WHAT is the magic secret to milk steaming? - Page 4

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.
Bret
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#31: Post by Bret »

I've had the best luck with the Motta pitchers and vertical & turbulent roll. I didn't find the toroidal to work well for me, but likely I would have to experiment a fair bit to find a better tip placement and roll vs swirl combination. The Motta works well, so I didn't bother to spend a lot of time with the other.

I angle the wand out from the machine at about 45 deg, point the spout of the pitcher toward it, and then raise it up so the wand is 'in" the spout and the tip is just under the milk. I start the steam, and then move the pitcher so that the wand/tip moves all the way across the pitcher to the handle side. I shift it a little to the side (as needed) and tilt the pitcher (as needed) during the steaming to get and maintain the vertical, turbulent roll.

I stop the steam when the thermometer reads 140F, and it coasts to about 150. I've found this temp to be just right for me. I used to go higher, but read somewhere that pushing higher (above 155-160) starts to break down proteins in the milk, and can change the taste as well a possibly affecting the microfoam. I can't say whether or not that is true, but it did 'seem' to help, and lower the risk of the occasion burn on that first sip of an overly hot latte or cappuccino.

I had the best results with whole milk, with just a bit of half and half first, to cover the bottom of the pitcher. I was struggling with 2% before that. A little half and half in 2% also helped. But I dumped 2% milk entirely for a different reason: the processing to make 2% gets rid of the good fat, leaves the bad fat.

I also found that adding sweetener (splenda or sugar) to the pitcher before steaming gives a good result, with a uniform sweetening of the latte, etc.

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JR_Germantown

#32: Post by JR_Germantown »

shawndo wrote:I needed that vertical "rolling" to really get the laquer-paint microfoam texture.
This was the "eureka moment"--a complete epiphany for me. Others may be able to do it with the toilet-bowl whirlpool, but I can't (with a fast 4-hole tip). Switching to a tumbling roll made all the difference.

Thanks for the tip.

Jack

shmakdoz

#33: Post by shmakdoz »

Hey Guys

new to the forum. I've been practicing latte art for a few months now and looking for tips for consistent milk frothing/micro foam. Sometimes the milk comes out good enough for me to make a decent design (still practicing) and sometimes I just make marshmallows.

I've posted some pics below. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,




ImageImage

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JR_Germantown

#34: Post by JR_Germantown »

shmakdoz wrote:Hey Guys

new to the forum. I've been practicing latte art for a few months now and looking for tips for consistent milk frothing/micro foam. Sometimes the milk comes out good enough for me to make a decent design (still practicing) and sometimes I just make marshmallows.

I've posted some pics below. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,




<image>
I have my doubts that you're on topic here. To be safe, I'd suggest starting your own "new topic" so that it's not in danger of hijacking this one. If you'll do that, I'll be more comfortable sharing my marshmallow advice. ;) And others can perhaps give you valuable info that is specific to your needs.

Jack

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bluesman

#35: Post by bluesman »

whitedime wrote:So I got the toroid... I've had one or two excellent milk steamings but still screwing up. Whats the recommendation with a single hole tip, and whats your recommendation with a three hole tip ?

Also what TEMP do you guys recommend setting steam at ? I have the one on my ECM and also a really nice stove top unit.
I'm the wrong guy to ask. I have several pitchers with different shapes and wall thicknesses, and none is better (or worse) than the rest. My most used one was a gift from the owner of the local shop that my wife and I favored until the owner shut it down one night and ran off with his girlfriend (much to our surprise - and his wife's). But it's just a plain ol' commercial 12 oz pitcher he grabbed from the pile on his counter and handed to me when I asked where I could buy one because I had no spare for years. I bought a set of 3 slightly rounded ones with very thin walls for $14 on Amazon a few years ago, and I've picked up a few others for a few dollars each here and there. As far as I'm concerned, they're all interchangeable.

As I've said before, a poor carpenter blames his tools. Barista skills have a long, steep learning curve for most of us - it took me a few years to be consistently comfortable that I could produce an artful and delicious cap on demand. Once I learned, I was even able to make half decent foam and acceptable art with the steam wand on my Nespresso Maestria (which has a lot more in common with Elmo than with Oscar...) I find it hard to believe that the pitcher's shape will affect the creation of microfoam, since that happens at the surface. I can see how it might facilitate texturizing the milk - but I'd expect it to take as much time and experimentation with a toroidal pitcher as with any other to find the right angle and placement of the tip for a good roll. And once you find it, you've got it.

As for temperature, I have no idea. I've gotten consistently fantastic microfoam from Oscar the steam monster since I brought him home. But I also got fine foam from my Lelit SBDU with a one hole tip and a few other machines over the years with 1, 2 or 3 holes. I neither measured nor adjusted any of them - they've all been at factory spec, as far as I know. If not, it doesn't seem to have mattered.

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JR_Germantown

#36: Post by JR_Germantown »

First, my apologies to shmakdoz for suggesting that he may be off topic. That was my impression based on the "Subject". After reading through it, it's clear that (like most long threads) it has evolved.
whitedime wrote:Also what TEMP do you guys recommend setting steam at ? I have the one on my ECM and also a really nice stove top unit.
As high as your machine's manufacturer suggests, provided the electrical load doesn't interfere with brew stability.
whitedime wrote:Whats the recommendation with a single hole tip, and whats your recommendation with a three hole tip ?
IMO, it mostly comes down to a compromise between speed (via more or larger holes) vs. control (via fewer holes), limited by your machine's ability to keep up. My favorite pro barista told me that a 4-hole tip was definitely his preference, and his microfoam (short video HERE) surpassed what I could do with a 2-hole tip. I've finally begun to get control using the 4-hole, and I love the speed. YMMV.

Jack

whitedime

#37: Post by whitedime »

thanks Jack. I have a one hole tip stove-top device which has very powerful steaming, more so than my ECM classika believe it or not (got it for $15 on ebay from some guy that lives in a van. (no, really.)

what depth should the tip be ? and should the depth of the tip change throughout the process ? im confused as to what "Stretching" is

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JR_Germantown

#38: Post by JR_Germantown »

whitedime wrote:what depth should the tip be ? and should the depth of the tip change throughout the process ? im confused as to what "Stretching" is
"Stretching" is simply introducing air. It makes the milk appear to grow in volume.

I think your other questions (about depth) are probably covered earlier in this thread. I'm on a mobile device, so please excuse my reluctance to rehash it all. ;)

Jack