Hot Gas Release and Defrost

Defrost Mode and Hot Gas Release

Documentation :: General :: Defrost Mode and Hot Gas Release


In recent years, several manufacturers have added a capability for a hot-gas release to their soft-serve machines in order to help reduce or prevent freeze ups.  In some cases, a Defrost feature has been added to help thaw product in the freezing cylinder faster in the event of a freeze-up or during cleaning.  Spaceman has all of these features available on newer models produced since 2021 with a -C in the model name, however, we primarily only encourage use of the Defrost function as needed.
Note: In some early models, we had the Hot-Gas Release settings enabled, and the Defrost setting set for cleaning temperatures.  If you find your model is not set to the defaults set below, Spaceman recommends updating these settings for better performance.

Hot-Gas Release

Hot-Gas Release refers to the machine allowing some hot-gas to bypass through the refrigeration circuit to the freezing cylinder(s) at the completion of a freezing cycle.  This short burst of gas is intended to prevent residual refrigerant from freezing up the product once the motor stops agitating.  Spaceman has found that while this feature makes the temperature on the display appear better, and may, in some cases, help prevent a freeze up, it also causes the first dispense to be too soft and runny, especially if sitting idle for a period of time.  

Generally, we recommend the Hot-Gas Release settings to be turned off, unless advised otherwise by a Spaceman technician.  On all Spaceman Soft Serve models there are two settings related to Hot-Gas Release, both in the Advanced Settings behind the passcode.
  1. Setting 13: HOT RELEASE A: This is the time (in seconds) the machine will release hot gas after the viscosity setting is achieved before the motor shuts off.  We recommend this setting be set to 0 sec on all machines by default.
  2. Setting 14: HOT RELEASE R: This is the time(in seconds) the machine will release hot gas after pressing the RESET button in Freeze mode to stop the machine.  We recommend this setting be set to 0 sec on all machines by default.
Note: If your machine is experiencing a lot of STOP 1 or STOP 2 errors, and you have eliminated all other common issues like cylinder starvation, etc.  Changing Setting 13, HOT RELEASE A to 1 second can sometimes help alleviate this issue in certain circumstances.


Defrost is a very useful function that can be used either during cleaning, or in the event a STOP1 or STOP2 protection occurs.  Defrost uses the same hot-gas bypass to inject hot gas into the freezing cylinder evaporator.  In Defrost mode, the machine will inject this hot gas until the temperature rises to the Defrost setting temperature, turning on the motor to agitate the product as needed.  
  1. Spaceman recommends the Defrost setting be set to 39 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius).  The Defrost is Setting 15 in the advanced settings behind the passcode.  
  2. Outside of the United States, the Defrost setting can be increased to as high as 15 Celsius.  This will warm the product above food safe temperatures, so it is only intended to be utilized prior to cleaning in this case.  If you increase this setting beyond 4 degrees Celsius, Spaceman cannot guarantee food safety when defrost is used during normal operation or during a freeze up.  You must follow your local health code regulations for maintaining safe food temperatures.
To enable Defrost, press and hold the bottom middle button on the display until defrost turns on.  

Note: When powering on your machine, if your machine has a software version earlier than 2.2110F10V01, your defrost default value will be 7F.  There was a software bug causing a conversion error in defrost mode.  A setting of 7F on these machines will result in a defrost temperature of 39F when in use.  Please contact Spaceman technical support for more information.

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