Olympia Cremina steam wand/tip alternatives - Page 2

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bostonbuzz

#11: Post by bostonbuzz »

The V3 wand in 7 inches from the top of the nut to the tip. You would need that much room to swing it around from the bottom of the threads on your machine (factoring in the bushing). The wand is stainless I think, since I read online about the V3 that, "The Silvia now comes standard with an articulating stainless steel steam wand..."

If your foam isn't quite micro, and isn't deep, try this out. I'm getting consistently creamy microfoam although the 'pourability' of it is about the same as far as art goes. I'm curious wether anyone can do a good job steaming on the stock wand, and also if a large 20oz pitcher makes a difference. Also, I can't get a great swirl going with this wand like I could with the stock tip, but apparently that's not important as long as I can get the toroid.
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jonny

#12: Post by jonny »

John, I just ordered one of those wands so I will see how it works out on my livietta in just a few days.

My experience with the stock wand is that it steams better with larger amounts of milk. Although in my mind, a large amount of milk is 6-8oz in a 12oz pitcher, so I haven't tried a 20oz pitcher yet. With the half full 12oz pitcher I get better results than say one third full but still not as good as I got on the mr. coffee I had (but took a minute and a half to heat). I usually use a 4oz espresso pitcher with 2-3oz of milk and this makes a perfect amount of milk for my 5oz cappuccinos (I am reluctant to wasting milk even if it is for the sake of better foam) but it is slightly bubbly, not unacceptable though, and only gives me 10 seconds to work, if that. So with that said, I think the stock wand is able to produce 'okay' foam if you are very gentle with the aeration, but it is definitely holding me back from the best quality foam that I am capable of. I have heard of people getting nice latte art microfoam on these machines, but trying their techniques, for me yielded similar results as I have before. Maybe a higher pstat setting would help (I run .9-1.1) but the brew temp management is not worth compromising for foam quality. I am all for working towards mastering techniques and equipment, but steam wands should be simple and easy to work with, not an old bear that needs a special touch.

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bostonbuzz

#13: Post by bostonbuzz »

I fill a 12oz toroid to just below the bottom of the spout (5oz?) using whole milk and this gives me the right amount for my 8oz black cat cups (I should have gotten the smaller ones). My boiler is about .8 bars off the top of my head. I stopped measuring it and just go by feel now. Although I have had it at just about every setting, the increase in steam at higher settings didn't make steaming any easier.

After my experience on the cremina and extensive experience with a le'lit I've got a theory that the machine needs to create a huge amount of steam relative to the tip size. There needs to be a large cushion of steam waiting to be released that is held back because of the small opening. I would like to say this creates less steam and a higher velocity and THAT creates microfoam, but I can't be sure about the velocity actually being higher. This would be a neat theory though and explain a lot especially why a 4 hole tip may work with a commercial machine and not with my le'lit nor cremina. Also, why at a great café when they purge the wand the steam isn't out of control (like my previous machine and the stock wand) but rather tame. My le'lit pl41 could create a mountain of steam (and empty the boiler fast). Open the wand and watch out! However I couldn't create anything delicious with it. I wish I still had it and I could put a tiny 1 hole on it and test my theory.

Anyone find a similar correlation to boiler steam volume and tip size (diameter of hole/s) in creating microfoam?
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dergitarrist

#14: Post by dergitarrist »

Producing decent microfoam IS doable with the stock wand... you need a pitcher with a very large base (I use a 20oz one but only put 5-6oz of milk in) and get the wand down right the middle so it creates three vertical whirls to the sides... Granted, this would work better with slightly smaller holes (although my machine is 40 years old so there's no telling how large the holes originally were) and thus more speedy steam and more time but it is not impossible at all.

That said, it's far from optimal so I'll try to fit a single-hole Silvia wand as well when I get around to it. :)
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jonny

#15: Post by jonny »

Markus, I'm sure it IS possible because I have seen it done but like I said, you shouldn't have to wrestle with a steam wand and manipulate it to get it just right.

So I put on a V3 swivel wand... Call it overkill for such a simple machine, but wow this thing works awesomely! I love being able to move the steam wand into any position for purging and milk steaming (and the rubber insulator is a plus for my fingers!) The big thing, though, is it makes latte art quality microfoam super easily and still within 20 seconds. No hassle, no manipulation, no searching and reading about techniques of how to get it to work. THAT is how a steam wand should be. No fuss. The one thing odd about this wand is that after closing the valve, the steam slows to a stop instead of just stopping... not sure why this happens. So without further ado, here is my '83 Pasquini Livietta with Silvia V3 steam wand!

The much more appropriate single hole tip...

The thread is a 3/8" BSP thread and the Maximatic/Cremina valve is 1/4" BSP so this fitting is the correct adapter: http://www.espressoparts.com/V_318
Some modification does need to be done. First, although not necessary, I cut about half of the female end of the adapter off so it would fit up higher on the valve since the female side is deeper than the valve fitting is long. The next step is necessary. The wand has a spring that presses a seal down on the wand ball to allow it to articulate and stay sealed. This spring is supposed to recess completely into the silvia's steam valve so the male end of the fitting needs to be bored out the length of this spring. Not too deep though or the spring want tighten up and the wand will be floppy! Also the threads on the male end are a millimeter or two two long and rub on the steam wand ball when fully threaded, so I trimmed this too. Next all you ned is teflon tape on both threads and it is good to go! Finished product:

Since the wand is quite long, I can't steam out in front as the drip tray is in the way, so instead I steam off to the side at an angle like so:

This wand works great with my 12oz Update pitcher, and my 8oz Endurance Pitcher! I will add a picture of a completed drink soon.

JD.

#16: Post by JD. »

That looks pretty good. I'm a little loathed to alter the look of the pasquini livietta. I was wondering if it'd be possible to just alter the tip of the want to a single holed tip? When I had a Pavoni I bought a single holed tip of the brooklyn shot guys on youtube. I'm sure you've seen it before. Do you reckon that'd work? It can't be too difficult to work out the size of the dome nut one needs. The it's just a matter of drilling holes till you get the right one.

What do you reckon?

JD.

#17: Post by JD. »

maybe i don't have an excuse!

jonny

#18: Post by jonny »

JD. wrote:That looks pretty good. I'm a little loathed to alter the look of the pasquini livietta. I was wondering if it'd be possible to just alter the tip of the want to a single holed tip? When I had a Pavoni I bought a single holed tip of the brooklyn shot guys on youtube. I'm sure you've seen it before. Do you reckon that'd work? It can't be too difficult to work out the size of the dome nut one needs. The it's just a matter of drilling holes till you get the right one.

What do you reckon?
Well given that the steam tip is permanently attached, I'd be wary to permanently modify an original part.

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dergitarrist

#19: Post by dergitarrist »

Only problem is, that the winding on the Cremina seems to be a M11x1 which is pretty hard to come by... gonna have to watch the bay to try and fish myself a cheap screw tap to make an adapter from Cremina to Rancilio wand.

Also, I got the stock Silvia single-hole-tip one without ball joint but I reckon it'll do.
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bostonbuzz

#20: Post by bostonbuzz »

Dergitarrist, the first page of this thread is about how I bought a 3/8" to 1/4" bushing from home depot and it works great. That being said, if you can make one with the correct european threads, sign me up! Also, there seems to be some confusion about the silvia v3 wand threads. I was under the impression that they were m18 x 1.5, but maybe they aren't.
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