Ice Machine capacity - how much do I need?

matthoover

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Jan 9, 2009
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What do other owners here recommend? I'm looking at a Hoshizaki AM-50BAE that produces 55lbs daily. I'm only expecting to sell 100 iced drinks per day, max. Our shop is small. Is this machine too small??? Is there a good formula to use to figure how how much ice, coffee, syrup, etc. I'm going to need to have on hand at all times?

A little frustrated!

Matt
 

Crazy4Coffee

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Jan 27, 2007
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I believe the guideline estimate is a pound of ice per drink. If you expect to sell 100 iced drinks per day you'll need a machine that produces at least 100 lbs of ice per day.
 
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matthoover

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Excellent - that sounds about right, just didn't know that answer. I'm going to probably go with a 150lb machine to be on the safe side and hopefully I'll grow into it. Thank you!
 

CCafe

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Aug 11, 2004
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Des Moines, Iowa
You might want to size it a tad larger anyways. As always Ice has a tendency to try to return to its liquid state after its been prepared. The other thing to remember is efficiency. If your machine is running nonstop all day long and is never able to shut off and rest your power bill is going to be somewhat high. So having a machine that can produce more then you need is not a bad thing at all.
 
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matthoover

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Excellent - now if I can just decide on the rest of my equipment!!!

Any thoughts on a Fetco Extractor series brewer vs. their regular line of brewing machine? It seems like the Extractor would be great, but I can find their regular brewers at a much better price. Quality is the highest priority for me, but I need to stay within a certain budget!
 
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matthoover

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After getting a few answers in this thread, I planned on buying a Hoshizaki AM-150BWF water-cooled ice machine, but now I'm getting some people saying water-cooled machines aren't worth the trouble.

I understand there is more water usage but there is also considerably less electricity used and in Pennsylvania we're going to uncapped regulations soon and electric prices will likely skyrocket. I also would prefer the heat to vent outside of the room, b/c in the summer when our main garage door is open it's going to be hot, and the less heat I can keep behind the bar, the better.

Any have any experiences between water-cooled & air-cooled ice machines and prefer one over the other?

As always - thanks.

Matt
 

jamiescot

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Jan 5, 2010
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You should have an ice machine that would directly proportion to the exact amount of the iced drinks you wand to produce per day. So if you are going to invest on ice machine, observe what you really need and make allowance for possible expansion in the future. Who knows your little shop might be successful to expand. Check the website of some products compare the features and I presume from there you can make a decision. Manitowoc Ice Machine
 

debbiej

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Mar 22, 2010
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I may be off here, if so please excuse. we had an ice machine. it produced heat, dust, noise, in addition to ice. It took up a lot of room in a very small kitchen. it added to our electric bill. it grew black mold and was an item of interest to the health department inspector.

the day we agreed to buy ice from a local company, our life got a bit easier. I don't think it is much more costly to have ice delivered if you have a decent freezer, which we have.
 

shadow745

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Aug 15, 2005
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Central North Carolina
Like most things in life, I'd choose a size bigger than you actually need just to keep it from having to work so hard. Our icemaker is rated to make up to 105 lbs. but that is over a 24 hour period. This depends on ambient temperature aong other things. There is also going to be regular cleaning, which usually involves putting it through a "wash" cycle, then sanitizing all surfaces of it to ensure everything is good to go. Also needs the usual filter cleaning, coil cleaning, etc. that comes with the territory.

debbie,j I do agree somewhat on having ice delivered or even picking it up daily as you need it. Surely a great alternative if you don't want to maintain an icemaker or invest in one upfront.

In our van we have a Hoshozaki unit and it works great. Does put out a bit of heat and noise, but no worse than anything else running around it. The only problem I've ever had with it was that the guy that did the build-out for the van forgot to plumb in a drain line. Every time I turned the unit it on I'd be getting water spilling out behind the unit every 15 minutes or so. How retarded can a person be to not install a drain line for an icemaker? Not only does it drain a bit as ice melts in the storage cabinet, but there is also a bit of water coming from it as it cycles between dumping fresh cubes and refilling. I took care of that by routing it through the floor and under the van since it's fresh water. Didn't want to drain it into the gray water tank since that can lead to overfilling if not careful. Other than that it works great day in/out. Later!
 

CCafe

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Aug 11, 2004
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Des Moines, Iowa
debbiej said:
I may be off here, if so please excuse. we had an ice machine. it produced heat, dust, noise, in addition to ice. It took up a lot of room in a very small kitchen. it added to our electric bill. it grew black mold and was an item of interest to the health department inspector.

the day we agreed to buy ice from a local company, our life got a bit easier. I don't think it is much more costly to have ice delivered if you have a decent freezer, which we have.

Mold grows because people fail to follow directions. If your cleaning your machine as often as the manufacture suggest you shouldn't be getting any mold in the unit.

matthover said:
I understand there is more water usage but there is also considerably less electricity used and in Pennsylvania we're going to uncapped regulations soon and electric prices will likely skyrocket. I also would prefer the heat to vent outside of the room, b/c in the summer when our main garage door is open it's going to be hot, and the less heat I can keep behind the bar, the better.

Any have any experiences between water-cooled & air-cooled ice machines and prefer one over the other?

Here's the thing about water cooled vs air cooled ice machines. Water cooled tend to use about 80 to 100 gallons more water to produce 100lbs of ice then a air cooled machine. In certain parts of the country there are actual bans on water cooled equipment on a open circuit. A open circuit would mean that the water is used to the cool the machine and then dumped down the drain.

Now the cost savings is somewhere between 2 to 4 kilowatts per 100 pounds of ice. I know the ice machine at the last place I worked was a 600 pound per day machine. The savings from a water cooled machine assuming we were using 600 pounds a day would be about $7.30 a month in electricity. But the water consumption would go up around 16,000 gallons and the water bill every month would go up a couple of hundred dollars. Here in Des Moines, IA the water is cheap but they kill you on the sewer bill!

You might be able to look into a close circuit water cooling system?
 

debbiej

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Mar 22, 2010
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it is true a properly cleaned ice machine won't have mold. it is also true that unless you do it yourself, often it isn't done right. when we had our ice machine, we were having problems with slacker employees, and it doesn't take long for a few spots to grow in hidden places.
 

kimdouzi

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Jun 4, 2012
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ice machines

Hello! Matt,
I think 50lbs dayily is too small for your shop, 50 lbs equals 22 kgs, so every one customer among the 100 will just get 220g ice tubes, do you think that is enough? our company provides 80lbs, 120lbs,210lbs and bigger ones, I think that choosing one from it will be a good choice. If you need the machine, please contact at the following information.

Shanghai Chuangli Refrigeration Equipment Co.,Ltd.
Add: No.568 Huaxu Road, Qingpu District, Shanghai,China,201705.
Tel: 0086-21-59761532
Fax: 0086-21-59761532
MB: 0086-15901738860
Skype: snookershanghai
 

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