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Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > Some Noob...  
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d33pbluez
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Joined: 19 Nov 2013
Posts: 32
Location: Malaysia
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Nov 19, 2013, 10:00pm
Subject: Some Noob question about Rancilio Machine
 

Hi Everyone,

I had recently order Rancilio Silvia to start my coffee journey thus I need some help for an advice about some doubt on the information i read on the webs

  1. ) Do i need to upgrade the thermostat on machine after i brought them ?
    2.) How to differentiate between the version of the Rancilio Silvia machine ? As understand that there is V1, V2 and V3


Sorry if my bad English. If anyone could help, that'd be great.
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NobbyR
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NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
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Location: Germany
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Posted Wed Nov 20, 2013, 1:40am
Subject: Re: Some Noob question about Rancilio Machine
 

Welcome to CoffeeGeek!

The Rancilio Silvia being a single boiler dual use (SBDU) machine requires temperature surfing in order to be able to pull your shots at a consistent brewing temperature, i.e. you aim to start the shot at a specific point of the heating cycle of the machine and thus at a more or less precise temperature. This routine is pretty simple and effective and needs no upgrading. However, if you want to avoid temp surfing, you'll have to equip your machine with a PID, which minimizes the temperature difference between high and low. Installing a PID takes some do-it-yourself handiness though.

As far as the differences between the Silvia models are concerned, from what I know they're only details, but no major improvements:

V1 - no adjustable OPV. Older version drip tray (all circular holes). Older version (non ball joint) steam wand and knob. The copper pipe for the steam arm and its attachment to the boiler is a slightly different design.

V2 - adjustable OPV. I think the rest is the same as the V1, with the possible exception of the drip tray. Im not sure if all V2s have the older drip tray or not, some do.

V3 - adjustable OPV. New style ball joint steam wand and boiler attachment. New design steam knob. New design drip tray and brew head collar. New design portafilter handle.

 
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Burner0000
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Joined: 28 Jul 2011
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Posted Wed Nov 20, 2013, 4:42am
Subject: Re: Some Noob question about Rancilio Machine
 

No need to replace the thermstats if you purchased a V1/V2 model second hand but it wouldn't hurt to get one for down the road if your considering upgrading with V3 parts..  I would strongly suggest at least getting the V3 steam wand for better frothing control.  The rest are looks.  To touch base on temp surfing.. After I warm up the machine I fill a shot glass with water from the brewhead to start the temp cycle then I prepare my shot.  depending on what I'm preparing and how tired I am in the morning I usually start brewing within a min of the brew light turning off.  I've always got consistent results. :)  (Flush, prepare, and brew.)
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d33pbluez
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Joined: 19 Nov 2013
Posts: 32
Location: Malaysia
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Nov 20, 2013, 6:34am
Subject: Re: Some Noob question about Rancilio Machine
 

Hi There,

Thanks Burner & NobbyR for the fruitful clear advice on the machine. Cant wait to brew a cappuccino and latte when machine arrive. But what troubles me is the temperature surfing...
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Burner0000
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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 Wed Nov 20, 2013, 7:13am
Subject: Re: Some Noob question about Rancilio Machine
 

It's really not as hard as it sounds.  all your doing is reheating the boiler (takes about 30sec) before brewing.  After the 3rd time you will have a handle on it.  Personally I've been lazy and brewed with the boiler at it's lowest temperature and still got a tasty cup.  For now just enjoy the machine. Worry about temp surfing and such when you have your routine down pat.
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frcn
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Posted Wed Nov 20, 2013, 8:48am
Subject: Re: Some Noob question about Rancilio Machine
 

I would also break the V1 version down further:
V1a - bolted-in heating element replaceable separately from boiler body. Design proved to be prone to leakage.
V1b - welded-in heating element is now part of the boiler top half.
 Both of these had the spring style OPV which could only be adjusted by the use of washers and was not meant to be adjusted by the user.

The later models had no significant updates that would have potential to improve the coffee other than the adjustable OPV which is marginally valuable because of the lack of pressure gauge on this machine. After +/-14 years on the market it still makes about the same quality of espresso as it always has. Most all other changes have been either cosmetic or (presumably) to make production faster or easier or to enhance visual appeal (new steam wand and drip tray cover design).

Based on that, if buying a used one, I would be more concerned over the water that has been used and the maintenance schedule the machine being considered has experienced.

 
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d33pbluez
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Joined: 19 Nov 2013
Posts: 32
Location: Malaysia
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Nov 20, 2013, 4:13pm
Subject: Some Noob question about Rancilio Machine
 

Hi There,

Thanks frcn for the more in depth about the breakdown of the version. As now i had another question to ask about the crema that will be generated by the machine.

Do i really need to bottomless portafilter to actually create those thick rich crema ? And does the grinder and freshness on the beans affected them as well ?

Currently i was on the budget and only manage to get the Delonghi Coffee Grinder KG89 as grinder.
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Skylar
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Joined: 15 Apr 2004
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Posted Wed Nov 20, 2013, 6:14pm
Subject: Re: Some Noob question about Rancilio Machine
 

Ouch.

The grinder you have will not allow you to get the best out of your Silvia, I fear. Sad, but true (and I am a living, breathing example) we tend to try to "get away" with grinders that really are not capable of grinding for espresso. I went through three before breaking down and spending an appropriate amount for my current one. The rule is that the grinder is more important than the espresso machine.

I do not know what is available in your area but please consider saving for a good espresso capable grinder which is stepless. Around here in the USA they tend to be available new for 250 - 300 dollars. Yes, and those are the cheap ones. Of course you could buy a hand grinder and do it that way if you are willing to put in the work.

Freshly roasted beans, used within 10 days of the ROAST DATE not the "use by" date are vital and they need to be ground right before brewing.  

Have I depressed you yet?  

OK. The good news. You don't need a bottomless portafilter to get crema. That tool is to help see if your distribution of grounds in the filter is good.

Those fresh beans and a good grinder is what you need, believe me.


Best of luck with your espresso adventure.

Sky

Good luck with Miss Silvia.
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frcn
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frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,449
Location: Northern California
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vibiemme Domobar Double
Grinder: Mazzer Kony, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Hario, 2 Cory pots, 1 Cory...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Bunn A10 mod...
Roaster: computer controlled Hottop,...
Posted Wed Nov 20, 2013, 8:43pm
Subject: Re: Some Noob question about Rancilio Machine
 

When I had my Silvia I never made an espresso that didn't have crema. That's easy with a good grinder. The grinder is more important than the espresso machine. If someone asked me if they should get a $900 grinder to go with their $450 espresso machine I would say YES!

 
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d33pbluez
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Nov 2013
Posts: 32
Location: Malaysia
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Nov 20, 2013, 9:04pm
Subject: Some Noob question about Rancilio Machine
 

Hi There,

That guys for the explanation and big ouch to me ...look like i had to fork out some extra budget to get a decent grinder...

How about those pack pre grounded coffee ? Can it makes good crema  ? I planing to save up to decent grinder while live by the pre ground packet coffee since the delonghi ones are out of question....
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