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Thread: A CLASSIC way to microfoam with Gaggia+Silvia wand

  1. #1
    cremakid
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    A CLASSIC way to microfoam with Gaggia+Silvia wand

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi all Silvia steam wand modded Gaggia Classic lovers.

    I have been playing around "microfoaming" with my Classic and Silvia wand mod for a couple of months now and have finally got it down pat.

    To many, this may seem unconventional (it does to me) but it works.

    First pour your shots, OR, if just foaming milk from scratch, switch on machine for the recommended 6 minutes or so.

    Have jug with milk and thermometer ready to roll.

    Hit steam button and turn steam valve on for a few seconds to bleed the wand, I usually get between 1-11/2 tablespoons of water, quantity depending on whether or not I have just been frothing or not. Does not take very long at all. This all takes place before the steam light comes on, so yes, not long at all.

    Turn off the valve and insert wand into milk. Turn on steam valve about 1/2-3/4, and raise the bottom of the wand tip to just below surface of the milk and stretch the milk until thermo reaches 40 degrees Celsius. Immediately drop wand tip further into the jug as usual and heat/swirl the milk until your normal preferred temp is reached. I normally start turning the valve off when the thermometer hits 60C and it finishes up around 65C.

    DO NOT worry about whether the light comes on or goes off after you start the process (doing it this way, my light does not come on at all, even when doing a two cup froth). Just watch the thermometer and not the steam light. I do not worry about refrigerated milk jugs either.

    The 40C for the stretching I got/plagiarised from another thread, I think it was regarding a Faema machine. Thanx to the author.

    All this stuff *Ive read about small boilers, not enough pressure etc etc etc. *Forget it. Why do you think the machine is called a Classic? For an unbiased answer " Because it is"!

    I am now getting consistant microfoam. Voila!

  2. #2
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    Re: A CLASSIC way to microfoam with Gaggia+Silvia

    Cremakid you sound like a pro :)
    If only more kids enjoyed good coffee :@
    And knew how to run a coffee machine :p. Plus whos teaching you or are you teaching yourself?
    Keep doing well with your micro foam you can do some great latte art with that! :D

  3. #3
    cremakid
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    Re: A CLASSIC way to microfoam with Gaggia+Silvia

    Cremakid you sound like a pro
    I am far from a pro Harlen Coffee Kid. Its just that I had the Classic and had the steam wand mod done and was determined to make it work. no more money left for upgrading so soon.
    I tried various suggestions offered on CS. *Sometimes they worked sometimes not, usually failed when making lattes for guests. Inconsistency was embarrassing and driving me nuts.
    Just when I thought I had succeeded the next attempt would be a dismal failure. I was convinced that my Classic with its unique boiler element built onto outside of boiler unit, wattage and very fast heat up time should be capable of more than most credit it for.
    The stretching to 40C tip I got was the best one that got me on the right path. Sometimes I go a bit over the 40C but it is not 100% critical but rather the minimum.

  4. #4
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    Re: A CLASSIC way to microfoam with Gaggia+Silvia

    Hi Cremakid,

    Just a quick enquiry - For foaming enough milk for two coffees *where one doesnt have a thermometer very approx how long in seconds does it take for the milk to reach 40 degrees and later 60 degrees. Also do you leave the steam valve open 1/2 to 3/4 during the whole time

    Thanks
    Gussy

  5. #5
    cremakid
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    Re: A CLASSIC way to microfoam with Gaggia+Silvia

    I have not actually sat down with a stop watch. But I will time it next time I am home, should be tomorrow. Seems rather quick to me though but then again I am not comparing to any other machines. Yeah, I leave the valve open. I was shutting it off at 40C before when I was doing the "watching the lights" *thingy (I think it is called temp surfing), then plunging into milk for final heating when the light came back on. Now it is just one continuous operation. If not using a thermometer, just do, I guess, stretch milk visibly and heat as usual when happy. As I am using a thermometer I will let you try that.
    I do keep control the steam knob so I can quickly shut off the valve when it gets to the right temp and at times I may even open out fully depending on the sound and feel. The 1/2-3/4 was a basic guide.

  6. #6
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    Re: A CLASSIC way to microfoam with Gaggia+Silvia

    Ok keep it up!

  7. #7
    cremakid
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    Re: A CLASSIC way to microfoam with Gaggia+Silvia

    Just a quick enquiry - For foaming enough milk for two coffees *where one doesnt have a thermometer very approx how long in seconds does it take for the milk to reach 40 degrees and later 60 degrees.
    35 seconds to 40C. That was with the jug straight out of the cupboard (no chilling). Have not timed to 60 seconds but seems quicker than the first stage. Will time it tonight.

  8. #8
    Senior Member paulau's Avatar
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    Re: A CLASSIC way to microfoam with Gaggia+Silvia

    Hi,

    I have done the Silvia wand upgrade on my classic and am having no luck in getting any micro foam. All I am getting is hot milk with a tiny about of bubbles on top. There is enough steam pressure as the temperature of milk rises really quickly, way quicker than on my old Gaggia Espresso.

    The machine has a PID and it is getting hot enough.

    What angle are you holding the jug at?
    I am trying to froth around 200mls of milk

    I was previously using a Gaggia Espresso with the plastic attachment removed to froth milk and was getting good results.

    Any ideas anyone?

    Thanks,
    Paul

  9. #9
    Senior Member paulau's Avatar
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    Re: A CLASSIC way to microfoam with Gaggia+Silvia

    Hi,

    I tried Cremakids tips and got it working perfectly. The spout of the jug works as a nice guide to move the jug down on.

    My main problem was that i wasnt sitting the tip of the steam wand close enough to the surface of the milk.

    Anyway problem solved, i frothed a nice cap and a latte tonight.

    Paul

  10. #10
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    Re: A CLASSIC way to microfoam with Gaggia+Silvia

    Just when I thought it was safe to come out of the woods , the lack of foam bug strikes again. I fitted the Silvia Wand to Gaggia Classic and it has been great. Yesterday I used the .06ml jug with a thermometer and I would say if anything I had to be careful about milk splashes , the steam was strong and foam excellent. * *

    Today using .03ml jug tried twice , same procedure , used thermomenter,same milk, jug in freezer , bled machine first, turned on steaming switch and then waited a little while before steaming and couldnt produce any foam. After initial swirling/frothing sounds the milk doesnt seem to stretch that much , whereas yesterday(larger jug) I had to be careful not to stretch the milk too far over the edge of the jug.

    Not sure what is happening.

    Anything I can check

    Gussy

  11. #11
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    Re: A CLASSIC way to microfoam with Gaggia+Silvia

    what milk are you using? has that changed from your successful attempts? i can get great microfoam from most milk except unhomogenised organic milks.

  12. #12
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    Re: A CLASSIC way to microfoam with Gaggia+Silvia

    Did you refill the boiler by pumping hot water out of the wand. Not sure if the Classic has a separate switch for hot water, but on my Carezza, I need to press the brew button and then open the steam knob and hot water comes out of the wand. The boiler is full when the hot water comes out in a continuous stream, not spluttering.

  13. #13
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    Re: A CLASSIC way to microfoam with Gaggia+Silvia

    Great tips - I followed this and got heaps of foam (what looked like microfoam to the newbie) but couldnt consistently pour latte art each time. Sometimes it just mixed into the coffeeand ended up with a brownish latte foam and other times I ended up with a think white layer of capaccino foam.

    Any tips on how to get latte art quality foam?

  14. #14
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    Re: A CLASSIC way to microfoam with Gaggia+Silvia

    Hi,
    Just want to ask a quick question. Generally with Silvia Wand fitted to Gaggia Classic I get qiute good steam and foam. However from time to time I think the steam runs out as I get a loud squealing noise. The milk I use generally is Lite and work ok for me.
    I was wondering is it possible to do anything at this time i.e. stop and wait until steam builds up and then continue as I hate throwing away and wasting this milk. i.e. what I am asking is it possible to recover from a no steam position without starting again as the milk is still heating up. Usually at this time I have already pulled the shot. I follow all the rules , bleed the wand, wait until light goes out so boiler is heating.

    Thanks for your help

    Gussy

  15. #15
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    Re: A CLASSIC way to microfoam with Gaggia+Silvia

    loud sqealing noise usually means your wand is too deep when you are starting to stretch

  16. #16
    cremakid
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    Re: A CLASSIC way to microfoam with Gaggia+Silvia

    my sentiments exactly.

  17. #17
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    Re: A CLASSIC way to microfoam with Gaggia+Silvia

    Hi All,

    My first post here and I too have been able to get great microfoam from the Classic w/Sivlia steam wand mod. *The only complaint is that sometimes it runs out of puff after a short while (inconsistent) but mostly its to do with the fact that I am trying to steam too much in one go (ca. 650ml). *It can consistently steam up to around 400ml without too much trouble.

    I must agree with the OP on this one entirely, with the 40 deg thing especially. *I learnt that one from the Coffeegeek guide about stretching until you get to about 40 deg and then submerging the tip. * 40 deg should be only warm to touch, definately not hot. *Before I tried this, I would find that I was trying to stretch the milk too much, and I was ending up with nasty looking foam that was hard to swirl and even harder to pour. *After altering my technique a little bit, I can continually come up with fairly good glossy microfoam that I never achieved before. *A recent example, not exactly pro, but I think alright for the time ive been doing this stuff.



    Long live the classic!

    -Scott

  18. #18
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    Re: A CLASSIC way to microfoam with Gaggia+Silvia

    Quote Originally Posted by pricespringer link=1208179952/0#13 date=1214707585
    I *was wondering is it possible to do anything at this time i.e. stop and wait until steam builds up and then continue as I hate throwing away and wasting this milk. i.e. what I am asking is it possible to recover from a no steam position without starting again as the milk is still heating up. Usually at this time I have already pulled the shot. I follow all the rules , bleed the wand, wait until light goes out so boiler is heating.
    I encounter this a lot. I push some water through the steam wand, the light goes out, I wait 20 seconds or so and then continue steaming again. Its not a great solution but it kinda works.

  19. #19
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    Re: A CLASSIC way to microfoam with Gaggia+Silvia

    superb tips, thanks to all who contributed.

  20. #20
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    Re: A CLASSIC way to microfoam with Gaggia+Silvia

    Hi,

    Newbie to the forum here. I have the Coffee Deluxe and hope to be coverting to the silvia wand as soon as I can get my hands on one. Let the mods begin!

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    Great...any advice for a Starbucks Barista machine

    Another newbie. I have a Starbucks Barista machine (sorry if this is collusion with the enemy!!!) In any event, I cant get the hang of doing great microfoam with it. Any advice for me? ;D

    I usually use 2% milk, plunge the wand deep into the container for a second, raise it to the surface and stretch until about 70 F. Then I move it to the middle and create a cyclone with tip slightly lower.

    Then Id like to think it is equipment (not operator) failure and that buying a different steam wand might solve my problems. Im great at foaming and frothing, but I always get a layer of foam and a layer of watery milk. PS I do prime!!!

  22. #22
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: A CLASSIC way to microfoam with Gaggia+Silvia

    Welcome to Coffee Snobs aj.

    Isnt 2% milk watery to start with?

    Why not try some full cream and see if it helps.

    Even if you just buy 2 or 3 litres for pactise it will eliminate one variable.



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