Milk frothing thermometers
Milk frothing thermometers with a clip are ideal for commercial environments, it will aid in milk frothing and is used to take the temperature of the coffee in the event that the customer would prefer their cappuccino hotter or colder.
Using the palm of the hand to gauge the temperature of the milk will result in burnt pallets and inconsistent results.
Professional coffee baristas will always use a thermometer on the milk jug for consistent results.
Milk-frothing thermometers have 3 main uses;
- Milk frothing aid: Knowing when to start and stop stretching the milk. One should stop stretching the milk at 100 degrees and stop heating at 140 degrees. The milk will have reached 160 degrees when finished heating and the froth should have doubled in size.If using paper cups deduct 10 degrees.
- Safety: The temperature of the Cappuccino and Latte should be 140 degrees in the cup. If the milk is overheated it will burn the tongue which will take an hour to recover.
- Insurance: In the event of an accident involving spilling the Latte or cappuccino coffee, causing potential burns, you can prove that the milk was not overheated. Knowing the temperature of the milk could avoid an expensive law suit.
How to calibrate an analog thermometer:
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.
Calibrate with a digital thermometer:
The easiest way is to check readings against a digital thermometer. (The Rhino Coffee Gear Digital Thermometer is a justifiable investment for any café. Check them out here.) The quickest way is to draw a glass of hot water (near boiling point) and sit both digital and analog thermometers in the glass. Leave for 60-90 seconds to allow the water temperature to stabilize. Then check the analog thermometer reading against the digital reading. If there is a variance you will need to recalibrate. As a general rule across the majority of analog thermometers a +/- 35.6°F/2°C variation is considered satisfactory.
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.
Calibrate using boiling water
Calibrate using the ‘Boiling Water’ method: Bring a container of water to a 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 recalibrate when there is a difference between analog and digital:
- Locate the nut at the top of the thermometer stem
- Using the wrench or plyers, simply adjust the needle position so that it is showing the correct temperature
- While holding onto the dial/face, lock the 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 counterclockwise direction
This adjustment may take a couple of attempts to get the needle in the ‘perfect’ position, however the ability to recalibrate at the ‘flick of your wrist’ provides an essential key to prolonging the life of your analog thermometer.