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  • Bellman CX25S

    Gday,

    Well, my first ever post to Coffee Snobs!!

    I am now the proud owner of a Bellman CX25S milk steamer... A surprise present from my awesome wife!

    A couple of questions have presented themselves... I have read many articles and watched a ton of Utube clips on milk steaming...

    If anyone has or knows how to use a Bellman you might be able to help me:

    1. I think I am stretching the milk ok, but the whole texturing to get the latte art I've seen on Utube seems to be passing me by... any ideas??

    2. I think the above may be because of steam pressure... I have tried a few different things (boiling time, several wand purges etc) and the best steam I can get kind of 'puts' a bit, by that I mean inconsistent stream of steam... again any ideas???

    Thanks

    Daverelli

  • #2
    I seem to have solved one of my problems... Getting good steam by waiting till the water had been boiling for a good while (10mins) purging the wand and then waiting another good while (10mins) to allow pressure to build up... Really good steam....

    Any other Bellman users out there have methods to share?? The next experiment will be to reduce the times to work out if it does need to take that long...

    Thanks

    Daverelli

    Comment


    • #3
      Mine only gets a work out when I take it on holidays. This what I do (from memory):

      1) Boil a kettle
      2) fill Bellman to about half way (don't fill it right up)
      3) put on stove with steam valve open
      4) once steam is being produced shut valve
      5) wait 2,3,4 minutes (or until safety outlet engages)
      6) insert into small milk jug, just below surface, quite close to edge of jug but blow steam parralel to the circumference of the jug (to whirl the milk). Adjust height of nozzle according to prefered amount of stretching
      7) stop at some point

      Takes me a couple of goes to remember how to get it spot on....and need to be careful... make sure you have somewhere that you can safely put the hot unit down (I have a trivet tile for this purpose.

      Comment


      • #4
        G'day,

        Thanks for that info, gives me a few things to experiment with... Awesome!!!

        Where us the safety valve? The instructions that cane with the unit are very simple and a little cartoon like... The valve isn't shown...?

        Thanks,

        Daverelli

        Comment


        • #5
          Sorry shocking spelling mistakes...

          Comment


          • #6
            Can't recall exactly where the steam release is (I'm not in the same country as my Bellman), however, IIRC you leave the unit on the stove for long enough after closing the main steam valve, you'll hear a sort of hissing noise....that's it (take the machine off heat).

            Also, I'm thinking about my earlier advice....I reckon I probably don't even fill the Bellman to half-way...probably 1/3 full or so.

            What type of stove are you using?

            Comment


            • #7
              Electric stove top...

              i did two jugs of milk (had visitors) and the pressure was better the 2nd lot... I've been using 3/4 of a cup per latte as a rough guide to the amount of milk... I'm going to experiment with less water as you have suggested... A shorter prep time will be much better!!!

              thanks

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              • #8
                So... Found the steam release by listening for the noise... I'm pretty sure it's the holes around the knob the handle screws into.

                as you said less water works better... Do you know why that is...?

                Comment


                • #9
                  The position of the steam release sounds right.

                  Less water in chamber = more steam in chamber (as well as taking less time/power to increase the temperature of the x mls of water to boiling point). Think about it, how would it go if you had it 99% full?

                  PS: the 99% bit was not intended as a challenge.
                  Last edited by Barry O'Speedwagon; 17 March 2013, 06:32 PM. Reason: add clarification

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I've had a cx25s for a few weeks now. I remember reading that the importers, Sorrentina, mentioned the relief blows at either 2.0 or 2.2 bar. I only steam once the pressure relief does blow. It leads to a false steam that eventually dies but I'll take it!

                    I haven't really noticed which level is best to fill the water. I just start at 2/3rds full (800mL) and use it until it's nearly empty.

                    I'm totally new to espresso and steaming and haven't got the knack of doing art yet but I'm absolutely loving the silkiness of the microfoam. One of the sponsors here told me that their baristi had experimented with it and declared it wasn't powerful enough to get quality latte art, but I'm pretty happy so far with what it's capable of and have got room to grow for a while yet:

                    Click image for larger version

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                    Last edited by simonko; 20 March 2013, 08:57 PM. Reason: Grammar

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yes, the overpressure valves (2 - in case one fails!) are in the little stub that the handle screws on to.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        G'day,

                        Nice art, I'm not that good yet... Got an onion looking thing this morning :-?

                        The method I have developed so far is this: (Thanks to Mr O'Speedwagon for his advice :-)

                        1. Boil kettle

                        2. Put two cups of boiled water in Bellman

                        3. Put on stove (on high) with valve open until steam comes out. (In four tests this consistently happened at about 4:10min, so I close valve at a round 4mins)

                        4. Wait 2 mins for really good steam (In testing I started at 4mins and reduced each time, steam is still good at 2mins)

                        5. That just leaves me to sort out stretching and texturing technique!

                        During testing I happened to talk through the tests with my mate who has an engineering phd and loves coffee! :-) He's going to look at his steam tables and make me a spreadsheet where you can enter in size of unit and it'll tell you optimal amount of water for max steam! Awesome!! Will post this if it works!

                        Thanks,

                        Daverelli

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Yes, that would be good. Love to hear his thoughts on the following too:

                          The way I'm thinking, max steam will come about when you fill up just enough so that when you've finished, there is next to no water left.

                          This will maximise the room for compressed steam inside the unit. The more room for steam, the more energy that can be stored. It takes a lot of energy from the cooktop to convert water into steam and that energy is stored in the steam.

                          Also the more you can compress that steam, the more energy will be stored.

                          So you'll want to start steaming after the blow off valve is screaming, as this represents the highest compression the steam will ever achieve. Assuming that is at 2.2 bar, the steam will 123.25°C, much hotter than the 100°C steam coming out of a kettle. In fact a given volume of steam at 2.2 bar contains over twice the energy of the steam coming out of a kettle.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thanks for inspiration with your 'nice art' comment, but I'm sure one day we'll look back and say, "what was that?"...

                            I'm beginning to think getting the right quality microfoam is far less about science though and much more about feel. I think I'm beginning to get that feel. Today I didn't let any pressure build up in the Bellman and just used whatever steam was being created on the spot by the gas flame. My gas stove is pretty weak, in fact, equivalent to a 330W heating element, about a sixth of my electric kettle. So the steam was really weak. It took a good deal longer to aerate and texture, but still the finished result drew just as well as when I have powerful steam.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Daverelli,

                              Good to see you're progressing. I found that learning to use the Bellman actually improved my milk frothing skills on my regular machine....coz I had to think more clearly about what was going on.

                              Simon, I reckon that main issue is probably maximising steam pressure over the relevant period, rather than maximising the amount of steam....if you are just running out of steam as you finish stretching the milk, I'd imagine that the pressure towards the end might be a bit low (I could very well be wrong.....)

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