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Rancilio Silvia ...espresso making frustration
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Rancilio Silvia...  
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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,157
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4, Pharos,...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Mon Jul 8, 2013, 2:44pm
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia ...espresso making frustration
 

okitoki Said:

seriously suggest getting a better grinder to go with your Silvia... it will make your life so much easier

Posted July 7, 2013 link

Sure, there are better grinders out there, but...what's wrong with the RR45?  It's much more adjustable than a Rocky and has a larger burr set.  So, no...I wouldn't recommend a Rocky, and I wouldn't recommend the Rossi RR45, but I feel it's capable and shouldn't be the source of his problems...especially once he gets the new burr set on.  Just curious why you seem to think it's inadequate.

.

 
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Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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faster
Senior Member


Joined: 27 May 2013
Posts: 93
Location: France
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ISOMAC TEA II
Grinder: Rossi RR45
Roaster: PIDed, Modified "My...
Posted Fri Jul 12, 2013, 6:11am
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia ...espresso update
 

Yesterday came the BURRS...With the new burrs, I have immediate improvement in cafe.
I don't know what was happening with the beans going through the dull burrs, but now results seem to be much better.
The puck is rarely wet and the shots are much better, still don't make me drool like the description in http://www.espressomyespresso.com/
but it is getting there...now i am waiting for PID parts
cheers and have good weekend
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,853
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Fri Jul 12, 2013, 7:21am
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia ...espresso update
 

It sounds like you are well on the way.
The RR45 is a solid commercial grinder, new burrs goes a long way to getting it working properly. The 45 has fairly large steps but as mentioned above, they are smaller than on a Rocky. I have used a 45 and it produces a very good espresso grind so no worries there.

New burrs will give you a much more consistent grind and much less heating of the coffee. Think of a sharp kitchen knife vs a butter knife, the sharp one will give you better results every time.

 
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Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

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Burner0000
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 1,090
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 Sat Jul 13, 2013, 4:37pm
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia...espresso making frustration
 

faster Said:

Thanks for all the practical tips, really appreciated...

Ordered new burrs, roasted some fresh beans, well, will start over...

The technique is another story...have to work on it...

Q: In general, what causes "wet puck" in Silvia?  sometimes even with a small puddle on top? At 16/17g dose? Grinder settings?
Thanks all for help:-)

Posted July 8, 2013 link

IMO I only get wet pucks when I use a dark roast. The sticky wet grounds dont allow the water back up throughthe puck.
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CMIN
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Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,388
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Sat Jul 13, 2013, 5:22pm
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia ...espresso making frustration
 

True. Goes for all machines. Darker Roast will usually always have a wetter/soupier looking puck. When I use a medium roast the puck almost looks completely dry and solid like a packed pile of dirt.
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faster
Senior Member


Joined: 27 May 2013
Posts: 93
Location: France
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ISOMAC TEA II
Grinder: Rossi RR45
Roaster: PIDed, Modified "My...
Posted Fri Jul 26, 2013, 12:50am
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia ...espresso making frustration
 

Burner0000 Said:

Have you practiced tamping?  Using a large scale and trying to hit the same weight multiple times.  If your grind is consistent and your coffee is fresh with a PID you should be good.  Make sure you back flush regularly too.

Posted July 7, 2013 link

Tamping....Yes, I practise it and wonder how easily should the puck come out?
I always measure out 17g of ground beans, to eliminate that error and tamp it with a 10# pressure? estimated...
Most of the time the puck just falls out...don't even have to tap the edge. That seems a bit too loose, not enough pressed down?
Also I noticed that with slightly coarser ground I get dryer puck and sometimes have to hit the edge of PF to get it out.
I use a bit darker roast than commercial roast.

...and my wife says the shots taste TOO strong?...she refuses to drink it...What causes that?..too dark roast?
Thanks for your time...
PS, in few days will have PID installed:-)
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Coffeenoobie
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Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
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Location: PNW
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Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Fri Jul 26, 2013, 7:07am
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia ...espresso making frustration
 

She might like other roasts, I like medium dark roasts myself.  If they are too dark i don't enjoy them.  As you get better you might find more flavor in a slightly lighter roast.

 
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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,157
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4, Pharos,...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Fri Jul 26, 2013, 9:03am
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia ...espresso making frustration
 

faster Said:

Tamping....Yes, I practise it and wonder how easily should the puck come out?
I always measure out 17g of ground beans, to eliminate that error and tamp it with a 10# pressure? estimated...
Most of the time the puck just falls out...don't even have to tap the edge. That seems a bit too loose, not enough pressed down?
Also I noticed that with slightly coarser ground I get dryer puck and sometimes have to hit the edge of PF to get it out.
I use a bit darker roast than commercial roast.

...and my wife says the shots taste TOO strong?...she refuses to drink it...What causes that?..too dark roast?
Thanks for your time...
PS, in few days will have PID installed:-)

Posted July 26, 2013 link

yes, as Helen said...wrong roast is one possibility - and quite possibly your main issue.  others include (but are not limited to) wrong temperature, wrong dose, wrong extraction time, wrong grind.

There's actually a nice article (by Jim Schulman) on home-barista, in espresso 101, that explains how to adjust dose and grind to modify the flavor of the shot.  It's quite brief, less than one page, and you might get a lot out of taking a look at it.

by "a bit darker than commercial roast" what exactly do you mean?  In roasting, there isn't such a descriptor as commercial.  Are you referring to a particular brand/blend?  btw, I haven't found anywhere in the thread where you mention what beans you've been using...and am quite curious.  If you haven't tried Red Bird Espresso, you might want to.  People describe it like a snicker's bar.  Order a 5# bag and play with dose, temp and shot timing until you can dial it in. Then make one for your wife to impress the heck out of her :)  Fill some freezer safe Ball Canning jars full to the brim (you about 200g per 16oz jar - which is a bit under a half pound and about 10+ shots) then lock down the lids and place them in the coldest part of your freezer (or in a deep freeze if you have one).  Take one out and let it thaw at least an hour or two, or even overnight, when your hopper looks like you're about to run empty. I actually fill my jars, then leave them very loosely covered on the counter overnight before locking the lids down and freezing.  My hypothesis is the degassing CO2 drives out any air left between the beans, so they will resist oxidation better during the freeze. If you order Red Bird over the weekend, you'll have it at your house by the end of the week, typically 2 days after it was roasted.

10# is a bit light, but not unheard of.  I'm probably just a bit above that myself.  I used to shoot for 30#...then at a training class, found I was doing more like 60#! I was kind of shocked, especially as I had used an Espro tamper to "calibrate" myself - a lot of good that did, huh? My current method is to press down just until I feel the grounds no longer compress, I've checked it on a bathroom scale and, iirc, was at about 15-20#.  I've also found that when the grounds are on the coarse side they compress less than when they are on the fine side.  Dosing compensates for this phenomenon...ie, if you're too coarse you probably have to down dose slightly to not overfill the basket, and allow room for expansion.  If you haven't done it yet, do the"nickel test" on your Silvia, but use a dime.  It'll compensate for the protruding screw in the center of the shower screen.  There are screw mods too, if you wish, but I think they're unnecessary.  (btw, I used a v1 Silvia for about 8 years - no mods other than the upgraded articulating steam wand).  Don't give up though...you can get it down and make excellent espresso with your gear!

.

 
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Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,157
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4, Pharos,...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Fri Jul 26, 2013, 9:18am
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia ...espresso making frustration
 

sorry...I completely forgot you're in France!  I guess you'll have to try something other than Red Bird.

.

 
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faster
Senior Member


Joined: 27 May 2013
Posts: 93
Location: France
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ISOMAC TEA II
Grinder: Rossi RR45
Roaster: PIDed, Modified "My...
Posted Fri Jul 26, 2013, 9:22am
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia ...espresso making frustration
 

Coffeenoobie Said:

She might like other roasts, I like medium dark roasts myself.  If they are too dark i don't enjoy them.  As you get better you might find more flavor in a slightly lighter roast.

Posted July 26, 2013 link

Reading this:   https//www.sweetmarias.com/library/content/using-sight-determine-degree-roast  and comparing, I seem to end up in #12-13 most of the time

For me the hardest thing is to stop just as the 2nd crack starts, seems to go from 1st directly to 2nd crack..

My beans, a kg of each...roasted in 1/2# batches:

Tanzania AM Mringa Estate
R Brazil Daterra Sweet Yellow
Honduras SHG Brazil Pulped natural
Cost Rica SHB Ojo de Agua
Papua New Guinea Sigru A
El Salvador SHG las Lajas
Dominican Republic
Nicaraguan SHG
Indian monsoon Malabar
Guatemalan Pastoral Antiqua
Sumatra White Aceh

Is this generalization true?:  Central/south American beans are "balanced" or full body, Pacific "dry", African "acidic"...
Yes I would like to try that Red Bird
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