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Thread: Whats with skim milk?

  1. #1
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    Whats with skim milk?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Ok this is mainly for the girls out there on the forum! ;)

    What is with skim milk? Isnt it just watered down, what difference does it make to a coffee?
    Also i get better froth with the skim milk then the full cream!

    Thanks
    HCK

  2. #2
    Senior Member fatboy_1999's Avatar
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    Re: Whats with skim milk?

    Lesson number 25 HCK - Dont assume only girls drink skim milk.
    It is a sure fire way to get yourself into trouble making these kinds of assumptions.

    I seem to recall Chris telling me that it is the protein strings in milk that cause the froth.
    Therefore, it is not really dependant on the cream content.
    This is why Soy will froth even though it aint really milk!

  3. #3
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    Re: Whats with skim milk?

    Lesson 25 recorded! Thanks fb!

    Ahh so then it is more ideal then full cream for frothing.

  4. #4
    Senior Member fatboy_1999's Avatar
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    Re: Whats with skim milk?

    I believe that many of the other types of milk like low fat, no fat, skim and soy, have higher protein contents than full cream.
    Not sure if it is an additive thing or just part of the process, but the end result seems to be that some skim and low fat products seem to froth better than full cream.

    However, I usually steam a full cream and a low fat when making coffee at home and personally find that the full cream gives me glossier milk than the low fat.

    They both create pretty good microfoam, its just that the pour looks better with the full cream. Perhaps that is just me.

  5. #5
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    Re: Whats with skim milk?

    Quote Originally Posted by HCK link=1217806780/0#0 date=1217806780
    Ok this is mainly for the girls out there on the forum! ;)

    What is with skim milk? Isnt it just watered down, what difference does it make to a coffee?
    Also i get better froth with the skim milk then the full cream!

    Thanks
    HCK
    Napoleon Dynamite: "I see youre drinking 1%. Is that cos you think youre fat?" ;D ;D

    Hmmphh, yeah, bad assumption, I wont touch skim milk, and Im pretty sure Im a girl.

    No its not just watered down, the fat is skimmed off.


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    Re: Whats with skim milk?

    Also, Ive read that the foam will stay around for longer with full cream and tend to be smaller...is that right at all? And that going over full-cream fat content will see foaming ability rise again?

    So many questions :o

  7. #7
    sdg
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    Re: Whats with skim milk?

    "skim" milk is milk with the cream centrifuged out (at which point it used to be called "separated" milk; dunno what they call it now :) ). The dairy companies will then usually add powdered milk and other stuff to make it less "watery", plus selling points for particular markets like extra calcium, protein, etc

    "Straight" separated milk is therefore just milk without the cream -- very low-fat, rather thin, and a bit tasteless, and very very frothy! You could have it climbing out of the vat all by itself if the milk pumps were working well. We are not talking microfoam here though -- big fat stiff meringues of foam is the natural state of affairs with this stuff!

    But very little "lite" milk on sale now is anything like plain separated milk.

  8. #8
    sdg
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    Re: Whats with skim milk?

    Quote Originally Posted by boingk link=1217806780/0#5 date=1217836840
    Also, Ive read that the foam will stay around for longer with full cream and tend to be smaller...is that right at all? And that going over full-cream fat content will see foaming ability rise again?
    Um -- yes and no. Milk froths on account of the *protein* content, but the size of the bubbles is apparently partly dependent on fat content. Im a bit (alright, a lot ;D) vague on this; but it does seem that getting microfoam is more difficult with low-fat milk, while getting froth is, as I said above, absolutely no trouble whatsoever.

    So -- "Farmhouse" milk == easy microfoam (must be easy, coz I can do it ;) )

    "Lite-start" milk == utter failure (aka instant-sinking meringue-achino) on all attempts to date :(

  9. #9
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    Re: Whats with skim milk?

    I use A2 lite milk with 2% fat it works very well but at nearly $5 for 2litres its pricey. And I am no girl. I use it to help lower my colestrol, and its great for aiding digestion, as I have no large bowel. every little bit helps it may do nothing for me but its steams very well.

  10. #10
    sdg
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    Re: Whats with skim milk?

    Quote Originally Posted by martybean link=1217806780/0#8 date=1217882629
    and its great for aiding digestion, as I have no large bowel
    Oooh, nooo, its not funny, I know I shouldnt laugh, it was just the way you said it, aarrggh (simone slides slowly to floor, still tittering helplessly...)

    Sorry. Anyway, whats that about not being a girl? There some problem here with being a girl? ::)

    Now: a semi-serious question -- where does the "A2" come into this?


  11. #11
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    Re: Whats with skim milk?

    Ok Simone, here is the guts of it ;D, go to this site http://www.a2australia.com.au/ . Its the site for the company who produces A2 milk.

    As for the girl thing some people might just like to throw so bait out there and see if they get a bite.

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    Re: Whats with skim milk?

    Ill bite :)

    I only use skim UHT milk at home. (Yes, I hear all the groans and cries of dismay.) Although sometimes I get brilliant microfoam and lovely sweet milk, other times the bubbles are a bit bigger than Id like. I wonder if the steam temperature makes a difference.

    If I do one lot immediately after another lot of milk, using the same technique, one will be smooth velvet microfoam and the other a bit rough. Usually its the second pour thats better. Not sure which is hotter / higher pressure. But then steam is steam isnt it? Does the temperature of steam vary?

  13. #13
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    Re: Whats with skim milk?

    Anyone tried sungold? It is pretty nice, much better than pure.
    I had that in the country but its rather hard to find it in melbourne...

  14. #14
    sdg
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    Re: Whats with skim milk?

    Quote Originally Posted by bogongtiger link=1217806780/0#11 date=1218638830
    Ill bite :)

    I only use skim UHT milk at home. (Yes, I hear all the groans and cries of dismay.) Although sometimes I get brilliant microfoam and lovely sweet milk, other times the bubbles are a bit bigger than Id like. I wonder if the steam temperature makes a difference.

    If I do one lot immediately after another lot of milk, using the same technique, one will be smooth velvet microfoam and the other a bit rough. Usually its the second pour thats better. Not sure which is hotter / higher pressure. But then steam is steam isnt it? Does the temperature of steam vary?
    Yes, depends on the steam-pressure, and of course on whether theres still any water in your boiler! :o

    Steam will be "hotter" (superheated) if you keep pouring heat into it -- but if theres any water still in the system then most of your heat will just go into boiling more of that. But if the system is closed then the pressure will rise, water will be more reluctant to boil, so the steam produced will be hotter (or so I understand ::))

    But there has to be *room* for steam in the boiler for this nice equilibrium to get going -- my usual mistake is to forget to pull some water out of the boiler before flicking the steam switch, so the 1st attempt at steaming is pathetic, but the 2nd is ferocious (this isnt such a problem when Ive just pulled a shot, but if Im just doing milk (for hot chocolate, say), it gets me every time! :-[ )

    The other possible explanation for big-bubbles the 1st time is that, since the 1st steam out the wand must be at higher pressure, maybe its just a bit too enthusiastic. Ever blown the milk right out of your jug? ;D

    BTW, my only cry of dismay is on hearing that microfoam is even possible with "lite" milk -- all my attempts have been abject failures :(

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    Re: Whats with skim milk?

    Quote Originally Posted by simone link=1217806780/0#13 date=1219591112
    BTW, my only cry of dismay is on hearing that microfoam is even possible with "lite" milk -- all my attempts have been abject failures *:(
    Ive just recently changed my technique a bit, with the help of this forum, and now I get pretty good microfoam almost every time with skim; no more big bubbles. Previously I was stretching the milk too much. Now I just go for double expansion and then a quick dip to heat it up. The Oscar has a four hole tip, so its very fast with not much room for mistakes.

    Anyway, now I know that in my case at least, I cant blame the milk or the machine when things go wrong.

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    Re: Whats with skim milk?

    I have a new machine, and nothing works, not even farmhouse. Are you sure you cant blame the milk or the machine??....

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    Re: Whats with skim milk?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry link=1217806780/0#15 date=1222068409
    I have a new machine, and nothing works, not even farmhouse. Are you sure you cant blame the milk or the machine??....
    -- not the machine, but the milk is fair game, temperature etc. Bogontiger (crikey) has it right, the key is to know how much to stretch and when to stop ---- and get the right temperature. Coffee and life. ;)

  18. #18
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    Re: Whats with skim milk?

    Hi Kerry,

    Welcome to CoffeeSnobs!

    If you post up what machine you have, youll get specific techniques from other CS users of your machine on how to microfoam. Youll probably get the best responses in the machine specific section of this site, or under this heading but with your machine name in the subject line as well.

    Whilst the basic fundamentals dont change much, technique can make quite a difference when learning, and itll reduce confusion for you.

    All the best.

  19. #19
    Senior Groupie LindaD's Avatar
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    Re: Whats with skim milk?

    Kerry,

    May I suggest if you have a local Aldi store nearby, try either the "Light" or the normal milk they have there. You might have better luck.

    -Linda

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    Re: Whats with skim milk?

    I do not mind using any type of milk.

    - Skim is nice with floral aroma beans.

    - Bonsoy goes well with some of the dry processed beans.

    - FC for just about everything else

    On a decent machine you should be able to froth just about any type of milk and still produce some art. Even the "I cant believe its not milk" milk. (UHT etc)

    At work though the easier the better. Look for high protein and consistent content.

    Most consumers will generally not pick up the difference between brands, if they can they should be drinking it black anyway! hehe


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    Re: Whats with skim milk?

    After reading all these tips Im off to buy some different types of milk to try, thanks!

    CC :)

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    Re: Whats with skim milk?

    2Hi Everyone, [smiley=smiley.gif]

    Just to add my little bit to this discussion, I have had my Sivia for 4 days now, and have been quite impressed with my efforts with full cream milk, but I seem to be making milkshakes with Pauls Zymil low fat 2% (lactose free) even with no stretching, just swirling to heat. My technique still needs a lot of work, but doing the same thing with the different milks gets different results. The next step will be to try the full fat Zymil, will report back on that after the next trip to the supermarket.

    Zymil is sweeter to start with because of the glactase enzyme, but the steamed milk is coming out even sweeter, to the point of not needing sugar, I was a 1 spoon girl.

    Coffee Mum

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    Re: Whats with skim milk?

    This thread has some relevance now, doctors orders due to high cholesterol means that Trim is now the order of the day. I cant stand that No Fat option, might as well use stained water.

    Did find it touchy to start with, was getting more froth than anything (using EM6910). Now I find that if I stretch as long as I can up to 50 deg. if possible, then dip the nozzle in a bit more to take it the final temp, I end up with a fifty/fifty mix of silky foam plus froth on top. I then need to use a knife blade to seperate when pouring.

  24. #24
    Senior Member redzone121's Avatar
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    Re: Whats with skim milk?

    Quote Originally Posted by 464A4F5B424E59594E1B1D2B0 link=1217806780/22#22 date=1250520339
    This thread has some relevance now, doctors orders due to high cholesterol means that Trim is now the order of the day. I cant stand that No Fat option, might as well use stained water.
    Can I offer a little advice? Unless your drinking large amounts of full cream milk, "trim milk" will have no effect on cholesterol numbers. If you are able to do a little research it will help with the bigger picture. Our good Doctors (mine included) have very very little training on cholesterol other than reading their drug company funded medical journals.

    Hope all goes well for you :)

    Chris

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    Re: Whats with skim milk?

    Mals reminded me of the importance of backing information like:

    Quote Originally Posted by 405756485D5C57030003320 link=1217806780/23#23 date=1250551869
    "trim milk" will have no effect on cholesterol numbers
    with actual information/sources.

    cheers,

    J

    saying that, skim milk tastes like crud to me :(

  26. #26
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    Re: Whats with skim milk?

    Thanks Chris, at the very least the drug company issue wont be a problem for me. Unless was life threatening, going the medication solution route is not an option for me, so am working to natural results. Drinking three to four coffees a day, I was advised to cut the full cream milk...plus my daily fix of toast with jam and cream ....not the best apparently ;D

    Am going to do some more looking into best ways to get my levels back down, if successful may go back to using full strength providing am also exercising.

    I may get shot for saying, but am still enjoying my coffee even using Trim.

  27. #27
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    Re: Whats with skim milk?

    I always use skim for babychinos, its meringues like crazy and seems to do so at a lower temperature than full cream milk. having kids I know most places just spoon the froth off the top of the jug before pouring a flatwhite but its really too hot for lil mouths to handle

  28. #28
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    Re: Whats with skim milk?

    I try to use Pura Light Start whenever possible, i find that it gives silky smooth microfoam consistently, even on saturday morning hangover days. Its the only light milk that I can stomach as it tastes just like full creme milk.

    Also it is low fat so i can get away with drinking more :P

    I find full creme milk tends to get bubbly at about the 58 degree mark but i havent used it in some time so it may have been that my technique was a little off back then!



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