Standard Operations Guide :: Soft Serve Product Mix Guide
Spaceman Soft Serve machines are designed to operate with a wide variety of products including dairy, non-dairy, high and low fat, and other various types of soft serve products. Generally, for most operators, Spaceman recommends purchasing and using a commercially available mix that is specifically intended for Soft Serve machines. Unlike Ice Cream mixes, Soft-Serve mixes have added stabilizers and other ingredients that allow for the mixture to be under the stress of being constantly agitated once frozen, and allow the product to remain stable through multiple freeze-thaw cycles.
Note: The most important thing to remember with mixes is that the machine does not mix product for you. All mixes must be thoroughly mixed BEFORE adding to the machine. The hopper agitator inside the machine will help keep product mixed so that it does not separate, but is not strong enough or thorough enough to mix the product if poured in separated.
Product mixes can come in a variety of styles, but the most common are:
- Liquid mix that is pre-mixed and usually delivered frozen.
- Liquid mix concentrate that requires additional mixing with milk or water
- Powdered mix that requires additional mixing with milk or water
Liquid mixes that arrive frozen and are thawed generally come from a dairy, and it is important to select a liquid mix that is specified for use in Soft Serve machines. Prior to pouring into the machine, the mix must be thoroughly thawed in a refrigerator, generally for 1-2 days prior to usage. Once thawed, ensure you thoroughly shake the container prior to pouring into the machine.
Special Note: High fat content products, like custom products, require additional attention to maintain product consistency over several days. Generally, when using a high-fat content product (10% or higher), the product can start to break down after a period of time and cause issues such as freeze ups, product inconstancies, etc. The best way to avoid this is to clean the machine more often, and replace product more often. Spaceman technical support can help provide additional steps when using high-fat content products if you are experiencing issues.
Powdered Mixes and Concentrates
Anytime that you use a product that must be mixed with additional milk or water, it is very important to thoroughly blend the product prior to pouring into the machine. Especially with powdered products, it is very important to ensure there are no chunks or large un-mixed portions as these chunks will clog the machine and cause a variety of issues. Spaceman recommends investing in a high quality immersion blender and blending your product in a food-safe container for 3-5 minutes prior to pouring into the machine.
Special Note: No matter what type of mix you use, Spaceman always recommends pre-chilling your product, and ALWAYS give your mix a thorough stir or shake prior to pouring into the machine. Do not pour in product that has solids, is not completely thawed, or is not thoroughly blended. This will cause machine issues.
Many Spaceman customers make their own product for use in their Soft Serve machine. Custom products can range from using an alternative liquid (like almond milk, coconut water, etc.) with a powder or liquid concentrate, or crafting an entire custom mixture to use in the machine. A lot of people have great success with custom products, creating a high-value unique treat for their customers. However, these custom products take a lot of time, patience, and maintenance to get right and keep running in the machine consistently. When first making a new custom product, it is very common to experience freeze-ups and hit STOP 1 and STOP 2 protection errors. Usually this is a result of not enough sugar, fat, stabilizers, or some combination thereof.
While Spaceman does not specifically have any recipes or ingredient recommendations, there are many available recipes online that customers use to varying degrees of success. Attached to this article is a popular guide to making soft serve mixes that is helpful when determining what ingredients to add, the proper ratios of each ingredient, etc.
Warranty Note: If you are having issues with your machine while running a custom product, Spaceman may request that you procure and utilize a standard commercially available during diagnosis to eliminate any potential issues being caused by the custom product.