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How much water does your steamer add to your milk?

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  • How much water does your steamer add to your milk?

    I thought my steamer was putting out too much wet steam so did a test to check it. My machine is a basic Sunbeam EM2300 so it's probably to be expected, but still I was shocked at how much water it was adding:
    I put the milk pitcher on a scale and zeroed it, then added 100g milk. I then steamed the milk (yes I purged the steam wand) and weighed it again. The result: 137g!!
    That's more like dilution than stretching.

    It would be interesting to see what results other people are getting. Please post your machine and result here.

    I couldn't find this being discussed previously so feel free to post a link her if it has.

  • #2
    Interesting topic. You've piqued my curiosity.

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    • #3
      Even dry steam is water. How long did you steam for?

      Have never thought about weighing my milk before and after. I might give it go...

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      • #4
        How much water does your steamer add to your milk?

        360g -> 395g here
        (Saeco Via Venezia = small single boiler)

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        • #5
          Wega mini nova

          215gm > 241gm

          Full cream woolies brand milk
          ~15-18 seconds
          Not sure of temp, assume 3.5C > 65C (judging from my standard end point)
          1.15 bar boiler pressure (steaming commenced whilst heating up from about 0.9 bar)
          Last edited by noidle22; 8 June 2015, 09:32 PM.

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          • #6
            Interesting. Would be worthwhile to note the % increase. Will try with my machine later and post results.

            Cheers

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            • #7
              Would be more meaningful with some additional data - duration, temperature (milk before and after), boiler pressure or temperature, milk fat content...

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              • #8
                Yes. And if everyone steams the same amount of milk, same end temp (start temp ex fridge should be comparable) it would be easier to compare the results.

                Cheers

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                • #9
                  I think that is less important, as it is easy to normalise for differences in milk quantity (given the other information).

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                  • #10
                    Browns Heart plus (Low fat milk +), box says 1.5g per 100ml total fat
                    Using an Alex Leva, well warmed up.
                    three hole steam tip.
                    123 degrees setpoint
                    1.15 bar
                    well purged before starting.

                    250g Milk, Cold from the Fridge ~3 degrees
                    stretched for 38 seconds.
                    Drinking temp (not scalded, but could be hotter), I don't have a thermometer.
                    276.5 grams result, more than enough foam for 2 caps.

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                    • #11
                      Looks like the trend so far has been ~10% increase in mass, whereas DanielC had a 37% increase. I'll have to give this a go in the morning and see if I can add some significance to the trend.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by artman View Post
                        Interesting. Would be worthwhile to note the % increase.
                        I steam small quantities of milk (100-120g). I've weighed the output several times over the years and always seem to get about a 15% increase in mass.

                        Of course this depends on the starting and final milk temperatures (I shoot for about 68C final).

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                        • #13
                          Well I gave this a try this morning, and the results were surprising!
                          Rancilio Silvia v2
                          200g A2 full cream milk
                          3.5°C to ~65°C
                          30 seconds steam time
                          End mass = 336g

                          So a 68% increase! Not great I think. I'll repeat this with half the milk and see if there is a difference.

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                          • #14
                            One more for the data bank..
                            85 gms ( piccolo) , A2 lite milk, 4-65 deg in 5 secs
                            10gms , (12% ) weight gain using purged dry steam
                            1.1 bar pressure , Isomac Millenium .

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by MrJack View Post
                              Even dry steam is water
                              I would imagine the extra mass would be mainly air introduced when texturing. An inflated balloon weighs more than a non-inflated one. Some machines provide better efficiency and dryer steam than others so would add less water during the texturing process. I would imagine that thickly textured milk used for, say, a cappuccino, weighs more than that for a flat white.

                              I'm not sure what relevance mass has with milk texturing. Isn't it the volume of textured milk that is important, not the mass?

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