Crathco 3311 Barrel Freezer

The Crathco 3311 Barrel Freezer also known as a Box Style Margarita Machine .

The Crathco 3311 Barrel Freezer also known as a Box Style Margarita Machine .

MAP pricing starts at $3,864.00.

Leases begin with a low monthly cost of $220.00 per unit.

Crathco 3311 Barrel Freezer

The Crathco 3311 Barrel Freezer from Grindmaster-Cecilware is a single barrel standard beverage freezer in the 3000 series standard beverage freezer line. The Model 3312 is the double barrel freezer in the same line.

This product may also be referred to under different names, such as the Wilch 3311 or the Grindmaster 3311. However, this is the same machine listed differently. We will refer to it as the Crathco 3311 for simplicity.

This Crathco 3311 Barrel Freezer is “The Box Style” or “The Margarita Machine” type and is most often specified for restaurants, yogurt shops, commercial installations, catering, and rental businesses today due to its versatility and durability. While invented over 30 years ago, it remains a dependable and durable option in the commercial space to this day. The Crathco 3311, a stand-alone self-contained single barrel freezer unit, can continuously serve a specified number of drinks per hour throughout the establishments operating hours, day after day.

Crathco 3311 Specifications

The Crathco 3311 Barrel Freezer is designed to dispense and server many different frozen beverage concoctions including smoothies, shakes, cappuccino and granita lattes. Frozen cocktails, such as, daiquiris and margaritas are definitely a mainstay of this machine; but fruit juices, lemonade and slush’s are also fairly common.

The Crathco 3311 Barrel Freezer is constructed of steel, and it houses the freezer barrel, chilled storage, compressor, and motor all in the single box enclosure.

If you want to add more versatility to your frozen beverages, you may add an optional drink spinner to the front of the machine to mix in whatever additional ingredients your requirements specify.

The Crathco 3311 Barrel Freezer serves five to seven gallons of frozen beverage per hour. The barrel freezer keeps 1.5 gallons frozen (5.6 L). The chilled hopper cools an additional five gallons (19L) for a total of 6.5 gallons (24.6L) of product.

A metering device, known as a carburetor or carb-tube, allows the correct mix of air to liquid ratio to enter the Crathco 3311 Barrel Freezer freezing cylinder. This ratio differs for the type of drink dispensed and the thickness required.

Dispensing Valve Plunger

The dispensing valve plunger comes in two models, and you need to specify the correct one depending on the consistency (or thickness) of the product you plan to serve. One option is for a thin product and the other is for a thicker neutral base frozen cocktail mix. The plunger and spring can be field changed if you decide to alter your product options by season, or based on changing your product offering due to market demand.

A low mix light keeps the staff informed of the need to refill the storage hopper with additional mix.


This unit runs off a standard 115volt/60 Hz 15amp single-phase dedicated circuit and draws approximately 1392 watts. Optional configurations allow 220-240volts/50Hz single-phase dedicated circuit at 1650 watts.

Ventilation Requirements

The Crathco 3311 air-cooled model requires six inches of ventilation space on both sides, and no space required at the back for ample ventilation and optimal use. However, if space is at premium, other options are available to meet any need you may have. For example, there are water-cooled units and remote compressor units available in the same line.


The Crathco 3311 Standard and Crathco 3311 CE units feature a 1/2 HP drive motor coupled with a 3/4 HP air-cooled compressor.

The Crathco 3311 Water-Cooled model features a 1/2 HP drive motor coupled with a 3/4 HP water-cooled compressor and requires a 3/8″ flare fitting water connection. Additionally, a drain connection must be fitted to the out port, and a reservoir with a recirculating pump is recommended.


The overall unit weighs slightly less than 200 pounds. It is only 13 inches wide, 24 inches deep, and less than 30 inches tall. You can also specify to have four inch legs that raise the unit off the counter. Additionally, the legs help when you plan to place the unit on a cart for mobile applications.


The Crathco 3311 Barrel Freezer also features the patented FlavorlightTM illumination panel on the front of the unit. This eye catching, back-lit signage helps increase sales by drawing attention to the frozen beverage you are serving. There are various standard signage options available. 

Filter Kits

There are various filter kits available for the unit, which differ in color and function. The concealed air filter kit keeps dust from clogging the condenser. It is typically specified for use near beaches or in outdoor environments. The exposed air filter kit is for indoor applications.

Additional Accessories

Additional accessories include a valve lock to lock the unit from dispensing product during off hours or overnight. Additionally, a remote fill control to refill the chilled mix storage hopper automatically is available. This saves additional labor by monitoring the hopper and keeping it filled to the proper level automatically.

The Crathco Model 3311 manual also states: “From time to time, it may become necessary to readjust the consistency setting (thickness) to compensate for variation between different mixes or to switch from one type of product to another.” An adjustment screw accomplishes this. You can find the full procedure outlined in the user’s manual.

How does it work?

The insulated storage hopper holds five gallons. The freezer barrel is located directly below. Once you add a pre-mixed liquid to the storage hopper, it automatically keeps the freezer barrel filled by replenishing the cylinder from the storage hopper until it runs out of mix or replenishes.

As each drink dispenses, an equal amount of chilled product replaces it and will then mix with the frozen beverage in the freezing cylinder. This allows a smaller amount of product to remain frozen and served without the need for freezing the complete product mix.

A low-level indicator light lets the operator know when the storage hopper needs to be refilled. You can replenish the hopper by hand, or optionally an added automatic control accessory can replenish the mix as needed without operator intervention.

According to the Crathco 3311 product manual, “The freezer consists of a freezing cylinder with a rotating internal auger (dasher) that is belt-driven by an electric motor. The auger scrapes frozen product off of the inside of the refrigerated cylinder. A torque sensing mechanism controls compressor operation to maintain desired product consistency. The freezer utilizes either an air-cooled or water-cooled refrigeration system to freeze the product.” (The Crathco Model 3311 Barrel Freezer uses an air-cooled refrigeration system.)

The Barrel

The Crathco 3311 freezer barrel is cylindrical, approximately five inches in diameter, and runs from the front to the back of the unit. It holds 1.5 gallons of mix in a frozen state, ready for serving.

Refrigeration coils wrap around the outside of the barrel to maintain the liquid in a frozen state. The only liquid that maintains a frozen state is the liquid in this barrel. The barrel typically has a clear faceplate, removable for cleaning, located on the front. This faceplate holds the dispensing arm and regulates the flow of frozen goodness. The clear faceplate also allows the operator to see the product inside the barrel and is removable for cleaning and maintenance of the freezer cylinder.

Inside the cylinder is the wiper that continuously mixes the frozen beverage and keeps it at the correct frozen state. The internal auger (dasher) shaft protrudes through the back of the cylinder wall. The motor drives the dasher through a belt and pulley flywheel assembly. This belt drive assembly reduces the vibration of the dasher in the cylinder. Additionally, the unit senses the torque required to keep dasher turning through the frozen beverage. Then, it regulates the refrigeration unit to maintain the beverage at the optimal frozen consistency.

The motor and refrigeration unit are located on the base plate of the unit. These keep the center of gravity low in the unit. This helps when moving the unit or in mobile applications. Airflow for the Crathco 3311 unit is from the side across the refrigeration coils. It requires six inches of clearance on either side of the unit. However, the water-cooled version requires six inches of clearance at the back of the unit.

Reliable Long Term Operation

The Crathco 3311 Barrel Freezer is a very robust and reliable unit. It requires minimum daily, weekly, and annual maintenance. As stated previously, to obtain optimal results, the unit requires six inches of side ventilation. If the unit is having difficulty maintaining a consistent frozen beverage mix, then check the voltage or venting. If either is not optimal, then there will be issues. (Moreover, never use an extension cord to power a unit.)

Crathco 3311 Pricing and Maintenance

A performance maintenance schedule will provide years of service from your The Crathco 3311 Barrel Freezer from Grindmaster-Cecilware. When you need help determining your needs, please contact our team. We can help determine the correct machine, discuss installation, and/or set up a performance maintenance schedule.

MAP pricing starts at $3,864.00. Leases begin with a low monthly cost of $220.00 per unit.

Call for special offers and quantity discounts.

We also offer double barrel machines for additional flavors. Click here to see our double barrel option.

 Additional Resources

Click here to view: The Crathco 3000 Series Standard Beverage Freezers Brochure

Click here to view: The Crathco Model 3311 Owners Manual

Contact RSI for all your commercial refrigeration needs.

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