Monthly Archives: December 2015

  1. Chinese Ice Festival Sculptures Dazzle Visitors

    Chinese Ice FestivalWinter in cold climates can be, well, monotonous. White, white, white, everywhere you look. White snow and ice, barren trees, gray skies. When there is no color, a landscape can be a little depressing.

    In Harbin, the capitol city of Heilongjiang province in northeast China, they are attempting to brighten the landscape with dazzling ice and snow sculptures. Tourists and visitors from all over the world arrive to the coldest part of China during the winter season. They come to see the International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival.

    The exhibit uses colored lighting and snow and ice sculptures to brighten a winter landscape where temperatures can reach -30 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Tourists and visitors arrived for a soft opening of the exhibit on December 22nd. The festival opens to all on January 5th, 2016, and will run for over a month.

    There are many events scheduled as part of the festival. According to the festival's official website, events will include the Harbin Ice Lantern Art Fair, Harbin Ice Snow Group Wedding Ceremony, and the International University Students Snow Sculpture Competition.

    Visiting China may not be feasible for all. However, even during winter, ice is still a needed commodity, especially during the holiday season. If the ice cube trays in your refrigerator cannot keep up with demand, consider a residential undercounter ice machine. There are several models to choose from to keep you, and your guest's drinks chilled.

  2. Hoshizaki AM-50BAE

    AM-50BAEIf you are a top end bar or club serving only top shelf drinks, you do not want just any type of ice. You want gourmet style ice. Gourmet style ice melts slower so as not to dilute the drink and only requires one or two cubes to chill the drink of choice.

    A great choice for this style of ice is Hoshizaki's AM-50BAE ice machine. It produces Hoshizaki's signature top hat style ice. This ice is perfect for those aged drinks most connoisseurs choose to drink.

    Because the machine uses almost pure water and minerals are filtered out during the ice making process, top hat ice is crystal clear and will not add any tastes to the drink it is placed inside. Because of the style of ice produced, the machine is not meant for full bars or restaurant needs. However, it is a perfect fit for stadium suites, private suites, corporate offices, and private clubs.

    The air-cooled machine is capable of producing 55 lbs of ice in a 24-hour period and also provides a storage bin capable of housing 22 lbs of ice when at capacity. Its narrow 15” wide design allows for it to be installed into tight places. It is an undercounter ice machine and will fit beneath most standard counters.

    The model is approved for outdoor use as well, making it perfect for an elegant home outdoor bar or event. The water circuit is disassembled easily, making for ease of cleaning. The power switch is also easily accessible as well.

    The model comes with a two year warranty on parts and labor.

    If you are in need of such a machine to provide clear, dense cubes of ice that do not dilute top-shelf drinks, then the Hoshizaki AM-50BAE is a machine worthy of your consideration.

  3. Spinning Ice Circle Forms on Lake

    Spinning Ice CircleIn Brainerd, Minnesota, there's a phenomena occurring that has residents and people across the country captivated.

    A rotating circle of ice has formed on Upper South Long Lake and it is drawing crowds as well as thousands of views courtesy of a video posted on Facebook.

    The explanation for this naturally occurring rotating sheet of ice is simple, according to climatologist Peter Boulay. Boulay is a climatologist for the Department of Natural Resources. Water from the Nokasippi River, which is moving faster than the lake ice, is not freezing. Sometimes, this causes the ice which is frozen to form what is known as “pancake” ice. The moving water, which is not freezing, causes the ice to spin slowly in a circle.

    Two years ago in North Dakota on the Sheyenne River, a spinning circle of ice formed that was 55 feet in diameter. These ice sheets tend to form on rivers in cold climates and have been spotted in North America, Sweden, and England during the winter season.

    Another explanation for the spinning sheet of ice was offered by the International Business Times. Their theory involves the ice forming in bends of the rivers. The fast moving water breaks off a piece of this ice and begins rotating it, which smooths the edges of the ice as it grinds against the surrounding ice.

  4. Scotsman AFE424A-1A Undercounter Flake Ice Machine

    AFE424A-1AThe type of ice that a business needs will vary greatly by the type of business that ice is serving. Bars, restaurants, hospitals, and hotels all require ice to run a successful business. However, the type of ice machines needed will depend on the needs of the business and the clientele.

    For hospitals and buffet style restaurants as well as groceries and markets, a flake ice machine is a necessity. For these businesses, consider the Scotsman AFE424A-1A Undercounter Flake Ice Machine.

    Flake ice has its uses as it can cover the most surface area of any type of ice. This makes it indispensable for food service and medical facilities. Flake ice can also be molded into any shape necessary, further proving its usability in these industries.

    The Scotsman AFE424A-1A is a powerhouse, capable of producing up to 395lbs of flake ice per day and has a further storage capacity of 80lbs of ice.

    Service and maintenance with this model is a cinch since its internal mechanisms are all accessible from the front side.

    The 33 inch height of the Scotsman AFE424-1A means that it will fit under most standard counters, making it the ice machine of choice for restaurants, hospitals, and bars which serve frozen alcoholic treats.

    The model is air-cooled, which reduces the amount of water needed for production. The front air flow design also makes it ideal for installation in tight spaces. The 7ft long power cord lends itself to installation ease. The steady flow of ice allows for maximum recovery in a short time, proving that the model is as efficient as it is useful.

    The model comes with a 2-year warranty on parts and labor as well as a 5-year warranty for parts on the compressor.

    If you are in need of a flake ice machine, the Scotsman AFE424-1A is a model worthy of your consideration.

  5. Stay Safe Walking on Ice with these Tips

    Slick IceRestaurants that don't have their drink dispensers connected to an ice machine head have to fill it manually. This can be dangerous if a worker spills ice onto the floor. As the weather gets colder we need to be reminded how to handle icy situations. Spilled ice cubes are easy. Just sweep them up, mop up the water, and put up a caution sign until it is dry. But what about outdoor ice?

    An article from The Star Press has some handy tips on how to walk safely over ice if you cannot avoid it. First, when you walk don't put your hands in your pockets. This reduces your balance. Squat slightly and walk flat-footed with your toes pointed outward. Take short steps or shuffle, and stay relaxed. This will ensure maximum surface contact with the ground, and will help you stay safer if you do fall.

    Your shoes should not have smooth soles or heels. These kinds of shoes are not made for ice. Instead, use shoes with slip rubber or grooved neoprene soles.

    As for where to walk, assume all wet and dark areas on pavement are icy. Walk on designated walkways as often as possible. Take special care when entering or exiting a vehicle. Use the vehicle for support.

    If you follow these tips you'll stay safer while walking out on icy surfaces. For more tips, read the entire article at the link above.

  6. Plymouth Ice Festival Shows Off Talent

    Ice SculptureWe’ve been talking about ice, ice sculptures, and the fun that you can have with ice for quite a while. While a lot of the ice that will be made at the Plymouth Ice Festival won’t be made by a crushed ice maker or a commercial ice maker, the sculptures will be crafted by true artisans of the field.

    Some of the best chilled events include cross-country skiing and live entertainment. The event has been going on long enough to be considered one of Plymouth’s signature events. “It really has turned from just bringing people downtown to part of what makes the community so unique,” said organizer James Gretzen.

    People from all over come to the festival to show off their ice carving skills. It’s much different than using a flake ice machine to make a few snow cones. Since the event is sponsored by Ford, there will be a Ford GT sculpture at the event.

    The organizers of this event have dueling chainsaws competition planned, as well as collegiate ice carving. There are also going to be vendors and demonstrations. This is going to be one of those January events that will set the stage for the entire year. It starts on January 8th and runs until the 10th, so if you’re in the area (or feel like celebrating ice and traveling), head over there.

  7. BB-8 Ice Molds are on their way

    BB-8Fans of the Star Wars saga are no doubt familiar with ice. It goes without saying that they would be. The first part of the movie The Empire Strikes Back takes place on a frozen planet called Hoth, after all. With the new movie breaking box office records, it stands to reason that merchandising would be integral to the machine.

    One of the characters in the new movie, Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, lends himself perfectly to being turned into ice cubes. BB-8, the spherical droid in the film, has remote controlled toys out on the shelves already. A popular character, especially amongst the children, he lends himself well to merchandise.

    Like the Death Star, which itself is spherical, BB-8 is the perfect shape for creating ice cubes. Kotobukiya has created silicon molds that will create the perfect BB-8 shaped ice cubes. The cubes, which will be sure to impress the Star Wars fanatic in your life, aren't limited to just water. Melted chocolate, jello, and even cake batter can be placed inside the molds to create any BB-8 confection that you desire.

    The bad news is that the molds are currently only available for pre-order. Those wishing to mold water or other liquids into BB-8's shape will have to wait until March to actually get their hands on them, though. The silicon molds are great for the freezer, but also resistant to heat. BB-8 brownies, anyone?

  8. Crescent Ice from Hoshizaki

    Crescent IceWe’ve talked a lot about full cubes, half cubes, ice sculptures, and flake ice, but we haven’t spent much time talking about the crescent ice that you can get from Hoshizaki ice machines. The crescent ice cubes are just the thing for those who want something a little bit out of the ordinary to serve their patrons.

    This crescent ice machine has a low profile, allowing it to fit in tight places like under stairwells and between other machines. Simply attach a bin to it, and you’re good to go. In the air cooled machine, there is also an antimicrobial agent protecting it from the natural growth of bacteria and fungus.

    The machine itself is vigilant, as well, employing the EverCheck Alert System. The Evercheck alert system beeps when certain conditions have been met and there’s something wrong with the functioning of the machine. By calling attention to itself, it allows users to keep the Hoshizaki ice machine running smoothly. The machine will beep up to seven times in succession, alerting users to conditions like improper voltage (seven beeps), a shorted circuit (4 beeps), and possible leaks (three beeps). Check the user’s manual for more information about the beeps that it gives.

    The Hoshizaki crescent ice machine also has a CycleSaver design, which is ultimately designed to help users save both energy and water.

    As it is made by one of the top ice machines manufacturers in the world, the Hoshizaki ice machine is second to none for those restaurants who have a mid-range volume.

  9. The History of Ice Machines

    Early Ice MachineWe recently discussed the history of the ice cube tray. Now we're going to get into the history of the actual ice machine. The ice machine has made drinks cooler, made transportation of chilled meats, vegetables, and other perishables possible. It is an important invention that has its beginnings in the 1840s.

    The first patent for an ice machine was granted to John Gorrie, a physician, in 1851. However, he had built the first successful model of his invention in 1942. However, Gorrie's plans to manufacture and sell the machines were met with derision from Frederic Tudor, the “Ice King,” who did not want his business to lose sales. Tudor initiated a smear campaign against Gorrie and won. In the end, Gorrie was left financially ruined four years later. However, the plans for his invention are on display in the Smithsonian Institution.

    In 1853, Alexander Twining received the first patent for an Ice Making Machine. The experiments that Twining conducted led to the first commercial refrigeration system, built in 1856. Twining also established the first way to produce bulk ice through artificial means.

    Australia also contributed to the history of ice machines when a Scotsman working in newspaper printing became interested in refrigeration. James Harrison began experimenting with ether vapor compression, creating his first ice making machine in 1851. Three years later, he successfully built a version capable of creating 3,000kg of ice per day. Harrison continued with his experiments into refrigeration and is credited with being involved in the process that allowed for the design of colling systems and strategies. These systems allowed for the shipment of refrigerated meat across the globe.

    It was a professor by the name of Jurgen Hans who is credited with making the first ice machine that produced ice that was edible. He accomplished this in 1929 and began a company in 1932. The company's main product switched to central air conditioning by 1949. The company is still in business today, called Kulinda, and refrigeration is still one of the company's divisions.

    In modern times, many different types of ice makers exist. There are those that are built into modern refrigerators and are dispensed through the door at a touch of a button or by depressing a level. There are portable, small ice machines that allow for quick production of ice in any environment. Then, there are undercounter and stand alone models capable of producing several dozen pounds of ice per day and include a storage bin capable of storing several dozen pounds of ice.

    The history of the ice machine is as varied and interesting as the different types of cubes created by today's top models of ice machines.

  10. A Brief History of Ice Cube Trays

    Ice Cube TraySome inventions can be traced to an exact time and place. Others, we are unable to name the exact time, place, or person that invented the item. One such mystery is that no one knows exactly who invented the ice cube tray.

    In 1844, an American physician named John Gorrie needed a way to cool his patients who were suffering from yellow fever. So, Gorrie set about making a refrigerator to cool the air for his patients. Since his patients were also drinking iced drinks, some historians believe Gorrie may have also invented the first ice cube tray.

    Some seventy years later, in 1914, a gentleman named Fred Wolf invented a refrigeration machine called the DOMELERE, also known as the DOmestic ELEctric REfrigerator. Though the DOMELERE did not do well on the market, included in the design was a simple ice cube tray. This would inspire later manufacturers to include ice cube trays with their models.

    Upon reaching the 1920s and 30s, it became common for household refrigerators to include a freezer compartment and include ice cube trays.

    We can credit Guy Tinkham with the invention of the ice cube tray that we are all familiar with. In 1933, Tinkham invented a flexible, stainless steel ice cube tray. Flexing the tray cracked the ice and forced the cubes up and out. The company that Trinkham worked for was the General Utilities Manufacturing Company, where he was vice president. The first ice cube tray sold for $.50. It was called the McCord Ice Cube Tray.

    As the years went buy, several improvements and innovations were added to the McCord Ice Cube Tray, including removable separators to form the cube compartments, and making the trays out of other materials, such as plastic and silicon, which replace replaced the stainless steel design.

    While the ice cube tray is still in widespread use, manufacturers of modern refrigerators and freezers have now included internal ice makers and dispensers into their models. Companies now also manufacture and sell ice machines that produce many different sizes and shapes of ice, each fit for a certain purpose or suiting a particular want or need.

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