Santha Melangeurs

Sirius Chocolate
@sirius-chocolate
05/16/11 12:52:56PM
10 posts

Greetings Fellow Chocophiles,

I have recently begun the process of purchasing a Spectra 40 Stone Melanger - http://www.santhausa.com/Spectra%2040%20Melanger%20Speed%20Controller.htm

Is there anybody out there on the Chocolate Life who has experience using this equipment, or who knows anyone who has?

I am receiving an extremely low level of customer service, and the warranty is very limited on the product, as well as there being no facility in the United States (where I am) to service the melangeur in the event of mechanical problems. On top of this, I have been told I will have to wait several months for the Spectra 40 to ship directly from the manufacturer in India.

With an investment of this nature, my business simply cannot afford for this type of equipment to be anything other than top-notch for many years to come, if not decades. Any advice or information regarding the Spectra 40 Melanger specifically, or Santha in general, is greatly appreciated.

.:SiriuS:.


updated by @sirius-chocolate: 04/24/17 03:27:45PM
Brad Churchill
@brad-churchill
05/16/11 02:05:48PM
527 posts

When I first started making chocolate in my home in 2005, I used a small version of the Santha, and pretty much destroyed it. The end result was a complete rebuild with a more powerful motor, fibreglass belts, and numerous changes to the bin where the nibs are ground.

I know there are artisan chocolatiers out there who are using the machines you refer to, but given their design and original intended design (not to grind cocoa beans, but rather grind soft beans into pastes for East Indian food), they will all inevitably fail. In the end, the question is: How handy are you? I guarantee you will be replacing belts, and having to add some type of heating mechanism to the machine to keep the chocolate warm enough to stay liquid.

I don't want to discourage you from starting your own venture. It's fun, and exciting, and rewarding, and scary all at the same time. And... Like I said, there are micro chocolatiers out there who are using modified versions of this machine. I'm just trying to tell you from experience what to expect from it going in!

Cheers and best wishes.

Brad

Ernesto Bugarin Pantua Jr.
@ernesto-bugarin-pantua-jr
05/18/11 10:08:02AM
24 posts

Yes the machine is not reliable I have 3 of them (sigh)

Ernesto

Sirius Chocolate
@sirius-chocolate
05/19/11 02:04:51PM
10 posts

Yeah, I just canceled my order after a week of them not answering the phone or responding to my messages. Do you recommend any other Melangers?

Im really dissappointed because I was excited about the 40L volume and the variable speed control. Alas, I should have known it was too good to be true...

The only other models I can find on the internet are the Cocoa Town melangers ( http://www.cocoatown.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=48&Itemid=55 ) and the Ultra Melangers on Chocolate Alchemy ( http://shop.chocolatealchemy.com/collections/equipment ). But neither really have the throughput Im looking for.

Potomac Chocolate
@ben-rasmussen
05/20/11 08:24:26AM
191 posts

You may want to look at CocoaTown's line of larger melangers that they call grindeurs. The come in 30, 40 and 65lb versions.

http://cocoatown.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&...

Sirius Chocolate
@sirius-chocolate
05/21/11 03:23:00AM
10 posts

Thanks!

I didnt even look into those because on first glance they appeared to be only for milling powder. If nothing else that expands my options - who wouldnt want "The Rolls Royce of Grindeurs"...

Robert Frederick  Rankin
@robert-frederick-rankin
05/22/11 07:56:55PM
7 posts
I've got a Santha 20 which I've been using for 6 months and been quite happy with it. The only problem was that the cap over the tension nut does not fit well and we had to put in plastic straps to hold it on properly. I did find though that the Santha people could do with improving their customer service andare very lackadaisical in replying to email enquiries. But the reasonable price more than compensates any drawbacks so far - Bob Rankin
Harry Way
@harry-way
05/25/11 10:33:40PM
6 posts

Sales Alert!

Maybe you all should take a look at ChocoEasy - this is a German machine so it's expensive, but built to last forever, serviced here in USA by yours truly and customer service is our best sales tool.

I'll tell you up front that the 50 Kilogram machine is $99,500 and the 300 Kilgoram machine is $186,000. These are fully automated machines to control temperature, process time. Produce 25 to 50 Kgs in 8 hours to below 15 microns. Can start with nibs and butter

So if you're ready to use a BMW versus a Tata, please take a look. NETZSCH is having a seminar on this machine in Las Vegas at Chef Rubber on July 28th-29th.

www.chocoeasy.com

Richard Foley
@richard-foley
06/10/11 11:36:17AM
48 posts

Soon you will be able to visit our new facility in Orange County, Ca. There you will be able to learn everything you need to know about making chocolate, truly from Bean to Bar. The Qzina Institute will open in September, together with the Stephane Treand Art of Pastry School. We will have numerous machines to test, along with a big variety of beans, and other ingredients. We also carry molds, small and large tempering machines, melters, tools, flavors, powders, and all kinds of ingredients for Chocolate, Dessert, and Pastry Professionals. The Institute will have Small Melangers from both Cocoatown and Alchemy, roasters, winnowers, grinders, and even larger (mid size) equipment for more serious production. We are working onhaving commercial roller refiners and conches for 2012. The idea is to teach customers andenthusiastseverything from how to source the beans, to various production methods, and from there ourin house Chocolatier and Pastry ChefFrancois Mellet, with assistance from MOF (Best Craftsmanof France) Stephane Treand, can teach you how to make incredible top quality truffles, fillings, cakes, pastries, andchocolates.We are not a school, butmore of anR&D institute for the industry. We will also display machinery in our showroom from a host of top manufactures, including enrobers, mills, small processing equipment, etc. We also stockmost of the top chocolates of the world, from Callebaut to Valhona to Guittard, and many many more, for those wanting to supplimentproduction. We also have refined liquor,cacao butter, nibs,on and on. Contact us for more information. We are justoutfitting our new building now, and hope to be ready in Sept or October. This is a facility like no other in the United States, located minutes fromNewport Beach Airport, Irvine Spectrum Mall, andDisneyland (for those who want a side trip), half way between L.A. and San Diego.

Duffy Sheardown
@duffy-sheardown
06/13/11 09:06:50AM
55 posts
Do they really work with nibs? I know of one company who make chocolate from liquor simply because they cannot nibs directly into their Chocoeasy machine. Do you need to pre-grind the nibs before they go into the machine?
Harry Way
@harry-way
06/13/11 09:11:40AM
6 posts

Duffy - the latest version of the chocoeasy has a pre-grinding rotor installed in the refiner that allows feeding very coarse materials, like nibs or crystal sugar, so the company you are familiar with may have an older unit.

To start with nibs you need to use some cocoa butter to circulate the nibs into the refiner. depending on the size of the ChocoEasy unit, the amount of butter required to do this is about 3-4 kilograms.

Madeleine Siegel
@madeleine-siegel
10/03/13 01:42:08AM
12 posts

Hi Brad,

(If you're still there!)

Do you have any recommendations for a replacement motor for the santha 20? The machine is less than 6 months old but I've noticed that the drum has been spinning more slowly..

Thanks! Madeleine

Potomac Chocolate
@ben-rasmussen
10/03/13 09:06:17AM
191 posts

Hi Madeleine,

Are you sure it's the motor? Have you replaced the belt already? If not, I'd do that first as the stock belts are not great and wear out pretty quickly. Per Brad's suggestion a few years ago, I only use the fiberglass link belts on my melangers and they've been great. No stretching or breaking. I've had one on my Santha 40 now for over a year with no problems (the stock one broke on the third or fourth batch).

-Ben

Madeleine Siegel
@madeleine-siegel
10/04/13 09:08:57AM
12 posts

Hi Ben!

I have replaced the belt once. Next time I'll go for fiberglass- thanks!

I don't think that the belt is the problem, but I'll check just in case. When I first got the machine, the motor made a really high pitched (bad) sound. I took the santha to a machine shop and they pretty much diagnosed the motor as a low-quality cheapo. (They improved the noise a tiny bit by doing something with the bearings, and then one day months later the noise pretty much evaporated. But at the same time I noticed the drum rotating more slowly. (speed control still says 1500)

Because of the conversation with the mechanic, I just assumed it was time for a motor replacement.

Thanks, Madeleine

Tao Watts
@tao-watts
02/28/14 07:08:19PM
10 posts

Hola,

I just got my Santha Spectra 20...and it squeals...high pitched, unbearable, screeching...kinda like living inside a forest of chicaras (if you live in CR, you know what I mean). Is it the belt? Is it something else? Any clues before I try to open it up to find out? Kumar said some "noise" was normal...I agree, and I anticipated "some noise", but this is unbearable. Help!

Steven Shipler
@steven-shipler
03/06/14 11:29:58PM
25 posts

Often times the squealing sound is just metal on metal from the wheels. I am assuming you bought it new and this is probably the case. I had the same thing with my Cocoatown small grinder. You just have to let it run sadly until it stops and kind of wears away whatever is too tight that it is squeaking.

That was my experience at least! Hope it helps!

Madeleine Siegel
@madeleine-siegel
03/09/14 01:37:30PM
12 posts

Hi Tao,

The same happened with my Santha when I bought it a year ago. The sound was from the motor. I exchanged it and the replacement machine was slightly better. Took it to a machine shop and was told that it was just a really cheapo motor. Turned out to not be worth it to replace the motor because of the speed controller. I kept it, and miraculously the noise went away after a few months.

I spoke to Santha on the phone and got the impression that this happens with some of their machines though they wouldn't really give me a straight answer.

They only exchanged the machine very grudgingly and didn't offer any help with the second machine.

Good luck!!

Tao Watts
@tao-watts
03/10/14 09:52:11AM
10 posts

Thanks for the responses...I am too far away, and the logistics too difficult and expensive to try to send the machine back and replace it. I have tried the calibration reset recommended by Kumar, and it seemed to help for about a 1/2 hour...or basically until there was chocolate in the machine again.

Last night, I had it set on low so that it wouldn't disturb my sleep too much, but apparently it wasn't turning fast enough to keep it warm, and the whole batch solidified. Now at it with the hair dryer, but not having any luck getting the wheels to turn, so not sure if the motor is burned out (although still makes the screeching noise) or if the belt is broken or what...with a full batch of chocolate in the machine, it is difficult to know what to do...will try recalibration again, and then empty the chocolate, and try taking the drum off. ANYONE KNOW HOW TO DO THAT? WE COULDN"T FIGURE IT OUT BEFORE...how do you get the drum off the stem? Is there a screw on the bottom that releases the stem/column?

Madeleine, you said you spoke to them on the phone: Do you have a phone number for SANTHA? I

have not been able to find one in any of the literature, communications or website. Much appreciated.

Madeleine Siegel
@madeleine-siegel
03/11/14 12:12:49PM
12 posts

Hey Tao,

Their # is(828) 855-1895. (The first bad sign is that the number's hard to find!) I've never removed the bowl before-it would involve quite a bit of disassembly! The hair dryer's the way to go. I've been there! No fun, I know. I'd guess the motor's ok if it's still making noise. The bowl can't spin just while it's firmly attached (by solid chocolate) to the wheels, since they spin in place.

Good luck! Hopefully you're unstuck by now!

eg
@eg
05/26/16 02:47:57PM
22 posts

I'm resurrecting this thread as I haven't found the answer elsewhere. I'm trying to develop my MacGyver skills... Can anyone offer a solution to the spectra 20 (the old red one) leaking from the center? there's a pool of chocolate under the machine (about 6 oz so far, 24 hrs in). This machine has to at least make enough chocolate to pay for a better machine. ;) This is my first batch in this machine, so when it's finished I'll be able to empty it, clean it, and perhaps (hopefully) it just needs to have everything tightened....

Thank you!

Potomac Chocolate
@ben-rasmussen
05/27/16 08:39:27AM
191 posts

It sounds like there could be a crack in the epoxy somewhere. Once you finish this batch, clean the machine really well and then reseal with a food-safe epoxy. You may want or need to chip the old epoxy first. Good luck!

eg
@eg
05/27/16 12:19:07PM
22 posts

Thanks Ben!!

enna

eg
@eg
05/28/16 01:22:35PM
22 posts

@ben-rasmussen or anyone else who might be able to help me troubleshoot this - I thought the chocolate turned out perfect. However, when I poured it out, I could see a very slight pooling of oil on the surface of the chocolate. It's almost imperceptible, and I haven't noticed an off taste at all. I rinsed the machine with hot water, and let that water cool in a jar, and this cooled chocolate water also has a very subtle congealed something on the surface. (like cooled fat, but less than tissue-thin). I'm planning to take the whole thing apart and clean, plus reseal the epoxy. But I'll feel better if I can also determine what this oil is. I've contacted the former owner to see if it had anything else run through (vegetable oil for cleaning, nuts, lecithin, etc). Ideas about how to identify what this is? 

chanchoc
@chanchoc
05/29/16 09:24:27PM
1 posts

Hey guys,

I'm glad you wanted to resurrect this thread as I am soon to be in the market for a new Melangeur. I have been running two Premiers for over a year. The gears keep wearing down though, and they struggle with how fast I want to add the nibs (which I sometimes pre-grind). 

However I love the quality of Chocolate they can produce. My biggest worry is that a Santha or other machine under $5k might not refine down to a small particle... under 20micron... ?

Also worried about the other issues you have all pointed out. Does anyone have a decent machine they acquired for less than $5k?

I have considered buying 2 more Premier and just paying someone to upgrade all the gear parts... I am able to load them up 4kg each... so that would be 16kg and the premiers are only around $400 each delivered... but Im sure the running costs would be less for a single 20kg machine.

Gap
@gap
05/29/16 10:46:33PM
182 posts

I don't know about larger machines, but if you like the Premiers, there are these versions which have been "upgraded" specifically for chocolate making:

http://indichocolate.com/products/chocolate-refiner?variant=7781420993

Chat to them about gears etc as well - I think they have improved gears and belts for the standard Premiers.

squidwud
@squidwud
08/12/16 04:17:59AM
2 posts

Does anybody have any experience with the Kudvic melangeurs?

alan napier
@alan-napier
08/15/16 09:24:02AM
1 posts

squidwud:

Does anybody have any experience with the Kudvic melangeurs?

I have the 30kg melangeur from Kudvic which is being shipped to me. Hopefully  I will receive it in less than a month's time. Will let you know how it works

Bob
@bob
04/24/17 01:33:21PM
3 posts

I sure wish I would have found this thread before I purchased the Spectra 20.  My first batch of chocolate and the motor quit.  They shipped me a new motor (10 days via FedEx) but like an idiot I thought it would be here the next day.  Now the 15 pounds of chocolate was harder than concrete.  Major pain to get it all out not to mention dropping the tub out with the added weight of the chocolate.

Basically you have to completely disassemble the machine to replace the motor.  Kumar, from the factory, acted like I was the only one with this issue, ever.  Yeah, right. So after ten days, plus five days to get them to ship and another ten days cleaning and disassembling and rebuilding the unit with the new motor, I once again started a batch of chocolate.  This time I only did ten pounds.  Six hours into the process the same exact issue.  Motor froze up and quit.  On the first one, I took the motor apart and found a couple of the plastic cooling fan blades were broken off and the bearing was froze.  Cheap crap.

Now it has been four days and I still haven't gotten a new motor and, in fact, I haven't had a response since last week. 

The machine is so simple, if one could get a good motor it would be ideal, as it is, it is junk.  Does anyone know of a replacement motor?  It is a motor from India, but the error codes were analyzed by Emerson.  I am going to see if they have a motor that will actually work.

Bob
@bob
04/24/17 05:09:34PM
3 posts

I found a replacement motor for the Santha Spectra 20.  USA product.  If anyone wants info, I will send it to them. Under three hundred bucks direct from the manufacturer and payable to them directly.  I am not asking for, or taking, any money for this.

maudlofq
@maudlofq
04/26/17 01:28:08PM
20 posts

Sirius Chocolate:

Greetings Fellow Chocophiles,

I have recently begun the process of purchasing a Spectra 40 Stone Melanger - http://www.santhausa.com/Spectra%2040%20Melanger%20Speed%20Controller.htm

Is there anybody out there on the Chocolate Life who has experience using this equipment, or who knows anyone who has?

I am receiving an extremely low level of customer service, and the warranty is very limited on the product, as well as there being no facility in the United States (where I am) to service the melangeur in the event of mechanical problems. On top of this, I have been told I will have to wait several months for the Spectra 40 to ship directly from the manufacturer in India.

With an investment of this nature, my business simply cannot afford for this type of equipment to be anything other than top-notch for many years to come, if not decades. Any advice or information regarding the Spectra 40 Melanger specifically, or Santha in general, is greatly appreciated.

.:SiriuS:.

thank you so much

Roll Chocolate
@roll-chocolate
04/26/17 10:06:05PM
2 posts

Bob:

I found a replacement motor for the Santha Spectra 20.  USA product.  If anyone wants info, I will send it to them. Under three hundred bucks direct from the manufacturer and payable to them directly.  I am not asking for, or taking, any money for this.

So don't leave me in suspense whats the motor details?

Bob
@bob
04/27/17 06:24:03AM
3 posts

Contact Mr. Fisher at for the replacement motor.  He has the specifications and more information.  I am confident that he has replacement motors for the Spectra 40 etc., but I was looking for the Spectra 20, 220 v three phase one.  The motor cost, with the mounting flange, is $295.24.  This motor is made in Italy, but stocked in the USA.

David Fisher Inside Sales

EIS

5940 Cabot Parkway

Alpharetta, GA 30005

(770) 407-4710

Bob Unger

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