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Rancilio Silvia and Rocky Grinder grind setting woes
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Discussions > Coffee > Machines > Rancilio Silvia...  
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ErwinDink
Senior Member
ErwinDink
Joined: 30 Mar 2013
Posts: 3
Location: Atlanta, GA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia
Grinder: Rocky
Posted Sat Mar 30, 2013, 6:51am
Subject: Rancilio Silvia and Rocky Grinder grind setting woes
 

I've been using my Silvia for about two years. It's been great. Throughout that time I have also been using a Rocky Grinder. For the most part, my coffee is very satisfactory. I mainly make cappuccinos using locally roasted coffee and soy milk (Pacific Barista Blend). But the same coffee at my local shop is still much better than mine. I have always just assumed it's the difference in equipment -- good as the Silvia is, it just can't compare to the professional machinery. But in talking with the barista he thinks the problem is that my grind isn't fine enough. I've got the Rocky set to 10 and my grind is somewhat rougher than his (he uses a different grinder so we can't compare settings). The problem is, if I set my grind any finer, the Silvia can't handle it. It takes 30 seconds for a single shot, sometimes longer and I like to make triples. I do not overpack my coffee. I'm sure I'm using less than 30 lbs of pressure when packing.

Should I just accept the situation as the difference between home brewed and pro coffee? Is there anything I could do to improve the performance of my Silvia?

--
E.D.
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 2,742
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, 2 Macap M4s, OE...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Sat Mar 30, 2013, 7:46am
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia and Rocky Grinder grind setting woes
 

Welcome to CG!

As the professional barista said...it's not the Silvia, it's the Rocky! Time to upgrade. Rocky is stepped, and the steps have too much variation to get the grind just right. A better (stepless or nearly stepless) grinder will give you more satisfaction in the cup. I say this cause I been there, done that. The improvement Ii got going from a Silvia/Rocky combo to a Silvia/Macap M4 combo was HUGE!

Note to mods: Can we move this to Espresso Q & A?

.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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ErwinDink
Senior Member
ErwinDink
Joined: 30 Mar 2013
Posts: 3
Location: Atlanta, GA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia
Grinder: Rocky
Posted Sat Mar 30, 2013, 11:55am
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia and Rocky Grinder grind setting woes
 

Ouch. I thought the Rocky was expensive at $350 but the Macap M4 is $575 -- not in my budget at this time, alas. But I appreciate the suggestion. I will try to learn more about grinders and grinding. Thanks
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 1,878
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Preciso
Posted Sat Mar 30, 2013, 12:08pm
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia and Rocky Grinder grind setting woes
 

Baratza Preciso refurb and Vario (w) refurb are up to the task and good prices.  They come available at Baratza.com on Thursdays and often sell.  I looked and none listed now.  The Preciso refurb has been $239 and about $12 - $15 shipping and the Vario refurb about $360 IIRC, or new for a bit more.  The Preciso has much finer steps than Rocky and the Vario is electronic.  They are often recommended with Silvia.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,217
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Sat Mar 30, 2013, 12:27pm
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia and Rocky Grinder grind setting woes
 

I like the Preciso but wish i would have gone for the Vario. Vario is well worth the extra $$, not that the Preciso is bad or anything, I just love the deeper notes the awesome ceramic flat burr set of the Vario brings out. Best thing about either though, single dosing, consistant and easy (quick knock or purge brings out the extra gram or so that's retained), you'd have to step up to the HG One, Versalab etc to have a better/efficient single dosing grinder (not having to deal with mods and brushes and this and that like other grinders).
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frcn
Senior Member
frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,287
Location: Northern California
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vibiemme Domobar Double
Grinder: Mazzer Kony, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Hario, 2 Cory pots, 1 Cory...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Bunn A10 mod...
Roaster: computer controlled Hottop,...
Posted Sat Mar 30, 2013, 4:03pm
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia and Rocky Grinder grind setting woes
 

Form someone who went over 7 years with a Rocky and moved to a Mazzer Kony, I have enough experience to comment. The Rocky, much like the Silvia, but to a lesser extent, is overrated. Burr size and motor power are just to parts of a much more complicated equation. While I do not believe I have ever seriously recommended a Kony for home use (though I would not talk you out of one, either), there are MUCH better grinders than Rocky. My first recommendation is to go stepless. Next is conical or hybrid burrs. Finally, the larger the burrs, the better.

You could look for a used Mazzer as they do pop up in decent shape. Normally, from an honest seller, the worst case is that they need new burrs.

But nest time, ask here and we can guide you though the purchase, and watch teh Buy/Sell forum here for a deal.

And, no, my Kony is not for sale!  ;-)

 
Visit My Website
www.EspressoMyEspresso.com
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ErwinDink
Senior Member
ErwinDink
Joined: 30 Mar 2013
Posts: 3
Location: Atlanta, GA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia
Grinder: Rocky
Posted Sat Mar 30, 2013, 4:28pm
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia and Rocky Grinder grind setting woes
 

Thanks for the suggestions. I'll start saving for a new grinder.

My memory may be playing tricks on me but I thought it was on this forum a few years ago that I received the advice to buy a Rocky. I Guess I'll try to sell it and use the $$ towards a new one. Who would the Rocky be good for?
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frcn
Senior Member
frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,287
Location: Northern California
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vibiemme Domobar Double
Grinder: Mazzer Kony, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Hario, 2 Cory pots, 1 Cory...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Bunn A10 mod...
Roaster: computer controlled Hottop,...
Posted Sat Mar 30, 2013, 8:08pm
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia and Rocky Grinder grind setting woes
 

Twelve years ago Silvia and Rocky were the choice at the top of the home user. There was little to offer past that without spending twice as much. Now, over a decade later, there is virtually nothing different in terms of performance with the Silvia other than the adjustable pressure relief valve (which is not easily accessible nor does the machine have a gauge to make use of that adjustment). The Rocky is the same machine. In that time, numerous machines have filled the gap above Silvia. One big change over that time is the realization that the grinder is the most important part of the equation, and many grinders have entered the fray.

Rocky's biggest problem is that the steps leave you with one or maybe two choices for espresso. One click can be a four second difference in extraction. Search here for "Rocky teflon tape mod" which can improve not only the adjustability problem but will also stabilize the hopper.

For other uses Rocky isn't too bad. I sold mine to a fried who uses it for drip, and he likes it as it was a great improvement over the POS he was previously using.

Additionally, you might consider changing Rocky's burrs. I use to change ine about every two years and could notice the difference. It's a cheap thing to do, and if you do not sense the difference, put the old ones back in and when you sell the Rocky "with new burrs."

 
Visit My Website
www.EspressoMyEspresso.com
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