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Thread: NEWBIE - Rancillio Silvia v4 help

  1. #1
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    NEWBIE - Rancillio Silvia v4 help

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi guys,

    Being an extremely popular machine, I'm sure there is a tonne of information on this forum re optimal use and issues for the Silvia, could somebody please point me in the right direction via a permalink or something? I suck with forums and I can't find the right forum, only through a google search it will sometimes appear!

    Anyway, briefly my issue to follow, if someone could direct me to the right discussion I would really appreciate that:

    I've had the Silvia for 2 years, cracked it and stopped using it because I was wasting a lot of $$ on expensive beans, now that I live almost 28km from Melbourne, it's extremely hard to find a decent espresso anywhere nearby!

    I have the machine paired with a Mazzer Mini E with the two buttons for timing single or double & I'm using one week old roasted beans from AllPress.
    I can't seem to get any decent shot with the standard 14gram filter basket from Rancillio that came with the machine, 12-14grams of beans will always touch the grouphead, ruin my tamp and hardly close properly. (handle will close facing around 7o clock).

    Solution was to use a larger Rancillio Basket (0100090 engraved on it) I believe this is 18grams. Using 17-19 grams in this filter it closes properly however the shots are still not great.

    My current method is the weight the ground beans using a kitchen scale - tamp, wait until boiler light goes off, 30 seconds later pull the shot.
    I time the shot, it's usually 20-26 seconds before it starts blonding and this gives me approximately 60ml including Crema.

    Does anyone have any suggestions for timing and mls and how many grams to use? (my main goal is to make a perfect long black as I don't do milk drinks)


    Any help or directions to informative forums will be muchly appreciated, sorry for a potential repeat thread!

    Kind Regards,

    Jeff

  2. #2
    Senior Member skidquinn's Avatar
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    Hi Jeff
    I see no issue in how you are preparing your shot, apart from the timing on the Silvia.
    I have a thermocouple installed in mine (saving for a PID........ or upgrade to HX machine) and 30 seconds after the light goes off is getting to the highest point in the temperature cycle.
    I'm not sure if you are aware, but the temp swings in the Silvia are pretty ridiculous. ie. on my particular machine, the boiler only starts heating once the temp drops to ~ 86 degrees celcius. And at the other end, after it reaches full temp (100 degrees celc), it overshoots and tops out at about 119 degree celc).
    Without flushing some water through the grouphead, it takes about three minutes after the light goes off to come back to anywhere near close to 105/106 degrees (where I've found my sweet spot to be).
    If you are brewing your shot when the boiler temp is ~118 degrees, it will be too hot at the group head and result in pretty ordinary coffee.

    I'd suggest either skipping the 30 second wait once the light goes out, or wait a fair bit longer than your 30 seconds.

    All the best mate.

  3. #3
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Welcome Jeff...

    Out of interest, is the Rancilio basket you bought a "ridged" type, which I think most of Rancilio's are?
    If it is, you might find a "ridgeless" basket easier to use and become more consistent with. Talk Coffee have some beauties that might be worth considering... I use the Triple version most of the time and I love it.
    Precision filter basket 58mm- Espresso parts | Talk Coffee

    Also, have you replaced the protruding Hex-Head Bolt for the Shower-Screen that Rancilio insist on using in their Silvia machines? Replacing with a countersunk or pan-head bolt (preferably with an Allen Head) helps with consistency too as the coffee cake doesn't risk being disrupted by the protruding bolt head should your dose go slightly over optimum.

    These are only small things but can help a lot...

    Mal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skidquinn View Post
    I have a thermocouple installed in mine
    Got any guide for installing one? A temperature display would make it a bit easier to learn how to best use the Silvia.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Gavisconi007's Avatar
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    There is a very cheap and effective way to do this. Get a small digital thermometer off the bay of evil. The type with the small sensor and the cable which goes to the LCD display. Tape the sensor onto the boiler and you're in business. That's what I did when I had a Silvia anyway

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    Senior Member Gavisconi007's Avatar
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    And this

    {\rtf1\ansi\ansicpg1252
    {\fonttbl}
    {\colortbl;\red255\green255\blue255;}
    }

    Just open the top of Miss Silvia and tape the sensor to the boiler using heat proof tape. Then run the cable neatly and mount the display using blue tack. It should take around 20 minutes and cost less than $20

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    Thanks mate I'll give that a shot today!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jad90 View Post
    Thanks mate I'll give that a shot today!
    How'd you go?

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    Thanks for all the adivce given above,
    I'm managing to get much better shots now using a touch less ground beans in the 18gram filter so it doesn't rub against the group head.
    I mucked around with pulling the shots at different times after the boiler light goes out and it makes such a huge difference, sometimes the shots are hot sometimes luke warm and will always have different tastes. I haven't bought a thermostat yet, but I will try that solution next weekend.
    Does anyone know where I can get a PID system from in Melbourne (fully fitted) ??
    Thanks again!

  11. #11
    Senior Member skidquinn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iMagoo View Post
    Got any guide for installing one? A temperature display would make it a bit easier to learn how to best use the Silvia.
    Hi there - yep Gaviscono007 is spot on. I think the one I bought cost about 20 bucks. I wired mine under a screw in the top of the boiler, but assume taping to the side would work just as well. Its not so much the exact temperature that you're after, but just to be able to monitor what the boiler is doing to ensure you can repeat it when you find your sweet spot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skidquinn View Post
    Hi there - yep Gaviscono007 is spot on. I think the one I bought cost about 20 bucks.
    Do you mind linking one on ebay or providing keywords for the search, not exactly sure what I'm looking for.. Every one that I have come across is not capable of going high enough for steam temp, got a feeling I'm just not searching with the right keywords.
    Cheers

  13. #13
    axs
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    Quote Originally Posted by iMagoo View Post
    Do you mind linking one on ebay or providing keywords for the search, not exactly sure what I'm looking for.. Every one that I have come across is not capable of going high enough for steam temp, got a feeling I'm just not searching with the right keywords.
    Cheers
    Search DealExtreme for:
    "XMT7100 1.3" Screen PID Intelligent Temperature Controller"
    it's A$27.74 now.
    Works perfectly.

  14. #14
    Senior Member skidquinn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iMagoo View Post
    Do you mind linking one on ebay or providing keywords for the search, not exactly sure what I'm looking for.. Every one that I have come across is not capable of going high enough for steam temp, got a feeling I'm just not searching with the right keywords.
    Cheers
    I think its against the rules to post links, but simply search for a thermocouple. Some come with digital displays and are <$10.

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    Hi, I tested an xpobar machine today at a friends house and visited a few coffee places and decided to upgrade my Silvia to something with a larger boiler and more accurate temperature,
    does anyone know why I can't make a post on the sell page here? it's not allowing me to.

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    Thanks!, this post will be my 5th so hopefully it works, didn't realise!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jad90 View Post
    Thanks!, this post will be my 5th so hopefully it works, didn't realise!
    And then you need to wait another week. 2 weeks and stuff...
    Dimal likes this.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    And then you need to wait another week. 2 weeks and stuff...
    I've been counting down the days...



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