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Thread: Bellman stovetop steamer frustration.

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Bellman stovetop steamer frustration.

    Hi guys,
    I have a bellman stovetop steamer and it works really well. I am an amateur coffee maker turned coffee snob..
    i am able to produce great textured milk.. for the first jug.
    I pour my espresso with my ROK while the steamer is building pressure. I steam my milk and pour and it is absolutely amazing - my girlfriendís coffee.
    I then proceed to make another espresso and then steam some more milk for myself. The milk is screaming and no foam is produced leaving me with dead hot milk. I have tried taking the steamer off the heat and I have tried releasing the pressure and re heating. Iíve tried more or less milk in the jug. Annoying that I know I can do it right then the second jug letís me down every time. I am trying to narrow down why it is doing what itís doing. Does the steam change its characteristics?? Anyone else had this same problem?
    matth3wh likes this.

  2. #2
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Itís not really designed to be used twice in a row like this. The reason youíre having problems is because youíve decreased the amount of water in the boiler during the first use which means you canít get enough pressure for the second. Personally Iíd make both espressos first then steam just one (slightly larger) jug of milk and split it for the two drinks.
    matth3wh likes this.

  3. #3
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    Hey I had the opposite issue as yours but I think I might be able to help you here. My frustration was that my first jug of milk was absolutely sh*t and only able to get the second (and any jugs followed) right.

    My understanding is that there is air in the container to start with and that air goes into the first jug without manually introducing air. So you get many bubbles in your first jug and that's not YOU stretching the milk or YOU introducing air, rather, the Bellman is releasing air in the container. Because there is only a limited amount of air, you only get that in the first jug. Sometimes people talk about false pressure in La Pavoni machines and that's IMO caused by air in the boiler.

    I think you are using incorrect techniques (for a traditional steaming wand). i.e you are relying on the machine to introduce the air bubbles (not standard) while proper milk frothing is introducing air bubbles by placing the tip on the surface of milk and STRETCH the milk. The technique you are using is similar to a pannarello frother where you completely submerge the steam wand tip coz it'll automatically introduce air.

    You will be able to see this if you refill a Bellman, bring it up to temperature, have a jug of ONLY CLEAR WATER and submerge the tip, steam. you will see air bubbles coming out for the first 20 sec or so (I'm just guessing the time but you get the idea).

    Most traditional milk frothing wand in better machines will not have this "pannarello" effect so you might just wanna learn how to do it properly for the second jug and so on. There is nothing wrong if you prefer the pannarello technique for the first jug tho. The only thing matters is the result. If you wanna continue doing the pannarello technique you might wanna reopen the Bellman so air gets in and you can do the "first" jug again. But it will of course slow you down by all the time taken to release pressure and reheat etc.

    I'm not a physicist so I might be wrong but this is my 2 cents anyways.

    Edit: I also think Bellman is capable of producing enough steam power for MULTIPLE jugs of milk. I mean I've never been able to "use up" the steam. If you fill it half full, it has enough power for milk for at least 6 drinks and I wouldn't be surprised if it goes up to more than 10 drinks.

    The screaming sound is caused by positioning your milk jug too high = not placing them on the surface = not introducing air/stretching milk = "dead hot milk" as you described. Watch "Milk texture troubleshooting" from Wolff college of coffee on Youtube and you'll know what I mean. This position only works for the pannarello method.
    Last edited by maple; 14th September 2018 at 11:16 PM.
    tschoi likes this.

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