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Thread: Silvia temp surfing

  1. #1
    Senior Member benandfaith's Avatar
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    Silvia temp surfing

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Ive been wondering about this for a while now, so I thought I might as well just post this question rather than keep wondering.

    Basically I would like to ask all you Silvia-owners when you start to pull your shot. Ie read a lot of the american stuff about temp surfing (and reverse temp surfing) and they just seem pretty full-on. Also, apparently the 110V vs 240V thing makes a difference also.

    For me, I grind the coffee while Silvia is going through a heating cycle (this is after machine has well and truly warmed up). The light turns off indicating that it is ready and I do a short cooling flush - about 2-3 secs just to get the flash of steam out. I lock it in and pull shot.

    Ive got no thermocouple or whatever they are called to measure temps (not interested in doign so either). Im an occasional espresso drinker, so my palate isnt the best for tasting espresso, but the shots I pull seem to taste nice enough - sometimes its a tad bitter, sometimes a tad acidic - never extreme, but of course this may be due to the other factors (beans, grind, tamp, etc. etc.).

    Anyway, my main question is, when is the best time to pull a shot from Silvia at the optimum (generic) brew temp for most bean types?

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    Re: Silvia temp surfing

    I am still experimenting with this myself but Im currently pressing the brew button 45-50 seconds after the light goes out, I have yet to try shorter times so will follow this thread with interest.
    Just tried the light off then purge through steam wand till steam stops method, think I prefer the light off and wait method, not sure how the rush of cold water will affect shot stability :-/ will try again at the next coffee break.

  3. #3
    Senior Member greenman's Avatar
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    Re: Silvia temp surfing

    Ive had my Silvia for 3 months now and getting to know her fairly well. Initially my espresso was a bit bitter, but after getting the grind and tamp correct and a 20second pour the results were pleasing. I have since been to a workshop at a Perth cafe where they do ristretto based coffees, Ive tried this method and the result has been outstanding for milk drinks especially with a textured full cream milk it is like liquid velvet with no bitterness. Once my machine has heated up I bleed off steam through group for few seconds and then pour the shot. Last night I had friends over who are very finicky about their coffee and I got a thumbs up from them so I am quite pleased with my progress.
    I now understand what people said when I first came on to CS that it is an addictive passtime!!!

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    Re: Silvia temp surfing

    Quote Originally Posted by benandfaith link=1190453408/0#0 date=1190453408
    Anyway, my main question is, when is the best time to pull a shot from Silvia at the optimum (generic) brew temp for most bean types?
    Well 2min after the light goes out is a figure I read somewhere. I measured the temps at various times after light out with the "thermocouple in polystyrene cup" method, and 2min seemed about right by my measurements too. That got me around the 93-94deg range. Currently Ive been trying 1:45 and taste-wise that seems slightly better, although I havent done exhaustive testing. 1:30 may be worth trying too.


    regards,
    Bill

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    Re: Silvia temp surfing

    Had another unsuccessful attempt at the running water through the group till steam stops method, ended up with the same taste as before I must be letting it get to cold. :-/
    Re Bills 1.45 wait time, I tried that and found it to cold so I shortened the time bit by bit and am currently starting the pour 45-50 seconds after light goes out. Since Bill and I both have 100C thermostat models maybe mine is running cooler than Bills, so maybe experiment between our two temps and see which works for you.
    BTW Im not using ant temp measuring gear just going by taste.

  6. #6
    Senior Member benandfaith's Avatar
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    Re: Silvia temp surfing

    Ive got the latest Silvia with the new drip tray, etc. (bought end June) - what thermostat does tha have?

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    Re: Silvia temp surfing

    Quote Originally Posted by benandfaith link=1190453408/0#0 date=1190453408
    Anyway, my main question is, when is the best time to pull a shot from Silvia at the optimum (generic) brew temp for most bean types?
    The best way to find out is to measure it. You can build a thermocouple http://www.instructables.com/id/Making-A-Thermocouple/ A basic multimeter from DS is $16. I havent done it yet. Next project ... someday...

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    Re: Silvia temp surfing

    Quote Originally Posted by benandfaith link=1190453408/0#5 date=1190589189
    Ive got the latest Silvia with the new drip tray, etc. (bought end June) - what thermostat does tha have?
    100C I believe. Thats the same model as mine.



    Bill

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    Re: Silvia temp surfing

    Does anybody know what the bottom-end of the temperature range is for the 100C thermostat models? Was the temperature at the bottom of the range different to the previous 110C thermostat model? I employ very much the same technique as benandfaith, and I get quite good results (fairly consistently). After my shot is finished, and I do a brief (1 sec) flush to clean grinds off the group head, the boiler turns back on. It would be good to know what temperature this is (the bottom-end of the thermostat range), as this would somewhat indicate whether the shot started at the right temperature, if you know the number of degrees that the temperature typically drops during the shot. Probably not an accurate way to temperature-surf, but it would be interesting to know anyway!

    Anthony.

  10. #10
    Senior Member benandfaith's Avatar
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    Re: Silvia temp surfing

    Just checking that the optimum brew temp is about 93-94 degrees?

    So ready light goes out at 100 degrees, at what temp does the heating element kick back in for the Silvia?

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    Re: Silvia temp surfing

    Quote Originally Posted by benandfaith link=1190453408/0#9 date=1190595976
    Just checking that the optimum brew temp is about 93-94 degrees?

    So ready light goes out at 100 degrees, at what temp does the heating element kick back in for the Silvia?
    I believe the actual temp overshoots the 100C mark when the light goes out, and continues to rise for another 5-10sec afterwards. So even though its a 100C thermostat, the peak of the cycle is well above 100C I believe.

    And dont forget that the temp that you get at the grouphead is much lower than the boiler temp, as the grouphead is at a lower temp and cools the incoming water.

    So it all gets a bit complicated. Its really much easier just to measure the temp at the grouphead yourself. There will be differences between machines too, so what someone else tells you may not necessarily be exactly the same on your machine.


    Bill

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    Re: Silvia temp surfing

    I have a Nov 96 model.
    I fitted a TC to the Brew thermostat bracket. *I notice that it will top at 109c . a couple of seconds brew switch seems to drop it to about 105c. *It does depends on how hot the machine is to start with. *If it is well warmed up a 20 second brew will drop it to about 95c.
    This is at the boiler head so the cooling process of the water path I think will drop the temperature to about the 92c at the brew head.
    My thermostat *cuts in at 85-86c

    I tried measuring the temp at the brew head but it is almost impossble without a destructive process.

    Just got my PID kit from Jim *- *!!

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    Re: Silvia temp surfing

    Quote Originally Posted by Caspa link=1190453408/0#8 date=1190595845
    Does anybody know what the bottom-end of the temperature range is for the 100C thermostat models?
    It is between 91C and 93C, I think.

    Jim

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    Re: Silvia temp surfing

    B&F: I know you said you dont want one, but I have to disagree - a pid is not only helpful but damn near a necessity.

    case in point: i got some beans from my local roaster the other day and setup the grinder, calculated the dose and off i went - big gloops of thick, bubbly crema. it looks very nice during the pour and watching your espresso settle like guinness is quite a novelty, but its just no good to drink. Anyway, so i push a few buttons on the pid and bring the temp down a few degrees and i produce something with perfect consistency and a markedly improved flavour.

    back in the bad old days of surfing i knew every nook and cranny of my gaggia classic, but theres no way i could ever have simply and quickly resolved this problem once, let alone consistently for every shot throughout the rest of the kilo of beans i had.

    pidding is cheap (compared to what you paid for your silvia), simple (hundreds of coffeesnobs have done it and if it goes wrong theres a wealth of experience to call upon here) and the level of improvement is incredible dollar for dollar. stop working on your "surfing technique" and start pulling shots at consistent temperatures so you can work on other areas of your serving.

    /rant

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    Re: Silvia temp surfing

    Quote Originally Posted by early_morning_ link=1190453408/0#13 date=1190946508
    B&F: I know you said you dont want one, but I have to disagree - a pid is not only helpful but damn near a necessity.

    case in point: i got some beans from my local roaster the other day and setup the grinder, calculated the dose and off i went - big gloops of thick, bubbly crema. it looks very nice during the pour and watching your espresso settle like guinness is quite a novelty, but its just no good to drink. Anyway, so i push a few buttons on the pid and bring the temp down a few degrees and i produce something with perfect consistency and a markedly improved flavour.

    back in the bad old days of surfing i knew every nook and cranny of my gaggia classic, but theres no way i could ever have simply and quickly resolved this problem once, let alone consistently for every shot throughout the rest of the kilo of beans i had.

    pidding is cheap (compared to what you paid for your silvia), simple (hundreds of coffeesnobs have done it and if it goes wrong theres a wealth of experience to call upon here) and the level of improvement is incredible dollar for dollar. stop working on your "surfing technique" and start pulling shots at consistent temperatures so you can work on other areas of your serving.

    /rant
    As a new Silvia Owner, I am keen to keep my warranty intact :) So until my warranty is up, I would prefer to work on my surfing technique, rather than drinking average shots! :D

  16. #16
    Senior Member benandfaith's Avatar
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    Re: Silvia temp surfing

    Quote Originally Posted by Caspa link=1190453408/0#14 date=1190946725
    As a new Silvia Owner, I am keen to keep my warranty intact :) So until my warranty is up, I would prefer to work on my surfing technique, rather than drinking average shots! :D
    Likewise, I am still under warranty!

    Perhaps in 9 months time I shall have to consider PID-ing, but for now, temperature surf is what I have to do... thanks for all the thoughts so far...



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