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On the Rocks - suggestions wanted

725 Views 12 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  I'mListening
My HT is in my basement. Down there I have a "consession" area which is really nothing more than a small section of cabinets (stocked with snacks) with a coutertop and a small sink. I also have an under-the-counter fridge that stays stocked with cold drinks - mostly soft drinks in cans, and beer in bottles or cans. I like my soft drink in a cup over ice, but the fridge that I have down there doesn't have an ice maker, and the freezer section is small and won't really accomodate ice trays.

I don't really want to have to run back up the stairs for ice all the time, yet I think intalling some type of ice machine would be serious overkill - not to mention prohibitively expensive. I'm wondering if any of you are in a similar situation and how you've solved your ice needs.

Anyone out there using a solution that's more elegant than an ice bucket and more practical than a $300 - $2000 ice machine?
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$140 for a small chest freezer. Put some cool HT graphics on the outside and add ice cream treats to your list of offerings. You can keep a bucket of ice in the freezer as well.

They also make an under-counter upright freezer for slightly more money.
I like that idea of HT graphics and ICE cream treats! Talk about a well stocked basement!!!
I think these things are neat-o. Ive seen them locally for $250.

That sounds and looks perfect for David_Larkins' situation.

It looks cool. We all should get one.
I saw those before writing this - but wasn't sure if I wanted to spend a couple hundred bucks on an ice machine. I wonder how loud they are? anyone here used one?
I vote for a chest freezer and, if you do not have one, an RO that serves your main fridge's ice maker.

I am a little concerned about the recycling of melted ice. I believe it would take good adherance to a schedule of cleaning on an infrequent basis to prevent the buildup of slime and possibly some disease causing bacteria that slowly grow in cold temperatures.

There is one in particular that really doesn't do much to healthy people, but can cause miscarriages in pregnant women. Yersinia intercolitica, IIRC.

Things that need to be cleaned every day, usually get cleaned every day or two. Things that need to be cleaned every month or two often do not ever get cleaned.

For the people in Houston, that is why restaurants that are otherwise very clean get hit with "Slime in the ice machine" on their health inspections, IMO. (a local station makes a big deal out of the report. they get plenty of restaurants to report on every week. Because of this, the restaurants there probably do a better job of cleaning their ice makers than other places, IMHO.)

I would also wonder about the effect of the continuous refreezing of whatever condensed on the ice.

If you really enjoy ice, you probably prefer good store bought ice to "refrigerator ice maker ice."

The ice made in our "refrigerator ice maker" is made with RO'd water, and it is very much closer to the best store bought ice than normal "refrigerator ice maker" ice. Friends who have no idea about how the ice is made comment on it.

Before trying the RO, I used to use the ice maker in my fridge just as a dispenser for store bought ice, and was happy to do it. I would have happily gone back. ( the trick is to leave the ice in the bag, refreeze it for about a day, then break it up and dump it into the ice maker. Then it won't refreeze into a solid block in the dispenser...)

In summary, my vote would be a Chest freezer + RO for icemaker, and you have good ice everywhere and ice cream treats, too.

For the record, RO's require sterilization on a periodic basis, but I think they are worth it. I do it every six months, along with smoke alarm batteries and the whole house water filter. I believe six months would be too long for an ice maker cleaning. YMMV.

Just my .02

Best Regards,

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I went through the same problem when building our snack bar. You could get great and inexpensive under the counter refrigerators for less than $400 - I got one that was extra wide (in case I wanted to have a "deli tray" or prepared snacks for parties - but for the most part I keep it stocked with lots of beer, bottled water, and several types of sodas.).

But to get one with an ice maker was an extra $1,000! A separate under the counter job was also a grand.

Since we have a freezer just a few feet away in a storage room, I opted to use good old fashioned ice cub trays. Of course, I had to be different and try the "bottle" style. These things are like a bottle, you fill up to the line, screw on the cap, then set flat in the freezer. You're supposed to be able to gently shake and pour. Unfortunately, they're a pain in the ass to use.

So, I keep an ice bucket on the counter - works fine, low cost. And buy a bag of ice every so often.

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Thanks Randy - there just doesn't seem to be a inexpensive solution to this that isn't a PITA.

I'd be interested to hear from anyone who has one of the machines that Green96ta referenced.... I'd like to know how loud they are.
If your main fridge has an icemaker, then just run some wide PVC (4" sewer pipe will work fine) from your kitchen through the floor to the basement. Then you'll just need a system of levers and pullys so you can press the "Dispense Ice" button and your golden. Depending on how far away the kitchen is, the lag may be tricky to overcome, but I'm sure with practice you'll be fine.

PS Don't forget to make sure the PVC goes downhill the entire way!
That's so simple! Dave, why didn't you think of that???;)

Or, just drink sodas and beer straight from the can or bottle and forget about this whole ice mess.:D

I'm startin' to agree with you...

and ecopoesis, or should I say Rube, thanks for the advice.

In the Cyberdyne I have a mini fridge/freezer. I keep the sodas in the fridge portion and usually keep a medium sized tupperware bowl full of ice for guests that mix drinks. Works for me.
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