverture than lindt out there, but if it meets your needs then no worries :D

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I don't own an EZtemper, but I'm certain if you got one Kerry would look after you.  And as I recall she offers an eGullet member discount.  Be careful though -- Kerry has a thing for blimps.  For what miniscule chocolate work I've done I've used an anova circulator and a KitchenAid Precise Heat Mixing Bowl (for which I can also blame Kerry).  Kerry is dangerous.

 

With regard to Lindt, for couverture I have come to prefer Felchlin.  I warn you, members of eGullet are enablers.  However I must reference a conversation I had with the representative a customer some years ago when I was in the camera business.

 

Our customer was a family owned Swiss company.  The representative was an Italian American German working in Switzerland.  That is his father was an Italian American GI and his mother was a German post war bride.  I live next to a cosmopolitan small town where is a well known university and a Lindt store.

 

I took my guest to dinner and he was surprised that the next table were speaking Italian.  Afterwards we walked by the Lindt store, which by that hour was closed.  I asked if Lindt exported their good stuff to the US?  He replied Lindt doesn't even export their good stuff to Germany.

 

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Although I have long given up on the idea of becoming a chocolatier, I do use Lindt almost exclusively now in my chocolate work.  It's so easy to get in Ontario.   (Not where I live, alas.)  Friends who live in Mississauga pick it up for me regularly and another friend who travels the 401 picks it up in Ajax which is very close to Whitby.  

 

A local bulk food store carries Belcolade and I'd use that if my friends were unable to help me. 

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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@Jade S welcome to eGullet and particularly the chocolate forums - sounds like you'll find a place also in the grill forums as well.

 

If you do decide on an EZtemper - shoot me an e-mail - pricing is a bit different in CDN dollars because I can receive payment via e-transfer. 

 

I can't imagine how challenging working with chocolate would be when you are blind - hard enough sighted!

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Welcome and congrats on your growing side business.  I think an EZ Temper and a melter or two would probably suffice for the next few years.

 

Things to consider - How much chocolate do you usually temper at once?  Do you primarily use molds and need room to dump chocolate back in?  How much of that 100 kg last year was tempered? If you're making 100 kg of solid bars you might want something different than if you're making non-tempered ganache centers with 75 kg and tempering & dipping into the other 25.  Are the moving parts of the molding wheel of concern, or would your sister be operating that? 

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13 hours ago, keychris said:

if you're looking at an EZtemper, you could just get that and melting tanks. The EZtemper will take care of your tempering and you won't need a machine for it.

 

if you don't mind me asking, what's the reason behind only lindt? Prefer the taste? Price / availability? IMHO there's a lot of better couverture than lindt out there, but if it meets your needs then no worries :D

We use Lindt exclusively for a couple of reasons. First, we have built up a rapport with one of the managers at the Scarborough Lindt store so the price is right. Second most of our customers don't appreciate the different types of chocolate out there like you and I do, but they relate to Lindt.

I would be curious to know what some of your favourites are though because I like to try new chocolate any chance I get.

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1 hour ago, pastrygirl said:

Welcome and congrats on your growing side business.  I think an EZ Temper and a melter or two would probably suffice for the next few years.

 

Things to consider - How much chocolate do you usually temper at once?  Do you primarily use molds and need room to dump chocolate back in?  How much of that 100 kg last year was tempered? If you're making 100 kg of solid bars you might want something different than if you're making non-tempered ganache centers with 75 kg and tempering & dipping into the other 25.  Are the moving parts of the molding wheel of concern, or would your sister be operating that? 

Thanks and I would say that 80-90% of that 100 kg used last year was tempered and the rest was for ganaches. We don't make our own truffle shells but we do dip them and make the centre's. We literally could only temper 16 oz of chocolate at a time because any more would go out of temper before my sister could do her work. Plus, my arms could only handle a few sessions a night LOL. My job will be to load the machine and keep an eye on the temperature (if I can find a talking accurate candy or infrared thermometer and turn on the wheel at the appropriate time and adding seed (she will handle filling of the molds and such).

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sounds like your process is make ganache, fill pre-made truffle shells, dip or otherwise coat & finish the filled shells by hand?

 

If I was dipping into a wheel temperer I'd be worried that dropped pieces would get sucked under by the movement of the chocolate.  In a melter without a wheel, at least things are holding still.  But I don't do any hand-dipping, not an expert there. 

 

If you get the EZ Temper, you can also add silk to your ganaches so they crystallize more quickly. 

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Well, my sister really likes the TF20 after watching some videos of similar machines so much so that she has asked me to order it. Has anyone used one or have used something similar?

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Welcome Jade.

 

I use melters and the EZTemper. As much as I love that setup for my work I would recommend the Chocovision Revolation machine that you mentioned in your original post. It will keep the bowl of chocolate tempered and it has beeps to notify you when to put in seed, take out seed, etc. Hopefully @Jim D. will see your post and share some info, he uses the Chocovision tempering machines.

 

Good luck to you and your sister with your chocolate business. 

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Yes, I use the Chocovision Delta (they have several models handling various quantities of chocolate).  As it appears you will be dipping chocolates rather than making shells, the motion of whatever machine you have does make a difference (as pastrygirl pointed out).  The Chocovision machines are in constant motion, which does not make dipping especially difficult but does require some skill (they do have a feature that stops rotation for 90 seconds).  The advantage is that they keep the chocolate in temper quite well (of course there is always the issue of overtempering, but that applies to whatever device you use).  In the abstract, I would think a melter provides the best "environment" for dipping as there is no motion, but for me one issue with melters is that they require attention to the current state of the chocolate at all times.  And they do require a larger amount of melted chocolate in the container so as to have the required depth for dipping; with the Chocovision machines, of course chocolate depth is still required, but the shape of the bowl by its very nature provides more with less chocolate.

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@Jim D. does the Chocovision Delta provide audible cues/beeps for using the machine (add seed, remove seed, chocolate in temper)? Jade is blind and is currently tempering using the double boiler method. 

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@Jim D Is the Delta hard to clean? One of the concerns my sister had when watching the videos from ChocoVision was the temperature probe inside the baffle. It appears that if you damage the probe at all the machine is rendered useless.

I like the fact that these machines have builtin beeps to let you know what's going on, but I really wish they had tactile or raised buttons. I also can't get a hold of the distributor that's closest to me to find out pricing and such which is very frustrating. Maybe I can call ChocoVision directly.

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18 hours ago, Jade S said:

Well, my sister really likes the TF20 after watching some videos of similar machines so much so that she has asked me to order it. Has anyone used one or have used something similar?

 

I've used a different wheel machine briefly at a side gig.  The constant motion can over-crystallize the chocolate quickly and make it thicken and build up on the wheel, requiring attention.  But in truth there's always going to be some babysitting.  We were molding with it and it didn't have a ton of room to dump the molds back in, but that is not a problem with the TF 20, as the full hotel pan size gives plenty of room.   Finally, I may be the only person in the world with this quirk and it won't apply to you, but I found the vertical spinning visually distracting.  Spinning on a horizontal plane like a kitchen aid doesn't bother me but vertical does 🤷‍♀️ 

 

Perhaps more importantly, understand that the TF 20 is not a continuous or automatic tempering machine, it is really just a melter.  Adding the molding wheel will stir the chocolate for you but you still have to seed, adjust temperature and test the chocolate for temper.  It really is only meant to create a fountain to pour chocolate into molds which saves time over ladling if you're molding, but you're not. 

 

Looking at the website photos again, I realize that I have a TF 20 without a wheel, I picked it up used for an absolute steal.   The heating element on the bottom is exposed and there is no insulation in the machine.  The 24 kg Mol d' art is sleeker, insulated, and easier to remove the chocolate pan from so I prefer that and only use the TF 20 as a back-up.  I started out with one 6 kg melter, then upgraded to a 24 kg melter & EZ temper, recently got a Selmi, at the moment all of those plus the TF 20 have different chocolates for different projects in them.  It's a slippery slope 😂

Edited by pastrygirl (log)
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4 hours ago, curls said:

@Jim D. does the Chocovision Delta provide audible cues/beeps for using the machine (add seed, remove seed, chocolate in temper)? Jade is blind and is currently tempering using the double boiler method. 

 

Yes, it does have those beeps, and the temps are adjustable.

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3 hours ago, Jade S said:

@Jim D Is the Delta hard to clean? One of the concerns my sister had when watching the videos from ChocoVision was the temperature probe inside the baffle. It appears that if you damage the probe at all the machine is rendered useless.

I like the fact that these machines have builtin beeps to let you know what's going on, but I really wish they had tactile or raised buttons. I also can't get a hold of the distributor that's closest to me to find out pricing and such which is very frustrating. Maybe I can call ChocoVision directly.

 

The baffle of the Chocovision machines (the large part that separates the bowl into two sections and holds the chocolate in the larger section so that it creates a pool--which is key for your purposes) is moderately difficult to clean.  The crevice that holds the plastic scraper and the all-important thermostat requires some attention.  Chocolate builds up in that crevice and requires some heat and effort to get it clean, but a brush comes with the device.  Chocovision warns against using too much heat and soaking the baffle, but as long as the hot water is not above around 120F/49C (a temp which chocolate might reach when it is being melted), there is no danger to the thermostat.  It is not particularly delicate.  I dislike cleaning chocolate from anything (I have to be careful about chocolate going down the drain--I work in my home kitchen), but I can get a baffle with a lot of chocolate remaining on it clean in maybe five minutes.  First I use paper towels to remove any leftover chocolate, then use the provided brush and a soapy sponge.

 

The beeps are easy to follow--the first one occurs when the chocolate has reached its top temp (that beep tells you to add the seed), then again when it is time to remove the seed, then when the chocolate is in temper.  All are programmable as far as temp goes.  I strongly recommend premelting the chocolate.  I put mine in a dehydrator overnight so that it is ready (at around 115F/46C) in the morning.  That way I don't have to wait the long time it takes the chocolate to melt in the machine.  So I pour in the melted chocolate, and since the machine is factory-set to melt to 108F/42C, it will beep immediately.  Then I add some seed (a block is better than callets), wait for the machine to beep when it gets down to 90F/32C, take out the seed, wait for it to beep again when the chocolate is in temper (the machine comes with temps set but those are adjustable).  When overtempering happens, you can raise the temp a degree or so and/or add some untempered chocolate to the rear portion of the bowl.

 

I saw today that the Delta machines are out of stock at Chocovision; U.S. Amazon has one in stock, but at a higher price than Chocovision itself.  Chocolatetemperingmachines.com has the Delta for US $2375 (same as Chocovision's price--the site offers free shipping but unfortunately only within the U.S.).   The machines are currently on back-order on that site but are supposed to ship November 11.  As I wrote previously, there are other models that holds less or more chocolate than the Delta.  My solution to quantity is to put as much as will fit in the bowl at the beginning, then keep some melted but untempered chocolate nearby and add it as needed.  The machine's thermostat is very accurate and adjusts to small heat changes within a minute or so.

 

As you may be able to tell, I am a fan of the Delta, but, like everything in the chocolate world, it has its limitations and issues.   I especially like that it is automated, and I can do other things while it is "doing its thing."  Let me know if you have more questions.  I've being using it for 7 years.

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7 hours ago, pastrygirl said:

 

I've used a different wheel machine briefly at a side gig.  The constant motion can over-crystallize the chocolate quickly and make it thicken and build up on the wheel, requiring attention.  But in truth there's always going to be some babysitting.  We were molding with it and it didn't have a ton of room to dump the molds back in, but that is not a problem with the TF 20, as the full hotel pan size gives plenty of room.   Finally, I may be the only person in the world with this quirk and it won't apply to you, but I found the vertical spinning visually distracting.  Spinning on a horizontal plane like a kitchen aid doesn't bother me but vertical does 🤷‍♀️ 

 

Perhaps more importantly, understand that the TF 20 is not a continuous or automatic tempering machine, it is really just a melter.  Adding the molding wheel will stir the chocolate for you but you still have to seed, adjust temperature and test the chocolate for temper.  It really is only meant to create a fountain to pour chocolate into molds which saves time over ladling if you're molding, but you're not. 

 

Looking at the website photos again, I realize that I have a TF 20 without a wheel, I picked it up used for an absolute steal.   The heating element on the bottom is exposed and there is no insulation in the machine.  The 24 kg Mol d' art is sleeker, insulated, and easier to remove the chocolate pan from so I prefer that and only use the TF 20 as a back-up.  I started out with one 6 kg melter, then upgraded to a 24 kg melter & EZ temper, recently got a Selmi, at the moment all of those plus the TF 20 have different chocolates for different projects in them.  It's a slippery slope 😂

Actually, molding makes up most of our chocolate work whether it's bars, spoons, or hot chocolate bombs (using the sphere molds). I'm definitely use to monitoring temperature and seeding. If I didn't make that clear I apologize.

How does the EZtemper work? Does it handle the seeding method with couverture? I know it's all about tempering with coco butter but both of us don't use that method.

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Well, a decision has been made. We ended up going with the TF20 with the molding wheel. I know it will be a steep learning curve but I'm confident we will figure it out.

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Hi all,

I could really use everyone's help here. I said above that we went with the TF20 from D&R. Well, that fell through in a big way. They emailed today explaining that the wheel wasn't in stock and won't be back in until the end of November. The whole point of us getting it was the speed of getting it delivered (they promised delivery this week). We want to start making our chocolate for the holiday season at the beginning of November and be done by early to mid December. We had to cancel the order because we were afraid that we wouldn't have gotten the wheel within the time frame promised. Plus, I think both of us would have struggled to keep 20 kg of chocolate in temper manually.

My question is what should we do now? The other reason we chose it was to take some of the strain off of me because I manually stir the melted chocolate to cool it down to its working temperature. We use the seeding method and use Lindt's version of Callets called piccolis.

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48 minutes ago, Jade S said:

Hi all,

I could really use everyone's help here. I said above that we went with the TF20 from D&R. Well, that fell through in a big way. They emailed today explaining that the wheel wasn't in stock and won't be back in until the end of November. The whole point of us getting it was the speed of getting it delivered (they promised delivery this week). We want to start making our chocolate for the holiday season at the beginning of November and be done by early to mid December. We had to cancel the order because we were afraid that we wouldn't have gotten the wheel within the time frame promised. Plus, I think both of us would have struggled to keep 20 kg of chocolate in temper manually.

My question is what should we do now? The other reason we chose it was to take some of the strain off of me because I manually stir the melted chocolate to cool it down to its working temperature. We use the seeding method and use Lindt's version of Callets called piccolis.

If you decide to go with the EZtemper - you don't need to take the chocolate all the way up to 50 and stir it back down, essentially get it melted at around 35, then let drop to 33.5 and add 1% silk from the EZtemper and it's ready to go. You could hold your chocolate at 34 in a melter and move as much as you need to a large bowl - add silk, stir - pour your molds. 6 or 7 seconds in the microwave if you need to reheat the chocolate in the bowl. When you are ready to mold the next batch - move over another 1 or 2 kg of chocolate and add the silk. 

 

How many kg are you working with in a day?

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How many kg are you working with in a day?

We go through about 10 kgs a day.

My sister wants to purchase an EZtemper. She wants to learn new things plus, she's excited about being able to make meltaways and such to add to our offerings.

What's everyone's opinion on melters? Her thinking now is exactly what someone posted earlier get the EZtemper and melter for now and maybe save up for a bigger option down the road. We did purchase a Martellato Mini MeltinChoc for white and dark chocolate because we don't use but a couple of kgs of each (milk is our main seller).

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We go through about 10 kgs a day.

My sister wants to purchase an EZtemper. She wants to learn new things plus, she's excited about being able to make meltaways and such to add to our offerings.

What's everyone's opinion on melters? Her thinking now is exactly what someone posted earlier get the EZtemper and melter for now and maybe save up for a bigger option down the road. We did purchase a Martellato Mini MeltinChoc for white and dark chocolate because we don't use but a couple of kgs of each (milk is our main seller).

The 9 liter Meltinchoc would probably work - again I'd suggest not to temper in it - just use it as a melter. If it's like the Mini meltinchoc - it melts faster than the Mold'arts do. 

Edited by Kerry Beal (log)
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