Monthly Archives: February 2016

  1. Ice-O-Matic GEMD270 Pearl Ice Machine and Water Dispenser

    The break room or luncheon area of most business environments simply don’t have the space to spare for a full sized ice machine. That’s where having the Ice-O-Matic GEMD270 Pearl Ice Machine and Water Dispenser comes in, Whether you are in a medical office, a corporate professional space, small self-serve lunch counter, or even in a home-based business, it’s just the perfect size. It measures just 15.3” and can fit in a compact space.

    Features of the Ice-O-Matic GEMD270

    Ice-O-Matic has made it easy to install this air-cooled, self-contained ice machine. All you need is a water supply line and an 115V electrical source to plug it in. It’s rated at 70 degrees air temperature and water that is 50 degrees. It runs super quiet, too.

    The GEMD270 makes perfect pearl ice that is soft, chewable, and is just the right consistency retains the flavor of your favorite soft drink, juice or other beverage. It will produce 273 pounds of ice in 24 hours - that’s an astonishing 12 lbs. per hour and has a 12 lbs. capacity storage bin. Even at the busiest times, that means it will quickly refill to capacity and the ice is going to be fresh.

    The lighted keypad on this ice machine makes it super easy to operate and if users only want water without ice, it’s easy to do. The 7.5 inch clearance below the touch-free dispenser makes it easy to fill your container with ice.

    Cleaning this unit is a breeze. It features a stainless steel finish and the plastic chute is easy to disassemble and clean and is easily reassembled.

  2. Ice-O-Matic ICE0500FA-B40PS

    When you’re running a busy restaurant, bar or other establishment that uses a lot of ice, you just don’t have time to worry about an ice machine that cannot keep up with the demands of the needs of your patrons. No one likes to have ice water without ice, or be served a drink from the bar that is meant to be served cold that’s lukewarm. The Ice-O-Matic ICE0500FA-B40PS can keep up with the demand of even the busiest of settings.

    More About the Ice-O-Matic ICE0500FA-B40PS

    The ICE0500FA-B40PS features a stainless steel exterior with a 30" wide air-cooled ice maker that has an impressive production rate of up to 565 pounds of full cube ice in a 24-hour period. On those times when it’s not so busy, it has a20” high, low-profile polyethylene-lined ice storage bin is foam insulated and is mounted below the ice maker that can hold ice for when you do need it holding up to 344 lbs. of ice. The opening is large enough to allow access to scoop out the full cubed ice without needing a step stool to do it.

    Ice-O-Matic has made it so that the ice machine and ice storage bin combo of the ICE0500FA-B40PS is 57.5” high and the 6” legs are adjustable in order to stabilize it and so that it will fit in the space that you need it.
    The installation of this particular ice machine with a minimal foot print requires a 115 volt electrical connection, plus an incoming water line for potable water. It also requires drain access for water that is purged. It also needs a drain for any purged water from the end of each ice-making cycle. The Ice-O-Matic ICE0500FA-B40PS is Energy Star qualified so you can be assured of savings for your business.

  3. The Perfect Whiskey Ice

    When the first freezers began arriving in the kitchens of America, we rejoiced. We could now make our own ice from molds at home instead of sawing them from large blocks. Yet, there is a problem with such ice. It's actually not very good.

    The cubes are small and melt relatively quickly, diluting our drinks. Who likes watered down anything? The ice is cloudy due to the forced quick freezing. Also, the ice can absorb aromas from the foods in our freezers and refrigerators because they utilize the same air circulation system.

    Yet, when getting a drink from a bar or a restaurant, our taste buds told us that this ice was superior. It's crystal clear, tasteless and odorless ice.

    Bartenders caught up in the classic cocktail movement began to recognize the superiority of old-school ice. That would be the kind of ice that was cut into large blocks from nearby frozen lakes and ponds and then sawed down into the correct size.

    Can you make clear cocktail ice at home?

    Now, only if we can do that at home. Without having to buy and store a 300 lb block of ice and all that sawing. Well, you can. You can purchase a Hoshizaki ice machine or perhaps a Kold Draft cube machine.... if you have $3,500 to spare and you want to produce enough ice for a block party.

    Or.... you can buy some basic molds and follow a few handy techniques.

    You'll want to make sure that you're making ice that is the clearest possible. Cloudy ice indicates air trapped within the cube. Air means fragility, meaning that the ice will melt and/or break more quickly. It can also mean impurities in the water, which can affect the taste of your beverage.

    1. Use filtered or distilled water. The latter is best, but the decision rests on how much you want to spend.
    2. Boil the water and fill the molds while it's still hot. It will freeze faster, but boiled water resists oxygen penetration as it freezes.
    3. Use silicon variety molds. They are readily flexible and it will be easier to extract the ice. However, place them on a flat surface sheet before filling them. This will make it easier to get them into the freezer.
    4. If you want to keep such ice on hand, once finished freezing, place them into an air-tight resealable container.
    5. When making your drinks, remove only the ice needed to make the drinks rather than the whole container. This prevents frost build-up. Frost can absorb the tastes from your freezer and that can get on your ice.
    6. Use it or lose it. Storing your ice for more than a week risks flavor and odor impartation. When making drinks, place an ice cube into the glass first, pour your spirit and the mixings over the cube, then strain it over another cube. It will make that first sip all the more colder.

    All of these steps can help bring you closer to that large, crystal clear ice that you get served in your favorite high-end bar. Your drinks will taste better and less watered down, too!


  4. 9 Ways to Crush Ice

    It may still be winter, but it's been a bit warmer than normal in some places. Even so, it's never to early to begin thinking about all the deliciousness that crushed ice can bring. From sno-cones to frozen cocktails to slushies, crushed ice is where it's at. Here are 9 ways to go about making it.

    Methods of Crushing Ice

    1. Ice Crusher – Lets begin with the easiest and most obvious method first. If you're crushing a lot of ice, they are worth the investment in price and counter space. You can even choose from vintage and modern styles.
    2. Blender – The second most obvious choice is, of course, the blender. However, not all blenders are created equal. Some do not have ice-crushing capabilities, so be sure to check the specifications
    3. Food Processor – This multi-functional kitchen too is where it's at for universal kitchen use. However, some models come with blades specific to crushing ice, so make sure you're using the correct one.
    4. Cocktail Shaker – This is how the pros crush your ice. Just drop the ice into the shaker and then crush it with a “muddler” - it's the same thing as a mortar and pestle, basically. And it happens to work as good on ice as it does herbs.
    5. Whack it – Here's another pro technique. Place the ice into a lint free cloth and bang it repeatedly against a hard surface.
    6. The Lewis Bag – This bag was originally a heavy canvas bag designed to carry coins for banks. You can purchase one at any cocktail supply store. Simply place the ice inside and begin pounding it with a hammer until it is the desired consistency. Alternatives to the canvas bag are any plastic bag or even a pillow case. In place of the hammer, you can use a meat tenderizer, rolling pin, or baseball bat.
    7. Ice Cracker – This old fashioned tool still gets a lot of play. Especially if you want cracked, rather than crushed ice. Simply place ice in your hand or a towel and tap it with the crackers until it reaches the desired consistency.
    8. Frozen Plastic Bottle – This is a great way to crack ice. Simply fill the plastic bottle until it's not entirely full, freeze, and then hammer it until the ice reaches the desired size. Cut the bottle open and you're ready to go.
    9. Refrigerator – OK, another obvious one, but only if your fridge has the option to dispense crushed ice. Or, if you're just not feeling up to any of the above.

    All of these methods can help you crush ice for that sno-cone or that margarita party. Try a few or try them all and see which works best for you.


  5. Manitowoc RNS-12AT Countertop Nugget Ice Machine

    Nugget ice is great for many different purposes. It's a great ice to chew on, and wonderful to apply to sprains, bruises, and strains. This makes it ideal for the healthcare industry. However, in the healthcare industry, sanitation is important as well. Touching the ice can cause contamination and spread bacteria among patients. Not exactly the ideal situation in hospitals, doctor's offices, and other healthcare businesses.

    The Manitowoc RNS-12AT countertop nugget ice machine and dispenser eliminates the need to scoop ice, protecting it from possible contamination. The operator simply places a container beneath the ice spout and a touch free sensor senses that a container is present and dispenses the ice.

    The Power of Manitowoc

    The unit is capable of producing 261 pounds of nugget ice per day, equating to about 10.9 pound of ice per hour. The self-contained storage bin is capable of holding 12lbs of nugget ice at maximum capacity. As soon as ice is dispensed, the machine begins making additional ice to replace what was taken.

    The large drain pan eliminates the need for worry about messy cleanups. Measuring only 16.25” wide, the unit will fit easily on a countertop among other appliances. It will also dispense water at the touch of a button, providing an economic two-in-one machine for those who drink ice water. The model can be configure to produce ice only, water only, or a combination of the two.

    A DuraTech front panel provides easy access for cleaning and maintenance, along with reduced hard water staining in the dispenser area. It features both a back of unit and a bottom mounted drain for flush installation.

    The Manitowoc RNS-12AT offers a 2 year warranty on parts and labor for the ice maker and a 5 year warranty on parts and 2 years warranty on labor for the condensor.

    In places where sanitation and hygiene are a concern, the Manitowoc RNS-12AT delivers. It is ideal for hospitals and healthcare locations due to its hands-free use, putting patients and customers at less risk for contamination.

  6. Follett Maestro Plus Chewblet Undercounter Ice Machine

    Many ice lovers prefer nugget-style ice in their drinks, including water, juice, and soda. Nugget-style ice disperses more liquid at a time and places more ice in the glass than larger cubes. Nugget-style ice also absorbs the flavor of the beverage it is placed into. The small pieces are excellent for those who like to chew ice.

    The Follett UMD425A80 Maestro Plus is an air-cooled undercounter ice machine. It produces Follett's Chewblet ice, which is a nugget-style ice.

    The UMD425A80 is a workhorse, capable of producing 425-lbs of nugget-style ice every 24-hour period. This makes this unit ideal for operations with a moderate amount of ice consumption and dispensing needs. The self-contained storage bin can hold up to 90 lbs of ice, ensuring that you will always have enough ice on hand to meet your needs.

    As an undercounter model, the UMD425A80 has intake and discharge vents located on the front of the model, allowing for installation even between other appliances. All that is required to install the model are power and water connections.

    The UMD425A80 features a stainless steel evaporator as well as a semi-automatic cleaning cycle, saving time and money. Additionally, the unit features regular flushing of mineral-laden water after ice-making cycles. The unit is energy efficient with no defrost cycle.

    The UMD425A80 features an outstanding warranty covering 3-years parts and labor on the ice machine in addition to a warranty covering 5-years parts on the compressor.

    If your business utilizes nugget-style ice or would like to attract customers who love this style of ice, then the Follett UMD425A80F is an ice machine that you should consider for your business needs.

  7. Homemade Bitters

    Bitters are more than just the last ingredient in an old fashioned. Bitters, believe it or not, can be added to non-alcoholic drinks to create a quirky cocktail to please the senses. Bitters can also make great gifts to give as a hostess.

    Bitters are usually comprised of strong-tasting botanicals, flavoring agents like spices and citrus peel, and high proof liquor. They are made through a process called “cold maceration,” which just basically means the the flavors infuse over time at room temperature. Unlike heating the alcohol to speed the infusion, this allows for a much smoother flavor.

    While you can purchase DIY bitter-making kits, assembling the ingredients yourself is an easy process and leaves you with infinitely more flavor opportunities. Simply gather the botannicals and flavoring agents of your choice, a 100-proof alcohol – clear ones work best – and get your inner bitter-making diva going.

    What Flavors can you Make?

    There are limitless opportunities to create your own flavor profiles. Consider testing combinations of ingredients to see which ones come out the best. Once made, a drop or two in plain seltzer or a glass of iced tea can create unique and delicious flavors.

    Consider botanicals like angelica root, wormwood, and wild cherry bark. Flavoring agents can be anything. Try out anise seeds, cinnamon sticks, dried fruits, lavender, and small dried chilies for starters.

    Make sure that the mason jars you are using to store your bitters are clean by running them through the dishwasher. Once done, combine equal amounts of your chosen dried botanicals into a bowl. Pour 4 ounces of your chosen liquor into each mason jar. Add two tablespoons botanicals to the jar. Add flavoring agents by the teaspoon into each jar. Then, give the jar a good shake.

    Remember to attach a sticky note to each jar to help you remember which flavors are in which jar!

    Now, comes the hard part. Waiting. Place the jars in a temperature neutral spot such as your liquor cabinet. After 6 days, check the flavor profile by splashing some of the bitters onto your hands and taking a sniff. After 6 days, if they have not reached the flavor profile you desire, keep checking every few days up to several weeks.

    Once you've reached the taste you desire, strain the liquid though a fine mesh sieve into a liquid measuring cup. Pour this into a dropping bottle and display it on your liquor cart front and center!

    To make the cocktail, fill a glass almost to the top with your preferred drink: seltzer water, tonic water, and top with pomegranate juice. Top with a few drops of bitters, stir gently, and serve garnished with lemon. And if you like, add some crushed ice from one of our ice machines!



  8. New Compressor Optimizes Ice Cycle Performance

    The compressor is one of the many important parts of an ice machine. It's function within an ice machine is to compress low-pressure refrigerant vapor to high pressure vapor and then deliver it to the condenser. It is an important step in the ice making process.

    Emerson Climate Technologies has released their next generation compressors. The Copeland Next Gen C-Series Compressor for Ice (CSKIE) is a reciprocating hermetic compressor geared towards any business with ice machines. The new compressor is designed to optimize the ice cycle. Starting this year, the compressor will be in full production.

    How Well do they Work?

    Analyzing many of the popular ice machines on the market today, Emerson Climate Technologies and the Design Service Network at their test facility, initial testing concluded a 12% increase in efficiency over current models. This does, of course, rely on ice conditions.

    Ice machines are unlike walk-in or reach-in systems, which use fixed temperatures. Ice machines run in duty cycles at differing temperatures. The current compressors used in machines today operate optimally at a 20-degree evaporator and 120-degree condensing temperature. The CSKIE is designed to run during the ice cycle. This ensures that efficiency is maximized at optimal condition during the cycle with the longest run time.

    Dan Newlon, vice president of refrigerating marketing at Emerson Technologies stated, “When compressors are optimized for specific applications with niche temperature cycles, this eliminates the need for shoe-horning standard compressors to fit the niche and force it to work.”

    The CSKIE is available in 12 models between 0K BTU/HR and 20K BTU/HR and in both single phase and three phase.

  9. Ice-O-Matic ICEU300HW: A Water-Cooled Machine for your Undercounter Space

    Ice-O-Matic's ICEU300HW is a water cooled undercounter ice machine. This powerhouse is capable of producing up to 356 lbs of half-cube ice per day. This rate equates to roughly 15 lbs of ice per hour, making this machine perfect for midsize food service businesses. The built in storage bin will ensure that you will always have ice on hand, as it holds 112 lbs of ice.

    Half-sized ice cubes are just that, roughly one-half the size of regular ice cubes. More cubes means more liquid displacement, making this style of ice a favorite in the restaurant and beverage industry. The half-cube is also used in ice dispensers, the size ensuring that there will be no clogs in the dispensing mechanism.

    Water Cooled Means Less Energy Used

    The Ice-O-Matic ICEU300HW is water cooled, so there is no need to worry about side clearances for air vents. The unit runs more quietly as such, and there is no hot air generated in the area around the machine. Since the unit is water cooled, it will use more water than an air-cooled model, up to 175 gallons of water per 100 lbs of ice produced.

    For installation, the unit will require two incoming water lines and a 115-volt power source, and an external drain that can handle the amount of water purged daily. The unit is just 30” wide, and without worry about side clearances, it is easily installed in spaces that meet the above criteria. At 39” high with the 6” legs attached, it will fit easily under most commercial countertops.

    Included with the ICEU300HW is the Harvest Assist technology, which helps to remove ice from the evaporator more quickly. It comes with antimicrobial protection on all surfaces which come in contact with water and ice to help deter slime and bacteria accumulation.

    The Ice-O-Matic ICEU300HW comes with an outstanding 3 years parts and labor on the Ice Machine as well as 5 years parts coverage on the evaporator and the compressor.

    If your business needs a steady, reliable supply of half-cube ice, then the Ice-O-Matic ICEU300HW is the machine for you.

  10. Ice-O-Matic HISU070FA: A Great Machine for your Break Room

    Sometimes, you need ice, but you don't need a lot of ice. Perhaps you have a small break room or just want to install a small, undercounter ice machine in your home bar. Perhaps space is limited and you need something compact that can still produce enough ice to satisfy whomever you're serving.

    The Ice-O-Matic HISU070FA Undercounter Ice Machine produces up to 80 lbs of crystal clear, full cube style ice every 24 hours. A built-in storage bin will hold up to 36 lbs of ice. This machine is ideal for small office break rooms and executive suites as well as in-home bars and recreational rooms.

    Tiny Ice-O-Matic that Fits Anywhere

    At just 15” wide, this machine can be installed just about anywhere with access to a 115-volt power source, an incoming water line, and a drain. Without the included 6” tall legs, the machine stands just 32 inches tall, so it will easily fit beneath most countertops. Keep in mind, however, that the unit will require 4” of space in the back for hookups. Front air intake means that there is no need to worry about side clearances.

    The unit is energy efficient, using only 30 gallons of water and 11 kWh of electricity for every 100lbs of ice it produces. A simply control panel helps with the unit's operation. Integrated into every surface that comes into contact with water or ice is the AgION antimicrobial compound, which assists with keeping slime and mold at bay. The electroless nickel evaporator plate is durable and reliable.

    The cord set, plastic scoop, and 6” plastic legs are included with the HISU070FA.

    The Ice-O-Matic HISU070FA comes with a 3 year warranty on parts and labor for the ice machine.

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