Problems with my new Rancilio Silvia - Page 2

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.
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Compass Coffee
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#11: Post by Compass Coffee »

AndyS wrote:Obviously there are large swings in boiler temperature due to the action of the mechanical thermostat. But these are ameliorated somewhat by the thermal mass of the group. Have you actually measured (with a Scace device or equivalent) 30F temperature variation of the brew water?
No, my Silvia was PID'd when first used Thermofilter. The same passively heated thermal mass that tends to ameliorate boiler temp differences is also responsible for ~12f shot temp creep in a shot series by about shot 6. That was measured with Thermofilter.
I would gladly do the experiment, but my modified Silvia no longer allows the use its original t-stat.
I'd experiment but don't even have Silvia anymore! You could easily by-pass your boiler PID and enable/re-install tstat, but you'd of course also need to disable your brew boiler water pre-heater and grouphead PID heater. Hmmm, for sake of comparing to a stock Silvia IIRC you'd need to get rid of the rotary pump too. :wink:
Mike McGinness, Head Bean (Owner/Roast Master)
http://www.CompassCoffeeRoasting.com

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AndyS

#12: Post by AndyS »

Compass Coffee wrote:I'd experiment but don't even have Silvia anymore! You could easily by-pass your boiler PID and enable/re-install tstat, but you'd of course also need to disable your brew boiler water pre-heater and grouphead PID heater. Hmmm, for sake of comparing to a stock Silvia IIRC you'd need to get rid of the rotary pump too. :wink:
Yes, this experiment should really be done by someone other than you or I. :-)
-AndyS
VST refractometer/filter basket beta tester, no financial interest in the company

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Daniel N. (original poster)

#13: Post by Daniel N. (original poster) »

I finally received a few pounds of Black Cat. I am grinding with my Rancilio Rocky DOSERLESS Coffee Grinder. I started with a fine settings of 4 which is too fine. Then moved up in increments of 1, up to a coarse setting of 9. I am tamping at 30 lbs. with the ESPRO automatic coffee tamper.

I get my best 30 second shot with the grind set at 9 into two small illy espresso cups (each cup is half full) BUT the crema is minimal and a light brown in color (I can take digital photos). The taste is good but I would not say it would knock your socks off! I had just as good if not better shots from my old Starbucks Barista machine. BTW, all of the pucks have a small indent from the screw and generally there is water floating on top of the puck.

My wife can not understand why I spent more for the Rancilio Silvia and it takes so much effort to my produce a good shot with lots of crema. Please advise! Many thanks, Daniel

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HB
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#14: Post by HB »

Daniel N. wrote:BTW, all of the pucks have a small indent from the screw and generally there is water floating on top of the puck.
Silvia has a well-deserved reputation of being "finicky". Pay very careful attention to distribution and consistent dosage. Consider using the WDT. It's easier to offer diagnostic advice if you have a bottomless portafilter and can post a video. The puddle of water on the puck's surface indicates you could increase your dosage and lower the grinder setting. Generally speaking, the puck will be firmly pressed against the screen at the end of a good extraction on Silvia (or any machine equipped with a 3-way solenoid) because the coffee swells with water.
Dan Kehn

Daniel N. (original poster)

#15: Post by Daniel N. (original poster) »

Hi Dan,

OK, I will read the linked articles. I have a 3 cup naked portafilter... so I'll start some test tonight. I need to locate a digital camera so I can record and share the results. I am determined to get it right!

Many thanks, Daniel

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jesawdy

#16: Post by jesawdy »

Daniel N. wrote:I have a 3 cup naked portafilter... so I'll start some test tonight.
Daniel-

I would not start your diagnostics on a triple basket... stay with the double untill you get it.... you can pop out your double basket and install it in the nekkid. The triple has its own set of issues.

My $0.02.
Jeff Sawdy

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HB
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#17: Post by HB »

jesawdy wrote:The triple has its own set of issues.
It's been a long time since I've used it, but I remember the triple being more channel resistant on Silvia than the double. Or is my memory fading? Of course you'll go through coffee very fast.
Dan Kehn

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OlywaDave

#18: Post by OlywaDave »

My guess from reading this thread before is that it is the coffee first and foremost.

However you might be right Dan... I use a triple basket on my Silvia and it is possible that it is more channel resistant. You can try the 18 gram "Synesso" basket we got at Espresso Parts. In fact I'll try it out tomorrow on my Silvia and let you know.

That is I'll try it out right after we hook it up with the new PID kit we are installing and testing tomorrow... we may even include some pics.
David White
EspressoParts.com

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jesawdy

#19: Post by jesawdy »

HB wrote:It's been a long time since I've used it, but I remember the triple being more channel resistant on Silvia than the double. Or is my memory fading? Of course you'll go through coffee very fast.
Dan-

You may well be right... my suggestion was based on Jon's comment in the article How to make a beautiful "naked" triple espresso
Distribution in the triple basket can be problematic. Often the dose ends up heavier in the middle and lighter at the edges (causing uneven extractions). After trying the mid-tamp, my extractions became more consistent. The most common sign that the distribution needs work is a "donut" or lopsided extraction. You'll see very little flow from some area of the basket (usually the center) and the edge blondes early. For ristretto this is more pronounced and will make a shot that tastes earthy rather than sweet.
Of course, Jon is not using Silvia.

I think I have only pulled 3 triples on Silvia, I had no troubles but this was after about 4 months of previous experience with her.

I look forward to Dave's results.
Jeff Sawdy

Daniel N. (original poster)

#20: Post by Daniel N. (original poster) »

Hi Dan,

I am using my two cup basket in my three cup portafilter and using WDT. Still trying to dial in the grind setting... I think I need to a finer grind. Can you suggest a suitable pointy implement; or a place purchase a dissecting needle to sure the grounds for uniform distribution? I hope to have a video clip next week for all the evaluate.

Many thanks, Daniel