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Topic: Bad? Milk (9 msgs / 169 lines)
1) From: Mike Chester
A couple of nights ago, I made a decaf cap for my wife.  It tasted really off, sorta like bad powdered milk that overpowered the coffee flavor.  I made it with decaf Colombian that was roasted for drip, so I figured that I just blew it.  Today I made myself one using my experimental espresso blend and it was the same.  I tasted the shot before adding the milk and it was pretty good, so my question is can a carton of milk taste OK and still produce bad steamed milk?  I thought that I noticed something like this before with the same milk. (Wally's Great Value Brand) The milk is not the best tasting I have had cold, but it is drinkable.  This was regular 3.25% milk.  Has anyone else experienced this, or do I need to go back and practice my steaming technique again? Maybe both.  What else besides fat content changes from brand to brand.  I know what the cow eats affects the flavor of the milk, but I imagine that dairy farmers pretty much use a standard feed.  Maybe Wally imports 
 their milk from China and I am tasting Melamine.  
Mike Chester
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2) From: Ben Lowery
The milk can definitely affect the overall flavor. I've been finding
that the last two caps I pull from a half-gallon tend to taste "thin",
like there's not as much fat or flavor in them. There's actually a
fair bit of variation in milk (I grew up on a dairy farm), so maybe
try a different brand if you can.
Is what your tasting consistent across containers of milk or across brands?
oh, and watch out for organic milk. i think it definitely tastes
"better" than most non-organic milk, but when it starts to go bad, it
goes in a big big hurry. when it's starting to go, you'll notice that
it foams up much more readily when being steamed than fresh milk.
--b
On Fri, Jan 16, 2009 at 3:27 PM, Mike Chester  wrote:
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3) From: Sandy Andina
My experience is that organic, non-homogenized (that I shake up before  
pouring) whole milk makes the best and sweetest microfoam (and organic  
2% is pretty good too, as is heavy cream and half-and half both  
organic and conventional).  But even that can go blooey if you steam  
it too hot--scalded milk tastes cooked, which is EXACTLY what  
reconstituted powdered milk tastes like to me (and why I refused to  
drink the latter--or regular milk that had gotten to room temp in  
school--as a kid).  It's not so much the fat content as it is the  
lactose (lactose-free never tastes as sweet to me) and how the cows  
were fed.  I think a lot of organic dairies pasture their cows at  
least part-time, and the grass makes for a sweeter albeit leaner milk.  
Other factors can be how close the carton or bottle is to pull-date:  
things don't suddenly cross a finite threshhold and "turn" sour--it's  
a gradual process.  Improper storage (or leaving the milk out or open  
too long) can hasten spoilage.  The lactose loses its sweetness before  
it goes into full fermentation--it might not taste or smell "spoiled"  
when cold but the heat of steaming can accelerate the process.
On Jan 16, 2009, at 2:27 PM, Mike Chester wrote:
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Sandy Andina
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4) From: Mike Chester
<Snip>
I forgot to add that I used a thermometer and steamed to 155-160 degrees, so 
it should not have been scalded.
When I visited The Ugly Mug in Ypsilanti, MI a few months ago, I commented 
on how sweet and good the caps were.  The barista made a demonstration to 
those standing around the bar on steaming milk.  He took plain 3.2 milk, 
steamed it, and turned it into a virtual milk syrup.  I have made sweet 
milk, but this was sweeter than anything I have done.  He did it by feel of 
the pitcher, but put a thermometer in at someone's request and it read 160. 
Steaming like that has been my goal ever since.  Of course, he did get to 
use a Synesso machine, that, I am sure, did not hurt, but I think he could 
have accomplished the same thing with a lesser machine.
Mike Chester
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5) From: Ben Lowery
On Fri, Jan 16, 2009 at 4:11 PM, Mike Chester  wrote:
<Snip>
How long did it take him to do it? I've noticed that foamed milk from
higher end machines tends to taste sweeter. Not sure if it's a speed
thing, the power of the steam, etc, but I've definitely noticed it.
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6) From: Sandy Andina
I haven't used a thermometer since I took the home barista class at  
Intelligentsia and learned to steam by sight and touch.
On Jan 16, 2009, at 3:11 PM, Mike Chester wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy Andina
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7) From: Bob Hazen
Could it be that Wally's is ultra-pasteurized?  That's what's in the 
cafeteria at work because of it's long shelf life.  It just tastes "off" to 
me.  Maybe it's because I'm spoiled at home.  I get non-homogenized, organic 
milk that comes from a local dairy.  Shaking won't mix the cream back in; 
you actually have to stir it.  Good stuff!
Bob

8) From: Mike Koenig
Mike,
It could be the ultra-pasteurized stuff... it always tastes a bit
different to me..  It's heated to a higher temperature to render it
nearly sterile, which increases the shelf life, but changes the taste.
 (though they do tend to use this stuff in Italy, since it's a very
common form of milk there).
--mike
On Fri, Jan 16, 2009 at 3:27 PM, Mike Chester  wrote:
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 s
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9) From: Michael Wascher
I read that the sugars in milk caramelize a bit due to the higher heat of
sterilization causing a "sweet taste".
Personally, I'm not a fan of milk in either form.
--MikeW
On Sun, Jan 18, 2009 at 5:25 PM, Mike Koenig  wrote:
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-- 
"Of those who say nothing, few are silent." --Thomas Neill
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