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Thread: Still struggling with VBM Levetta

  1. #1
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    Still struggling with VBM Levetta

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi guys, I am really struggling to get good texture from milk. Most of the time there is no head at the top of the glass. Can you guys give me some simple steps to improve? I know this has been covered before but cant seem to find the posts.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Re: Still struggling with VBM Levetta

    Easiest way is to cover one of the two holes.

    If u still choose to stick to two holes, makes sure your steam arm is as vertical as possible. Place the steam arm into the side of the milk so that the rear hole it up against the jug 12oclock, and the front hole is at 6oclock.

    That should start tumbling the milk.

    Hope that helps.

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    Re: Still struggling with VBM Levetta

    Hi Mark,

    If you are still having problems, and you are persevering with the 4 hole tip, why not try the Vibiemme 2 hole tip being fitted to new Levettas???

    Its a real beauty and ideally suited to the machine. That, I believe, is why the switch was made in the first place.

    Regards

    Trevorbeans

  4. #4
    TC
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    Re: Still struggling with VBM Levetta

    As I recall, Marks machine was sold with a 2 hole tip? Correct me if Im wrong Mark.

    I have bent my steam wand out and and forward, each by about 15 deg.

    You need only rest the back of the jug on the back of the wand with the steam tip away from the centre of the jug and just under the surface.

    With good milk, instant swirl and microfoam. Its a walk in the park ;)

    Chris

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    Re: Still struggling with VBM Levetta

    Sounds like you need a bit of ch,ch,ch action. If theres no head maybe you need to introduce some more air at the start of your texture.

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    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Still struggling with VBM Levetta

    Hmmm,
    I really dont know where to start, but will anyway. ;D
    What milk are you using?
    How much are you frothing at once?
    Is you jug clean and grease-free?
    Have you partially blocked the steam holes to reduce the sheer volume of steam the VBM can produce?
    Do you steam at between 2 and 3 bars pressure on the guage?
    Have you been able to get the micro-foam you want on a previous machine?
    If yes, what is different about the actual steaming?
    I have to tone my frothing down or the milk expands way too much and I get a head on top that exceeds 30% of the glass--after stirring in the sugar.
    Greg

  7. #7
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    Re: Still struggling with VBM Levetta

    Quote Originally Posted by GregWormald link=1211867441/0#5 date=1211886178
    Hmmm,
    I really dont know where to start, but will anyway. ;D
    What milk are you using?
    How much are you frothing at once?
    Is you jug clean and grease-free?
    Have you partially blocked the steam holes to reduce the sheer volume of steam the VBM can produce?
    Do you steam at between 2 and 3 bars pressure on the guage?
    Have you been able to get the micro-foam you want on a previous machine?
    If yes, what is different about the actual steaming?
    I have to tone my frothing down or the milk expands way too much and I get a head on top that exceeds 30% of the glass--after stirring in the sugar.
    Greg
    Milk is Coles lite milk. I have bought Pura light start but havent tried it yet.
    Im doing enough milk for 2 lattes.
    Yes, clean jug. I am a Virgo :)
    I am using the 2 hole tip with no additional blocking.
    Pressure reading is at about 2 before I start steaming.
    Previous machine was a little sunbeam with pretty much no steaming ability.

  8. #8
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    Re: Still struggling with VBM Levetta

    That Coles Lite stuff is pretty brutal. Theres a reason why its a bit cheaper. Lets just say water is cheaper than milk ;) Actually thats pretty unsubstantiated but Ive used that Coles Lite before and found I made good flat whites but thats about all haha. Maybe try with a full cream milk and see if its a milk thing or a technique thing.

  9. #9
    Senior Member javabeen's Avatar
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    Re: Still struggling with VBM Levetta

    I reckon its the milk. Try Pura full cream. Heres my experience...

    My Levetta came with the 4 hole tip which I replaced with the 2 hole tip from Coffeeparts as I was having no luck with it, even when blocking the holes and leaving just one open. I tried all kinds of milk, it just didnt work for me. Ive been managing to get great microfoam with the 2 hole tip, so much so my mate and I were doing latte art the other weekend with it.

    I simply held the tip in the middle of the jug just below the surface to get that ch ch sound and pretty much left it there. The milk was coming out glossy and silky. I couldnt believe I was pouring art!

    This was using Pura full cream milk.

    Ive now been using Safeway full cream milk and my milk texturing SUCKS! For the whole of last week I got nothing but froth and continue to do so.

    So, Im switching back to Pura milk once the 3 litres my wife keeps buying runs out.

    Javabeen.

  10. #10
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    Re: Still struggling with VBM Levetta

    Definitely never stick to one brand of milk. Keep trying different ones.


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    Re: Still struggling with VBM Levetta

    Hmm, ill have to get through the Pura light start first and see how I go. *Another tyhing I noticed is that the 2 holes in the tip are pretty much in the east-west direction, it sounds like others have a north-south direction. I dont suppose it makes any different if texturing from the middle of the jug but some people have suggested putting the wand against the back of the jug. *What effect does the hole position have when texturing with this method?

    Also, do you guys angle the jug or keep it horizontal?

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    Re: Still struggling with VBM Levetta

    Hi Mark,

    I found that it is best not to angle the jug...position the steam tip as near 90 degrees to the surface of the milk as possible and initially keep it just under the surface of the milk, listening for the old ch ch ch sound, as yeeZa put it.

    Lower the jug gradually as the milk expands, until 20 or 3o degrees, your preference, then lower the TIP fully until the required heat.

    Knock the jug on your benchtop a couple of times, swirl until the milk has polished and, voila, magnificent textured milk!!

    Regards,

    Trevorbeans

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    Re: Still struggling with VBM Levetta

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkC77 link=1211867441/0#10 date=1211929601
    What effect does the hole position have when texturing with this method?

    What ur trying to do is force the milk into a vortex, introducing air so the milk expands, then warming the milk up+incorporating the expanded portion of the milk with everything else.

    Fill your jug up with water to the same level as you would with milk. Play around with different angles until you find the vortex.
    Helps a lot. Thing to note is the difference in viscosity of milk and water. You might need a little more steam when you have milk in the jug.

    With your two hole stock vbm tip, ur looking for a tumbling vortex. Impossible to get a whirlpool.

    If you have your tip against the wall of the jug, you should see the milk go under the tip close to the wall, and fold over the other end.

    If you have your tip dead center, the folding happens at both ends where the steam is directed.

    Dont be afraid to turn the steam up. Too little steam=weak vortex=ugly milk

    Unless u are steaming 100mls of milk, I doubt the VBM will blast it all over the floor. So turn the steam up full.

    Good luck!
    Gavin

  14. #14
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Still struggling with VBM Levetta

    Milk--I use the full cream A2, and since changing to it a few years ago have never had a failure.
    I steam only 50-75 mls at a time, and the VBM at full blast will easily coat the walls with it.
    I use the two hole tip that came with the machine, with the holes reduced by fitting a small "U" of stainless wire inside the tip with the ends partially blocking the holes. Remember I steam very small quantities of milk usually, although this works well for up to 150ml.
    The jug is basically flat, tip in the middle of the jug, only one or two mm into the milk. Turn on about 1/2 to 3/4 at 2 bar+, after draining the water. In about 5-10 sec the volume has expanded and I sink the tip another 5-10 mm and heat till the sound starts to change.
    Bang jug on table and swirl for 10 seconds--voila--micro-foam.
    It took a while for me to get used to the speed of the VBM, my old machine wasnt nearly as good with the milk.
    Greg

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    Senior Member javabeen's Avatar
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    Re: Still struggling with VBM Levetta

    Mark I keep the jug horizontal.

    Once the tip is just below the milk, I open the steam valve fully and position the wand till I get the ch ch sound. I keep it there pretty much for the whole time. I put approx 140ml of milk in the jug, just checked it.

    I switched over to Pura full cream milk today and voila, silky textured milk. Got my art back, it aint gonna win me any latte art title, but its a Picaso in my eyes ;D

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    Re: Still struggling with VBM Levetta

    I use coles lite milk and while i am no expert at it, i get good microfoam when i concentrate on what i am doing.
    My issue is with consistancy of method and nothing else.
    Try to note down what works when regardless of milk brand.

    Mal

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    Re: Still struggling with VBM Levetta

    Also take note that each milk brand might not be always consistent.

    and also take note of where you buy your milk. Some stores have better delivery procedures and storage facilities.

    7-eleven milk is a no no. Well from my past experience milk was very watery and had no texture.


  18. #18
    Ali
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    Re: Still struggling with VBM Levetta

    I have a different machine but have found that I get a better result with smaller amounts of milk (enough for 1 cup). I also haved started using a milk thermometer so its one less thing to worry about - I know that at least Ill get the temp right so I can concentrate on my technique.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Still struggling with VBM Levetta

    Mark
    I have a 4 hole tip on my machine and had a bit of trouble at first
    This method will work just as well on your 2 hole tip

    What works for me is to give it full steam from the get go

    Position the wand in the centre of milk at 90 deg steam holes just under milk
    Still holding jug at 90 deg move it to one side slowly on the first sign of foam until side of jug touches steam wand
    And thats it (well it works for me) try it and see

    What Ali is recommending with small jugs and amount of milk is spot on

    Koffee Kosmo

  20. #20
    Senior Member redzone121's Avatar
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    Re: Still struggling with VBM Levetta

    I took Gavin1s advice a while back and blocked one holes of a two hole tip.
    Made the job very easy for one drinkl. If I am doing milk for 2 it takes a little longer :)
    CB



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