How To: Fixing Soft Serve Consistency Issues

Troubleshooting icy soft serve

In this article we will look at common soft serve consistency issues and provide tips and solutions to fix them quickly. 

Product is Droopy or Soft

If your product tastes okay but it’s too soft and not forming properly, it may be due to:

A lack of air circulation around the machine. Make sure your Spaceman machine has a minimum clearance of 6″ on all sides.

Worn scraper blades.
Check for any wear and tear on your scraper blades which would mean they are not scraping frozen product off the freezing cylinder’s walls properly.

Product has sat in the freezing cylinder for too long being spun and beaten. This causes your soft serve to lose some of its air content, AKA ‘overrun’. It also can over beat some of the ingredients such as stabilizers and emulsifiers which are used to give your soft serve mix that nice consistency. To fix this issue, pull product out a few times until fresh product from the hopper is added and dispensed.

Air tubes or pump are blocked or clogged, and air is not being added to your soft serve mix. Make sure you are cleaning your air tube and your air tube inlet holes thoroughly every time you clean your Spaceman machine.

Over pulling or serving too much product for your model. Depending on which Spaceman model you have, they can only produce a certain number of servings per hour. If you are repeatedly pulling soft serve and not giving your machine time to freeze fresh product, it will come out and appear soft. To avoid this problem, time your pulls and allow a delay in between each pull.

how to fix droopy or soft ice cream
slouched over soft serve fix
light soft serve

Product is Icy

This can occur if you leave product in the freezing cylinder for too long. To fix this issue, pull product out a few times until fresh product from the hopper is added and dispensed.  The before and after photo to the right is of the same product.  The first pull looks more yellow and much more dense and icy, it was pulled after product had been sitting in the freezing cylinder for several hours without being pulled out.  The 2nd pull, to the right, looks more white, creamy, and delicious!  This is the same product as before, we just pulled about 8-10 ounces out of the cylinder to bring new fresh product in and waited 30 seconds and pulled again.  Depending on the machine size and your freezing cylinder size, you may have to pull more or less product to get it “fluffed”

This may also occur depending on the product mix.  In the photo to the right of the orange soft serve, we used a non-dairy peach soft serve mix.  The mix calls for adding water, and it results in an icier texture. Some non-dairy or sorbet products are not manufactured to be creamy. In this case, it is not a performance issue, but the product consistency itself.  

Worn scraper blades.
Check for any wear and tear on your scraper blades.  Scraper blades scrape product off the freezing cylinder.  If the blades are worn they are not properly scraping frozen product off the freezing cylinder’s walls – ice crystals will grow larger. Sharp blades will scrape tight against the wall and prevent ice crystals from growing too big.  

Troubleshooting icy soft serve
non dairy soft serve mix is more icy

Product is too stiff

Low mix or mix out.  This will cause your cylinder to starve – leaving only air to enter your freezing cylinder, and the machine will freeze up. To fix this problem, add more liquid mix to your machine.

Air tube or pump is blocked or clogged. Your air tube or pump assembly should be thoroughly cleaned with the provided brushes every day. If there are any blocks or clogs, it will prevent product from entering the freezing cylinder, leading to hard product and eventually worse – machine freeze-ups.

If you’ve changed products recently, it may be a viscosity setting* issue. Certain products require different viscosities. If this is the case, please contact for a walk-through on how to fix this issue.

*Keep in mind that if you are using the same product you have always used and you’ve never experienced consistency issues until now, this means it is NOT a viscosity issue*

soft serve stiff