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Rancilio Silvia vs. Baby Gaggia
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Rancilio Silvia...  
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Coffeenoobie
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Coffeenoobie
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Posted Mon Jul 1, 2013, 2:01pm
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia vs. Baby Gaggia
 

I know it is hard in CA but try to find used.  Silvia is over priced new.

 
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Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

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arbous65
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Joined: 1 Jun 2013
Posts: 4
Location: Calgary, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Jul 1, 2013, 6:07pm
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia vs. Baby Gaggia
 

Thanks for all the feedback. I ended up buying the new Rancilio Silvia. I wasn't sure about the background of issues of the used units and didn't want to have a headache for failing parts, etc. I just set it up and got good tasting espresso a couple of times. I don't say it was a wow but good. My grinder is Baratza Encore. The first shot I used step 3 (from finest) and the second time step 2. Step 3 was more consistent but I had a feeling that generally speaking my Gaggia was giving narrower consistent streams which looked more like what it should be (using the same grinder). Also the shots started darker in color and took longer to go pale brown with Gaggia. I don't know if it is the difference of pressurized vs. non-pressurized. I don't know much about the mechanism difference yet. Anyhow. I was wondering if someone could give me a tip about the steam frothing. I had much easier time to get a good froth with the Gaggia but with the Silvia it seems the milk gets hot but is not any foam on top or micro froth on the milk. The second time I let it run longer but still the same result. Is there any tip about getting a good thick froth from Silvia?
Thanks.
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Burner0000
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Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 1,053
Location: Cambridge, Ontario Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia, VFA Expres...
Grinder: Macap MX/VFA N1464/Kyocera...
Drip: Manual Drip, French Press
Roaster: Behmor 1600 / Sonofresco
Posted Mon Jul 1, 2013, 8:36pm
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia vs. Baby Gaggia
 

Not really.. you just need to find ur sweet spot. Heres a vtechniqueso that may help.
Watch Gail`s teqnique I personally find that keeping the wand almost straight down makes for easier frothing.
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CMIN
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Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,356
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Mon Jul 1, 2013, 8:43pm
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia vs. Baby Gaggia
 

arbous65 Said:

Thanks for all the feedback. I ended up buying the new Rancilio Silvia. I wasn't sure about the background of issues of the used units and didn't want to have a headache for failing parts, etc. I just set it up and got good tasting espresso a couple of times. I don't say it was a wow but good. My grinder is Baratza Encore. The first shot I used step 3 (from finest) and the second time step 2. Step 3 was more consistent but I had a feeling that generally speaking my Gaggia was giving narrower consistent streams which looked more like what it should be (using the same grinder). Also the shots started darker in color and took longer to go pale brown with Gaggia. I don't know if it is the difference of pressurized vs. non-pressurized. I don't know much about the mechanism difference yet. Anyhow. I was wondering if someone could give me a tip about the steam frothing. I had much easier time to get a good froth with the Gaggia but with the Silvia it seems the milk gets hot but is not any foam on top or micro froth on the milk. The second time I let it run longer but still the same result. Is there any tip about getting a good thick froth from Silvia?
Thanks.

Posted July 1, 2013 link

Yes, the Encore is not really a capable espresso grinder, need to step up to the Preciso for that, it's steps are wide and geared towards coarse, or espresso for "pressurized portafilters". The Silvia is finicky with grind, if you overdose you'll hit the screw in the group fracturing the puck causing extraction issues, I think the limit for the stock double basket was like 15g. The Encore can grind fine, but thtat doesn't mean much, plenty of cheap grinders can grind beans into powder.... espresso needs the correct/uniform grinds and adjustment (enter Preciso and others).

Looks up temp surfing with the Silvia as well
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okitoki
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okitoki
Joined: 24 Jun 2013
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Location: Perth, AUstralia
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Jul 2, 2013, 11:52pm
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia vs. Baby Gaggia
 

my first try with the Silvia was a big disaster because I didnt have the right grinder... when people say the Silvia needs a good grinder, they are not wrong

big hint here... don't go cheap... I used a Sunbeam and Breville Smart Grinder (even with shim kit installed) and both did not go well at all... I could not afford to buy new good quality grinders but managed to out for used good quality grinders... So far I have bought a used Rocky and Macap MXA, and as much as people don't like the Rocky, I think if you can buy one cheap, then it is a very capable grinder to use on the Silvia.  When getting a used grinder, make sure you also budget in at getting a new set of burrs for it too, as most of the time you will get better results with new burrs... other well known brands I have been looking for used grinders are Mazzers and Compaks.

I found the steaming on the Silvia is pretty easy for a newbie like me.... turn on steam to purge water till steam comes out, turn off, I angle out the steam wand, place the body of the wand on the milk jug by the pour tip at the 9o'clock position, and the steam tip touch the 6 o'clock position on my milk jug, and start off with the wand tip just slightly below the milk surface,,, turn steam on and keep the sound of the steam to the "tsk tsk tsk" noise... once the milk starts to feel hot and the milk looks creamy, I would then put the steam want in all the way inside the milk jug... once jug is too hot to keep finger on for a few seconds, then it is done... but much easier to control temp if you have a thermometer. :)

Also, once you have steamed your milk, remember to keep swirling the jug to keep the milk from separating from the froth at the top... and tap the jug on table to remove some of the larger bubbles you may have... once you have done it a few times, it actually gets easier... I can even do some basic latter "art" now after using it for 2 months :)

have fun with the new machine, and remember not to give up... once you get a good grinder it will be much easier, and then you can concentrate on other things... like Temp surfing :D  there are a few good youtube videos on it... also easy to get the hang of it... and if you really want to, look at getting a PID which makes life easier but not essential...
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Burner0000
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 1,053
Location: Cambridge, Ontario Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia, VFA Expres...
Grinder: Macap MX/VFA N1464/Kyocera...
Drip: Manual Drip, French Press
Roaster: Behmor 1600 / Sonofresco
Posted Wed Jul 3, 2013, 5:54am
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia vs. Baby Gaggia
 

okitoki Said:

my first try with the Silvia was a big disaster because I didnt have the right grinder... when people say the Silvia needs a good grinder, they are not wrong

big hint here... don't go cheap... I used a Sunbeam and Breville Smart Grinder (even with shim kit installed) and both did not go well at all... I could not afford to buy new good quality grinders but managed to out for used good quality grinders... So far I have bought a used Rocky and Macap MXA, and as much as people don't like the Rocky, I think if you can buy one cheap, then it is a very capable grinder to use on the Silvia.  When getting a used grinder, make sure you also budget in at getting a new set of burrs for it too, as most of the time you will get better results with new burrs... other well known brands I have been looking for used grinders are Mazzers and Compaks.

I found the steaming on the Silvia is pretty easy for a newbie like me.... turn on steam to purge water till steam comes out, turn off, I angle out the steam wand, place the body of the wand on the milk jug by the pour tip at the 9o'clock position, and the steam tip touch the 6 o'clock position on my milk jug, and start off with the wand tip just slightly below the milk surface,,, turn steam on and keep the sound of the steam to the "tsk tsk tsk" noise... once the milk starts to feel hot and the milk looks creamy, I would then put the steam want in all the way inside the milk jug... once jug is too hot to keep finger on for a few seconds, then it is done... but much easier to control temp if you have a thermometer. :)

Also, once you have steamed your milk, remember to keep swirling the jug to keep the milk from separating from the froth at the top... and tap the jug on table to remove some of the larger bubbles you may have... once you have done it a few times, it actually gets easier... I can even do some basic latter "art" now after using it for 2 months :)

have fun with the new machine, and remember not to give up... once you get a good grinder it will be much easier, and then you can concentrate on other things... like Temp surfing :D  there are a few good youtube videos on it... also easy to get the hang of it... and if you really want to, look at getting a PID which makes life easier but not essential...

Posted July 2, 2013 link

I also have a Macap. They make a good pair.  I recently came accross a no reserve rocky in action.  Baratza makes good grinders too.  I have even pulled good shots with the encore.  Although.. I wouldn't recommend the encore if you are making a large amount of drinks.  I picked up my Macap MX for only $350.  There are Mazzers and Macap's for sale all over the net.
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arbous65
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Joined: 1 Jun 2013
Posts: 4
Location: Calgary, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Jul 3, 2013, 7:55am
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia vs. Baby Gaggia
 

Thanks a lot for the tips. I started using that method for the latte and it is on its way :)

Regarding the grinder, we don't have used good burr grinders in my town (Calgary) other than a used Simoneli MCD for 500 dollars.
I can get new Baratza Preciso for $280. It has fine adjustment which I think it helps. With Encore, I used 16 grams on step2 setting on Encore and it was too fast (less than 20 seconds for a shot) and 17 grams on step 2 and it was too long. I used 16 grams with step 1 and it was too long and with 15 grams it is too fast. So I guess with fine adjustment I can find a grind size that suites well (step 2.5 for 17 grams and step 1.5 for 16 g, etc.
I imagine good burr grinders with dosing capability are more expensive. I can manage using my scale to save money for that feature.
I appreciate if you have any input for this issue.

Thanks again.
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Burner0000
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 1,053
Location: Cambridge, Ontario Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia, VFA Expres...
Grinder: Macap MX/VFA N1464/Kyocera...
Drip: Manual Drip, French Press
Roaster: Behmor 1600 / Sonofresco
Posted Wed Jul 3, 2013, 8:32am
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia vs. Baby Gaggia
 

Well for around $500 you can get your hands on a good espresso only grinder.  Ebay has them all the time used for under $500.

Check this out
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,356
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Wed Jul 3, 2013, 8:59am
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia vs. Baby Gaggia
 

arbous65 Said:

Thanks a lot for the tips. I started using that method for the latte and it is on its way :)

Regarding the grinder, we don't have used good burr grinders in my town (Calgary) other than a used Simoneli MCD for 500 dollars.
I can get new Baratza Preciso for $280. It has fine adjustment which I think it helps. With Encore, I used 16 grams on step2 setting on Encore and it was too fast (less than 20 seconds for a shot) and 17 grams on step 2 and it was too long. I used 16 grams with step 1 and it was too long and with 15 grams it is too fast. So I guess with fine adjustment I can find a grind size that suites well (step 2.5 for 17 grams and step 1.5 for 16 g, etc.
I imagine good burr grinders with dosing capability are more expensive. I can manage using my scale to save money for that feature.
I appreciate if you have any input for this issue.

Thanks again.

Posted July 3, 2013 link

I have the Preciso and it's awesome for espresso, Encore is no comparison at all, Encore is an awesome grinder for coarse use or pressurized portafilter machines.... but not for real espresso. Problem is it was never design for espresso use and has wide steps (wider even then the regular Virtuoso which also isn't that good for espresso) so like you see it'll always be finicky with the grind, but let's say you someone get a shot into good vicinity one day, but then the next day and day after that the shot is off. Beans age, humidity, static you name effect everything, so on the Preciso and other good grinders you can make slight adjustments easily if need be to keep the shot dialed in.

I wouldn't worry about dosing capabilities (whether you mean timer, or dosers etc). I weigh my beans, weigh the bin, then grind (single dose) and way the bin again to make sure if I used 16g beans I get 16g grinds. Grinder is more important then the machine, I could use my Preciso on my 1st machine a cheap $100 pressurized Delonghi Bar32 and make better coffee then a $6k GS3 with an inadequate grinder. If your looking at the Preciso I think you may be able to trade in the Encore towards it, could swear I saw people mention they traded up directly with Baratza. They do refurbs too so you can check their site on Thursdays when they update it and see what they have, heck maybe you'll find a sweet deal on a Vario and up the budget a bit lol

Also when I mentioned the Silvia screw head, dose your basket and lock the PF in but don't pull a shot, unlock it and look at the puck, if you see any type of indent into the puck it's the screw head and you need to dose less as it fractured the puck, some replace it/file it down.
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