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lightbulb Learning to drive OTTO

  • mikelomb
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9 years 11 months ago - 9 years 11 months ago #4258 by mikelomb
Replied by mikelomb on topic Learning to drive OTTO
Splutter slurp then hiss. :P

I have been fine tuning the milk frothing over the last few weeks, and I am almost there. My reference standard as how it is supposed to look like is the hospital cafeteria that happens to make the best cappuccino in town using a very large expensive machine manned by someone who really knows what they are doing.

The bubbles are almost too small to see, and this makes a creamy thick paint like foam that can be poured over the brim of the cup. The nozzle of the steamer is over a cm below the milk level in a large steel jug that swirls the milk. Of course with the Otto you are not going to get that sort of power. Other equally expensive machines in town manned by people who do not know what they are doing still manage to mess up this step. So after this preamble here is what I have found with trial and error on the Otto.

If the coffee grind basket combination is not correct and there is not enough steam pressure, the milk will fail no matter what you do. If you have that right, gradually lower the nozzle. If it is just skimming the top of the milk, you end up with large bubbles and lots of froth, and can probably stretch the milk to the top with too much air almost immediately. This is not what you want. This causes the sputter sound as well as a mess.

Lowering the nozzle further starts to create smaller bubbles that you can still easily see and a slurping sound as milk and air seem to get sucked together. You can still stretch the milk to three times its volume and then tap down later. The position of the nozzle is harder to judge later in the procedure because it is sitting in all the loose foam. This is still not correct. The hospital cafeteria machine did not look likes this either.

Lower the nozzle further to the point of where the slurping sound just disappears and just hisses instead creates fine micro bubbles that are hard to see and milk the stretches to 1 and half times its volume. You do not need to tamp this down later, and looks like thick paint. This is what you want.

Putting to nozzle too low heats up the milk but does not create any bubbles. Just like the coffee grind basket combination to create crema has a narrow sweet spot; the milk frothing technique has an equally narrow sweet spot, but with some practice is doable. :)
Last edit: 9 years 11 months ago by mikelomb.

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  • allan
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9 years 11 months ago - 9 years 11 months ago #4259 by allan
Replied by allan on topic Learning to drive OTTO
Hi Coops, here are my run times from this afternoon.

Extraction (starting from cold element) 15:20 until the first drops hit the jug, 16:20 for first crema and 18:30 to finish.

Milk steaming (starting from milk at 10°C in a chilled pitcher) 25 seconds for texturing until 25°C, 1:49 total steaming time finishing with milk at 60°C.

Hope that is helpful :)
Last edit: 9 years 11 months ago by allan.

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9 years 11 months ago #4260 by coops
Replied by coops on topic Learning to drive OTTO
hello Allan
thanks
those times are close to what I am doing too, its nice to know I am in the vicinity.
My grinder is not getting the beans as fine I would like, sourcing a new grinder to get an better espresso grind which may help with consistency in steam pressure.

The post on milk texturing from Mikelomb is excellent, I will follow this to see how it works for me.
cheers

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9 years 11 months ago - 9 years 11 months ago #4261 by allan
Replied by allan on topic Learning to drive OTTO
Thanks! Good to know that I am in step with others. However, I feel that my times are a little long compared to the user manual. Perhaps my element heat is a touch low. I might experiment and see if a higher heat reduces my times.

I agree that mikelomb's post on milk frothing is very good. I have found these two sites a great help also.

www.coffeegeek.com/guides/frothingguide

www.home-barista.com/espresso-guide-frothing-milk.html

I prefer lattes to cappuccinos, so I texture for a relatively short time. If you really want a lot of foam, put the pitcher in the freezer first and texture until closer to 40°C. I understand there is a point (temperature-wise) where you can't introduce any more texture into the milk. Cooling the pitcher down gives you more time to do this I understand.
Last edit: 9 years 11 months ago by allan.

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9 years 11 months ago #4262 by allan
Replied by allan on topic Learning to drive OTTO
Fully agree with your grinder comment too Coops.

My grinder is less than fabulous, and I would like "approval" to buy a new one ;)

One that grinds well, with small step-adjustments, and accurate timing would be wonderful. Oh, and it must be small enough so I can put it away easily.

I may even be able to let the grinder dose for me instead of weighing each shot!

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9 years 10 months ago #4275 by allan
Replied by allan on topic Learning to drive OTTO
Another thing I have been thinking about.

When steaming milk, I just open the steam valve completely for the whole process.

Does everyone else do the same - or do some of you change the steam pressure during steaming?

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