James Hull
@james-hull
11/27/14 05:20:20AM
46 posts

Hi everyone,

I am currently tempering all my bean to bar chocolate by hand on a marble slab and I love doing it this way, however asdemandgrows, so does the pressure of tempering in small batches.

I am wondering if there is aheated holding tank out there, that I cantemper a large batch of chocolate by hand and then transfer into the holding tank. BUT willthe holding tank keep the chocolate in temper throughout the day or at least for a few hours while I remove the amount of chocolate I wantfrom it (already tempered)for different applications without having to constantly re-temper it. OR am I over complicating things and should invest in a tempering machine? if that's the case then which one? As I am in the UKit seemsany chocolate related machine is difficult to come by so am in much need of advice.

thanks


updated by @james-hull: 04/13/15 04:29:34AM
Gap
@gap
11/27/14 03:32:54PM
182 posts

Yes there are heated holding tanks. Mol d'Art are the most common (and what I use) but there are others. You temper all your chocolate by hand (they have a smaller units, a 6kg and a 12kg unit) and then put it in the tank which is set to working temp (sat 31C). You can then leave it and it will hold temper. The biggest issue is that you need to "keep" it in temper with a little work during the day. This mainly involves stirring every now and then and, as the chocolate can over-crystallise, hitting it with a heat gun when it starts to thicken too much (but not letting the temperature get so high that it goes out of temper). Its pretty easy when you get the hang of it and I often work with chocolate all day kept in a couple of these tanks and managing the temper of the chocolate just becomes second nature while you're doing other things.

James Hull
@james-hull
12/08/14 12:58:25PM
46 posts

Hi Gap,

thanks for your very helpful reply. Are the holding tanks called 'chocolate melters' by mol d'art? as looked on their website but couldn't find anything referred to as a holding tank. something called a chocolate kettle but that was insanely expensive. How much chocolate do you work with throughout the day in your tank?

thanks again

Gap
@gap
12/08/14 04:32:00PM
182 posts

Hi James - that sounds like the one. I use an earlier model of this:

http://www.moldart.be/en/shop/chocolate-machinery/dry-heat-chocolat...

I use two tanks and often set them up in the morning with 5kg in each and mould during the day (moulded chocolates rather than bars). I've used them for my bean-to-bar as well just to hold chocolate tempered until I mould as well.

James Hull
@james-hull
12/15/14 05:49:28AM
46 posts

Hi Gap,

thanks again for the reply. These look like a great option, but how do you work it? as in do you melt all your chocolate in one tank between 45-50c then temper on marble and put into other tank set at 31C to hold temper during the day? or do you melt in both tanks to 45C,take out approx 2/3 of melted chocolate, cool on marble, then add back into same tank but turning down the temp to 31C to hold the now tempered chocolate? or do you melt, remove it all, temper then put back into tank at lower temp?

cheers

Gap
@gap
12/15/14 03:39:38PM
182 posts

If I'm organised, I turn the tanks on the night before at 45C, let the chocolate melt and the next morning I take it out the tanks, hand temper on tabletop, turn the temp to 31C and put the tempered chocolate back in the tank. From there you can keep it in the tank all day, stirring it and occasionally adding heat to stop it "over tempering".

If I'm not organised, I just melt my chocolate in the microwave to 45C, table temper it and then add into the melting tank at 31C.

I usually have two tanks going at a time - one for dark and one for milk.

You can also melt your chocolate to 45C (either overnight or in microwave), then turn the tank temp to 31C and add seed chocolate to temper. I find this takes a LOT longer though. Much quicker just to table the chocolate.

Sabrina512
@sabrina512
03/09/16 03:22:04PM
7 posts

Gap,

This is really good information for me. I have been uncertain about how to simplify and make the process more efficient. I just have two stone grinders that hold 2liters in the moment. Do you think that would be too little to have in a 6l/kg melting tank(2 liters per tank)? I'd rather not get the smallest or the largest either, for now. I just want to make the right decision in purchases while starting out. 

Thanks!

Sabrina

Gap
@gap
03/09/16 03:27:56PM
182 posts

All tanks are the same - the tricky part in using them is when there is only a small amount of chocolate in the bottom.

I often start with 2kg in a 6kg tank. That's easy enough to work with. The tricky part is when you start your moulding and you get down to the last 500-750g. At that point I often hold one end of the tank up so that the chocolate pools at one end. Alternatively, lift the pan out of the tank and simply pour the remaining chocolate into waiting moulds.

Sabrina512
@sabrina512
03/09/16 07:02:11PM
7 posts

Thanks! Much appreciated!

Sabrina512
@sabrina512
03/10/16 12:51:11PM
7 posts

Hi Gap,

I hope you don't mind some more questions? .... About buying equipment - before hitting the purchase button on Mol D'art :-)

Are you able to "make it" with the equipment you have now? Or do you have another job? My idea is to buy affordable small scale eqipment to use for as long as I can, maybe a year, till a bank lender will consider me "eligable" for a business loan.

In the moment I sell to two customers - One big one that sells up to 100 of my bars a month, and a tiny chocolate boutique. This is about all I am producing now, using my tequnique of warming the chocolate in a dehydrator during the day, which takes hours. I have a part time job working three days a week, so basically I work everyday:-)  

Thanks!

Gap
@gap
03/10/16 03:31:10PM
182 posts

I think that's more a question of you working out your budget, your production schedule and then seeing what equipment you need (to produce at capacity) and what you can afford.

Sorry I couldn't be more help.

Sabrina512
@sabrina512
03/10/16 06:34:29PM
7 posts

OK Cool Thanks

S

martin0642
@martin0642
11/15/16 11:39:45AM
3 posts

Sabrina512:

Hi Gap,

I hope you don't mind some more questions? .... About buying equipment - before hitting the purchase button on Mol D'art :-)

Are you able to "make it" with the equipment you have now? Or do you have another job? My idea is to buy affordable small scale eqipment to use for as long as I can, maybe a year, till a bank lender will consider me "eligable" for a business loan.

In the moment I sell to two customers - One big one that sells up to 100 of my bars a month, and a tiny chocolate boutique. This is about all I am producing now, using my tequnique of warming the chocolate in a dehydrator during the day, which takes hours. I have a part time job working three days a week, so basically I work everyday:-)  

Thanks!

Hi Sabrina - your pot struck a chord so i thought i'd reply. I've been in business solely as a chocolatier for about 8 months and made a few pointless purchases so I thought i'd share!

I've now got contracts with a couple of restaurants and my market sales are starting to pick up a bit. I'm probably making around 400 chocolates a month at the moment (plus my own bars for markets).

I bought a keychoc 04 tank.... stopped using it very soon after buying it. I just don't need to have melted chocolate on hand all day with my production flow right now and it takes up very valuable space in my tiny kitchen. i'm going to sell it and at some point get a mol d'art melter (the wider space is way more useful for moulds etc). But right now the biggest help for me would be finding space for a microwave ...much faster melting chocolate (i'm using a double boiler) and useful for warming ganache etc when needed. (I hate microwaves but im going to bite the bullet on this one).

Other useless kit: chocolate moulds that i only have one of (useless for larger scale production..get several each of a few type rather than lots of different ones..and check cavity size against your packaging..I have several I can't use right now)

As for your making it question......... I would hold on to the job for now. I'm currently looking for one! Chocolate is great fun but to make it a profitable busines that will pay you enough for year round is hard. Summer time in particular is very difficult. You need money to pay bills..and then money to buy ingredients etc for your business...those two things probably won't come from the chocolate sales for quite some time.

One day...a chocolate shop......right now...same as you - working two jobs (when I get the other one that is!)

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