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  • #31
    Been steaming low-fat milk for years, without any problem. Beautiful silky microfoam. Some say there's a steaming difference between winter and summer milk but if there is I haven't noticed.

    There is tho a very infrequent occasion with a bottle that doesn't work.

    If technique is good and constant, for me the thing that can make all the difference between soap suds bubbles and microfoam, is the direction of the steam tip holes.
    Last edited by robusto; 13th November 2019, 04:56 PM. Reason: correct the autocorrect

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    • #32
      Originally posted by robusto View Post
      Been steaming low-fat milk for years, without any problem. Beautiful silky microfoam. Some say there's a steaming difference between winter and summer milk but if there is I haven't noticed.

      There is tho a very infrequent occasion with a bottle that doesn't work.

      If technique is good and constant, for me the thing that can make all the difference between soap suds bubbles and microcosm, is the direction of the steam tip holes.
      And the answer is ........... ?

      Do we have to pay or subscribe to find out which direction is best?

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      • #33
        Originally posted by Meggs8 View Post
        And the answer is ........... ?

        Do we have to pay or subscribe to find out which direction is best?
        into the milk would be a good start

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        • #34
          Originally posted by Meggs8 View Post
          And the answer is ........... ?

          Do we have to pay or subscribe to find out which direction is best?
          I don't know if there is a best direction -- I can only speak for my own machine. I would guess that it varies depending on their equipment, taking into account how many holes, their angle down into the jug, size of jug etc etc.

          But for what it's worth mine has two holes (the other two I soldered closed) and they face parallel to the front of the machine, sort of east west.

          Due to a change in thickness of the washer in the steam tip they were pointing more like a 45° angle and I was blowing bubbles. Problem now fixed.

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          • #35
            With all the black magic about steaming milk - which way you hold your tongue, the phase of the moon and the shape of the milk jug, I have often wondered about the direction the holes in the wand point. Is the vortex stronger if they are in line or across this?

            Probably makes little or no difference for most. But if you are having trouble would altering the direction with a two hole steam wand help?

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            • #36
              You have to find the sweet spot. Because there are so many variables steaming can be tricky for a novice.
              Here are a few:
              Distance of tip to side of jug.
              Angle of wand to surface.
              Depth of tip below surface.
              Amount of milk in jug. Too little and it may get hot before microfoam forms.
              Temperature of milk (cold gives more time to steam properly)
              Holding jug vertically or at an angle.
              How many holes?

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              • #37
                Hole angle only matters when combined with technique. E.g. with my Breville 920 at home the holes are close to straight down so I angle the wand to get the milk moving. On the LSM 85E commercial machine at church the holes are 45° up from straight down so I have the wand pretty much vertical. You'll run into problems if the combination of hole angle, wand size and shape, and jug size and shape doesn't all work but otherwise technique is flexible.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by Yelta View Post
                  Morning Hawk, low fat steams for me without problem, I use it in my wife's cappuccino's regularly.

                  Practice makes perfect.
                  Maybe I need to try your type of low fat. Have done some reading into the different proteins in milk stretch differently/produce different micro-foam. As you would likely say - too much hassle. Just steam milk

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by hawk87 View Post
                    Maybe I need to try your type of low fat. Have done some reading into the different proteins in milk stretch differently/produce different micro-foam. As you would likely say - too much hassle. Just steam milk

                    Morning Hawk, I don't buy any particular brand, pretty much whatever is available at one of the three supermarkets in our area.

                    As a matter of interest, I do find the streaming properties of milk do deteriorate during the summer months when cow are on dry feed, no green fodder.
                    Last edited by Yelta; 14th November 2019, 01:56 PM.

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                    • #40
                      for such an apparently simple thing it has more complexity than distribution of grinds in the pf.

                      Just to add another step in the process, I keep the jug on the fridge. Its only a 350ml Motta, about 1/2 full, which gets hot quickly. The extra chill allows me a few more seconds to get that microfoam just right.

                      It's curious what makes it click for people, this from Scott Rao did the trick for me:

                      - use the smallest jug for the amount of milk - 1/3 to 1/2 full
                      - set the tip just below the surface of the milk, near the centre, 10 - 30 degrees from vertical
                      - keep the tip just below the surface at all times without creating bubbles

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by hawk87 View Post
                        Maybe I need to try your type of low fat. Have done some reading into the different proteins in milk stretch differently/produce different micro-foam. As you would likely say - too much hassle. Just steam milk
                        Different milks do steam differently, but they still steam. IME the lower the fat content the more air you need to add to achieve the same level of foam. I do find Aldi milk more difficult than most to achieve microfoam.

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