Monthly Archives: December 2014

  1. Is the Hoshizaki C-100BAH The Best Residential Ice Machine?

    LeftCubeletOverallThe cubelet machines are Hoshizaki’s answer to Scotsman’s nugget ice machines.  Not only are they water efficient, but they can be installed for either residential or commercial uses.  The undercounter design is also ADA compliant, which means that it’s at the perfect height for people in wheelchairs.

    The C100BAF-AD is an excellent small-volume ice maker which can produce up to 96 pounds of ice per 24 hours, and can store up to 22 pounds of ice within the cabinet.  This ice maker is perfect for those people who love throwing parties. It can accommodate 20 people’s ice needs rather comfortably.

    If you love entertaining outdoor guests, the C100BAF from Hoshizaki will also head outdoors with you onto the patio, letting your guests have cubelet ice anywhere that they want.  Want to set up an outdoor bar?  The height and the production speed make it a perfect addition for all of those tasty margaritas.

    Not only does this incredibly versatile ice machine go with you on the inside and the outside, the cubelets are chewable and yummy, great for those people who like crunching their ice, or those who are very fond of having colas with some texture. 

    One of the biggest hesitations when it comes to purchasing a home ice machine is the cleaning.  This one doesn’t have that problem, as all of the parts are easily disassembled and soaked for cleaning.  All in all, this is an excellent home ice machine, ready for your use.

    A home ice machine can be perfect if you want to step your ice production up a notch.  For soft, chewable, delicious ice, consider the Hoshizaki C100BAF

  2. 2 Kansas City Stadiums With Ice Machine Violations

    As you can tell, we’ve been reading a little bit more about the health code violations that have been happening around the country.  Today, we’re going to take a closer look at the stadiums in Kansas City

    Arrowhead Stadium

    The Kansas City Royals and the Kansas City Chiefs have little to talk about when it comes to the food and drink that is being served in the stadiums.  There were numerous health violations, including mold growth in the ice machines of the stadiums.

    Bacteria in the ice machine can cause biofilm, which in turn can cause visible mold.  Bacteria can survive everywhere, even in ice machines, and that bacteria secretes a film.  As more and more of the film grows within the ice machine, it gets harder and harder to remove.

    This is one of the reasons why it is so terribly important to clean and sanitize your ice machines on a regular basis.  While the production speed of your organization drops for a moment, it will still save you hundreds of dollars in lost reputation and fines.

    So, while we’re not able to offer suggestions for all of the violations that have been brought up against the two stadiums, we can at least offer help for the ice machines.  If you don’t want to clean, Ice Machines Plus has plenty of ice machines in stock.  

  3. Ice Machine Violation Final Straw For Tampa Bay Restaurant

    Post Card Inn closedIce machines are our bread and butter, and we would love to read more stories about how having ice on the scene really made the difference.  Unfortunately, today we’re reading a story about how an ice machine was partially responsible for closing down a restaurant.

    The Tampa Bay area provides an excellent contrast to the more cosmopolitan nature of Orlando.  It’s got excellent Cuban food, the Salvador Dali museum, and more.  St. Petersburg Beach has quite the array of bars and restaurants to its credit.  However, today we get to talk about a not-so-hot spot, the Postcard Inn Bar and Grill.

    The PCI Bar and Grill has been fraught with many issues.  The health inspectors have been in several times over the past couple of years, and they finally ordered an emergency shutdown of the place on December 10th

    They’ve been written up for at least 167 violations over the past couple of years, and through that, they’ve still managed to stay open for that long.  The last inspection was the final straw.  There was a black or green mold-like substance inside the ice machine.

    Ice machines are considered part of food production. Measures must be taken to keep that food clean and clear of bugs.  One of the things that has worked in a number of cases is to use an antimicrobial bin – this helps keep some of the bacteria and biofilm from nesting and forming.

    The restaurant received clearance to reopen, and apparently there’s a possible change in ownership in the works for the beleaguered restaurant and inn.  Hopefully.  And we do hope that the ice machines get cleaned – nobody should be subjected to that.  

  4. Gourmet Ice For Handcrafted Sodas? It Could Happen.

    Soda WaterThe trends are not all about alcoholic drinks.  Sure, you can have your gin and tonic or an oddity made with grasshoppers as a garnish, but the soda drinkers are speaking up for their run in 2015. 

    Yes, CNN is looking forward to cocktails going old school and minimalist, but sodas, crazy and delightful, are becoming easier and easier to make – both commercially and in the home.

    We’re looking forward to the idea that craft sodas might be coming to take their place in the restaurant, as many foodies are saying ‘Anything but cola’ in response to the syrups that we’re receiving in cans. It’s hard not to think about the house-made soft drinks, too.

    One of the best parts about the soda trend is that the non-alcoholic drinks are being treated much like their alcoholic counterparts.  You have to sidle up to the bar, talk to one of the mixologists, and get something divine. 

    Dela Rosa in San Francisco has grapefruit soda.  Easy to make – the juice of a grapefruit is mixed in with a syrup and kissed with a splash of lime before being poured into a highball glass.

    The Smith NYC in New York City has four housemade sodas for its patrons: agave lemonade, apple cream, cucumber ginger ale, and spiced citrus.  Each of these is lovingly crafted from a dash of syrup and a bit of soda.

    The folks over at Hot Diggity in Philadelphia are taking the specialty soda market by storm with their rotating selections of house-made sodas.  Some combinations of flavors are Heirloom Tomato Sangrita, Tarragon Grape, Smoked Apple cider, and more. 

    One can imagine how decadent it would be to pour any of these sodas over top hat ice cubes and feel the fizz hit your nose.

    We’re looking forward to more sodas and more great drinks hitting the restaurants all around the country.  Add a little bit of ice, and that soda gets elevated to the next level. 

    Thanks go out to Magda Wojtyra on Flickr for the Creative Commons use of the picture.

  5. Are You Becoming Ice Artisans?

    Bartender - Blue DrinkYesterday, we talked about the kegerator, and it got us to thinking about some of the most excellent bars in which we’ve had drinks.  With creative bartenders, bar managers, and staff, the experience of hanging out in a bar can be transformed into an exquisite experience.

    The artisan treatment is coming to every aspect of the drink industry, and ice is much like the silent partner which needs no introduction.  One of the innovations that barkeeps are making to their drinks is to have custom ice. 

    While they might start out as heavily filtered crushed cubes or nugget ice from the Scotsman, Hoshizaki, or even U-Line undercounter machines, they don’t end up that way when they land in customer’s drinks.  For instance, smoked ice cubes are made by taking crushed ice, smoking it to infuse a flavor, then melting it and refreezing it manually. (This from the Rebar at Trump International Hotel and Towers)

    Other flavors get infused into the ice cubes for effect.  Adding a bit of mint or perhaps a little orange can make the ice cubes stand out from the rest.  Imagine keeping those in your own undercounter freezer. 

    There are some who go to ice artisans for their gourmet ice, harkening back to the days of Frederic Tudor (the king of ice and the cold chain) when he would chop up parts of New England lakes to deliver to warmer climes. 

    The key thing to learn here is that bartenders are wanting to be viewed as chefs and artisans, rather than simply ‘just a bartender.’  While the chefs are getting the acclaim, bartenders have up until this point been in the background providing the flash. 

    Special thanks go to Opacity on Flickr for the Creative Commons use of the picture.

  6. What is a Kegerator?

    Kegerator - Draft Beer CoolerOfficially, they’re called draft beer coolers.  Their much-more fun name name is the kegerator.  Kegerators perform one of the most important functions within the bar: keeping draft beer cold for patrons. 

    Now, we understand that there are some places that still like their beer on the warmer side, but here in the US we’re definitely fond of the chilled suds. Nothing can beat the tastes you can get from craft beer on tap.

    Having a kegerator on hand makes it easy for your bar to choose from one of the many thousands of craft beer available on tap.  If you’ve got no idea which ones you should bring home, you can always pick some up at your local liquor store or use Taplister to find a listing of bars that serve craft beer on tap near you.

    The bigger kegerators can keep up to four kegs out of sight and chilled.  On the upper side, you can get one or two taps which you can doll up any way that you wish.  After all, it’s your bar, right?

    It’s no wonder that kegerators are popular with the number of craft beer breweries expanding by at least one every single day.  If you enjoy beer, we encourage you to give those wild flavors a try, and consider buying a kegerator for your home bar too. 

  7. History of the Cold Chain

    On July 20, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy steamed south in the Arctic Ocean toward the edge of the sea ice. The ICESCAPE mission, or "Impacts of Climate on Ecosystems and Chemistry of the Arctic Pacific Environment," is NASA's two-year shipborne investigation to study how changing conditions in the Arctic affect the ocean's chemistry and ecosystems. The bulk of the research takes place in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas in summer 2010 and 2011. Credit: NASA/Kathryn Hansen For updates on the five-week ICESCAPE voyage, visit the mission blog at:
go.usa.gov/WwU  <b><a href="http://www.nasa.gov/audience/formedia/features/MP_Photo_Guidelines.html" rel="nofollow">NASA image use policy.</a></b>  <b><a href="http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/home/index.html" rel="nofollow">NASA Goddard Space Flight Center</a></b> enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission.  <b>Follow us on <a href="http://twitter.com/NASA_GoddardPix" rel="nofollow">Twitter</a></b>  <b>Like us on <a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Greenbelt-MD/NASA-Goddard/395013845897?ref=tsd" rel="nofollow">Facebook</a></b>  <b>Find us on <a href="http://instagrid.me/nasagoddard/?vm=grid" rel="nofollow">Instagram</a></b>It’s easy to take our modern technologies for granted.  It’s difficult now to think that there was once a time where having a few cubes of ice in your scotch or whiskey was unthinkable.  We can thank Frederic Tudor for both the invention of the ice machine and the fact that we have ice in our sodas, water, and other drinks.

    Tudor had a simple idea: to transport ice from cold parts of the world to warm parts.  He would take the sheets of ice that formed on lakes, cut them up into chunks, and put them on ships to ports everywhere.  Through his inventiveness, he was responsible for changing the way that food was transported.

    Before cold transportation, food was limited to the areas where it was created.  The food would spoil a lot faster if it was left out in the hot sun, but the transportation of ice remedied that.  Later on in the business, Tudor would send other items along with the ice – items which would be kept cold because of the ice that was being transported.

    To increase demand, Tudor would give free ice to bars.  The other bar owners would see the demand that was created and want the ice too.  After all, the clink into a glass is quite compelling.  From this active marketing, it’s difficult to think about certain drinks being without ice.

    Through one man’s entrepreneurship and ingenuity, an entire industry was born.  Thanks go out today to Frederic Tudor.

    For more information about how the cold and ice chain are important in modern refrigeration, take a look at this article in the Boston Globe.  

    Thanks go to the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center for the Creative Commons use of the picture

  8. What's So Great About Ice-O-Matic's Top Air Discharge Machine? A Lot.

    Ice-O-Matic Top DischargeIn many restaurants, the ice machine hangs out in the back, out of the way of the main cooking area.  One reason for this is that the exhaust from ice machines adds heat to the already hot kitchen, and the people working in the kitchen are sweating enough.

    The folks at Ice-O-Matic work with people in the restaurant industry every day, and they’ve listened to those complaints about how all ice machines were too hot to keep in the back.  This is one of the reasons that Ice-O-Matic created the Top Air Discharge feature on select machines.

    Instead of blowing the hot air from the side of the machine, the air is blown toward the ceiling. Most kitchens are vented so the hot air just escapes. This helps the workers in the kitchen sweat a little less and keeps them a little happier.  Top air discharge is a great option for most kitchens.

    Also, more storage space is available when the top air discharge feature is used. You won’t need as much clearance on the sides, so it’s easier to put appliances side by side. We’ve got several top air discharge machines available, ranging in production from 353 pounds per 24 hours to 650 pounds per 24 hours.  This is enough ice for a small to medium-sized restaurant.

  9. Gourmet Ice: Enter the Octagon

    Yesterday, we talked a little about gourmet ice and how fantastic it is in a good drink.  We think that ice is a surprisingly important component of cocktails and beverages. Ice machine companies have come up with a variety of shapes. Today, we’re going to look at the Manitowoc Ice Octagon Ice.

    The Manitowoc Ice SM-50 Ice Cube Machine produces up to 53 pounds of ice in a 24 hour period. The octagonal ice machine from Manitowoc is designed as a standalone device, so as long as you have drain lines, you can put it anywhere. Being an undercounter ice machine, it can also store up to half that within the hopper to access at any time.  This is compared to the standard ice makers (we used GE refrigerator ice makers as the standard) in fridges which make around 3-5 pounds of ice a day and store it.

    Octagonal ice is unique and hollow, so when you bite into it you can get a real crunch, but you can also let it melt in your glass. Gourmet ice is perfect for specialty drinks, as your restaurant or area might not get as many orders for them.  We’re fond of the melt that the ice has and, along with the rest of the gourmet cubes, it tastes better.

    We’d love to see a listing of the bars and places which use the octagonal ice.  Have you seen one?

  10. Why We Love Gourmet Ice

    Gourmet IceWe’ve been catching up on our reading lately and found this article in the New Orleans Advocate titled ‘Is gourmet ice all it’s cracked up to be?’ It’s good to see that the gourmet ice is catching on.

    There is one quote which stands out to us in the article.  “You can make a really good drink without high quality ice or you can make a perfectly terrible drink with the best ice available to you.  Ice is less important than balancing your flavors well,” says T. Cole Newton, owner and head manager of the Twelve Mile Limit in New Orleans.

    To many, a gourmet ice cube is the same as the normal full cube or half cube that you’d get at any buffet or convenience store.  To some, however, part of the quality of the drink is dependent on the ice.  We agree that the quality of the ice is something that contributes to the quality of the drink.

    Now, we’ve talked a little bit about the best ice for scotch, but we noticed that there are other varieties of ice out there for your drinking pleasure.  At Ice Machines Plus, some of us are extremely fond of the clear cubes. 

    Gourmet cubes come in many shapes, including a top hat, octagon, clear cube, and crescent.  Basically, anything that isn’t your standard full cube, half cube, nugget, or flake lands into the category of gourmet ice.

    These cubes are used for any functions where the hosts want to be a little more upscale. 

    • Bars which serve high-end drinks
    • Restaurants which want to make an impression
    • Catered events like weddings
    • Upscale celebrations
    • Outdoor parties

    In our next article, we’re going to talk a little bit more about the machines that make these wonderful cubes.  If you want it clear, you want to go gourmet.  

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