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  • Milk Temp Without Thermometer

    Hi,

    Can anyone give me any tips on how to judge when the milk is heated to the right temp without a thermometer? I would buy one, but the machine is at work and I dont want to spend money on a machine that isnt mine

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Re: Milk Temp Without Thermometer

    Originally posted by 707562714B7B737D78626D140 link=1237373639/0#0 date=1237373639
    Hi,

    Can anyone give me any tips on how to judge when the milk is heated to the right temp without a thermometer? I would buy one, but the machine is at work and I dont want to spend money on a machine that isnt mine

    Thanks!
    Easy Dave,

    Keep a hand on the jug. If you cant hold it, you probably wont want to drink it either

    2mcm

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Milk Temp Without Thermometer

      Originally posted by 79263E282328242D2D2E2E262A254B0 link=1237373639/1#1 date=1237373867
      Originally posted by 707562714B7B737D78626D140 link=1237373639/0#0 date=1237373639
      Hi,

      Can anyone give me any tips on how to judge when the milk is heated to the right temp without a thermometer? I would buy one, but the machine is at work and I dont want to spend money on a machine that isnt mine

      Thanks!
      Easy Dave,

      Keep a hand on the jug. If you cant hold it, you probably wont want to drink it either

      2mcm
      ROFLMFAO.....

      So many people use gloves and or become desensitized to heat and that is why many places sell coffee that has milk added that has had the crap burnt out of it.

      I use a 3 sec rule.. Once I can not hold my hand on it for 3 sec or longer then getting too hot.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Milk Temp Without Thermometer

        Originally posted by 1E41594F444F434A4A4949414D422C0 link=1237373639/1#1 date=1237373867
        If you cant hold it, you probably wont want to drink it either
        Ha! So true, but perhaps AngerManagement is being a tad more empirical in saying.....

        Originally posted by 6D424B495E614D424D4B49414942582C0 link=1237373639/2#2 date=1237375510
        I use a 3 sec rule..
        The 3 second rule certainly works for me. However chefs, blacksmiths and anyone else with asbestos hands should come up with a plan B.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Milk Temp Without Thermometer


          Cheers for the answers guys; I generally use the 2-3 second rule but was unsure if there was a better technique.

          I guess the best option would be to get a thermometer!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Milk Temp Without Thermometer

            The right temperature is yours to decide.
            Ask yourself or your guest, how hot do you like it?
            Iced, ready to drink or extra hot.
            Before steam was used to heat milk, a tradtional macchiato was served with a teaspoon of cold milk.
            I know a snob who wants his cup heated and the milk boiled.
            He spends $8 a day at his favourite local and walks past cafes that serve coffee in a glass without a handle because he assumes it will be Cold.
            Is he wrong? Absolutely not. It suits his taste.
            I recall a post here regarding a customer asking a Barista, can you make it nice and hot?
            Barista replied, I can make it nice or hot?
            I would pull him aside and explain customer service again or show him the door.
            Barista could/should be defined as placebo ( I will please)
            The majority of coffee consumed worlwide is instant, boiled water and some cold milk. Might be close to 80 degrees.
            Still it is satisfying the majority of coffee consumers.
            With coffee there is a massive change in flavour, body and aroma by adjusting the brewing water temperature. This applies to milk temperature too. Overheated milk actually stinks.
            Natural sugars in milk are affected by heat.
            To answer your question and help improve your milky coffee.
            Steam wand should be pointing to one side of jug.
            Put temperature feeling hand on the opposite side of jug.
            When finger tips are uncomfy, count to three.
            Served in a preheated cup and allowing for time to table/client or  your relaxed spot.
            This suits most.
            Try and educate, find a brew that doesnt need milk or sugar.
            I believe the luke warm brews served are due to high rents and expenses. Most cant afford for a client to sit and linger over a coffee for half an hour. make it cool, drink it quick or order another.




            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Milk Temp Without Thermometer

              Call me crazy but I use my ears.......and man it hurts!
              After many years, I only threw away the training wheels a few months ago. Just from the sound, I seem to know when to cut the steam. The first few times, I tested myself against the thermometer & the temp was spot on.

              Evan.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Milk Temp Without Thermometer

                Thermometers are cheap.
                Buy one and keep it in your drawer at work.
                Take it to the machine when you make a coffee and take it back to your desk when youre done.

                The guys where I last worked kept losing filter baskets so I ended up taking my own.
                It got carried to and from the machine.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Milk Temp Without Thermometer

                  you are 100 % right
                  that comes from experience.
                  you can hear the milk.
                  You may have heard the welds melt on some jugs at some never to be revisited outlets too?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Milk Temp Without Thermometer

                    Interestingly when I first got my Rancilio Silvia I would heat the milk until it was uncomfortable to hold I would give it a few seconds more like quite a few people told me. When I actually got around to getting a thermometer I soon realised that I was not heating the milk as hot as I though it was. (I guess 3 seconds on a commerial machine is equivalent to 8-10 secs on the Silvia). I can now say that a thermometer makes my milk very consistent. I take the milk off the heat just when it hits 60 degrees and I find that there is about 5 degrees lag so it ends up at 65 degrees. That is what works for me. I am just about to get a La Cimbali M21 Junior to replace my Silvia so it will be interesting to see the difference in steaming milk and time it takes. Cant wait!

                    Alistair

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Milk Temp Without Thermometer

                      Just made a coffee and didnt heat the milk up as much as I usually do; it was much much better. I had been heating it until it was too hot to touch for 2 seconds, this time I heated it until it was bearable for about 3 seconds. Not an exact technique by any means, but seems to work well enough.

                      Cheers for the help!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Milk Temp Without Thermometer

                        I dont like heating it up as much as the others, because I want to drink it now. I find that the ones where it is too hot, you wait to drink it and all the froth from the milk which was incorporated in the coffee, has floated into the mouse and gone away, leaving a thinner coffee.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Milk Temp Without Thermometer

                          For me definitely cooler is better. Firstly i like to drink my coffee straight away, and secondly you can actually taste it. I use the 3second(ish) rule. When i got my EM i decided i didnt want to use a thermometer forever, so why not just learn without it. It works for me.
                          .......most of the time.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Milk Temp Without Thermometer

                            I have just received my La Cimbali M21 Junior and this is a totally different beast to the Silvia! My fist few pitchers of milk were just a mass of bubbles and thin milk. Tried blocking three of the four holes with some toothpicks to resemble the Silvia steam wand and I am able to get reasonable results doing that. I have tried practicing with some water and a drop of dish washing liquid and my technique is improving - still not the silky smooth results I was able to achieve with the Silvia - but Im not missing having to wait for the steam to heat up! I still think I will keep using the thermometer as I like to know exactly what temp I am heating up to and keeping it consistent - However it seems that it is around the 3 seconds mark after it is starting to burn the fingers on the bottom of the pitcher to reach the 60-65 degree mark.

                            Out of interest can anybody recommend any steam arm/tip combinations that would bolt up to this machine and be more suitable for steaming smaller amounts of milk?

                            Alistair

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Milk Temp Without Thermometer

                              Most professionals judge milk temp with:

                              a) touch. Im a subscriber to the, "if you cant hold it with the palm of your hand, its too hot" school. Remember, use your palms on the side of the jug. Fingertips are a lot more sensitive to heat.

                              b) sound. If you can texture a just of milk consistently, with the same amount of foam each time, youll get used to the sound pitch. Use sound in conjunction with touch to judge milk temp. Beware, when you start steaming for different drinks, i.e. stretching less for flat whites or stretching more for capps, the pitch will change. Which is why I recommend when starting out to stretch the same amount every time to get used to the sound, then you can thin your milk out by splitting.

                              c) sight - tertiary to touch and sound.

                              After steaming hundreds of litres of milk, you fine tune your ability to get the milk within the acceptable temperature window (60 to 65 deg C, some may prefer hotter). A 5 degree C window is a big target to hit, even without a thermometer, but even I need to recalibrate my hand with a thermometer every once in a while!

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