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Thread: Rancilio Silvia w/ rancilio doserless grinder- coffee a Roma

  1. #1
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    Rancilio Silvia w/ rancilio doserless grinder- coffee a Roma

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hello, this will be a question later down the track. Firstly thanks to hubby for buying me the above for Christmas, but a bigger thanks to the folk at coffee aroma, the best and helpful service, ordered and paid for Friday afternoon, delivered by Tuesday morning day before Christmas.

    DH has done lots of research into the coffee machine he wanted me to have... I have the patience and skills to make coffee, he tries to tell me how and what I'm doing right or wrong my biggest critic.

    I finally bit bit the bullet and decided that I have to figure out how to use this new and now foreign machine set up. I use a naked double shot portafilter and can't get a decent anything from it... I'm lost and starting to despair

    So here is the question to those who use the same equipment, and links are welcome,
    firstly what have you found to be the optimal settings for your grinder? Hubby has pulled it apart and removed a screw that was a restricter so now when it grinds on 0 the metal touches.

    Secondly to everyone which beans are your preferred pick, I have used everything from preground, Vitoria- I used to practise tamping and trying to refine my grind( I didn't intend on drinking it just watching the extraction) woollies and Coles brands, Gloria jeans mixes, zarraffas mixes( which is what hubby is trying to compare everything to) I've had buns beans from Byron, I just finished a packet of Genoese.

    Thirdly and off topic, can someone tell me where a decent coffee shop is on the tweed/ Gold Coast

  2. #2
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    I've had very good experiences with coffeearoma also. :-)

    Your bean choice is definitely a limiting factor, first and foremost. Try to find a local roaster who is using decent beans. Ask in coffee shops who serve exceptional coffee for their beans. Make sure they're fresh! Roasted coffee is good for 2-3 weeks, typically, so nothing you get in the supermarket will be much good. Good coffee should have the roast date printed clearly.

    Beyond that, how is your pour looking from the naked? Are you getting a steady stream from the centre? How much volume do you get over what sort of timeframe? I have the same equipment and I use grind settings from 7-12, depending on the bean. I aim for 25-30 second pours, and usually have them a little tighter than most people and end up with 30-40ml doubles. That's more a matter of taste though.

  3. #3
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    Grinder settings: Removing the stop screw in the grinder won't have really changed anything grind wise, and every grinder is slightly different, so whatever your absolute zero is (point where the burrs touch) will be different from grinder to grinder. Mine touches at about mark 5 or 6 I think.
    What grind setting is optimal differs with bean type, bean age etc.
    I usually grind at about 5 settings above absolute zero (10 or 11 on my grinder) and dial it in one notch as the beans age.

    I don't know anything about the coffee brands you mentioned, but the key information that would help is what type of bean they are, and most importantly: when they were roasted.

    I assume you aren't using the useless plastic tamper that comes with the Silvia?
    Do you have access to a scale? It might help with keeping the dosing consistent while you experiment with grind settings. Double baskets usually hold around 14g of coffee.

    Temperature is one of the problem areas for Silvias. Is the heating element light lighting up mid-pull?

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    The pour is getting better, I'm relearning to tamp, it's the extraction time/ grind I can't get right. It's about 10-15 before blinding, if I let it go the full time it ends up filling the whole cup.... And it is the most horrible tasting thing int he world no matter the beans... I would buy some beans from a nice coffee shop but I am yet to find one that can pour a decent coffee.

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    Not using the plastic tamp, bought the nice heavy one they have that you can purchase extra, coffee beans have been bought from all over and I've never looked for the roasting date... I have been told about temperature surfing and watching the heating light, it usually comes on while I'm frothing, maybe I haven't noticed it come on during a pour, usually have my head almost kissing the coffee as it comes out.

  6. #6
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    Sounds like stale beans (anything bought from your supermarket will likely be)

    If you don't have a local coffee shop which produces decent coffee to buy beans from you should check out BeanBay.

    What beans to use is mainly a matter of taste, perhaps grab a Roasted Sample Pack CoffeeSnobs - BeanBay - Roasted Coffee - Roasted Sample Pack and try those out, and $35 for a kilo of beans is a pretty good deal to boot

  7. #7
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Using old stale grocery store beans you will never get a good let alone a great pour. Stop wasting your money on such beans and get some freshly roasted ones. As you don't know any local source grab some from BeanBay.


    Java "Life is to short for bad coffee!" phile
    Toys! I must have new toys!!!

  8. #8
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    I've got a silvia and rocky (but with doser) that I got from coffee a roma.

    I agree, good starting spot on the rocky is about 5 up from your zero point.

    My initial problem with getting good taste was I was underdosing.

    MY method for dosing now (after being on a barista course with my machine and grinder) is to grind until I have a small mound and then collapse the grounds by tapping the grouphead on the bench, then grinding again till there is again a little mound above the top of the filter. I then gently tap topw to flat with my finger and brush off excess. I then use my fully extended index finger (so it bends back a bit in a shallow U shape) and scrape out a bit more grounds. This leaves a nice even convex shape in the filter. I then tamp reasonably hard, tap on the side once to drop the grounds that hang to the sides and then polish the top with the tamper.

    Once you can get a consistent dose and tamp, you can start adjusting your grind a bit. Mark out a coulple shot glasses with 30ml marks and start pulling shots. Aim for 30ml in each evenly over 25-27 secs using a double basket. If you get more than the total 60 ml you need a finer grind, if you get less or choke the machine you need to back off the grind. Just do it one click at a time and adjust it while the grinder is running. If one shot is filling more than the other its a sign you are not tamping evenly. Naked portafilter will show you that too.

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    I know the beans were a snobs worst nightmare, after reading for most of the last two days I have heaps of info to try and test.
    i think the dose and tamp have improved, I hadn't thought about weighing but it would help so I recognise the amount needed for a decent dose. The grind is on 3-4 ATM our 0 settings reads about-2 so that is about 5 normally.
    I'm interested in roasting fresh now also, so I guess that will be my next area of questions, thanks for info mentasm, Java, jbrew, taco and fruity.
    taco likes this.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    It's not that the beans are a snobs worst nightmare, although they may be so for some, it's that it is physically impossible to get a good let alone a great shot from stale beans. You can change all the variables you want but until you get fresh beans you are literally pouring money down the drain. You can run through 10kg's of stale store bought beans and you will not learn as much as you will from using a single kilo of fresh beans.


    Java "Stale beans are so....yesterday!" phile
    Toys! I must have new toys!!!



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