Thanks for the info, Steve. Your video (embedded upthread) made me believe that it was somehow possible to get good microfoam from the Bellman, despite my wildly inconsistent results. I will definitely follow your advice to turn down the heat to keep the relief valve hissing softly. I can confirm that it was howling like a banshee when mine literally blew a gasket the other day (due to the lid not being screwed down completely).SteveRhinehart wrote:If memory serves, the relief valve in the Bellman handle should open at 1.2-1.3 bar. I will also confirm that I recommend heating the Bellman until the relief valve opens and hisses lightly. If it is vigorously spewing steam I recommend reducing the heat and maybe bleeding some pressure from the steam valve to calm things down a little. For the retro La Pavoni owners out there, I wait for the valve to hiss like it's in Min mode, not Max mode .
In other news, I removed the steam knob to check the gasket of the leaky steam valve:
It takes a 15mm wrench to remove, and my pedal wrench worked perfectly. I put some Dow 111 Molykote all over it and reassembled. The steady leak slowed considerably, but not completely. But it's operating much more smoothly than it was. The little clear gasket near the tip appears to be the same size as the 007 red silicon gaskets I bought a year ago for the BDB's boilers. Naturally, the unopened bag of 100 sits buried somewhere and I can't find it at the moment.