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.

17 thoughts on “IcenBerg. The Ice Cream Machine That Knocks

  1. 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. 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!

        1. I plan to machine a large worm screw drive attached to a windshield wiper motor, similar to the one I built for a camera tilt head for a dslr+400mm lens combination:
          When the ice really starts to become stiff the beater speed should be quite low, otherwise too much heat will be generated. It takes an incredible amount of torque to arrive at a thick yet creamy consistency without crystallization. The high gear would be a wiper motor with its little worm drive directly attached to the axle and the lower gear would be the motor attached to a larger worm drive for about 10 rpm.

  3. 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)

  4. 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.

    1. 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?

      1. 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.

  5. This is just the sort of discussion I was looking for.

    I have just bought a couple of stainless steel food contact 12 litre buckets and a Dewalt 995 industrial type drill, high torque and with metal gears.

    I hope to make ice cream at home. Would it be possible to be explained the paddle design. A photo would be great.

    Cheers and kind regards,

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