JKV 30

Picture of Katharina Ortner
JKV 30
by Katharina Ortner - Thursday, 8 September 2011, 5:52 PM
I have been using the JKV 30 tempering machine for 3years now. These are my experiences with this machine:

I had the Dutch-made machine shipped from Europe through a distributor in Germany, a process I might not recommend to anyone who is easily discouraged by endless paper work and maddening customs clearance procedures. The machine came with what I believe is the most basic and minimal operation manual possible, especially when considering the price of CAD $10 000 paid. I had troubles with my first few attempts in tempering, never being able to go through the full range of the temperature curves they recommended on their manual no matter what I did. I called the German distributor, then the Dutch manufacturer to ask for help but got absolutely none of that (just a lot of brush-offs). Finally I realized I was on my own with it. I filled the machine with water and tried to run it through the program. This is when I found that the temperature sensor is very poorly calibrated. So poorly in fact that the higher the temperature the greater the gap between what the machine reads and what the actual temperature is at the time. As it turns out, if I want to heat the chocolate to 45 degrees Celcius (as the chocolate I am using requires), I actually have to set the digital setting to 52 degrees. It took me a long time to make head or tail of the setting discrepancies. Before I got the JKV I had been using the Hilliard Little Dipper and, as well, hand-tempered gallons and gallons of chocolate with consistently great tempering results . I never doubted my ability to temper chocolate no matter if I used Cluizel, Callebaut, Belcolade, or Valrohna.To make a long story short, I finally figured the JKV out, bugs and all, without the scantest effort of help on the side of the manufacturer. Here is how I do it now:

I heat the chocolate overnight to 40 degrees Celsius, turn it up to 52 degrees as soon as I get to the shop, turn the wheel on so the chocolate heats evenly throughout, then turn it down to 30 degrees to cool it down. Please keep in mind that these temperatures take into account the discrepancies of my thermostat. At that time I place a fan right in front of the turning wheel to help cool it down faster. This 'fan method' I only figured out a few month ago. I helps speed up the tempering process and saves considerable amount of time. When the chocolate reaches about 42 degrees I add about 8 cups of chocolate chunks and keep adding little bits as the chunks melt away. When the tank reaches 30 degrees I turn the program up to 32 degrees (which is in reality only about 30 degrees) and check for temper. I remove any little chunks of chocolate that might still be in the tempered chocolate and place them in a labeled plastic container (to be added again at the end of the day).

As an aside, shockingly to many of you, I empty the JKV of all its chocolate once I am done with the mould making for the week. I plan my week so that I pour all my moulds in one long, tedious day, the next day pour my chocolate bars, then empty the chocolate via the spout onto parchment paper lined trays. Once chilled, I break the chocolate into chards and bag it in marked bags. It seems like a lot of work but really takes only minutes, saves me a considerable amount of money on the electricity bill, keeps the chocolate much fresher (because it is not constantly being heated), and keeps the room cooler (which reduces the strain on my air conditioner). I use the JKV only for making moulds and chocolate bars. For all my hand dipping I use my much loved Hilliard Little Dipper. I will enter a separate entry for this machine.

All in all I have very mixed feeling about the JKV. I could have possibly been served better with a locally produced machine.