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Thread: First time Silvia user

  1. #1
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    First time Silvia user

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Have been luking in the background for some time trying to absorb as much info as I can to feed my growing desire to make the perfect coffee. My addiction started when I purchased a cheap machine from Aldi for the cost of just $45. What a bargain I thought! :D I learnt all the tricks on this machine and was able to pull consistently OK shots. It finally died after 9 months(or so I thought). My wife looked forward to her afternoon coffee and when she suggested I purchase a new machine I was in like Flynn. *;) I now own a new Rancillio Silvia and Rocky combo. I have been practicing finding the right grind and tamp and along with some reverse temp surfing have been pulling some "OK to great shots" ( to my untrained taste buds anyway). CS has taught me some good habits and tricks. I have a clickclack lid for the rocky( it works like a charm) and I have always used fresh locally roasted beans. My reverse temp surfing has been based around some great info and video at http://coffeemachineman.com.au/category/coffee-machines/ *(worth a look for new silvia users) and many other CS posts
    I understand there are many ways to skin a cat and have been altering and changing my methods and letting my taste buds dictate any future changes. There is plenty to learn!
    Having not owned a machine with a 3 way valve before I found some great info at http://www.espressomyespresso.com/ on the How To Pages under backflushing. I now feel confident in backflushing and keeping my machine clean on a regular basis.
    One thing I have found is when steaming milk if u start when the themostat light goes out(and purging the wand of water) the steam pressure will slowly drop as u steam the milk and limits the whirlpool action. I have now adopted the approach of waiting for the light to go out, purge all water from wand and continue to steam into the drip tray until light turns back on and the boiler is being heated again. I time for 20 to 30 sec and start to steam. The light never goes out and steam pressure seems to be at its max. Seems to make great microfoam almost every time. (although it takes practice).
    Any comments?
    Iam still searching for that God Shot. I guess that makes me a CS *;D
    PS by the way I cleaned up my Aldi machine and it seems to be working like a charm now. I havnt told my wife yet *:D

  2. #2
    Senior Member greenman's Avatar
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    Re: First time Silvia user

    Hi Cicarda, welcome to the wondeful world of Snobdom, you sound as though you have done heaps of research and are on the right track with most aspects of Silvia. There is a little mod to the Rocky to make it stepless, if you search in the grinder section youll find it, it gives you fine adjustment and only costs a couple of $$, well worth doing.
    Maybe do a Gronk and place a thermocouple on your boiler so that you can monitor boiler temp and know when to pull your shot ay the optimum moment!!
    Enjoy your espresso journey................cheers gm

  3. #3
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    Re: First time Silvia user

    Hi Cicarda and welcome.
    Silvia and Rocky are a great combo and you seem to have done your research well.
    Your steaming technique is an accepted practice for good steaming performance with a standard Silvia.
    A PID with steam control renders this redundant and the steaming performance is awesome. You might consider this option if the Aussie dollar gets back up near the US dollar, but at the moment it makes one of Jims PID kits a wee bit too expensive.
    Enjoy the journey.

    Cheers,
    Alan

  4. #4
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    Re: First time Silvia user

    Quote Originally Posted by 0F252F2D3E282D4C0 link=1232792918/0#0 date=1232792918
    One thing I have found is when steaming milk if u start when the themostat light goes out.....
    Try to time it so you start steaming milk JUST BEFORE the light goes out, then the pressure will be at maximum and the heating element will be on for the entire time you are steaming.

    regards,
    Bill

  5. #5
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    Re: First time Silvia user

    I have found that I start to steam 30sec after the thermostat light turns on. Have done a few trials and it appears that the light will stay on for 35 to 40 sec. By doing this I have never had the light turn off while I am steaming. If u overshoot the mark and the light goes out, forget about steaming u may as well bleed the steam from the wand and start again.
    I will do some mods to the Rocky thanks gm and Gronking the silvia seems like a great idea. I will just have to find the parts and the time.

    Also i have found that when I pull my shots, after about 15 to 20 sec into the shot the themostat light comes on. Is this normal ?
    I do a cooling flush before the shot. Does this indicate too much of a temp swing during the shot and maybe a shorter cooling flush is needed?

    Can anyone tell me when delivering hot water if the hot water switch is turned on first and the steam valve is not turned on for say 5 sec is this putting back pressure into the machine and could cause damage? If so should u always open the steam valve first and then flick the hot water switch?

    Is this also the best method of refilling the boiler after steaming ie open the steam valve, release some steam and then flick the water switch on till water flows from the steam wand and the boiler should be full.
    Thanks still trying to learn how this silvia works.
    Cicarda

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Re: First time Silvia user

    I normally flick the hot water switch on before opening the steam valve. Dont know about 5 secs though. Why so long?
    To refill the boiler after steaming, flick on the hot water switch, then open the steam valve and keep open till there is a steady stream of water issuing from it. Close steam valve and then flick off hot water switch. There is a bypass built into Silvia so you cant damage her by having the hot water switch on without the steam valve open.
    If you want to prove this for yourself, then take the lid off the water tank and hold the shorter water tube clear of the water then flick the hot water switch on without opening the steam valve. Water will be pumped out of this shorter tube while the switch is on (and the pump is running) as this is the water bypass return.

    Cheers,
    Alan



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