I am in the equipment research stage for a commercial production facility to be built later this year, and had a few questions about Hilliards.
We currently work out of our home kitchen with 2, 12kg Mol d'Art Melters. I do both enrobed and shell moulded chocolates, as well as 3-d moulds and sculpture.
I took Joanne's class last spring on Bowen for the express purpose of using her commercial equipment. I loved both her machines (I think she had a JKV-30 and a Chocotec).
I have recently been in touch with Hilliard's, and am being seduced by the idea of a smaller, more compact unit with greater chocolate capacity--and the idea of the manufacturer being essentially in my backyard (they're in Mass; I'm in Maine). Specifically, I am interested in their 6-inch Coater.
Here is my concern: The wheel on Joanne's machines allowed us to see the consistency of the chocolate and easily heat it up, if needed, with a hair dryer. It also seemed extremely sturdy. The Hilliard's machine has a revolving tempering kettle with a stationary scraper. Does anyone out there have an opinion about scraper vs. wheel?
It is my understanding that the Hilliard's coater bottoms each piece as it moves on the belt. This sounds too good to be true. Does it work?
I am going to Hilliard's on Monday of next week, and they have kindly offered to take me to their founding owner's chocolate production facility the next town over. I will get to see all the equipment in action--but not in comparison to other equipment. So any comparison info anyone might have would be extremely helpful. Also, if anyone has any specific questions about Hilliard's that I might be able to help with after being an eyewitness to their equipment in action, please let me know.
Black Dinah Chocolatiers