Cold pitcher for better steamed milk? - Page 3

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.

#21: Post by gingi » Nov 13, 2013, 1:15 pm

The manifest benefits of filling one's refrigerator or freezer with steaming pitchers at the expense of domestic harmony are not entirely clear.
HA! love that. BTW - great job man! nice experimental design.

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#22: Post by LaDan » Nov 14, 2013, 1:05 pm

I think it will be more beneficial to measure one's fridge temperature and adjust it to as low as possible before the freezing point. That is how I have mine. That will benefit the freshness of your perishable foods in there, plus keeping your MILK as cold as possible. In my opinion (no testing done) that will give a few seconds more than keeping the milk + the pitcher at an only moderately cold fridge.

Most people don't keep their fridge cold enough. "Legally" it should never go higher than 41F (food safety danger zone in restaurants), but home fridge will almost never be adjusted to max cold by the owners. It is usually set to the "middle" dial and that is not cold enough.

My point is, cold milk is more important than cold pitcher and most people overlook that fridge temp. They just assume it's OK. Measure it. Put a glass of water in the fridge for a few hours and then stick a thermometer in it. You might be surprised. I was.

(And I keep a pitcher in the fridge, too).

P.S. Cool experiment there, Anvan. No pun intended. Ha! LOL

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Maxwell Mooney

#23: Post by Maxwell Mooney » Dec 02, 2013, 8:11 am

You can take a scalding hot pitcher and add milk to it. The part with the milk will cool right down to milk temperature as soon as you pour it into it. My takeaway is that the metal doesn't really hold much thermal energy that I've noticed. Things like this are what baristas tell ourselves to make us feel better about our shortcomings. I play with milk a lot and I've never noticed a demonstrable difference. The cold metal of a pitcher handle is slightly enjoyable though!
"Coffee is evidence of Divine Grace, flavored coffee evidence of the Fall" -Kevin Hall

LMWDP #406

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Compass Coffee

#24: Post by Compass Coffee » Dec 03, 2013, 8:12 pm

MountRoyal wrote:I'm no expert, but I've observed many expert baristas and I never see any of them pull a milk jug out of the fridge, they are always just sitting on the counter at room temperature. Then they pour amazing latte art with gorgeous foam. I think good foam has more to do with technique and equipment than anything else.
+1 (except for the jug of milk not coming out of the fridge!) Room temp pitchers just fine with good technique AND good steam volume/velocity tuned machine/wand/tip.
Mike McGinness, Head Bean (Owner/Roast Master)


#25: Post by chipman » Dec 03, 2013, 8:38 pm

Also, never keep your milk in the fridg door. Best to keep it in the coldest part of your refrigerator. the furthest back it will fit.

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#26: Post by LaDan » Dec 04, 2013, 1:56 am

Also, when in the fridge, always make sure that the milk jar handle is pointing to the NORTH.

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#27: Post by shawndo » replying to LaDan » Dec 04, 2013, 2:17 am

Ha, that reminds me of that biodynamic wine stuff
Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra

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#28: Post by tamarian » Dec 04, 2013, 2:38 am

I don't think colder milk/colder pitcher has anything to do with better steamed milk or better microfoam, it just makes the process more forgiving when you are starting out.

We don't use milk at home, but we keep small "long life" milk boxes to make latte for guests. We keep those stored in the cupboard at room temperature. So I use room temperature milk inside a room temperature pitcher, and get excellent microfoam. This makes things happen a lot faster, maybe 10 seconds and I'm done. Using cold milk and cold pitcher might take 20+ seconds, which would give beginners more time to listen and adjust positioning to get it right.

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#29: Post by Italyhound » replying to tamarian » Dec 04, 2013, 10:23 am

That very eloquently sums up my 2 cent take on it too: A cold pitcher buys you time. When you no longer need the time, you no longer need the cold.
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Dan Bollinger

#30: Post by Dan Bollinger » Dec 06, 2013, 10:04 pm

I'm going to agree with Boar-d-laze:
The physics of a thin, stainless steel pitcher containing an appropriate amount of liquid are such that pre-chilling the pitcher to refrigerator OR freezer temperature cannot make a meaningful difference in total steaming time.
Lots of (how should I say it democratically?) hyperbole in this thread, as in:
you do not want to burn your milk
Steam, even at 240° can't burn milk, not even scorch it, the hottest it could get is to scald it.
Cook milk too long, and it's cheese.
Really? I think you just get cooked mild. Cheese requires fermentation. Not a lot of bacteria can withstand those temperatures.