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Thread: My new silvia experience

  1. #1
    Senior Member Zaneus's Avatar
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    My new silvia experience

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Well ive now had my silvia (Bought off these forums) for 2 days now and ive finally "perfected" my dosing and tamping. I finally got a well extracted 60ml shot in 25 seconds that tastes great! Only downside is that the top layer of the puck is sloppy and wet (this normal?). The rest of the puck is dense and dry though.

    Now when i say "perfected" i really mean "reasonable". the flow from the portafilter favors the right spout over the left. Theres no visible channeling in the puck so this means im tamping the left side harder than the right?



    Thoughts? im far from experienced so maybe you guys could give me a few pointers? where to go from here etc. I know you cant really tell too much just from the crema, but maybe im missing something.

    (edit: forgot to mention the beans were roasted on the 11th of August - 23 days old)

  2. #2
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: My new silvia experience

    Quote Originally Posted by 0B303F342422510 link=1283488530/0#0 date=1283488530
    Well ive now had my silvia (Bought off these forums) for 2 days now and ive finally "perfected" my dosing and tamping. I finally got a well extracted 60ml shot in 25 seconds that tastes great!
    Great stuff mate; nice looking shot and it obviously tasted the goods.....

    Quote Originally Posted by 0B303F342422510 link=1283488530/0#0 date=1283488530
    Only downside is that the top layer of the puck is sloppy and wet (this normal?). The rest of the puck is dense and dry though.
    No, its not really normal but its not a big deal either. As is often stated here and many other places, "Its whats in the cup that counts."

    A possible reason though, is that you have slightly under-dosed and ground slightly too fine by way of compensation. Try increasing the grind size just a smidge and up your dose by a small amount and see where that takes you. Probably the most difficult aspect of pouring consistently great espresso, is to get your Dose and Distribution routine down pat. Lots of info to be found here and elsewhere on how to develop this routine and a "Quick Search" via this feature up in the R/H corner of the page, will turn up lots of information.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0B303F342422510 link=1283488530/0#0 date=1283488530
    Now when i say "perfected" i really mean "reasonable". the flow from the portafilter favors the right spout over the left. Theres no visible channeling in the puck so this means im tamping the left side harder than the right?
    Maybe, maybe not....

    It could just mean that Silvia is not quite sitting level on the bench or there may be a little bit of casting slag left behind in the spout (can be filed away with a small round file). Personally, Ive never been able to create differential pour rates from each side of the spout after making sure the machine is level and the spout is clear of all manufacturing glitches. Ive tamped deliberately and severely lopsided, yet the pour rates from both sides remains the same.

    A very different matter as far as the quality of the pour itself is concerned of course.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0B303F342422510 link=1283488530/0#0 date=1283488530
    (edit: forgot to mention the beans were roasted on the 11th of August - 23 days old)
    So long as you are storing the beans properly, they should still be performing quite well albeit maybe a little past their prime perhaps....

    Hope some of this helps out mate. All the best.... :)

    Mal.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Zaneus's Avatar
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    Re: My new silvia experience

    Im not sure about dosing. im slightly overfilling the basket and then evening it out with my finger. I have a sunbeam 0480 and was using a grind setting of 11 and getting 15-18 second pours. went down to 10 and now im getting better results. Im buying the synesso double basket on the weekend however, so i figure ill have to adjust again. ill work out the grind settings then.

  4. #4
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: My new silvia experience

    No worries mate...

    Keep us all in the loop on how your journey progresses though ;) [smiley=laugh.gif]

    Mal.

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    Re: My new silvia experience

    Hey. Looks great. What size filter were you using? 7g, 9g, 14g or 18g?

    Ive found with the smaller filters, the top can be a bit wet.. I think Im still trying to perfect the amount pre-tamp..

    How much do other people use? With the double filters, I level with the top of the filter before tamping, but if I do this with the single size, it seems too much..

    FYI, Ive also had my Silvia for about a week.. Love the learning process.. :) and the coffee is great as well!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Zaneus's Avatar
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    Re: My new silvia experience

    Using the stock double that comes with the silvia, so i think 14g? Im not weighing how much coffee goes into the basket so i cant tell you how much im using.

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    Re: My new silvia experience

    As Mal said, a wet puck can indicate that you are underdosing. Tapping your portafilter before you level (a.k.a. collapsing) will help you increase your dose. Try perhaps one collapse when your basket is overfull, adjusting your grind so you get a 30 second pour, and see how the taste compares.

    Do keep in mind though that it is whats in the cup that counts, one particular blend I tried cuts through the milk much better with a fine grind and low dose, which invariably results in a fairly wet puck.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Zaneus's Avatar
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    Re: My new silvia experience

    Ive done some testing about the dosing issue and it seems Mal hit the nail on the head. Im now fulling the basket to almost full, collapsing with two hard taps on a rubber mat then overfilling and leveling. The puck is consistently dry and im getting good shots. I have noticed however that my crema has started to drop off rapidly though im thinking thats just a side affect of the beans getting old. The post man dropped off a 1kg bag of espresso wow today so ill give that a go once ive finished off these beans (only a few shots left)

    Im also modding my EM0480 to be stepless and doing the masking tape trick, so i have my hands full for now. Will update on how the mod goes :)

  9. #9
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Re: My new silvia experience

    Quote Originally Posted by 4378777C6C6A190 link=1283488530/7#7 date=1284095523
    I have noticed however that my crema has started to drop off rapidly though im thinking thats just a side affect of the beans getting old.
    Allowing Silvia to get too hot will kill the crema super quick i.e. steam milk then immediately pull a shot without cooling the machine down, this may not apply to you but is certainly a point worth considering.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Zaneus's Avatar
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    Re: My new silvia experience

    I always make sure the PID reads 105 before pulling (Sometimes its 104). Plus i always do the shot before steaming milk if im making a milk based drinks.

    forgot to mention earlier as well, i weighed my basket with the grounds in and it showed ~16g of coffee. Is this updosing too much for the silvia basket (if it is in fact a 14g basket)?

    I also fixed the problem where the pour would favour the right spout. The silvia wasnt perfectly level. Ive put a 20c piece under each leg on the right side and now its sitting perfectly level. Is it possible to adjust the rubber feat on the silvia so it sits level without the need for a shim? the right side of the machine doesnt grip the table at all now because of the 20c pieces, which makes locking in and removing the portafilter a pain.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Re: My new silvia experience

    Quote Originally Posted by 7E454A415157240 link=1283488530/9#9 date=1284098102
    Is it possible to adjust the rubber feat on the silvia so it sits level without the need for a shim?
    No.

    Have you seen this link http://coffeemachineman.com.au/ certainly worth a look, the guy seems to have done his home work. :)

  12. #12
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: My new silvia experience

    Quote Originally Posted by 78434C475751220 link=1283488530/9#9 date=1284098102
    I always make sure the PID reads 105 before pulling (Sometimes its 104). Plus i always do the shot before steaming milk if im making a milk based drinks
    This could be contributing to the issue you describe too "Zaneus"....

    I know that the actual temperature of the water being delivered to the top of the coffee puck depends on a number of variables relating to an overall PID Controller installation but.... These controller Setpoint temperatures seem a bit low to me. I would have expected the temperature to be closer to 108-109C from my own personal experience and everything Ive read about a so-called PIDd Silvia.

    Lower than ideal Brew Water temperatures can cause slightly sloppy pucks and poor quality crema so it would probably be worth your while to experiment a bit with the Setpoint. You could also measure the temperature of the Brew Water as it hits the top of the puck.

    Allow Silvia to warm up for an hour to ensure complete stability. Load up your Basket as per normal, site a bead t/couple about midway between the centre of the puck and the circumference, then lock the Group Handle into position while holding the t/c cable in position to prevent it being moved. Connect in your DMM and then pull a shot.... If you have the CS Roast Monitor DMM and software, then you could plot the Brew Water Temperature Profile as if you were roasting. Either way, you will discover what the actual Brew Water temperature is and by adjusting the PID Setpoint, set it so that an ideal temperature is being achieved. 93-94C would be a good starting point.... ;)

    Mal.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Zaneus's Avatar
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    Re: My new silvia experience

    i have no way of measuring the temperature myself so i put the setpoint to what ive seen on youtube and other sources. However i did buy the silvia from here and it was set at 105c. I maintain that my crema problem is due to old beans as i was getting a better crema not too long ago. Plus the difference in crema between now and last week is only minimal.

    In other news i just finished modding my em0480. I didnt file out the notches to make it truly stepless and as it turns out i didnt need to. After the modding i did a test shot which clogged the machine almost completely. After a little playing ive found the right setting at around 15 as opposed to 11 before the mod. fairly big difference. When adjusting as well it feels very stiff and accurate. the whole upper burr carrier used to wobble slightly before, now its nice and sturdy :).

    ill bring out my timer again and open the fresh beans tomorrow and try to really dial it in.

  14. #14
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: My new silvia experience

    Still think 105C is a bit low mate...

    Like I said, going from my own personal experience and after measuring the Brew Water Temperature in a manner similar to that described above.....

    Mal.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Zaneus's Avatar
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    Re: My new silvia experience

    So after a few days ive gotten back down to the 25 second mark and roughly 60ml. Tasting very nice. The grinder hasnt noticeably improved after the mod however it does feel way more solid compared to what it was, plus stepless adjusting is great. I didnt have to file back the notches as the masking tape keeps it in place fine as it is. If i notice it slipping at all due to the notches ill go back in and file them out.

    Heres some pictures of the mod, very easy to do!




    Once you open it out you really get an idea of just how much grinds are retained in the chute... the whole beans probably fell in from when i took the hopper out, they wouldnt be there in normal operation (i hope :-/)



    and heres my latest two drinks. double piccolo and a double latte



    The latte was meant to be a rosetta, im having trouble with them ;D

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    Re: My new silvia experience

    Im finding that a 30 sec shot for 60mls is a little fast. I know that it is considered the standard but i am getting better flavour from a slower shot (45 secs). I dont know what others will think of this but it works for me.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Zaneus's Avatar
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    Re: My new silvia experience

    Yeah, i timed my last shot at 38 seconds and it tasted alright too. not sure exactly what i like yet. Also Mal, i increased the temp up to 107 and ill see how that goes over the next few days, ill let you know how it goes for me.

  18. #18
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: My new silvia experience

    Quote Originally Posted by 223F38142A25142E3B22284B0 link=1283488530/15#15 date=1284554329
    Im finding that a 30 sec shot for 60mls is a little fast. I know that it is considered the standard but i am getting better flavour from a slower shot (45 secs). I dont know what others will think of this but it works for me.
    Doesnt matter what anyone else thinks Epic, its what you like that counts mate....

    Mal.



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