Results 1 to 28 of 28
Like Tree7Likes
  • 1 Post By dumiya
  • 1 Post By Javafrog
  • 1 Post By Yelta
  • 1 Post By Yelta
  • 3 Post By Yelta

Thread: Newbie Silvia issue

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    18

    Newbie Silvia issue

    Hi,

    I have an old Silvia which I got recently 2nd hand - could be a 2002 model.
    I have replaced the group seal and shower screen and gave it a good clean.

    I have a Sunbeam EM0480 grinder.

    I am using setting 5 out of 25 on the grinder and filling the basket then tamping down. The compacted grinds go to just below the hollow that's about 7mm from the top.
    With this I am just choking the machine. Am I putting too much coffee in?
    I don't think it would be the grind as people have said the EM0480 doesn't grind fine enough.

    Any thoughts please?

  2. #2
    Senior Member trentski's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Altona, Melbourne
    Posts
    1,574
    Put a 5c peice on top of the grinds and pull a shot. The 5c peice should just leave an imprint but not be completely smushed in. That will give you your grind height, so to speak.

    Sounds like you are grinding too fine. Try and keep your tamp consistent, I tamp very lightly, and just change your grind fineness.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    18
    I think you are right - must be too fine. I am using older beans while learning though. Do older beans need a coarser setting than freshly roasted beans?

    I'll also try a lighter tamp. Some videos I have watched show people putting a fair bit of effort (weight) into the tamp - yet say to use about 15kg pressure.

    ahh ok, re the 5c piece. I'm just getting an imprint of the screw head now so I need to put less coffee in as well.

    Lots of learning to do! Thanks!

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Perth WA
    Posts
    559
    The screw is a good guide. Just tamp at a pressure you are comfortable with. I have quite a heavy tamp.
    Step 1. Now fill the basket to what you think is the right level. Put it into the group as if you were to extract a shot. Take it out and the screw should just leave a slight impression. If it is more than a light impression. Start again with a new grind, grind a bit less into the basket, try again. Find away to get it right. My marker is that the tamper top lines up with the basket edge. Keep working at this until it's right.
    Second step
    If the grinds level is now right extract a shot. Time it. It should extract about 54 mls in 27 seconds. That is two shot glasses of 27 mls. If takes longer grind is too fine. If it is shorter the grind is too course. Even our local coffee shop does the time/grind test first up.
    The above will get the grinder about right, the tamp about right.
    Be patient. When you move to new beans you will only need to adjust the grinder, keep the same level and check the grind fineness by timing the shot.
    Then it is fun!
    trentski likes this.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    18
    Patience is not a strong point of mine . I haven't had a chance to work the machine again but when I do I will time it and see.
    Thanks for all the advice everyone. Hopefully I can post back on the weekend having done a successful shot.

  6. #6
    Senior Member trentski's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Altona, Melbourne
    Posts
    1,574
    Do some research on temperature surfing

  7. #7
    Senior Member trentski's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Altona, Melbourne
    Posts
    1,574
    You need to build a consistent repeatable workflow so you can see the effects small changes make. Without this you will be floundering around never knowing if it was the grinder setting, the shot temp, the tamp pressure or the way you held your tongue the got you that God shot

  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    18
    Quote Originally Posted by trentski View Post
    Do some research on temperature surfing
    Thanks, Yes I've learned to expel some water before making a shot to just get the reheat light to come on and then pull the shot just as i comes to temperature.

    Quote Originally Posted by trentski View Post
    You need to build a consistent repeatable workflow so you can see the effects small changes make.
    Absolutely.
    I just started to pull some consistent shots now that don't choke the machine. About 50ml in 27 seconds.
    Haven't worked out how to get some thick crema though. Is that mainly bean dependent?
    Tried 2 lots of beans though I was using Lavazza Oro in testing which I wouldn't expect much from, the other a fair trade organic.
    Waiting for a delivery of some fresh coffee to see if that makes a difference now I'm pulling some consistent shots.

  9. #9
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    18
    Quote Originally Posted by Javafrog View Post
    Thanks, Yes I've learned to expel some water before making a shot to just get the reheat light to come on and then pull the shot just as i comes to temperature.
    I don't know if this is the best technique. The Silvia overshoots temperature wise and is definitely over the ideal temperature once the element turns off.

  10. #10
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Woodend, New Zealand
    Posts
    1,664
    Yeah don't wait for it to reach temp after the flush, you want to pull your shot pretty much straight away. Also using a 5c coin to test puck height is a good basic guide, however you don't pull a shot with it in there. You simply place it on top of your tamped coffee then fit the PF to the machine. Then carefully take it out and see if the shower screen has placed any pressure on the dry coffee. Pulling a shot causes the puck to swell as it takes on water and you will almost always see an imprint of the screw so doing the 5c test this way doesn't tell you anything really. Final point - the EM0480 is perfectly capable of grinding fine enough if the burrs are in good condition and its correctly calibrated.

  11. #11
    Senior Member trentski's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Altona, Melbourne
    Posts
    1,574
    Fresh beans will definitely change the results. You will probably find you have to back the grind fineness off considerably to get 60ml in 30 seconds.
    It's easier if you use the same beans repeatabley to start with so get on beanbay and buy some. There's a starter pack you can get which is great value.

  12. #12
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    18
    Bit of a necro but for the sake of continuity I thought it best to resurrect this thread...

    I did eventually get consistent shots but the last 4 months or so I notice that I'm not getting any crema at all.
    I have tried using different beans - I use a local roaster usually but have bought some beans recently from 2 places I have bought off before but no difference.
    The beans have been roasted from the last 1-3 weeks.

    I have backed off my grind (on 11 with my same grinder - Sunbeam EM0480 no shims) but if I go coarser on the grind it looks like packet pre ground stuff and pretty much just gushes out.
    I'm using 14g in the double basket, and getting 20ml in about 50 seconds.

    I don't think I'm tamping too hard - I've tried the light vertical tap to settle the coffee, smooth with finger and then even tamp to get consistently just below the screw once tightened up.

    This is what I understand in summary:
    My volume of coffee grinds is right
    20ml in 50 seconds is way off target - needs to be much quicker
    Grind is already very coarse
    Not tamping very hard

    I'm not sure where I need to explore from here so any help would be appreciated.
    Last edited by Javafrog; 1 Week Ago at 01:54 PM. Reason: Summary

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    233
    Have you tried pre-weighing your beans? Often if you eyeball the weight you can overdose by a fair margin.

    Try cleaning out the grinder and then pre-weighing exactly 15g (to start) - then grind, tamp and pull the shot.
    Record the dose and timing. And repeat for different weights and grinder settings.

    50 sec is wayyyyy too long and 20ml is probably a bit short. You find that in most machines you will produce almost no crema under those circumstances. When I am dialing in a new, freshly roasted bean I can sometimes get a pull like that even from the same setting on the grinder. It tells me I need to back the grind/dose off a little. I prefer to keep the same dose (around 16g) and back off the grind - keep in mind I use a different machine, but the principal is the same.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Moonta SA.
    Posts
    5,386
    Quote Originally Posted by Javafrog View Post
    The beans have been roasted from the last 1-3 weeks.
    Tell us some more about the beans your using, where purchased, how stored, anything that may be relevant.

    Sounds suspiciously like stale or poorly stored beans to me.

  15. #15
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    18
    Quote Originally Posted by WhatEverBeansNecessary View Post
    Have you tried pre-weighing your beans?
    Yep - see my last post - 14g

    Try cleaning out the grinder and then pre-weighing exactly 15g (to start) - then grind, tamp and pull the shot.
    Record the dose and timing. And repeat for different weights and grinder settings.
    Yep, that's what I do.

    50 sec is wayyyyy too long and 20ml is probably a bit short. You find that in most machines you will produce almost no crema under those circumstances. When I am dialing in a new, freshly roasted bean I can sometimes get a pull like that even from the same setting on the grinder. It tells me I need to back the grind/dose off a little. I prefer to keep the same dose (around 16g) and back off the grind - keep in mind I use a different machine, but the principal is the same.[/QUOTE]

    Yep. If I back off the grind even more I get the right timing but get a pale coffee and still no crema.

  16. #16
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    18
    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    Tell us some more about the beans your using, where purchased, how stored, anything that may be relevant.

    Sounds suspiciously like stale or poorly stored beans to me.
    I mostly buy from a local roaster. They are 100% Arabica - I used to know the origin but can't tell you off the top of my head. I also buy from Crave in Sydney. The only one I get shipped but don't buy from very frequently is Capulus in Melbourne.

    I store the beans in an airtight container in the bottom of the pantry - cool and dry. I don't drink a lot of coffee so only buy either 500gm from the local roaster or 1Kg from the others but I mainly buy local. I'm told the beans are fresh roasted.
    Capulus has the roast date stamped on the pack, Crave turn over their coffee very quickly so I know when I buy it is less than a week old.

    I think I can rule out the beans as I used to get ok coffee and I get the same results from 3 known suppliers.

    I don't run any chemical through my machine - does that make a difference? I normally just give it a good flush monthly with plain water. I only use filtered water.

    I don't think there is a pressure problem because I can run the basket empty and water comes out very quickly.

    I hope that info helps.

  17. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    233
    Quote Originally Posted by Javafrog View Post
    I mostly buy from a local roaster. They are 100% Arabica - I used to know the origin but can't tell you off the top of my head. I also buy from Crave in Sydney. The only one I get shipped but don't buy from very frequently is Capulus in Melbourne.

    I store the beans in an airtight container in the bottom of the pantry - cool and dry. I don't drink a lot of coffee so only buy either 500gm from the local roaster or 1Kg from the others but I mainly buy local. I'm told the beans are fresh roasted.
    Capulus has the roast date stamped on the pack, Crave turn over their coffee very quickly so I know when I buy it is less than a week old.

    I think I can rule out the beans as I used to get ok coffee and I get the same results from 3 known suppliers.

    I don't run any chemical through my machine - does that make a difference? I normally just give it a good flush monthly with plain water. I only use filtered water.

    I don't think there is a pressure problem because I can run the basket empty and water comes out very quickly.

    I hope that info helps.
    Hmmm.... I would have to agree with Yelta, but if you are pretty confident in the beans then is the water hot enough coming out? If you haven't ever descaled the machine then the water might not be hot enough. You will be essentially be making filter coffee at that point, not espresso. Maybe pull some hot water and use a thermometer to see what temp it comes out at? It will lose heat as the water depressurises and steam is created, but it should be still close to boiling.

    Maybe give it a good descale and see if that helps?

  18. #18
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Posts
    19
    Have I got it wrong or are those weights and volumes off for a double shot? I thought it should be 18g-20g of beans to produce a 40g shot in 30 seconds? Happy to be corrected on this.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Moonta SA.
    Posts
    5,386
    Quote Originally Posted by Javafrog View Post
    I have backed off my grind (on 11 with my same grinder - Sunbeam EM0480 no shims) but if I go coarser on the grind it looks like packet pre ground stuff and pretty much just gushes out.
    I'm using 14g in the double basket, and getting 20ml in about 50 seconds.

    I don't think I'm tamping too hard -

    This is what I understand in summary:
    My volume of coffee grinds is right
    20ml in 50 seconds is way off target - needs to be much quicker
    Grind is already very coarse
    Not tamping very hard
    I'm not sure where I need to explore from here so any help would be appreciated.
    !4 grams in a double seems pretty light, from recollection I used 18 grams in the double basket in my Silvia.

    Tamping consistency is more important than excess pressure.

    Yes, shot volume should be approx 30 ml in 30 seconds.

    "Grind is already very coarse" sounds odd, should be quite fine, perhaps 18 grams ground a little finer.

    "I don't run any chemical through my machine - does that make a difference? I normally just give it a good flush monthly with plain water. I only use filtered water."
    Yes, it certainly does, How old is the machine? Have you ever taken the shower screen off and given the area a good clean up? it gets filthy under there, the screw holding the screen can be a real pig to get out.
    I would suggest a weekly back flush with Cafetto Evo, and water back flush after each session.
    Also soak the portafilter and basket in Evo solution to get rid of oil and grot build up.

    Bear in mind, only make one change at a time so you can identify exactly what you have done and what change occurred, and make notes.

    Good luck

  20. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Sydney Oz
    Posts
    493
    Silvia is well known as a troublesome machine to obtain consistent results. My results improved over time with the following:

    - Bought a Pullman tamper matched to a triple basket. I think it is a triple or 22g. Bloody deep anyway. I found i could never obtain consistent results with the stock double. Never bothered with the single basket. The deeper basket holding more grounds seemed to help reduce gushing. I still use the triple with my Sync - kinda addicted now.

    - Tamp level is very important. Probably the most important variable to get consistent with. Basically you need to get the tamped level such that the shower screen bolt head leaves a slight impression in the puck when locked in. I would overfill the basket, tap on the bench and run my finger across to of basket to level then tamp.

    - Fine grind and a gorilla tamp. My Rocky was basically at finest setting most of the time. I usually applied a fair bit of pressure during the tamp. I eventually upgraded to a M4 with the finer grind setting helping.

    - Overpressure valve mod. This is where an extra washer is inserted in the OP valve to reduce pressure at the group head. Not sure if this actually helped. If i recall the stock silvia group head pressure is high.

    I guess if I was to suggest some first things to check it would be to use fresh roastary beans (<4 weeks old) followed by fine grind and correct tamp level then folded by varying tamp pressure.

    Cheers,

    Matt

  21. #21
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Moonta SA.
    Posts
    5,386
    Quote Originally Posted by mbg963 View Post
    Silvia is well known as a troublesome machine to obtain consistent results. My results improved over time with the following:

    - Bought a Pullman tamper matched to a triple basket. I think it is a triple or 22g. Bloody deep anyway. I found i could never obtain consistent results with the stock double. Never bothered with the single basket. The deeper basket holding more grounds seemed to help reduce gushing. I still use the triple with my Sync - kinda addicted now.

    - Tamp level is very important. Probably the most important variable to get consistent with. Basically you need to get the tamped level such that the shower screen bolt head leaves a slight impression in the puck when locked in. I would overfill the basket, tap on the bench and run my finger across to of basket to level then tamp.

    - Fine grind and a gorilla tamp. My Rocky was basically at finest setting most of the time. I usually applied a fair bit of pressure during the tamp. I eventually upgraded to a M4 with the finer grind setting helping.

    - Overpressure valve mod. This is where an extra washer is inserted in the OP valve to reduce pressure at the group head. Not sure if this actually helped. If i recall the stock silvia group head pressure is high.

    I guess if I was to suggest some first things to check it would be to use fresh roastary beans (<4 weeks old) followed by fine grind and correct tamp level then folded by varying tamp pressure.

    Cheers,

    Matt
    No wonder newcomers get confused, lot's of misinformation here.
    Dimal likes this.

  22. #22
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    18
    Quote Originally Posted by WhatEverBeansNecessary View Post
    Hmmm.... I would have to agree with Yelta, but if you are pretty confident in the beans then is the water hot enough coming out? If you haven't ever descaled the machine then the water might not be hot enough. ... Maybe pull some hot water and use a thermometer to see what temp it comes out at? It will lose heat as the water depressurises and steam is created, but it should be still close to boiling.

    Maybe give it a good descale and see if that helps?
    I'll test the water temp when I get the chance.

    I have never descaled it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    14 grams in a double seems pretty light, from recollection I used 18 grams in the double basket in my Silvia.
    I weighed the beans before grinding and started with 18gm but the showerscreen screw was making a decent indent into the grinds (when initially putting on the grouphead and taking it straight off - definitely wouldn't pass the 5c test).
    Maybe I'm not tamping hard enough but I can't reconcile that when it's taking so long to pull a shot, so I figured I'm overdosing. I went to 16 with the same issue, then 15 then 14gm. At 14gm (it's probably closer to 15 but I don't have 1/10 accuracy) it passes the 5c test.

    Yes, it certainly does, How old is the machine? Have you ever taken the shower screen off and given the area a good clean up? it gets filthy under there, the screw holding the screen can be a real pig to get out.
    The machine must be about 10 years old. I'm the second owner and the first owner didn't treat it that well I don't think. I've had it for 2 years so far.
    First thing I did was replace the shower screen as it was pretty bad as well as the grouphead? seal. I cleaned the water spreader and in behind and around the seal.

    I would suggest a weekly back flush with Cafetto Evo, and water back flush after each session.
    Also soak the portafilter and basket in Evo solution to get rid of oil and grot build up.
    I don't have a backflush disc so looks like I'll need to get one. I water flush with and without the basket on after every session.

    That Cafetto EVO looks good. Do they do a whole machine cleaner that you put in the water tank too or do I need something like this...
    https://www.coffeeparts.com.au/cino-...aning-solution

    [QUOITE]Bear in mind, only make one change at a time so you can identify exactly what you have done and what change occurred, and make notes.

    Good luck [/QUOTE]

    Absolutely - thanks.

  23. #23
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    18
    I may have answered my own question here but this might do the whole machine?
    https://www.coffeeparts.com.au/brand...store-descaler

  24. #24
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Moonta SA.
    Posts
    5,386
    Quote Originally Posted by Javafrog View Post
    I may have answered my own question here but this might do the whole machine?
    https://www.coffeeparts.com.au/brand...store-descaler
    No! you will need EVO to back flush and Restore to descale, two totally different procedures.

  25. #25
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Sydney Oz
    Posts
    493
    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    No wonder newcomers get confused, lot's of misinformation here.
    Sigh. Like what? I find it pretty rude when self confessed experts completely dismiss a post based on one's OWN EXPERIENCE from operating a Silvia for 10 years.

    How can it be misinformation when I'm listing the various means I used to obtain good results from the machine?

  26. #26
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Moonta SA.
    Posts
    5,386
    Not prepared to get into a slanging match, suffice to say I also owned a Silvia/Rocky for 10 trouble free years, it's an easy machine to come to terms with and maintain, not at all "troublesome" the issues you list are common to all espresso machines, not just the Silvia.

    As we keep attempting to reinforce, get the basics right, fresh beans, grind, dose and tamp, the rest falls into place.

    Never said I was an expert, however, I do know a bit about the Silvia/Rocky combo.

  27. #27
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    18
    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    No! you will need EVO to back flush and Restore to descale, two totally different procedures.
    Yep, I understand that.

    You suggested to backflush and WhatEverBeansNecessary suggested to descale. So I gather I really need to do both and use those 2 products before doing anymore trial and error.

    ** I have read (I think here?) that you shouldn't backflush certain models of Silvia - is that right? **

    Quote Originally Posted by mbg963 View Post
    Fine grind and a gorilla tamp. My Rocky was basically at finest setting most of the time. I usually applied a fair bit of pressure during the tamp.
    I guess if I was to suggest some first things to check it would be to use fresh roastary beans (<4 weeks old) followed by fine grind and correct tamp level then folded by varying tamp pressure.
    I've never got close to the finest on my Sunbeam and I have the shims at the ready for when I do need it though.

    You'll see in my previous posts -
    * I am using fresh beans (and even from different sources to see if any difference)
    * tamp level is correct as per the 5c test

    It's the amount of beans which seems to be the question (I'm using 14gm as seen above), the length of shot (both in time and volume).

    I've tried to eliminate as many variables as I could and then played with the tamp and grind to no avail.

    Based on the machine's history and the lack of cleaning I think that is my next course of action. I can then rule that out and you guys will have a better idea of where I may be going wrong, if at all.


    I really appreciate everyone's input.

  28. #28
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    233
    Sounds like a solid plan. Many cafes/higher end supermarkets stock descaling liquid/tables if you can't wait. Otherwise get some a sponsor will be able to help you out pretty quick if you are in or around the city.

    If anything the smaller dose with give you more coffee in less time - not a 50 sec extraction with 20ml.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •