Ice is purchased from an ice house or delivered to retail outlets by an ice broker. The ice is manufactured into 300 lb. blocks measuring 42" x 11" x 22". The 300 lb. blocks are split with an ice pick into three 100 lb. blocks then six 50 lb. blocks and each 50 lb. block into four 12½ lb. blocks that measure approximately 14" x 5½" x 5½". The splitting of the ice into 12½ lb. blocks is usually a free service of the ice house or ice broker. There is also a SNO-BLOCK machine that produces 12½ lb. blocks of ice especially for the snow machine. To see our SNO-BLOCK leaflet, click here.

Block Ice Splitting and Dimensions

White ice and clear ice are two grades of block ice sold by ice houses. White ice has a frosted white color throughout and is used for its cooling qualities only. Clear ice is used by the beverage and shaved ice industry. White ice will produce snow when shaved by the snow machine, however the syrup will produce slush on contact causing the snow top to slide off. Always ask for clear ice or beverage quality ice. Ice made from a SNO-BLOCK machine has a frosted color however it does not have any of the negative qualities of the white ice sold by ice houses.

Most retail outlets shave snow from an ice block that is in a melting state. The quality of the snow is that of real snow. A few retail outlets use ice blocks 0 degrees F or colder direct from a freezer. The quality of the snow is very fine and the texture of the finished product is similar to slush. Syrup will collapse this snow as much as 50% on contact. Thus additional ice and syrup may need to be added twice to complete one shaved ice product. The harder 0 degree F ice will dull machine blades faster and increase machine wear. Some retail outlets attempt to keep the ice approximately 12-18 degrees F. It is believed that this may provide the best snow flow through the machine and best quality snow.

This optimum temperature ice for snow can be consistently achieved by first storing the ice blocks in a chest freezer set at +10 degrees F overnight. Take the ice directly from the chest freezer to the snow machine as needed. Thus the +12-18 degree F optimum temperature can be maintained for the normal business time cycle required to shave a block of ice with the snow machine. If the ice in the snow machine reaches an undesirable temperature return the ice to the freezer.

A chest freezer is preferred to an upright freezer because cold air is heavier than hot air. Cold air flows onto your feet everytime the upright freezer door is opened. A chest freezer will retain more cold air with its door open and is thus more efficient. The freezer door will be opened twenty times a day. If an upright freezer must be used, do not place the ice directly onto the wire shelving. The ice will melt into the wire and freeze again. The freezer will need to be defrosted to remove the ice. Place plastic drop cloths over the wire shelving to prevent the ice from sticking.

Freezers have a temperature control knob to adjust the temperature. Most freezers will be at 0 to + 5 degrees F with the knob set at the warmest setting. The knob is a fine setting feature. To move the control knob to the desired + 10 degree F range consult a repair man. Allow 24 hours for the temperature to stabilize before checking the results of the temperature change adjustments. The first time the freezer is opened each day the thermometer should read + 10 degrees F.

If a freezer colder than + 10 degrees F must be used for ice storage there is a less convenient method to achieve optimum temperature ice. First store the ice in the freezer overnight. Remove the required ice (2 to 6 blocks) from the freezer approximately 30 minutes before it will be needed. Place the ice into an ice chest with the lid open. This ice is frosted and sticks to your fingers. After approximately 30 minutes, two sides of the block will begin to melt and the other two sides of the block will remain frosted. This is the optimum temperature ice for the best quality snow. To hold the ice at this optimum temperature for an extended period of time, close the lid on the ice chest. If the ice in the machine reaches an undesirable temperature, return the ice to the freezer.

To learn why it makes sense making your own ice, click here. To learn more about how ice quality affects your equipment and making snowballs, click here.

Southern Snow Manufacturing
103 West "W" Street • Belle Chasse • Louisiana • 70037 • USA
Toll free 1-800-393-8933 • Local 504-393-8967
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