Opinion on Continuous v Batch Tempering

Freddo
@freddo
05/12/15 07:48:31AM
11 posts

I want to mold 50kg of viscous bean to bar chocolate into 70g bars on a daily basis.

I'm happy to fill them by hand, dont need a mould loader but a three cavity dosing head would be handy.

What do you think would be the best solution for this?? A continuous type machine or a batch tempering machine? What is the pro's and cons of each approach?

 

 


updated by @freddo: 05/12/15 07:48:44AM
Sebastian
@sebastian
05/12/15 01:18:26PM
754 posts

I might suggest a savage kettle, and use it's heat controls to maintain temper once it's achieved.  It's a batch system, but if monitored you can keep temper it in all day.  I suspect you're going to have challenges finding a continuous tempering machine to handle what's a relatively small volume.

Clay Gordon
@clay
05/12/15 08:06:18PM
1,680 posts

Freddo, Sebastian -

I get asked the question about depositing thick chocolates (aka 2-ingredient chocolates, or chocolate with little or no added cocoa butter and/or lecithin) all the time. In fact, I - in conjunction with intrepid and stalwart customers - worked with FBM to develop upgrades to some of their continuous machines specifically to handle thick chocolate.

The basics are a heavier-duty motor in conjunction with a gear box at a different ratio to deliver more low-RPM torque driving the temepring auger, plus beefed up bearings to handle the load. These machines also offer the ability to change the speed of the tempering auger (increasing the dwell time in the tempering pipe results in more even spread of crystals through the chocolate) in 1% increments. Finally, through the use of a pneumatic valve that diverts the flow of chocolate, the continuous tempering cycle is never interrupted, as it is when the auger is stopped and started to regulate the flow for depositing. Taken together, this means that the FBM machines handle chocolates that other brands of continuous tempering machines struggle with.

That said, the smallest machine has a tempering capacity of up to 75kg/hr which is quite a bit more than 50kg/day. Assuming 4, 70gr cavities/mold and 2 molds/minute, that's a throughput of about 65kg/hr assuming you have enough molds and can work without interruption. That means you can do an entire week's worth of bar production in a single day rather than spending an hour or three every day molding bars.

I can tell you from experience - as can several users of these machines - that getting the dosing heads right for these high-viscosity chocolates can be a challenge.

FBM does have timed depositors on all of their machines, and we've found that the smaller machines can be used with two-ingredient chocolate, but it can take some finessing with the settings of the machine to get them to work consistently. We have chocolate makers using machines with 4 and 12kg working bowls successfully depositing 2-ingredient chocolate but it takes time and patience to dial in on the correct procedures. Over the past two years we've learned a lot about how to do it and do a pretty good job.

Something like a Savage melter will work but you'd want their measured doser, which has its own challenges with staying warm enough to keep the chocolate fluid ... but not too warm. If you don't use a measured depositor then you need to figure out an efficient way to fill the molds.

You could buy a volumetric depositor with a heated hopper. You want one cylinder per mold cavity for even dosing. The advantage is that these are incredibly accurate and can easily handle high-viscosity products. They work with an existing tempering machine, but the combination (e.g., Savage kettle and depositor with four heads) is going to cost close to $20k. FBM's Unica is in the same price range.

:: Clay




--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
Freddo
@freddo
05/13/15 06:59:24AM
11 posts

Whoops I forgot to mention an important thing. 

I have 5 different origins all at different percentages ranging from 66 to 75.

And my weekly production is about 150kg (just starting up)

and I dont have a melter

cheers for your feedback

Sebastian
@sebastian
05/14/15 06:14:08AM
754 posts

When you say 'viscous chocolate' - do you have any measurements to indicate what that means?

Freddo
@freddo
05/14/15 06:20:43AM
11 posts

Hi Sebastian.

Sorry no I dont have a way of measuring it. Its thick. No emulsifier.

Cheers

 

Aura
@aura
06/02/15 10:27:09PM
17 posts

I'm curious for this answer to as we are in the same boat.  We currently have about 11 origins.  We are leaning towards the prime.  Any thoughts on this size?

Freddo
@freddo
06/02/15 11:32:51PM
11 posts

Hi Aura. 

11 origins. Wow. Do you mean the Prima?

I'm still searching for answers myself but I've learnt alot in the past few weeks.

It depends on what your chocolate is like, what your throughput is like (how fast you will use the chocolate in the machine), what you are making (bars?), how big your batch is. Its a minefield out there and not alot of solid information to go on. 

I think the main thing to consider is in-country customer support - you dont want to be on the phone to Italy or France at 1am trying to sort out problems, not unless you can speak french and italian.

Ask to see the user manual of any machine you are considering. Some manuals are hopeless but others may help your decision.

Regarding the Prima. As Clay has said the small machines take alot of dialling in (I know because I currently have a small machine), they have a shorter screw pump (auger) which means less cooling power, not good for thick chocolate. And the temperature difference between working temperature and tempering temperature is small (0.5 degree) which means you will be working with you chocolate alot cooler then you probably have been. This is not configurable unfortunately. And again not good for thick chocolate. Its only when you get to bigger machines that you get longer screw pump and more temperature range in the tempering curve. 

If youve been tempering on a slab you will be used to working with three temperatures. The continuous machines mostly only allow you adjust two temperatures (melting & working) and the machine will decide what the tempering (seeding) temperature is.  I assume these machines are mainly made for working with coverture which can stay more fluid at cooler temperatures, but if you want to run your working temperature high, to keep fluidity in your bean-to-bar chocolate, you will sacrifice the seeding temperature because the seeding temperature is fixed (0.5C - 2C degrees less) to the working temperature. Hope you can follow me. There will be compromise somewhere. However with a batch tempering machine you can play with all three temperatures as much as you want.

My ideal machine would have, 25-40kg bowl, long powerful auger, user configurable three point tempering, removable/reversable/variable speed auger, pneumatic dosing head and be compatible with an automatic mould loader.

Now I'm no expert so I'm just passing on what I have learnt these past weeks. This sort of information just isnt out there. It would be nice if an expert could join this discussion to give better explanation of these machines.

 

Aura
@aura
06/02/15 11:38:45PM
17 posts

Yes I meant prima.  Our reservations on the batch machines is the need to seed them.  Thanks for all this info.  very helpful

Potomac Chocolate
@ben-rasmussen
06/03/15 09:03:19AM
191 posts

The Savage Bros. temperers do not need to be seeded. They use a water jacket hooked up to a cold water supply to cool the chocolate.

Also, I haven't had any issue with keeping the pump warm, but not too warm. Just run it on the timer with the heater off. 

Aura
@aura
06/04/15 10:16:07PM
17 posts

 @ben which temperer do you have

Potomac Chocolate
@ben-rasmussen
06/05/15 10:17:55AM
191 posts

@aura An older model Savage Bros. 50lb table top tempering machine.

Aura
@aura
06/09/15 04:57:45PM
17 posts

@ben thanks.  How much chocolate can you temper in a day and how easy is clean up?

Potomac Chocolate
@ben-rasmussen
06/09/15 07:09:35PM
191 posts

I only ever temper one 50lb batch in a day, but if you had pre-melted chocolate on hand, I'm sure you could double or triple that.

Clean up is not too bad. The whole scraper assembly pulls out as one piece and then further disassembles for easy cleaning, and the tank is just like any other tank.

Robert O'Byrnes
@robert-obyrnes
06/09/15 10:27:47PM
9 posts

Freddo, I have been using Fbm Unica for about one year now. I would strongly recommend this continuos tempering machine. As Clay mentioned you will want to add the artisanal package such as the heavier motor for craft chocolate.  The working bowl holds 25kg of chocolate. Simply add chunks of chocolate when the bowl is about half empty and continue working your chocolate. No need to seed. The only downside in my opinion is working manual is limited. However, having said that, Fbm will Skype with you and give you very good technical assistance. 

 

 

Tags

Member Marketplace


Activity

slaviolette
 
@slaviolette • one month ago • comments: 0
Created a new discussion "Cost of goods produced":
"Hi Everyone, Been a long time member but I have not been in in a few years, the fact is that I had to close down my small chocolate business.. but now is..."
chocolatelover123
 
@chocolatelover123 • 3 months ago • comments: 0
Created a new forum topic:
New Chocolate Brand - "Palette"
Marita Lores
 
Marita Lores
 
Vercruysse Geert
 
Vercruysse Geert
 
Marita Lores