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Thread: Milk Frothing Help

  1. #1
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    Default Milk Frothing Help

    Hi, I have an old 'traditional' machine with a 4 jet steam wand and normal steam pressure at 1 Bar. Whatever type of cold milk I use, frothing starts producing what I think you all call the micro foam. I personally find the milk to cool for my present taste and keep frothing longer until I hear the tone change from the steam wand. At this point the milk gets hit by lots of large bubbles and can rise to twice the starting volume, but the froth then seems too coarse with too much air and collapses quickly. I am generally frothing a small volume sufficient for a single shot cup or latte and I can get some better results starting with a larger volume of milk. Whatever I do, I can never get any improvement and produce a more solid froth for latte art, although what I produce seems to be like the coffees I get abroad in the run of the mill bars ( not Costa!).

    Where am I going wrong? Is it a limitation of my machine? Do good milk frothers always use air injection or special steam tips or higher steam pressure? Another problem I have is the froth sticking to the inside of my stainless frothing jugs. I've checked inside and they are not highly polished which I think would allow the froth to slide out better? Are there better frothing jugs? I've noticed some commercial places spooning out their froth rather than pouring it.

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    I'm not an expert but I suspect that part of your problem is using not enough milk.

    Getting the right texture requires the right amount of air introduced and then the microfilm developed through swirling. If you use only one cups worth of milk, it will be hard to do this before the milk overheats. Overheating the milk will also impair the flavour and texture.

    I'm not sure if this forum has a policy on adding other URLs but but hope I am forgiven for suggesting search youtube for whole latte love milk frothing, which I found really useful. I also appreciate that you may have personal preferences, but if you aren't happy with your current results, I suggest you start with the given recommendations to at least establish if you can get the results expected before introducing variance.

    I fill my jug to just below the start of the spout (about half full) and judge temperature as they suggest by holding the jug, stopping as it starts to get too hot to hold.

    Best of luck.
    Rich

    From Bodum > Bialetti Mokka > Gaggia Classic > MDF > Eureka Mignon > PID + Pimping > ECM Mechanika V Slim > Ceado E37J > The Grave :-)

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    Change the steam tip for one with less holes / smaller diameter holes. Texturing very small quantities of milk is challenging.

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    Thanks, that ties up when I said frothing 2 cup volumes seems better. But if you want just one cup of coffee, do you froth more milk and throw milk away? I suspect the best milk froth occurs when the milk is coldest and my small milk volume heats up too quickly? I think I will try some milk in my wine cooler which is at about 7 deg C and a lower temperature than the fridge. When I do the hand hold temperature check I find my coffee seems too cool? Perhaps that is how it should be compared to boiling water over instant. I was in Italy last year during Winter and the first Latte I had seemed too cold for my taste, but I was told the Barista had been taught by his parents over many years so I wasn't going to argue!

    Does your milk froth pour out of the jug nicely or stick around the sides like mine?

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    I don't throw away milk , I weigh what I need 80g in a Motta jug. I am not the best steamer haha
    WHY DO CROCS HAVE HOLE'S IN?


    TO LET YOUR DIGNITY OUT.


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    Sounds to me like you're burning the milk, which changes the composition of the proteins and ruins the foam (and taste!). That is why properly made lattes aren't particularly hot compared to many other drinks - it's just a limitation of the process.

    You can do your best to keep the temperature up by preheating your cup properly.
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    Get a thermometer. That resolves one issue.

    Post a vid of you frothing your milk then we can see exactly what you are doing and advise more helpfully then
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    You’re boiling the milk. Hence the sudden bubbling up & increase in volume.

    Would be good to see a video of exactly what you’re doing but that is my bet.

    If you want a good quality smooth milk you will need to cut it before it boils.

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    Quote Originally Posted by caffeinegeek View Post
    Thanks, that ties up when I said frothing 2 cup volumes seems better. But if you want just one cup of coffee, do you froth more milk and throw milk away? I suspect the best milk froth occurs when the milk is coldest and my small milk volume heats up too quickly? I think I will try some milk in my wine cooler which is at about 7 deg C and a lower temperature than the fridge. When I do the hand hold temperature check I find my coffee seems too cool? Perhaps that is how it should be compared to boiling water over instant. I was in Italy last year during Winter and the first Latte I had seemed too cold for my taste, but I was told the Barista had been taught by his parents over many years so I wasn't going to argue!

    Does your milk froth pour out of the jug nicely or stick around the sides like mine?

    I think your fridge should be nearer 5 degrees for food storage
    Sage DTP | Santos #4

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    As pgarrish said, your fridge should be <5° and your wine cooler shouldn’t be colder than your fridge.

    As others have suggested, get yourself a thermometer. It’ll help you no end with getting your milk to the correct temperature. Once you get used to the temperature required you won’t need to use a thermometer. Pull some hot brew water into your cup a few minutes prior to pulling your shot to warm the cup. Try a steam tip with fewer/narrower holes so you have more time to texture the milk, also, this is why the colder the milk the better so you have a wider window in which to texture your milk.
    It is definitely easier to texture a larger quantity of milk than it is a a smaller amount. I drink flat whites and even though I will only use between 80ml - 120ml depending on the cup I use I will still steam around 180ml of milk. Any less and I find it really hard to get the milk right for latte art. Steaming hot 300ml in a 600ml jug is even easier and you have lots more time to get the milk right.

    When I first got my Synchronika I tried and tried with the 4 hole steam tip but trying to texture such a low quantity of milk like 150ml is really have. You don’t get long at all as it’s so powerful and it all gets ahead of you really quickly and before you know it you’ve gone past the point of not return and it’s no good for latte art. I changed the 4 hole for a 2 hole and increased the steam pressure and I find it’s a lot more forgiving and gives me more time to get the milk right. I still get it wrong though and I’m still learning but I enjoy it.
    Take some of the tips from people here and see how you get on and report back.
    ECM Synchronika, Niche Zero, Pullman Bigstep Tamper, ONA OCD Distribution Tool, Decent Funnel, VST 18g & 20g Ridgeless Baskets, Aeropress, Aergrind, Acme Cups, Acaia Lunar Scales, LW Bean Cellar & Caddy

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