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Chocolate Tempering Machines

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I owned an ACMC up until a couple months ago. Are you going for it once it hits the holding temp or are you taking a temper check and still getting bloom? My experience with the machine is once it hits holding temp it needs about 10 more minutes before it is in good temper. Also mine read about 3 degrees off. I had to keep my machine at 93 to get good temper. Hope this helps:)

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I too have to have mine a few degrees warmer to keep in temper-Although-the one I have is the one JenBunk owned :)


Edited by Milangal (log)

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I owned an ACMC up until a couple months ago. Are you going for it once it hits the holding temp or are you taking a temper check and still getting bloom? My experience with the machine is once it hits holding temp it needs about 10 more minutes before it is in good temper. Also mine read about 3 degrees off. I had to keep my machine at 93 to get good temper. Hope this helps:)

I owned an ACMC up until a couple months ago. Are you going for it once it hits the holding temp or are you taking a temper check and still getting bloom? My experience with the machine is once it hits holding temp it needs about 10 more minutes before it is in good temper. Also mine read about 3 degrees off. I had to keep my machine at 93 to get good temper. Hope this helps:)
I too have to have mine a few degrees warmer to keep in temper-Although-the one I have is the one JenBunk owned :)

oh which means, i should not rely on the temperature shown on the machine to get a good temper?? i set mine at 89.. when i first try out the machine, i do a temper check and keep getting a bloom.. now i have another question... does this mean that i need to set all my temperature for melting higher and the temperature for cooling slightly lower too???

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Yeah, I would say you shouldn't rely on the machine temperature reading and only use it as a guide. I sold my machine to Milangal (above) a few months ago and now I use a melting tray. I don't use a thermometer at all, just look and feel and lots of temper checks.

With my machine I would bring it up to 118 and keep it there until I was sure all the chocolate was melted. Then I set it to 93 and added seed. I kept the seed in until I got a good temper, then I removed it. Like I said above, It would usually need about 10 more minutes after the machine read 93 before it was in good temper. I know every machine is different so yours may not be that off. How I noticed my machine temp was off when I was setting my temp to 89-90 my chocolate would start to get over crystallized and be super thick after only 20 min.

I would recommend tempering like you normally do and then once it reaches your holding temp just wait 10 or 15 minutes and do a temper check. If you are still getting bloom, adjust your temp one degree at a time until you find your sweet spot:)

I am no expert, just my experience with the machine. I hope this helps!

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I was taught to never rely on temperature - rely on the test.

If you're getting streaky, but no bloom - that's not enough crystals, it needs more stirring.

If you're getting bloom, the temperature of your chocolate is either too high or too low.

it's all about practice though - once you know what to set the bowl at and what the chocolate feels like when it's in temper, you'll wonder what all the fuss was about! :)

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I have a ACMC and have used it successfully for years. I upgraded to A JKV and only use the ACMC sparingly now. Don't forget that as lightbulbs age they lose their heating ability, so I only use the thermometer as a guide and always check and verify.

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thank you so much for all the advices. i almost gave up on the machine sometime after. and the funny thing is that i am still relying on hand tempering for my products now.

anyway, does anyone here uses ladle to deposit chocolate to their mold?? does it help to deposit the chocolate faster? will it affect the temperature?? i have all along been using a plastic ladle.. just wondering if this is one of the reason why i still cant achieve a perfect temper till date?

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I use a ladle sometimes. I fill and empty it a couple of times to be sure it is the right temperature before I fill the molds. I have been using a plastic funnel and stopper lately. I like it. It has been neater than a ladle.

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I feel for you Coreen, there is nothing worse as a chocolatier when the temper tantrums start for no good reason. Happens to us all...

Look also at room temperature and humidity. Humidity is often underlooked. For moulds if you are using decent dark chocolate it shouldn't be going out of temper if the chocolate is between 29degC-34degC really. If it tempers WELL and correctly initially, it can go 1-2deg below and above optimum without losing temp and giving bloom. But not above 34oC (sorry, metric here! whatever than is in F).

I would also look into how you seed - I know nothing of these machines as do most by hand but for dipping slabbed ganaches I sometimes use my chocovision just as easier to dip. However if the temp is off and you remove seed too early (i.e. you think it has gone below 34 but it hasn't) then it won't be in temper.

Personally though the easiest method I find is cocoa butter seeding. So simple and straightforward - never have a problem with this method (although sometimes avoid if chocolate is already quite fluid).

For ladle if you are concerned about affecting the temp (it shouldn't) you can always heat gun/hair dryer your ladle first and use an infa-red thermometer (or hand test) to see that it is not too hot - aim for hair drying to just below the temp of the chocolate. Obviously if you go too high (>34degC) you will untemper your chocolate.

TCD

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Hi everybody,

I am finally coming back with good news. I have finally managed to obtain the sweetest spot for all 3 chocolates.

Actually I have achieved that 2 weeks ago, however am not confident enough to post just afraid that it will be an one off success.

Would like to share my findings & learnings with everyone whose using or intening to purchase a ACMC machine.

1) Do it with at least 500-700g of chocolates. Dont bother using the machine if you are doing lesser then that. The chocolates will be easily brunt and easily go lower then your cooling temperature. Fm my try out, I also dariling use 300-400g and the choco did not tempered well even thou i follow the exact temperature. And once, it got burn.

2) If your highest temp for melting is 45C, do not set it at 45C. The temp varies 1-2C fm what is set. So if you are to set it at 45C, it would go btw 44C to 46C (which will burn your choco). My sweet spot is 42C.

3) If your highest temp for cooling is 28C, set it at 28. The same thing, the temp varies 1-2C fm what is set. So if you are to set it at 27, it would go btw 26-28 (which is way below your cooling. My sweet spot is of cos, 28C. :)

4) As for working temp, you have to really play around with the temperature. partly bcos it also depends on the brand of choco you are using. increasing it by 0.1-0.5 each time. For my I caught it at the following; dark - 32, milk -31.5, white - 31.5. Remember, the temp varies 1-2C fm what is set.

5) Add your seeds in both the front & rear. Dont know if its just me, but I find that seeding in two ends speed things up.

As for ladle, I am using a plastic ladel. And i feel plastic ladel works best. Guess partly is bcos plastic doesnt get too cold or warm easily as compared to metal ones. :)

I hope my pointers will get to help for fellow chocolatiers who is facing with the same problem.

Dont give up, be patient and keep trying.

Much love,

Coreen

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For small batches of chocolate I use a Chocovision Revolation 2 tempering machine. I have been pleased with it, but am having one problem and am wondering if anybody else has experienced this. There is a feature by which, once the chocolate has reached the default tempering point (which for dark choc. is somewhere in the upper-80 F. range--I don't recall the exact figure right now), the user can press and hold down a button that will raise the temp. I do this to get my dark to 90 degrees so that it flows better. Once the user releases the button, however, the display is supposed to return to the actual temp. of the chocolate, and will then rise as the temp. gets to 90. What my machine does is to change the displayed temp. as I hold the button until 90 is shown (correct behavior), and then it stays at 90 (does not return to the actual temp.). This may seem a small matter, but it is impossible to tell the actual temp. of the chocolate without using a thermometer--which more or less defeats the purpose of an automatic tempering machine.

I have gotten a new control card for the machine, and that did not fix the problem. Then I got a new machine, and the same thing happens. It seems very unlikely that I just happened to get three bad control cards in a row, and Chocovision is at a loss as to what to do. So I am wondering if anyone else using this machine has noticed this behavior--or has noticed the machine operating correctly as far as raising the temp. goes. Thanks for any help.

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Did you talk with Ian? He is very helpful & has helped me out with issues.

Yes, he is the person I have been dealing with. I asked him if people at Chocovision had tried the machine recently (thinking it might be a "bad batch" of control cards since no other explanation makes any sense), and he said he himself had used the machine last weekend and the temperature feature worked. He concluded by asking, "What do you suggest we do?" I am non-plussed by the situation. I don't want to go through the hassle (and expense) of shipping another Rev 2 back to them, and certainly I can use the machine as it is, but if there is a feature, it ought to work. I guess if I owned the company, I would get my engineers to work on the issue (since obviously I have no motive to make this story up).

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What reliable, small temperers are on the market today? This would be for home use, so even a tiny capcity should be fine. We're in the EU, so European brands are definitely an option.

Thanks!

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The table-top temperers look about right, capacity-wise, and several reliable companies make these units, but are they reliable machines?

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I know I hear about a lot of the Revolation machines requiring repair. Fine if you are in NA but would be more challenging overseas. I suspect if you are prepared to manually temper that you might find a Mold'art 3 kg unit suitable.

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Thanks Kerry! Any idea whether melting as little as 500g/1lb would be feasible in these? I don't seen any mention of this in the specs (but I may have missed it).

The Mol d'Art units are described as 'melters', 'designed for the melting and tempering of smaller volumes of couverture', and now I'm a bit confused: What does a temperer need to have that a melter doesn't? Does this amount to anything more than finer and more accurate control of the melting temperature?

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Thanks Kerry! Any idea whether melting as little as 500g/1lb would be feasible in these? I don't seen any mention of this in the specs (but I may have missed it).

The Mol d'Art units are described as 'melters', 'designed for the melting and tempering of smaller volumes of couverture', and now I'm a bit confused: What does a temperer need to have that a melter doesn't? Does this amount to anything more than finer and more accurate control of the melting temperature?

I have the 6kg, which I don't bother with unless I am filling a lot of molds and need at least 2kg, usually 3 or 4. Looks like the 3kg is bowl shaped, so would be better for smaller amounts.

A temperer stirs the chocolate, a melter only melts it and holds it at your desired temp. With a melter you still have to hand temper, that is add seed chocolate and stir and check it for temper. Once your chocolate is where you want it, set the melter at the desired temp and it will keep it there while you're working with it. Good if you are hand-dipping or when you need the chocolate to stay workable for a while. If you're just going to temper 500g at a time and use it all for a bark, I wouldn't bother.

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I have the 6kg, which I don't bother with unless I am filling a lot of molds and need at least 2kg, usually 3 or 4. Looks like the 3kg is bowl shaped, so would be better for smaller amounts.

A temperer stirs the chocolate, a melter only melts it and holds it at your desired temp. With a melter you still have to hand temper, that is add seed chocolate and stir and check it for temper. Once your chocolate is where you want it, set the melter at the desired temp and it will keep it there while you're working with it. Good if you are hand-dipping or when you need the chocolate to stay workable for a while. If you're just going to temper 500g at a time and use it all for a bark, I wouldn't bother.

Thanks!

I'm fine with doing a lot of this by hand, but my boyfriend is experiencing a post-chocolate-workshop fever that is compounding his fondness for machinery in general. I'm trying to sort of contain the situation (I saw him gazing fondly at industrial size temperers online) by attempting to track down a reliable temperer (ideally) or melter (alternatively) with the smallest footprint and capacity available.

Would a melter be a decent choice for small batches of moulded chocolates, say a few dozen at a go?

The temperer (or melter) would be used primarily for making moulded chocolates, and although my boyfriend is an avid producer of chocolates, he doesn't eat that many, and virtually everyone I know is on a diet, which means either throwing away chocolates (kind of sad) or my taking up the slack (pleasant, but I'm short, and prefer to remain taller than I am wide), and I'm pretty sure that if the minimum a temperer would work with was 2kg, that's exactly how much would be put in, and I don't even want to think about how many chocolates that would yield.

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A few dozen pieces or a few dozen moulds? I love buying kitchen toys as much as anyone, but if you're only doing a few moulds at a time, I'd skip the melter/temperer, maybe rig up a heating pad if your kitchen is cold, and spend the money on a nice thermometer, more moulds, cool transfer sheets & colors, maybe an airbrush...

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What pastrygirl says - when I need smaller quantities I temper in an 8 cup pyrex measuring cup in the microwave. But I do understand the need for toys as well.

The thing I like about the melter vs the temperer is how quiet the melter is.


Edited by Kerry Beal (log)

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A few dozen pieces or a few dozen moulds? I love buying kitchen toys as much as anyone, but if you're only doing a few moulds at a time, I'd skip the melter/temperer, maybe rig up a heating pad if your kitchen is cold, and spend the money on a nice thermometer, more moulds, cool transfer sheets & colors, maybe an airbrush...

We're talking a few (okay, maybe several – the moulds are pretty large) dozen pieces. Maybe a hundred or so. i really should count the wells in the moulds.

I'm trying to convince my boyfriend that the Thermapen we already have, and a bain marie or microwave will really be fine, but that failing, I'm hoping to at least be able to suggest a decent unit, if there is simply no question of holding him back.

What pastrygirl says - when I need smaller quantities I temper in an 8 cup pyrex measuring cup in the microwave. But I do understand the need for toys as well.

The thing I like about the melter vs the temperer is how quiet the melter is.

My boyfriend likes quiet, that may be an useful selling point. The Mol d'Art melter looks fairly decent, and is the most reasonably priced option I've seen (although the nearly €100 shipping and handling seems kind of crazy).

Thre don't seem to be that many tabletop units out there; I keep seeing the same handful, regardless of how I search (I've done searches in Italian, German, and French, as well as English, to see whether those turn up anything extra), I'm wondering whether I'm missing something.

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I have two 6kg Mol d'Art melters and a 3kg round bowl. I use the 6kg regularly, simply because I can turn a whole mould upside down to empty the chocolate out - with the 3kg bowl, I can only do half-moulds at a time. It takes me no longer to temper 4kg by tabling than 2kg by seeding - in fact, I'd probably go so far as saying tabling is faster than seeding. But if you haven't got a big chunk of stone to work on, that option might not be available.

When I started out, I used a thermapen and bowl-in-microwave and achieved exactly the same results - the biggest advantage now is I can hold the chocolate at working temperature as long as I need it :)

I'm pretty sure that if the minimum a temperer would work with was 2kg, that's exactly how much would be put in, and I don't even want to think about how many chocolates that would yield.

The beautiful thing is that you can just spread it out on some silicon paper when you're finished and leave it to set and just remelt next time! (I'm sure you already knew this though ;))

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