Rancilio Silvia Auber PID faster recover time?

Need help with equipment usage or want to share your latest discovery?
ChrelleGreg
Posts: 12
Joined: 1 year ago

#1: Post by ChrelleGreg »

Hi,

I'm very close to pulling the trigger on a Auber PID for my older Silvia. I would love my machine to be ready when I am in the morning (after a good warm up of course). The only thing holding me back is the quite long recover-time between shots. I usually make 2 flat whites in the morning back to back, one for me and my partner. I would hate for the crema of the first shot to disappear while I'm waiting for the second shot to be made.

My question is: Would it make sense to press the steam button after the first shot, just for maybe 5 seconds, to speed the process up and then press the brew button when temp is right? (even though the boiler is on its way to overshoot)? I know the PID is a precision tool, and its supposed to slowly creep up the the target temp, but this method might be a "solution" for a faster second shot?

What do you guys do between shots? I do a quite comprehensive puck prep, but im sure I'll be able to do is faster than 2 minutes...

Hope you guys have some insight on this :)
Cheers!

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Jeff
Team HB
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Joined: 19 years ago

#2: Post by Jeff »

The recovery time achievable is based on the thermodynamics of the system and the power that the heater can deliver. Depressing the steam button doesn't alter either. You might get a tiny bit of a change in the PID parameters, but it isn't like the accelerator pedal on a car.

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baldheadracing
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#3: Post by baldheadracing »

The short answer to your question is: Not worth it IMO.

First of all, the Auber PID comes in two versions; one with steam control included, and another that uses the existing steam control. The version with the steam control will give you much more consistent steam, a more powerful steam, and a little bit of additional capacity; I highly recommend getting the version with steam control.

However, note that the PID does not change the boiler size, so there is only so much steam capacity. Burnt out Silvia boilers/heating elements are caused by people steaming too long, or steaming too much milk, or not operating the steam switch and steam valve correctly. The boiler's designed capacity is two Italian-sized cappuccino - that's two times 100ml = 200ml of cold milk. With the Auber steam control, I found the maximum capacity went to about 225-230ml.

So I used to do one of these when I made milk drinks on my Silvia:

1. Use the machine as it was designed to be used.
Pull a double shot and split it between two cups, and then steam 200ml of milk, and pour two milk drinks. These days, a lot of people find this drink volume of about 150ml per drink on the small side. What I used to do is make two cappa's, drink them while eating breakfast, and then pull two more for sipping after breakfast.

2. Use two baskets for bigger drinks.
First, prep two double shot baskets and set aside. Then steam 200ml of milk and set aside, swirling occasionally. Then pull the two double shots into separate glasses, and then switch the machine to steam mode. Pour the previously-steamed 200ml into a separate (larger) pouring pitcher, and then steam another 200ml. Combine the 200ml of freshly-steamed milk with the previously-steamed 200ml in the pouring pitcher, and pour two drinks.

There are many other possibilities, but I found these two worked best. Good luck!
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada

NicaDon
Posts: 132
Joined: 6 years ago

#4: Post by NicaDon »

I sold my PID Silvia a few years ago but I actually did use the steam as an accelerator pedal. The PID, bless its cold little digital heart, gently eased the Silvia up to brew temp, blinking on/off for a slow, precise landing. OK when waking up and doing various chores while waiting 20 minutes for a warm boiler but not so much later. I could hit the steam 5-10 degrees F below target temp and release it as the numbers started to climb to a precise landing, then hitting steam immediately after co counteract the cold water rushing into the boiler again stopping the moment the temp stopped dropping. Another trick was to brew, build to steam milk for two drinks, rapidly drop the temp with the steam wand (my machine was plumbed) and time it for a landing close to the next shot.

Yes, a lot of manipulation, button pushing and machine abuse and in the end opted to return to the simplicity of my Europiccola. Now waiting for the Decent to arrive which will be the ultimate in simplification if I can keep my hands to myself.
LMWDP #730

ChrelleGreg (original poster)
Posts: 12
Joined: 1 year ago

#5: Post by ChrelleGreg (original poster) »

Jeff wrote:The recovery time achievable is based on the thermodynamics of the system and the power that the heater can deliver.
That's true, but not relevant in my case. The PID turns the boiler on and of, making sure the temp slowly creeps up to temp. If the steam button is pressed, the boiler is on ALL the time, thus making the temp rise faster. I was mainly looking for people that have experience with this workflow.

ChrelleGreg (original poster)
Posts: 12
Joined: 1 year ago

#6: Post by ChrelleGreg (original poster) »

baldheadracing wrote: There are many other possibilities, but I found these two worked best. Good luck!
Thanks for the tips for steaming for milk drinks :)

ChrelleGreg (original poster)
Posts: 12
Joined: 1 year ago

#7: Post by ChrelleGreg (original poster) »

NicaDon wrote:I sold my PID Silvia a few years ago but I actually did use the steam as an accelerator pedal. The PID, bless its cold little digital heart, gently eased the Silvia up to brew temp, blinking on/off for a slow, precise landing. OK when waking up and doing various chores while waiting 20 minutes for a warm boiler but not so much later. I could hit the steam 5-10 degrees F below target temp and release it as the numbers started to climb to a precise landing, then hitting steam immediately after co counteract the cold water rushing into the boiler again stopping the moment the temp stopped dropping. Another trick was to brew, build to steam milk for two drinks, rapidly drop the temp with the steam wand (my machine was plumbed) and time it for a landing close to the next shot.

Yes, a lot of manipulation, button pushing and machine abuse and in the end opted to return to the simplicity of my Europiccola. Now waiting for the Decent to arrive which will be the ultimate in simplification if I can keep my hands to myself.
Hey NicaDon, thanks for a usable answer to my actual question :D I'm definitely thinking twice about buying the PID, I'll just have to wait and see if I get too tired of temp surfing. My upgrade "dream machine" is the Ascaso Steel DUO Pid Plus, and im NOT ready for that investment yet :roll: