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How to Steam Silk Cow or Plant Based Milk

Here is a fail-safe way to steam silky, smooth cow, almond, soy or oat milks.

Note the varied finish temperatures for cow to plant-based milks.

Step 1. Choose your stainless-steel milk pitcher according to the drink you will be making. I.e., 360ml for one standard latte or cappuccino or if you are making two, choose the 600ml pitcher.   

Step 2. Fill the pitcher with the amount of desired milk you want to heat. Use the lines inside the pitcher as a guide. If there are none, fill it halfway. Before steaming, purge your steam wand.

Step 3. Lift the steam wand so that it's slightly tilted. It might help if you lean the pitcher to the steam wand from the pitcher's pouring spout.

Step 4. Place steam wand tip to the centre of the pitcher and tilt the pitcher to either side. At start, push the steam wand's tip underneath milk's surface to avoid making large bubbles by drawing in too much air.

Step 5. Turn on the steam wand. To create dense foam in the milk, lower the pitcher right away in the start so that the steam wand's tip comes to the surface again.

Step 6. When you have created enough textured foam, lift the pitcher again so that the steam wand tip goes underneath milk's surface, but the milk is still moving in a circle like motion. By dropping the steam tip in, stops air drawing into the milk creating textured foam.

Remember, you control the amount of foam by checking how much the milk's level rises in the pitcher.

Step 7. Heat the milk by staying right underneath the milk's surface. Heat the milk to 66c, plant-based milks to 60c – 63c

Step 8. Turn off the steam wand when the pitcher is starting to "burn" the palm of your hand (~55-66c). Check the milk's temperature with thermometer and learn how hot 55-66c feels in your fingers.

Step 9. Wipe and purge the steam wand right after every use.

Knock the pitcher onto the table to break any small bubbles in the milk, this is not best practice, as eventually you want to be making milk that is so super silky, you don’t need to do that.

Step 10. Mix the milk to ensure that the foam is evenly distributed in the pitcher, then pour into your cup or latte glass. Try this for a richer, sweet cappuccino; dust the shot of espresso then pour your textured milk on top of the slightly melted drinking chocolate powder.

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How to Calibrate a Thermometer

Rhino Coffee Gear Professional Milk Thermometers are a hard wearing and reliable device, great for a busy café.
Like any analog thermometer though, from time to time they need calibration. Normally we would suggest checking the accuracy every few months, but depending on the volume of your operations you may opt to check accuracy more frequently.

If your thermometer has been subjected to any heavy handling or abuse (thrown onto a bench or dropped on the floor), immediate recalibration is essential.

During the calibration process it is always preferable to check a couple of different temperatures, for example- 167°F/75°C, 104°F/40°C and 50°F/10°C (or thereabouts).

Cold water can be added to the glass of near boiling water for a faster temperature change. This process will ensure that the thermometer is reading accurately across the full temperature scale.
Remember to allow 60-90 seconds for the temperature to stabilize before you compare readings.
How to: Calibrate using the ‘Ice Bath’ method: Place crushed ice into a glass or milk pitcher, add cold water until you have a slushy consistency. Once the consistency is correct, stir the ice and water mix for 30-45sec and then let it sit for a further 2-3 minutes so the temperature can stabilize.

How to: Calibrate using ‘Boiling Water’ method: Bring a container of water to the boil and use this as a guide for the 212°F/100°C mark. If using the water from your coffee machine boiler please note that hot water is not dispersed at boiling point (212°F/100°C). Refrain from using this as a guide.
How to now recalibrate the needle on the dial is out:
- Locate the nut at the top of the thermometer stem
- While holding onto the dial/face, lock a spanner onto the recalibration nut at the rear of the dial
- To increase the temperature, turn the recalibration nut in a clockwise direction
- To decrease the temperature, turn the recalibration nut in a counter clockwise direction
This adjustment may take a couple of attempts to get the needle in the ‘perfect’ position, however the ability to recalibrate provides an essential key to prolonging the life of your analog thermometer.
When you are ready to calibrate using the Ice Bath or Boiling Water method, insert the thermometer into the boiling or ice water and adjust temperature readings accordingly using the adjustment method (explained above).

If preferred you can use both methods and transfer thermometer from the ice water to the boiling water (and/or vice versa). Align the needle to 212°F/100°C if you are using boiling water, or to 32°F/0°C if you are using freezing water.

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