Question for the Dough Doctor

I have seen it posted on the think tank in the past but how large of a spiral mixer could I get and still be able to mix a single 50Lb bag of flour in? Will the characteristics of the finished dough be different if mixing 200LBs of flour as opposed to 50LBs?

You could go with a spiral as large as 200-pound flour capacity and still be able to mix 50-pounds of flour without any problem.
When mixing at the low end of the flour range, the mixing time will be a bit longer, normally about 20% longer than for a full size dough, but the resulting dough wil be the same as the larger dough size.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Thanks Tom, a couple more questions if I could. First, some of the specs I see for spiral mixers give two different capacity numbers, one for bread dough, one for bagel dough. Which of these numbers should I use for pizza dough? Second, are do you recommend any brands or better yet, have any brands that I should stay away from?

Use the capacity cited for a bagel dough and you will be on the safe side. If your pizza dough uses an absorption of 55% or a little higher, as many do, you will most likely be able to increase the flour capacity over that given for a bagel dough by about 25%. As for brands, A number of years ago I had the opportunity to evaluate spiral mixers from at least eight different manufacturers as part of an evaluation for Hobart Corporation. We didn’t find any real problems with any of the mixers tested.Fact was, they all mixed very tough bagel doughs as small as 25% of the stated bowl capacity, and as large as 125% of the stated bowl capacity. We didn’t experience any failures, but one of the mixers, a single speed mixer, had an agitator speed so fast that it redecorated the shop area with a flour and water mixture at both the full bowl capacity, and at the over load of 125%. Not a pretty sight! This was the only single speed mixer in the test, and it was not a common name mixer. I don’t recall the manufacturer, but if you go with a two speed mixer or one of the name brands, you shouldn’t have any problems.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor