Premier Wonder Grinder Help
Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques
Seems the problem is that the machines weren't initially cleaned before being used.
Before using the machine for the first time, it is important to clean out the machine to make certain it is free of excess stone, dust and packaging material. There are instructions for cleaning the machine that come with the machine. You should initially rinse the bowl and stone holder with wheels well in very warm water until the water runs clear. Let the bowl and stones dry completely (allowing over night and/or 24 hours to dry, depending on dryness of surrounding air, is a good idea to ensure no moisture remains that could cause cocoa butter to seize). After the bowl and stones are completely dry, warm cocoa butter to a liquid state. Turn on the machine and slowly pour in the cocoa butter. Let the stones get covered in the warm cocoa butter for about a minute or two. Turn off the machine, empty any excess cocoa butter. Now you are ready to begin making chocolate. This warm cocoa butter is a great lubricant and also begins the process of warming up the stones. Using a hair dryer on the stones and/or placing the bowl and stones in a warm (not hot) oven can also help with refinement and keeping the cocoa butter warm initially.
Making certain that all parts are completely dry is important when working with cocoa butter, due to it's propensity to seize when moisture is present. There was probably some remaining moisture that made it difficult for the wheels to move.
Make certain the wheels are well situated on the shaft to allow movement. When moving the stone holder down the shaft, you will notice that when the stone holder is correctly positioned down the shaft that the wheels will move when stone holder is rotated around the shaft. Once you have the stone holder correctly in position, you will be ready to use the top lock to hold it in position. The top lock places downward pressure on the stones and helps with refinement. You can reduce the pressure in the begining when you are adding nibs to adjust for the big partical size and slowly add more pressure when the particle size is more similar and smaller. The top lock should never be more than finger tight.
For your first few batches, start with smaller batches that come half-way up the wheel. This will allow you to see the stones moving and give you time to learn the cadence for adding ingredients. Once you've got the hang of it, you'll be good to start making larger batches.
There are Chocolate Maker Upgrades available for the Premier Wonder Grinder that include more robust gears for the longer run times required for making chocolate, long wearing Polyurethane belt and fully sealed ball bearings (much better for working with cocoa butter). There are also machines upgraded specifically for the rigors of making chocolate called the Chocolate Refiner ( http://indichocolate.com/products/chocolate-refiner?variant=7781420993).
Work is being done on the website to include instructional and troubleshooting videos for the Wonder Grinder, Chocolate Refiner and Tilting Grinder that should be posted soon.
You can contact me directly from the contact information on the website if you have additional questions, etc.
Hope this is helpful.
Happy chocolate making!