FORGOT to Purge Steam Wand

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#1: Post by Espresso33 »


I forgot to purge my steam wand when making coffee. I noticed after like 3-15 min after and then purged a long time. My giotto type v was on the entire time. Is there any risk im in trouble? :o

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#2: Post by HB »

It happens. Wipe the wand clean and if you're feeling ambitious, remove the steam tip and clean it, too.
Dan Kehn

Espresso33 (original poster)

#3: Post by Espresso33 (original poster) »

It happens i get in trouble from forgetting one time?

Also this was some days ago. Will removing and cleaning the wand help now?

My fear is that milk went into boiler rendering it useless permanently

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Team HB

#4: Post by Jeff »

That can be a problem if the boiler cools, especially with the wand in milk. It doesn't sound like that happened. Do you regularly draw water from your steam boiler? If so, try some and smell it. If not, it's probably gnarly with minerals from boiling off the steam. Time to drain (if easy) or just flush it to bring it back down a bit.

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#5: Post by pcdawson »

Sorry - I must be missing something here........ are we talking about forgetting to purge water out of the steam wand before steaming milk, or forgetting to wipe the wand and purge afterwards. Either way, I'm not sure I understand how milk can end up in the boiler.

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#6: Post by Jeff »

If the boiler cools significantly, the pressure drop can pull liquid up the steam tube. It can be deadly with a thermoblock as it can burn on inside it. With a conventional boiler it tends to be more of an annoyance.

Espresso33 (original poster)

#7: Post by Espresso33 (original poster) »

I dont think the boiler got cooler, as it was on the whole time. Should i draw water from the steam boiler regularly? And i suspect if milk is there it wouldnt start smelling just yet, as its only been a few days. But maybe in a week or so. But from the tone here it seems like it could be some permanent harm?

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#8: Post by Jeff »

When you make steam, you leave any minerals behind. Your steam boiler will accumulate them, slowly increasing the concentration. One suggestion is to draw off some water through the hot-water wand regularly to help keep it from getting super concentrated. Here's one thread on it -- Using hot water tap to manage steam boiler water concentration

From what you've said so far, I think it's unlikely that anything major happened.

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#9: Post by Nunas »

Even is a bit of milk got into the boiler, which I doubt it has, that will not affect anything, with one exception. Since the brew water goes through the HX, not the boiler, the coffee will be unaffected. Since steam is essentially distilled water, that will be unaffected. The only thing that would be affected would be if you're in the habit of using the boiler water for tea, Americanos, or such. Even then, the intense heat of the boiler will sterilize things. I'd just give the machine a good general cleaning, and go on using it as if nothing had happened. As for your subsidiary question about drawing water regularly, I agree with the suggestion often cited in this forum to do so regularly. It will help keep mineral concentration down.


#10: Post by Pflunz »

The milk can never "wander" into the boiler, since the valve between boiler and wand is closed.
What can happen is, that the wand heats up during steaming, and after you close the valve, the wand cools down, so the steam in the wand will cool down, which results in a vacuum, which sucks in some remaining milk from the tip.