Help with some chocolate machinery info, please

David Briceño
@david-briceno
03/24/16 11:19:20PM
16 posts

Hi everyone i could really use some help with some work stuff. i am recently working with some colombian institution and they want to set a state of the art cocoa and chocolate lab, wich i think it is great.

The problem is that someone who does not have a clue about that, already had some budget assigned to each equipment. My job is to find the specific piece of equipment and supplier that fits the name and price already assigned, and of course it is a huge pain ....

So, i would really appreciate if someone could help me with some specifics

Laboratory ball mill around 1 k

laboratory or commercial roll refiner mill around 10k

someone knows if there is a specific equipment and use for cocoa and chocolate for a potentiometer ? no more info

i know i am taking a long shot. i am aware that laboratory equipment is more expensive that commercial, but i am running out of places to look and ask about this.

i will take any suggestions and comments

PD. i know the spelling is not right, but i am having some error trying to post. 

You have entered an invalid value for "text" - value must be printable characters with the following allowed HTML tags: span,strong,em,a,b,u,i,p,div,br,img,h1,h2,h3,h4,pre,hr,ul,ol,li

i do not know exactly wich caracter is invalid in my text

Clay Gordon
@clay
03/25/16 01:47:28PM
1,680 posts

David:

With regard to the error, you are trying to enter some HTML directly into your post that is not allowed - or something the software thinks is HTML. One reason is to keep people from posting arbitrary Javascript. Were you using any pointy brackets "<" or ">"?

To the best of my knowledge there are no ball mills at the price point you mention, lab or otherwise — even very small ones.

I know of a source for a two-roll refiner (granite or steel, 300mm wide, low-speed) for under €10,000. Three-roll refiners (granite or steel, 400mm wide) are €12,000 or so. Both are plus shipping.




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clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
David Briceño
@david-briceno
03/25/16 04:01:47PM
16 posts

Thanks Clay, i was writing in Word and then pasting it here. That was causing the error.

I found a "small" laboratory ball mill from Cacao cucina. I don´t know how much it cost yet, but I have a bad impression from Cacao Cucina from some forums and opinions.

Does anyone have any experience with them?

On the other hand, Caotech offers me 5kg laboratory conche and ball mill for about 12.000 euros each and i think they look great.

Any comments on Caotech? Caotech Vs Bühler ?


updated by @david-briceno: 07/09/16 11:47:51AM
Clay Gordon
@clay
03/26/16 11:30:42AM
1,680 posts

I know several makers who have Cacao Cucina equipment. It's value is that it is NSF certified and made with UL listed parts and adhere to all sorts of safety regulations. Therefore, they tend to be expensive for what they offer. People like the cracker/winnowers, even though they are expensive. The one piece of equipment I've seen in use that I just cannot recommend at all is the liquor grinder.

Caotech and Buhler are both highly-respected companies so I would have no problems recommending equipment from either of them. It's a matter of capacity and pricing. 

By lab conche, you refer to a "universal?"




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clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
Brad Churchill
@brad-churchill
03/26/16 12:21:02PM
527 posts

David;

I'm right in the process of building a new lab and factory.  As someone who has over the past 10 years made and sold several million dollars worth of chocolate, I can answer ALL of your questions.

Brad@Choklat.com or 403-472-8701

I guarantee that your savings will be in the 10's of thousands of dollars.

Cheers

Brad 

David Briceño
@david-briceno
03/26/16 06:59:18PM
16 posts

Hi Clay

I don´t think a universal conche could give as much process control as a separate refining / conching process for a lab, please correct me if i´m wrong. This one is expensive but it would be my choice. 

http://www.caotech.com/products/cwc-5/

Brad,

Thanks for your offering, is it possible to chat via skype? i´m suffering trying to make equipments fit what they gave me, i have a lot of questions.

I have a general question, i think i´ve read in The Science of Chocolate (Beckett) that it is generally better to reduce particle size gradualy in order to avoid a particle distribution with many "coarse" and "over refined" pieces, and so, i was convinced that ball mills should be fed with "liquid" cocoa liquor, but i´ve seen lately a lot of ball mills being fed by cocoa nibs directly with no replacement of the grinding media which makes me think that particle distribution can´t be the best in that process. Could that be truth? has anyone fed nibs directly to a ball mill?


updated by @david-briceno: 07/11/16 11:47:04PM
Brad Churchill
@brad-churchill
03/26/16 08:11:33PM
527 posts

David;

From your post above and your "theory" with respect to particle reduction based on something you might have read in a book somewhere, it sounds to me like you haven't got a clue on how to make chocolate.  At the very least, you shouldn't be helping ANYBODY set up a state of the art chocolate lab.

What you SHOULD be doing is trying to source an accomplished professional who DOES know what he/she's doing, and has a pedigree to prove it, then contracting his/her services to compose a report on the equipment needed given the vision of the corporation and budget the organization is restricted to.   That professional will know the in's and outs of pretty much all of the equipment needed for each task in the chocolate making process, and will make recommendations in their final report.  They will probably even provide names and phone numbers so accounting can place the orders.

Clay can do this.

I can do this.

This is the recommendation you should take back to the institution you are working for.  While your final report might cost you several thousand dollars and it may seem like a set back at first, one simple change in the decision to buy one piece of equipment over the other can potentially save your organization 10's of thousands of dollars.

As hard as this is to read, a professional's advice is usually worth the money spent.

I'll give you an example that just happened to me last week:

Last week I spent $7,000 on an engineering report for the mezzanine above the work area of my factory lab.  Ouch.  That stung.  It's a good thing I did though.  The engineer found significant deficiencies which could have shut the whole project down at inspection time, or even worse - killed someone when the loaded storage area collapsed on my lab.

I hope this advice helps you go down the right path.  Asking random strangers for opinions  on a specific piece of equipment because it "looks good" while helping build a "state of the art" chocolate lab is not the right path.

Case in point:  Fly to Calgary, and pay me $6,000 euro's to SHOW you why you don't need a small useless conche worth $12,000 euro's.  Your flight and my fee combined will save you $4,000 euros!  We all win!

Cheers

Brad

David Briceño
@david-briceno
03/26/16 08:34:12PM
16 posts

Brad, I don´t know if i got lost in the translation, but i'm feeling really insulted by your response.

I try to be polite in my limited english but if i ever insulted anyone, please let me know, i´m not aiming for that.

If you can´t say things nicely, please don´t.

Thank you!


updated by @david-briceno: 07/12/16 02:08:04PM
Brad Churchill
@brad-churchill
03/27/16 02:25:57AM
527 posts

David, my reply WAS nice.

You asked for advice. I took some time out of my busy day and gave you very valuable advice - advice that is backed up by real-world experience. I even gave you an example.

I didn't have to say anything. In fact I could have remained silent like the thousands of other people on this forum who currently are silent on this topic.

Yet I decided to help YOU.  And whether you like it or not it is good advice.

I didn't call you names or attack you personally or insult your mother. I simply stated fact.

As a good and proper Canadian I should at this point in time I apologize to you because you are offended. After all up here we apologize to people for everything.

...but I am not going to.

Go buy that conch.  It's a great buy, and it's shiny!

Daniel Haran
@daniel-haran
03/27/16 01:05:13PM
49 posts

Brad, it is nice of you to take time to help others. "you haven't got a clue on how to make chocolate" might be factual but it was not necessary and came off as insulting.

Brad Churchill
@brad-churchill
03/27/16 02:11:11PM
527 posts

David;

You were disengenuous, so I took a page from your book.

"...The problem is that someone who does not have a clue about that, already had some budget assigned to each equipment. My job is to find the specific piece of equipment ....."

I guess by your own account of how you felt you were treated by me, you insulted your employer too eh?  

If you want GOOD advice, then be humble.  Admit to knowing nothing, even if you know more than nothing.  ...and when you DO get advice.  Accept it graciously, then do the substantiation ON YOUR OWN.  Don't ask the person giving the advice to prove themselves.  Refuting a person's advice, and then qualifiying it with "correct me if I'm wrong." is simply a polite way of saying "I don't believe you. Prove to me what you say."  Stated in either context, I consider it rude.

In Canada we have an old saying:  "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth."

Brad.

Oh... and to keep on topic, I STILL recommend that you find, qualify, and hire someone who DOES have a clue.  That should be your task.

Daniel Haran
@daniel-haran
03/27/16 02:13:25PM
49 posts

David: that equipment looks like a great deal. It might be possible to find some used for cheaper.

I have a universal and sometimes wish I could keep conching without grinding, so have to agree that if you have the budget to buy separate equipment it's the way to go. You might also consider FBM's Kleego.

Brad Churchill
@brad-churchill
03/27/16 05:11:06PM
527 posts

Daniel;

The small universals I use in my lab allow me to dial the tension of the blades right back to the point where they don't even touch the side of the machine.  In that case it would still be conching.  Doesn't yours do that?

Cheers

Brad

Daniel Haran
@daniel-haran
03/27/16 05:19:11PM
49 posts

Correct, even on the lowest tension setting there is still some grinding going on. I've had one batch over-refine at that setting, producing a pasty chocolate with a max particle size around 12 microns.

As soon as I can afford to I will separate out grinding from refining.

David Briceño
@david-briceno
03/27/16 05:29:54PM
16 posts

Thanks Daniel. Unfortunately it´s a government institution which requires the equipment and they are not allowed to buy second hand machinery. I´m checking FBM right now.


updated by @david-briceno: 07/09/16 11:47:38AM
Sebastian
@sebastian
03/28/16 12:37:14PM
754 posts

David - i'd encourage you to identify what's important for your equipment, and folks can better help direct you.  IE - how much do you want to make, and with what frequency?  Will it be used every day?  What particle sizes ranges are relevant?  What type of temperature control do you want, and why?  

Once it's understood what you want to do with it, and how it will be used, you're likely to get better information.

Clay Gordon
@clay
03/28/16 01:57:38PM
1,680 posts

David -

Sebastian is right, of course. Without knowing what you want to produce and how much you need to make in any given time it's very difficult to know where to direct you.




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clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
David Briceño
@david-briceno
03/28/16 09:48:36PM
16 posts

You´re right, that would be the correct order to do this kind of stuff.

The thing is that my employer just gave me names and prices, for example:

Ball Mill                                12.000 $

Laboratory Ball Mill                 1.100$

And i already know that a laboratory ball mill could cost as much as a "commercial" one with 3 to 4 times the capacity.

The same situation goes for a roaster, roll refiner, butter press and other equipment that i don´t even recognize. Just to mention one, a "potentiometer". And no one in this institution can give me any info about what a potentiometer means, because the guy who ordered that stuff, with those names and prices, isn´t working there anymore.

So i´m taking a long shot with you, to see if there is a remote possibility that someone could know, where to get a new Laboratory Ball Mill (or any ball mill) for that price.


updated by @david-briceno: 07/09/16 11:47:42AM
PeterK
@peterk
03/29/16 11:51:22AM
17 posts

Daniel Haran:

I have a universal and sometimes wish I could keep conching without grinding

Daniel,

If your Macintyre is continually grinding you have a mechanical problem, you need to get a mechanic to look at it. Any correctly functioning Universal will not continue grinding once released from tension. 


updated by @peterk: 03/29/16 11:57:27AM
Daniel Haran
@daniel-haran
03/29/16 12:46:33PM
49 posts

That's news to me. The manufacturing company's head mechanic worked on it last year and told me there would always be some pressure applied.

Clay Gordon
@clay
03/29/16 12:50:55PM
1,680 posts

Daniel, Peter:

Can we please move the conversation about the universal to another thread? I don't want to take over David's thread.

:: Clay




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clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
Clay Gordon
@clay
03/29/16 12:58:08PM
1,680 posts

David Briceño:

You´re right, that would be the correct order to do this kind of stuff.

The thing is that my employer just gave me names and prices, for example:

Ball Mill                                12.000 $

Laboratory Ball Mill                 1.100$

And i already know that a laboratory ball mill could cost as much as a "commercial" one with 3 to 4 times the capacity.

The same situation goes for a roaster, roll refiner, butter press and other equipment that i don´t even recognize. Just to mention one, a "potentiometer". And no one in this institution can give me any info about what a potentiometer means, because the guy who ordered that stuff, with those names and prices, isn´t working there anymore.

So i´m taking a long shot with you, to see if there is a remote possibility that someone could know, where to get a new Laboratory Ball Mill (or any ball mill) for that price.

David:

You are asking us to do the impossible because we don't have enough information to answer your questions. Without knowing how much chocolate you need to make, making a recommendation - any recommendation - is not helpful to you.

That said, to the best of my knowledge, there are no small ball mills at the prices you say you need, except maybe for machines I would not trust to arrive broken, break down immediately, or be made with non-food-safe materials. Search on Alibaba to see what I mean.




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clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
Brad Churchill
@brad-churchill
03/29/16 08:24:13PM
527 posts

Hire.  A.  Professional.

Clay Gordon
@clay
03/30/16 02:38:30PM
1,680 posts

Brad Churchill:

Hire.  A.  Professional.

I think the issue here is that David is dealing with a government procurement process and the government is in Colombia.

There is probably no budget for a consultant to make sense of what has been specified and it may not be possible to move money around between line items even if the items or wrong or the money can be better spent in other ways.

Right or wrong, that may be the reality of the situation David faces.




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clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
David Briceño
@david-briceno
04/02/16 10:05:12PM
16 posts

Thanks everyone, i had a chance to talk to my employer about the challenge of trying to set up a lab with fixed budgets and names.

They found a alternative way of purchasing the equipment (burocracy), but now i can chose the equipment and buy it directly.

i´m polishing the details, but for now i´m aiming for 5 kg per batch equipment.

i´ll post tomorrow the specific equipment i´ve seen until now.


updated by @david-briceno: 07/08/16 01:55:11PM
Sebastian
@sebastian
04/03/16 07:35:28AM
754 posts

David - it's also helpful to understand why you're makign chocolate (what the purpose is).  Is it to highlight columbian cocoa to support the agronomy?  Is it to establish a standardized means to assess various clonal materials and post harvest practices?  If i had to guess i'd suspect more #1 than #2 as 5kg is a lot for standardized assessments.

David Briceño
@david-briceno
04/03/16 09:50:39AM
16 posts

Sebastian, you´re right. The main goals are to make some resarch, provide assistance to farmers and create a small chocolate maker and chocolatier programme as the institution i´m working for is the public learning service.


updated by @david-briceno: 07/12/16 10:48:29AM
David Briceño
@david-briceno
04/03/16 11:52:49AM
16 posts

Hi everyone, my total budget is 260.000.000 colombian pesos, that´s about 80.000 dolars.

- Cocoa Roaster 5 kg per batch. Machine: ERTC-05 IMSA $10.300 Perú

  This machine is programmable, INOX, has a cooling cicle and fumes extraction            system among other stuff i find trouble translating.

- Winnower 15 kg/h IMSA Perú $6.300

 This one is the smallest i´ve found.

Disc Mill (no brand in particular) $1.000

- Cocoa Butter Press: I haven´t found any for $11.000 i think i would need to get a "kitchen" or domestic machine for this purpose. We just need 1 kg of cocoa butter a day and 10 kg of degrased cocoa liquor a day.

-Roll Refiner: Three Roll Mill Model T65 Torrey Hills Technologies $8.800

 This is the smallest roll refiner i´ve found.

-Ball Mill + Conche 5kg per batch each. Caotech CAO B5 + CWC5 $33.000

-Tempering machine 5 kg per batch. Pomati T5

  I think this one cost about $8.000, but i haven´t looked for any definitive machine.

With that money, i also have to buy hygrometers, refractometers, guillotine, therometers etc. But those aren´t hard to find. I would expect to spend no more than $3.500.

I´m open to suggestions, i can´t hire a professional or buy second hand equipment.

I just had to sit down and listen a legal advisor for two hours just for trying to change the budget they gave me, until he found a legal exit for doing this.

I really appreciate everyone´s contributions to this topic.

Thanks!!


updated by @david-briceno: 07/12/16 11:15:45PM
Daniel Haran
@daniel-haran
04/03/16 12:54:28PM
49 posts

Hi David,

It is really useful for me to see those prices and options, thank you :)

How much production per week do you need to have?

Here's my current setup:

-Roasting. Right now I am using a convection oven (CAD $4,000), which can roast 4-5 perforated pans at once. It does result in a lot of smoke. I usually roast ~4kg in under 20 minutes, as there is a lot of airflow so using the same roast curves others post here leads to burning.

-Winnowing. Sylph winnower with shop-vac and "dust deputy". A Champion juicer to crack the beans feeds into the Sylph, and I separate nibs by size for 2nd and optionally a 3rd pass. I control for remaining husk by weighing what's left in 100g of nibs (marijuana scales are cheap and have 0.01g accuracy). ~CAD $1500 for this setup.

-Grinding. I have a universal and several smaller test mills, both a Spectra/Santha and 5 Premier Wonders. When testing recipe variations I can use two Premiers side-by-side. Each of those can easily handle 2.5kg and will result in very good chocolate; I highly recommend you start with those. I keep those small mills over a heater at 40C in a baking rack holder with cover, which doubles as a warming cabinet. Premiers can handle 100g of nibs every 5 minutes, so this lets me skip pre-grinding.

-Tempering. I experimented a lot before deciding on a continuous tempering machine. For higher throughput production it is not tempering but _dosing_ that is finicky and time-consuming. If you care less about these concerns, you can use cheaper tempering machines or even skip them and temper on stone. A higher-tech solution is an EZTemper (USD$1,000) or a cheaper PID controller setup that keeps cocoa butter at the same temperature.

For optimal tempering I would consider refrigeration (my setup is a baking rack holder with cover and an A/C unit blowing cold air in).

I'm not sure what use a refractometer would be. I found hygrometers for $20 and so have a couple around the workshop. The laser (infrared) thermometer is the other gadget I wouldn't want to be without.

My next purchases will probably include a tiny cocoa butter press (Nutrachef, USD$250) which I suspect will be pretty common amongst craft makers. From online descriptions it can get 160g of butter from 500g of liquor in 30 minutes.

I'd also like a proper conche and will look at the one you listed. At a larger scale a Kleego might be more compelling as it can vary many parameters independently.

I think you could put off the roll refiner and ball mill and replace grinding with multiple Premiers, which would let you try many more recipes in parallel.

Sebastian
@sebastian
04/03/16 01:47:12PM
754 posts

That's helpful David - thank you.

A couple of thoughts, if I may.

Roasting - while i have not used the Inox directly, i suspect it's a perfectly suitable piece of equipment. I also suspect that it's more than you require, and i might recommend a Binder oven as an alternative.  Fantastically good temperature control and heat distribution for a fraction of the price.  Regardless of the oven you select, i'd recommend having your machine shop fabricate some standardized roasting trays to hold a fixed amount at a fixed depth with airflow through the bottom.  This will help you with your oven 'recovery' time (when you open the doors and put x amount in, your temperature will drop - the amount of time it takes the oven to come back to it's set temperature is it's recovery time, and is very useful in creating a standardized assessment method).

Winnowing - again, it probably a perfectly suitable unit, but if you're open to it, you can build something equally as suitable for 1/5 of the price yourself.  Now, part of what you may want this lab to be is a showcase as well - meaning looks are important - if that's the case, i'd stick with purchasing the commercial unit as a DIY winnower - while as effective, isn't likely to look as nice.

Disc mill - perfectly suitable.  why do you want this?  you've got a ball mill listed later, which i'm assuming  you want to use to make chocolate liquor.  A disc mill is going to perform the same task as a ball mill.  Not sure you need both.  An alternative to both of them i might recommend is a colloid mill.  a number of years ago i was looking for a suitable milling operation that i could install in the jungle anywhere in the world, and i secured a JML colloid mill literally off of ebay to test it.  very cost effective, and while it required me to clean the living daylights out of it beofre i used it, i found it to be a remarkably robust, easy to operate, and efficient piece of equipment for making liquor.

Roll Refiner - i'd recommend testing this unit before you buy it to ensure it can achieve sufficient particle size reduction.  Some 3 roll refiners don't have sufficient tensioning built into them to get to small particle size (20um - some of them struggle with achieving even 50 um).

Tempering - if you're going to be doing 5kg batches, it frankly might be easier to hand temper them.  A good hot plate, an aluminum rectangular pan, and your cooling tunnel will enable this.  There are a number of small batch tempering units that are in that 5kg size range that cost $1-2k that are suitable as well.

You also want to give some consideration to how are  you going to cool your chocolate once it's been tempered.  This can be as simple as modifying a refrigeration unit to be suitable for chocolate, but in your environment, tempering without cooling will be very problematic for you.

Any refractometer you get should have at least a 0-30 brix range - anything higher than 30 isn't going to be useful for you, assuming you're going to use it to assess cocoa pulp.  Not sure what you're going to do with a hygrometer.  Other useful pieces of equipment, assuming you're also going to be working with the cocoa beans, include a set of good stick thermometers, a field portable pH meter, and i'd strongly recommend somerthing called a Dickey John mini GAC+ to allow you to do rapid cocoa bean moisture analysis.  If you're going to be working in the field with fermentation and drying, i might also suggest a good set of data loggers that record both temperature and humidity.

David Briceño
@david-briceno
04/03/16 03:22:42PM
16 posts

Daniel and Sebastian, you both got me thinking.

Roasting: ill stick with IMSA, as i´m not allowed to buying equipment that needs modification. The legal advisor was very insistent with it.

Winnower: Same as roasting, not allowed to build machines or parts for machines.

Grinding: i was reading the specifications of the CAO B5, Caotech Ball Mill. Apparently it can refine, from cocoa powder to cocoa liquor and everything on the middle. I´m not sure about that, as i was convinced that ball mills were required for high fat content products (as cocoa liquor) and roll refiners for degreased cocoa liquor.

I was planning to use the disc mill for refining cocoa cake from the cocoa butter press, but that no longer seems necessary, same for the roll refiner.

But as it´s been repeatedly pointed out, i don´t know much about this, so i would like to hear about your experiences.

Tempering: As Sebastian said, i would choose to temper by hand, but there is a lot of politics inside this project; you are absolutely right, it has to work great, but it has to "look" great too.

I´ll get for me some premiers and the nutracheff oil press by July to try the number 2 option Sebastian mention. But that´s for me with my cocoa clones.


updated by @david-briceno: 07/11/16 08:24:14PM
David Briceño
@david-briceno
04/03/16 03:40:24PM
16 posts

I forgot about something. They are planning to buy a refrigerator for tempering and keeping samples. I honestly don´t have any idea about the specifications of this equipment, i have only tempered by hand in Bogotá which is 20°C bellow from here.

Thanks!


updated by @david-briceno: 07/12/16 11:15:46PM
Sebastian
@sebastian
04/03/16 04:31:58PM
754 posts

I would not personally use the ball mill for anything other than making liquor, given your setup.  Also consider that it's going to be a very loud piece of equpiment to operate.

For automated small batch tempering, you might consider the chocovision revolation unit (or perhaps a couple of them).  If you're lookign for consistency in tempering results, also consider a tricor temper-meter.  

Something i omitted above would be two very precise scales - one that's a very small measurement (0.000x grams), and one that allows for kg size measurements (xx.xxkg) - those can run you a few thousand dollars as well.

David Briceño
@david-briceno
04/04/16 12:28:21PM
16 posts

Caotech just gave me their response. Their ball mill needs a minimum fat/butter content of 30% to operate.


updated by @david-briceno: 07/09/16 11:47:46AM
Sebastian
@sebastian
04/04/16 12:43:10PM
754 posts

That's optimistic.  I'd consider 35-37% as the minimum operational range.

Clay Gordon
@clay
04/04/16 01:06:50PM
1,680 posts

David:

I have seen the IMSA equipment in operation during the Salon del Cacao y Chocolate in Lima in 2015 as well as at a customer site in Lima in 2014. I can't recommend it. It looks good and the prices are decent, but there are some serious build quality issues, especially with the cracker/winnower.

Going with the requirement for no DIY ... 

I can second Sebastian's recommendation of a Binder oven, especially at the scale you are going to be working at and for the intended purpose. I know for a fact that a Binder FD53 is used for making both the liquor and chocolate samples for the International Cocoa of Excellence Awards. If your budget stretches I would go for the next size up though it's not necessary. There are no special installation issues with this oven that you'd need to consider when using a drum roaster.

As for grinding and refining, at the scale you're talking about I don't see why you need a multi-step process of disc grinder, ball mill, and roll-refiner. Though otherwise expensive, you can get a 12kg/batch melangeur from Kudvic for under US$10,000 with clear lid and their automatic temperature control system.

[ Premier Chocolate Refiners (not the basic grinder) could be used instead of the Kudvic. The batch size is much smaller (about 2kg) but they are very cheap (less than $300 each) and so you could buy a dozen of them and be processing several different recipes at the same time. ]

These melangeurs are not conches, but with some added hot air flow they do a creditable job that is acceptable for your use case scenarios. I have a non-DIY recommendation for airflow for the Premier refiners.

For small batch cracking and winnowing I would recommend the machines from CPS (Commodity Processing Systems) in the UK. There are two winnower sizes, get the large one. Expect to spend about £3000 ($5000) before shipping.

Again at such a small scale and for chocolate for which there is no seed, I can recommend The Chocolate Wave. It's under US$7000 before shipping and can temper 2-3kg of chocolate in a couple of minutes. While you will need to learn how to temper properly (which us a good thing in any event), it's going to be a lot faster in use than a small-batch tempering machine from Chocovision.

I cannot recommend the Pomati T5 for tempering own-made chocolate. The entire cooling system is just too small (compressor capacity and length of the tempering auger) for consistent tempering results for chocolate that is even slightly more viscous than couverture.

While a temper meter like the Tricor is not a bad recommendation, if I recall correctly from talking with their tech guys (and Sebastian please correct me if I am wrong on this), is that it requires having a sample of properly tempered chocolate to compare against. So it's kind of a chicken and egg situation. You can't measure proper temper unless you have properly tempered chocolate to begin with. They do make a machine to measure rheology and that might be interesting.

I also have connections with a refrigeration supply company in the UK (Angel) that offers a 20-pan temperature and humidity–controlled fridge specifically for crystallizing and holding chocolate. It's about £4000 ($6500) before shipping from the UK.

I can help you get quotations and order machines from Kudvic, Chocolate Wave, and Angel Refrigeration. I don't have a connection at Binder or CPS but I can get them for you if you need. 




--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/

updated by @clay: 04/04/16 01:08:45PM
Sebastian
@sebastian
04/04/16 05:01:42PM
754 posts

Clay Gordon:

While a temper meter like the Tricor is not a bad recommendation, if I recall correctly from talking with their tech guys (and Sebastian please correct me if I am wrong on this), is that it requires having a sample of properly tempered chocolate to compare against. So it's kind of a chicken and egg situation. You can't measure proper temper unless you have properly tempered chocolate to begin with. They do make a machine to measure rheology and that might be interesting.

No, the tricor does not require a properly tempered 'control', if you will. As with any analytical instrument, it does require calbiration, which it maintains internally.  Since things like flavor release, color, hardness, bloom stability, etc all are a direct function of temper - and since temper is not a yes/no state (there are ranges of temper), if the lab was going to be used to assess such things, having a temper meter becomes a critical tool in defining your 'acceptable window' of temper to minimize the impact of temper on those other variables you are evaluating.  W/o it, you may come to the conclusion that beans xxx are 'better' than beans yyy for whatever reason, and that reason may have absolutely nothing to do with the beans, but rather the fact that the chocolate made with xxx beans was on the far 'left' of the temper spectrum, and the chocolate made with yyy beans were tempered to the far 'right' of the spectrum.

David Briceño
@david-briceno
04/04/16 08:48:28PM
16 posts

That´s really helpfull Clay, i had a better impression from IMSA.

I´ll go with your advice, but ihave one question.

Melangers and similar, and ball mills, allow me to refine liquor over 35% fat/butter content.

But, what about the degreased cocoa under that fat content? for example, what is left from the oil pressing in a "Nutrachef" or similar press equipment? how can i refine it?


updated by @david-briceno: 07/12/16 11:15:42PM
Clay Gordon
@clay
04/05/16 12:01:58PM
1,680 posts

Chocolate makers don't normally refine what's left over after pressing the oil out of it - it get ground into cocoa powder!

If you added it back in to a chocolate recipe it would be the same as not removing the fat to begin with.

Melangeurs don't have the same physical limitations as ball mills. You might be able to refine what's left over after pressing the butter out of it. What you'd have is a low-fat cocoa mass that could be mixed with sugar and, instead of refining it, mold it, and use it for making hot chocolate.




--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
Erin
@erin
05/31/16 08:33:38PM
30 posts

If you want the Chocolate Refiners mentioned, they are available athttp://indichocolate.com/products/chocolate-refiner?variant=7781420993

David Briceño
@david-briceno
06/26/16 03:41:45PM
16 posts

Hi everyone, i been silent for a while (working hard). I just wanted to tell you that i´m in the process of getting the equipment for the lab. I took into account most of your comments and suggestions.

As soon i have everything set up and workin i´ll post the details.

Cheers!


updated by @david-briceno: 07/12/16 11:15:44PM

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