Spiral Mixer flour not hydrating completely

We recently installed our LBC 80KP spiral mixer and have done batches at different weights. We’re used to doing 25/50lb flour batches. When doing 25, there were no issues. When doing 50 it seemed like it took a lot longer for the flour to hydrate, now I just did a 100lb flour batch and I had a lot of dry flour leftover. I quadrupled everything from the 25lb batch to convert to 100.

I had dry, hard flour being rolled into the dough balls when cutting. When watching it mix, I saw the dry flour riding the outside edge of the mixer without being mixed in completely.

Does this sound like a hydration issue (not enough water?) Or is it possible the mixer is not 100% level and that’s the issue? A combination? Any input is greatly appreciated.

I’ve attached some pictures of the leftover dry flour in the bowl. Note that I dry scraped a lot into one area precleaning before realizing I should grab some photos.



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doubt level would cause that. are you adding flour on top of water, or water on top of flour. i thiiiinnnnkk i’ve heard you should add water first? what is your hydration %??

also, initially your bowl was going the wrong way. have you verified that your hook is going the correct way? our bowl wat always going the correct way, but our hook was going the wrong way only on speed 2.

check your math too.

we originally had 56% hydration and have bumped it to 60% with our slight reformulation. worked fine at 56% though.

Just got it clean, here’s what’s going on with directions

Reverse Speed .3 or 30 seconds
Hook Clockwise
Bowl Counter Clockwise

Speed 1 2.4 or 2 Minutes and 40 seconds
Hook Clockwise
Bowl Clockwise

Speed 2 6.3 or 6 minutes and 30 seconds
Hook Clockwise
Bowl Clockwise

Is this how yours is as well?

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I’ve always struggled with this. How to you figure out the hydration percentage?

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The weight of your flour is 100% ie 25lbs
The weight of your water at 60% would be 25lbs times .6 making it 15lbs
If you use 50lbs X .6 = 30lbs of water

Thank you very much

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My hydration was 61.6%

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Ive had this problem from day one with my empire 160. I do a little over a 60% hydration. My workaround is to withhold about a quart and a half of water for two minutes after putting the flour in and then slowly pouring it along the very edge of the bowl as it rotates. This will hydrate the last bit and allow it to incorporate into the rest of the dough. After adding this bit of water, I add the oil.

that seems to be a common method for spiral mixers but like i said,at 60% we haven’t had any buildup at any batch size from 20# of dough up to 150# of dough it the same mixer.

yeah, pretty sure that’s the rotation of mine.

so,again,check your math, cuz i don’t get any dry crusty bits with similar percentages at all batch sizes. if you are using 50# TOTAL flour @ 61.6% hydration, you should be using 30.8# of water…

are there other flours besides the 50# ? other significant dry ingredients? are you weighing your water? is your scale accurate? properly taring for the containers? have you checked to see if your 50# bags of flour are actually 50#? there were lots of change to keep track of when we majorly scaled up our recipe.

When figuring in my other dry ingredients, but leaving out the oil, I’m at 59.5% hydration. I’m going to try to bump it to around 62% and see how it takes.

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total hydration is typically just calc’d as total water (including any water in preferment if used) divided by total flour (including any in preferment if used)

60% should be just right, especially if you’re also adding oil.

salt should be about 2%

try adding water first.

try as paul suggested to reserve some water to add a bit later, after most of the flour is picked up.

when are you adding the oil? we don’t have oil in our dough,so don’t know when it should be added, but suppose it could be a factor.

try posting tin the dough doctor section if still having trouble.

also try contacting llc,they had some knowledgeable folks there that should be helpful at troubleshooting.

Yeah we use oil too which I did not put into the hydration. We add it after the flour is completely hydrated, which used to be after 2 minutes.

I did do the water last in the 100lb flour batch so next time I’ll try it first and see if there is a difference.

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We do water first, and have never had this problem.

  1. Cold water
  2. Yeast. Hydrated in warm water
  3. Flour
  4. Salt and Sugar
  5. Oil after hydration

My sister did a 50# batch this morning, with water first (we’ve always done water first, I’m not sure why I did it the other way) and she had no issues. I also changed the settings after yesterday’s batch to .4, 3 and 7

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See, wasn’t that easy? Water always first. Additionally, your mixing time might be a little short, I find that I usually have better results with a total mixing time of 10 to 12-minutes with most spiral mixers. Mix just until all of the flour is hydrated (typically around 2+ minutes), add the oil, mix 1-minute low speed, then mix 10 to 12-minutes at 2nd. speed if you have a 2-speed mixer or begin your 10 to 12-minute mixing at that point. After determining that the dough is properly mixed (has a smooth appearance) start the mixer again in 1st. speed and pour a small amount of oil down the inside edge of the bowl, allow mixer to run for two bowl revolutions after pouring the oil in, stop the mixer, take the dough temperature (variable) but usually in the 75 to 80F range, and remove the dough from the bowl. Adding the SMALL amount of oil like this makes it MUCH easier to remove the dough from the bowl, especially when working with large size doughs. Lastly, an easy way to clean a spiral mixer is to put a couple gallons of very hot water into the bowl and cover it with a sheet of plastic, come back to it a bit later and scrub it out using a pot brush, then bail or drain the water out of the bowl, rinse and sanitize.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Thank you Tom. My batches are mixing great at 50# now. I haven’t tried 100# again yet but when I do I’ll try your suggested times and see how it goes.


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