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Please Help - Steaming Milk With Vibiemme DD
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Phil_In_Ottawa
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Joined: 1 Oct 2010
Posts: 82
Location: Ottawa, ON
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Vibiemme DD
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Newco OCS-12
Posted Sat Feb 2, 2013, 1:11pm
Subject: Please Help - Steaming Milk With Vibiemme DD
 

Hi,

I'm having difficulty properly steaming milk with my new Vibiemme Double Domobar with the two-hole tip on the steam wand.

I've read a ton of articles about it and watched many videos but now I'm tired of experimenting trying to find the ideal position/angle/depth for the tip (it doesn't help that what I read/watched often contradict each other on that subject). In the end, I either get no microfoam at all (i.e. the final product is basically just warm milk) or I get way too many large bubbles.

So, if someone has a similar machine/steam wand and has mastered the milk steaming process, I'd appreciate it if you could share your technique with me or offer some tips.

Thanks for your help,

Phil
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frcn
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frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,450
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 Sat Feb 2, 2013, 1:27pm
Subject: Re: Please Help - Steaming Milk With Vibiemme DD
 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxAvYoymUbM
This a very good video.
I am not fond of the two hole tip and would prefer a one hole, I have found that having the wand located near the side of the jug, then angling the jug slowly to get a good swirl going works well. i will assume that you have experience with other machines and have had success in the past, so covering the basics is not necessary here... I hope. The quality of the milk is important, and as far as technique, you need to adapt to the jug you are using. Maybe post a video of your technique for us to critique...?.

 
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Markarian
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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 Feb 3, 2013, 4:48am
Subject: Re: Please Help - Steaming Milk With Vibiemme DD
 

I still can't wrap my head around how people can steam with three and even four holes. When I first got my Oscar and I tried making microfoam on the four hole tip I nearly lost my mind in trying to control the flow. Threw on a single hole tip for the Silvia V3 and couldn't be happier.
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germantownrob
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germantownrob
Joined: 2 Dec 2007
Posts: 2,156
Location: Philadelphia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Duetto 3, A Dead Oscar
Grinder: Vario-W, Preciso w/Esatto,...
Drip: Brazen
Roaster: Diedrich IR-1, HT B
Posted Sun Feb 3, 2013, 4:55am
Subject: Re: Please Help - Steaming Milk With Vibiemme DD
 

My Duetto only came with the two hole tip and I used it for over a week until the 4 hole arrived. I know what you mean, it has to be done as Randy described or I could make 4 oz of milk jump out of a 10oz pitcher. I was so glad when the 4hole came, so much easier to control the vortex. I have never used a one hole tip.
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pizzaman383
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Joined: 17 May 2011
Posts: 43
Location: Roswell, GA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Vibiemme DDv2, KAProLinePID
Grinder: Fiorenzato Doge 83,...
Drip: Behmor Brazen
Posted Sun Feb 3, 2013, 5:59am
Subject: Re: Please Help - Steaming Milk With Vibiemme DD
 

I have a VBM DD.  I had difficulty with the stock tip.  I purchased a two-hole tip with smaller holes.  The part I got was the NEW2HSTIP New Isomac 2 Hole Steam Tip from Chris Coffee Services.  It doesn't look quite as good as the stock tip because the external shape is different.

The difference was amazing.  It tamed the steam velocity down a just enough to give me better control.  I went from never being able to make microfoam to getting the knack within five or six tries.  It made a huge difference.  The outside diameter of the tip is not the same as the VBM tip so it doesn't look quite as good.  That kept me from using it for a while but the results are so good that I kept it on and I'm so glad I did.
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Phil_In_Ottawa
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Joined: 1 Oct 2010
Posts: 82
Location: Ottawa, ON
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Vibiemme DD
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Newco OCS-12
Posted Sun Feb 3, 2013, 6:21am
Subject: Re: Please Help - Steaming Milk With Vibiemme DD
 

Thanks for all the replies.

I had already looked at that video and experimented with the water and dish soap substitute for milk. Definitely a lot cheaper than milk. But they use a commercial machine which probably makes a bit of difference with a different wand and tip and they also don't really explain where to place the tip in the milk other than saying you want the "shhhh,shhhh,shhhh" sound to show it's drawing air into the milk. I've tried and tried but I just can't seem to get that nice sound without getting the tip too far out of the milk and getting big bubbles.

I'll definitely keep trying though. Maybe I'll have to give another tip a try. I'll look into that tip from Chris Coffee. Thanks for the tip (no pun intended).

Thanks for the help. Much appreciated.
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pizzaman383
Senior Member


Joined: 17 May 2011
Posts: 43
Location: Roswell, GA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Vibiemme DDv2, KAProLinePID
Grinder: Fiorenzato Doge 83,...
Drip: Behmor Brazen
Posted Sun Feb 3, 2013, 7:29am
Subject: Re: Please Help - Steaming Milk With Vibiemme DD
 

Yeah, I did the same research.  Watched tons of videos, read lots of posts, tried the soapy water thing.  Nothing quite did it.  After changing the tip it all came together.  I steamed some milk in a small pitcher every day for five days.  By the fifth day the magic happened and I've been able to do it since.
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germantownrob
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germantownrob
Joined: 2 Dec 2007
Posts: 2,156
Location: Philadelphia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Duetto 3, A Dead Oscar
Grinder: Vario-W, Preciso w/Esatto,...
Drip: Brazen
Roaster: Diedrich IR-1, HT B
Posted Sun Feb 3, 2013, 7:35am
Subject: Re: Please Help - Steaming Milk With Vibiemme DD
 

Steaming Milk - Technique
 As you face your espresso machine, point the steam arm over your drip tray and open up the steam knob in order to purge out any unwanted water that may have collected inside the wand due to condensation – you do not want that added to your delicious beverage!
 Next, position the steam arm so it is facing directly toward you and slightly angle it 45 degrees from the base.
 Holding your half-filled steam pitcher with the handle facing you, submerge the tip of the steam wand approximately an inch below the surface of the cold milk. Your pitcher bottom should be parallel with the countertop. The steam arm should gently rest in the spout of the steam pitcher. Now slightly tilt the pitcher left, keeping the arm away from the side of the pitcher.
 Open the steam knob completely and position the pitcher so the tip is just below the surface of the milk. This action creates the „stretching‟ of the milk – in other words, adding air to the milk. When done properly, the sound you hear at this point resembles „sucking‟. You continue this until the milk reaches an approximate temperature of 100 degrees or “body temperature”.
 After your milk has reached this „body temperature‟, submerge the tip of the steam arm approximately one inch below the surface of the milk. This process continues to roll the milk over itself again and again – breaking the large air bubbles into tiny air bubbles – resulting in a new, creamy and sweeter, texture of the milk. When your milk has reached approximately 155 degrees or the pitcher becomes too hot to hold then turn the steam knob off.
 Using a steaming thermometer is helpful when you are learning to steam milk. As you gain more experience and become more comfortable with the process you will be able to steam milk without the help of a thermometer. If you notice in the procedure above we mention temperatures and we also mention “body temperature” and the pitcher being “too hot to hold” We mention this because body temperature is 98.6 which is real close to 100 degrees and when the pitcher becomes too hot to hold the milk will be around 150 degrees. This makes it very easy to steam milk without a thermometer. You will “stretch” the milk until the pitcher becomes body temperature and then you start the “texturizing” of the milk until the pitcher becomes too hot to hold on the bottom and then you‟re all done.

That is from the Duetto manual, the angle of the steam arm and pitcher is different then I ever did before but it worked with the two hole tip, it was the only thing that worked, lol. The 4 hole lets me go back to what I am comfortable and practiced at, I keep my wand almost vertical and tip the pitcher slightly and can work the tip closer to the center of the pitcher instead of using the side to control the vortex.

Edit: here is a link to the manual http://www.chriscoffee.com/files/115/Alex+Duetto+3+Nov12.pdf page 14/15. Probably better then me trying to clean up the text above.
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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 Sun Feb 3, 2013, 8:24am
Subject: Re: Please Help - Steaming Milk With Vibiemme DD
 

Thanks for the help everyone.

I always purge the water from the wand before starting. So I've got that part covered.

Angling the steam arm or not angling it is something I struggle with. You see (and this may be hard to describe so bear with me here) the two holes in the tip are aligned in such a way that when I pull the wand out to the side of the machine, the holes are in a line parallel to the side of the machine versus perpendicular to the side. In other words, one hole is at the front of the tip and the other is at the back as opposed to the holes being on each side of the tip. So if I pull the wand up towards me to angle it at a 45º angle, the front hole is higher than the back one. So that means that when I place the tip under the horizontal surface of the milk such that the front hole is at the right depth, the back one is too deep. And conversely, if the back hole is at the right depth then the front one is above the surface. So I have come to the conclusion that the wand should be vertical so that both holes are at the same depth. Does that make sense? Or perhaps I should unscrew the tip 1/4 turn such that the holes are in a line perpendicular to the edge of the machine so that they will be at the same depth when the wand is angled? Would that help?

I have a thermometer so I am able to monitor the temperature that way until I can do it by feel. I stretch until 100º (or attempt to stretch I should say) and then push the tip deeper to texture until about 145º and shut off the steam. While texturing, I think I'm getting the right milk motion. I read that with a two-hole tip, there will be two vortices, one on each side of the pitcher rolling in a vertical direction (versus one whirlpool going around the pitcher). Any thoughts on that? Is that what I'm looking for or should I still be aiming to get the one whirlpool action?

Thanks again so much for taking the time to help me.
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germantownrob
Senior Member
germantownrob
Joined: 2 Dec 2007
Posts: 2,156
Location: Philadelphia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Duetto 3, A Dead Oscar
Grinder: Vario-W, Preciso w/Esatto,...
Drip: Brazen
Roaster: Diedrich IR-1, HT B
Posted Sun Feb 3, 2013, 8:59am
Subject: Re: Please Help - Steaming Milk With Vibiemme DD
 

I know what you mean, I had that upper hole shoot milk a good foot out of the pitcher when angles where wrong, lol. I was glad to ditch the two hole tip. I find four hole easy but many have trouble getting used to it when they have not used one, things happen quick with a four hole. One hole makes sense, it is shooting straight down and makes me think it is easier to find the angle that works with different pitchers and gives an extended work time. The 4 hole will still have a hole in a top position like the 2hole, this is fine for me, I just need one to add the air, the big difference is the vortex, I felt the 2 hole was like a jet ski launching and my face is right there, this meant if I changed its position the slightest the bottom hole pushed mild away from the tip and lots of air is added.
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