OK so my mother use to work making hand dipped chocolate and wanted to do it for Christmas for the family.  However, she has expressed frustration with what is available for tempering chocolate.  A small tempering machine that only does a pound and a half of chocolate cost between 400 and 500 dollars and she simply could not justify spending that much when she may only make chocolates once a year.   On top of that when she makes some, she wants to make a lot.  A pound and a half of chocolate at a time isn't enough.

She's expressed frustration with crock-pots and pans because of how difficult it is to maintain a constant temperature.  So I came up with this to give to her as a Christmas gift.  She got her present early so I could get mine and I am rather pleased at how it turned out.

I know it doesn't look like much, but it holds the chocolate at a pretty constant temperature.  Only drops like one degree every 5 to 10 minutes.  If it drops to far just flip it on for a few seconds and the chocolate's temperature is right back where it was.

I used a push button switch for this that sits on the floor so that it can be turned on and off with your foot.  Cause lets face it when your hands are covered with chocolate you don't want to be flipping a switch.

In the picture the chocolate has set over night and hardened up.  I will try to get another picture of it actually in use.

Step 1: Items Needed

Bucket with Lid
Stainless Steel Bowl with a lip (smaller in diameter than bucket)

Items I purchased at Home Depot:
Heat Shield insulation
Adhesive (I like the spray on kind works fantastic for this)
Low profile light socket (You may need to purchase small bolts and nuts to attach)
100 Watt Bulb
Extension cord
Push button switch
Electric Box
Wire nuts

Tools Used:
Drill with bits
Heavy Scissors
Screw Drivers (phillips and slot)
Sharpie or other marker
Wire cutter with stripper (I just used a knife - but do as I say not as I do)

<p>Thank you. We made a run to Home Depot and put this together pretty quick. This works great for dipping chocolate. No more double boiler!</p>
You can also use a PID to automatically control the temperature. its easy to install and doesnt require anything more than plugging the power cord into it and selecting the temperature. im not sure If I would put the temp probe inside the bucket or inside the bowl but I am leaning towards the bucket. You can also add a light socket splitter to add more bulbs. I think i will use a painters light for the inside since I already got one.
Has anyone tried using an ice cream mixer for an agitator? it seems to me it would have to have a lot of torque. I know that one chocolate uses an immersion blender for moving the chocolate around. the upshot is that its cheap and small. I'm working on making a larger scale chocolate melter/temperer as well.
Thank you for posting this. I'm nearly done with my build, and I've made some modifications. <br>1. To help secure the bowl in place, I've glued a strip of inner tube around the lid hole. <br>2. To make heating a bit easier, I've added a dual stage temperature control unit. I'm not using the cooling functionality at the moment, but it's there if I get ambitious. <br> <br>I'll be testing this setup out today, but I'd like to make a few more improvements such as. <br>1. Adding a stirring mechanism, I'm thinking of a spinning disk for this. <br>2. Add some sort of cooling device. I'm thinking baffles and a fan, but I haven't figured out how to do this without loosing heat when I want to keep it in. Would need to be linked to the cooling circuit, but that's not hard. <br>3. Adding an Arduino microcontroller to automate the melting cycle so that it would be more of a tempering machine and not just a chocolate melter. <br>4. Creating a nice enclosure for everything so that it can be at a reasonable work height. <br>5. Try a horizontally mounted lightbulb to reduce the amount of vertical space that the bucket approach requires. <br> <br>Once again, thank you for the great post. I'm really looking forward to testing this thing out.
I love this and have been looking for this type of instructions on a tempering machine. Have you thought about using a hair dryer for heat insead of a light bulb? I'm trying to incorperate some dimmer switch, Arduino curcuit controller or even one of the temperature controls from the sous vide instructables? So far no luck. <br> <br>Thanks again
I've been working on incorporating a pic chip controller for the bulb. But haven't had the time. <br> <br>I used the lightbulb because that was what was used by the $$$ commercial unit where my mom worked. The whole idea is to trap and heat the air below the bowl and hold it at a constant temperature. I'm not sure how well a blow drier would work for that. The heating element might be useful, but could get too hot.
First off, a HUGE thanks to Zenock. This is perfect! <br> <br>FIrst off and like others here, I couldn't find a local source for Heat Shield insulation. It's primarily used in auto racing, and none of my local home improvement stores or even the auto parts stores carry it (it's special order only at the auto parts stores.). I found it on Amazon, but... <br> <br>I didn't feel like waiting for snail mail, so I substituted Reflectix insulation. It's is carried at Home Depot and Lowes in the aisle with rolls of fiberglass home insulation. They also carry it online. <br> <br>Also, my husband made a minor tweak that helped - he drilled some very small additional holes in the bottom of the bucket and used small wire ties to hold the electric cord flat against the bucket.. On his first pass, he accidentally yanked the wires out of the light socket's contacts, so the ties only made sense. The bonus is that the cord remains guided through the notch in the lip of the bottom of the bucket. <br> <br>
Just wondering where did you get the Heat Shield insulation? i just got back from home depot, Lows and 2 auto places
It was Home Depot. Bought some more just the other day for another project.<br><br>http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-100318553/h_d2/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&amp;storeId=10051&amp;catalogId=10053&amp;superSkuId=202938808
Oh wow how did I not see this before?<br><br>I need to make one now.
If you do, I would love to see some pictures and get feedback on how well it works for you.
Dimmer should let you regulate it a bit instead of turning it off and on like that
I thought about using a dimmer. But in the end I decided against it because I didn't believe the dimmer would linearly regulate the heat. Eventually I want to use a micro-controller to turn the light on and off based on the temperature of the chocolate.
This is very nice, is that a 2 1/2 gal. bucket? <br> <br>Not bad at all!
Yes it is a 2 1/2 gal. <br><br>Thanks for the comment.
Great solution!

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