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Thread: New Rancilio Silvia/Rocky owner questions

  1. #1
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    New Rancilio Silvia/Rocky owner questions

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hello all. New to the forum with a new Rancilio Silvia and Rocky grinder. Had an old Silvia years ago via an old roomate and have been jonesing ever since. So this is a long time coming.

    Anyway, my main question is this...has anyone ever used a electric outlet timer to turn on their Silvia in the morning to get it warmed up? I’ve noticed that if I leave it on for 20-30 minutes ahead of time I get much better results and think the timer might speed up my mornings. But I don’t want to damage the Silvia so just want to check about the timer before I buy one.

    My model is the newest one with the “warm up” light. So I typically will first pour my shot glass full with water to warm it up first, let the orange light come on from that, go back off for a minute as I grind the beans and tamp. Typically I get a decent shot the first time like this.

    Grind wise, Ive got the Rocky right around “10” and use a good amount of pressure while tamping. Though I feel like my shits could be a little less bitter. Any advice?

  2. #2
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    New Rancilio Silvia/Rocky owner questions

    "Though I feel like my shits could be a little less bitter. Any advice?"

    Could I respectfully suggest that you try tasting your coffee.
    DaveD, 338, Zee and 1 others like this.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Welcome to Coffee snobs Matty.

    Bitter shit eh! why not try some different shit, suggest you order some of this good shit from Coffee Snobs https://beanbay.coffeesnobs.com.au/V...36-surprise-me may be more to your taste.

  4. #4
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    Hi Mattymel,

    Bitter shots can be caused by a few things. Main ones are your brew water is too hot and grind may be too fine.
    Have you tried timing the length of your shots and measuring them? Just pour into a measured shot glass. Ideally should be around 25-30 sec mark for 25-30ml. If it takes much longer than this your grind may be too fine and can cause bitterness.
    As far as are water being too hot as a cause, look up 'temperature surfing for Silvia'. This should help get you in the right temperature zone for your espresso.

    Timers on single boiler machines like the silvia are generally not recommended. If your steaming valve isn't quite closed when you turn on the machine it can leak the boiler dry and cause damage to the element. A hot machines valve closed position will be different to a cold machine on starting up. You can also look up 'cheating miss Silvia' as a way to speed up the warm up time of the machine.

    Hope this helps, I'm no expert but have owned the Silvia for quite a few years and have been reading on the forum for even longer!

    Paul
    (and as Yelta said, make sure you get some good beans!) Overly dark roasted beans will also give a bitter taste.

  5. #5
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    Ha. Gotta love the typo right out of the gate. I assure you I wouldn’t know as to the bitterness. Though with the amount of SHOTS I’ve been pouring per day trying to refine, the quantity is...impressive. More like worrisome.

    Good to know about the timer idea. Though that’s unfortunate.

    My method thus far has been grinding 15 grams of beans. I’m using what I would describe as moderate pressure when tamping. Once I start the pour (counting to a max of 25 seconds) I’ve noticed that my best tasting shots usually start with about a 5 second pause with nothing coming out of the wand. Once it does start pouring some barista friends of mine tell me to watch for what they refer to as “blonding”. Basically the pour becomes more yellowish water-y. Ideally you stop the shot before that occurred.

    Any other hints would be appreciated.

    Is it bas to leave the Silvia on for most of the day? I’ve been doing that to avoid dealing with warming it up all the time...

  6. #6
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    Good question will it damage the Silvia leaving it on all day . I am doing this if im home during the day.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rossross View Post
    Good question will it damage the Silvia leaving it on all day . I am doing this if im home during the day.
    I wouldn't recommend it, small boiler, if something goes wrong and it runs dry you will burn it out, plus of course additional power usage and shortened life span.

    If none of these things are a concern, leave it on.

  8. #8
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    I used a Silvia on a timer everyday for over 10 years and never a problem. Just make sure the boiler is full and steam valve turned off each time you finish using the machine. Pretty sure I often left it on all day on weekends too.
    I still have the machine in the storeroom and use it on the odd occasion and take it on holidays with us. Bought it in 2005
    beensean likes this.

  9. #9
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    Just remember to give the steam valve an extra tweak to be sure, and you should be fine. I did not have my Rancilio on a timer but I occasionally left it on most of the day. Much of the cautionary advice recognises the truth that you have little leeway in that small boiler, should you not have closed things off properly.



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