Steaming Help Needed Olympia Cremina

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davidnr
Posts: 5
Joined: 5 months ago

#1: Post by davidnr »

I have been struggling to steam milk on a newly purchased, vintage Olympia Cremina and could use some advice. I seem to have hit a wall after several weeks of practicing. Background - I have experience using a 1983 Cremina with 3 hole wand and can steam milk in that configuration with generally good results. I recently purchased a 1987 Olympia Cremina which has an old-style (one-piece) one-hole steam wand. When I try to steam milk I get very large bubbles that splash everywhere when the wand is dipped only slightly into the milk. When I go deeper, I can heat the milk but do not introduce very much air if any. There doesn't seem to be a middle ground and I cannot generate a vortex. The wand produces pretty clean steam after descaling, and the boiler is set at 0.9 bar. I use the same pitcher I have successfully used with the 3 hole wand, and fill it to the base of the spout with fresh whole milk. Does anyone have advice for how I might improve my results? Or how to troubleshoot further? I assume it is technique not equipment, but don't really know how to tell that either.

mikel
Posts: 151
Joined: 5 years ago

#2: Post by mikel »

I was a little frustrated too when I first got a Cremina.

For me, I found the hole size or number of holes, relative to the amount of steam (and milk), influenced how forgiving it was. I got an adapter with a variable-size hole tip, and after playing around I found an opening that was forgiving and consistent. My Maximatic needed a toothpick in one hole. I modified a Bellman CXE opening and it really helped too. Could be my poor milk steaming skills, but everything got easier once I found the right opening size for the steam power.

davidnr (original poster)
Posts: 5
Joined: 5 months ago

#3: Post by davidnr (original poster) »

Thanks for the encouragement and advice. I have looked for the variable size adapter you mention and haven't found that anywhere. Can you provide some additional detail on what I should be looking for, and perhaps where?

Phip
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Joined: 4 years ago

#4: Post by Phip »

Sounds like your proceeding reasonably. I, too, use a one-hole tip, whole milk, and don't fill above the base of the spout on my 10 oz. pitcher. When I first got my Cremina, even with a decade of milk steaming prior, I had to practice steaming with with a drop of liquid dish soap in water to get creamy foam instead of froth. My foam tends to be a touch thick for serious latte art.
Philip
LMWDP #687

Richard
Posts: 424
Joined: 18 years ago

#5: Post by Richard »

davidnr wrote:Thanks for the encouragement and advice. I have looked for the variable size adapter you mention and haven't found that anywhere. Can you provide some additional detail on what I should be looking for, and perhaps where?
Weber Workshops. Variable steam tip and an adapter for Cremina wand.

Edited to add: Works with the later wands with screw-on tip.
-- Richard

mikel
Posts: 151
Joined: 5 years ago

#6: Post by mikel »

Another option is through coffee sensor- https://coffee-sensor.com/product/la-p ... steam-tip/. It has the adapter tip for La Pavoni thread, but you could always take off that adapter tip and put on the M7-1/8 bspt adapter, if you don't mind upgrading to the later Cremina wand with removable tip.

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chopinhauer
Posts: 350
Joined: 19 years ago

#7: Post by chopinhauer »

I know you have descaled the machine, but did you thoroughly run descaler through the steam wand? I find when I descale my 67 and 2011 Creminas I get LOTS more steam power after descaling with Cafetto with a little extra citric acid thrown in. Cafetto alone doesn't have this effect. And my boiler is only set to cycle between 0.6 and 0.8 bar.

Anyway, if lack of steam power is the cause of the problem this could be a solution, albeit a hassle since you just descaled.
LMWDP #027

Phip
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Joined: 4 years ago

#8: Post by Phip »

Indeed, if you think the problem is lack of steam power then definitely try starting to steam when the machine is nearing the peak of the heating cycle and hasn't turned off. I find a huge difference between starting to seam at peak pressure (.85 for me) and when heating kicks in (around .6).
Philip
LMWDP #687

GFride
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Joined: 3 years ago

#9: Post by GFride »

Could it be old milk clogging the steam wand and steam tip? Try pulling off the wand and tip and soaking it in a solution of hot water and Rinza, or hot water and Carina. Use a pin or toothpick to clear any blockage from the holes in the tip.
LMWDP #759