Does your Simonelli Oscar do this?
I have a question to ask fellow members here to find out if their Oscar steam splutters.
Since I bought it august last year, the steam has always spluttered and it has been difficult to achieve silky microfoam.
One of the good reasons why I bought the Oscar is it's reputation for powerful steam and quick heating of the milk.
Well, it certainly does heat the milk in quick time, but the quality of the resulting microfoam has not met my expectation.
Difficult to get a decent vortex which results in coarse bubbles not breaking down.
Have tried the standard 3 o'clock method, the KK method and others like straight down the middle or against the wall of the jug to the back.
As far as I know, the Oscar's 2 litre boiler is supposed to be superior to the Rancilio Silvia and the Sunbeam EM6910 I had before that, but the Silvia was just as fast and the texture was superior. The Sunbeam is much slower, but had the similar result of the Silvia.
Shortly after the purchase, I raised the attention to the seller about the issue and discussed the symptoms.
He suggested it was my technique that may require refinement even though I told him about the various ways I,ve been trying to get the result I wanted
I perservered with this for some time, bought a two hole tip as well as using the Silvia one hole tip, of which has bought about the best result thus far and the one hole tip is on my current set up, so this led me to believe the steam just sucks.
But as far as I,m concerned, the machine comes as standard with the 4 hole tip and it should do the job as is.
I took it upon myself to take the machine to the authorized repair and service center and discussed the problem, and one week later the machine was back in it's original condition.
The technician told me he was able to steam milk (oh, that's good to know) but stopped short of telling me he was able to get decent microfoam on it.
His verdict was that's how the Oscars are, and the steam is not as good in quality as the more expensive options.
I left it at that, knowing I was not going to go far on this issue, so just to satisfy myself that this is how the Oscar is, I would like to ask any Oscar owners past and present to view my video and give their opinion.
Thanks in advance.
Simonelli Oscar steaming - YouTube
Last edited by sidewayss; 10th February 2014 at 09:16 PM.
After a view of the ewetoob, the steam is fine and I agree that it will be more technique than anything else.
The porting of the tip is broad- like VBM. Replace it with a 2 hole preferably with narrower porting- then off centre just under the surface and do nothing. Let the machine do the work and support the back of the jug with the back of the wand. the more you can lock in to minimise movement, the better.
Did that too Chris.
Tried refining the technique and letting the machine do the work without moving the jug which may upset whatever little vortex there was.
As mentioned, tried the two hole tip which worked a bit better, and lastly the Silvia one hole tip which worked best which seems to say there,s something lacking in the steam department.
Having used the mentioned domestic machines and worked with Synneso Saber and Hydra as well as San Marino, Lamarzocco GB 5, Strada MP and currently both the Linea and Strada EP, I,ve adapted well to them with a bit of practise.
I am certain the Oscar should have better steam than the Silvia PID as evident in Seattle Coffee Gear,s comparison between those two, but it,s way opposite on my pairing, with the Silvia superior in it,s delivery though it,s steam is wetter which does impact on the cup.
I will endeavor to submit another video with steaming of milk.
Who knows. Best bet is to compare it to another machine and then you'll have an idea as to whether this is typical or abnormal performance.
FWIW, I'm not a fan, but they already have their fan club, so my absence is not really going to be of consequence ;-)
The Oscar has a rep for being a Steam Monster so it certainly sounds like something is not ideal, and would be worth checking out properly...
Definitely not right. I have one and does not do this.
It did do this once, when I played with the boiler water level thing.
I would maybe suggest, although no pro, that the boiler is filling to high.
Is the steam wet at all?
Your feedback is another example of what I was talking about together with my session with another Oscar with a fellow CS member which was superior, as well as side by side comparison with my own Rancilio Silvia.
I,ve been given assurance by the seller and the service agent that it is normal and functioning well, but like I said before, steaming yes, but the agent stopped short of confirming silky microfoam.The seller enthusiastically offered to send me a steam tip with smaller holes, then when it arrived, it was the exact same tip as the original. Make you wonder.
As you can see by the video, the steam sputters between dry and wet.
It could very well be the boiler level perhaps but I,m not sure.
At this stage, I,m pretty much stuck with the thing and not much I can do about it.
It is pretty easy to check the probe, clean and adjust as required - Just make sure the machine is unplugged before you dive in.
Here's a brief explanation from a bloke on Home Barista who was experiencing similar issues...
Don't forget to let out the pressure in the boiler first
Thanks Mal and denwol. I appreciate your advice.
I read the link and feel it,s within my scope of grasping the task at hand.
Will report back on my findings.
Denwol, to release the pressure, I would achieve that by opening the steam valve right?
Originally Posted by sidewayss
I can now report back that things have improved on the steaming front.
Great results on the one, two and four hole tip.
Even though it still splutters, the force of the steam is stronger.
Removed the water level probe by removing the whole unit rather than the probe. Goodness knows why the manufacturers positioned the 1 cm metal pipe right next to the big bolt I don't know, which I had to re-shape it in order to fit the spanner onto the bolt so that the whole probe could be removed.
Inspected, cleaned. Tilted the machine and removed all water from the reservoir via the steam arm, inserted the probe as far down as possible and re-tightened.
Re-filled the reservoir and heated up for a good half hour, with the usual releasing of false pressure at the 3 minute mark. The steam power thereafter was more powerful and for me, a better vortex.
Made 5 coffees in quick succession. I did notice towards the end the steam power diminished slightly, whereas before the modification, the unsatisfactory steam was more consistent in power.
Perhaps the lower water level carries less mass than before. A bit like comparing the power duration comparison between a bigger boiler with a smaller boiler. The bigger boiler all things being equal has more ability for sustained performance.
Shall try and provide a video or two shortly for display purposes.
Thanks again guys for the advice.
Great news "sidewayss"...