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NS Oscar - Weird Steam Problems
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > NS Oscar - Weird...  
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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 Thu Oct 11, 2012, 6:57pm
Subject: Re: NS Oscar - Weird Steam Problems
 

I apologize if you already mentioned but did you confirm that you steam wand and tip we're clear? As far as maintenance goes, have you purged the steam wand after every steaming ?
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Markarian
Senior Member
Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 658
Location: Seattle Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ECM Technika IV Profi WT-WC
Grinder: Baratza Forte AP, HG One
Vac Pot: Bunn Trifecta MB
Drip: Moka, Aeropress, Hario V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Thu Oct 11, 2012, 7:03pm
Subject: Re: NS Oscar - Weird Steam Problems
 

Yes, I can confirm the tip is perfectly clean. We just took it off and reinstalled it to confirm. Every time I steam, I'm extremely conscientious about wiping it off and blowing out any milk that may have been inside.
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Markarian
Senior Member
Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 658
Location: Seattle Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ECM Technika IV Profi WT-WC
Grinder: Baratza Forte AP, HG One
Vac Pot: Bunn Trifecta MB
Drip: Moka, Aeropress, Hario V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Thu Oct 11, 2012, 10:59pm
Subject: Re: NS Oscar - Weird Steam Problems
 

Okay, I can definitely confirm it's "pulsing" when steaming, which is ruining the milk. My milk is coming out soggy and when I watch the steamwand by itself, it spits out short bursts of wetter steam at random, no matter how long it runs. I am really stumped here.
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Markarian
Senior Member
Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 658
Location: Seattle Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ECM Technika IV Profi WT-WC
Grinder: Baratza Forte AP, HG One
Vac Pot: Bunn Trifecta MB
Drip: Moka, Aeropress, Hario V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Fri Oct 12, 2012, 3:50am
Subject: Re: NS Oscar - Weird Steam Problems
 

I may be an idiot. Although the steam tip was fine, I noticed the behavior of the steam changed when I tilted the wand up, indicating water was catching in the first bend of the wand. I took a thin pipe cleaner and fished it up through the wand as far as it could go, then pulled it out. Immediately, I noticed a major improvement. Is there a more efficient way of cleaning out a steam line, short of disassembling the entire thing?
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hotwasabipeas
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Aug 2011
Posts: 207
Location: New Albany, Ohio
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Breville BES900XL, CC1, NS...
Grinder: Baratza Vario 886
Drip: Flavia SB100 (makes a hot...
Posted Fri Oct 12, 2012, 1:50pm
Subject: Re: NS Oscar - Weird Steam Problems
 

How wet is or was your steam?  I am always a little worried that my steam is not the driest and I was wondering if you get some slight wetness on your hands if you try holding your hand in the path of the steam?  I notice some wetness on my hands when I do this and I don't know if that is abnormal or not?  Should the steam be completely dry and not leave any moisture on hands or the countertop?
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Markarian
Senior Member
Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 658
Location: Seattle Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ECM Technika IV Profi WT-WC
Grinder: Baratza Forte AP, HG One
Vac Pot: Bunn Trifecta MB
Drip: Moka, Aeropress, Hario V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Sat Oct 13, 2012, 12:50pm
Subject: Re: NS Oscar - Weird Steam Problems
 

Steam is water vapor, so as soon as it hits something that's not boiling it's going to condense into water. Case in point: Running a little pipe cleaner up into the wand and scrubbing a little was the magic fix. The steam is back to normal now and I'm once again making effortless microfoam. The steam flow is VERY sensitive, and the tiniest bit of scale/dried milk/boiler droppings inside the wand can cause a brief spot for the steam to condense and turn into water. Combine this with high pressure, and you've got steam that's intermittently wet and dry. This is the difference between a smooth roll at the end of your frothing and the horrific screech and soggy bubbles that caused me to tear my hair out and blow through a gallon of half-and-half in frustration. Another big factor to consider is your steam tip. Are you using the stock Oscar tip, the new smaller hole tip from NS, or a third party tip? I personally found the four holes to be frustrating and overkill for 6oz of milk at a time, so I ran up to Seattle Coffee Gear and bought a Rancilio Silvia single hole tip, which made the process way easier to control. I do highly recommend this mod for anyone who is having trouble steaming on the Oscar and isn't frothing more than 10oz at a time.
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saranoelle
Senior Member
saranoelle
Joined: 1 Dec 2011
Posts: 46
Location: Burnaby, BC, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Nuova Simonelli Oscar
Grinder: Vario
Drip: Bonavita BV1800TH,...
Posted Sun Jun 15, 2014, 12:03pm
Subject: Re: NS Oscar - Weird Steam Problems
 

I just had the same thing happen to me today with my Oscar- sudden problem with producing any sort of microfoam at all after a couple years with no issues. Same organic whole milk that I've been using all along. No other symptoms exhibited by the machine. A quick search here and found this thread. Fortunately, skipped the other troubleshooting tips suggested and first tried cleaning out the wand with a pipe cleaner. Problem solved!

So thankful again for this forum and community, and the wealth of information here. It's irreplaceable for us home enthusiasts.
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Markarian
Senior Member
Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 658
Location: Seattle Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ECM Technika IV Profi WT-WC
Grinder: Baratza Forte AP, HG One
Vac Pot: Bunn Trifecta MB
Drip: Moka, Aeropress, Hario V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Sun Jun 15, 2014, 1:52pm
Subject: Re: NS Oscar - Weird Steam Problems
 

Wow I haven't been on here in over six months and I see that I actually solved someone's problem for once! :) Glad it's working out for you. I don't even have Oscar anymore, but man did I learn a lot on that little black beast.
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