Indulging in soft serve ice cream is a universal joy, cherished by everyone. Its velvety smoothness, delicate consistency, and artful swirls make it an irresistible dessert, particularly during hot summer days. Have you ever wondered what the secret behind soft serve’s unique texture and irresistible charm is? The secret lies within overrun.

Understanding Overrun
In the world of soft serve ice cream, overrun refers to the volume expansion resulting from the addition of air into the ice cream mix during freezing. It represents the degree of aeration within the ice cream, resulting in that coveted light and fluffy texture. Mastering overrun is pivotal for crafting ice cream that strikes the perfect balance between creaminess and airiness.

The Importance of Overrun
The amount of overrun directly influences the texture, consistency, and overall quality of soft serve ice cream. Excessive overrun can yield a product that feels insubstantial, lacking in richness, whereas insufficient overrun may render the ice cream overly dense and weighty. Striking the right balance is paramount for serving ice cream that is both splendid and satisfying.

vanilla soft serve ice cream in a cone

Calculating Overrun
Overrun is typically a percentage and is computed by comparing the weight of the final frozen soft serve product to the initial weight of the ice cream mix prior to freezing.

The formula is:
Overrun = ((weight of liquid mix – weight of frozen product) / weight of frozen product) × 100%

Overrun Percentages
The desired percentages of overrun can fluctuate depending on the variety of ice cream being produced and the preferences of consumers and businesses. Here are some ranges for overrun percentages in various types of ice cream:

Soft Serve Ice Cream:
Overrun Percentage: 25% to 55%
Soft serve ice cream typically boasts a higher overrun compared to other varieties, contributing to its ethereal, cloud-like consistency, ideal for direct dispensing from soft serve machines.

Custard Ice Cream:
Overrun Percentage: 15% to 25%
Custard ice cream, enriched with egg yolks for a luscious, creamy texture, generally exhibits a lower overrun than soft serve. This lower overrun preserves the denser, more luxurious quality characteristic of custard-based ice creams.

Hard Ice Cream:
Overrun Percentage: 20% to 30%
Hard ice cream, renowned for its scoopable nature, typically features a lower overrun akin to custard ice cream. This moderate overrun lends to its substantial, firm texture, perfect for scooping and serving from containers.

While the percentages may vary widely, it’s important to note that overrun can be present in any ice cream, with actual levels subject to variation based on factors such as recipe nuances, equipment used, and consumer preferences.

two yellow soft serve ice cream in cones

Fine-Tuning Overrun
Adjusting overrun entails a range of techniques, including altering freezing speeds, modifying mix compositions, adjusting temperatures, varying mixing durations, and tweaking nozzle sizes. With some experimentation and meticulous adjustments to these factors will result in your desired balance between creaminess and aeration in your ice cream products.

Taylor ice cream machines assume a pivotal role in overrun management, regulating the air incorporation rate during freezing to maintain consistent overrun levels. Equipped with precision mechanisms, these machines ensure the production of soft serve ice cream boasting the desired texture and quality. At Rocky Mountains Distributing, we offer an extensive selection of ice cream machines tailored to your business requirements. Whether seeking to craft perfectly swirled cones or innovative batch-flavored ice creams, our range of equipment caters to your every need.

If navigating overrun calculations proves daunting, our team of Taylor ice cream machine experts stands ready to assist. Visit our showroom to experiment with your own recipes on our machines, or peruse our array of ice cream products, including base mixes and flavors, to fuel your creative endeavors. Elevate your offerings today by contacting us—we’re here to help you realize your ice cream dreams!