How to enrobe bars in chocolate coating?

8
10
Joined Jun 27, 2016
Hello all,

first of all, this forum has been very helpful in the past, thank you to all of you who keep answering the questions of people like me!

My problem is, I need to coat bars in chocolate. The coating itself is not super important right now, as it is not even decided on the final coating mix (chocolate, maltitol, sugar etc..). It's the process that I'm wondering about.

I can make around 800 bars per day, all in nice rectangle shape. Think of your standard snickers bar, just without the coating. Now, how would I apply the coating? Is there a machinery in the world of bakery that is kind of like an endless chocolate waterfall and two feeder bands that is feasible for a small time manufacturer/producer like me?

Or am I thinking in the completely wrong direction? My fear is, there is either dipping by hand (which is too inconsistent and time/labor consuming) or a fully fledged production line with an output of thousands and thousands of bars per day and nothing in between.

I'm open for "thinking out of the box" here, of course. What would you suggest? Thanks a lot!

PS: I'm not a baker, so I don't know most machinery.
 
5,551
991
Joined Oct 10, 2005
I don’t understand, there is chocolate, and then there is “dreck” that goes by the name coating. The two are polar opposites. Oh, and any sugar ending in “ol” (malitol, sorbitol, etc) is a
Laxative. No b.s.ing here.

Before I sold my business, I was producing 2-300 pieces of 50 gr(2oz) filled bars per day, by hand. I had a 20 kg melter, a wheel, and a vibrating table. Total cost for new chocolate equipment was under 3 thousand.

Hand dipping bars is do able. The question is, how rigid are the bars? Are they crumbly, or compact?

Then, how will the bars be portioned/cut?

More importantly, packaging. Packaging either sells the product, or drives you bankrupt.

But if you don’t have bar codes for each variety, no retailer with a cash register will touch you.

And nutritional labels

And expiry dates

How will you sell your bars? If you think of using a distributor, they usually mark up 30-40%. Combine that with the retailer’s mark up, and you’ve got a $5.00 bar. Will the quality and packaging reflect that price?

It’s a lot to think about, but better now then when you’re 30 grand in.....
 
8
10
Joined Jun 27, 2016
Before I sold my business, I was producing 2-300 pieces of 50 gr(2oz) filled bars per day, by hand. I had a 20 kg melter, a wheel, and a vibrating table. Total cost for new chocolate equipment was under 3 thousand.

Thank you for your answer! I'm dying to know how you got all that for under 3k $ - what do you mean by wheel and vibrating table? A vibrating conveyor belt? I have trouble imagining your setup, but it sounds great. Could you maybe provide me with a link to the different parts, so I get an idea? That would help me very much.

Regarding your other points, thank you as well. I've been operating this business for over 3 years (and still don't know jack about a lot of its aspects, as you can see here) and this has all been taken care of - we've been selling our products to customers and b2b for over 2 years now. It's just that we are not big enough to just spent 10k on a chocolate enrober on a whim, so we look for alternatives.
 
5,551
991
Joined Oct 10, 2005
No enrober, just hand work. The melter is nothing more than a fancy soup warmer with a super sensitive thermostat. An optional plexiglass wheel driven by a motor sits in the tub of couverture and moves the couverture through a s/s spout. This keeps the choc. In temper and allows me to fill molds without ladling. A vibrating table is just that, a little table you place your filled molds on and vibrates, forcing any air bubbles to the surface. You don’t need this if you’re hand dipping.

You can check out this stuff at www.dr.ca, its a company called “design and realization” out of Montreal. Good quality stuff.

At 800 bars per day is pretty serious production. Hand dipping will work toup to 400 bars per day, after that it gets pretty repetitious.

Callebaut offers chocolate production classes in Montreal, it would be worth checking out.
 
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