Water ice is a very temperature-driven product. The quality of the ice coming out of your batch machine is vital, but maintaining that quality throughout your sales cycle is equally as vital. The temperature of your dipping cabinet, the style of your ice, and your ice maintenance all play a part. When water ice sits, the flavor sinks to the bottom of the bucket separating the flavor from the ice at the top.You can notice this by the ice crystals that settle on top of the bucket of ice. If you were to serve that to a customer, they would be disappointed. They won't experience the flavor you worked so hard to get. So pumping your water ice is going to be important as it keeps it fresh and it keeps the flavor mixed inside of the whole bucket.
The pump we use is a stainless steel rod with a disc attached to the end. The disc has 5 holes that allow the product to pass through. This pump gets inserted into the bucket, all the way to the bottom, then as we pull up, it brings the flavor up with it. This mixes the flavor back it into the entire batch of ice.
Water ice is made up of flavor, stabilizer, sugar, and water. And even though the stabilizer bonds all these ingredients together, they will separate when a tub sits. The flavor separates from the ice crystal and without the flavor inside, the ice crystal freezers. You'll want to pump the water ice as often as it may need it.
Examine the bucket by the ice crystals that are forming. When you notice the separation happening, you'll want to pump it so the next customer that walks into the door will experience the full taste explosion. You can notice the ice crystals if your product is beginning to turn white near the surface. Once you see that, you know it's time to pump. Typically we recommend pumping every 3 hours or so unless you are busy and moving through your tubs.
To demonstrate the process, we start with our bucket of water ice and our pump (which should be sanitized before plunging). We take the pump and plunge it all the way to the bottom of the bucket of water ice. Next, just begin to pull the pump back up towards the surface. Repeating this motion several times will mix up the ice and bring the flavor to the top.
After you're done pumping the bucket might look like a mess. But this is where you come back and smooth over the top with your spade to smooth out the product and make it more presentable to the customer. Of course, every recipe and product is different so you'll need to pump as often as your product calls for.
Pumping is one of the most if not the most important parts of selling water ice. This method is used to ensure a quality product, flavor, and freshness.
The pump is something we sell at Sentry along with the batch machines to make the water ice. If you want to see a demonstration of how it's done, check out this 3 Minute Tip from Angelo.
There are water ices you can make and produce that are served at a colder temperature. The recipe and serving temp - around 8-10 degrees – are very different. These ices would not need to be pumped as they are too cold to do so. If your ice is 16 degrees and up, pumping is the way to go!