Steam wand used to make great foam until just a week ago
What am I doing wrong? I've had the machine for about 6 months and it made great foam but for some reason this past week, all it does is heat up the milk making it scalding hot and then it sprays it everywhere. I've descaled and cleaned the machine but still it doesn't foam like it did. Any suggestions?
Re: steam wand used to make great foam until just a week...
The stainless steel cover has a very small hole near the top. The hole allows a venturi action - meaning air molecules are entrained with the steam flow to increase the affect. Milk will clog the hole, but warm water and a guitar string, cheese wire, even a staple - something thin - will work to clean it out.
After frothing either clean the entire stainless steel piece or at least occlude the end at the same time as shooting through some steam. I usually use a kitchen sponge with the abrasive pad attached. The pad helps insulate the heat and provides the necessary resistance to force any milk out the small hole.
Yes, I hate living with this also. In fact I am considering machining a different steam tube assembly.
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It sounds like a heating element has gone out, you have seriously hard water that has damaged the system or you have a burned circuit. Without doing something I would not recommend with that type of system your only real choice would be to send it back for repair. If it is brand new it should have a 1 year warranty.
This problem developed on my Sirena machine about a week ago. Stopped
frothing milk, but still produced lots of steam. In fact, it was
splattering milk everywhere, just not producing foam. Cleaned the steam
wand (including air intake) and descaled the machine (even though its
only 3 months old) to no avail. Called Saeco customer support
(1-800-933-7876) and the very helpful rep immediately identified the
problem. Inside the Panarello steam wand is a removable plastic tube.
The tip of this tube should protrude about 1/8" beyond the end of the
steam wand. Mine was not. Using the eraser end of a pencil, I pushed
the inner tube downward into position and, voila, I now have froth
This problem developed on my Sirena machine about a week ago. Stopped frothing milk, but still produced lots of steam. In fact, it was splattering milk everywhere, just not producing foam. Cleaned the steam wand (including air intake) and descaled the machine (even though its only 3 months old) to no avail. Called Saeco customer support (1-800-933-7876) and the very helpful rep immediately identified the problem. Inside the Panarello steam wand is a removable plastic tube. The tip of this tube should protrude about 1/8" beyond the end of the steam wand. Mine was not. Using the eraser end of a pencil, I pushed the inner tube downward into position and, voila, I now have froth again.
Place 1/3 part distilled white vinegar and 2/3 part water into the water reservoir. Turn the machine on and wait for the heat light to go off. Once the heat light goes off, turn the steam vs. water knob to the water drop icon, and turn the main function knob to steam/water. Make sure to have your frothing cup underneath the steam element ready to catch the water. The vinegar/water solution should clear out the calcium that clogs the steam element. Also, remove the cover to the steam element and dip it in a bowl with vinegar for about 5 minutes, and use something like a pipe cleaner to clean out that cover. Then apply vinegar and hot water to a rag and clean the calcium off the shaft of the steam element. Once you are all finished with this, run plain water through the espresso maker on the steam/water setting to clear out the bitter vinegar residue. Now, try again to make espresso and froth it.
Since milk contains calcium, the steam element has to be decalcified more often than a regular coffee maker. The EM-100 is a beautiful machine, but it is definitely high-maintenance - you will probably spend more time cleaning it than making cappuccino, etc.
anytime the water runs out and you need to refill the tank, you need to bleed the line so to speak. Take an empty cup and put it under the wand and open the knob of the steam wand until the blue light stops flashing
How long have you had the machine? Use a straight pin and poke the opening of the wand. It may be blocked. If the bottom of the wand can be removed, use some pliers, and CAREFULLY remove it, soak it in hot water. Rinse it thoroughly, and replace it back on the machine. If you cannot remove the wand, turn the machine upside down, and check the opening to the wand. It most likely is stopped up. Run vinegar and water through your machine once a week. Calcium build up does the same thing. Good luck! Happy Lattes!
The steam wand has to be removed to be cleaned properly. Unfortunately, this procedure is not outlined in the manual. Just cleaning the wand on the outside or using a clip to clean the tip is not enough.
The other end of steam wand where it connects to the pressuring cabin actually swivels around a fitting. It is this fitting that you need to thoroughly clean. Years of using the machine can cause calcification around this fitting.
If you look under this end of hte steam wand, you should see a philllip-headed screw. Before you loosen this screw, you have to remove the grey trim so that the entire wand can be remove.
Once the entire wand is removed, what I just described will be much clearer.