Similar problems with my new Rancilio Silvia - Page 2

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks for making espresso.

#11: Post by coffeeboy »

Shot looks very nice .. I just received a couple bags Friday that were roasted on the 9th.. the "La Forza" (Counter Culture) is doing something similar.. (lots of creme.. just doesn't hold) should be coming around shortly .. :) tastes wonderful.
First time I have tried the "La Forza" I have always sipped the "Toscano", which I have to say is still my favorite, but as always taste is up to the person with the cup in his/her hand.

Could try the below surfing variation. So nice with the PID not having to mess with the stop watch anymore + you can monitor temp for steaming as well.

As a side note and off topic...
If anyone loves a good press cup of coffee, I have to recommend the (El Puente - Marysabel Caballero) (link below) I was blown away by the fragrance. ... t&Itemid=1

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#12: Post by erics »

Good Morning Gardoni -

Firstly, I would like to simply say that your first post is very well written and you have given anyone a great deal of info as regards diagnosing your shot "problems".

Secondly, you are using a coffee (Black Cat) that lots of us are familiar with. I BELIEVE your primary problem is one of too high a temp caused by your passing of the water through the boiler and GROUPHEAD in order to start the surfing process. I concur with Edwa in that it looks like you're dosing a little high but the key would be to try ONE FIX at a time and see how the taste improves (or not).

I also second the recommendation made by Coffeeboy to get a PID kit from this source:

While I do agree with the INTENT of the "cheatingmiss silvia" article, it is FAR BETTER to stick with your current practice and even easier if the machine is on a timer as the 45 minute warm-up is perfect. At the very beginning of this warm-up period, flick the brew switch on for a few seconds and make sure the grouphead and shower screen area are clean. If you don't have one yet, the Pallo brush is a perfect example of something that works exactly as it was designed:

These few seconds of operation, at the beginning of the warm-up, flushes the group and ensures that the boiler level is correct. Now let the girl fully warm-up as you have been doing. Keep the PF and basket locked in. Now just let the heating element turn on and off naturally for 40-45 minutes and when you see it go off, start your "timer" and also start preparing your shot. At the two minute mark (for the sake of consistency), hit the brew button.

Edit - make sure your espresso cups are "hot" - fill with just off boiling water at the beginning of the two minute countdown and empty them dry just before the shot.

Just a thought,

Eric S.

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#13: Post by jrtatl »

One other thing to consider when the crema falls really fast: make sure you rinse your cups thoroughly before use. Detergent residue makes crema dissipate. Detergent residue is ridiculously difficult to completely remove.

So, just for gits and shiggles, try rinsing your demitasse 10 or 12 times before use. Just when you think there can't possibly be any detergent residue left, rinse a couple of more times.

See if that helps. At least you will eliminate one more variable.

Just this man's $0.02. YMMV.

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#14: Post by mrgnomer »

Could be the extraction too. That's one crazy cone. I didn't have a naked portafilter when I had a Silvia so I don't know what kind of cone I got with her but with the Vetrano I have now I rarely get a cone like that. My cones are small and centered and I find with a pull leaning towards ristretto the crema has more longevity and is almost elastic even if the over all volume is a bit short.

I'm still learning so I don't know for sure but I also tend towards low or underdosing so that could be the reason for short tight cones. The big cone and short crema might be tied to the dose level.
LMWDP #116
professionals do it for the pay, amateurs do it for the love

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gardoni (original poster)

#15: Post by gardoni (original poster) »

Hello all,

Thank you for all of your observations and advice. Today Chino and I took some video. I hope that some of the questions regarding these poor extractions(including today's) are better addressed in this video. I will post it as soon as possible. Thanks so much.


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#16: Post by edwa »

Sorry if I sound like the village idiot hanging from the church bell tower ... but... How does it taste?

sanctuary, sanctuary, ...

I've only gone thru a couple of pounds of Black Cat and then switched to the Kid O. I'm not a big fan of dark chocolate, it tends to upset my stomach and the Black cat with its big full dark chocolate taste did the same after a week of drinking 3-4 doubles/capps a day. Don't get me wrong, I think its an exquisite blend but up here in the bell tower we go for the Kid O!

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#17: Post by erics »

OK - second village idiot checking in here:

Your first post talked about a 38 second extraction - was that a typo? - because your post with the pictures had a 28 second extraction. If the first post was NOT a typo, then most definitely that is a high temperature extraction and one that even Black Cat would have a rough time handling. With a stock Silvia setup and the two-minute cooldown you are performing, the heating element will come on pretty quickly (<2 seconds) after you hit the brew switch and stay on for the duration of the shot. Maybe somebody who has a stock Silvia setup could confirm what I remember to be the case.

The initial Silvia's were fitted with a 110C brew thermostat but that was changed (I BELIEVE) in mid-2001. Mine is a Dec 1999 production and, most definitely, HAD the 110C thermostat which I changed to the 100 C thermostat which I changed to a PID setup. Certainly you COULD have the higher temp thermostat because of stocking situations at various dealers but I kinda doubt it. The thermostats are marked on the underside as to their nominal temp setpoint.



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#18: Post by gardoni (original poster) »


The first post was not a typo. I did get a 38 second extraction which I attribute to overdosing and too fine a grind setting on the Rocky. The 28 second extraction shown with the photos was done after I adjusted the grind to a 13 instead of a 12 on my grinder. It was still pretty slow and the cone didn't begin to form until after about 15 seconds. As I mentioned before my friend Chino and I shot some video of an extraction so that the pour could be more accurately observed and judged. I will post it as soon as I can. (we had some trouble with the compression in the cutting room!)

I bought my Silvia circa 2002 so I don't know if the Thermostat is one of the "new" ones, but I will most definitely install a PID in order to get more accurate extractions.


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#19: Post by gardoni (original poster) »

Hello All!

Ok. So Here it is. chino and I made the video of an extraction using Black Cat Espresso. A few notes on this video:

The Black Cat beans were roasted on the 8th of January and this video was shot on the 14th.
As you will no doubt notice, the extraction was a very fast one. However, we have had some longer extractions under similar conditions. The purpose of this video was to be able to portray a pour in real time so as to better diagnose the causes of the bubbly shots and their dissipating crema.

I have included two stills of the actual shot because of the poor video quality. Hopefully this video will help you help us!

Thank You!

Gardoni and Chino

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Team HB

#20: Post by cannonfodder »

That shot looks a LOT like iflawdya problem on Help! My shots are bubbly
Dave Stephens