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Thread: Silvia Fine-Tuning.....

  1. #1
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    Re: Giotto brewing tips....

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Channel here, channel there.... :-[

    Quote from 2mcm
    "..Run a shot to see how things are going. 30ml in approx 25 sec pour time is a good starting point. Check the puck to see that it is not wet and sloppy- if it is, your dose is poor and the coffee will be bad. If you see holes in the puck, these are channels and will usually result in an unsatisfactory shot. "

    Frequently I see references to channeling, and I know myself it affects the shot, but despite some searching I have not found much in the way of what to do, or change, to stop the channeling. (Maybe I need to go back to Home Barista 101 course and re-read)

    In my case I too often see a channel somewhere around the edge of the puck, although pour can often start reasonably well, seems to go blond a bit too soon.

    For the benefit of all can we have some suggestions about what to do to stop or minimise it?

    Regards
    Bullitt

  2. #2
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    Re: Giotto brewing tips....

    bullitt it is all in the tamp, if u have a even tamp at a good pressure and you didnt have any lumps in your grind then you wont get channeling.

  3. #3
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    Re: Giotto brewing tips....

    Quote Originally Posted by segrave link=1167622442/0#6 date=1171601654
    bullitt it is all in the tamp, if u have a even tamp at a good pressure and you didnt have any lumps in your grind then you wont get channeling.
    Assumming you have a properly sized tamper.


    Java "Equipment matters" phile

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    Re: Giotto brewing tips....

    Thanks for the replies,

    I have a pullman tamper, which is great for consistency,
    I am reasonably confident my tamp pressure is around 30lb,
    (good thing the wife didnt see the bathroom scales on the kitchen bench) ;)

    Ive been working on reducing the amount of clumping, currently using Mals method of grinding into a plastic container, then transferring into the filter basket, :)

    And worryingly some of the channelling was very consistently in the same place.
    After separate discussion with 2mcm I am now tracking other possible causes, will let you know what I find when Im satisfied I found it. Might take a few days.

    Currently my best guess is the replacement spring I fitted in the PF, it is a lot stronger than the original one, and this problem has arisen since the time it was fitted. It is one of the few things that is consistently in the same place. Fortunately I still have the original spring.

    Regards
    Bullitt

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Re: Giotto brewing tips....

    Make sure your tamp is nice and level. I had a problem with consistantly positioned channeling at one time which I traced to my tamp being slightly off level and when I locked the portafilter on the high side of the puck would be disturbed by the showerscreen leading to channeling in that spot. A slight adjustment to my tamping procedure and all was once agin well. :)


    Java "Tamping his way through life, one puck at a time." phile

  6. #6
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    Re: Giotto brewing tips....

    Quote Originally Posted by Bullitt link=1167622442/0#5 date=1171601235
    In my case I too often see a channel somewhere around the edge of the puck, although pour can often start reasonably well, seems to go blond a bit too soon.

    For the benefit of all can we have some suggestions about what to do to stop or minimise it?
    Have you got a bottomless portafilter to check that it is actually channelling? Some machines , baskets and groups just produce espresso that blondes faster than others. You can delay the onset of blonding by putting in as much coffee as possible, which might mean coarsening your grind and increasing your dose. Bigger baskets are also an option, but beware that you get to a point where youre using heaps of coffee and really just extracting a big ristretto, which sort of mutes out some of the more subtle and interesting flavours.

    I had a big session with a naked portafilter a while back that really showed me that superfluous things like tamping more than once, knocking the side of the basket and polishing under pressure can all cause channelling, so if I were you, I would just dose and tamp once. Thats it. Dont do anything else.

    Cheers,

    Luca

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    Re: Giotto brewing tips....

    Thanks all,

    Luca, I was able to borrow a naked pf for a week over christmas, and I think it was before I fitted the new spring, only thing I was seeing consistently was pour slightly off centre, suspect due to tamping at slight angle, but now Im really checking the rings on the Pullman as I tamp to make it as level as possible.

    Getting back to my last comments, I have replaced the too strong spring in the PF with the original weak one and straight away the pours improved, with no channelling, improved taste :)
    Seems the spring was distorting the basket.

    Now when I next have time to spare, I might look at modifying the spring cos I still think the original weak one is a bit on the weak side, only just holds basket in, and I would like a slightly firmer feel

    Regards
    Bullitt

  8. #8
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    Re: Giotto brewing tips....

    30ml in 25sec is a good start. 30ml in 30sec and youre in perfect espresso heaven ;D

  9. #9
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    Silvia Fine-Tuning.....

    Split from Giotto thread to more specific Silvia thread,

    Mal.

  10. #10
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    Re: Giotto brewing tips....

    Quote Originally Posted by 30in30 link=1172411839/0#8 date=1172398368
    30ml in 25sec is a good start. *30ml in 30sec and youre in perfect espresso heaven *;D
    Interesting that each of our espresso heavens is different!
    My son and his partner (barista) both like espressos with a darker roast and higher brew temp than I do.
    I like to pull a shot at about 20 sec usually, but do aim for about 25 and watch for blonding. While we all aim for consistency there are so many variables and so much variation in taste. I end up saying, "Not better, but different!"

    Still for all that, with regards to 30 sec extractions, theres been lots of references to a test where baristas were asked to put each 10 second part of a pour into a separate glass and compare them- 1st is very sweet, next not quite so sweet and the last is very nasty.

    Brett

  11. #11
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    Re: Silvia Fine-Tuning.....

    I cant see that a spring would make any difference to the pour. Its external to the basket and there only to prevent it falling out when knocking out the puck.

    The basket metal should be and is strong -- it doesnt distort when subjected to tamping pressures, so I doubt a spring would do that.

    Some machines do produce early blonding. Silvias do. But youd have to suspect a myriad of possible reasons, which may or may not include channelling.

    --Robusto

  12. #12
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    Re: Silvia Fine-Tuning.....

    Quote Originally Posted by robusto link=1172411839/0#10 date=1172438289
    I cant see that a spring would make any difference to the pour. Its external to the basket and there only to prevent it falling out when knocking out the puck.

    The basket metal should be and is strong -- it doesnt distort when subjected to tamping pressures, so I doubt a spring would do that.

    Some machines do produce early blonding. Silvias do. But youd have to suspect a myriad of possible reasons, which may or may not include channelling.

    --Robusto
    Thanks for the comments Robusto, ordinarily I would agree,
    unfortunately I have to disagree this time, only because of my experience.

    The replacement spring I got from coffeeparts was quite a bit thicker than the original one, and quite a bit stronger.
    No longer would the basket come out by finger power alone, I had to use a spoon or knife to lift it first. It was really tight, and there is negligible ridge on this basket.
    Probably should add that I am using one of the bigger LM style baskets.

    And while I still find it hard to believe, the shots improved immediately I put the old spring back in, and havent seen a channel or early blonding since.

    Regards
    Bullitt

  13. #13
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    Re: Giotto brewing tips....

    Quote Originally Posted by telemaster link=1172411839/0#9 date=1172434553
    Still for all that, with regards to 30 sec extractions, theres been lots of references to a test where baristas were asked to put each 10 second part of a pour into a separate glass and compare them- 1st is very sweet, next not quite so sweet and the last is very nasty.

    Brett
    That may be the case, but all 3 parts of the pour should combine to make what should be a balanced espresso

  14. #14
    TC
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    Re: Silvia Fine-Tuning.....

    I agree!

    Isnt it fun to play shot chemistry...

    Keep me occupied all day!

    2mcm

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    Re: Silvia Fine-Tuning.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Bullitt link=1172411839/0#11 date=1174442199
    And while I still find it hard to believe, the shots improved immediately I put the old spring back in, and havent seen a channel or early blonding since.
    Hi Bullitt,
    Now try putting the new spring back in and see what happens. I, too, would be astonished if this could have any affect on the basket geometry or anything else. However, this is how we find out the things we would never have thought of!

    As for Silvias blonding early, this is simply not true. I can extract for 45 secs from 14g of coffee without blonding. I can also extract for 15 secs from 21g in the same basket and get blonding. In the case of Silvia (well, my Silvia) it is all down to grind, dose and distribution.

    Please let us know if you still get this situation when you change the springs again, as it is an interesting one.

    Matt



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