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Thread: vbm junior 2-hole steam tip

  1. #1
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    vbm junior 2-hole steam tip

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    As per diagram, which is the best way to use 2-hole steam tip that the vbm junior comes with:
    A) @90 degrees into jug
    B) at an angle across the surface of the milk

    I realise that the jug can be tilted


  2. #2
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    Re: vbm junior 2-hole steam tip

    I have a vbm jnr as well and I was having all sorts of problems until I followed KKs technique in this thread.

    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1220959662

    I now produce smooth microfoam every time. Basically start with 90 degrees in the middle and just below the surface ( a few mm) and when the temp reaches about 40 move it to the side but keep the tip at about the same level. Youll be amazed at the results.

    Its that simple.

  3. #3
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    Re: vbm junior 2-hole steam tip

    cheers barri. let me try that out.

  4. #4
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    Hi barri,

    Any chance you can repost the thread? Doesn't seem to link up to a specific page?

  5. #5
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    (A) 90deg seems to work best. The one on the angle is sometimes hit or miss for latte art pouring.
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  6. #6
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    I'm finding that I get plenty of froth but it seems to be in the upper part of the jug? Lower part is virtually straight milk. On my old Ranvilio I could froth milf to a consistent velvety texture all the way to boyyom of jug. Anyone else get this issue and what did you do to fix????

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ldm720 View Post
    I'm finding that I get plenty of froth but it seems to be in the upper part of the jug? Lower part is virtually straight milk. On my old Ranvilio I could froth milf to a consistent velvety texture all the way to bottom of jug. Anyone else get this issue and what did you do to fix????
    Once you have stretched the milk to your liking (steam tip few mm below surface of milk in the centre of the jug - as i do it on my VBM jnr) move the steam tip to the perimeter of the jug and dunk it a bit deeper in the milk so the milk starts swirling and heating.

    I find this works best for me to get the 'creaminess' throughout. I also keep the steam wand at 90deg. Just dont stretch the milk too much in 'phase 1' otherwise you will be 'blowing bubbles'

    check out this video:
    Last edited by kopigeek; 26th February 2015 at 05:34 PM.
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  8. #8
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    Thanks Kopigeek, I've tried again taking your comments on board, and surprisingly heaps better! I think the thing I was doing wrong was I was keeping the tip just under the milk surface the whole time, lowering the tip in the milk in phase 2 of frothing helps heaps! Much more consistent.

    Thanks for the tip!
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ldm720 View Post
    Thanks Kopigeek, I've tried again taking your comments on board, and surprisingly heaps better! I think the thing I was doing wrong was I was keeping the tip just under the milk surface the whole time, lowering the tip in the milk in phase 2 of frothing helps heaps! Much more consistent.

    Thanks for the tip!
    Glad you're getting the results. Keep practicing and eventually you will fine tune your technique and end up with awesome creamy microfoamed milk.

    I've got my technique sorted with my ~300ml and 600ml jugs. Haven't tried my 1L jug yet as there hasnt been a need. So far it's only used to top up the tank.

  10. #10
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    Been doing a lot of practising since the last post and things have really improved!! Advice worked a treat! Not only great results but consistant too. Starting in the centre of the jug at right angle (straight) definitely makes all the difference then I position the wand about 10mm off the side of the jug when temp hits around 45 degrees, can't go wrong.
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  11. #11
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    vbm junior 2-hole steam tip

    That's awesome mate. The milk makes a huge difference too. I'm good with full cream but ask me to get a similar result with skim and it's another story (need to improve my consistency). don't get me started with soy milk. I've banned it.

  12. #12
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    Haha, to be honest I prefer full cream milk too. Interestingly, I was at MICE last week and the Vitasoy stand were doing latte's with coconut milk, no froth at all. Flavour was nice though. I've tried many different brands of coconut milk over the past year or so and always the same result, apparently no protein in the milk which is what makes the creamy consistency. Funny thing is I found a coffee shop up in Noosaville a year ago who did an amazing latte with coconut milk, frothy and creamy like normal milk. I saw the container they were using but can't remember the name? I bought some of the syrups they were selling at MICE and a little dash of the coconut is a nice treat, bit too sweet to have regularly though.
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  13. #13
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    What cafe ldm720? I live up in Noosaville and may be able to find that coconut milk for you!

  14. #14
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    The cafe was called Red Olive, on the corner of Weyba Rd and Lake Weyba Drive! Nice little group of shops, next door to an organic food supply. Also I remember a small milk bar a couple of door away that made the best South African Biltong!!!!!!!

    Would be keen to hear from you!!

  15. #15
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    Sorry to re-hash an old thread. I've recently upgraded to the Junior from a Silvia, and over the last few weeks I've tried unsuccessfully to texture milk properly with the Junior. I end up with with very bubbly milk even with the KK method. After reading through some other threads, a suggestion to plug one of the holes with a toothpick was made - tried this and the milk was much better. However, I prefer a more permanent solution and wondering if anyone can recommend an alternate steam tip that I could perhaps try.

    TIA

  16. #16
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    Hi chaos75, it can be frustrating when the milk is not doing what you want it to do! I can assure you though that you will get amazing results with practice, don't give up, don't stress, just relax and enjoy it and be prepared to make a couple of mistakes. There is nothing worse when you have guests over and they are expecting a cafe style coffee and you are stressing about the milk consistency! When I first starting using my new Jnr, I used to tell guests that I was still working on perfecting the milk but I could make them a killer espresso.

    Make sure you have a 600ml jug as a minimum, and I find it easier if you fill it just past the bottom of where the spout starts, if you do less then expect to get bubblier milk rather than micro-foamy milk if you still perfecting the technique.

    A thermometer definitely helps so you know when to move the wand to the side of the jug. Milk should be cold straight out of the fridge just prior to using.

    Prime the wand before putting it into the milk, by this I mean cover the tip with a tea towel and open the steam tap full throttle for 3-4 seconds until the water is gone and you're getting full steam. When you start to froth only break the top of the milk very quickly, only 1 second then dunk the tip under the surface, you will now start to add air to the milk, temp will obviously increase and volume with increase. If you find volume is increasing too fast just lower the tip further in the milk and this will slow it down, you will get to a point where you can easily manage how frothy you want the milk just by controlling where the tip is in relation to the milk surface.

    Once temp hits 40-45 degrees you need to start swirling the milk to get the consistency of micro-foam right through, this is where you move the tip to the side of the jug, not touching but close. Like others have said, no need to tilt the jug, the 2 holes will make the milk swirl as the steam holes are angled.

    Once you're done, give the jug a bang on the bench and a swirl, this helps get rid of any big bubbles (if you have any?) and the swirling helps get the consistency right through the milk ready to pour. The top of the jug will have a slightly thicker foam.

    First thing I suggest is get rid of the toothpick - you definitely do not need it.

    I hope it helps and believe me the effort is well worth it!

    Good luck.

    ldm720

  17. #17
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    Thanks ldm, I'll definitely keep practicing. The one drop of liquid soap + water is definitely helping with not having to waste milk on practicing!
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  18. #18
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    Practice practice practice, thats the only way.

    I'm finally successfully microfoaming milk in 1L jugs consistently - but thats with a 4 hole steam tip (I found that I am more successfully consistent with higher steam power whereas I struggled with the 2 hole tip on larger volumes of milk). When I have guests over I foam milk in the 1L jug then split it into a smaller jug (350-400ml) for each poor. If its just for 2 caps or latte's, a 600ml jug with the 2 hole tip does the job well.

    as ldm720 says, purge the wand, dunk it below the surface of the milk, flick the knob to full power and then then lower the jug slightly until you hear some hissing to start the stretching process. Once you have enough stretch dunk the tip a little deeper and keep the milk swirling (and texturising) till it gets to temp.

    If you are using the thermometer that you stick into the jug just make sure you flick the steam off before you get to the desired temp as there is a delay in the reading, so if aiming for 60deg flick it off at around 50deg to ensure you don't get the milk too hot and burn it. If you get the milk too hot it will lose its sweetness and burn.
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  19. #19
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    Out of interest, is anyone getting well mixed milk via whirlpool (angled steam tip) rather than rolling (vertical steam tip)?

    I started off using my regular whirlpool technique (that I learnt on more expensive La Marzocco machines) and was getting great microfoam and nice Rosettas in a cappuccino mug. But once I started pouring lattes in a glass I was shocked to see how small a head I was producing. Even when I tried to overcompensate and make stiffer milk (to the point where spinning the end result would form a peak) I still had minimal head on the poured latte.

    After ruling out my pouring technique (did some samples where I just poured the whole thing low and fast), I concluded that my problem was unevenly mixed milk. Eg. Top section is stretched, lower section remaining unmixed. Overcompensating would only make things worse because I'd spend longer stretching and less time mixing. It seems plausible that the unusual VBM steam tip 2-hole placement combined with a horizontal whirlpool could be a primary cause.

    I've started playing with KK's technique and am getting much better results, (thanks KK!) but just wondering if anyone is getting good results via whirlpool? I kind of liked my old technique...

    To test I'm doing water + detergent and then pouring into a duralex latte glass with a fake water shot to observe head height. At the end of the pour.

    Cheers,
    Patrick

    (Posting via mobile so please excuse typos)

  20. #20
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    No problem here, generally use the whirlpool method with the tip near to the edge of the jug. Not sure how you can get such an uneven mix of milk like you're describing? Assuming you don't allow it to stand for any length of time, i.e. start rolling the milk asap after steaming and just before pouring, this should stop the separation and give consistency throughout.

    My main problem is that I like my milk quite hot and it's easy to over stretch the milk with the extra few seconds to get temp up. If I stop steaming at 'normal' temps I get great microfoam most of the time. I always steam in a 300ml jug so timing is critical.

  21. #21
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    Ah, nailed it!

    TL;DR: The issue was steam wand depth during the mixing phase. By moving the tip as close to the surface as possible without stretching / introducing air, I get good even mixing. Works for both rolling and whirlpool technique.

    Longer version:
    * Spent the weekend with a Lelit and had the same problem (latte head too small)
    * Tried pouring the entire 300ml jug contents into a taller glass (rather than the 3/4 that normally makes it into a latte glass) and saw reasonable amount of head. This reinforced my belief that the milk wasn't evenly mixed.
    * Realised I could work around this issue by pausing mid-pour for an extra swirl. That was a good start, but not something I want to have to do every time
    * Since I was having the same issue on two completely different machines, concluded it was something wrong with my technique
    * Eventually thought to try varying steam wand depth. I wasn't going super-deep to begin with (perhaps 1-2cm below surface), but bringing the tip as close to the surface as possible produced an immediate improvement
    * My guess is I never noticed the need for this on more powerful machines (eg. La Marcozzo) because the steam wand does a good enough mixing job at a lower depth

    Happiness!

    Attached images show before/after (using water and detergent). Second one is a single 300 ml jug poured into two latte glasses (eg. plenty of head to spare!)
    Attached Images Attached Images

  22. #22
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    Hi guys

    Interesting read. Similar issues here - new VBM junior and struggling to get consistent milk texture. Been practising lots.

    Seen quite a lot of videos and read lots of posts and my feeling is that the steam hole orientation and angle is critical, and this will of course vary machine to machine. Even on different machines of the same model, I wonder if the steam nozzle orientation is controlled by the manufacturer, since the angle depends on where the thread starts in relation to the holes.

    My friends VBM Jnr has different hole orientation. Hence his method doesnt work on my machine... and hence variety of advice and counter-advice, 1-hole, 2-hole, 4-hole etc.

    I also notice that the steam wand has limited articulation, so hole re-orienting is limited within a range. The commercial machines seem to have vertical steam wands with 4-hole tips, pretty much removing a few variables/

    So far I have it set up so that the rear-facing hole is plugged with a toothpick and i have one hole squirting forwards and slightly down. Using a 300ml jug. Still mixed results, but practising... and considering plugging the rear hole more permanently

    Too many variables!

    Cheers, Sam

  23. #23
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    Hi Sam,

    The issue lies with the user rather than the machine.

    If you're in Melbourne, make a time to drop in and I guarantee I'll have you in the zone in a single jug of milk.

    You're presently fighting. You fight, you lose- every time!

    Cheers

    Chris

  24. #24
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    Hi Chris, yes you're right, the issue is mine of course... i found that i was not letting enough (any?) air into the milk in the first phase. I've been getting much better and more consitent results just surfing the tip on the surface of the milk for around a second before moving it towards the edge of the jug and down a little.

    I maintain that the single hole tip (i.e. one of the holes plugged) suits my needs much better than the two holes - i'm using a 300ml jug and the 2-hole tip heats the milk too quickly and produces too much violence in the jug to be able to control the texturing. I might try and plug it with something a little more permanent (and food-safe) than a toothpick.

    Cheers

  25. #25
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    Another observation worth noting is the sound, or lack thereof. Previously it was screaming when i was heating the milk and i understand that this is due to not letting any air onto the mix. Every time i go to a cafe i notice that its a near-silent operation.

    Now i have the same.



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