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Thread: What makes Silvia unforgiving?

  1. #1
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    What makes Silvia unforgiving?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I keep reading that Silvia has a steep learning curve and can be unforgiving and I am left wondering what it is that makes her this way?

    My thoughts are that it is purely related to that god awful screw in the shower screen. Its size creates a much smaller margin of error in regard to dose.

    Does the ‘screw mod’ create a more forgiving Silvia? Is there a point I’m missing?

    I’m interested to hear your thoughts

    PS. If anyone knows of a place to get a suitable replacement screw in Perth please PM me. I’m completely tool illiterate and want to just swap / replace.

  2. #2
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    Re: What makes Silvia unforgiving?

    Quote Originally Posted by 49464F59230 link=1252382883/0#0 date=1252382883
    I keep reading that Silvia has a steep learning curve and can be unforgiving and I am left wondering what it is that makes her this way?

    My thoughts are that it is purely related to that god awful screw in the shower screen. Its size creates a much smaller margin of error in regard to dose.

    Does the ‘screw mod’ create a more forgiving Silvia? Is there a point I’m missing?

    I’m interested to hear your thoughts

    PS. If anyone knows of a place to get a suitable replacement screw in Perth please PM me. I’m completely tool illiterate and want to just swap / replace.
    I think the screw is probably the least of the issues. There are a few other factors.
    -Wide temperature band
    -Low shower screen makes it more sensitive to dosing
    -No pre-infusion/pressure ramp up makes it more prone to channeling
    -Small factory baskets mean that there is less margin for error for a drinkable shot.
    - The reputation probably gained more traction when Silvia used to ship with a 12 bar opv, This isnt the case anymore but the reputation persists.

    The best advice is to get bigger baskets as this will also help with the low shower screen.

    Do a search on temp surfing there is lots of information.

    Hope this helps.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: What makes Silvia unforgiving?

    Just take off the bolt and filter screen
    Take both to a Engineers bolt and nut retailer
    Ask for a Stainless Steel Philips head replacement that fits in the screen with a low profile

    To gauge what thread size you need just try the Silvias bolt on a nut

    KK

  4. #4
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    Re: What makes Silvia unforgiving?

    Quote Originally Posted by 6A7277776273586A66693130070 link=1252382883/1#1 date=1252383422
    -Wide temperature band
    -Low shower screen makes it more sensitive to dosing
    -No pre-infusion/pressure ramp up makes it more prone to channeling
    -Small factory baskets mean that there is less margin for error for a drinkable shot.
    I took temp surfing and using synesso baskets as a standard. I guess I was referring to what makes her unforgiving beyond these points.

    The pressure ramping is a good point. Do 6910s or other machines priced in competition with Silvia have this feature?

    I guess I am trying to get to find out if Im correct in thinking that a lot of Silvias problems centre around a fine margin of error in dosing.

    Therefore a countersunk screw would buy me a few extra mm in my dose margin of error.

    Or is it the height of the shower screen that’s the problem and changing the screw will be of little benefit?

  5. #5
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    Re: What makes Silvia unforgiving?

    I had a silvia and the screw was not a problem at all - as muppet has already pointed out. All it did was leave an imprint in the puck. Also I didnt find much problem dosing - its was not as unforgiving as my BZ07 now - which has an unbelievably low shower screen.

    The most unforgiving features I found to be learning temp surfing when pulling shots, and figuring out the steam wand. It has the ability of great steam volume, but can blast it at greatly varying flowrates, if you only start steaming after it clicks.

    thats my second crack.

  6. #6
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    Re: What makes Silvia unforgiving?

    Imo the shower screen hight overall would have a bigger effect on things then the screw. By all means if you think it will help go for it, It can only be a good thing. Its not a NO.1 mod for most people though. With that said whilst Silvia might be said to have a low shower screen I have used a hx machine that was similarly sensitive to dose and seemed to also have a fairly low shower screen. If your temp surfing with bigger baskets I really dont think silvia is much more troublesome then other machines in its price bracket or even compared to much more expensive gear.

    Perhaps also contributing to its reputation is the place where it sits in the market. Silvia doesnt have the potential to pull shots as good as a Giotto or machine of that calibre. Silvia is a steep learning curve when compared to a Breville with duel wall baskets.
    Due to its price point people sometimes pair it with inadequate grinders and then wonder why their Breville pulled better shots.

    Ive never used a 6910 but I believe that they have some form of automatic pre-infusion

    Its possible on a silvia to control pre-infusion by opening up the steam valve and ramping up the pressure depending on the speed you close it. I havnt really experimented a great deal with this but others might be able to comment on its effectiveness.

    All in all I think that Silvias reputation can be somewhat unfair for what is a good machine that can consistently produce great coffee given good technique.

  7. #7
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    Re: What makes Silvia unforgiving?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2C34313124351E2C202F7776410 link=1252382883/5#5 date=1252386735
    All in all I think that Silvias reputation can be somewhat unfair for what is a good machine that can consistently produce great coffee given good technique. *
    I totally agree. I think Im just catching the tweaking bug :)

    Thanks for your input guys it has been illuminating.

  8. #8
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    Re: What makes Silvia unforgiving?

    Quote Originally Posted by 76525B5B58586276524E50523D0 link=1252382883/2#2 date=1252383566
    Just take off the bolt and filter screen
    Take both to a Engineers bolt and nut retailer
    Ask for a Stainless Steel Philips head replacement that fits in the screen with a low profile
    Or better yet, an equivalent Allen Head Screw... 8-)

    Mal.

  9. #9
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    Re: What makes Silvia unforgiving?

    I just gronked my Silvia a couple of days ago, and Im fairly certain that after getting a synesso basket, a pullman tamper, and of course a good grinder, this is a must-do mod for the silvia. My temp rages from 86-116, and unless I time it perfectly I had no hope at consistency. Just watching the thermometer during the cycle had made it all so much clearer.

  10. #10
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    Re: What makes Silvia unforgiving?

    hey all,
    Gronking your silvia really opens your eyes to the errors you are making pulling shots on the silvia, there really is a massive dead band, as doug said, 86-116C, considering the taste of a shot can differ amazingly with 1 or even .5 of a degree, it really makes you wonder......
    if anyone is wondering how to temp surf, there are a fair amount of videos on youtube, but searching for it will turn up a heap of PIDed silvia videos, prepare to be envious!, remember a top quality PID kit is only a click away........www.pidkits.com

    for a cheaper option you could always pull it off for about $90 with my DIY tutorial........... http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1246334170

  11. #11
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    Re: What makes Silvia unforgiving?

    Quote Originally Posted by 707B61732C25140 link=1252382883/8#8 date=1252420951
    I just gronked my Silvia a couple of days ago, and Im fairly certain that after getting a synesso basket, a pullman tamper, and of course a good grinder, this is a must-do mod for the silvia. My temp rages from 86-116, and unless I time it perfectly I had no hope at consistency. Just watching the thermometer during the cycle had made it all so much clearer.
    hmmm starting to seriously think pid these last couple of weeks. I dont think I can wait for a GS3 much longer. :)

  12. #12
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    Re: What makes Silvia unforgiving?

    For me personally, Im not going down the PID path as Id rather put that money towards a machine upgrade. But I can see the benefits of it as it makes the silvia pretty well complete. Happy with the thermometer so far, and it should see me through to upgrade time. Bestpart about it is if I miss my temperature point, I can flick the steam switch for a couple of seconds and have another go. I alwaysget the temp on the way down though, otherwise its not a stable reading.

  13. #13
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    Re: What makes Silvia unforgiving?

    With the dispersion screw, have any of you seen the puck imprint on a FB80/Linea?!

  14. #14
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    Re: What makes Silvia unforgiving?

    answering the question more directly, its mostly due to dosing/grind sensitivity and temp. surfing, and the requirement of mastering both of those to get a repeatable extraction/taste in cup.



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