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Making Espresso and Progress! by Ed Gabrielle
Rancilio Silvia - How to
Step by step guide for easy brewing and steaming with the Rancilio Silvia
www.seattlecoffeegear.com
 
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JimCoddington
Senior Member


Joined: 23 Sep 2002
Posts: 13
Location: Eastchester, NY
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Silvia
Grinder: Rocky
Posted Tue Sep 24, 2002, 9:57am
Subject: Still trying
 

Very good and helpful article. My pucks are at least looking better now. One question though is when you take the portafilter out, immediately after the shot or some period of time thereafter? When I take it out immediately I am still finding it a bit soggy looking but it does eject nicely from the basket. By the way do you think the La Marzocco is essential - I am still finding my crema thinner than what you seem to have attained with this technique. I am using Illy beans and a somewhat old De Longhi grinder. Any more thoughts that might help me out here? Thanks again for a really good article.

Jim
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EddieGee
Senior Member
EddieGee
Joined: 22 Dec 2001
Posts: 34
Location: Essex Junction
Expertise: Intermediate

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia
Grinder: Solis Maestro
Vac Pot: Bodum Santos, Yama
Drip: Melitta Cone
Roaster: Proctor Silex Popcorn Pumper
Posted Fri Sep 27, 2002, 9:23am
Subject: Soggy Puck
 

Jim.......
Thanks for reading the article. I'm glad that it has helped your progress.
I have use the LM double basket essentially since day 1. My understanding is that the LM basket holds a bit more coffee than the Silvia double (1 gram or so). It isn't that expensive, considering the cost of other items, so if you can afford it give it a try.
As for the soggy pucks.... If I remove the pf immediately after the shot, the puck is moist, but not soggy. If I wait until after steaming milk, etc. it is as dry as the photo shows.  
I would suggest checking the following:
dose/volume/weight
grind, and tamp
I found the the volume was the most critical factor in *my* experience so far.
Let us know how you make out.
I am not familiar with your grinder. You should post your question in the CoffeeGeek Discussion Forum for Espresso/ Grinders.
Thanks again......
Ed
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espresso_jim
Senior Member
espresso_jim
Joined: 13 Jun 2002
Posts: 325
Location: Austin, TX
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Mini Vivaldi II
Grinder: Mazzer Mini E
Drip: Technivorm Moccamaster...
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Fri Sep 27, 2002, 11:09am
Subject: Whew!
 

All that time and work for an espresso shot!  Is it worth it?  When you pull your first gosh shot you will instinctively know.

Good luck in your quest and thanks for sharing your developing espresso rituals.

Jim
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bretto
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Dec 2002
Posts: 1
Expertise: Intermediate

Posted Tue Dec 3, 2002, 10:15pm
Subject: Working with the Solis Maestro
 

Ed-I have the same set up as you with the Silvia and the Maestro.  I'm curious, what grind setting(s) do you find is/are the most effective on the Maestro?  Do you have to change settings often?  Thanks.
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Diablo
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Dec 2006
Posts: 12
Location: Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia
Grinder: Nemox Lux
Posted Sat Dec 16, 2006, 12:58am
Subject: Re: Making Espresso and Progress! by Ed Gabrielle
 

Thanks for this article. I wish I could say its helped me, but I'm really starting to hate Silvia, due to the time and expense she's put me through.
No matter what all the online resources suggest, I've tried just about all of them, and all i get is a double shot in about 10seconds, no crema whatsoever.
Tried different grinds, coffee fresheness and quality, different tamps (I'm 6ft and 225lbs, believe me I've packed it in hard) and nothing changes it. Only sometimes it gets worse when it will literally SPEW coffee from the portafilter in both directions messing up the whole work area.

I'm about ready to put er up for sale and go back to my old Starbucks Barista which gave me generally better coffee (wasnt quite as hot though) with far less hassle, and better quality with less expensive beans.

I just dont know how I can be the only one having all these problems. It may be the most over-rated piece of machinery I have ever bought (well, I did once own a mid-70's Corvette, but thats another story).
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RapidCoffee
Senior Member
RapidCoffee
Joined: 4 Dec 2004
Posts: 1,931
Location: Rapid City, SD
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale S1
Grinder: Mazzer Robur
Vac Pot: Yama
Drip: misc
Posted Sat Dec 16, 2006, 10:50am
Subject: Re: Making Espresso and Progress! by Ed Gabrielle
 

Diablo Said:

Thanks for this article. I wish I could say its helped me, but I'm really starting to hate Silvia, due to the time and expense she's put me through.
No matter what all the online resources suggest, I've tried just about all of them, and all i get is a double shot in about 10seconds, no crema whatsoever.
Tried different grinds, coffee fresheness and quality, different tamps (I'm 6ft and 225lbs, believe me I've packed it in hard) and nothing changes it.

Posted December 16, 2006 link

Hi Lars. What grinder are you using, and what is your source of coffee beans?
________
John
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CraigA
Moderator
CraigA
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 11,259
Location: Rexdale, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: PID/PressureMod 2001...
Grinder: BUNN FPG-2 DBC, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Bodum Santos manual, Yama 5...
Drip: Behmor BraZen, BUNN VPR-APS,...
Roaster: Refurb Behmor 1600, BBQ...
Posted Sat Dec 16, 2006, 10:57am
Subject: Re: Making Espresso and Progress! by Ed Gabrielle
 

Hey Lars,

Wow, talk about resurrecting a dead thread! (Wed Dec 4, 2002) {:-D
Sorry to hear you're having so many troubles!, I started making very good espresso right off the bat., on my 3rd pull!! Keep at it as Miss Silvia is an excellent machine & definately worth it!

CraigA: Pict0057.jpg
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Excellent coffee doesn't just happen!
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Diablo
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Dec 2006
Posts: 12
Location: Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia
Grinder: Nemox Lux
Posted Sun Dec 17, 2006, 12:29pm
Subject: Re: Making Espresso and Progress! by Ed Gabrielle
 

Thanks for the responses guys. Yes, I am really trying to do my due diligence before throwing in the towel, but not having much success.
To answer your questions, I am not curently using a grinder, I am getting it done at a local coffee shop, that coincidentally evben uses Rancilio for their commercial equipment.
I am starting to thinkthat either something is wrong with my Silvia, but nopt sure what is it obviously makes lots of pressure and has lots of heat, or my expectations of the unit.
My thought before buying the unit was that it is capable of an almost perfect shot of espresso PROVIDED all the ideal circumstances were met ie. perfect tamp, perfect beans, grind, roast, timing etc.
I am now starting to think that unless ALL of those above conditions are met, the quality it produces will about equal or less than equal to a $79. Krups or DeLonghi. And to me, for a consumer level machine in the $400-500 range, that is unacceptable.
Beyond that, Silvia has not even given me a glimmer of a hope to justify investing another $200-300 in equipment (i.e. grinder/roaster) with an even lower WAF (wife acceptance factor) than I currently have with my non-coffee drinking spouse.
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RapidCoffee
Senior Member
RapidCoffee
Joined: 4 Dec 2004
Posts: 1,931
Location: Rapid City, SD
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale S1
Grinder: Mazzer Robur
Vac Pot: Yama
Drip: misc
Posted Sun Dec 17, 2006, 12:45pm
Subject: Re: Making Espresso and Progress! by Ed Gabrielle
 

Diablo Said:

To answer your questions, I am not curently using a grinder, I am getting it done at a local coffee shop...

Posted December 17, 2006 link

Well, that explains your lack of crema, and inability to dial in a 25 second pour. Try to think of your espresso machine as an accessory to the grinder. To get a great pour, you must use freshly roasted coffee beans (roasted within the last couple of weeks), that are ground only seconds before use. Preground => no crema.
________
John
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jrtATL
Senior Member
jrtATL
Joined: 20 Feb 2004
Posts: 1,035
Location: Austin TX
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Expobar Office Control
Grinder: Mazzer Jolly; Cunill...
Drip: Melitta Clarity
Roaster: Drum on a Weber grill; HG/DB
Posted Sun Dec 17, 2006, 12:50pm
Subject: Re: Making Espresso and Progress! by Ed Gabrielle
 

Diablo Said:

I am not curently using a grinder, I am getting it done at a local coffee shop,

Posted December 17, 2006 link

Hi Lars,

IMHO, you pointed out your own problem.  In my experience, without a grinder, you will never produce good espresso on any machine.  Not only do you need a grinder, but you need a high quality burr grinder.

You said you were doing your due diligence.  If you've really been reading through the coffeegeek forums, you have undoubtedly seen the countless threads where people say that the grinder is actually MORE IMPORTANT than the espresso machine.  This statement seems to be absolutely true in my experience.

Plus, EVEN IF your local shop could produce the "correct grind" for your machine: 1) the coffee would be stale by the time you left the shop; and 2) the grind would no longer be "correct" as the coffee get older, as the humidity changes, etc. (In other words, there is not one "correct grind" for your machine.  For example, the coarseness/fineness is adjusted more than once a day in my house).

Anywhoo, I hope I don't come across as condescending.  I'm just trying to condense and reiterate my own experience and that of others documented in dozens if not hundreds of threads here.

Good luck.  Keep at it. And go get yourself a good burr grinder.

Sincerely,

Jeremy

 
"I've appeared before every court in the state.  Often as a lawyer." - Lionel Hutz, Esq.
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