To make ice cream you’ll need a commercial-grade soft-serve machine (soft-serve machines and frozen yogurt machines are the same things).
Here are the basic components of the machine:
- Hopper – the area where you pour the ice cream mix.
- Freezing Cylinder – this is a small shaft that sits horizontally inside the machine. The mix drips from the hopper into the freezing cylinder where it freezes.
- Beaters – these are inside the freezing cylinder and they spin around to keep the mix from freezing solid. They also help whip air into the machine and make a nice creamy product.
- Front plate – this is the piece that goes on the front of the machine with the handles. It also includes the opening where the ice cream is dispensed. Most machines have a star shape design where the product comes out – giving the ice cream the look we all recognize.
- Overrun – this is the air that is in the ice cream. Air is critical to making a nice creamy product. Without overrun, the product will come out dense, icy, and won’t taste right.
There are several different sizes, but for our purposes, we’ll break it down into two types – standalone model and counter-top model.
Standalone model – these machines go all the way to the floor and are on rollers. They are either medium or high capacity and usually require 220-volts, but not always (see the section on electricity). They usually have two flavors and a twist (although they can come in a one-flavor model). For ice cream shops, this is usually the best option.
Counter-top model – these machines sit on a counter or cart. They are usually low capacity to medium capacity. They are available with one flavor one-two flavors and a twist. These machines can be a good option as an add on to an existing concept, like a sandwich shop.
Most medium to high-capacity frozen yogurt machines requires 220-volt electricity, although some are 115 volts. In either case, they will require different outlets than your standard home electrical outlet. They will also require higher amps than normal. Be sure to check with an electrician to see what will be required and how much it will cost.
Gravity versus Pump
This refers to how the mix gets into the freezing cylinder. With a gravity machine, the hopper is at the top of the machine. The mix is poured into the hopper and then gravity pulls the mix into the freezing cylinder. With a pump machine, the hopper is pressurized and the mix is pumped into the freezing cylinder.
The advantages of a gravity-fed machine are that they cost less and are easy to fix. The advantage of a pump machine is that you have complete control over the amount of air you put into the final product. This can affect the quality of your product and the cost.
Gravity machines can put in up to 45% air and pump/pressurized machines can put in up to 100% air (which means equal parts mix and air).
Air Cooled versus Water Cooled
The motors in soft-serve machines produce heat and need to be cooled. The two methods for cooling are either air-cooled with a fan or water-cooled with pipes that run water through the machine to cool it. Overall, we recommend air-cooled because they are less expensive to install and need less maintenance.
Air-cooled machines don’t require any additional investment when installed, and they can be less expensive to operate (depending on your electricity costs versus water costs). Water-cooled require the installation of a water system, which can cost RM15,000-RM40,000.
Water-cooled machines make less noise and produce less heat. You may save on utility costs if your water costs are much lower than your electricity.
Soft-Serve Machine Companies
There are several companies that manufacture and sell ice cream machines. Some are made in the United States and others are made in other countries, like China. Prices on floor models range from RM3,000 to RM75,000. The machines will vary in quality, warranty offered, and production capacity. The right machine for you depends on your constraints (like cash or the ability to finance) and your goals (how many machines you need, the type of concept you are doing).
There isn’t always just one right answer to what machine you should buy. Contact ice cream expert at Rasa Royal’s and we can discuss it with you.
If you decide to buy machines at the low-end of the price range, make sure machines are made with good materials and parts. For example, all machines are made with stainless steel, but steel has different grades of quality. Some machines that are made with low-quality stainless steel can rust and cause many problems in the future.
Also, keep in mind that regardless of the brand of soft-serve machine you purchase, you’ll want to make sure you have good access to service and replacement parts. All machines break at some point, and you’ll need a good technician that can work on them.
If you have any questions Whatsapp to Rasa Royal at +6010.233.5222,
Steve experiences upto 10 types of ice cream machine, and he owned 50+ ice cream machine in retail ice cream business in the past 10 years, select the correct ice cream machine is very important on your business. It doesn’t mean italian brand is the most suitable for your business, and china brand or even korea brand is not the right choices. You need to did deep calculation on your traffic turnover, product scale, flavors variety, customer average spending before you start your business. So just whatsapp to Steve. He will assist you on this.