Posted Fri Dec 6, 2013, 3:21pm Subject: Wet Silvia Rancilio pucks - Plus uneven taste...
Please excuse that I just posted this as a reply, but realize it will probably never be seen, so I reposted in a new thread. Thanks!
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!
Posted Sat Dec 7, 2013, 9:19pm Subject: Re: Wet Silvia Rancilio pucks - Plus uneven taste...
I wouldn't worry about the number on the dial at you grinder. Use it instead as a reference for making adjustments. In fact, I think people would be better off if the manufacturers didn't put actual numbers - maybe hash marks or little dots instead. The numbers are really only useful when changing from one range to another and then back (like, if you are using the same grinder for espresso and press or drip - not that I'd ever recommend that, especially with a stepless grinder).
For dosing, tamping, etc guidelines, I highly recommend reading Easy Guide to Better Espresso at Home, article 12 under how to on www.espressomyespresso.com It's one of the best guides out there and will really help you a lot. As mentioned in the other thread you posted this in...worry not about your puck being wet, but rather, how your espresso tastes.
. Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
Posted Sun Dec 8, 2013, 5:34pm Subject: Re: Wet Silvia Rancilio pucks - Plus uneven taste...
Thank you for the link, it gives me a lot to work on.
Just an aside to the wet puck, in case anyone reads this in the future, I found the largest likely contributing factor. Just after writing the post, I recalled the temperature surfing I was doing on Silvia, and how it won't always shoot steam out after the brew light turns off. My system was to wait for the light to turn on, then off, then release initial steam, then brew. Not always steaming means that the temperature must be lower at times.
So this morning I flicked the steam switch on and let it heat for ~10 seconds, and flipped it off. This shot out steam, and when I brewed there was plenty of suction afterwards to create a dry puck. I'm guessing the wet puck was a too-low brewing temperature, but I haven't had much chance yet to experiment further.
Posted Wed Dec 11, 2013, 7:08am Subject: Re: Wet Silvia Rancilio pucks - Plus uneven taste...
Same here. I gave up on trying to get a dry puck a long time ago. Now I don't even think about it. I have found that when I dial fine with a lighter tamp I get the soupy pucks but in any case my espresso tastes amazing so I won't change the grind. One thing I do when surfing and prepping a shot is I place a frothing pitcher under the steam arm to catch the water and steam for temp surfing and once the light goes off I open the steam valve for 2-3 seconds to purge steam and a bit of water. This way I am able to dump the purged water back into the reservoir which would normally end up in the drip tray filling it up faster. I've recently noticed that the light kicks on sooner giving me a more stable temp. I have been getting more flavorful shots.
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