Starting a small-scale chocolate business can be both rewarding and challenging. While it’s relatively inexpensive to get started, you’ll need some specialized equipment to get your business up and running. Luckily, you won’t need an entire factory to produce your chocolates. Thanks to smaller-scale manufacturers such as those that produce micro-batches of beer, wine, and spirits. You’ll likely find the perfect supplier with just the right equipment for your business – one of them is Artisan Industrial. Below we list all the equipment needed for a small-scale chocolate business.
Condenser and Dryer
The first pieces of equipment needed for a small-scale chocolate business are a condenser and a dryer. You can use these machines to make your chocolate by first melting the cocoa butter, milk, and sugar. Then the melted mixture will be cooled down so that it solidifies. In the condenser, the mixture will be cooled to around 32 Degrees Celsius, which is the perfect temperature to make it easier to mix with other ingredients like cocoa powder and flour. You’ll also need a dryer to ensure the chocolate doesn’t become damp or sticky. Moisture can lead to increased dust, which is common in non-dried chocolate. Dried chocolate is much easier to work with and doesn’t clump up like non-dried chocolate.
The melting machine is used to melt the ingredients used to make the chocolate. The machine is a large container that you can heat from inside using either a steam or heat pump. Alternatively, a heating element can heat the machine from the outside. You can heat the liquid cocoa butter to make it easier to work with, but it’s not necessary for smaller batches of chocolate. It’s also possible to buy cocoa butter that’s already been melted. Ensure you read the label to find out when it was last melted, so you know when it needs to be done again.
Depending on the recipe you use, you may need a mixing machine. These are large rotating bowls that are completely sealed so the ingredients can’t get out. Depending on the size of your business, you can either buy a large mixing machine or have someone help you manually mix your ingredients. If you mix your recipes manually, ensure you have ample space. You don’t want to struggle to open doors or move things around as you work. You’ll also want to ensure you don’t get any chocolate on your clothing, as cocoa beans and butter are tough to remove.
Coating and Filling Equipment
For your chocolate to be ready to sell, it needs to be filled and coated in a way that protects the product. For small-scale chocolate businesses, the easiest way to do this is to use a coating and filling machine. For the coating part of the process, you’ll want to use what’s known as tempering chocolate. It is chocolate that’s been melted and cooled down again. Tempering chocolate makes it glossy and easier to work with, which is vital when filling and coating the product. Filling the chocolate is straightforward, but leaving room for the coating is essential.