Our Valued Sponsor
OpinionsConsumer ReviewsGuides and How TosCoffeeGeek ReviewsResourcesForums
Espresso: Questions and Answers
Don't like the coffee out of my Rancilio
Commercial Equipment
Nuova Simonelli, La Marzocco, Rancilio. Nationwide installation. Instant financing 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 > Q and A > Don't like the...  
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
showing page 2 of 2 first page previous page
Author Messages
Jannet
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Sep 2013
Posts: 10
Location: BC, Canada
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia
Grinder: Rocky
Posted Sat Nov 16, 2013, 7:46pm
Subject: Re: Don't like the coffee out of my Rancilio
 

this sure gets confusing - I do let the machine heat up for the 30 minutes with a couple empty runs - the first time the light goes off and then before I pull the shot.  How does steaming milk first affect this process - speed it up a  bit?  I run water through the system after steaming to bring the temp down before pulling the shot.  Re heavy/light dose - if I try to pack more than 15g into the portafilter I can't get it onto the machine.  That's another thing I've been confused about - mixed instructions about how full - and my experience has shown I can't have it above the line inside the portafilter. And If I do a lighter dose the tamper hits/stops on the edge of the portafilter as it starts slightly curving in.  So not much room to wiggle with on that.  I've also had different opinions on pressure (as well as everything else  - picture me smiling).  I'll figure that out with practice.
It seems the Silvia is not favoured by all - Coffeegeek gave it a good review and influenced my choice so I guess I'll stick with it and figure it out - at least I enjoyed my coffee this morning!!!  That's a good start - and remember I'm a newbie so all the fine tuning suggested by others is not necessary.........yet  ;)
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
qualin
Senior Member
qualin
Joined: 30 Jun 2012
Posts: 662
Location: Calgary, AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto 3
Grinder: Mazzer Mini Elect. Type A
Vac Pot: Looking to buy
Drip: Manual
Roaster: Considering?
Posted Sat Nov 16, 2013, 10:52pm
Subject: Re: Don't like the coffee out of my Rancilio
 

]]

Jannet Said:

I do let the machine heat up for the 30 minutes with a couple empty runs

Posted November 16, 2013 link

30 minutes isn't bad for the Silvia. It's got a boiler holds as much as a pop can, so that should be acceptable.

Jannet Said:

the first time the light goes off and then before I pull the shot.

Posted November 16, 2013 link

Do it this way:

  1. Wait until light goes off.
  2. Flush the boiler in 3-5 second increments until the light comes on.
  3. Wait until the light goes off again. This is at the top of the dead band.
  4. Wait 60 seconds after the light goes out to pull your shot, then make it.

This is called "Reverse Temperature Surfing" and will allow the boiler to cool enough to the proper temperature before you pull your shot.
This is ideal for light roasted coffee.

To temperature surf the opposite way:

  1. Wait until the light goes off.
  2. Flush the boiler in 3-5 second increments until the light comes on.
  3. Wait 60 seconds after the light comes on and pull your shot.

This is ideal for dark roasted coffee.

Jannet Said:

How does steaming milk first affect this process - speed it up a  bit?

Posted November 16, 2013 link

Well, steaming milk does bring the boiler up to temperature faster, but it doesn't stabilize the temperature of the other components of the machine.
There is a way you can "Cheat" the Silvia to warm up if you need your coffee fix NOW and don't want to wait for the machine to warm up.
http://www.coffeekid.com/archived/rancilio/cheatsilvia  (Great site BTW, too bad it's so out of date.)

Jannet Said:

Re heavy/light dose - if I try to pack more than 15g into the portafilter I can't get it onto the machine.

Posted November 16, 2013 link

Are you sure you're not using the single shot basket? On my Silvia, I could cram 18 grams in just fine, but anything more and I couldn't get the portafilter into the machine.
Here's what it looks like: Click Here (www.seattlecoffeegear.com)
As opposed to the single shot basket here:
Click Here (www.seattlecoffeegear.com)

Jannet Said:

It seems the Silvia is not favoured by all

Posted November 16, 2013 link

Probably the two biggest shortcomings on the Silvia is its new price and it's issues with wide temperature swings, which a PID kit usually ends up fixing. The sad part is,
a PID kit adds about $250 onto the cost of the machine, so by then, you could have bought a much better machine for that amount of money. If you bought your Silvia
used at a decent price, adding a PID kit onto it later offers good value for the money.

Adding a PID kit will eliminate the need to temperature surf and will give you better temperature stability when brewing.

Good luck!

 
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
back to top
 View Profile Contact via ICQ Contact via MSN Messenger Link to this post
Jannet
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Sep 2013
Posts: 10
Location: BC, Canada
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia
Grinder: Rocky
Posted Sun Nov 17, 2013, 11:08am
Subject: Re: Don't like the coffee out of my Rancilio
 

good morning!  second brew in hand - did manage to get 18g (the weights I mentioned earlier were when I first started - probably not accurate) into portfilter but it was a tight fit and pull was very slow which is tamp I realize, not dose.  my double portafilter - which is what I've been using throughout - definitely slopes to bottom.  a good reduction of 1cm (10mm) Cdn or 3/8"US  :)
all this temp surfing means my milk goes cold - but will get better at it.  Used to steam  milk in my thermal glass 12oz cup but apparently using anything other than a metal is a no no? Always use a thermometer.
after steaming milk I clear wand with hot water which also brings boiler temp down and heats up cups.  Also run some through grouphead.  So for my dark roast, I can pull my shot 60 seconds after the light comes on in this case?
thanks a bunch for all your help
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
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 Sun Nov 17, 2013, 2:43pm
Subject: Re: Don't like the coffee out of my Rancilio
 

Hey! 18g is a lot for me with regards to pulling a double in the Silvia.  For me a 14-15g dose tastes better.  I also found that steaming after brewing worked best.  It allowed for proper brewing temp.  I found the coffee to be more bitter as if the temp was too high steaming first. It also saved time having to bring the temp back down.
back to top
 View Profile Contact via MSN Messenger Link to this post
Jannet
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Sep 2013
Posts: 10
Location: BC, Canada
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia
Grinder: Rocky
Posted Sun Nov 17, 2013, 7:33pm
Subject: Re: Don't like the coffee out of my Rancilio
 

calblacksmith Said:

Sorry about that, we aim to help.

Just a quick question, which Rancilio are you talking about?
http://www.rancilio.it/Rancilio
There are a few to select from.

Posted November 15, 2013 link

are you a Rancilio Rep?  Your comment 'we aim to please' suggests you are. This thread has been about my challenges with getting a good coffee out of my Silvia and changing the bean has made all the difference, However I have read a post by a senior member (CMIN) that if I load the portafilter and the dose touches the screw in the screen, it will crack the puck and result in channeling.  I have been trying to find a dose that doesn't touch the screen and it's pretty low in the portafilter - so low that the tamper is close to jamming against the sides and preventing a proper tamp.There doesn't seem to be much wiggle room - and the dose is pretty small - I've been testing it out with my crappy Starbuck beans and 12g is too much.  This doesn't seem to be a good situation. And the puck definitely cracks upon impact.  Can the screw be changed out with one that is more flush with screen?  Do you have such a screw?
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,036
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Sun Nov 17, 2013, 9:24pm
Subject: Re: Don't like the coffee out of my Rancilio
 

The hardware store does.  Just get stainless or brass.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
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 Mon Nov 18, 2013, 11:06am
Subject: Re: Don't like the coffee out of my Rancilio
 

No, calblacksmith is not a Rancilio rep. He meant us "coffeegeeks", not Rancilio, when he said "we". I guess he hasn't had a lot of time to chime in here. You've gotten some really good help thus far, much of it specific to the Silvia. Beware about using the cheat Silvia advice too much. It's not meant to be a routine, but rather, something to give you a quick fix when you're in a hurry. Using it all the time, will merely get you used to poorer quality shots.

Here's is a place to get some excellent guideline advice about drink prep - applicable to all machines. www.espressomyespresso.com read specifically, article 12 under "how to" Easy Guide to Better Espresso at Home. Having read most of your questions and comments, I am certain you will not only get a lot out of this guide, but be very, very happy you read it, as you will also notice an improvement where it counts most - in the cup!

In the article above, one of the many topics covered is dosing, and applying the nickel test. It will support the advice you got from Chris (CMIN). When doing that test on a Silvia, you should substitute a dime because of the center screw in the shower screen.

It may have been said, many Silvia users (and othe machine owners too) substitute high quality precision baskets (such as LM Stradas or VSTs) for the stock ones. The reasons are multifold, but primarily based on getting very even extractions throughout the puck...such as straighter sides, uniform hole size, and better distribution of the baskets holes. Another benefit is that tampers fit a little deeper befor locking up on the sides of the basket, but that's really a side effect (no pun intended).

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
seagoon3
Senior Member


Joined: 16 Sep 2013
Posts: 17
Location: SoCal
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Bezzera BZ10, Silvia with...
Grinder: Pharos, Baratza Vario
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Sat Nov 23, 2013, 10:00am
Subject: Re: Don't like the coffee out of my Rancilio
 

Hi

Bit late, but anyway here are a few comments for what they are worth, based on personal struggles with a Silvia over the years.

A week is a short time, and the Silvia is not a forgiving machine, so the reasonable assumption would probably be that one component of your taste issues is that you are getting channeling and other extraction problems (unless you have been working hard on your technique, specially the distribution). A bottomless portafilter is the only sure way to see, and I think it is the essential tool for any Silvia owner who wants to learn how to use the machine properly. It drove me crazy at first trying to deal with the spraying, donut extractions, lop-sided extractions, and gushing that the bottomless pf revealed when I got one after quite a few years of self-imposed ignorance, and unnecessarily erratic espresso. The bottomless pf, a .1 gram scale and practice can get you to consistency, and save a lot of frustration and sink shots in the long run. There are many videos around to show what a good shot should look like from a bottomless pf, and what bad shots look like, both out of the machine, and in the cup. A good-looking shot is not necessarily a good-tasting shot, but until you have eradicated the problems leading to bad looking shots, it is difficult to work on other things that might be affecting the taste.

I think after you have done the various things previous posters suggested, like temp surfing, warming the machine long enough, etc., then developing the skills to avoid channeling and uneven extractions is by far the biggest challenge for a Silvia owner. As a previous poster said, overdosing is one cause of channeling, because of the protruding screw head. This is easy to fix by dosing less. Dosing less is also an obvious first try, if you find a shot of a particular coffee to be too much in-your-face. But dosing less brings its own issues. 14, 15, even 16 grams will be below the rim of most 14 gram baskets, and further you go below the rim, the harder it is to get an even bed of coffee in the basket. Unless you start out with an even bed, and also get a good seal of the coffee to the basket sides, you will still get channeling and uneven extractions for sure with the Silvia, because it seems to be specifically designed to mock you if you are not very careful with the distribution. If you have a bottomless pf, it does this by spraying in your eyes. There are also lots of videos and tip sheets on this and other coffee sites showing and describing different distribution methods. You should look at some of the ones that show how to dose evenly below the basket rim. "Downdosing" is a good search term. Some people also use tamping methods intended to improve the seal at the basket rim.  

A few last comments. To be consistent, you should modify the flow rate with the grind and dose rather than the tamp. If you only have a few steps on the grinder in the espresso range, as the Rocky has, then you should dial in the coffee by finding the grind setting that gets you closest to the flow rate you want, then fine tune it by adjusting the dose a bit up or down, not by tamping softer or harder. This is impossible to keep consistent, and anyway the 9 bars your machine puts on the coffee is 130 psi, which is way more than the tamp. So provided you are within a reasonable range with the tamp pressure, it won't make much difference to the result. The other thing is that I would first pull the shot, then steam the milk. I have a PID on my Silvia, so I can see the temperature, and it takes quite a while to stabilize after the steaming heats up all that brass. So if you steam first, you might find it hard to temp surf consistently, and might end up pulling shots too hot.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
showing page 2 of 2 first page previous page
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > Don't like the...  
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.
Home Espresso Machines
Watch videos with Gail & Kat, Rocket, Jura Capresso, Saeco, Rancilio, Quick Mill, Nespresso
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. (0.343064785004)
Privacy Policy | Copyright Info | Terms and Conditions | CoffeeGeek Advertisers | RSS | Find us on Google+