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Help and advice please for a simple basic ice pit in the tropics, please.  RSS feed

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Hello guys,

I hope you may be able to help and advise me.

I am moving from London to the tropics of South India. I have a large beach shack that I have reinforced with earth bag sand/cement mix ratio 90/10 to make the walls strong and secure.
I plan to make Geleto ice cream and need to be able to store the ice cream after I've made it.

The beach shack is off grid, and I have been looking into ice cellars online. I'm finding some information but most of the information is about larger ice cellars.

I really wanted to make a small circular ice pit from a barrel or garbage can or maybe bigger rectangle at 4' long x 3' wide and about 5' deep.

If I could tell you my basic plan maybe you could be able to tell me if it would work or advise me.

1. I plan to dig a hole 5' deep.
2. Layer the bottom with gravel and then sawdust 1 foot thick for insulation and drainage.
3. Insulate the side walls with polystyrene ( or maybe sawdust or straw bundles )
4. Make a double insulated lid door from plywood and polystyrene.

5. Then go to pick up some local manafactured ice cubes to empty into the hole and compact.
6. Lower my selection of gelato ice creams in a basket/container to be kept frozen in the ice pit.

Now, would you think this may work?

And if so, any idea on how much ice would be needed and how long the ice might last before replacing with added ice from a local source?

I do hope you guys may be able to advise.
Thank you.

Kind regards,


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Hello Alex,

Welcome to Permies.

Perhaps others may share a different perspective, yet I believe there may be some confusion here between an "ice house"...which stores ice and/or also "keeps cool" food items during warmer weather and a traditional "Ice Cellar" which is found typically in the arctic among the IƱupiat and other Circumpolar peoples as well as some Athabaskans cultures. These can actually freeze items unlike an "ice house" which can only keep things moderately cool. None would work well or for very long in the tropics...I am sorry.
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