Being just a coffee and tea house, and rarely serving a glass of ice
water, I'm a bit confused about how much ice making capacity I will
require, and which type of cubes are best for ice coffee and tea.

There are counter-top dispensers that make nugget ice that offer benefits to me from an engineering standpoint due to a unique drainage configuration issue. However, I will be making Japanese style ice coffee and the nuggets may be too small. Not sure.

Regarding capacity, If I serve 75 (16 oz) ice drinks during a 4 hour peak period the day, and a total of 100 during a 10 hour day - what size machine do I need?

Thanks much.



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Bigger cubes melt more slowly - lower surface-to-mass ratio. I believe that this means that you get a cold drink that is less watered down and stays colder longer. I'd think cubes would be preferable to nuggets.

If you have issues with drainage on your bar, have you considered having an ice bin on your bar and placing the ice machine in another area - like your kitchen or prep area? We went this route and it has been great - that bar real estate is precious and one more noisy compressor was not welcome. We just fill our ice bin at open and then maybe a couple more times during the day.

Our ice bin easily holds 4 or so gallon pitchers worth of ice, which I guess is something like 15-20lb. On our busiest summer day, we'll fill that bin 3 or 4 times a day... which equates to maybe 50-80lb of ice.

Our ice machine is a 180lb Manitowoc set up to make half-dice (rectangular) "cubes". It's been more than adequate for us. They have smaller units that would probably have been adequate for us, but we got ours as part of a lot of cafe equipment.

Hope that helps.
Thanks Brady. Yes, that helps "big-time". That's an excellent solution to my problem and you may have just easily saved me a thousand dollars or more. Manitowoc ships free to Hawaii too!
Great! Happy to help.
Brady's comments are dead-on. Put the machine in a backroom and put a bin with a drain in your workspace. Try to have the drain lines at the bin, and at the machine, arranged so that you will have easy access to clean them. There's something about melting ice that causes a rapid growth of black slime/mold that will eventually clog the drain lines, (and your plumbing), if not cleaned regularly. A good shot of bleach once a week will help keep the plumbing running freely.

I was a district manager for a fast food corp. for 13 years and thus have had a lot of experience with ice machines. Hoshizaki is definitely one of the best brands, but Scottsman and Manitowac are good too. The half dice size is good and so are the ones that make quarter-moon shapes. Large cube makers are not very common because it takes more time and energy to produce large cubes. The pellet makers I've had were very prone to breakdown due to the pressure required to form the pellet. Definitely stay away from flakers. Every flaker I had would breakdown way too often.

The smaller output commercial machines, (those rated under 250 lbs. per 24 hours), are usually self contained / air cooled. If you have it near your workspace the heat thrown off by the condenser coil will have you sweatin', and the noise will drive you nuts. Larger capacity machines will usually have the condenser and compressor mounted on the roof, thus taking the most of the noise and heat out of your kitchen.

From your description of your anticipated useage I'd think you'll need something over 120 lbs output, but anything over 275 would be overkill. The size of the storage bin is also an important consideration. Sometimes a low output machine with a big bin can suffice in certain situations, (realizing that after your 4 hour rush period it will have 20 hours to refill the bin).

A good water filter with a scale reducer is a very good idea, but nothing will make a machine totally maintenance free. If you're mechanically inclined you can clean the inner workings of the machine yourself. If you're not, plan on having a service person come in a couple of times a year to clean the coils, floats, water distribution channels, ect. It'll save you money and headaches in the long run.
Brady & Bob have pretty much covered it for you i think! Where i am it is EXTREMELY cheap to buy ice cubes, i get them delivered and keep them in a freezer in the back, Then at my cold drinks station i have an ice box that keeps them as best as i can, with a small drain pipe. Easy right...lol.

Thanks guys
Kim xx
Bob Von Kaenel said:
...Try to have the drain lines at the bin, and at the machine, arranged so that you will have easy access to clean them. There's something about melting ice that causes a rapid growth of black slime/mold that will eventually clog the drain lines, (and your plumbing), if not cleaned regularly. A good shot of bleach once a week will help keep the plumbing running freely.

Wow. We've had issues with drain lines on our back bar, downstream of the ice bin. Couldn't figure out why. We'll try the bleach flush.

Thanks Bob!
Thanks for that detail information Bob. I'm currently re-doing my layout on your and Brady's good advice.



Bob Von Kaenel said:
Brady's comments are dead-on. Put the machine in a backroom and put a bin with a drain in your workspace. Try to have the drain lines at the bin, and at the machine, arranged so that you will have easy access to clean them. There's something about melting ice that causes a rapid growth of black slime/mold that will eventually clog the drain lines, (and your plumbing), if not cleaned regularly. A good shot of bleach once a week will help keep the plumbing running freely.

I was a district manager for a fast food corp. for 13 years and thus have had a lot of experience with ice machines. Hoshizaki is definitely one of the best brands, but Scottsman and Manitowac are good too. The half dice size is good and so are the ones that make quarter-moon shapes. Large cube makers are not very common because it takes more time and energy to produce large cubes. The pellet makers I've had were very prone to breakdown due to the pressure required to form the pellet. Definitely stay away from flakers. Every flaker I had would breakdown way too often.

The smaller output commercial machines, (those rated under 250 lbs. per 24 hours), are usually self contained / air cooled. If you have it near your workspace the heat thrown off by the condenser coil will have you sweatin', and the noise will drive you nuts. Larger capacity machines will usually have the condenser and compressor mounted on the roof, thus taking the most of the noise and heat out of your kitchen.

From your description of your anticipated useage I'd think you'll need something over 120 lbs output, but anything over 275 would be overkill. The size of the storage bin is also an important consideration. Sometimes a low output machine with a big bin can suffice in certain situations, (realizing that after your 4 hour rush period it will have 20 hours to refill the bin).

A good water filter with a scale reducer is a very good idea, but nothing will make a machine totally maintenance free. If you're mechanically inclined you can clean the inner workings of the machine yourself. If you're not, plan on having a service person come in a couple of times a year to clean the coils, floats, water distribution channels, ect. It'll save you money and headaches in the long run.
I would look hard at leasing, Ice machines break down... a lot and having someone else be responsible is a nice thing. You should be able to lease one for between $75-150 depending on size, no unexpected repairs, no "emergency" extra repair charges. We own one now but as soon as ours breaks down we'll lease the next one.
Thanks Jason. I'm looking into leasing as much as possible.



Jason Shipley said:
I would look hard at leasing, Ice machines break down... a lot and having someone else be responsible is a nice thing. You should be able to lease one for between $75-150 depending on size, no unexpected repairs, no "emergency" extra repair charges. We own one now but as soon as ours breaks down we'll lease the next one.

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