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Thread: microfoam question - milk temp and consistency

  1. #1
    Senior Member petar's Avatar
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    microfoam question - milk temp and consistency

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    hi,

    lately ive been getting good micro-foam thanks to all the CS tips..

    anyhow, how important is the milk temperature.. I ask as im getting good micro-foam but its no where near the proper temperature.. Im ok with it as I like to drink my coffee without scorching myself, but just wanted to know if its still good micro-foam if its not getting as hot as it should be?

    cheers,
    p

  2. #2
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: microfoam question - milk temp and consistency

    Im not sure what you mean by the "proper" temperature.

    Once milk is heated beyond 70C it loses its sweetness and has a tendency to make the coffee taste burnt and bitter.

    To me, cooler is better, I like mine right around 60 and aim for that.

    In the end it is about what you like in your cup, so if you like the foam, and like the taste, you are there.

    Greg

  3. #3
    Senior Member petar's Avatar
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    Re: microfoam question - milk temp and consistency

    ok so reaching 60/70C isnt a requirement to make good microfoam?

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    Re: microfoam question - milk temp and consistency

    Petar,

    Beyond 70C, the milks protiens and sugars begin to change, so both foam and sweetness is lost. If you ever overheat the milk then pour in to a glass so you can see the layers, youll notice the foam and liquid separate much quicker than milk thats kept below 70C

    I find milk on the slightly cooler side of 65C is best.

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    Re: microfoam question - milk temp and consistency

    I agree, if it tastes right and looks right then youve nailed it.
    That said, if youve got a weird father in law, like me, hes not going to be happy unless his coffee gives him a 3rd degree burn to the lip. *:o I tend drop the tip a little further into the milk, get up a good swirl and let it heat for a few seconds more. This usually does the trick and maintains a reasonable foam consistency.

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    Re: microfoam question - milk temp and consistency

    does everybody recommend getting a milk thermometer, or is there a less expensive way to tell if your milk is the right temperature"??

    i am new to this, so please forgive....also if this is the wrong thread to discuss this pls direct me to the right one!

    also, am I correct in saying that you are meant to first heat milk to around 40deg, then start making your microfoam till it reaches 60-65deg (by making the tch tchk tchk sound with the tip about just under the surface??_)

    and what does just under surface actuallymean - 1-2mm?? 1cm??

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    Re: microfoam question - milk temp and consistency

    You can go by touch (too hot to hold) or sound (the noise deepens just before 60 degrees). But you cant beat a milk thermometer, they only cost 15 bucks max. Worthy investment.

    I stretch from start to about 45 deg then bury the wand a little to work the milk into microfoam.

    Suggest you watch a heap of youtube videos as this will show you various techniques and how successful (or unsuccessful) they can be. Warning there are a lot of really really bad videos on youtube showing how NOT to texture milk. Some of them are titled things like "the best microfoam ever" which is hilarious.

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    Re: microfoam question - milk temp and consistency

    any suggestions where to buy one online, (rural area, no big shops!).

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    TC
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    Re: microfoam question - milk temp and consistency

    Quote Originally Posted by 3F322727363E263E3E2A530 link=1256101409/7#7 date=1270343607
    any suggestions where to buy one online, (rural area, no big shops!).
    A CS sponsor? :-?

  10. #10
    Senior Member Rusty's Avatar
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    Re: microfoam question - milk temp and consistency

    Quote Originally Posted by 4A475252434B534B4B5F260 link=1256101409/5#5 date=1270181025
    does everybody recommend getting a milk thermometer, or is there a less expensive way to tell if your milk is the right temperature"??
    You cant beat a thermometer for consistent temperature.

    Your hand will react differently depending on the room temperature and your body temperature. *I find coffee shops that dont use a thermometer produce coffee that is sometimes too cool but mostly too hot.

    I think there is a certain snob value in not using a thermometer - but at the expense of producing a good coffee *::)

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    Re: microfoam question - milk temp and consistency

    Quote Originally Posted by 6C4B4D4A473E0 link=1256101409/9#9 date=1270359412
    but at the expense of producing a good coffee
    I personally use a thermometer, i like it as i cant trust my touch......that being said, there are many many people who dont use them, with great success, at the nationals recently a lot of the competitors werent using them, including scottie if i remember correctly, and they were.....producing "good" coffee ;D

    In my mind its a great tool and i wouldnt do with out one if i had the choice.....which i do ;D but not 100% necessary once you get the hang of it.

    cheers
    Warren

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    Re: microfoam question - milk temp and consistency

    lattemum, nope, texture first by allowing a small amount of air into the milk, hopefully hearing a nice evenly spaced tschk tshchk kind of scratching sound until around body temp and desired volume is reached (only about a 25-30% increase), then *lifting your jug to lower the steam wand tip into the milk enough so no more air is incorporated. then it should just swirl nice and quietly, heating to desired serving temp.

    bubbles made late (after around body temp) tend to hang around as theyre not broken up by movement of milk rapidly swirling

    with practice and calibration attaining suitable temp is straight-forward, not withstanding previous comments. i have found that people using a thermometer often tend to focus on it rather than the feel of the jug, ambient temp depending, the milk may continue to coast right past the temp youre looking for. (as the thermometer takes time to heat and so the reading is somewhat behind actual temp.)
    having said that a thermometer is obviously required for calibration.

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    Re: microfoam question - milk temp and consistency

    just keep in mind that a thermometer is only good if it is calibrated

    I stretch milk to 45 deg C, then drop the tip in about 10mm deeper to add heat/volume to the milk.

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    Re: microfoam question - milk temp and consistency

    Quote Originally Posted by 2C3738333C34560 link=1256101410/11#11 date=1270424992
    the milk may continue to coast right past the temp youre looking for
    so true, on my themometer i have to stop at around 45C and it will coast to 60C for around 200ml milk, stop at 50C to get to 60C for 400ml.

    Cheers
    warren

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    Re: microfoam question - milk temp and consistency

    ok, so now ive had a few more practice shots, my microfoam is coming along nicely....BUT (!) :

    1. i cant get the milk pour to actually do any art at all - for some reason the milk comes out first, then a thick layer of beautifully velvet foam - so that in the end I end up making a cappucino (ie all foam on top) instead of a nice layer with art on it.

    ?any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated!
    for the record, Im tapping the milk jug (standard 500mL from sunbeam EM 6910) after finishing the frothing, then swirling it (as per dvd) to incorporate the microfoam with the milk. Having done all that to a T, it still does not make any art at all. Is it something to do with the thickness of my crema instead I wonder??????

    2. completely unrelated to milk - my puck is sometimes getting stuck onto the showerscreen. I assume this means I have overdosed??

    Does anyone else have the same problem or is it just me that has a problem using the single basket (on the sunbeam EM6910) - it doesnt seem to dose well, seems to extract at too high pressures, and doesnt make as good a cup as if I use the double basket.

    (sounds silly I know).

    thanks all,
    LM

  16. #16
    A_M
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    Re: microfoam question - milk temp and consistency

    Quote Originally Posted by 616C79796860786060740D0 link=1256101410/14#14 date=1270701803
    2. completely unrelated to milk - *my puck is sometimes getting stuck onto the showerscreen. I assume this means I have overdosed??
    Believe it or not UNDERDOSED.. Been discussed and proven previously..

    Do the 5 cent piece test... That will help you with ya dosing levels.

    Quote Originally Posted by 616C79796860786060740D0 link=1256101410/14#14 date=1270701803
    it still does not make any art at all. Is it something to do with the thickness of my crema instead I wonder??????

    1: You have to make the art *:D *The paint and paint brush are nothing without intervention.


    2: If you do not have good crema... Then as a beginner... Makes it hard..



  17. #17
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    Re: microfoam question - milk temp and consistency

    i am TRYING to make the art, it just doesnt actually make art!!! thin milk comes out, then thick microfoam, as previously said/written.
    any ideas?

  18. #18
    levercrema
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    Re: microfoam question - milk temp and consistency

    Quote Originally Posted by 2A273232232B332B2B3F460 link=1256101410/16#16 date=1270703865
    i am TRYING to make the art, it just doesnt actually make art!!! thin milk comes out, then thick microfoam, as previously said/written.
    any ideas?
    Hi mummy,

    How hot is the milk when you pour? Really hot? Sounds like youve steamed a bit too long - or not - *and the foam has separated from the milk or hasnt had time to incorporate. I know not much about the Beams but sounds typical of over heating (the milk).



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