You can follow the instructions without reading What is Tempering? and get the right results. I recommend reading it before this if you hope to understand the whole talk of crystals.
Tempering machines are machines that use temperature, or in some cases seeding, in order to temper your chocolate. “Continuous” tempering machines work like a fountain cycling tempered chocolate into the hot stage, 45º, so there is always tempered chocolate coming out. They all work on the same principle: either 1) Using a thermometer making sure to take the chocolate to 45ºC-28ºC-31ºC or an adjustment away from these in the second and third number. 2) Or they’re built for seeding, like the chocolate fountains in hotel buffets, or with a wheel that keeps the chocolate moving and keeping at one stable temperature, where you just add roughly 50% of your melted chocolate’s (which is at 31-32ºC) weight in chopped up or buttoned etc tempered chocolate, which crystalises your melted chocolate.
At Conspiracy’s Chocolate Lab, we use one tall continuous machine for our 75% chocolate, her name is Pachamama, after the Mayan goddess of fertility and chocolate, and quite a few other things. We use a countertop machine for experiments, her name is Ix Chel (The Mayan moon goddess), and temper manually on a double boiler for small batches that we sell.
For a big machine
(10kg drum and higher) set the drum temperature to 45º, then your chocolate’s final temperature on the end, test the chocolate. If it doesn’t work, work your way up from 30º and run a series of tests (if you reach 35º and it still doesn’t work, try 28º-29.9º), On the middle temperature, between 45º and the final one the machine will fluctuate the middle temperature but it’ll be cold enough in big enough mass of chocolate to stay stable that its ok.
To troubleshoot further, speak with your specific machine’s manufacturer.
I’m going to use the Chocolate World countertop tempering machine as an example. Adjust for your machine’s setup.
Countertop tempering machine with temperature setting adjustment
rubber spatula (can do spoon)
mould or tray lined with parchment paper
Step 1 - Melt your chocolate
You can do this chopped in the machine or in a double boiler. Gently in the machine is better for the chocolate as it’s more protected from changes in flavour, double boiler is far faster so choose the right one based on your needs in that time. If you’re gentle with a double boiler it is relatively safe. See stove top tempering for instructions on double boiler. If you went this way, when you’re done add to your chocolate machine. Always add on the side of the machine’s divide that is not where the thermometer is, to keep chocolate that’s not yet melted cross the flap.
Step 2 - Set temperature to 45º
Once turning on the machine’s rotating mechanism, hold down the “Set” button, and use the up and down arrows to set to 45º
Step 3 - down to 28º
Or your chocolate’s 2nd tempering temperature.
Step 4 - up to 31º
Or your chocolate’s 3rd tempering temperatures
Step 5 - mould
In your mould or baking tray lined with parchment paper.