Should I get a new basket for stock Rancilio Silvia?

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#1: Post by forgetcolor »

I'm getting frustrated with the stock Silvia (v3) double basket and am wondering if I should try a different basket.

Dose-wise and taste-wise everything is working fine. I'm using Redline, dosing about 16g, and things are good. The frustration is coming from the fact that I often have trouble getting the portafilter to swivel into place. I push it up into the group, but have a lot of trouble lining it up to swivel over to the right. This is only when I have a full basket---when the basket is empty it swivels in fine.

My dose and tamp method is to use the WDT yogurt cup trick to dose (a little high) into the PF, WDT the grounds, remove the yogurt cup, then level the grounds with my WDT handle. Tamp ~30 lbs. Based on previous experiments, this is getting me about 16g. I much prefer this to weighing grounds for each shot, and taste-wise this method is working well.

However, I figure what's happening is the basket doesn't have enough headroom to allow the PF to easily lock in. So, I could dose less, leaving more headroom, but to stay consistent with the dose without relying on leveling off with the basket I'd have to weigh the grounds. A lot fussier than I want to be.

So that has me thinking about a different basket. Is there a double basket that fits in the stock Silvia v3 PF that would allow me to level off and tamp in a way that leaves enough headroom to easily lock in? I'm thinking if the basket was a little more straight down vertical rather than tapered towards the center that the tamp would push it down a bit more.

So one solution would be to dose less, therefore the grounds level would be lower, and the portafilter would lock in fine.


#2: Post by asicign »

I picked up a triple basket from Espresso Parts. I was absolutely amazed with how much of a difference it made with my Silvia. Usually dose 18g.

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#3: Post by Burner0000 »

Yes get a triple basket! Not only did it solve the leveling problem I experienced just like you but the pour itself was a lot smoother. I think the triple basket has slightly smaller holes. I almost never use my double anymore. FYI tho.. You will need a bottomless portafilter for the Rancilio triple to fit. I didn't care tho cause naked rocks!

wait that sounds bad... lol!
Roast it, Grind it, Brew it!.. Enjoy it!..

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#4: Post by JmanEspresso »

If you can easily lock the PF in without the basket, or with the empty basket, but your having trouble locking it in with full of coffee basket(am I correct here, this is whats happening?)

then you using too much coffee.

Now, you DO NOT need to get the PF handle to a specific spot.. some Silvias, idk if the current ones have this, used to have a red dot centered on the group head cowl, as a sort of "lock the handle in so it stops here" kinda guide. But, truthfully, as long as the basket lip makes good contact with the gasket inside the group, you're fine. No need to lock it in to a perfect 6oclock.

A simple way to test if you're using too much coffee:

Prep your basket as you normally would.
Lock the PF in.
Take it back out.
Is the coffee bed disturbed in anyway? Is it wet, smooshed(sp?), or messed up at all? Grounds on the group screen? If any of this is true, you're using too much coffee.

A good way to find the right dose, is to use the nickel trick. You should be able to place a nickel on the tamped bed of coffee in the basket, lock in the PF, take it back out, and have the nickel not be disturbed, or possibly EVER SO SLIGHTLY made an impression in the coffee. EVER SO SLIGHTLY.

Further, you're not the first person to hate the stock silvia basket. Most do. Get yourself a good double basket. The Standard 14gr E61 basket sold at almost every vendors website, is one of my favorite baskets to use. Machine dependent, you can get up to 18grams in there. On Ebay you can sometimes fine the wrongly labeled "La Marzocco Ridgeless", which is very popular. There is tons of good baskets to try. Perhaps you want to try a VST/Strada basket, or an EspressoParts Precision basket. Not my cup of tea, but plenty of other people like them.

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#5: Post by damonbowe »

I'm just going to repeat what everyone in the coffee world tells me: get a double basket (17 grams for counter culture coffee dosing).

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#6: Post by crazy4espresso »

asicign wrote:I picked up a triple basket from Espresso Parts. I was absolutely amazed with how much of a difference it made with my Silvia. Usually dose 18g.
I dose 18g into the stock double basket, no problem.
"I would rather suffer with coffee than be senseless." — Napoleon Bonaparte
LMWDP #427

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#7: Post by heavyduty »

I honestly don't know where my stock basket is and could care less. I hated that thing. I got the Espresso Parts HQ baskets, the 14 gram ridgeless double and the 21 gram ridgeless. You can dose 18g in the 14g basket with no problem and is what I usually use. But you can get both for $16.58, so not much of a money outlay. Try them both and see which one you end up using the most. Parts ship free from Espresso Parts using the coupon code PARTSSHIPFREE. ... id=2333103 ... id=2333103
BTW, I put off getting a scale and weighing my dose because I also thought it was too fussy. I finally caved in and bought one off Amazon for about 10 bucks. Boy am I glad I did. I found out I was overdosing bigtime! Now I'm getting great shots with a lot more consistency, which everyone here will tell you is a problem with Silvia. After awhile it becomes second nature just like tamping.
Tomorrow came sooner than expected.


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forgetcolor (original poster)
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#8: Post by forgetcolor (original poster) »

Does the EspressoParts triple basket fit in the stock Silvia PF? Or do I need a naked PF for it?

thx for all the suggestions!

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#9: Post by heavyduty »

Sorry, no, both the 21 gram ridgeless and 21 gram triple require a bottomless portafilter.
(A good excuse to get one!)
Tomorrow came sooner than expected.


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forgetcolor (original poster)
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#10: Post by forgetcolor (original poster) »

Got the double basket from Espresso Parts (so fast!).

First, it certainly fixes my issue. No matter how much I fill it I can easily get the PF into the group. So that's awesome.

However, now I'm experimenting with the dose. If I level the grounds and tamp I'm getting about 20g in the basket. More of a triple than a double, right? I still want it to be super easy to dose (no regular weighing). I tried using my scoop as the guide (2 level scoops of beans into the grinder). That gives me about 16g (good), and I also get so much headspace that locking into the group doesn't show an imprint of the Silvia screen nut (good), but the dosing won't be as consistent as a "level" scoop is more of an approximation.

How are people dosing these big double baskets? What's your (non-weighing) technique for consistency in dose?