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Acceptable water content in steamed milk?
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Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > Acceptable water...  
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cnorda
Senior Member


Joined: 31 Aug 2013
Posts: 3
Location: norway
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sun Sep 1, 2013, 2:23am
Subject: Acceptable water content in steamed milk?
 

I bought a cheap automatic espresso machine - with grinder and steam wand etc. Saeco Xsmall.

When I try to frothe milk I've noticed that it may get a bit watery. Is this expected when using steam for frothing? I would assume that a certain water content would be inevitable ( using water as heat source), but I am concerned that it also could be that my technique, or the equipment is lacking i.e too low steam temperature/ water intermixed with the steam.

Is it an expected added water content in milk? From weighing I've found approx 10% weight increase from water, in milk otherwise acceptable temperature, nice foam etc.

Edit:
Q: What is your experience, using your best equipment and perfected technique? :-)
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,036
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Sun Sep 1, 2013, 7:52am
Subject: Re: Water content in steamed milk?
 

Most purge the steam wand to get the water out before they put it in the milk.  Try that and see if it helps.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

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cnorda
Senior Member


Joined: 31 Aug 2013
Posts: 3
Location: norway
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sun Sep 1, 2013, 11:41am
Subject: Re: Water content in steamed milk?
 

I've tried that, usually I have a half full glass of water to let the steam build up in before dipping in the milk (I also use it to blow out any steam left in the wand before making another coffee - actually the machine forces me to do it before it will make another espresso)
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Coffeenoobie
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Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,036
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Mon Sep 2, 2013, 1:15pm
Subject: Re: Acceptable water content in steamed milk?
 

Then your machine is probably not good enough to give you dry steam.  You will probably want to upgrade sooner rather than later. I am guessing it is what I call a "steam toy". I started there also for $20 from craigslist.  Then I did a lot of research and got Oscar.  Used Oscar is a great starter machine.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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D4F
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Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,021
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Mon Sep 2, 2013, 1:34pm
Subject: Re: Acceptable water content in steamed milk?
 

If I see the specs correctly, this is billed as the smallest superauto espresso machine.  No boiler, but a thermoblock.  The thermoblock will control temperature and wetness.  It should dry, as dry as it will get, quickly as there is no boiler.  Yes, a brief purge at it reaches heat to steam the water.  Especially in single boiler dual use machines the boiler will be full up to the steam valve allowing water in when first opened.  If you just bought it and can return it, consider that.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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brianl
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Joined: 1 Dec 2012
Posts: 483
Location: Chicago IL
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Quick Mill Vetrano DB
Grinder: HG One, OE Lido 2, Baratza...
Drip: Chemex/V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Tue Sep 3, 2013, 6:21am
Subject: Re: Acceptable water content in steamed milk?
 

Coffeenoobie Said:

Then your machine is probably not good enough to give you dry steam.  You will probably want to upgrade sooner rather than later. I am guessing it is what I call a "steam toy". I started there also for $20 from craigslist.  Then I did a lot of research and got Oscar.  Used Oscar is a great starter machine.

Posted September 2, 2013 link

thats a pretty outrageous starter machine. I'd consider the Gaggia Classic first if you don't want to break the bank. ~200 used
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,833
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Tue Sep 3, 2013, 8:09am
Subject: Re: Acceptable water content in steamed milk?
 

Buy once then done for a long time. Makes sense to me.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,036
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Tue Sep 3, 2013, 10:45am
Subject: Re: Acceptable water content in steamed milk?
 

I got it for $475.  I believe it is about the same as a classic and pid maybe less.  I am not looking to upgrade anytime soon so I think it is a very good starter choice.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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cnorda
Senior Member


Joined: 31 Aug 2013
Posts: 3
Location: norway
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sat Sep 14, 2013, 12:20am
Subject: Re: Acceptable water content in steamed milk?
 

Thanks for all information! I guess I should've done my homework before getting the machine!

I was looking for an fully automatic alternative to nespresso/pod machines, as I wanted to avoid lock-in to one single vendor/form factor and limited coffee selections - in more or less the same price range...
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,036
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Sat Sep 14, 2013, 10:23am
Subject: Re: Acceptable water content in steamed milk?
 

It is really hard to get the quality from an fully automatic machine, even people that love theirs admit it is only OK coffee at best when you compare it to a shot drawn by a barista or coffeegeek.  Another thing to consider, there are a fair amount of used Oscars out there and some are set up for es pods and you can convert a grinds one to pods for about 70$.  I believe you can fill your own pods but you still need a grinder if you do.  Pods on an oscar is about the only way I would try to do what you are wanting.  But really I would not do pods except for an office break room espresso machine.

just incase people don't know what pods are:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easy_Serving_Espresso_Pod

Read my new machine post  "Please read before you post New Machine buying question."

It will give you a good starting point.  Also, I am on year two on my starter machine and I am still happy with it.  I am 100% sure if I had started with a single boiler I would be going nuts wanting to upgrade by now or have been forced to upgrade already.  So, that would have been 200$ spent on something I was not happy with and a lot of frustration learning a machine I did not want to keep for very long.  I have been really happy with my purchase and all the money and learning I have spent on him I am still using. Also, I like milk drinks and there is no question it is a pain to do a lot of milk drinks in a row on a single boiler.  That is part of the reason I started higher up the espresso ladder.   I can steam as a pull.

Research always pays off over impulse purchases.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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