Need help with solutions for tempering small size chocolate batches – 10 – 20 lbs. Right now we use “silk” based approach described by “the alchemist” but it takes a lot of time. Machines like Selmi One are a bit expensive. Wondering if there is a middle ground with cost 1-2K USD but quicker than hand or “silk” based tempering.
Further to that, it only takes a few minutes more to run the chocolate through the tempering curve, than it does to melt the silk into your working chocolate and propagate crystals.
Take 20lbs of chocolate for example:
Heat the chocolate to 120 to decrystalize it (same as using silk)
Cool the chocolate to 88-90 degrees (same as using silk)
Take 5 lbs of the mass and cool it in a water bath to the point where it becomes thick and sludgy. (5 min)
Mix that chocolate back in to your working mass and stir it until fully melted.
Essentially what you’ve done here is create your own “instant silk” (oldschool term called seeding) with your own chocolate and at the same time saved $900 for a machine.
Another option is to buy a tempering machine and fill it with decrystalized cocoa butter, turn the motor off, and set the holding temperature at 93 degrees for the night. Come in the next morning and you have a whole machine full of silk.
Send me $100 and some chocolate. You’ll be $800 richer and we’ll call it even!
There is no reason tempering with silk should take a long time. There are machines designed specifically to do this that cost under $1000. You do need to mix this in by hand but that should not take more than a minute or two.
Brad @Choklat is right that you should learn to temper by hand. Knowing what temper looks and feels like is necessary to know if your machine is tempering properly! The technique Brad shows works and is easy to master.
Just to be clear, if you are looking for a machine that costs no more than US$2000 you are looking for a batch tempering machine. Something in the ~5kg range should work for you. Much smaller and you will waste a lot of time waiting for the machine to temper. Much larger and you will blow past your budget. Look forward to an announcement soon in the under US$2000 batch tempering machine.
FBM makes a 10kg batch tempering machine, the Quadro 10, that costs between €5000-6000. One reason it is this expensive is that it uses a refrigeration compressor for cooling instead of relying on the ambient air temperature. The compressor means that it works faster and more consistently than one using ambient air for cooling. But they are more expensive and require 220V to work.