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What IS this coming out of my steamer?
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > What IS this...  
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mlim18
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Joined: 21 Oct 2012
Posts: 11
Location: CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Drip: Chemex
Posted Wed Dec 18, 2013, 2:27pm
Subject: What IS this coming out of my steamer?
 

Does anybody know what this is coming out of my steamer? (See pic below) Is it simply coffee gunk and calcium build up from my water? I have a Crossland CC1 that I got new last year. It comes out mostly after I decalcify my machine, only from my steamer when it is set to steam, and comes out most when I initial open the steam wand to before steaming to dry out the steam.  Make sense?  Anyone know what I'm dealing with?  - Sorry if the pic is small...

mlim18: Coffee Gunk.jpg
(Click for larger image)
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frcn
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frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,427
Location: Northern California
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vibiemme Domobar Double
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Posted Wed Dec 18, 2013, 3:31pm
Subject: Re: What IS this coming out of my steamer?
 

See if descaler or citric acid or even lemon juice dissolves the material. If it does then I would do some research and test your water for GH and KH.

 
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mlim18
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Oct 2012
Posts: 11
Location: CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Drip: Chemex
Posted Wed Dec 18, 2013, 3:39pm
Subject: Re: What IS this coming out of my steamer?
 

Interesting.  So just soak it in some descale and see if it desolves?  I already threw out what's in the picture, but I know that more will come out.  It's been doing this for a while.
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Frost
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Frost
Joined: 26 Jul 2007
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Location: Sierra
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Venus
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Roaster: Poppery I w/variac, MET, BT
Posted Wed Dec 18, 2013, 3:43pm
Subject: Re: What IS this coming out of my steamer?
 

Look closely. Could it be bits of caramelized milk? Be sure to always remove the steam wand from the milk as soon as you shut off the steam.  Otherwise, steam in the pipe will condense and form a vacuum sucking milk up into the wand.
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mlim18
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Oct 2012
Posts: 11
Location: CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Drip: Chemex
Posted Wed Dec 18, 2013, 3:56pm
Subject: Re: What IS this coming out of my steamer?
 

Good call on the milk, Frost.  I've been wondering that too.  I do remove the wand as soon as I shut if off, typically just before the steam is done blowing out.  I then clean the wand with a wet paper towel and clear the wand out by opening the steam valve again after.  Also, in the last month, after cleaning the tip, I've been turning the steam off, and then opening up the steam valve until just water comes out.  I assumed that was enough, but maybe not?  Is there more I should be doing?

The last time I descaled was a month ago.
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SStones
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SStones
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Posted Wed Dec 18, 2013, 6:07pm
Subject: Re: What IS this coming out of my steamer?
 

I agree that it looks like old, nasty milk flakes coming off the inner-walls of the steam wand. You could remove the wand from the machine and soak it in a milk-frother cleaner (Or soap and water), Then, reattach it and blast it clean with enough steam to flush it and rinse it completely.
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mlim18
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Oct 2012
Posts: 11
Location: CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Drip: Chemex
Posted Thu Dec 19, 2013, 11:27am
Subject: Re: What IS this coming out of my steamer?
 

frcn Said:

See if descaler or citric acid or even lemon juice dissolves the material. If it does then I would do some research and test your water for GH and KH.

Posted December 18, 2013 link

How do I do test for GH and KH?
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frcn
Senior Member
frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,427
Location: Northern California
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vibiemme Domobar Double
Grinder: Mazzer Kony, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Hario, 2 Cory pots, 1 Cory...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Bunn A10 mod...
Roaster: computer controlled Hottop,...
Posted Thu Dec 19, 2013, 11:50am
Subject: Re: What IS this coming out of my steamer?
 

Aquarium Pharmaceuticals GH+KH kit under $10 shipped. But check around for pricing.

 
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