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Steaming milk with the Bellman CX25 stovetop
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Presse
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Jan 2013
Posts: 2
Location: London
Expertise: Pro Barista

Posted Tue Jan 1, 2013, 12:01pm
Subject: Steaming milk with the Bellman CX25 stovetop
 

Hi everyone -

I've recently acquired a new Bellman CX25 stovetop and and having a bit of difficulty with it and since it seems a few people on this community have this machine I thought I'd see if anyone could give me some tips.

The 'espresso' is pretty weak but I personally prefer my coffee quite weak so it's not a problem for me. The problem I am having is with the steam wand... I am not getting good strong steam out of it and I am unsure if I am doing something wrong or if my expectations are too high (I am used to working with a commercial machine as I work at a coffee shop.)

I let the pressure build up for about 5-10 minutes after the coffee is done brewing, before I try the wand. I get a thin stream of steam at first that quickly turns into a rather weak stream of hot air. I can't get any kind of spin going in the milk at all.

I am a bit nervous about letting the pressure build up for too long as the manual mentioned something about not letting it build for more than 10-12 minutes. But if the pressure gets too high, theoretically it would just come out the safety valve right?

Anyone else use the bellman to steam milk? How long do you let the pressure build up? Does it give out proper steam or mostly air? Can I get this strong enough to give my milk a good thorough spinning?

Thanks for any advice!
-Nicole
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Lee_M
Senior Member
Lee_M
Joined: 2 Dec 2012
Posts: 51
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I live coffee

Grinder: Baratza Encore
Drip: V60
Roaster: Popper
Posted Tue Jan 1, 2013, 5:47pm
Subject: Re: Steaming milk with the Bellman CX25 stovetop
 

I just got one of the Bellman stand-alone steamers (50SS), which I assume acts similarly. I'm still working with it, but here are some things I've found to help.

  1. Only fill it up 1/3 of the way. This will speed up the process.
  2. Steam a small amount of milk at a time. Try a 12 oz pitcher filled halfway. This way you won't have to wait so long for the milk to heat up, and should make it easier to whirlpool.
  3. Be patient. As long as the top is screwed on tight, you can safely wait until the safety valve starts going off to achieve maximum steam pressure.
  4. Steam gently. Since it takes so long to heat up the milk, it's easy to over aerate. Don't push it.

It's not going to act like a commercial machine (no 3 hole tip, for one thing), but you should be able to achieve a reasonable whirlpool with some practice.
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Presse
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Jan 2013
Posts: 2
Location: London
Expertise: Pro Barista

Posted Wed Jan 2, 2013, 9:45am
Subject: Re: Steaming milk with the Bellman CX25 stovetop
 

Thanks for the advice Lee!

I followed your tips as well as boiling the water in a kettle before putting in into the Bellman, and am having more success. If I leave it to build pressure for about 30 minutes I get pretty decent pressure. The safety valve hasn't gone off on me yet though so I might even push it a bit more in my future experimenting. I found it helps to move the pitcher manually a bit now and again to encourage a better spin as well.
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Lee_M
Senior Member
Lee_M
Joined: 2 Dec 2012
Posts: 51
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I live coffee

Grinder: Baratza Encore
Drip: V60
Roaster: Popper
Posted Wed Jan 2, 2013, 8:08pm
Subject: Re: Steaming milk with the Bellman CX25 stovetop
 

Huh, it only takes ten minutes before the valve goes off on mine. Is your stove underpowered?
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lifeandpeace
Senior Member
lifeandpeace
Joined: 9 Nov 2007
Posts: 745
Location: PBI

Espresso: Arrarex Caravel
Grinder: BUNN G1, Zassenhaus knee
Vac Pot: Cory / Hario / Silex
Drip: cloth, glass Hario V60;...
Roaster: RK Drum, WBP II
Posted Thu Jan 3, 2013, 9:36am
Subject: Re: Steaming milk with the Bellman CX25 stovetop
 

Something seems amiss. Wand clean? Seals good?

I likewise boil it separately, then let the pressure build for five minutes, and I get overwhelming power. I used commercial La Marzoccos for a couple years, so I have a point of reference. Granted, the Bellman doesn't have three holes as the LMs, but I get far more than sufficient power to froth properly. I don't even turn the power all the way up.

I've even found that I can take it off the stove and set it by my lever for (by experience) five minutes as I prepare my lever machine for a shot. Still, after five minutes off the heat I have more than sufficient power.

 
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