rfrancesh Senior Member Joined: 11 Mar 2008 Posts: 32 Location: Bethesda, MD Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: rancilio silvia Grinder: rancilio rocky
Posted Fri Mar 21, 2008, 11:52am Subject: Wet Rancilio pucks
I'm a newbie with a Silvia and, all things considered, think I'm doing pretty well. I've experimented with different grinders and different degrees of tamping. Everything I try, even if the shot tastes and looks pretty good, results in a wet puck. This is not optimal, right? How do I correct it? Thanks, Franny
I can add to what Tim said: Very few Silvia owners eat the pucks... most drink the espresso.
OK... Sorry.. here are some helpful infos: Wet pucks can be attributed to a number of factors individually or combined. Here are a few that come to mind:
- low brew temperature - insufficient warm up time - coarse grind that does hold sufficient back pressure to evacuate the mater when the 3-way opens at the end of the pull. - dirty 3-way valve - over-dosing that clogs the screen with coffee particles when the 3-way opens. - excessive dust in the coffee that clogs the screen when the 3-way opens. channeling or other similar puck damage that allows air to be drawn through puck instead of water to be drawn out of coffee (ya, agreed that this is a stretch). - removing the portafilter immediately after a pull. Sometimes waiting ten or fifteen seconds reveals a drier puck.
So it could be too coarse a grind? I was thinking that too fine a grind might prevent the moisture from leaving the puck.
I bought this machine second hand and have just started using it. I know the previous owner was really into making perfect espresso and my guess would be maintained the machine very well. He'd bought a different machine and this one had been sitting for awhile. I flushed it before using it the first time and do believe I let it warm up enough. I've heard about cleaning the "three way". Do you think I should attempt this?
Thanks for your help. I'm trying hard to get it right. As I said to my mechanical engineer other half, this is like a mechanical engineering problem. Franny
If your grind, tamp and especially dosing is correct your pucks should be nice and dry. When I first started with Silvia I underdosed slightly and had wet pucks and faster pours, it is all a settling in process and getting to know your machine. Learn how to clean and maintain it. It needs 25-30 minutes to warm up fully, check out the "Cheating Miss Sivia" post on Geeks if you want faster coffee. Silvia needs a good grinder, I have a Rocky and it does a great job. Good luck with Miss Silvia, enjoy your coffee!!!
I hope I can reopen this older thread with possibly some new information, as I too am having this problem of consistently wet pucks (and often bad coffee). Chiefly I think there is some missing solution, as I used to get dry pucks, and am not getting them any more.
Rancilio Silvia v3 Rancilio Rocky (stepless mod)
When I first got the machines, I checked that the grinder was actually 0 at 0, and started a test grind at mark 10, 15g, 30lb tamp, with the intention of going up or down on the grind size. Try as I might, I couldn't get 15g into the double basket without tamp/add. As I understand it the grind should very loosely fall in, then be scraped off, so I did that. 10 choked Silvia. So I went up and up and up...to 15. 15 with a 30lb tamp, 14g coffee, 28s pour for 2.5 ounces. Sometimes it would taste good, sometimes not, but never amazing. OK, maybe this is a problem with Silvia.
With a 1lb tamp, (letting the tamper rest on top of the grind), I can get Silvia to pour a Ristretto at mark 10.5 in 28s, but the weight is still ~14g. Sometimes it is good, often it is terribly sour. Always a wet puck!
I don't understand how with the same equipment, some users are able to grind at 7-9. Also, I don't understand how with the same basket, users are able to get 15g when I can only get 14g max without choking on a 1lb tamp. Something seems broken or clogged to me, but I can't find it.
If other users are grinding at 7-9, getting 15g with a 30lb tamp to pour doubles at 28s, then the problems I can imagine are:
1) something is dirty I haven't found 2) something is broken, not working correctly (could it be the bar pressure is off?)
There was a lot of choking in the initial tests, and I wonder if something broke or got dirty. I tried cleaning and backflushing, with no improvement. I haven't seen a dry puck since the first week. Any thoughts or comments are welcome. Thank you!
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