IcenBerg. The Ice Cream Machine That Knocks

An Icecream Machine

It’s summer. It’s hot. After [Alex Shure] tried his hand at making his own ice cream, he knew he had to take it a step farther. Introducing icenBerg. He’s not just in the ice cream business. He’s building an empire.

Using various odds and ends from the workshop, an old mini fridge donated to him by friends, and a lathe, [Alex] built the first iteration of icenBerg. It features a fancy machined paddle inside the insulated housing, which can be driven by a power drill — or at least that was the plan…

The salvaged compressor system from the mini fridge provides the cooling for the machine. In his first attempt, he found a power drill wasn’t quite strong enough — so he ended up chucking the entire thing into his lathe for unbeatable ice cream mixing. The flavor of choice was apple banana coconut sorbet with chocolate oak cookie chunks and roasted soybeans (say that 10 times fast!).

The machine is far from complete, but as a proof of concept deliciousness it has spurred him to make it even better. He plans on making it a standalone unit using a windshield wiper motor, a PWM circuit with a microcontroller, and even hopes to correlate motor current to ice cream consistency.

Tread lightly.


  1. Stephanie says:

    get a motor assembly from a thrift shop bread maker. you can easily remove all of the electronics, then you’re left with a 120v motor on a pulley system all neatly assembled. Bonus points if you re-use the connecting mechanism for the paddle.

  2. simcop2387 says:

    I’d love the recipe for those Chocolate Oak Cookies. They sound interesting.

  3. Hirudinea says:

    Gal darn kids today, in MY day we had liquid nitrogen and I didn’t hear no one complaining, maybe cause it took a week for your head to thaw after eating the liquid nitrogen but I still didn’t hear no one complaining!

  4. echodelta says:

    If a drill can’t do it the wiper motor won’t either. Get a 1/2 inch chuck drill. Less rpm more torque.

  5. Gwen says:

    just a tip on getting the refregerator out of the PUR foam shell: steam cracks the PUR bond and will revert the foam in an easily removable substance.
    Attention: only heat will carbonize the polymer and you will quicker reduce the plastic parts to a problem substance.
    but if you would have a vacuum pump and some storage cilinders you could suck out the refrigerant and build you own cooling machine with the salvaged parts, (compressor and valves)

  6. Aztraph says:

    Having worked on an H.C. Duke machine recently at a DQ, The beater bars wear out and need to be replaced often, sometimes as much as once a month depending on usage. that’s an awful lot of work on a beater only to have it wear out so quickly. Also, don’t add too much mix, part of ice cream making is what is called overrun, the air that gets mixed into it. I made that mistake more than once.

    • gcat122 says:

      Really curious … what part of the beater bar wears and what is it made of?

    • shure says:

      Thanks for the insight! I leave more than a third of the container empty to have room for overrun. The paddle is still too big and I plan to machine one with a replaceable adjustable scraper. Can you elaborate on the geometry of the beater bars at that industrial machine you were working on?

      • gcat122 says:

        The consumer at-home ice cream makers I have looked at have stirrers that do not quite reach the cold metal surface. My Nemox unit has a gap of less than 1/16 of an inch between the plastic stirrer and the stainless steel bucket. Less wear and easier for the motor to break the freezing mix away from the rock hard frozen layer. It probably takes a little longer. As for overrun – a gelato may expand 30% or so, an ultra mixed ice cream can double in volume and still come out as soft, close to melting. Lots of air is not necessarily better and too cold a freezer temperature will make it too hard to serve the next day. Still experimenting.

  7. reboots says:

    After the ice cream comes off the lathe, how about some whipped cream topping?

    (Plastic spoon in the chuck. It worked, more or less.)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 96,725 other followers