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Please Help - Steaming Milk With Vibiemme DD
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Jmanespresso
Senior Member
Jmanespresso
Joined: 18 Jan 2009
Posts: 2,109
Location: Westchester NY
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Alex Duetto II
Grinder: Compak K10 - Vario
Vac Pot: Yama-SY5/SY8/TCA5
Drip: V60, Beehouse, CCD
Roaster: Hottop B
Posted Sun Feb 3, 2013, 11:59am
Subject: Re: Please Help - Steaming Milk With Vibiemme DD
 

Firstly.. the milk.  You using whole milk?  Its the easiest and tastiest.  2% is harder, but doable, 1% is near impossible, and skim is also near impossible.  Ask Frcn, he will tell you how much fun SoyMilk is!  Regular old whole milk is the best, and you'll find that the local dairys and the organic brands are better then the big names.  Whole Milk is best, and try different brands to see what you like.

First tip I can think of, is with regard to opening the steam valve.  Open it all the way right from the start.  That doesn't mean turn the knob all the way open, the steam valve is probably fully opened after a half turn, or a full turn at most.  Those extra turns just make it harder to shut off the steam right when you need too.  So, open her up to 100% from the start.

Ive found it best to keep the pitchers bottom level with the counter.  Pull the steam wand up and towards you, and run the arm into the pitcher, holding it in the spout of the pitcher, slightly below the surface of the milk.  Submerge the tip so the threads are just about covered.  If you were looking into the pitcher, and you could imagine breaking up the circle of the milk surface into quadrants(four pie pieces), put the steam tip in middle of the lower right pie slice.  It honestly should naturally be there already by the fact that the steam wand is angled towards you and you rested the arm in the spout of the pitcher, and the pitcher is filled to the right amount.

When you turn on the steam, you'll only need to lower the pitcher slightly to get air to start coming in.  Chh-chh chh-chh etc

Heres the big one.  As you inject air, the milk will expand.  You'll need to slowly, and slightly, lower the pitcher more and more as you inject air.  Otherwise you will just inject a tiny bit of air, expand the milk above the steam tips ideal position, and heat the milk.  slowly and slightly lower the pitcher to keep the tip at the same spot.  To do this easily, I find it best to brace your hand(s) on something.  The drip tray, the cabinets, the grinder dose..  whatever you can rest your arm against, and rest your fingers against to give yourself something to steady your hands and make slight, slow adjustments to the tips depth will be a big help.

Once you've injected air to the point where the pitcher is lukewarm/not cold anymore, time to texture.  Now, dont go sticking the wand all the way into the milk, there is no need for that.  Submerge it juuust enough so the air-injecting stops.

Honestly, these dual boilers have a lot of steam power, and with a four hole tip there is no need to follow the steps outlined for home espresso machines.  you can follow the commercial steps of placing the tip at the right depth, turning the steam on fully, quickly here the Chh-chh-chh sound for about a second, and then texture for the whole time left.  With the slower tips, you'll be hearing that chh-chh-chhhh-chh-ch-chhhh-chhh sound for longer, obviously.

I suggest getting a four hole tip, it will allow you to make the best milk(and I think the DD can keep up with a four hole, most DBs can I think), in the meantime with the two hole tip, turn it into a single hole tip by sticking a toothpick into one of the holes and breaking off the excess toothpick.  Steaming with a single hole tip will take considerably longer, which is wonderful for learning, but you can never make the delicously sweet rich microfoam you can make with a more powerful steam tip, so I urge you to just learn on a single hole tip to see how it happens, and then move to a proper four hole tip.  To be clear, you can make wonderfully LOOKING and pouring microfoam with a single hole tip, but it will lack the sweetness and richness of a four hole tip.  Single hole tips are invaluable to the learning process, but I firmly believe they should be abandoned once you get a handle on things.  YMMV.

Im going out right now to get some more milk and some lunch, I will try and make a video of my process.


Also-Dont fret.  you WILL get it, and once you do, you'll wonder how you couldn't do it with your eyes closed.

 
Follow Your Bliss

Coffee makes your constantly overcome your prejudices and re-evaluate your own "received wisdoms" when it comes to judging cup flavors. -Tom Owen, SweetMarias
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,024
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Sun Feb 3, 2013, 12:13pm
Subject: Re: Please Help - Steaming Milk With Vibiemme DD
 

I've used 1, 2 and 4 hole tips, and have had success (eventually) with each one.  For each, there's a learning curve with exactly where and at what angle to hold the pitcher in relation to the tip. This will change depending on what pitcher you are using, how much milk you've put in the pitcher, and what machine you're using (and machine settings for some machines). The other real difference between the tips is the amount of time one gets to interact with the milk during the froth. The most important thing, I think, is to learn what cues to look for.  Then you've got to play with positions to get the milk to behave the way you want.  Oh, and also, for me, I found that going from no-burn to burn-me was a huge difference in steam quality on my DII (though I'm aware that Rob hasn't not a bit of difference on his D3.0).

 
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Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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Phil_In_Ottawa
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Oct 2010
Posts: 82
Location: Ottawa, ON
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Vibiemme DD
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Newco OCS-12
Posted Mon Feb 4, 2013, 5:28pm
Subject: Re: Please Help - Steaming Milk With Vibiemme DD
 

Wow! Thank you so much everyone.

I've got a lot of stuff to digest here and a lot to try and practice. I'm going to give it the ol' college try and report back on my progress.

Thanks again.
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