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What do I need to know going from a hand-dipper to a chocolate enrober?

I'm looking for some basic knowledge about chocolate enrobing machines.


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Jim Bourne from Hilliard's Chocolate System

The reason to move to enrobing from hand dipping is the need for increased capacity. Not only will enrobers increase production but they will give more consistent results, uniform coverage and the ability to coat difficult shaped centers or different types of centers. Enrobers can be purchased in different belt widths and speeds for greater production and with other options to make them more efficient.

Oct 8, 2013

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Ray Cote from Aasted

You need to understand the batch size you want to produce as you need to be certain that you have good tempered chocolate to cover your centers with. If you try to keep your chocolate in temper too long in a batch situation it will simply become over-tempered and your finished result will be poor. 

You can solve this situation by going to a small enrober which has built in tempering. That way all you need to do is keep melted chocolate coming into the machine to replace what you are taking away on your centers. 

Oct 22, 2013

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Clay Gordon from FBM S.r.l

The most frequent question I get asked about using an enrober belt are about changes in how the chocolate is tempered.

If you are using a bowl temperer and adding an enrober belt then there is no change in the way you're tempering the chocolate. However, if you use a bowl or wheel machine and then move to a continuous temperer you have to learn how to use the temperer first.

I also get asked a lot about production capacity. The amount of work you can do depends on the width of the belt, the speed of the belt, what kind(s) of decorations are going to be done to the pieces after they are enrobed, and how many people are working the line. Figuring out your actual throughput is about balancing these factors.

Also, there's a big misunderstanding about how big a tempering machine you need. If you are putting 1000 pieces per hour through the enrober and each piece requires 10 grams of chocolate, then you only need 10kg (22lbs) of chocolate per hour. Unless you are doing a lot of solid, filled, molded work, it doesn't make a lot of sense to purchase a 100kg per hour continuous temperer or an 80kg wheel machine. If you're doing mostly enrobing work you may be able to get by with a smaller tempering unit.

Finally - don't expect to be up and running the day you open your boxes and put things together for the first time. This is an unrealistic expectation I run into all the time. The machine arrives in the morning and the customer expects to be in production producing hundreds of pieces that same afternoon. Depending on the size and complexity of the enrober, it can take several days or more to understand how to operate it effectively and efficiently, and tweak and dial in the proper settings for all the different bits.

Oct 14, 2013

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