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Date: 04 Dec 2006 20:46:55
From: Guy Snape
Subject: Gaggia without frothing gizmo?
Is there a gaggia home machine with a decent sized steam wand instead of
those stupid froth enhancing things that no-one wants?

I think my cheapo thermoblock machine has bitten the dust. :-(

Thanks,

- guy
--
Remove the obvious to reply.




 
Date: 04 Dec 2006 22:55:16
From: Flasherly
Subject: Re: Gaggia without frothing gizmo?

Flasherly wrote:
> Jim wrote:
> > Some people just use it without. The wand is not very long, so you'd
> > need a shorter pitcher. Or, I'm thinking you could extend it somehow
> > with a food grade high temperature flexible hose tight enough to hold
> > onto the existing short wand, and a new length of tubing to extend it.

I've miniature stainless steel hoseclamps that nicely account for
pressure between a short hose in the grouphead boiler to the start and
swivel anchor for the wand. Figured refrigerator ice-machine copper
and an auto breakline bender good enough for a large S-shaped steamer.
Had to use a die to thread the for the wand's threaded plastic tip,
steam focusing nozzle. Common plumber copper diameter closely matched
the existing stainless steel pipe, which I tossed. Turned out much
more practical for experimenting with steaming in various glasses or
pitcher sizes.



 
Date: 04 Dec 2006 22:40:41
From: Flasherly
Subject: Re: Gaggia without frothing gizmo?

Jim wrote:
> Guy Snape wrote:
>
> > Is there a gaggia home machine with a decent sized steam wand instead of
> > those stupid froth enhancing things that no-one wants?
>
> I'm getting EXCELLENT results from the "stupid froth enhancing things
> that no-one wants." And it's a no-brainer, no surfing involved. The
> trick for me was regulating the steam valve for the right pressure
> levels. It's not the fastest frother, but it can produce a pitcher full
> of microfoam and it's also very quiet (not that noise really matters to me).
>
> Some people just use it without. The wand is not very long, so you'd
> need a shorter pitcher. Or, I'm thinking you could extend it somehow
> with a food grade high temperature flexible hose tight enough to hold
> onto the existing short wand, and a new length of tubing to extend it.
>
>
> >
> > I think my cheapo thermoblock machine has bitten the dust. :-(
> >
> > Thanks,
> >
> > - guy



 
Date: 04 Dec 2006 23:10:16
From: Mud Pup
Subject: Re: Gaggia without frothing gizmo?
Guy Snape wrote:
> Is there a gaggia home machine with a decent sized steam wand instead of
> those stupid froth enhancing things that no-one wants?

I think all the home machines are the same. But the good news is that
you don't have to use the frothing thing. I just slid the outer shell off,
and slid the inner plastic tip down as far as it would go. Reaches about
6oz milk in a 16oz pitcher just fine, and makes nice micro.

Alternatively, I've heard that the Silvia wand fits the Gaggias; you
just have to re-use the Gaggia locknut... thingie. However, the plastic
thing has worked so well that I've never tried it.


 
Date: 04 Dec 2006 13:24:52
From: Jim
Subject: Re: Gaggia without frothing gizmo?
Guy Snape wrote:

> Is there a gaggia home machine with a decent sized steam wand instead of
> those stupid froth enhancing things that no-one wants?

I'm getting EXCELLENT results from the "stupid froth enhancing things
that no-one wants." And it's a no-brainer, no surfing involved. The
trick for me was regulating the steam valve for the right pressure
levels. It's not the fastest frother, but it can produce a pitcher full
of microfoam and it's also very quiet (not that noise really matters to me).

Some people just use it without. The wand is not very long, so you'd
need a shorter pitcher. Or, I'm thinking you could extend it somehow
with a food grade high temperature flexible hose tight enough to hold
onto the existing short wand, and a new length of tubing to extend it.


>
> I think my cheapo thermoblock machine has bitten the dust. :-(
>
> Thanks,
>
> - guy


  
Date: 05 Dec 2006 17:43:36
From: Natalie Drest
Subject: Re:Panarello? Paranello? was 'Gaggia without frothing gizmo?'

"Jim" <askme@beforeyousend.com > wrote in message
news:12n94h4hni74eae@corp.supernews.com...
> Guy Snape wrote:
>
>> Is there a gaggia home machine with a decent sized steam wand instead of
>> those stupid froth enhancing things that no-one wants?
>
> I'm getting EXCELLENT results from the "stupid froth enhancing things that
> no-one wants." And it's a no-brainer, no surfing involved. The trick for
> me was regulating the steam valve for the right pressure levels. It's not
> the fastest frother, but it can produce a pitcher full of microfoam and
> it's also very quiet (not that noise really matters to me).

There are 2 types of plastic thingy that I'm aware of; one has four openings
around the main centre jet, the other two (this is down at the business end,
the end that goes in the milk). I can get good microfoam with the 4-hole
model by blocking off the air intake with Blu-tak. The 2-hole attachment
doesn't respond to this treatment, it makes loud noises & generally won't
cooperate.

I can't get good microfoam with either attachment without blocking the air
intake- instead, I get mounds of useless cold large-bubbled foam, as the
panarello attachment sucks in air and pumps it into the milk.. What's your
secret? My bet is it's 'I never clean the thing, it's full of dried-up
gunk'. Am i right?




   
Date: 23 Dec 2006 14:22:27
From: Sportflyer
Subject: Re: Re:Panarello? Paranello? was 'Gaggia without frothing gizmo?'
Instead of using Blutac, go to the hardware store and buy an O ring that
fits the wand. Sliding the O ring up the wand so that it covers the 4 holes
will do the trick and makes it easy to clean as well. Don't forget to bring
the wand sleeve for size !

"Natalie Drest" <fugeddaboudit@notarealemailaddress.net > wrote in message
news:45751482@dnews.tpgi.com.au...
>
> "Jim" <askme@beforeyousend.com> wrote in message
> news:12n94h4hni74eae@corp.supernews.com...
>> Guy Snape wrote:
>>
>>> Is there a gaggia home machine with a decent sized steam wand instead of
>>> those stupid froth enhancing things that no-one wants?
>>
>> I'm getting EXCELLENT results from the "stupid froth enhancing things
>> that no-one wants." And it's a no-brainer, no surfing involved. The
>> trick for me was regulating the steam valve for the right pressure
>> levels. It's not the fastest frother, but it can produce a pitcher full
>> of microfoam and it's also very quiet (not that noise really matters to
>> me).
>
> There are 2 types of plastic thingy that I'm aware of; one has four
> openings around the main centre jet, the other two (this is down at the
> business end, the end that goes in the milk). I can get good microfoam
> with the 4-hole model by blocking off the air intake with Blu-tak. The
> 2-hole attachment doesn't respond to this treatment, it makes loud noises
> & generally won't cooperate.
>
> I can't get good microfoam with either attachment without blocking the air
> intake- instead, I get mounds of useless cold large-bubbled foam, as the
> panarello attachment sucks in air and pumps it into the milk.. What's your
> secret? My bet is it's 'I never clean the thing, it's full of dried-up
> gunk'. Am i right?
>




   
Date: 06 Dec 2006 12:02:58
From: Jim
Subject: Re: Panarello? Paranello? was 'Gaggia without frothing gizmo?'
Natalie Drest wrote:

> "Jim" <askme@beforeyousend.com> wrote in message
> news:12n94h4hni74eae@corp.supernews.com...
>
>>Guy Snape wrote:
>>
>>
>>>Is there a gaggia home machine with a decent sized steam wand instead of
>>>those stupid froth enhancing things that no-one wants?
>>
>>I'm getting EXCELLENT results from the "stupid froth enhancing things that
>>no-one wants." And it's a no-brainer, no surfing involved. The trick for
>>me was regulating the steam valve for the right pressure levels. It's not
>>the fastest frother, but it can produce a pitcher full of microfoam and
>>it's also very quiet (not that noise really matters to me).
>
>
> There are 2 types of plastic thingy that I'm aware of; one has four openings
> around the main centre jet, the other two (this is down at the business end,
> the end that goes in the milk). I can get good microfoam with the 4-hole
> model by blocking off the air intake with Blu-tak. The 2-hole attachment
> doesn't respond to this treatment, it makes loud noises & generally won't
> cooperate.
>
> I can't get good microfoam with either attachment without blocking the air
> intake- instead, I get mounds of useless cold large-bubbled foam, as the
> panarello attachment sucks in air and pumps it into the milk.. What's your
> secret? My bet is it's 'I never clean the thing, it's full of dried-up
> gunk'. Am i right?

If you don't get good results, a thorough cleaning may help.

Mine didn't work right at first (bought it
used). It needed a GOOD cleaning. ...and it was just professionally
serviced (boiled out, checked out, but I guess they didn't bother with
the wand). A thin ring of hardened milk blocked
the air intake area. I had to unscrew the upper plastic part (there's a
plastic compression fitting on mine with a rubber ring in it), soak it,
and give it a good cleaning. You can use a fine nylon brush or even
your finger nail, and you'll probably get the hardened milk out. (I did
my first cleaning in an ultrasonic cleaner, but most people won't have
access to one.)

You must keep the area clean. Here's my daily cleaning, I welcome
corrections or pointers from other owners!

"I'm no expert, but..." after every use, I'll remove the portafilter
handle and basket, knock the grinds out, then rinse. I rinse out the
stainless milk pitcher, and submerse the handle and basket in it while I
give the machine a second or two of water through the shower head. I
wipe the head off (careful, it's HOT), and repeat a few times to get it
clean. When it's fairly clean, I collect the hot water in an espresso
cup. Then I pull the plastic wand off of the steamer (just held on by
friction with an O ring) and toss it in the
stainless pitcher. I then dip the remaining plastic upper nozzle part
in the hot water that I just collected, and wipe with a clean cloth.
Every few days, I try to check for any missed build up with my finger
nail. Once in a while, I'll still find some grunge.

You'll learn the little gap that becomes the problem. It's kind of like
an aspirator, for lack of a better term. As the steam shoots out, it
sucks in some fresh air. That's what allows you to hold the tip under
the milk and still get foam. Keep that gap clean, and you should be in
business.

The other "secret" is to regulate the pressure. Somebody suggested that
you get best results right towards the end of the heating cycle, before
the light comes back on. It's true, but I don't always hit that. If I
feel pressure isn't quite right, I'll close the valve some until the
heater catches up with me. I try to keep it at the point where closing
the valve slows the steam, but opening it really doesn't give you much
more. There seems to be a sweet spot.

If you start when the light is on, the heater is off. You might notice
that pressure drops a bit before the heater comes back on. Again, close
the valve slightly to keep at the sweet spot, or if the light goes off,
shut it off for up to ten seconds to let it heat up (it only heats when
the light is off, so don't bother if the light is on). That's what
works for me. The tank isn't huge, but this machine heat cycles rather
fast.

I also find that milk choice impacts foam quality. I'm getting best
results when using a 1% organic milk (I haven't tried non fat skim milk,
it might be better yet).

Again, that's how I get my best results and I'm always open to better
suggestions or corrections if I'm doing something "wrong."