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Kold Draft Ice Machines


Chapel Tavern
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I was wondering if any of you out there with Kold Draft Ice Machines have had any problems? I have a Manitowoc at the bar that breaks down fairly regularly and is driving me nuts. And yes we clean the filters and everything regularly, give it plenty of air and even pet it and coo in its ear all the time and the damn thing still breaks down. I'm thinking about making the leap to a Kold Draft Machine but wanted to know how well they hold up in a busy bar from those of you with the experience before I spend the money. Thanks for the help.

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I've personally had no end of problems with various manufacturers, especially with under counter freezers. I'll single out True in particular. We had a Manitowoc (water cooled) that was pretty much maintenance free.

I think Kold Drafts reputation is for the quality of the ice, not the reliability of the machines per se. I have one on order for our new location, so can't comment on the reliability yet.

I was wondering if any of you out there with Kold Draft Ice Machines have had any problems?  I have a Manitowoc at the bar that breaks down fairly regularly and is driving me nuts.  And yes we clean the filters and everything regularly, give it plenty of air and even pet it and coo in its ear all the time and the damn thing still breaks down.  I'm thinking about making the leap to a Kold Draft Machine but wanted to know how well they hold up in a busy bar from those of you with the experience before I spend the money.  Thanks for the help.

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A couple of bar owners I've talked to about these machines have said the best option is to lease them from a company that takes responsibility for maintenance.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
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Not sure if it's the same in the States, but over here in England I (along with many, many others) swear by Hoshizaki. They're certainly not the cheapest, but well worth it in the long run.

I have 2 in this bar, both have been running for over 2 years, one with no faults (which we bought new) and the other broke down once (this one was second hand and about 4 years old when we bought it). The fault was quickly remedied, it was a temperature sensor that had reached the end of it's working life.

I also had one in my previous place, it was actually 2 units stacked on top of each other. When the bar recently closed down, it had been running for over 7 years without a single breakdown.

Of course all of the above are/were regularly serviced, but this is rarely more than a once over and occasional coolant top up.

It's also very good quality ice.

That may not be any use to you, but thought I'd mention it just in case!

Cheers,

Matt

Edited by Mattmvb (log)
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Thanks for posting that info. I have been thinking about using that brand solely because it is Japanese. If the quality is like the cars produced by Japanese manufacturers then I am there in any future sites.

Not sure if it's the same in the States, but over here in England I (along with many, many others) swear by Hoshizaki. They're certainly not the cheapest, but well worth it in the long run.

I have 2 in this bar, both have been running for over 2 years, one with no faults (which we bought new) and the other broke down once (this one was second hand and about 4 years old when we bought it). The fault was quickly remedied, it was a temperature sensor that had reached the end of it's working life.

I also had one in my previous place, it was actually 2 units stacked on top of each other. When the bar recently closed down, it had been running for over 7 years without a single breakdown.

Of course all of the above are/were regularly serviced, but this is rarely more than a once over and occasional coolant top up.

It's also very good quality ice.

That may not be any use to you, but thought I'd mention it just in case!

Cheers,

Matt

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Without giving him any reason I just asked my A/C - Refrigeration tech husband which is best....

He said Hoshizaki

cheers

tracey

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The newer KD machines are awesome. We have had next to no problems with ours at The Violet Hour. There is NO other machine that even comes close to a Kold-Draft in terms of the quality of ice. The rest of the machines make ice that is only good for chilling bottles of wine. I cant imagine trying to run a cocktail bar with out a KD machine.

Toby

A DUSTY SHAKER LEADS TO A THIRSTY LIFE

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Without giving him any reason I just asked my A/C - Refrigeration tech husband which is best....

He said Hoshizaki

That's all good and well if you want slim crescent ice like this.

But only Kold-Draft is going to give you a full 1.25-inch cube like this.

So, in my book, even if the Hoshizaki machine is "better" by some criteria (more reliable, etc.), it doesn't matter. The Kold-Draft ice is far superior.

--

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Indeed newer machine do seem to be running better. We have had ours at bar for 2 years and few problems. One machine I may steer away from though is the split machine doing half pellet half cube=two ways to putz out. And yes it does seem Leasing equals better servicing.

Also no one has an excuse not to have one installed for only about 600 dollars which will make your drinks 1000 times better.

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From what I understand the Hoshizaki available in the US is VERY different from that in the UK and Japan. If you spend some time in London, you'll notice cubes very similar to our Kold Draft -- these are Hoshizaki cubes. They don't offer these machines here.

Just to echo earlier responses: Kold Draft is the ONLY feasible option outside a totally dedicated large ice program. If you're doing any sort of volume, even then KD is the answer. I recently installed a 400lb machine with a large bin...i'm very happy with the consistency of the ice and the quick response of technicians if ever the cubes are less than perfect.

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From what I understand the Hoshizaki available in the US is VERY different from that in the UK and Japan.  If you spend some time in London, you'll notice cubes very similar to our Kold Draft -- these are Hoshizaki cubes.  They don't offer these machines here.

Just to echo earlier responses: Kold Draft is the ONLY feasible option outside a totally dedicated large ice program.  If you're doing any sort of volume, even then KD is the answer.  I recently installed a 400lb machine with a large bin...i'm very happy with the consistency of the ice and the quick response of technicians if ever the cubes are less than perfect.

i wanted to get a kold draft for the restaurant. it seems like we can afford it and our current budget machine breaks down constantly. but the kitchen who probably uses the majority of the ice doesn't want large cubes.

is kold draft only for cocktails or can it also make my kitchen happy? anyone have experience using it in the BOH?

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From what I understand the Hoshizaki available in the US is VERY different from that in the UK and Japan.  If you spend some time in London, you'll notice cubes very similar to our Kold Draft -- these are Hoshizaki cubes.  They don't offer these machines here.

Just to echo earlier responses: Kold Draft is the ONLY feasible option outside a totally dedicated large ice program.  If you're doing any sort of volume, even then KD is the answer.  I recently installed a 400lb machine with a large bin...i'm very happy with the consistency of the ice and the quick response of technicians if ever the cubes are less than perfect.

i wanted to get a kold draft for the restaurant. it seems like we can afford it and our current budget machine breaks down constantly. but the kitchen who probably uses the majority of the ice doesn't want large cubes.

is kold draft only for cocktails or can it also make my kitchen happy? anyone have experience using it in the BOH?

That is sort of my biggest roadblock to selling the chef on Kold-Draft as well, which is why I've been trying to find some endorsements for commercial ice crushers.

Alternately, about how big are the small end of KD machines? Are they intended to replace a standard ice well in size? And if that is the case, what is the approx price for those machines?

Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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From what I understand the Hoshizaki available in the US is VERY different from that in the UK and Japan.  If you spend some time in London, you'll notice cubes very similar to our Kold Draft -- these are Hoshizaki cubes.  They don't offer these machines here.

Just to echo earlier responses: Kold Draft is the ONLY feasible option outside a totally dedicated large ice program.  If you're doing any sort of volume, even then KD is the answer.  I recently installed a 400lb machine with a large bin...i'm very happy with the consistency of the ice and the quick response of technicians if ever the cubes are less than perfect.

i wanted to get a kold draft for the restaurant. it seems like we can afford it and our current budget machine breaks down constantly. but the kitchen who probably uses the majority of the ice doesn't want large cubes.

is kold draft only for cocktails or can it also make my kitchen happy? anyone have experience using it in the BOH?

That is sort of my biggest roadblock to selling the chef on Kold-Draft as well, which is why I've been trying to find some endorsements for commercial ice crushers.

Alternately, about how big are the small end of KD machines? Are they intended to replace a standard ice well in size? And if that is the case, what is the approx price for those machines?

The one i just installed is at Allen and Delancey in NYC. Very food-focused restaurant with almost zero space. I had to get a machine that would fit the old machine's spot (smaller than i wanted), but then opted for a larger bin so that it could accumulate ice. Everyone is happy. I have heard nothing but compliments come from the kitchen for the denser ice.

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From what I understand the Hoshizaki available in the US is VERY different from that in the UK and Japan.  If you spend some time in London, you'll notice cubes very similar to our Kold Draft -- these are Hoshizaki cubes.  They don't offer these machines here.

I guess that would be the case from the comment above about crescent ice.

Mine are IM series machines which produce solid cubes 25x25x30mm (about 1 inch cubed). Don't know if you can get this series in the US. (We can get the crescent ones over here, but I've never actually seen one)

Cheers,

Matt

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I wonder if it's possible that Hoshizaki can't sell their cube ice machines in the US because Kold-Draft still holds the exclusive patent for the technology. I note that the crescent ice cubes are produced by a different method (running water) than the square cubes (more or less the same as Kold-Draft does).

--

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  • 4 months later...

First, thank you all for your interest in Kold-Draft. The team here has worked very hard to revive an unbelievable product. Of course, our first course of business has been standing behind our product and retraining the service industry to support it. I'll avoid boring everyone with history, but Kold-Draft was the original commercial automatic ice machine in 1955.

Crushers: Kold-Draft makes a crusher that couples with our ice machines. This is a popular additional for many of our customers. Waring makes a smaller-sized crusher that I believe is very popular.

Joe Kaiser

Kold-Draft

1525 East Lake Rd

Erie, PA 16511

Office: (814) 453-6761

Fax: (814) 455-6336

Cell: (814) 602-9703

joe.kaiser@kold-draft.com

www.kold-draft.com

It's not Ice if it's not Kold

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Hi Joe. Thanks for stopping in. Question for you when you have a chance: Has Kold-Draft ever thought of rolling out a machine making larger cubes? Say 3 inches to a side? Or are there some practical size limitations to the technology?

--

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From what I understand the Hoshizaki available in the US is VERY different from that in the UK and Japan.  If you spend some time in London, you'll notice cubes very similar to our Kold Draft -- these are Hoshizaki cubes.  They don't offer these machines here.

Just to echo earlier responses: Kold Draft is the ONLY feasible option outside a totally dedicated large ice program.  If you're doing any sort of volume, even then KD is the answer.  I recently installed a 400lb machine with a large bin...i'm very happy with the consistency of the ice and the quick response of technicians if ever the cubes are less than perfect.

i wanted to get a kold draft for the restaurant. it seems like we can afford it and our current budget machine breaks down constantly. but the kitchen who probably uses the majority of the ice doesn't want large cubes.

is kold draft only for cocktails or can it also make my kitchen happy? anyone have experience using it in the BOH?

That is sort of my biggest roadblock to selling the chef on Kold-Draft as well, which is why I've been trying to find some endorsements for commercial ice crushers.

Alternately, about how big are the small end of KD machines? Are they intended to replace a standard ice well in size? And if that is the case, what is the approx price for those machines?

The one i just installed is at Allen and Delancey in NYC. Very food-focused restaurant with almost zero space. I had to get a machine that would fit the old machine's spot (smaller than i wanted), but then opted for a larger bin so that it could accumulate ice. Everyone is happy. I have heard nothing but compliments come from the kitchen for the denser ice.

I just installed one in Bradstreet Crafthouse (her name is Roxanne...Get it Rocks) and due to a space constraint we had to go with a smaller machine than we wanted. So we got a larger bin and it is working out splendidly. The ice is made crazy fast, so if we pack our wells a little before service, Roxy can keep up.

I have been working with KD for a number of years, and I have to say the quality of the machines has improved greatly.

We just just recived the new one down here in Nashville (we are considering K.D. Lange or Katie, still up in the air we will see how she rocks and rolls before deciding) and it has a bigger bin than that one. We have a 68 foot bar to deal with so... Will keep you updated.

Toby

A DUSTY SHAKER LEADS TO A THIRSTY LIFE

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I already told Joe what I wanted for Christmas.....

....a KD machine with interchangable molds.....any size cube you want, just pop the mold in, and its all yours. You want to go from a 1.25" to a a 2.25" cube for 3 hours of production? Why not.

....and KD could make the bennies just on the custom-molds alone.

Joe?

Audrey

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At Seven Grand we love the ice, but have had problems with machines here and there. We placed it in a room without enough ventilation, a dishwasher and another large ice machine. The ice came out with huge dimples. When ventilation was added to the room, the machine produced ice of good quality again. When the machine got too cold from direct A.C., a similar thing happened. It works great when to surrounding temp is around 70 without being directly cooled. Some people have said Kold draft sucks to maintain in LA cuz our water sucks. I could see that.

Someone recently told me that removing Kold draft from the bin and droping it into a another freezer for awhile can make in stronger for shaking with. Any thoughts?

Also, what about shaking styles with Kold draft? Most of us try not to break up all the ice, at least right away. I've tried short shakes after doing a fiqure 8 motion to soften the edges and gotten the coldest/least watered down/smoothest. Any advice?

John Coltharp - Seven Grand

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Someone recently told me that removing Kold draft from the bin and droping it into a another freezer for awhile can make in stronger for shaking with.  Any thoughts?

If the other freezer is at a lower temperature, then of course this would be true.

--

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This subject came up over Mardi Gras (I was running out of ice at home!) among a bunch of chef/owners who were at my house for dinner and, between 'em, they own 10 places or so. Their opinion is that you NEVER buy an ice machine. Always lease. They wouldn't even make an exception for a small bar. In their opinion, a small machine just means a small lease.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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Someone recently told me that removing Kold draft from the bin and droping it into a another freezer for awhile can make in stronger for shaking with.  Any thoughts?

If the other freezer is at a lower temperature, then of course this would be true.

I have found that this is actually not true. Ice like many things gets more brittle the colder it gets.

I like the temp of KD as is because you don't have to coddle it for a while before you start shaking. You see that warm up period at places like D&C and M&H because the ice is so freakin' cold. So speed wise,with KD you can drop in the cubes and GO!!!

Once you shatter a cube you have to stop and strain, because you are then shaking with cracked/crushed ice.

Toby

A DUSTY SHAKER LEADS TO A THIRSTY LIFE

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Someone recently told me that removing Kold draft from the bin and droping it into a another freezer for awhile can make in stronger for shaking with.  Any thoughts?

If the other freezer is at a lower temperature, then of course this would be true.

I have found that this is actually not true. Ice like many things gets more brittle the colder it gets.

I like the temp of KD as is because you don't have to coddle it for a while before you start shaking. You see that warm up period at places like D&C and M&H because the ice is so freakin' cold. So speed wise,with KD you can drop in the cubes and GO!!!

Once you shatter a cube you have to stop and strain, because you are then shaking with cracked/crushed ice.

Toby

#1

Do you think they were refering to the short time period the ice would spend out of freezeing are before re-entering a frezzer? Could that make it harder? Would it possibly round the sharp edges very slightly, making it less likley to shatter? I've been told that the warm up period at D&C and M&H is more for rounding the ice(although i definitly bow to you on this one Tody). I do slow figure 8's at first with Kold draft because i find that it doesn't shatter nearly as fast. So I guess the real question is: Is it the round edges that keeps it from shattering or the warming process?

#2

Kold draft machines are stackable, according to the website. The top unit can have an additional top unit added to it. It should make twice as much ice of the same quality. Does anyone have experience with this?

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