Ways to a great single espresso with a single basket - Page 2

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

Yes, the more grinds the basket holds, the better margin of error allowed. Also the sides of the LM single go vertically down longer than the others, which helps. Therefore a better chamber.


Mark

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mrgnomer

#12: Post by mrgnomer »

I've found the same thing with the Vetrano headspace of a single. Won't lock in if overdosed.

For a single what works for me is making sure the dose is even in the basket then Weiss it with a metal skewer and level it off just under the rim with a concave cut piece of plastic I made for singles and tamp fairly hard with a RB Eurocurve. That locks in well and the extraction with a naked pf is pretty good. Sweeter and smoother than a double but less creama.
Kirk
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sygyzy

#13: Post by sygyzy »

Hi,

I hope this isn't a dumb question, but how do I find out which baskets are compatible with the Silvia portafilter? Or do you need a new portafilter for each third party basket you use?
Peace!
Sygyzy

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HB
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#14: Post by HB »

Silvia uses Rancilio's standard 58mm commercial portafilter and will accommodate almost any 58mm basket (i.e., a triple basket will not fit, unless of course the portafilter is bottomless).
Dan Kehn

scottyg514

#15: Post by scottyg514 »

I agree,
it is very hard to get a good single shot with a Quick Mill single basket.
You have to underdose it for clearance & then the shot pours too quickly.

I just ordered one of Greg Pullmans tampers with LM single & double baskets.
He cuts his tampers to fit the baskets perfectly which should lead to a much better shot I hope.

Philblack (original poster)

#16: Post by Philblack (original poster) » replying to scottyg514 »

It's a good thing you got a LM single basket. However with your 58mm tamper you'll still have problems getting a consistent shot. Greg Pullman shows how pressure is not even with a single basket here: http://www.coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1169781510/.

With a 40mm tamper and a single LM basket, it gives you to ability to better tamp: since the single LM basket is designed with a "basket in the basket" idea in mind the 40mm tamper fits exactly the inner basket.

So, if you get the chance, try with a 40mm tamper.

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Kaffee Bitte

#17: Post by Kaffee Bitte »

I am going to weigh in on this despite having no experience with the Silvia. If you want better single shot extractions the best route to get there that I have found is to tamp considerably lighter than the recommended 30 lbs with a slightly finer grind than you would use for a double. I have used this light tamp with singles for about a year now on the Astoria 2 group I use at work as well as on my own la pavoni. For the Astoria (using a LM single) I dose 7 grams, then level the coffee and just set the tamper on the coffee using almost no pressure at all. It is mostly just the tamper itself that is providing the tamp. Using this light tamp I usually get crema that is quite a bit darker than the normal single blondish tan, sometimes equalling the crema I expect from a double. Shots pulled using this light tamp rarely blond early in the shot and also rarely do the single end rush.

I highly recommend trying this out for yourself as it has produced some amazing single shots for me since I started using it both at home and at work. I suppose it might not work for a finicky Silvia, but it is certainly worth a try.
Lynn G.
LMWDP # 110
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jesawdy

#18: Post by jesawdy »

Kaffee Bitte wrote:I am going to weigh in on this despite having no experience with the Silvia. If you want better single shot extractions the best route to get there that I have found is to tamp considerably lighter than the recommended 30 lbs with a slightly finer grind than you would use for a double. I have used this light tamp with singles for about a year now on the Astoria 2 group I use at work as well as on my own la pavoni....
I am curious... do you have much occasion to pull singles on the job or were you just playing about?

The QuickMill single on the Alexia has fared well with 9 grams, and a 50-60% brew ratio.... slightly finer grind with the Rocky. I like the LM single basket, but I definitely need to get a proper tamp, otherwise my results are too varied. I guess I'll try Lynn's approach first... Thanks.
Jeff Sawdy

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Kaffee Bitte

#19: Post by Kaffee Bitte »

I pull many single shots at work. The majority are certainly doubles but I would say that about one third of the shots I pull in a day are singles. Some people want to have steamed milk more than the coffee and therefore get singles, often in twenty ounce cups! Doesn't qualify as coffee if you ask me but that is what they want, so unfortunately, that is what they get. Many shops don't even have their single baskets in the shop, but the owners of my shop like to drink true singles on occasion, so ours stays. I rather like having the flexibility to only pour three shots for a triple, since it means I waste less coffee if there is not another drink coming right away.

When I get to work most mornings I pull three shots to test how they are pulling. The first is always a single and then a double (usually around 17 grams). I feel like the differences in the pulls of the baskets tend to make for better comparison, when getting the grind in order for the day.

It seems to me that most shops don't bother with the single baskets because they are more of a challenge to get a consistent shot from. I think though that few things in espresso can really raise your skills to a higher level than learning the twists and turns of a single. From what I have seen it is a fairly simple thing for even average skilled baristas to pull off.
Lynn G.
LMWDP # 110
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Kaffee Bitte

#20: Post by Kaffee Bitte »

Philblack wrote:Everytime I used the Silvia's, results were poor. Putting aside the fact the coffee flow was always too fast with a correct grinded coffee, never did I arrive having a no channeling shot.
It's very tempting to grind a much finer coffee to force achieving your 25-30s espresso with the Rancilio single basket, but you burn your coffee taste. Isn't it the goal to almost achieve the same taste as with your double shots ?

If you have a way of achieving the same flavor profile as a double I would love to hear it, but I don't think that a single should ever taste the same as a double pull. The smaller dose with greater water volume and different basket style make for a different shot, not better, not worse, just different. And they can be very good in their differences. A good single can bring out flavors in some coffees that are never apparent in a double. Grinding finer isn't always required to get an acceptable pour, but I would recommend it since that will usually assure the greatest chance for success.
Lynn G.
LMWDP # 110
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