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Thread: Silvia V2 OPV teflon gasket and other newbie woes

  1. #1
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    Silvia V2 OPV teflon gasket and other newbie woes

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi Guys

    So after much lurking i decided that the Silvia was the machine i needed.
    I eventually found a V2 at the right price.
    Having read about the importance of a grinder, and then being shocked at the prices, i settled down and decided to pair it up with a compak k3t.

    It seems that no matter what i do i just cant get it right. I get gushers, leaks around the portafilter (i already bought a new gasket and fitted it and it still leaks a bit), chokes (and then leaks). I have tried finer grinder settings, coarser, overdose, underdose etc. Ive used 3 different types of freshly roasted beans to see if it helps. I also do a bit of temp surfing to try get some consistency. Im using a synesso ridgeless basket with a sized tamper.

    Initially i was following the scottie callaghan dosing technique in a vibeimme dvd, but it didnt seem to work for me. Then i saw him in a video at the wbc and he used a different technique for that which seems to work a lot better for me.
    I probably sink 2 out of 3 doubles i make.
    Of the ones i keep, they taste good when making a latte, but no where near cafe quality for espresso.

    Anyway, i think part of the reason may be the pressure of the silvia (cant be me right* ;) ). So i ordered the teflon washer as i dont have the adjustable opv.

    My question is, Do i replace the copper washer with the teflon one? or do i add the teflon on to the copper washer?

    And secondly, how did you start off at the very beginning to get consistency?
    My goal is to get the extraction looking like honey off a spoon.
    I do get 60ml in 25secs sometimes, but the trails look nothing like honey off a spoon and usually it blondes early.

    Thanks
    (Newbie who wants great espresso at home)
    Sam

    PS If Ive put you off from buying a silvia, dont be. Its a great machine which im still happy to have over the 6910. Ive made a few coffees in my brief ownership which would put the big coffee chains to shame (im looking at you gloria jeans) and a few unnamed cafes as well.

  2. #2
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    Re: Silvia V2 OPV teflon gasket and other newbie woes

    Welcome locosam and what a great first post.

    Firstly, there wont be anything wrong with the machine so my advice would be NOT to do anything inside. There was nothing wrong with so called V2 and there certainly wasnt anything wrong with even the so called V1......how do you think they got such rave reviews in the beginning? Yes the early models were not pressure regulated, but that didnt stop them being a great domestic espresso maker right from the beginning.

    Overflow over the top of the group handle on a Silvia means no more than.....overfilled coffee filter ie, you have over dosed it. It is a common trait for Silvia. Knock back the dose, and keep it consistent.

    A small tip then:
    if your "coffeeophile quality" coffee filter (basket) does not have the usual groove for the filter circlip near the top, DONT USE it while you work out the correct dosing height. Go back to the regular filter that came with the machine and use the groove as a guide. After you have dosed, settled and tamped, the finished level of the top of the puck should (for a Silvia) be no higher than the top of the groove. You should actually just see the top of the groove or be only just at a point whee you cant see the top of the groove. (Any more grinds than that and you are overdosed and will get leakage over the top of the group handle as yo described).

    Once you get that down pat, by all means go back to your coffeeophile filter and seek the same finished level in that, which presumably will be harder for you to work out at first if there is not circlip groove to use as a guide....

    Yes consistency and understanding in your technique is what you need, I can see not much else than technique related issues in your questions, and all you have to do is take a lesson. Pay someone, and cut immediately to the chase. All will be well!

    And did I say....leave the inside of the thing alone...if not for any other reason, there isnt much point putting a band aid on your leg to see if it might help your sore throat, and I cant see anthying to do with OPVs and delivery pressure in your questions* :)

    Regardz,
    Attilio
    very first Cs site sponsor.

  3. #3
    Senior Member trentski's Avatar
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    Re: Silvia V2 OPV teflon gasket and other newbie woes

    Im turning into a bit of an Attilio fanboy :-[ :D

    Great advice once again.

    The Silvia is a difficult machine to master, you really need to be consistent in your approach and only change one thing at a time. When you have mastered her your skills will make any upgrade a breeze to use.

    Make sure you let her heat up for a good 30 minutes, before you start, more wouldnt hurt. Look up temperature surfing, it makes a difference. Be consistent.

    I had trouble with the basket that came with my naked group handle. I went back to the original double and am getting much better results. I believe some basket shapes suit some machines better than others. My tamp would be a couple of kg at most by the way, no where near the 15kg/30 pounds that is often quoted.

    Dont worry about how the shot looks as it comes out of the group handle (I dont think mine look like honey), its how it tastes that matters.

    I had a Lucy (2002 vintage I think, Silvia with built in grinder) and it would make great coffee and I didnt change a thing on it. What needed to change was me.


  4. #4
    Senior Member trentski's Avatar
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    Re: Silvia V2 OPV teflon gasket and other newbie woes

    Where do you live by the way, one of the local snobs might be able to help you out with your technique 8-)

  5. #5
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    Re: Silvia V2 OPV teflon gasket and other newbie woes

    Wow Thanks Attila.
    I think that advice was spot on. Ive been trying to look at the grooves on the tamper to get a consistent level. Unsuccessfully of course.
    The problem with going back to the default basket is the tamper i have doesnt fit. Its actually slightly too big for the default baskets. Sure i can use the plastic one, but renders all my expensive accessories useless :)
    Looks like ill have to swallow my pride and do it since what i want is a good coffee.
    I cant guarantee about the teflon gasket though. That little guy is sitting here just screaming out 9BAR!

    Im in the process of moving to Seven Hills (Sydney) in the coming weeks. If anyone knows where to buy fresh roasted beans nearby please let me know!

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    Re: Silvia V2 OPV teflon gasket and other newbie woes

    Look at the position of the top of the circlip groove in the std filter, and try and get the same finished height in the other filter....

    Rgdz,
    A.

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    Re: Silvia V2 OPV teflon gasket and other newbie woes

    +1 for training on your own machine & grinder. Took me months of stuffing about to get a decent coffee, then 2 hours training and I was turning out amazing shots that I never even dreamed of on my Lucy. :)

    To be honest I probably need more training now to get me back on track. ;)

  8. #8
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    Re: Silvia V2 OPV teflon gasket and other newbie woes

    Hi Locosam
    some notes:
    1. When you fit the portafilter handle where does it point when tight. It should be sort of straight at you but slightly to the right.
    2. I think my Silvia is a V 2? (2005?)* and is adjustable though it did not look like it (Take a pic of it)
    3. When filled with grinds and tight undo the pf, there should be no more than a slight mark of the group centre screw, If there is much more the pf will not properly seal as the grinds will stop it (Over dosing).
    4. The change to pale extraction quickly is often a sign of channelling which is a dosing and tamping challenge that is with us all most of the time.
    5. you should not have to overtighten the pf handle - for your peace of mind you may want to work out a way of marking the the large group washer and seeing if it meets the rim of the pf filter all round when lightly tight.

    dumiya

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    Re: Silvia V2 OPV teflon gasket and other newbie woes

    An update:
    I tried a few things out over the weekend (with some fresher beans) and I think im finally on the right path.

    I had suspicion that i was overfilling since i could lock in the blind filter without leaking through the seal. I used everyones advice. i tamped it so it was around the same height as the groove on the default basket.
    This made it so that after tamping, i could remove the portafilter and see the screw barely indenting the coffee.
    I only used a slight to moderate force for tamping. Not 15+kgs.
    I also wasnt pushing the handle far enough right enough. I now push it so its ever so slightly pointing right of centre.

    I also changed my opv gasket. Much harder than it needed to be because some dummy (ie me) was turning clockwise, not anti clockwise...i did discover that the machine can take at least 75kg weight sitting on top of it though* ;D

    (honestly, its amazing though. i dont know of any other applicance i can sit on without breaking it I had a laugh)

    Also, I changed the showerhead. I discovered that my old has a different pattern to the new one.

    I took a pic of the differences

    The only thing I wasnt sure about is how hard should I screw the opv screw back on? Since the telflon washer kept on squashing, i could probably screw it so it was as tight as the original washer.

    Anyway, so with all these changes, i finally got some ~25 sec pours without blonding until near the end. I can finally sleep easy at night (well probably not tonight since i couldnt help drinking a little too much in my excitment* :o)

    edit: I forgot to add, the puck isnt dry as a cookie anymore. its a bit watery after the pull. im not sure if it makes a big difference though since the coffee is better




  10. #10
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    Re: Silvia V2 OPV teflon gasket and other newbie woes

    Glad you are working it out.

    Re: ".....I forgot to add, the puck isnt dry as a cookie anymore. its a bit watery after the pull...."

    This means either you are grinding too fine, or you are now underfilling the filter (or a bit of both). If you are not tamping to the "specified" 13 kg or so, then when the water goes through the puck it causes it to settle a little more and ends up in a slight under dose.

    But if you are happy with the results that is already good news......

    Cant see the other side of the shower but doesnt look like there is anything wrong with the original and.....youve put the teflon thingo in the watchacallit and you now dont know what pressure its bypassing at....and yes you may have screwed it down to similar delivery pressure as before???* :-?

    Regardz,
    Attilio.



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