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Some tricks for creating great microfoam

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  • Some tricks for creating great microfoam


    This microfoam method is repeatable
    However (so far) it has bean tested on machines with ample available steam like VBM Levetta and larger HX machines with 2 to 4 steam hole tips

    NOTE
    I have not tested it out on smaller machines so I can’t say that it will work but would like willing testers to give it a go and report back
    (We may require another repeatable method for these machines if it does not work)

     
    Method
    Stretching milk with a 4 hole steam tip  
     
    There is a technique to using a 4 hole steam tip  
    So please follow these easy steps  
     
    Purge water from steam wand  
    Use a loose hand not stiff  
    At first use 300 ml jug and fill with cold milk to just under the lower part of pour spout  
    Place wand just under milk in the middle of jug at 90 deg (no angle) and only give it air in the first second no more and then just keep wand under the surface
    Important - turn on steam knob to "full steam strength”  
    Allow steam to do the work and when milk starts to foam keep wand at 90 deg but move jug to one side until the steam wand hits the side of jug  
    This all happens in about 10 seconds and before you know it you have micro-foam  
     
    This easy method is for high steam power machines with multiple steam holes in the wand  
     
    When you get the hang of it you can progress to larger milk jugs  
     
    Koffee Kosmo


    (great post KK)
    Andy.

  • #2
    Re: Some tricks for creating great microfoam

    Hi KK good idea,

    your type of method works well for me on my single steam outlet domestic machine. I find best results if I surf the top of the milk to about 35-40 degrees then plunge the wand deeper into the milk to 60-65 degrees. Hotter on the initial surf (40+) gets really stiff hard foam Key for me was dont overdo the initial bit on the top of the milk for nice microfoam.



    edit to fix original subject line - Andy

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Some tricks for creating great microfoam

      Place wand just under milk.......and only give it air in the first second no more
      Could you explain that a bit more. Im guessing it means holding the tip just under the surface as explained at the beginning of this line but what should be done straight after that first second passes?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Some tricks for creating great microfoam

        Originally posted by flynnaus link=1220959662/0#2 date=1221088802
        Place wand just under milk.......and only give it air in the first second no more
        Could you explain that a bit more. Im guessing it means holding the tip just under the surface as explained at the beginning of this line but what should be done straight after that first second passes?
        Flynn

        Have edited and added
        "and then just keep wand under the surface"

        KK

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Some tricks for creating great microfoam

          Assume with a larger qty. of milk in a larger jug you just move from center to perimeter of jug more slowly, or would you do a couple of passes from center to the edge? (i.e. 300ml of milk in a 1L jug)

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Some tricks for creating great microfoam

            Originally posted by Koffee Kosmo link=1220959662/0#3 date=1221092903
            Have edited and added
            "and then just keep wand under the surface"
            Thanks KK.
            OK, I have to ask: if you keep the tip just under the surface after the first second, what is it doing during the first second (ie what does giving it air mean. I think I understand what this means but would appreciate clarification

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Some tricks for creating great microfoam

              Thanks KK.
              OK, I have to ask: if you keep the tip just under the surface after the first second, what is it doing during the first second (ie what does giving it air mean. I think I understand what this means but would appreciate clarification
              Flynn
              The chh chh chh sound you hear is air being introduced to the milk
              The more air you introduce to the milk the more bubbles it will produce
              You will still get foam just a little to bubbly
              So less air equals better microfoam
              Increasing the length of time you steam will also make the foam stiffer

              Flynn
              Hope that helps
              You may need to experiment withy your machine, but the principle technique is the same


              Assume with a larger qty. of milk in a larger jug you just move from center to perimeter of jug more slowly, or would you do a couple of passes from center to the edge? (i.e. 300ml of milk in a 1L jug)
              Buschy

              Larger jug with larger quantity of milk
              However that said I have stretched 150 ml of milk in a 600 ml jug
              Larger amount of milk volume will also increase the time to complete the stretch
              (Larger amounts of milk may also require an extra second of air)

              KK

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Some tricks for creating great microfoam

                Thanks KK. Ive been putting up with using the panarello on my previous machine so Im a complete novice on steaming using a proper steam wand. Much clearer now.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Some tricks for creating great microfoam

                  Nicely succinct guide KK to using a 4 hole wand

                  Id just add that "theres more than one way to skin a cat proverbial".

                  My NS Mac wand is lever actioned, so its basically off, or on with full steam - no ability to moderate output. Its a 4 hole, & bloody powerful, so I had to learn early how to monitor texturing with this machine considering the speed of full-boil.

                  Ive found, after many years of practice on this full-on commercial HX, that this method achieves micro-foam regularly (dependant on the type of milk youre using of course ):

                  I ...

                  1) Hold the jug in my left hand, with the spout aimed at 2 to 3 oclock, with jug tilted down aiming spout to the right, about 20 degrees down;

                  2) Considering the power of a 4 hole, the colder the milk the better, because it gives you more time & leverage to work it;

                  3) Add 400 - 500 ml milk in the 1 litre jug, concentrated towards the spout due to the angle of jug positioning;

                  4) If you can visualise milk in a jug segmented into quadrants, then you can visualise that I place my wand, with jug tilted, in the third;

                  5) The angled-jug positioning achieves the swirling whirlpool that you want to get micro-foam from;

                  Everything KK has outlined I reckon is on the mark - but Ive just added a few tips. Angle your jug to get the eddy effect happening, keep the wand quite immersed if 4 hole, & trust your hand after awhile for temp optimum.

                  & remember, skims protein enzymes have been altered, so it foams quicker than full cream, & soy has a lower boiling temp than cow milk, so need to pull it off quicker.

                  Tony

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Some tricks for creating great microfoam

                    Originally posted by GrindOnDemand link=1220959662/0#8 date=1221109158
                    Nicely succinct guide KK to using a 4 hole wand

                    Id just add that "theres more than one way to skin a cat proverbial".
                    Tony
                    Side topic, hope it gets answered in not too many posts otherwise it might get moved. I never quite understood that saying. Why would anyone want to skin a cat? A crocodile yup... you get wallets, a deer for the meat, but a cat? :-?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Some tricks for creating great microfoam

                      Great to see KKs method up in lights! Hopefully it will remain at the top of this section for all those struggling with their microfoam (as I was, until just recently). So great to be drinking lattes once again! Cheers once again KK!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Some tricks for creating great microfoam

                        Originally posted by NewToEspresso link=1220959662/0#9 date=1221123294
                        Originally posted by GrindOnDemand link=1220959662/0#8 date=1221109158
                        Nicely succinct guide KK to using a 4 hole wand

                        Id just add that "theres more than one way to skin a cat proverbial".
                        Tony
                        Side topic, hope it gets answered in not too many posts otherwise it might get moved. I never quite understood that saying. Why would anyone want to skin a cat? A crocodile yup... you get wallets, a deer for the meat, but a cat? :-?
                        Im fond of etymology and one of my trusted sources gives a response to your question though not definitive unfortunately.
                        The expression and its roots appear to be lost in the mists of time.
                        http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-mor1.htm

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Some tricks for creating great microfoam

                          Hi KK,

                          Just wanted to say thanks. Using your tips, my microfoam has taken a huge leap forward using the Jura X9 at my office. My 6910 at home seems to be playing hardball with me though. I think the steam tip needs much finer movements, otherwise the bubbles end up too big to break down.

                          ACog

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Some tricks for creating great microfoam

                            Originally posted by ACog link=1220959662/0#12 date=1221302888
                            Hi KK,

                            Just wanted to say thanks. Using your tips, my microfoam has taken a huge leap forward using the Jura X9 at my office. My 6910 at home seems to be playing hardball with me though. I think the steam tip needs much finer movements, otherwise the bubbles end up too big to break down.

                            ACog

                            Great to hear ACog and welcome

                            For the home machine
                            Try the technique as described
                            However when you take the jug to the side tilt it so the steam force is hitting the rounded corner of the jug.
                            By doing this the steam push force is increased and will create a better whirlpool
                            I am pretty sure it will help with your 6910
                            Give it a go and report back

                            KK

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Some tricks for creating great microfoam

                              Just be careful with the 6910.
                              Juuuust break the surface or else you will get big bubbles.
                              Luckily its fairly easy otherwise.

                              The secret is.............practise, practise, practise.

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