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Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > Duetto II steam...  
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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,296
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4, Pharos,...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Wed May 23, 2012, 6:41am
Subject: Duetto II steam improvement
 

I was getting a great vortex in my milk with the stock wand setup (and the CCS 4 hole tip mod), and was able to pour nice latte art.  However, everyone in my house has noticed that the foam tended to layer on top of the milk.

Last night I removed the plastic tubing from inside the wand, converting it to a "burn-me" (and it did burn me - twice - and yeah, I have a rubber sleeve on order already).  The milk I frothed last night and this am was even more wet paint like in texture than before!  There's a noticeable difference in steam power too.  When I remove the pitcher from the wand, the thin milk layer coating the tip is "textbook".  However, the foam still separated a lot in the cup.

I know I haven't posted a video (yet), and it would help a lot to answer this, but does anyone have any idea what I'm doing wrong?  Could it be that I don't let it stay in the frothing pitcher long enough before pouring?

 
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Coffeenoobie
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Posted Wed May 23, 2012, 7:55am
Subject: Re: Duetto II steam improvement
 

The longer it sits the more it separates.  The trick is to keep it moving and pour soon after steaming according to the videos I have watched.  However, I am not getting microfoam repeatably on the Oscar.  Despite doing all kinds of things to make it happen.

 
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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,296
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4, Pharos,...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Wed May 23, 2012, 8:23am
Subject: Re: Duetto II steam improvement
 

yeah, I do all that.  was wondering if I'm not swirling it long enough in the pitcher before pouring.

I was just reading Randy's guide on stretching and now wonder if I'm going too far in the heating process.  I ditched my thermometer about 5 years ago after learning hands-on the pitcher technique, but have always kept going until the pitcher just becomes too hot to hold.  I suspect it worked well on the Silvia because the steam pressure was much lower and therefore, the milk heated slower and the lag between milk temp transfer across the pitcher wall to my hand was less important than it is now with the more powerful Duetto.

I'm thinking of making the following changes:

1) switch the steamer tip from the 4-hole to the 2-hole

2) stop the frothing process earlier

If anyone has other ideas (sans video), please let me know.  Otherwise, I'll report back in a day or two.

 
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LATrapp
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Joined: 7 Mar 2011
Posts: 15
Location: LA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Alex II Duetto, Silvia
Grinder: Versalab V3
Drip: Press
Roaster: Local
Posted Wed May 23, 2012, 10:06am
Subject: Re: Duetto II steam improvement
 

I'm in the camp that finds the Duetto II a poor steamer (stock) relative to other machines I have tried. The Silvia I started with even produced much finer micro foam.

However, I do think a thermometer will definitely help you dial in your milk. I have one of these and love it. It is WAY faster then an analogue dial thermometer. Only downside is that the probe is thinner than a regular dial thermometer and will slip through most thermometer holders that attach on the sides of pitcher:
http://www.thermoworks.com/products/low_cost/rt301wa.html

I incorporate air on the surface with a whirlpool to 85f then plunge under and create turbulence to 135f letting it rise after pulling into the 140's f.
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WiggoNut
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Joined: 4 Jan 2012
Posts: 21
Location: AL
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto II
Grinder: Mazzer Super Jolly, Hario...
Vac Pot: Yama Siphon
Drip: v60, Beehive, Aeropress,...
Roaster: Popcorn Stove Top
Posted Wed May 23, 2012, 12:05pm
Subject: Re: Duetto II steam improvement
 

I will say that when I got the Duetto the steam performance wasn't great, but after you remove the tube it's all good.  

Some suggestions/notices (trying not to repeat whats on the other 1,000 forums on steaming):

1.) Check out the click here video from barista lab...talks about the positioning of the pitcher specifically for the Duetto.

2.) If your initial tap, the swirl in the pitcher makes a circle of foam in the middle (looks like there is a small microfoam hill) then you messed up and will have too much of the foam you are talking about.  

3.) Don't be scared of steaming, just throw the thing on try to use all the other tips out there.  

Video would be nice if you can get one, but I'll try and get one up as well...i'm not perfect every time either though :-).
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rlevine
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Joined: 16 Dec 2011
Posts: 18
Location: NJ
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Izza Alex Duetto II
Grinder: Baritza Virtuoso Preciso,...
Drip: Hario kettle, V60, Chemex
Posted Thu May 24, 2012, 6:24am
Subject: Re: Duetto II steam improvement
 

Is removing the tubing on the steam arm as simple as unscrewing the tip and pulling it out?

-Randy

 
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,296
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4, Pharos,...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Thu May 24, 2012, 8:05am
Subject: Re: Duetto II steam improvement
 

yeah, it sure is.  Although, I took the whole wand off and then used a small needle nose pliers to get it started and give me a little more purchase for my fingers (it was only sticking out a few mm).  It probably would have been just as easy to simply remove the wand tip and then pull it out from there.  After I got it started, I just yanked it out with my hand and it came really easy.  I suspect it's just as easy to put it back in if you change your mind.

Don't forget to get a rubber sleeve.  I've already burned my fingers (mildly) a couple of times, as I was so used to just grabbing the wand and adjusting its position.  I found one for less than $4 at espresso parts (get the 10mm one - it's kind of bean shaped, instead of straight).  Shipping cost sucked though, so I ordered a couple of other things I needed.

 
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rlevine
Senior Member


Joined: 16 Dec 2011
Posts: 18
Location: NJ
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Izza Alex Duetto II
Grinder: Baritza Virtuoso Preciso,...
Drip: Hario kettle, V60, Chemex
Posted Thu May 24, 2012, 6:52pm
Subject: Re: Duetto II steam improvement
 

Sure enough, the tube slides right out. Now I just have to be super careful until I get that rubber sleeve. I hope the Joe Pro shop in NYC stocks them.

Thanks for the help.
Randy

 
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,296
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4, Pharos,...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Mon May 28, 2012, 5:39am
Subject: Re: Duetto II steam improvement
 

LATrapp Said:

I'm in the camp that finds the Duetto II a poor steamer (stock) relative to other machines I have tried. The Silvia I started with even produced much finer micro foam.

Posted May 23, 2012 link

totally agree for the stock no burn wand.  

LATrapp Said:

However, I do think a thermometer will definitely help you dial in your milk.

Posted May 23, 2012 link

Glad they work for you, but I'm definitely done with thermometers, I know the general temps from my hand on the side of the pitcher.  However, there is definitely a longer lag between milk temp and pitcher temp change in the Duetto compared to the Silvia, and I've already readjusted my "end point" - which is about 140.

so, here's my report back...

Having taken out the plastic tubing the other day, I've dramatically increased the Duetto's steam power.  The next step, which I performed last night, was to remove the 4 hole tip that CCS installed on the no burn wand and put on the stock 2 hole tip. The results were amazing and immediate.  Both my wife and myself said "that's what I'm talking about" when I presented the lattes/cappas after the change.  Consistent results this am!  The micro foam is amazing! And the effect in the cup is "tastes so good, you hate to put it down" (famous quote from my father-in-law)

Anyhow, if anyone is having trouble steaming on the Duetto, I say this...remove the plastic tubing from the wand and switch to the 2 hole tip (of course, YMMV)!  oh, and don't forget to purchase a rubber sleeve for the wand, so you don't burn your fingers.

 
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