Milk Frothing Problem

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.

Postby doc1453 » Apr 06, 2016, 11:02 am

Got a hand-me-down machine in December. From use #1 I was able to create a solid foam using the methods commonly linked to on here (youtube videos).

About a month ago, things started going badly. All of a sudden, the milk simply won't foam. I haven't changed anything. Instead of foaming, it is boiling. In my small pitcher, it is violently bubbling and splashing liquid out of the top (a few burns result). Milk is the same, container is the same, method is the same.

I've tweaked around with more or less milk. I've removed the steam wand and completely cleaned it. I'm at a loss at this point and can't even find someone with the same problem.

My setup isn't great. Hell, it's probably not even considered good. But, I was doing totally fine for 3 months and now I can't seem to figure this out. Some help in what to do would be great appreciated. I have a gut feeling it's going to be "buy a good machine" which is fine with me. Since I got this one free from the folks.


Postby Bill33525 » Apr 06, 2016, 11:22 am

Some more details about the machine name and size of the pitcher would help.
However, sounds like there is too much steam power for the size pitcher you are using.
Some machines are better than others at varying the amount of steam that exits the wand.
With the wand positioned into a cloth try varying the control to see if the steam power changes.
Perhaps something has happened to the control so its either full on or off.

Try reducing the steam control to obtain less action in the pitcher.
Hope this helps.


Postby doc1453 » Apr 06, 2016, 11:28 am

There is no adjusting steam power. It's a switch. Like I said, it's not a very good setup. I was just baffled at how it worked fine for months and then went completely haywire.

Also, the wand is about 2.5 inches long.... which was a problem in trying to use a large container. It won't reach the milk. I basically have been using a pourer that can get the wand under the top of the milk level.

Like I said, I'm pretty sure the answer is "get a better setup". Again, fine with that. But the logical engineer in me doesn't accept working for 3 months and then all of a sudden it's a travesty with no root cause.


Postby Beaniac » Apr 06, 2016, 12:12 pm

Have you tried a different brand of milk?


Postby doc1453 » Apr 06, 2016, 1:44 pm

No I haven't because this milk worked in the past.

I'll try and post a video later tonight.