Chocovision

Chocovision Rev X3210 Experience

 
Picture of User 21
Chocovision Rev X3210 Experience
by User 21 - Monday, 6 March 2006, 1:30 PM
 
My fellow chocolatiers...

I have been using Chocovision's X3210 for almost 5 months now in my side business making artisan chocolates. It has its great points, but it also has its weak points. Long story short, when it's working, I love it! When it's not working, I'm scrambling. I've had trouble finding comparable machines in the same price range, so there may be somethig else out there I don't know about.

Interesting point: Chocovision has a link on their website to "Ask Chocolatier Joe" for tips and questions. Apparently he and his wife are chocolatiers and have offered their expertise to Chocovision's customers. I've not had a chance to try it yet.

DESIGN:
The X3210 is essentially a stainless steel box with a large bowl nestled into the top. There is a baffle that sits across the middle of the bowl that has a scraper on one side and a temperature probe toward the bottom. Overall dimensions are roughly 18" x 18" x 10". Of the many machines I researched, in my price range, this is the design that best fits the way I work.

For the size of the machine, when running correctly and in good repair, it is quiet. (In my opinion.) I have no trouble carrying on a conversation or listening to the tv. I like the hot air heating because the air never gets hotter than about 115 degrees, no matter how long the heater is on. You can't burn the chocolate and you don't have to wait for a bulb to heat up or cool down.

The diameter of the bowl on the X3210 is just right for hand production using polycarbonate molds. I have used the machine with 2-10# of chocolate and have achieved excellent results. My maximum production during the Christmas rush averaged 125 finished pieces per hour. (Since I'm a one woman operation, I'm very pleased with that rate.)

By comparison, the Revolation 1 & 2 have a plastic housing and are much louder as a result. Also, the bowl is too small to be able to scrape/empty excess chocolate into and to fill more than one mold at a time. I typically use my Rev 2 when using white/milk chocolate for decoration or when making a small number of plain chocolate tasting samples.

USE & OPERATION:
To use the X3210, I load chunks of chocolate into the hopper behind the baffle and run the machine through its H-30 cycle to begin melting the chocolate. (The H-30 cycle is when the heater is on but the bowl is not turning for 30 minutes. It defaults to this setting whenever you select a tempering cycle, but you can bypass the H-30.) Then, I let the bowl rotate until the chocolate is completely melted and the machine signals that my chocolate has reached 108 degrees. Depending on how much chocolate is loaded, I have had the melting cycle take up to an hour and a half, give or take. The good point is that I can be doing something else (polishing molds, labeling, etc.) instead of chopping blocks and then standing at the stove stirring my melting chocolate.

To temper, I add 2-3 chunks of chocolate behind the baffle and make sure they are touching the little "pool" of melted chocolate at the bottom of the bowl. There are two choices of tempering mode. Use Option 1 if the seed chocolate is in good condition, but use Option 2 if it is in poor condition; I've used both and have no complaints. Though I've not tried it yet, one of my contacts at the company said I can also temper the melted chocolate with seed chocolate from my granite slab. I'm also curious to try seeding with Mycryo because I've heard good things about it. Depending on the temperature of the room and the amount of chocolate, tempering takes 10-20 min.

Before using my tempered chocolate and before removing the seed chocolate, I always stir thoroughly with a spatula and religiously test for temper. I distinctly remember learning in my Ecole Chocolat class that no tempering machine is foolproof! It's well worth the 3-4 extra minutes. Sometimes the machine needs to work a few more minutes, sometimes the chocolate's perfect the first time I test.

TROUBLESHOOTING:
When I leave the machine running for an extended time with tempered chocolate, it does tend to thicken somewhat. As I understand it, though, this is a normal process for tempered chocolate because the beta crystals continue forming as the chocolate is agitated. To combat the thickening, I raise the temperature up to half a degree, which helps. (I don't want to go any higher and risk losing temper.) I've been meaning to "Ask Chocolatier Joe" if he has any suggestions but haven't had a chance yet.

I have noticed the air incorporation issue mentioned by another poster. Typically it's not a problem for me, but I have had the occasional batch come out with tiny bubbles just under the surface. Several other tempering machines I've seen share the same bowl/baffle design, so I think air in the mix might just be a necessary evil.

OVERNIGHT MODE:
The famous Overnight Mode can be both a blessing and a curse. It's wonderfully convenient to come back to a melted bowl of chocolate and be able to get started in 20 minutes after it's been tempered! Wonderful beyond words when you're on a tight schedule! After all, there is only so much labeling and polishing one can do while waiting for chocolate to melt day after day!

Unfortunately, overnight mode is not perfect. I've been told some users have problems with the heater fuse blowing with extended use in overnight mode. My problem was very different. When I left my machine on overnight and came back to it the next evening, I found a broken baffle and badly creased scraper floating in the bowl. The first time it happened, the company quickly sent me a replacement baffle. After inspecting the broken pieces I sent in, I was told there had been a manufacturing problem with my original baffle and that it had already been addressed with the vendor.

So I tried overnight mode again with my brand new baffle and it broke. I called the company one more time for a replacement. They quickly sent a new one and told me how I could repair my broken baffle. I tried again and had the same problem. Convinced it was user error, I walked through every step of the process in the user's manual and over the phone with a company rep. Fortunately, they said I was following the correct procedures. Unfortunately, I still couldn't successfully use overnight mode and I now had a second problem...Noise.

After Christmas, I sent my machine back for inspection because I thought one of the fans had been knocked out of alignment during shipping. When I called to see if they'd found the problem, I was told my machine needed a new motor because the bearings were broken. Chocovision replaced the motor under warranty and my machine was as quiet as a church mouse when I got it back! It was working so well that I tried overnight mode one more time. (I know, I should have known better by this point!) Once again, I came home to a broken baffle and a noisy machine.

After a couple of long conversations with company reps, they suggested using overnight mode for up to around 12 hours. I'm still not sure how leaving it on in overnight mode for 16-18 hours makes such a big difference, but apparently it does. I believe that the resistance causing the baffle to break and scraper to crease stresses the motor and burns out the bearings, causing noise. The company said they hadn't had other reports of my problem to use for comparison. The most frustrating part is that I'm back to waiting and waiting for my chocolate to melt each day before I can begin production.

Chocovision has agreed to repair the machine again when I get a break in production and replace the motor again if necessary. Trouble is, I'm sitting on a growing business with Easter just around the corner and it takes 10-14 days for repairs + shipping time. The machine still works fine, but it is much noisier than it should be and I'm concerned that I'm causing further internal damage by continuing to run it.


In closing, overall, I'm pleased with my x3210, baffle and motor issues notwithstanding. This machine is what allows me to do volume production of my chocolates, so it is invaluable to me in that respect. I don't have the budget or space for many of the other machines on the market because I'm a home-based, part-time chocolatier. Even though this certainly isn't a perfect machine it's very good for my situation.

If anyone has questions, suggestions or comments for me, let me know!

Thank you,
Diana Youngerman
Picture of User 5
Re: Chocovision Rev X3210 Experience
by User 5 - Monday, 6 March 2006, 2:37 PM
 
Diana,

Thanks for all the detail. It was interesting to read about your experiences. You mentioned cost. Do you mind sharing the cost of the machines you're talking about?

Thanks,
Zach
Picture of User 21
Re: Chocovision Rev X3210 Experience
by User 21 - Tuesday, 7 March 2006, 5:58 AM
 
Zach,

I bought my machines from Select Appliance in California and can't say enough good things about them. I spoke with Ming several times both before and after my purchase and he was very willing to help and answer questions.

That said, for both of my machines (X3210 & Rev 2) plus some extra bowls, the auto-feed hopper, the cover, etc. I paid around $1400, shipping included.

Let me know if you have any more questions!

Thank you,
Diana
Picture of User 24
Re: Chocovision Rev X3210 Experience
by User 24 - Monday, 6 March 2006, 4:46 PM
 
Hello all,

I purchased the X3210 in May and used it for production 6 days a week until October, producing 5 - 10 pounds per day. This machine worked great! I got it for a steal from Chocovision on Ebay and the company was fantastic. The unit was a scratch and dent unit but came looking absolutely new.

When the machine first arived I did have some problems with it. The literature was very sparse and I had to call Chocovision for assistance. They were great over the phone and I was up and running. The first thing that I noticed was that the machine was resetting itself a lot. Turned out that I was hitting the wrong button at the end of the seed process. The next was a noisy motor. That was turned down by a good cleaning of the spindle at the bottom of the bowl.

I have read complaints about the thickening of the tempered chocolate and that does occur. I found that it took hours for this to happen and was never really a problem. I also would complain that there is no way to store temperature settings. The internal settings on the machine worked OK but I did get much better results when I used the chocolate manufacturer's suggested temps (I used El Rey covertures and their recommended temps were significantly higher than the built in ones for Chocovision). Once I started using the ideal temps I did not have a single bad temper! The only times that the temper broke was when I did not use enough chocolate or was getting to the bottom of a batch. The temp probe is set high enough that once the chocolate gets low the probe is useless and the machine reads too low a temperature and starts a heating cycle.

I will say that I did vigorous testing when I first got this unit to make sure that the temp readings were accurate. With the help of a laser inferred type thermometer I found that the unit was very accurate. I did find though that the temperature did vary by the depth when I used a digital probe type thermometer.

The only mechanical problem I experienced was a broken temp probe (my mistake, by the way) and that was replaced under warranty.

Typically I did not use the overnight mode much, so I can't really comment on the problem others saw. I rotated production daily from dark to milk so I found it easier to let the chocolate harden in the work bowl then break it out in 1 piece. Do not do this with the baffle in, by the way, that is how I broke the probe. The few times I did use overnight it worked fine, but it was never more than 12 hours. I did have one problem with this though. I did not purchase the outrageously priced cover, so I would cover the work bowl with a towel. One morning I walked in and had a very tasty tea towel after it was snagged by the baffle and sucked into the melted chocolate.
One other complaint I would note is that there is not a soft reset mode. If you accidentally hit a wrong button in the process, the machine starts from the beginning. Very annoying.

For the money (well under $1000 on eBay) I could not hope for a better machine. It was reliable and did exactly what it was meant to do. The size was perfect for my production and cleanup was very easy. Once I learned to change the temps on all phases of the process, it tempered perfectly every time.

I hope this helps.

Thanks
Thom
thom@cinnamoninn.net
Sweet Harmon Chocolates
Picture of User 9
Re: Chocovision Rev X3210 Experience
by User 9 - Monday, 6 March 2006, 4:47 PM
 
Diana,
I was very interested in your experience with the X3210. I have used the overnight mode twice and it was okay, but now I am a bit concerned after your experience. I have not been able to figure out how to bypass the H30 mode or to increase the temperature. When I push the temperature up button, nothing seems to happen. How do you bypass the H30 and adjust the temperature? Maybe I'm doing it right, but the machine is not working?

Debbie
www.ScribnerChocolates.com
Picture of User 24
Re: Chocovision Rev X3210 Experience
by User 24 - Monday, 6 March 2006, 9:45 PM
 
You remove the h30 setting by hitting the temp button. Make sure that there is not siezed chocolate in the workbowl when you do this. Increase the temp by pressing and holding the temp up button untill the desired temp is reached. If that is not working it is possible that you have a bad button or I know that they added some features with a software upgrade in the spring - might want to check on that.

Hope this helps,
Thom
Picture of User 21
Re: Chocovision Rev X3210 Experience
by User 21 - Tuesday, 7 March 2006, 5:54 AM
 
Debbie,

My machine has a button to start or stop the bowl rotation. It's in the right column of buttons, one up from the bottom. When my machine goes into H-30 mode and I don't need it to, I simply press the bowl rotation button once to skip the cycle.

After speaking with a company rep about my overnight mode problems, he suggested that I let my chocolate harden in the bowl and use H-30 when I want to get started again. Now, when I've let my chocolate harden in the bowl, I always run the machine through one, sometimes two, H-30 cycles before letting the bowl rotate. It's effective, but my only complaint is the time involved. I'd much prefer to begin with a bowl of melted chocolate and only need to temper it (~ 20 min. vs. up to 2 hrs.). I only use milk and white chocolates sparingly in decoration so I don't have a need to switch from dark chocolate.

Let me know if you have any more questions!

Thanks,
Diana Youngerman
Picture of User 71
Re: Chocovision Rev X3210 Experience
by User 71 - Tuesday, 16 January 2007, 8:19 PM
 
Hi Everyone,
I need your help! Smile Please bear with me.
I am new to this site as I am new to the business of making chocolates. I purchased a Rev 2 machine and have been less than impressed with the results. I know this is a forum for the X3210, but I really need some guidence on the two, so I hope you all can help!

I pruchased the machine through Bon Appetit. In making truffles, there seems to be enough snap to indicate that it's certainly better than if I just had melted the chocolate, but the high gloss, and the viscosity just dont' seem to be there. I dont' know if I was just expecting too much from what I now realize is more of a 'homemakers' hobby type machine, or if I'm getting picky and obsessive and too close to realize it's actually working fine.... but I've been reading a lot of bad comments about the smaller (ie: my Rev 2) chocovision machines. some people hate chocovision all together... some say the X3210 is far better. I'm really hesitant to spend the extra $500+ in exchanging my Rev 2 for the (supposed) better X3210, but I'm also really frustrated with trying to understand and use the Rev2 to get the proper tempering and want my business to suceed very much. anything that might make it TRULY easier on me, a novice, and more professional, would be worth that money.

Problem 1
-The chocolate is always too thick! when I pour it in the mold, for example, it almost immediately globs up and won't drain out. And not in a 'it's tempered so it's hardening quickly" way. This happens whether I try to adjust the temp. myself or leave it to the machine specs. Isn't it supposed to be thinner and easily coat and run out of the mold?? (maybe this is just my inexperience)

problem 2
-When I try to adjust the temperature settings according to the chocolate manufacturers, the machine either doesn't obey, changes the temp but then ignores the reading when it reaches it, or something else entirely that makes no sense to me. Does this happen with the X3210? Is it MORE complicated then the Rev2? do I need to know a lot more than i do about tempering? I feel like I know a little, and so I can adjust temps, but then the only thing that's hindering me is the machine. I wouldn't want to shell out more money for the X3210 and have it be the same issues, but just with a bigger bowl!

Problem 3
-What the heck do they mean "if seed is not in 'proper condition'"? how do you know if it is or not? no one ever explains that.

LAST QUESTION! (thanks for hanging in there)
Aren't you supposed to raise the temp to a melting point (ie: 115) then bring it down to crystallization, then bring it back UP? I'm really confused because that's what I think is the proper method, and the machine doesn't seem to do that. it melts, and then lowers, and then says it's tempered.
Does the X3210 do that too? Why do they both seem to finish at the 'nominal 90 degrees"? aren't the tempering temps different for different chocolates? AM I MISSING SOMETHING?


phew.

Thank you to whoever took the time to read this. I'm looking at websites, books, forums... it's been really hard for me to make sense of this. Any help regarding these questions and specfically relating to if the X3210 is signifigantly better than the Rev2 (ie: more user friendly, better tempering, etc) is greatly greatly appreciated.
again, thank you!!
-Jamie
Picture of User 5
Re: Chocovision Rev X3210 Experience
by User 5 - Wednesday, 17 January 2007, 6:56 AM
 
Hello!

I will try to present some possibilities to you, but I do not have these particular machines.

Problem 1

One thing that you need to make sure of is that you're using good quality couverture with a proper percentage of cocoa butter. "Couverture" chocolate has a higher percentage of cocoa butter and therefore has lower viscocity. So try a good quality couverture such as one from Valrhona or E. Guittard, to see if you get a better result. Some of them will actually say "couverture" on the packaging. Another possibility: it sounds like you're chocolate is too cold when it's poured into the molds, thus the globing. Below you state that the machine lowers to a certain temperature but does not reheat to the final range of 88-90, if I understand correctly. The reason when tempering that you need to bring the chocolate back up to the 88-90 range (for dark) is to make it workable. If you leave it around the 83 degree temp (the lowest temperature in the range), then yes, it's probably going to be too thick to work with, especially if you're not using a good couverture.

If all the conditions are right and you pour the chocolate into the mold, you should turn it immediately upside down (over a sheet pan or large piece of aluminum foil or parchment to capture the draining excess) and shake it around to release the excess so that the shell is as thin as possible.

Also, what is the temperature of the room you're working in? If it's too cold (I'd say starting below 63F), that can set the chocolate too quickly, so make sure the room temperature isn't unusually cold and that there aren't any cold drafts from air vents coming down onto the chocolate.


problem 2

I'm not familiar with these machines. Are there digital readings so that you can tell exactly what the temperature is? If you feel it's not responding to the temperature at which you're setting it, then yes, sounds like an exchange is in order.

Do this before you invest in a more expensive machine: Purchase a good quality instant read thermomoter, digital. You can find one at any decent kitchen supply store. It will cost you around $40. Temper again in the machine and use the thermometer throughout the process to measure the temp of the chocolate. If it's way out of sync with the machine reading then yes, sounds like time for a new machine! If you feel the machine is off, use it to melt and reheat the chocolate to the proper temperatures based on the digital thermometer reading and then fill your molds and see if it's better. If you're successful at least once based on what the digital thermometer says, then you'll know the type of chocolate you're using and your judgement with temperature is correct, and that the machine is the problem.

If the machine is the only thing hindering you, try tempering by hand to get your confidence level up and understand what tempered chocolate looks and feels like, then let a machine do it for you.


Problem 3

When "the seeding chocolate is in good condition" it means that it's properly tempered (i.e., it has been tempered once, by the manufacturer, rather than having been tempered over and over again). For seeding chocolate, it's always best to use chocolate that's been tempered only once. I take chocolate straight from my bag/box that I have purchased, chop it up, perhaps spin it around in the food processor to get it into pieces very small, and use that. I usually do NOT use chocolate that I tempered myself several times, even if it was tempered properly. It just increases your chances of a successful temper. Also, I like to make sure the seeding chocolate is chopped fine enough that it melts easily into the chocolate as I use it. If not, you'll have lumps of chocolate in your tempered chocolate that will end up clinging to the centers you're dipping - not a desirable thing. The alternative to chopping finely is simply to use one large chunk placed in the chocolate, but this is not my personal preference as I find in smaller machines it interferes with the stirring process.

LAST QUESTION!

It is possible to lower the chocolate's temperature from the top level (usually 115) to one base level and have it tempered, as raising it again is, like I said above, mostly for the purposes of making it warm enough to work with. I have successfully tempered in this way, but I find it's easier to raise it to the top temp (115), lower it to about 83-84 then raise it again to 88-90 before working with it (again, I'm referring to DARK chocolate). One good point of advice: Keep the chocolate at each temperature, constantly stirring, for at least 10 minutes. Do not rush the process. Give the chocolate some time to adjust to each temperature (allowing the fatty acid crystals to form/melt sufficiently at each level) before moving to the next temperature. You'll have greater success and a much better tempered chocolate if you do this.

If the machine you're using automatically melts and then lowers only, you may have to make a manual adjustment to get it back up to the last level of the working temp. (the 88-90 range). And yes, each manufacturer has different temperature suggestions for tempering their chocolates, but they all fit within the general range that these machines are designed for because cocoa butter is cocoa butter!. Keep in mind, these little machines are not that sophisticated. All they are doing for you is melting, stirring and helping you maintain a certain temperature. They are not going to make the decision for you about when the chocolate is tempered. You have to be familiar with what good tempered chocolate looks and feels like. Make sure you test for temper before pouring into the molds, too, or dipping your centers. Dip the end of a spatula or back of a spoon into the chocolate and let it sit for 5 minutes and then judge the look of it before going further. I've had to, on more than one occasion, start the whole process over because it didn't temper correctly, even in the machine. It usually takes me about 1 hour in my machine to temper from beginning to end, before the chocolate is ready to use.

All this said, yes, you might conclude your machine just isn't reliable or accurate and you need to replace it. Perhaps someone in the forum has experience with these machines.

Good luck! Let me know if you have any more questions. Don't give up. It takes practice.

p.s. did any of the comments above in this section help you? There are those that do talk about this machine.
Picture of User 21
Re: Chocovision Rev X3210 Experience
by User 21 - Monday, 22 January 2007, 10:30 AM
 
Jamie,

Don't panic yet! I was in your shoes not so many years ago, but take a deep breath and read on.

First off, remember that any automatic tempering machine runs on an "average" program. The formulation of the particular chocolate you have, the weather, the room temperature... many things can affect your results with the "average" baseline program. Don't be alarmed if it doesn't exactly match the temperature profile you're used to.

Also, just like the temperature in your oven, the calibration of the thermometer in your tempering machine might be slightly off. It's not a fault that means the machine is worthless and defective. You can easily compensate for the difference, so it's no big deal. Get a quality probe or infrared thermometer. (I use a digital Pyrex probe thermometer I've had for 4-5 years that reads C & F and it's never led me wrong.) Test it in a glass of ice water (always 32F, regardless of altitude) to see how many degrees high or low the thermometer reads. If the machine says the chocolate is 89F but your thermometer says it's actually 86F, then raise the temp on the machine by about 3F.

Remember that as the machine continues to work the chocolate, the beta crystals will continue to form and make the chocolate thicker and thicker. You'll need to adjust the temperature up in small increments to counteract that process while you're working for long periods. I've had my temperatures set as high as 95-96 F to maintain a good temper.

Regarding the chocolate globbing in the molds, that sounds like a problem I had when I first started. Before I had a good understanding of viscosity, I ordered several blocks of Callebaut 60-40L dark chocolate. I discovered later that's their "thick" formula and it's intended for firm fillings, not shell molding. There's simply not enough cocoa butter for the chocolate to flow back out of the molds. (Think of the difference between peanut butter out of the jar and warm peanut butter. If you turn the jar in your cupboard upside down, nothing happens no matter how much you shake it. Warm it up and you'd better have the lid closed tightly!) If the chocolate is overtempered, it would probably still flow to some degree. The manufacturer/sales rep should be able to tell you what the formula you are using is intended for. I know Callebaut has a list on their website. Try a thinner chocolate to fix that problem and I think you'll have much better results.

The Rev 2 and the Rev X operate in essentially the same way, just on a different scale. The Rev X is obviously more refined and larger, but the basics are the same. To adjust the final holding temp of your chocolate, try pressing and holding the Temp Up or Temp Down button. After you hold it for perhaps 2-3 seconds, the digital display will start to change. When you reach the desired temperature, release the button. The display will go back to reading the current temperature, so leave it be for a few minutes while the heater goes to work to bring the chocolate to the new temperature. It's not ignoring you, but if you don't press and hold the button it assumes you bumped the button by mistake and won't make a change. Also, unless you are actively changing the temperature, it shows the current reading. In all my time using these machines, I have never needed to adjust the temperatures within the baseline tempering cycle, so I've not attempted it. As always, periodically (perhaps every 15 min.) check the temperature and temper to be sure your chocolate is still in good shape. (I check temper by dipping the back of a metal spoon into the chocolate. If it sets firmly with a nice satin sheen in 2.5-3 minutes, it's in good temper.)

Regarding the condition of your seed chocolate, you want to be sure that the beta crystals you're copying are beta crystals of good quality. The first choice is a block of tempered chocolate fresh out of the manufacturer's package that has not been exposed to moisture (sugar bloom) or warm temperatures (out of temper). After that, choose chocolate that you have tempered either on a slab or in a previous work session. Be sure that if you've tempered the chocolate yourself, it has hardened in good condition. (For example, in a thin layer on a sheet of parchment so it's a uniform color throughout and has good snap and sheen.) If you just dumped chocolate in a bowl or on a cookie sheet to harden and it has bloomed or it breaks in layers, you can't use it to seed because it's not in temper. You should easily be able to recognize chocolate that is and isn't in temper from taking the class.

That said, the Rev 2 and Rev X machines have a setting where you can use a longer tempering cycle if your seed chocolate isn't in absolutely perfect condition. Say, you left the package on the counter and the sun warmed it up enough so the surface isn't in perfect temper, but the remainder of the block is still in great condition. You can still temper with it using the longer cycle. Be sure to check your chocolate in the machine for temper before you use it, as always.

In my experience, both the Rev 2 and the Rev X work best with chunks of seed chocolate. I use chunks roughly the size of my fist with the Rev X and the smaller machine obviously uses smaller chunks (roughly golf ball size). I wouldn't recommend seeding this type of machine (rotating bowl with stationary baffle, melted chocolate on one side and seed chocolate on the other) with small bits of chocolate or pistolles. They will be pulled past the baffle and into the pool of chocolate where they may or may not melt. In contrast, a chunk will sit behind the baffle and touch the melted chocolate that is allowed into the back of the bowl, seeding the chocolate a little at a time as the bowl rotates.

In my personal opinion, the Rev 2 is too small for most production needs. Also, since it only holds 1.5# and you can't empty the molds back into the little bowl, you run out of tempered chocolate in a hurry. I have used it to hold white or milk chocolate for decoration purposes and to make small quantities of tasting samples. I have also used it for very small production runs (20-25 pieces) when it didn't make sense to fire up the big machine. Also, remember back to the lesson when you were learning to temper by hand. You used 2-3 pounds of chocolate instead of 2-3 ounces. When you temper in larger quantities, it's easier to manage the process and make sure it doesn't get too warm or too cool too quickly. I believe the Rev X will work with as little as 3#, so there's a lot of variation in the amount you can work with at one time.

ChocoVision has a resource on their website to answer questions and help guide users. I think it was called "Ask Chocolatier Joe" or something like that. You might try that if you still have questions we've not answered. Also, check E-Bay for used machines.

All in all, keep your patience working with any machine. They're little kitchen assistants, but you need to coach them along and let them know exactly what you want them to do.

I hope this is helpful!

Picture of User 77
Re: Chocovision Rev X3210 Experience
by User 77 - Tuesday, 20 February 2007, 10:46 AM
 
Jamie,

Gonna add my two cents worth here on your questions...

First off, listen to the last two replies by dyoungerman and zrtownsend. They've pretty much covered what you need. I'm just going to add a few addendums.

Knowing which type of chocolate you're using is essential. Sounds like you're coming up against a yield value issue. Usually happens when people use chocolate chips instead of couverture. Couverture is chocolate that is made with a high amount of cocoa butter. Makes it melt nicely, pour smoothly, and come out with a good gloss (when molded correctly). Even within this world of high cocoa butter chocolate, the brand of chocolate and even which line within that brand makes a difference. Viscosities are different for each type, and you really should test each one you want to use, to know its' properties. A couple of rules- Never use just regular eating chocolate (unless you regularly eat Valrhona or Cluizel), and never, EVER use chocolate chips. They just weren't designed for that type of thing. Yield value is too high. Cocoa butter content too low, etc. etc.

The Rev 2 isn't a bad little machine for what it is, and what it is is a little bitty temperer that is about as small as you can get and still be useful. I have a couple of the things and I use them for decoration chocolate when I just need a little. They're fast and easy, but they'll never in a million years do enough for real production. The X3210 moves into the useful range and can be used for small production runs, but is not a full time production machine. The design has inherent deficiencies that are going to limit a good temper to a couple of hours before things get thickened up and overtempered, but for quick batches the quality of the temper is quite good.

Remember to keep your molds warm! By warm, I mean about 85 degrees. It will improve the gloss on the final product. Another way to improve gloss is to spray the molds with (tempered) cocoa butter. This is a bit more advanced, but it's not as hard as you might think. Mostly just time consuming. Then add a little color to the cocoa butter, and you're on the road to the latest fad in artisnal chocolate making.

Don't worry too terribly about the default temperature settings on the machine. Once you have good couverture to work with, things will go as expected. For all that people are worrying about a 0.1 degree difference, at the beginning, you just need to know that what you're doing will work. You should get to the point where you can temper chocolate without ever having to use a thermometer. The subtleties of brand and bean that I mentioned earlier can be worried about when you get to the point where you can see, feel, and taste those subtleties. Understand what's happening with the overall tempering procedure. To wit-

Chocolate can exist in any one of six polymorphic forms (same formula, different crystal system). We like what is known as form five, also known as beta. Why? Mostly because of the melting point, which is just below body temperature, making for that melt in the mouth goodness. This, contrary to popular belief is not the stable crystal. It is a metastable crystal. The real stable one is type six, and is what you get when chocolate is left too long. Feels kind of waxy on the tongue due to a different (higher) melting point. So we want numbah five. How do we get only that one? First we melt the whole bunch of it, high enough where ALL of the crystal types are melted, but not high enough to separate or burn anything. Now nothing is left, except for an emulsion of cocoa solids, sugar, and cocoa butter.

Great. So what next? Where do we get those crystals that we need? Either you make them, or you add them. With the machine, your only choice is to add them (making them is another discussion). That's the seeding part. Plonk in a chunk of fresh couverture. It's gotta be fresh, because that will guarantee that it's made up of form five crystals. As the bowl turns, the chocolate chunk is being melted into the front of the bowl. As it cools below the melting point of the chocolate, unmelted crystals are being sheared off the surface of the chunk and deposited into the melt, where an interesting thing happens. Crystals are funny little things. Throw a few of a certain type in, and they all want to join the party and grow into the same form.

NOTE: The temperature differences for tempering different types of chocolate (dark, milk, white) are due to the BASIC differences in the composition of the chocolates, like the addition of milk solids, not the subtle ones such as which field the bean was grown in. That's why milk and white will always temper to a lower temperature.

Your machine will be beeping at you about now to take the seed out. You do this because you've sheared off enough form fives and it's time to let them do their work. The machine is going to cool down a few degrees further now. This is the time for all of those little seeds to grow forth and multiply.

Then the temp will go up. Why? One, to get the viscosity to the correct point, and two to maintain a balance between melting everything and solidifying everything (under and over tempering).

These machines (Rev 2 and X3210) will always move towards overtempering. Just part of the way they're built. I'm sure that as we speak the problem is being overcome with a software fix, (possible) but it ain't there yet.

The thickening is unregulated growth of the crystals without being remelted. Raising the temperature of the bowl is a partial solution, and valid within the limitations of the machine's design. Just work reasonably quickly and you won't have the problem.

Try tempering in a double boiler for a while, on the side, just to get a feel for it. Know how your chocolate looks and feels at each point (even with the machine). Once you understand what's going on, you'll be able to make small corrections when needed, or diagnose problems that come up.
Picture of User 115
Re: Chocovision Rev X3210 Experience
by User 115 - Thursday, 6 September 2007, 7:38 PM
 
The baffle is designed badly. There are three stress points acting on it, and any mistake will cause it to break. The clip is fastened by a bolt, 1/2 inch away from the edge, which weakens the integrity of the baffle. The stress of chocolate pressing against the baffle, bends it.
So, what to do? One side is flat, and they got tricky on the other side by making it recessed. I cut two aluminum plates, 1/8 inch, bring me up to 1/4 inch. Aluminum is food grade.
The clip hole is one point, and I drilled three more holes to fasten the aluminum plates, and used stainless steel bolts and washers.
On the recessed side, I bent a 1/8 inch piece of stainless steel to reinforce the plastic where the clip bolt goes through the baffle.
I drilled a hole so the clip bolt passes through it all.
The plates cover most of the baffle, cutting around the plastic bubble where the heat sink is located. I fastened them on the flat side, and it works!
Picture of User 150
Re: Chocovision Rev X3210 Experience
by User 150 - Friday, 21 March 2008, 8:04 AM
 
I have a used unit that I would like to sell: my business is very small, and so the RevX3210 is too big for my needs. I would rather not sell on eBay if I can avoid it. Any suggestions for other places to sell a used tempering machine?
Thanks,
Heather
Picture of User 151
Re: Chocovision Rev X3210 Experience
by User 151 - Sunday, 23 March 2008, 12:27 PM
 
I have the smaller Chocovision machine and am looking to buy a larger machine. I might be interested in buying your machine if you would want to sell it direct. If so, can you give me details?
Thanks,
Yvonne
Picture of User 150
Re: Chocovision Rev X3210 Experience
by User 150 - Sunday, 23 March 2008, 7:28 PM
 
Hi Yvonne,
Yes, I would like to sell directly. It is the RevX3210, and the unit is about 2 years old. It also includes 2 extra bowls and 1 extra baffle. There are several scrapers and an extra set of screws. I have used it about 10 times and it works great, it is just too big for me! I would like to sell it for $950, which I think is a good price considering the extra parts (I think that bowls are about $40 each & the baffles are about $150 each). I would have to wait until a check has cleared before sending it out, and I should warn you that shipping may be in the neighborhood of $50. I can get an estimate for that if you would like. Hope that helps, hope to hear from you.
Thanks,
Heather
Picture of User 151
Re: Chocovision Rev X3210 Experience
by User 151 - Monday, 24 March 2008, 5:57 PM
 
Hi Heather,
I am interested in buying your tempering machine. I did just go to ebay as you mentioned that you would rather not sell it there ... just out of my own curiousity to see if there were any machines there since I hadn't thought of that and I it looks like you may have put your machine on that site so I am wondering if I should just go through that site?
Thanks,
Yvonne
Picture of User 150
Re: Chocovision Rev X3210 Experience
by User 150 - Monday, 24 March 2008, 6:12 PM
 
Hi Yvonne,
Yes I did list the machine on eBay; I had some responses that were not particularly encouraging in regard to my price, so I figured that eBay that would be a better way to go! I think that once I have listed it, it's a big no-no to pull it, so yes, by all means go that way.
Thank you for your interest,
Heather
Picture of User 151
Re: Chocovision Rev X3210 Experience
by User 151 - Monday, 24 March 2008, 8:13 PM
 
Hi Heather,
I have just a few more questions and then I will go to the ebay site and go from there. I am curious as to why you used the machine only 10 times ... do you have other temperers that you like better? I see that you have quite a few extra parts so you must have been pretty convinced the RevX3210 was a good machine before you purchased it ... I am assuming you bought it new from the manufacturer? I am considering a Hillard machine which is in the same price range but seems to operate on a much less computerized system so I am wondering if you ever had problems with the different settings or the overnight mode as people are talking about on this site. I have a very small chocolate business ... sounds like you perhaps did too and this is a big money item so I just want to make sure this would work out so any comments you have would be much appreciated.
Thank you so much!
Yvonne
Picture of User 150
Re: Chocovision Rev X3210 Experience
by User 150 - Tuesday, 25 March 2008, 5:46 AM
 
Hi Yvonne,
I only used the unit about 10 times because I only make small batches (about 100pcs) at a time. I generally only make hand dipped candies, so I rarely need to use the minimum 3 pounds of chocolate that is needed for the X3210 (Min 3lbs-max 10lbs). If one uses less than 3 lbs, the chocolate does not reach the thermometer in the baffle.
I thought that all of the extra parts were a good idea, and it turned that with the way that I was doing my candies they were a nice extra (can move onto another chocolate and stick the dirty stuff in the dishwasher).
I never had any trouble with the settings, and I never did use the Overnight mode so I can not comment on that. I have been very happy all of the times that I did use the unit, I felt that it gave good, consistent results, and compared to my Sinsation, it it is remarkably quiet.
I do not know anything about the Hillard machines, sorry. I have actually switched to 2 refurbished Sinsations, which I know is probably a little wierd, but it suits my needs a little better as my batch sizes are generally so small.
One commment that I can make is that the resale for temperers (from what I have seen on eBay)seems to be very good; meaning that it does not seem to be very hard to resell a used temperer with a minimum of financial loss.
Hope that helps!
Heather
Picture of User 150
Re: Chocovision Rev X3210 Experience
by User 150 - Tuesday, 25 March 2008, 7:21 AM
 
Hi Yvonne,
I am very happy to say that the unit has sold on eBay. I would suggest that you try the chocovision site. They have a "Scratch & Dent" sale that is pretty good, and they warranty for 1 year on those. They are in better condition than the name implies. They are also quite friendly if you call, and they will give you hints as to when you may see used temperers for sale (for example after trade shows).
Good luck,
Heather
Picture of User 151
Re: Chocovision Rev X3210 Experience
by User 151 - Tuesday, 25 March 2008, 8:04 AM
 
Hi Heather,
Thanks for the information ... and glad you did sell the machine ... although I am sorry I missed out! If for some reason it doesn't work out, please let me know. I was ready to go online this morning and buy your machine ... but too late!
And good luck with your business,
Yvonne
Picture of User 67
Re: Chocovision Rev X3210 Experience
by User 67 - Tuesday, 1 April 2008, 8:03 PM
 
Hello all,
If anyone is still looking to buy a Rev x3210, I have one still under warranty (till July) with the covers and the hopper, a few extra scrapers and all the original packaging and papers. I am looking to move into a bigger machine sooner than I thought, so I have been contemplating selling it. It has been used about 6 times and is still like new.
You can feel free to email me about it.
Shanti
shanti@wildearthchocolate.com
Picture of christina p
Re: Chocovision Rev X3210 Experience
by christina p - Wednesday, 9 February 2011, 12:43 PM
 
I got mine yesterday, but thank you! :)




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Picture of User 275
Re: Chocovision Rev X3210 Experience
by User 275 - Wednesday, 9 September 2009, 8:22 PM
 
I am aswell absorbed in affairs your about-face machine.


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