Our Valued Sponsor
OpinionsConsumer ReviewsGuides and How TosCoffeeGeek ReviewsResourcesForums
Espresso: Espresso Machines
Rancilio Silvia - Grouphead Screw Putting Divot in Puck
Cafe Solutions
Commercial sales and service, nationwide installation, equipment leasing options.
www.seattlecoffeegear.com
 
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered  
Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Rancilio Silvia...  
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
showing page 2 of 3 first page | last page previous page | next page
Author Messages
boar_d_laze
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,483
Location: Monrovia, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
Grinder: Ceado E92; "Bunnzilla"
Vac Pot: Royal Coffee Maker
Drip: Chemex + Kone; Espro Press
Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Sat Dec 21, 2013, 2:10pm
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia - Grouphead Screw Putting Divot in Puck
 

14g is a minimal double.  If 14g represents a serious overdose in the stock, double basket, than you're:
  1. Grinding way too coarse;
  2. The basket isn't actually a double; or
  3. Your tamping is grossly inadequate.

How to know:
  1. If your grinder can't grind fine enough to choke your machine, chances are it's the grinder;
  2. If it can, and your tamping at ~20lbs (or ~10kg) or above, it's probably the basket;  but
  3. If you're tamping with less than ~10lbs (~5kg), it's most likely your tamping; or
  4. Some unholy combination of the above.  

BDL
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
JerDGold
Senior Member


Joined: 11 Dec 2013
Posts: 136
Location: Chicago, IL
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Chemex
Posted Sat Dec 21, 2013, 11:14pm
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia - Grouphead Screw Putting Divot in Puck
 

I'm sure my grind is too coarse as my grinder is inadequate.  Had I known I was going to be buying an espresso, I would have bought a better grinder.  I originally bought a Breville Smartgrinder, but was really only going to be for pour-over and FP.  But, thanks to you people, I caught the coffee bug and stumbled one a nice deal on a Silvia on craigslist right away.  So it looks like I'm already in the market for a grinder, no matter what Seattle Coffee Gear says.  Looks like I'll have to put my new toy in park until I can find a grinder.

That being said, I'm doing regular craigslist and ebay searches for for Rancilio Rockys and Baratzas.  I'm comfortable spending about $350 at this point.  Pulling shots on the Silvia, will I be able to work with a Virtuoso or a Preciso, or should I exclusively be looking for a Vario?  I understand an Encore just won't do it for me.  I also understand Rocky's can be had used for a fair price, as someone who's new to this but also interested in really going down the rabbit hole, do you think I'd be happy with a Rocky, or will I just want to upgrade in a few months?  I'd rather not have to buy more than one grinder in the foreseeable future.

ps. you guys rock.  Especially you BDL and Spacetime, who have responded to just about all of my posts in the past few weeks.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,305
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 Sun Dec 22, 2013, 6:10am
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia - Grouphead Screw Putting Divot in Puck
 

I recommend passing on the Rocky, because of it's problem dialing in the grind just right. You have to compensate by adjusting dose. Virtuoso won't cut it for espresso, but Preciso will. You can also look for used Mini class grinders, which tend to sell for about $300-$350, and they're a step up in quality. Look for Mazzer mini, Macap M4, Compak k3 touch.

As you're interested in, or at least open to the idea of, used gear you can look at Baratza's website for refurbished grinders. The prices are good. They come with a 1 yr warranty. Also, rather than coming right from a factory, they've been through the hands of the experts at Baratza, who replace any suspicious, worn or broken parts, clean them thoroughly, and adjust them to verify they work well. They often won't need recalibrating once you purchased.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
boar_d_laze
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,483
Location: Monrovia, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
Grinder: Ceado E92; "Bunnzilla"
Vac Pot: Royal Coffee Maker
Drip: Chemex + Kone; Espro Press
Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Sun Dec 22, 2013, 7:22am
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia - Grouphead Screw Putting Divot in Puck
 

emradguy Said:

I recommend passing on the Rocky, because of it's problem dialing in the grind just right. You have to compensate by adjusting dose. Virtuoso won't cut it for espresso, but Preciso will. You can also look for used Mini class grinders, which tend to sell for about $300-$350, and they're a step up in quality. Look for Mazzer mini, Macap M4, Compak k3 touch.

As you're interested in, or at least open to the idea of, used gear you can look at Baratza's website for refurbished grinders. The prices are good. They come with a 1 yr warranty. Also, rather than coming right from a factory, they've been through the hands of the experts at Baratza, who replace any suspicious, worn or broken parts, clean them thoroughly, and adjust them to verify they work well. They often won't need recalibrating once you purchased.

Posted December 22, 2013 link

+1

No Virtuoso.  Preciso is adequate, but only adequate.  NO ROCKY.  Best deal on a "new" grinder for a mid-priced setup (such as Silvia) is a Vario refurb.  Keep your Smart so you can use your new grinder as "espresso only."

In the meantime, if you contact Breville you can get some (easy to install) shims which will allow you to grind fine enough for espresso.  Two caveats though: (1) Even when the Smart grinds fine enough, it doesn't allow enough control to make it a good (or even adequate) espresso grinder; and (2) With the shims in place, the Smart may not grind coarse enough for FP.  

It's my understanding that the shims are standard in new Smarts.  If you bought yours new, within the last year and a half or so, you should be able to get your grinder to grind fine enough.  If yours does have the shims, we should trouble shoot the grinder so you can use it until buying something better.  

"Temperature surfing" using the Silvia's light on/light off system restricts your accuracy to around plus or minus 5F, but your taste buds taste coffee as too bitter or too sour at any variation from "balanced" greater than 2F.  As you drink more espresso, and taste for grind, dose and distribution critically, your palate will begin to open.  As it does, finding and consistently hitting the proper temp will become increasingly important.  If you're going to keep the Silvia for more than a few months, plan on adding a PID kit to it ($230ish, including steam) so you have meaningful control.      

BDL
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
JerDGold
Senior Member


Joined: 11 Dec 2013
Posts: 136
Location: Chicago, IL
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Chemex
Posted Sun Dec 22, 2013, 7:30am
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia - Grouphead Screw Putting Divot in Puck
 

My Silvia actually came with an Auber PID installed, however it is not currently working.  The guy I bought it from said that when he was given the machine (I am owner #3), the PID was unhooked because the original owner said it wasn't working.  Can I fix it? I have no idea. It doesn't turn on right now.  But that's a project for a whole different thread.

Also, my understanding of the Brevilles is that all the new grinders come with the Shims pre-installed.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
boar_d_laze
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,483
Location: Monrovia, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
Grinder: Ceado E92; "Bunnzilla"
Vac Pot: Royal Coffee Maker
Drip: Chemex + Kone; Espro Press
Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Sun Dec 22, 2013, 9:03am
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia - Grouphead Screw Putting Divot in Puck
 

JerDGold Said:

My Silvia actually came with an Auber PID installed, however it is not currently working.  The guy I bought it from said that when he was given the machine (I am owner #3), the PID was unhooked because the original owner said it wasn't working.  Can I fix it? I have no idea. It doesn't turn on right now.  But that's a project for a whole different thread.

Posted December 22, 2013 link

If "fixing" includes "remove and replace if necessary," it certainly can be fixed.  But as you say, "different thread."

Also, my understanding of the Brevilles is that all the new grinders come with the Shims pre-installed.

Mine too.  If that's the case, let's trouble shoot your grinder.  

The most probable cause of "can't grind fine enough," is that the burrs aren't parallel.  Start with removing the burrs, then completely clean them with water, soap, and a brush.  Allow the burrs to air-dry completely (overnight, if possible) before reassembling.  In the meantime, you can brush and/or blow out the housing, wash the hopper and grinds catcher with soap and water, clean the housing and window with an all-purpose cleaner, and do whatever else is necessary to satisfy your inner clean freak.  

When everything is clean and dry, reassemble.  Make very sure that the shims are properly seated and the burrs too.  

Your burrs will need to be re-seasoned with coffee before using the grinder.  Season with a few ounces of (inexpensive) beans.  When you re-season the grinder, start at the coarsest setting and move increasingly fine -- only adjusting with the motor running -- until the Smart's grinding as fine as it can.    

All of that should ensure the burrs are properly seated and not wedged off axis.  If the Smart still won't grind fine enough to choke your machine, then... well, we'll think of something.  

When you test your grinder, use fresh beans -- no more than three weeks post-roast.  

In the future, only adjust finer with the motor running to make sure the burrs don't get pushed off axis, remembering to discard the extra grinds.  You can, however, adjust coarser without running the motor.

Clean the grind path once a month with Grindz or "Instant Rice."  Grindz is significantly more expensive, but -- IMO -- slightly better.  If you do decide to use Instant Rice, only use INSTANT.   Regular raw rice, even so-called "quick" rice, is too hard and will do awful things to the inside of your grinder.  Just as with washing, after cleaning with Grindz or Instant Rice you'll have to re-season the burrs before using the grinder to grind for actual coffee.

BDL
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
JerDGold
Senior Member


Joined: 11 Dec 2013
Posts: 136
Location: Chicago, IL
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Chemex
Posted Sun Dec 22, 2013, 12:06pm
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia - Grouphead Screw Putting Divot in Puck
 

So the Breville Manual only has directions for removing the upper burr.  I have read reports the removing the bottom burr is difficult.  After looking at it, I don't have the right tool...no big deal, I'll get it.  But I'm assuming that, being the professionals that we are, we remove the bottom burr and clean that too, right?

EDIT:  See this review.
Click Here (www.coffeegeek.com)
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
boar_d_laze
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,483
Location: Monrovia, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
Grinder: Ceado E92; "Bunnzilla"
Vac Pot: Royal Coffee Maker
Drip: Chemex + Kone; Espro Press
Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Sun Dec 22, 2013, 12:20pm
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia - Grouphead Screw Putting Divot in Puck
 

JerDGold Said:

So the Breville Manual only has directions for removing the upper burr.  I have read reports the removing the bottom burr is difficult.  After looking at it, I don't have the right tool...no big deal, I'll get it.  But I'm assuming that, being the professionals that we are, we remove the bottom burr and clean that too, right?

Posted December 22, 2013 link

You might as well just brush it to make sure there's nothing stuck on it and leave it in.  If there is something stuck which can't be dislodged with a brush, you can use a pick of some sort; then after re-assembly clean with Grindz or Instant Rice.  Because the lower burr's pitch is fixed by fasteners there's no worry about misalignment.  

The main things are to make sure is that there's nothing between the two burrs which could cause misalignment, and that the upper burr is correctly seated (just drops in, IIRC) during re-assembly.  

I've taken apart a few grinders completely on occasion.  However, to be honest, although I've used our Smart for three years, I clean it with Grindz; have never broken it down beyond removing the top burr; and I guess my inexperience shows.

BDL
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
JerDGold
Senior Member


Joined: 11 Dec 2013
Posts: 136
Location: Chicago, IL
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Chemex
Posted Mon Dec 23, 2013, 7:31am
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia - Grouphead Screw Putting Divot in Puck
 

Well I'm throwing my hands up in the air on Breville Smartgrinder.  My fears are as I thought and as everyone on these forums, confirmed, it cannot grind for espresso.  After cleaning it out and re-alligning my burrs as was explained, and seasoning with coffee as I ran through my settings, I still can't get an 11 sec. pull.

My coffee is freshly roasted (or so the roaster told me, theres no date on the bag, bu they said they roast a 2 or 3 times a week), my tamp is aggressive (to the point where my feet are coming off the ground) and I'm brewing at what I can only assume is the right temp with PID.  I'm letting my machine warm for 20-30 minutes (Silvia), and brewing 35-40 sec after the light goes out.  I'm still pulling 2 oz in about 11 sec. Blond gushers with a cone forming on my bottomless at about 4 seconds.  Feels like there's not much I can do right now other than watch craigslist and ebay.

I'm hoping to find a vario, macap or compak for a steal shorttly, or a refurb vario.  I was looking at a Compak K6 rebranded as a Bravo, which I understand will be passable, but I'd rather wait and get what Ireally want for the same price instead of satisfying my need for instant gratification and buying now.  Any advice is welcome.  Thanks for the ideas.

EDIT:  When dosing 14-18g in my bottomless, the pre-tamped coffee doesn't come near the top of my bottomless basket.  In the stock "double", it comes just a bit of the rim, which I understand is the goal.  I'm pretty sure the double is a double...the bottomless basket may even be a triple, I'm not sure as it came with the used machine.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
boar_d_laze
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,483
Location: Monrovia, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
Grinder: Ceado E92; "Bunnzilla"
Vac Pot: Royal Coffee Maker
Drip: Chemex + Kone; Espro Press
Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Mon Dec 23, 2013, 8:15am
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia - Grouphead Screw Putting Divot in Puck
 

I seem to remember you covering this earlier -- but you are using the right size tamper for your baskets, aren't you?  Tamping so hard you lift your feet off the ground is called a hand-stand tamp.  It's not wrong so much as it is an unnecessary PITA.  

Oh well.  You've made up your mind to wait for the right grinder.  I couldn't do it, and salute your strength of character.  

The amount of head space, i.e. the distance between top of puck and group-head screen is extremely important. I don't understand why well enough to explain, and doubt anyone else does either -- at least the explanations I've read have included a significant amount of BS.  Chances are that your triple basket will need a triple dose to make a decent shot.  Remember that baskets  make a difference.  If you have one which works for you, treasure it.  

Baskets are interchangeable between portafilters, and you're not stuck with the basket which came with your pf came.  If -- when you have a good grinder -- one basket works better for you than another, use that basket in both portafilters.  If your baskets are held in your pfs very tightly, you might want to consider ordering weak springs (cheap) from CC, or going spring-less.  

It's going to scandalize you when you see their prices, but in the long run it's a good idea to switch from cheap baskets to the extremely well made and standardized VST or Strada baskets.  That allows you to keep separate baskets in separate pfs, and to change out the baskets out as they get dinged up or wear out without completely retuning grind and dose.  

18g Stradas and weak springs work best for me in my La Cimbali and OEM pfs; that doesn't mean they'll work best for you.
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
showing page 2 of 3 first page | last page previous page | next page
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Rancilio Silvia...  
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered     Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
Discussions Quick Jump:
Symbols: New Posts= New Posts since your last visit      No New Posts= No New Posts since last visit     Go to most recent post= Newest post
Forum Rules:
No profanity, illegal acts or personal attacks will be tolerated in these discussion boards.
No commercial posting of any nature will be tolerated; only private sales by private individuals, in the "Buy and Sell" forum.
No SEO style postings will be tolerated. SEO related posts will result in immediate ban from CoffeeGeek.
No cross posting allowed - do not post your topic to more than one forum, nor repost a topic to the same forum.
Who Can Read The Forum? Anyone can read posts in these discussion boards.
Who Can Post New Topics? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post new topics.
Who Can Post Replies? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post replies.
Can Photos be posted? Anyone can post photos in their new topics or replies.
Who can change or delete posts? Any CoffeeGeek member can edit their own posts. Only moderators can delete posts.
Probationary Period: If you are a new signup for CoffeeGeek, you cannot promote, endorse, criticise or otherwise post an unsolicited endorsement for any company, product or service in your first five postings.
Rocket R58 Double Boiler
Rocket Espresso R58 Double Boiler -  Everything you need for the perfect shot!
www.seattlecoffeegear.com
Home | Opinions | Consumer Reviews | Guides & How Tos | CoffeeGeek Reviews | Resources | Forums | Contact Us
CoffeeGeek.com, CoffeeGeek, and Coffee Geek, along with all associated content & images are copyright ©2000-2014 by Mark Prince, all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Content, code, and images may not be reused without permission. Usage of this website signifies agreement with our Terms and Conditions. (0.430797815323)
Privacy Policy | Copyright Info | Terms and Conditions | CoffeeGeek Advertisers | RSS | Find us on Google+