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Silvia technique
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Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > Silvia technique  
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boeingmyway
Senior Member
boeingmyway
Joined: 23 Jan 2005
Posts: 84
Location: MN
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: SILVIA
Grinder: ROCKY
Posted Wed Apr 20, 2005, 6:15am
Subject: Silvia technique
 

I am finally getting good shots with my week old Silvia. I am using the temp surf method calling for a 1 1/2 min. wait after the light goes out. But by doing this, I don't have enough pressure to froth up my milk. I have to wait until the heat build up, if this makes sence. Any suggestions?

 
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ABATT
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 2
Location: Chicago
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: rancilio silvia
Grinder: rancilio rocky
Drip: french press only
Roaster: not yet
Posted Wed Apr 20, 2005, 6:40am
Subject: Re: Silvia technique
 

I froth milk first, run blank shot until light goes on. I grind my coffee as soon as light goes off and tamp and extract. Seems to work great. Some might have better methods, but this has worked very well for me!!!

good luck...
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melvy
Senior Member


Joined: 20 Nov 2002
Posts: 113
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Quickmill Anita PID
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Drip: Technivorm KBTS
Roaster: Hottop
Posted Wed Apr 20, 2005, 6:42am
Subject: Re: Silvia technique
 

welcome to the world of miss silvia... you're in for a great journey and lots of enjoyment! looking at both this post and the mention of not having pressure to steam in another post of yours, it does make sense that you have to wait to steam. but it's not because of your temperature surfing method. the reason you have to wait is because silvia is a single boiler machine. it has one thermostat for brewing, and another thermostat for steaming. when you flip the steam switch, you're activating the second, higher thermostat. you have to wait for the temperature in the boiler to increase and create steam and pressure for you to be able to have enough juice to froth your milk. all you need is a little patience and you'll discover that silvia has tremendous steam pressure.

when you're finished pulling your shot, flip the steam switch to on. wait 30-45 seconds and then open the steam wand valve (with a glass or something underneath the wand). you should get some water streaming or spurting out. when that finishes, close the valve. that water release will create more room for more pressure to build up. wait another minute and a half to 2 minutes (or even more... the longer you wait, the more pressure is building). then put your milk pitcher underneath the wand and steam away. incidentally, it's ok to begin steaming before the ready light goes out. in fact, most prefer it so that the machine continues to make steam while you're steaming your milk.

hope that's helpful... enjoy the new machine!
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LiftOff
Senior Member
LiftOff
Joined: 3 Nov 2004
Posts: 251
Location: Arizona
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Synesso Cyncra
Grinder: Mazzer Robur
Roaster: Hottop
Posted Wed Apr 20, 2005, 6:59am
Subject: Re: Silvia technique
 

As a Sylvia owner myself, I agree with ABATT. Steam first then pull your shot. With all the progress being made here on this awesome forum towards pulling the "perfect shot", temp/time surfing, pid'ing, p-stat adjustments, boiler pressure adjustments, water temp readings at brewhead,boiler, etc, it makes me shudder to think of that shot sitting on your countertop for 2-3 minutes while you steam your milk.

Remember, milk that has been properly steamed and textured can handle sitting around for a couple of minutes, that poor shot cannot.
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earlds
Senior Member
earlds
Joined: 16 Nov 2003
Posts: 492
Location: Mobile
Posted Wed Apr 20, 2005, 4:17pm
Subject: Re: Silvia technique
 

Well now that I know  that there are folks out there being adamant about frothing the milk first Im going to try doing it that way and see what happens...Ive been pulling the shot first myself with very good results.I dont think that espresso goes bad in the 90 seconds it takes to froth the milk and mix it in..BUT  ,,I am always open to suggestion..
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djmarc
Senior Member


Joined: 29 Mar 2005
Posts: 53
Location: Chicago
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: PID Silvia
Grinder: Super Jolly, Rocky Doserless
Posted Wed Apr 20, 2005, 5:28pm
Subject: Re: Silvia technique
 

I also froth first.   I agree that the shot should be as fresh as possible and I'm not crazy about a superhot cappucino anyway.  If I stop my milk at 150 degrees, the approx 3 minutes it sits allows the milk to set up and cool a bit.  As soon as I am done steaming, I run a cycle of hot water through the steam wand until the boiler light comes on...after the light is out I reverse surf - for me about 2:00 has been good.  I can easily grind dose and tamp during the waiting time.  This works for me, but like everything regarding espresso - do what works best for you.  I will say that it helps not to be in a rush with Silvia.  I take my time and let the machine warm up for 45-60 minutes most days.  When she's nice and hot, steam and good shots don't seem to be any problem!
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buzzmccowan
Senior Member
buzzmccowan
Joined: 13 Jan 2005
Posts: 185
Location: Dundas, Ontario
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: LM FB80 / LM GS3
Grinder: Anfim Super etc etc
Drip: Chemex
Roaster: Loring Kestrel 35kg
Posted Wed Apr 20, 2005, 6:23pm
Subject: Re: Silvia technique
 

The big debate...I usually steam second only because I'm practising latte art most of the time.  I preheat my cup and put it on top of Silvia after pulling a shot.  After putting in my PID I've found that my heat up time before steaming is shorter.  I think that pre PID and checking with a styrofoam cup, I was pulling at too low a temperature when surfing (basing my surf times on other people findings).  I pull my shots at about 219F PID setting (200 at grouphead) and hit the steam switch immediately after the brew switch because the PID seems to shut the boiler on and off through the shot pull (normal behaviour - same as when it heats up to avoid overshooting target temperature).  My steam light goes off at about 275F so I start steaming at about 270F to prevent the boiler from shutting off as others here have recommended.

I'm really not that sure that with milk based drinks you are going to notice a huge difference in the taste in the espresso component if you are steaming first or second.  For me, milk steamed second in order to get the kind of microfoam you need to do art, I find that the microfoam "attaches" itself to the crema in a way that maximizes flavour throughout the cup.  With each sip you get to savour the aromatics trapped in an evenly distributed crema laden microfoam layer.  Whereas with thicker, drier foam I find that the foam crushes the crema to the edges of the cup.   And heck, it looks cool too!
Cheers,
Kaelin
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scubadoo97
Senior Member
scubadoo97
Joined: 24 Jun 2003
Posts: 677
Location: Florida
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Solis SL70
Grinder: Mazzer Mini & Solis Maestro...
Vac Pot: got one of those too
Drip: Aeropress, Clarity, FP,...
Roaster: SC/TO
Posted Wed Apr 20, 2005, 7:35pm
Subject: Re: Silvia technique
 

I don't have a Silvia but do use a single boiler machine.  IMHO I think it works best for me to pull the shot first, hit the steam button and then steam the milk.  The espresso is sitting for about 1 min and is till hot and crema is still full.  In a milk drink the milk texture is a big factor to me .   I'm not sure I could tell much difference if the shot was 10 sec or 90 sec old when mixed with milk.   On my machine it takes less time to go from pulling the shot to steaming than the other direction.  This is a debate that will always have strong opinions on both sides.  What ever works for you is the right way.
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LiftOff
Senior Member
LiftOff
Joined: 3 Nov 2004
Posts: 251
Location: Arizona
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Synesso Cyncra
Grinder: Mazzer Robur
Roaster: Hottop
Posted Wed Apr 20, 2005, 7:50pm
Subject: Re: Silvia technique
 

"To each his own"...I'm still learning that lesson. Yet it still remains that espresso begins to degrade in quality upon the completion of the pull. It just seems to be more acceptable to pull the shot then steam in the last few years and I'm left wondering if that is because people are getting the impression that it's the way to do it.

I enjoy a latte myself now and again, can appreciate latte art, but the overall quality of the drink is most important and quality suffers greatly the longer that shot sits.
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boeingmyway
Senior Member
boeingmyway
Joined: 23 Jan 2005
Posts: 84
Location: MN
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: SILVIA
Grinder: ROCKY
Posted Thu Apr 21, 2005, 5:42am
Subject: Re: Silvia technique
 

Hi,
When you run that cycle of hot water thru and then reverse surf, at what point do you start your 2 min.? If I turn the water sw off, the light goes off right away, is that when you start your time?

 
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