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Thread: I need help man!!!

  1. #1
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    Cool I need help man!!!

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi everyone
    Long time drinker (of coffee) , first time poster...
    I bought a 2nd hand silvia V3 about a year ago with a PID and I just cannot get a good shot out of it. I use fresshly roasted beans from my good friend Dave at "the grind" on the parade here in Adelaide. It has been serviced about six months ago.
    Pretty sure I am tamping ok, mucked aroung with gring settings on my rocky etc. My shots are OK at best, but no darkness of crema and lacking in flavour.
    My flashing light doesnt go off and my pid is set to 91...
    This isnt a small problem in my life as we are talking about coffee!!
    Perhaps I should post a video of my proceedure to make coffee.
    Any ideas from the info Ive given so far??
    Many thanks
    Dan

  2. #2
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    Dan,

    Welcome to Coffeesnobs.

    Try turning the temperature up to maybe 93 and see if that helps.

    Barry

  3. #3
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    The PID on my Silvia displays 104/105 when steady (Auber PID)

    How long and what volume are you doing your shots?

    What sized basket are you using?

    With an 18g basket I'm doing 2 x 30ml shots in about 30 seconds on mine. Beans I'm using are a nice dark roast from Kicco at about 2-3 weeks from roast date usually. Also using a rocky grinder (doser version in my case)

    I'm in Adelaide too.

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    Use a set a scales so you get a consistent tamping pressure. A figure often used is 30lb/15kg of pressure. I use less but as long as it's consistent that is one less variable to worry about.

    Define fresh? How long ago were there beans roasted. That can make a big difference.

  5. #5
    Senior Member readeral's Avatar
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    Feel free to post a video, it'll help

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    Hi danbeck and welcome.

    Fortunately there is a huge amount of good advice on Coffeesnobs to help you get the most out of your Silvia and this advice ranges from basic to as technical as you like.
    I also own a V3 with PID and echo Mentasm's sentiment. My PID is an Auberins and reads approx 10 degrees above water temperature as the reading is not taken from inside the boiler but on the outside. I am not familiar with all PIDs but generally for Silvia's this is how the temperature is measured and in turn regulated. I run my machine between 93 and 95 (somewhere around 102 - 105 on display) and am pleased with results, albeit personal preference.

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    Quote Originally Posted by danbeck View Post
    my pid is set to 91...
    G'day Dan...

    Does this Setpoint account for the temperature differential between the top of the Boiler and that of the water being delivered to the top of the Puck?

    Mal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by andybean View Post
    Hi danbeck and welcome.

    Fortunately there is a huge amount of good advice on Coffeesnobs to help you get the most out of your Silvia and this advice ranges from basic to as technical as you like.
    I also own a V3 with PID and echo Mentasm's sentiment. My PID is an Auberins and reads approx 10 degrees above water temperature as the reading is not taken from inside the boiler but on the outside. I am not familiar with all PIDs but generally for Silvia's this is how the temperature is measured and in turn regulated. I run my machine between 93 and 95 (somewhere around 102 - 105 on display) and am pleased with results, albeit personal preference.
    What? The outside of your boiler is unlikely to be at a higher temperature than the inside (where the heat source is).

    Presume you are actually talking about compensating for the temperature drop between the boiler and the group (per Dimal's post above)?
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  9. #9
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    Hi MrJack.
    Apologies, you would be spot on unless the Silvia defies principles of heat transfer.
    The brain didn't keep up with the fingers on that one, thanks for correcting.
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    fwiw My PID on my silvia is set to 104

  11. #11
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    WOW
    Im impressed with your knowledge.
    So should I set the pid to 103? It sounds like the same pid as what you guys have.
    One thing I notice on some youtube videos is that the flashing light is supposed to go off? Mine never does, even if I leave it warm up for 30 mins.
    I think a video would be best to let you guys see properly.
    My coffee is about 2 weeks old at the mo, but doesnt seem to make much diff to my shots. I want that nice dark crema ya know? My wife thinks Im crazy and obsessed.
    Not sure what size my basket is. Its the bigger one? I like my coffee strong.
    Sure am glad I sought help.

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    Try setting it at 103-105 somewhere. Then start timing and measuring your shots. Adjust your grind to try and get to 60ml in 30 seconds. See if taste improves. It may be that your beans need a slower extract to get a nice dark and strong taste. Tha means fiuner grind and longer pour, You'll just have to experiment a bit

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    Mmm, maybe upgrade to a used Breville double boiler. Amazing difference. It has excellent temperature stability, no more temperature surfing. You can steam the milk while making the espresso. I upgraded and wouldn't go back. It's hard not to make a great coffee.

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    Senior Member gonzob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danbeck View Post
    WOW
    ...
    One thing I notice on some youtube videos is that the flashing light is supposed to go off? Mine never does, even if I leave it warm up for 30 mins.
    ...
    Not sure what size my basket is. Its the bigger one?...
    Re: the light. It sounds like the light is connected to the incoming power rather than the output of the PID. It should go on solidly until the temp gets within, say 25 degrees of setpoint and then start flashing. Once it has reached setpoint it should have little pulses at 1 sec intervals. I think you have a wiring problem with the light

    My Auber PID is set on 104 with no correcting offset.

    Synesso, Precision, etc double baskets are around 24mm deep measuring from the top of the lip to the bottom outside of the basket. The standard Rancilio double is slightly smaller at around 22mm.


    Gonzo

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    Quote Originally Posted by dlight View Post
    Mmm, maybe upgrade to a used Breville double boiler. Amazing difference. It has excellent temperature stability, no more temperature surfing. You can steam the milk while making the espresso. I upgraded and wouldn't go back. It's hard not to make a great coffee.
    (edit) In my opinion (edit) He should not go out and buy a Breville just because he's having issues learning his new machine.
    I've come to learn that it takes a lot of practice with the Silvia to get things right. He just needs practice, doesn't need to fork out for a machine that masks deficiencies in his coffee making skills.

    He even mentioned he has a PID, which regulates temperature. Are you a Breville marketer?
    Last edited by Andy; 2nd June 2016 at 11:49 AM. Reason: please play nice
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    Well, I put the thing on 104 and MUCH better. Still not great, try to post video in the next few days
    Thanks guys!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by danbeck View Post
    Well, I put the thing on 104 and MUCH better. Still not great, try to post video in the next few days
    Thanks guys!!
    Ok
    as promised here is a short clip. Clearly I am uncomfortable in front of the camera. As an actor, I make a good physio.
    i also realise that I rushed this shot, and tamped it a little crooked. Normally I do take a bit more time, but there you go.
    feel free to critique

    http://youtu.be/R5VvCiUBOB4

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by danbeck View Post
    Well, I put the thing on 104 and MUCH better. Still not great, try to post video in the next few days
    Thanks guys!!
    Hey, what about your grind? I know when i first got my lever i wasted at least 10-15 shots trying to find the inital sweet spot between my machine, grinder and coffee.

    Just wondering if youve fixed one issue and are noticing another. People say "making coffees, how hard can it be" which if the last 6 months have taught me anything is it can be quite a science.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by danbeck View Post
    Ok
    as promised here is a short clip. Clearly I am uncomfortable in front of the camera. As an actor, I make a good physio.
    i also realise that I rushed this shot, and tamped it a little crooked. Normally I do take a bit more time, but there you go.
    feel free to critique

    http://youtu.be/R5VvCiUBOB4
    That looks like a simple case of 'grind-dose-tamp to me'. All three might need some improvement, but I'd be inclined to start with the grind. Based on how quickly the first flow of coffee came through and how quick the extraction was I'd be adjusting my grinder to a finer setting. I know the steps on the Rocky are quite big but I reckon you could move at least 2 steps, even 3. You want to find a spot where you either completely or nearly choke the machine during extraction. From that point you just back the grinder off one step at a time until you find the sweet spot.
    I used to have an Anfim KS which is a stepped grinder very similar to the Rocky. I found that I could usually find a setting that worked, but I would potentially have to adjust dose level and tamp pressure a bit to get a good extraction as a step either way on the grinder would be too much. Eventually I did the Teflon tape mod on the KS which worked at treat and could be worth considering on your Rocky. Good luck.
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  20. #20
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    Usually takes 5-8 seconds for my shots to start pouring. It's definitely a fine line between choking and optimum grind. watching the video, it definitely looks like you need a finer grind. If you are after that dark and thick coffee you do need to slow things down. I also note that when I get my shots right and I knock my puck out that I usually have a nice bit of brown oily residue on the bottom of the basket

    I might also recommend you go and do a barista course. My wife sent me off to Patio coffee roasters and coffee craft on South Rd in Glandore. They let me take in my machine and my grinder and sorted my workflow out.

    The tip he gave me was on my dosing. He had me grind until there is a slightly heaped pile, tap to collapse, add coffee again until a small heap. Then lightly tap down with a straightened finger to ensure all the air gaps are out of the basket, pushing any excess grinds out ) I have a doser rocky, so grinds go back in there). I then use an over-extended index finger (convex bend, kind of like this: http://www.home-barista.com/forums/u...5_imag1652.jpg) to scrape out some coffee so you are left with a concave surface within the basket. I then tamp with a decent pressure making sure to keep it the tamper level.

    My other big tip is to get a small kitchen timer and run it with each shot so you have a proper idea of how much your shot is flowing in a given time.

    The biggest problem I've found with getting things right is that after trying 3 or 4 attempted shots I'm so jittery from caffiene I can't continue

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    Yeah, great advice everyone.

    The guy I bought this off about a year ago told me he was a barista, and I had no idea but I thought the pid would make it alot easier for me. The settings he had it on were 91 for temp, so Ive been brewing with that temp for 12 months!!! Perhaps this is one reason why the shots were crapola.

    Ive been doing alot more research on my PID now I know this and Ive slightly tweaked the peramiters (see seatle coffee pid sylvia on youtube), but I cant control the brew by pushing the pid, which doesnt allow the infusion times to change etc...does this make sense? It seem a well set up pid allows for the button on the pid to control when the pour starts, not by the top switch on the machine.
    You have helped me out hugely already, and Im keen to see you thoughts on the above.
    I might have to try different coffeefor my darker crema too. At the mo I get my gear from Dave at The Grind on the parade, Norwood. Perhaps Ill check out Patio. I live in Highgate so its not too far.
    Embarrassing video. My 12 year old definitely thinks Im a nerd...
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    In addition to all the good advice people are giving you, try to get your beans somewhere other than "The Grind".
    The worst "fresh" coffee I've ever bought was from there. It acted like it was about 5-6 weeks old. Depending on where you are, try Patio (Glandore) or Carnevale (Clarence Park) for actual fresh coffee. They actually document the roast date rather than selling some glib crap about "roasted yesterday".

    just noticed you live in Highgate... Carnevale is literally around the corner in East Ave

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by sakabatou View Post
    In addition to all the good advice people are giving you, try to get your beans somewhere other than "The Grind".
    The worst "fresh" coffee I've ever bought was from there. It acted like it was about 5-6 weeks old.
    I have to say, I did think when watching the video that it looked a lot like a pour I get with old beans (or beans which are roasted super light). I find sometimes you can compensate with finer grind, but it doesn't help if they are too far gone.

    Can't hurt (well, other than Dave's feelings) to try some other beans.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by danbeck View Post
    Yeah, great advice everyone.

    The guy I bought this off about a year ago told me he was a barista, and I had no idea but I thought the pid would make it alot easier for me. The settings he had it on were 91 for temp, so Ive been brewing with that temp for 12 months!!! Perhaps this is one reason why the shots were crapola.

    Ive been doing alot more research on my PID now I know this and Ive slightly tweaked the peramiters (see seatle coffee pid sylvia on youtube), but I cant control the brew by pushing the pid, which doesnt allow the infusion times to change etc...does this make sense? It seem a well set up pid allows for the button on the pid to control when the pour starts, not by the top switch on the machine.
    You have helped me out hugely already, and Im keen to see you thoughts on the above.
    I might have to try different coffeefor my darker crema too. At the mo I get my gear from Dave at The Grind on the parade, Norwood. Perhaps Ill check out Patio. I live in Highgate so its not too far.
    Embarrassing video. My 12 year old definitely thinks Im a nerd...
    I can't help you with the PID stuff Dan, but I'd suggest you still want to concentrate on the basics - fresh beans, and proper and consistent grind/dose/tamp. Don't let the PID be a distraction.
    Just so you have a real world reference here is a video I shot this morning to show you what your extraction should look like. It's not perfect, but it's not bad either. On your machine you should probably see the first drops a little sooner and aim for a slightly shorter total time. Otherwise this is roughly what you're aiming for.


  25. #25
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    Not all auber PIDs do pre-infusion. Mine is one that doesn't have it. Better to control it all manually in my book. It's possible your's also is a non pre-infusion PID

    Can also recommend beans roasted by Coffee by The Beans on Henley Beach Rd at Lockleys. They were my standard suppliers before Kicco, but neither my wife or I work near there any more and it's a major hike to get there from Morphett Vale. They usually have 4 or so roasts available (bvlends or single origin), but the standard blend they use in the cafe is very good
    Last edited by mentasm; 7th June 2016 at 11:08 AM.

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    Yes I think Ill try different beans. made a coffee this am with finer grind and much more flavour, but still not fantastic.
    Leroy, that shot is what Im after...nice
    Mentasm, Im in Avenue Rd (largish white house diagonally opposite Highgate primary). Im also a Physio who specialises in chronic back and neck pain. Perhaps I could trade your friend a treatment for some setup tips!!
    Damn Im keen to make better coffee. Will try to get more beans in the next week or two.
    So if my PID isnt pre infusion, why can I control those settings?
    Thanks again

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    I'm no expert but from what I've gathered over the years here I would consider the following
    * Try to use beans that have been roasted at least in the last 2 weeks and no earlier than 5 days prior
    * Try to keep the dose amount consistent (is weigh) and vary the grind finer or coarser depending on taste
    * Make sure you cut the shot before the stream starts to blond
    * The pour should be more than a drip but not a torrent. Aim for "rats tails" consistency
    * When you feel like you need to adjust a variable focus on one at a time - ie grind or weight not both

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    When was the last time you cleaned the grinder? (not casting any aspersion... )

  29. #29
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    Do you work in the city? If so head to the Kicco cafe on Pirie St and grab a bag of beans. They all have roast date printed on the bottom of the bag

  30. #30
    Senior Member trentski's Avatar
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    Silvia needs time to warm up. A shot made after 30 minutes will be darker than one made after 10

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by trentski View Post
    Silvia needs time to warm up. A shot made after 30 minutes will be darker than one made after 10
    And, taste one hell of a lot better...

    Mal.



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