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I've got hot milk, I've got thick foam, but I'm missing the awesome micro foam!
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Discussions > Espresso > Latte Art > I've got hot...  
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thecatinside
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Mar 2012
Posts: 14
Location: Finland
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Brewtus III-v
Grinder: Anfim SC, Mazzer SJ
Vac Pot: Hario TCA-3
Drip: Woodneck, V60
Posted Thu Mar 8, 2012, 11:39am
Subject: Re: I've got hot milk, I've got thick foam, but I'm missing the awesome micro
 

JtothaR Said:

But I try not to take milk to 145-150 ever because the sugars get destroyed.

Posted March 8, 2012 link

Sugars don't get destroyed. Depending on the sugar, it needs to be heated up to at least 230 degrees Fahrenheit to break down the sugars while creating new compounds. It's also called caramelization.

The problem with milk and excess heating is with the proteins. The largest group of proteins in milk is called casein. Second largest group of proteins is called whey proteins mostly consisting of beta-lactoglobulin. When milk is heated up to approximately 160 degrees, the proteins (mostly beta-lactoglobulin) start to denature and they release sulphur which is tasting bad and spoils the foam.
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JtothaR
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JtothaR
Joined: 20 Dec 2010
Posts: 764
Location: Las Cruces, NM
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: NS Appia, Oscar
Grinder: K10, Lusso, GM 875
Drip: Pour-Over, FP, Toddy
Roaster: Agapao, Metropolis, CC
Posted Thu Mar 8, 2012, 11:48am
Subject: Re: I've got hot milk, I've got thick foam, but I'm missing the awesome micro
 

thecatinside Said:

Sugars don't get destroyed. Depending on the sugar, it needs to be heated up to at least 230 degrees Fahrenheit to break down the sugars while creating new compounds. It's also called caramelization.

The problem with milk and excess heating is with the proteins. The largest group of proteins in milk is called casein. Second largest group of proteins is called whey proteins mostly consisting of beta-lactoglobulin. When milk is heated up to approximately 160 degrees, the proteins (mostly beta-lactoglobulin) start to denature and they release sulphur which is tasting bad and spoils the foam.

Posted March 8, 2012 link

Either way, I've found that the hotter you take it the worse the flavor.....

 
Load and Lock.
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JFitzpatrick
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Feb 2012
Posts: 31
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Mar 23, 2012, 5:19pm
Subject: Update, with pictures =)
 

I've tried out some of the suggestions all of you provided... and things have improved considerably. Here's what I'm doing now:

  1. I ditched the thermometer. I'd used it long enough that I had a good idea what the temp of the milk was by just holding it. The dial was so freaking big I couldn't even really see into the pitcher/maneuver it properly.

  2. I focused on incorporating air/stretching for only the first 5-8 seconds, or until the pitcher started to feel warm... then I sunk the wand slightly below the surface where the whirlpool was forming and continued the whirlpool action.

The string of pics here are examples from the last two weeks or so, arranged chronologically to show how things have advanced. I could definitely use some more practice with the finesse side of things, but I'm at least fairly consistent with the microfoam now.

One thing I could definitely use some more pointers on is establishing a good whirlpool. Right now I tilt the pitcher at a roughly 45 degree'ish angle towards myself and shoot the steam straight down. I can get a whirlpool pretty easily this way, over and over. The only problem is that I haven't figured out how to get a whirlpool going with the wand deeper in the milk. I just sink it a centimeter or two down once I'm done stretching. The problem with that is it's really easy to accidentally start stretching the milk again, introducing big bubbles into the mix too late in the game.

Any pointers?

JFitzpatrick: IMG_20120319_104745.jpg
(Click for larger image)
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Joel_B
Senior Member
Joel_B
Joined: 9 Oct 2007
Posts: 1,826
Location: Pacific NW
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Astra Mega II
Grinder: Mazzer SJ, Virtuoso
Vac Pot: Yama 5 cup
Drip: nope, french press
Roaster: Behmor, WP, BBQ drum
Posted Sat Mar 24, 2012, 8:10am
Subject: Re: Update, with pictures =)
 

JFitzpatrick Said:

The string of pics here are examples from the last two weeks or so, arranged chronologically to show how things have advanced. I could definitely use some more practice with the finesse side of things, but I'm at least fairly consistent with the microfoam now.

Posted March 23, 2012 link

Looking good!  Nice work and you're clearly getting the hang of it.  Your first three pics look like the milk was over stretched slightly but the last two look better.  Maybe stop stretching just a little sooner and see how that fairs for you. Like I said, you're definitely starting to get it. Only other thing I'd add is don't try to draw the design; just be rhythmic and fluid with the throws and just let the design develop on its own.  

JFitzpatrick Said:

One thing I could definitely use some more pointers on is establishing a good whirlpool. Right now I tilt the pitcher at a roughly 45 degree'ish angle towards myself and shoot the steam straight down. I can get a whirlpool pretty easily this way, over and over. The only problem is that I haven't figured out how to get a whirlpool going with the wand deeper in the milk. I just sink it a centimeter or two down once I'm done stretching. The problem with that is it's really easy to accidentally start stretching the milk again, introducing big bubbles into the mix too late in the game.

Posted March 23, 2012 link

Tilting the pitcher is good, but I also tilt the wand too.  Keeping the tip of the wand pressed against the side of the pitcher helps with the whirlpool vs having closer to the center of the milk
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bugeyes
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Jul 2012
Posts: 4
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Jul 10, 2012, 6:08am
Subject: Re: I've got hot milk, I've got thick foam, but I'm missing the awesome micro
 

Stuart Said:

A week ago, I got to practice making microfoam with a La Marzocco Linea. Oh. My. Gosh. The milk went from fridge-cold to "warm" in about seven seconds, and to "too hot to touch" in about ten more. I understand the benefits to that in a commercial environment, but that was pretty hard to handle; given that my prior experience was limited to something that took almost 10x that long to heat/froth milk.

Posted March 7, 2012 link

So how someone can make a good microfoam for about 10-15 second before it too hot to touch? I recently just bought a Andreja prem and that thing is way too powerful, should I not open the valve all the way?
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