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Need frothing tips for my Lusso!

Postby carrie kennedy on Mon Jan 15, 2007 1:17 am

The reviews for my machine praised the ability to froth milk fast with good microfoam, but when I use 2% and my pitcher, it heats so bloody fast, it doesnt seem like there is time to incorporate air and produce much foam. Also, at first, I get crazy bubbling, and then it finally settles down and steams. Hubby thinks a different pitcher, and that wand depth might be an issue. The Lusso wand is a little short, it seems, but it is able to sit about halfway into the milk. (If I am frothing for two) I do it on purpose to make sure the wand is in the milk enough.
I tried different techniques and steam flow. Any hints?
Thanks
C
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Postby hbuchtel on Mon Jan 15, 2007 11:53 am

Have you read this frothing guide over at CG?

http://www.coffeegeek.com/guides/frothingguide

Especially pay attention to the position of the steam wand tip, it sounds like you might be keeping yours a little low.

How quickly does your PV froth? Can you tell us ml of milk, starting and ending temp, and time? Generally speaking, slower is easier, especially when starting out.

Henry
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Postby grong on Mon Jan 15, 2007 1:11 pm

Here is what I do with the Lusso for steaming. I put about 8 ounces of milk into the steaming pitcher, with the thermometer inserted. Then I put the pitcher under the steam wand, with the tip just inserted about 3/8" into the milk, then open the steam valve. Adjust the pitcher up or down a tad so that the steaming action is relatively quiet and does not produce big bubbles. When you are up to temp, (125 degrees by my measure), turn off the steam valve. With this machine, there is no need to tilt the pitcher, or other such moves.

Good luck and keep us posted.
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Postby peacecup on Mon Jan 15, 2007 4:28 pm

It took me a while to et a decent mirofoam with my Export because I usually drink straight espresso. I've finally gotten a little better - I angle the pitcher, and hold the tip just under the surface far enough so that it doesn't make big bubbles. I just hold it in one place, and continue to keep it under the "big bubble" line, which gets shallower as the foam builds up. I've found that a few swirls and bangs on the table after steaming help to burst the larger bubbles and create an even distribution of foam.


All that said, I'm still not very good at it.

PC
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Postby mogogear on Mon Jan 15, 2007 5:39 pm

I had the same problem with mu Bezzera- So if you have not read this thread- it maybe what you can try if the tip is too hard to master. FWIW, I had the same dilemma with the water wand http://www.home-barista.com/levers/bezzera-steam-and-water-nozzle-modification-t3128.html

I threaded a tip I had at home - Now I have a 4 hole tip and a "little" more control
greg moore

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Postby Knock on Mon Jan 15, 2007 6:53 pm

Hi Carrie,

For reasons too boring to go into I had a look at my Sama (precursor of PV) Lusso wands today and realised I would have to use a bit smaller pitcher or a steam too much milk for my individual cup needs. You could call it a design fault but from things I've read about the volume of stateside cappo's it seems a slight cultural misfire between Italy and the US. The Italians just don't use milk in the same volume.

As a by the by, my Sama has really stiff controls that might make it a bit clumsy to foam with if you are new to it - that true of the PV Lusso?

Meantime, I guess we can only look in Mogo's great big curvy wand(s) with envy :roll:

P.
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Postby timo888 on Mon Jan 15, 2007 8:40 pm

BTW, what does the pressure gauge read when the machine is idle?

Regards,
Timo
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Postby grong on Tue Jan 16, 2007 12:02 am

BTW, what does the pressure gauge read when the machine is idle?


A very good question.

I have set the top of my heating cycle to shut off just at 1 bar. This corresponds with a great temp for pulling shots for me, and the machine can be on for hours and is good to go. This lower pressure also decreases the steaming power, still plenty of steam for me. In fact, there is plenty of steam for me all the way down to about .5 bar. I make one or two cappuccinos a day.

It is a possibility that your steam tip holes have been bored out to a larger diameter, customized by the vendor. This will make for a faster steamer in experienced hands, but also at a loss of control, while learning. If this is the case, it would be pretty easy to swap out the steam arm for an original spec. With the original, the machine is a great steamer.

One last thought is to just open up the steam valve a little bit, and try to gain some control this way.


Best wishes.
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Postby timo888 on Tue Jan 16, 2007 9:22 am

grong wrote:
BTW, what does the pressure gauge read when the machine is idle?


A very good question.

I have set the top of my heating cycle to shut off just at 1 bar. This corresponds with a great temp for pulling shots for me, and the machine can be on for hours and is good to go. This lower pressure also decreases the steaming power, still plenty of steam for me. In fact, there is plenty of steam for me all the way down to about .5 bar. I make one or two cappuccinos a day.



The factory pressure settings tend to be higher than what is required for typical home use|milk quantities. They are more appropriate for a catering operation, it seems to me. Perhaps the marketing folks fear that people will consider these machines underpowered if the factory settings were lowered to, say, ON at .6 bar and OFF at .9 or 1.0 bar?

Regards
Timo

P.S. Grong -- any chance you could provide a (pictorial :D ) step-by-step on how to lower the p-stat on the Lusso? It would be a very nice addition to the forum, especially for new lever owners who have not done this sort of thing before.
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Postby carrie kennedy on Tue Jan 16, 2007 2:18 pm

I would be interested in lowering my pressure stat as well.
I figured out that I needed to purge before steaming (eliminated big bad bubbles)
I am paying close attention to wand depth, using cold fresh milk and chilled pitcher, steaming just enough milk
for my drink, however am reaching temp before microfoam. Prefer capps, but settling for lattes because of
the steaming issue. Starting to consider switching out wand, lowering pressure?
Grazzi
Carrie
Read CG's synopsis on steaming too!
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