Microfoam problems

For generic information on making espresso alt.coffee, coffee geek, Sweet Maria's web site and many others excel at this tutorial level of information. However, if you've been there and done that but have specific questions and concerns about getting the best espresso on the S1/VII/Mini-VII/Dream/Dream T, post those topics here.
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alanhuth

Microfoam problems

Post by alanhuth » Thu Sep 23, 2004 7:47 pm

Help! I love my new S1, but I can't make microfoam to save my life. I used to be pretty good with the old Miss Silvia, but this 3-hole tip is really mystifying me. I feel like I'd be happier with a one-hole tip because it would be easier to control and it would make swirling above 100 degrees much easier. I can't figure out how you get a whirlpool going when you have steam jets shooting out in opposite directions. If the rest of you are really happy with your 3-hole tips, then I must conclude I don't know what I'm doing, and I need some help. So far, it's mostly soap bubbles.

Thanks in advance for any assistance offered.

BobG
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Posts: 53
Joined: Sun Jul 11, 2004 1:36 am
Location: Seattle

Post by BobG » Thu Sep 23, 2004 9:12 pm

Never had any problems with Microfoam with the S1. Have the 3 hole tip.

Start by clearing out your wand before steaming as you will find that it holds quite a bit of water in the wand and you want dry steam (a 2-3 second blast before steaming your milk should suffice). Then start in the center so that the tip is just below the milk and you are getting some air into the milk (hissing). For a typical 6 oz serving of milk this probably takes about 5-10 seconds until the milk just gets warm, then move the pitcher so the want is close to the right hand side of the pitcher and submerge the wand. If the milk is not spinning in a clockwise manner, then increase the steam output so that it is soon after you submerge the wand. The spinning will break up the bubbles as long as you make sure the tip stays submerged -- if you let it come to the surface you will have sea bubbles.

Finally, I slam the pitcher once or twice to break any remaining bubbles so all that's left is microfoam. Usually I spin the milk manually in the pitcher afterward so that the milk and foam does not separate as I often use 1% milk. If you use whole milk, then microfoam is even easier.

That's all I do and it seems to work for me.

Bob

alanhuth

Microfoam problems

Post by alanhuth » Mon Sep 27, 2004 4:21 pm

Thanks for the reply, Bob.

I'm doing exactly what you are suggesting, I think, but I still get soap bubbles.

When you are in the initial stage, do you have the steam turned way down?

How do you get the spinning to work? With 3 holes, assuming one of them is blocked when the wand is near the edge of the pitcher, the other two would seem to cancel each other out?

What am I missing?

Thanks,

Alan

barjohn

Post by barjohn » Wed Sep 29, 2004 10:05 am

I haven't had any problems from day one with this unit. I use a slightly different technique that works for me. I fill my pitcher about 1/2 full and just sbmerge the tip near the spout indentation and turn the steam on full. Then I raise the tip to the point that it just barely starts the chu chu sound. You will need to keep raising it slowly as the foam forms to keep the chu chu sound. I watch the temperature rise and as it gets to about 145 I submerge the wand further and just let it spin on up to 150-155 where I stop it and remove the wand. I hold the pitcher at a slight angle while doing all of this. Almost no sea foam and a few slams on the counter and manual spins and it is silky smooth.

BobG
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Posts: 53
Joined: Sun Jul 11, 2004 1:36 am
Location: Seattle

Post by BobG » Tue Oct 05, 2004 1:23 am

Alan,

No, I do not have the steam turned way down when I start steaming. I like to get it going at a good solid pace so that ideally I do not have to adjust it once I sink it down.

You do not want your tip sitting on the side, but you want it closer to the side than to the middle so that the spinning works well.

Since you get soap bubbles, my guess is that when you are spinning the milk you are introducing air by either not keeping it submerged or trying to steam a tiny amount of milk so that air is getting introduced.

What size pitcher are you using? Try a 20 oz. if you are not already using that.

Bob

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wgaggl
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Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2004 5:09 pm
Location: Milwaukee

Microfoam Spinning

Post by wgaggl » Tue Oct 05, 2004 11:42 am

Hi Bob,
I was always quite satisfied with my foam until recently when I tried some latte art. I'm having trouble with the spinning part. The milk doesn't automatically start spinning when I submerge the steam tip. Is there any trick to it? Maybe a certain angle of the steam arm or something?

Thanks,
Wolfgang

BobG
Vivaldi Dreamer
Posts: 53
Joined: Sun Jul 11, 2004 1:36 am
Location: Seattle

Post by BobG » Wed Oct 06, 2004 4:43 pm

If the milk is not spinning when you submerge, then just increase the steam output until it starts spinning in a clockwise manner. I seem to keep the wand on the right side of the pitcher about 1/2 way between the center and the wall of the pitcher. Usually I tilt the pitcher slightly. I always seem to need about 2 slams at the end to break the few remaining bubbles so that I am left with only microfoam.

Bob

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