When you are in the market to buy that chocolate grinding machine that is best for you, there are various features to look for. Of course, one of the features is the cost, especially if you are a small company or are just planning on using this machine for special occasions. Other features include the type of chocolate grinding machines, various parts of the chocolate grinding machines, and more. The following includes more details about these features and other important things to consider:
The Cost of the Chocolate Grinding Machine
The price of an industrial-grade chocolate grinding machine that is automatic ranges from $2,000 to $15,000. Chocolate grinding machines that run manually are usually more affordable because they don't have the expensive costs of automatic parts. Other than that, the price of these automatically and manually run machines depends on the type and size of the machine.
The Size of the Chocolate Grinding Machine
Chocolate grinding machines come in various sizes for various applications. The following includes these sizes:
- Benchtop Chocolate Grinders
This chocolate grinding machine is perfect for small-batch preparations or for home use. Professional or new chocolate makers can use these machines, thus they are easy to use. They are also affordable, readily accessible, durable, reliable, lightweight, easily portable, and easy to install. All you need is patience and the right ingredients for a small production capacity.
These machines are suitable for small-scale industries because they are bigger than benchtop chocolate grinding machines. So, confectioners and small hotels, for example, can use them.
Another thing about these grinders is that they are more expensive than benchtop grinders due to their size. And since they take up more space, it takes more skill and time to install them.
- Huge Capacity Chocolate Grinders
Since these machines deliver a large production capacity, they are the most expensive type of chocolate grinding machine. They are the most suitable for commercial usage due to their ability to grind more chocolate at a time. These machines also contain more parts and coinsure more power than the other chocolate grinders.
Being the largest of the chocolate grinding machines, it takes special expertise to install them. However, these machines can integrate with other types of chocolate-making equipment in production. In fact, you can combine this machine with several other machines, including a three-roll, homogenizing machine, shearing machine, ball mill, mixer, and more. The following items include some ways you can use it in production:
- Cocoa liquor or paste
- Fruit jam
- Nut milk
- Sesame butter
- Peanut butter
- Almond butter
- Ginger garlic paste
- Soybean paste
Some of these grinding machines are also multipurpose. For instance, a multipurpose chocolate grinding machine can perform functions, like a cocoa grinder and a nut butter processor.
The Procedure and Timing Parameters of the Chocolate Grinding Machine
There are different parameters that determine the procedure and timing of a chocolate grinding machine. These parameters include the following:
- The type of ingredients you'll use in it
- The ingredients' quantity
- The machine's speed
- The nibs' size you'll use
- Room temperature
- Your desired flavor and conching
- Knowing these parameters will help ensure you choose the right chocolate grinding machine for you.
The Technical Features of the Chocolate Grinding Machine
Knowing the technical features is also great to make the most accurate choice for your company or special occasion. These technical features include:
These machines may have either indirect or direct drive mechanisms. The motor is directly connected to the drum spindle when it comes to direct drive mechanisms. The chain or belt connects the motor to the drum spindle for indirect drive mechanisms.
Direct drive mechanisms are more expensive than indirect drive mechanisms. However, they are better than indirect ones.
When it comes to indirect drive mechanisms, however, the chains are better than belts. This is due to belts having a tendency to stretch and eventually loosen. So, if you are looking to buy a grinder that has an indirect drive mechanism, keep in mind that the ones with metal chains are best.
Otherwise, if you use belts, it's vital they are stretch-free. You can also replace the belt with a link belt, which runs with less vibration and is easier to install.
If you are particular about the flow of the chocolate inside the bowl, then you may want to buy a more modern type of grinder/melanger where the bowl and base won't turn. Otherwise, using a huge wet grinding bowl will wobble out, thus causing slightly different characteristics in processing.
Bowl heaters help to extract fat from nibs and increase the temperature of the roller stones. They also evaporate undesired volatiles and increase the grinding process speed. They complete the batch quicker.
On the other hand, you must be careful not to produce chocolate that smells and tastes flat. This situation happens when using forced hot air for too long to evaporate volatiles too effectively.
The pressure mechanism is spring-loaded tension that holds down the axles for roller stones on the vertical shafts. New pressure mechanisms, such as pneumatic cylinders, help to operate each roller stone.
A spring-loaded tensioner is wet grinders' most common pressure mechanism. It applies pressure on the vertical shaft that restrains axles for the grinding stones. A new pressure mechanism is pneumatic cylinders, which have separate pistons for every grinding stone.
When it comes to spring-loaded tensioning mechanisms, there are two things to take into consideration. For one, it may be complicated to get the same pressure from every batch. This differentiation in pressure may result in different grinding times, which may affect the chocolate's flow characteristics and viscosity. And if there are significant differences, different temperatures may be required.
This factor is less likely when it comes to batch tempering. However, it may easily become a factor when continually using tempering equipment.
The other thing to consider is the effects associated with too much pressure. Too much of it may lead to non ordinary axis bending. Otherwise, it may cause the grinding wheels' inability to sit flat on the base due to there being more pressure on the inside edge. These situations will lead to less grinding efficiency and uneven wear of the base and grinding wheels. Then, the worn stone will be dust in your chocolate.
Please note that having the ability to control the drum's rotational speed is beneficial in various ways. For one, if you are able to change the rotational speed of the drum, you can control the temperature. You can also reverse the drum's rotation using this same ability, which benefits items on the drum stick. This ability is also great for larger machines that may jam for whatever reason.
There are tons of amazing chocolate grinding machines of various sizes and types. Taking into consideration what size of production, the parts, and so forth will significantly help you in making the right choice. And from there, your chocolate grinding machine will make the ultimate chocolate you desire for years to come.