Ice Makers for Ice and Ice Cream Freezers: Contrasting

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The summer season is the time to profit from the sale of ice cream, chilled drinks and desserts. Let’s talk about two types of professional refrigeration equipment that no cafe or porch can do without – freezers for soft ice cream and best ice makers for ice production.

Ice maker for ice production is:

  • Water or air cooled;
  • With an integrated cooling system (water or air) or an external refrigeration unit (split system – the compressor and condenser are mounted separately, usually outdoors);
  • Jellied type or with connection to a water supply system;
  • With a separate or integrated hopper;
  • With table and floor installation.

According to the shape of the ice produced, best ice makers are divided into:

  • Melded ice generators;
  • Flake ice generators;
  • Granular ice generators.

To get molded ice, water is frozen in separate cells. Slices come in different sizes: small, weighing 7 g, medium 18–20 g each, large and very large, up to 60 g.  

When choosing best ice makers, it is necessary to determine the required type and size of ice, calculate the required capacity and select the type of cooling.

Ice machine for a bar: types and sizes of ice

  • Cube ice

Most restaurants use it. He adds it to drinks, prepare cocktails with him. Cubic ice is absolutely transparent and looks beautiful in a glass. It is believed that it effectively cools the drink without diluting it much.

  • Scaly ice

This ice consists of 1-3 mm plates with temperatures from -7 to -12 ° C. The principle of production of such ice is quite simple: ice freezes on the walls of the cylinder-evaporator, and then is cut off by a rotating mill. Flake ice cools quickly, so it is used in food production to reduce the temperature of dough and minced meat, in fish processing plants – when storing fish, in shops and supermarkets – for laying out chilled products.

  • Granular ice

It has the form of large hailstones with a diameter of 5–10 mm and a temperature of about 0 ° C. It has a large contact surface with the cooled product, does not freeze and is easy to store. Such ice is used in restaurants for serving caviar, champagne or wine, organizing cold salad bars or buffets, as well as for displaying in display cases in supermarkets.

  • Production of the required amount of ice

The calculation is based on the menu and patency. In a restaurant or cafe, you will need 0.35 kg of cubic ice per visitor, in the bar this figure increases significantly (on average up to 0.75 kg).

In salad bars and for laying out in a supermarket, consumption requires 1.35 kg of flake ice per m 2.

The number of visitors can vary significantly depending on the day of the week and time of day, therefore it is better to focus on peak hours in order to avoid a shortage of ice.

Type of ice maker cooling

For rooms with high air temperature, it is worth choosing an air-cooled ice maker; these models are also great for working in tight spaces. The convenience is that you do not need to additionally connect water and install filters.

However, there are also disadvantages: for example, the cooling efficiency directly depends on the room temperature. They have great heat transfer and noise level, and the installation features require that the ice maker be placed separately from other kitchen equipment and at a distance of at least 70 cm from the wall.

Water-cooled ice makers are less demanding – they can be placed close to other objects or even built into a bar. In addition, water absorbs heat better, its cooling properties do not depend on air temperature, which means that in the heat such equipment will work better. The disadvantages usually include the need for constant connection to the plumbing system and high water consumption.

If the company does not have the ability to connect water, then you can purchase a jellied type model. However, it will not be able to provide productivity above 20 kg of ice per day.

A constant supply of ice will be provided by models with a storage bin. The bins are free-standing and built-in, the volume is selected in accordance with the required flow rate. The volume of ice storage can be very different: from 4 to 1000 kg. Models with automatic maintenance of ice level in the bunker are very convenient in operation: ice is replenished as it is consumed.

Cold weave – ice cream freezers 

Freezers are divided into models:

  • for hard (hardened) ice cream with a temperature of -12 … -18 ° C;
  • soft ice cream that does not require hardening at low temperatures.

Due to their compactness, mobility and ease of use, freezers for soft ice cream are becoming increasingly popular. They are so easy to use that almost any employee can work with them.

Equipment for the production of soft ice cream can be a compact tabletop or mobile floor. The first ones are mainly chosen for indoor installation, the second are more suitable for street trading.

Freezers single and three-arm. 

The single-track freezer has one chilled bath for pouring the mixture and it makes ice cream with only one taste, while the three-arm freezer has two bins and immediately prepares three varieties of ice cream (one from each container), and their mixture is in the form of a pigtail. 

When choosing a freezer for soft ice cream, first of all, decide on the desired performance: the higher it is, the more portions the device is able to produce. The desired number of servings per hour must be multiplied by the average weight of a portion of ice cream – 70 g, and as a result, productivity will be obtained in kilograms per hour. This calculation will allow you to choose a device that can fully provide the institution and not overpay for excess power.

The pump at 60–80% saturates the mixture with air, while ice cream significantly loses weight – this reduces the cost of purchasing mixtures and milk.

Another useful function is overnight storage or preservation mode when the mixture is cooled during the non-working period: at night or during breaks.

How to increase the life of the ice maker and freezer?

The life of refrigeration equipment depends on the operating conditions – temperature and humidity in the room, the regularity and timeliness of maintenance.

The load on the equipment increases significantly in conditions of high humidity and heat. Even in models with a tropical climate class, performance drops significantly: ice generators reduce ice production, freezers take longer to operate. Thus, models installed in a refrigerated room will last longer than devices, for example, in summer cafes under an umbrella.

If the water hardness exceeds 3.99 mEq / l, it is recommended to use water softeners – this improves the quality of ice and significantly increases the life of ice makers. Flake ice makers of all manufacturers are most sensitive to water quality: a rotating auger producing ice flakes is located in a container with water and has a minimum gap with the evaporator. Salt deposits can damage the gasket that protects the shaft bearing, and the unit may fail.

It is also necessary to clean the ice filters in a timely manner.

There are also nuances in using freezers. So, for the production of soft yogurt ice cream, freezers with a cooled bath are better suited, as in the bunker without constant cooling the mixture is fermented. Milk and cream mixes are not subject to this process.

When breeding a mixture for soft ice cream, it is very important to strictly follow the recipe. Too thin and very diluted mixture will freeze during freezing, ice cream will turn out hard and interspersed with ice.

When working with three-arm freezers with two baths in both, it is necessary to use mixtures of the same consistency and fat content, as well as monitor their level – it should be approximately the same. This will ensure the correct operation of the device and the correct consistency of ice cream in all three horns.

The consistency of ice cream and its density depends on the mode selected. Typically, there are 12-15 consistency setting programs in devices.

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