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Thread: Guide to Using an Rancillio Silvia

  1. #1
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    Guide to Using an Rancillio Silvia

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Seen too many posts that just competing one machine against another.
    You just cant compare apples to bananas sometimes.
    This guide is to show how an Silvia should be used.

    1. Turn on the machine, let it heat up, the group and the handle must heat up completly.
    * *The longer the better, I always wait patiently.
    2. Then flush your water till the light comes back on.
    3. After the light is off, wait 1.5 minutes - 2.0 minutes to pull the shot.
    4. While you are waiting for the 1.5 minutes, why not heat your cup in a microwave.
    * *Remember to use microwavable cups. And set it to 1.5 minutes,
    * *Remember to have tiny bit of water in the cup to ensure the steaming effect.
    * *As the Silvia doesnt have a steam cup warmer, this is recommended.
    5. Pull the shot into the heated cup, or shooter.
    * *(Btw, it is recommended to double shot on the Silvia, as the pressure is high)
    * *(Also, every grind is different, so consult your supplier , general rule is 25ml/60ml/14gram)
    6. A perfect shot.
    ----
    For Latte or Cappucino Users
    7. "Quickly" switch on the steaming button.
    8. Wait for the light to go off, and then release some of the water until steam is ready.
    Remember to make sure to "bleed" (open and let the steam out) until the light turns on.
    You want very dry steam to create micro foam.
    You want to keep the light always on, as long as it is on, steam is produced.
    9. Stick the wand into the pitcher and turn it full on.
    10. Hear that chi chi sound and foam, then heat it up fully to 65 degrees - 70 degrees.
    Using an foam thermometer is highly highly higly recommended to ensure best temp.
    Make sure not to create too much foam, you dont need that much.
    Micro foams are essential. Turn the steam off as you reach 65c - 70c.
    11. Hit the pitcher, Shake the pitcher to release some big bubbles you might have created.
    12a. Use a spoon out some foam on the espresso, then use your spoon to block the foam
    and pour in milk in the middle of the cup. and then top it off with spooned foam again.
    12.b Latte Art. - if you are already doing this, this guide is useless to you..I had a laugh

    This is a guide to using Silvia. Any other suggestions is highly welcomed.

    Final info is, buy a Mazzer Mini Grinder. It is worth every cent of it.
    You simply cant grind any better with this perfect piece of art.
    Remember to press down hard on the ground, to ensure crema!!crema!!crema!!
    Your supplier of beans should be able to tell you how fine you should grind the beans.

    Buying the rocky just to compliment the silivia is not necessary, although they look beautiful together.

    ----------------------------
    Rancillio Silvia
    Mazzer Mini Grinder

  2. #2
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Re: Guide to Using an Rancillio Silvia

    Great first post. [smiley=thumbsup.gif]

    Welcome to CS! :)

  3. #3
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    Re: Guide to Using an Rancillio Silvia

    A well thought out first post, and I especially like your simplified method of heating & "temperature surfing" the silvia to a point where it is ready to brew coffee. I am a practicioner of virtually the same method, with only minor difference. The "KISS" principle of coffee making works for me.

    One point however about your emphatic recommendation of the mazzer mini.

    Mazzer is a well respected manufacturer of commercial coffee grinders. My company sells the "mazzer mini" (and the Silvia) so from that point of view *I certainly have no objection to that which you have written.

    However, I feel there is a problem with the continual cyclic ( and in this case quite "emphatic") recommending of particular brands or models only, in sites like these.

    If Mazzer makes a very good commercial grinder, then so do Macap, Gino Rossi and other well respected manufacturers of good commercial grinders. There are any number of good commercial grinders in the market, all easily capable of performing and as reliable as the day is long, especially when you consider the type of work load they will be put to in the non commercial environment like the home. The problem is that readers of these forums get the idea in their minds, having read "recommendations" like these in these types of forums, that there is ONLY ONE type of equipment to have, when in fact this is not the case.

    In fact in terms of "home use" which is where I reckon virtually 99.9% of the participants in this forum come from, alsmot any good quality commercial grinder irrespective of brand and model, would be great to have and in that situation, perform "excellently".

    Manufacturers and importers of brands like Rancilio and Mazzer and others have been laughing all the way to the bank since internet coffee forums picked up on a couple of early "tests" on their models, and commenced infinitely cyclically regurgitating recommendations around the world...and they will even tell you (me) *this.

    Onwards and upwards, turning readers into brand junkies of only a select few brand names, and killing sales of other perfectly good pieces of equipment any number of which will suit any particular individual for different reasons.

    So now Ive lifted that off my chest, Im glad you are happy with your excellent quality equipment, and welcome to the CoffeeSnobs forum.

    Regardz,
    FC.

  4. #4
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    Re: Guide to Using an Rancillio Silvia

    FC:

    Yes, the brand thing and the David Shomer effect. He does a one page promo on the Giotto for instance and it becomes the machine to have.

    He tells everyone that 94C is the ideal brew temperature and and...

    People just need to think for themselves more and look at how they use a particular piece of equipment and what features will really work for them.

    I love motorbikes too and that gets pretty techy. Everyone wants the latest model which wins races but it has nothing to do with useability on the road but if it is .15seconds faster than the other bikes at the racetrack it is the bike to have. Often the models the buy dont fit them physically, have rock hard suspension and even lack things like center stands, fuel gauges and other useful things.

    Grant

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    Re: Guide to Using an Rancillio Silvia

    [QUOTE=Fresh_Coffee link=1125931172/0#2 date=1125962043One point however about your emphatic recommendation of the mazzer mini.

    Mazzer is a well respected manufacturer of commercial coffee grinders.However, I feel there is a problem with the continual cyclic ( and in this case quite "emphatic") recommending of particular brands or models only, in sites like these.

    If Mazzer makes a very good commercial grinder, then so do Macap, Gino Rossi and other well respected manufacturers of good commercial grinders.
    Regardz,
    FC.[/QUOTE]


    Well put, F.C. *Obviously certain objects are fetishised - often for good reason - and the consumer can feel railroaded into buying something they either dont want and/or cant afford or is not suitable for their specific needs. *Worse still, feel like what they have is inadequate when it is perfectly OK. I bought a grinder that cost more than the Mini Mazzer and Im sure its no better than the MM - and almost certain that it is no worse. *The ECM (ANFIM) Best was in stock where I purchased, the MM wasnt and I am an impulsive type. *I dont feel that I have made an error, but the universal adulation of a machine(MM) when there are obviously quite a few worthy competitors - can be a bit of a minefield mentally. You wonder if you should have gone with the tide. I suppose availability of spare parts etc. and cosmetics are concerns for most of us - I certainly dont plan spending another $800 on a grinder soon - but I believe that I have bought a fine machine and the results so far attest to this. But still there is this nagging thought that I really should have bought the MM and perhaps would have if one had been available. Im glad I didnt, though. *I support the recommendation of many things - especially to do with technology - but do not think it is fair to say buy X at the expense of Y and Z when they are clearly in the same class. *In fact, I saw a De Longhi KG100 (solis?) in DJs the other day, and am sure that it is good value at $159. *As long as it grinds fine enough - and apparently it does - you could buy five of these and have cash left over for coffee.

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    Re: Guide to Using an Rancillio Silvia

    fc, good point on the recommendation part.
    the reason why i recommended the "particular" grinder.
    is because i have excellent results on it, not just because of brand.
    and it is quiet affordable for people who also bought a Silvia, from our beloved sponsor,
    Barazi Bezzera Coffee machines and Cosmorex.
    and as you would know, the mini is a great add to the silvia, even with grocery store beans.

    I have no commercial ties what so ever with the Mazzer company.
    I would understand that all commercial machines perform well,
    but with a Silvia and a Mazzer Mini, i am sure it is not brand amazement.
    It truly performs for me, and i would expect people who might read my guide to appreciate it too.

    P.S Macap, Gino Rossi is not sold via the Barazi and Cosmorex,therefore they are not
    recommended here.
    The M5 is a great grinder, i have the mini therefore I recommend it :)
    But i have tried the M5, Rocky and lastly La Cimbali -(dont own though)
    They all work great, just that I have mini.

  7. #7
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    Re: Guide to Using an Rancillio Silvia

    Id take a La Cimbali Junior grinder over a Mazzer Mini any day. I love the
    infinite grind adjustment on the Junior via a worm drive, rather than having to
    turn a very tight collar. I only grind for espresso, so dont need large adjustments
    for other styles of coffee. Horses for courses.

    ... and for a truly better grinder, check out the Versalab M3. Reports are only just coming in and are all overwhelmingly positive, even compared to a MM. Sure itd be overkill for most of us.

    As for the Silvia. I agree, 1.5 to 2 minutes will see about 92-93 deg C brew water and a
    rather flat temperature profile during the shot (ie. a pretty safe operating regime). One thing that must be mentioned is that this is for the later model Silvias that use the 100 deg C thermostat. The earlier models used a 110 deg C thermostat and might conceivably operate a little differently.

    regards,

    Mark.

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    Re: Guide to Using an Rancillio Silvia


    I favour the Rocky as it is relatively inexpensive, DOSERLESS and it is very compact.

    I also find it easy to move and fill the portafilter as I grind.

    I still believe that for low volume home settings that a doserless grinder is better than one with a doser. The doser just gets in the way.

    Grant

  9. #9
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    Re: Guide to Using an Rancillio Silvia

    Yep, me too Grant,

    Loooove my D/L Rocky [smiley=thumbsup.gif] which will see me through any number of espresso machine upgrades into the future,

    Mal.

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    Re: Guide to Using an Rancillio Silvia

    The Versalab M3 is also doser-less as well as hopper-less and static-less. In fact it is less of everything bad except price.

    Check out some of the feedback on the home-barista site test-bench forum, if only for interest sake, to while away those spare hours we all seem to be cursed with...


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    Re: Guide to Using an Rancillio Silvia

    Hey all,

    Ive been reading the posts for a while now trying to find out if the 1.5-2 min wait after the bolier light goes OUT results in the perfect temperature for pulling a shot with the a NEWER silvia (apparently with a lower 100C thermostat)?? Has anyone done tests with a thermocouple to see if this is correct with the new model??

    Also, do others pull the shot first and then the milk, or milk first shot second?? I tend to do the milk first and therefore may need to wait even longer for the boiler to cool after producing steam....

    Thanks
    :D

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    Re: Guide to Using an Rancillio Silvia

    hey fleery

    re milk, i think its better to pull your shot first. if you steam your milk first, and then pull your shot, theres going to be AT LEAST 1 minute where your milk is setting and separating out. not ideal. better to have your espresso sitting for a bit than your milk
    Not to mention the problem of unstable brew temperature (youll need to flush water to bring down the temp)

    cheers
    aaron

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    Re: Guide to Using an Rancillio Silvia

    Quote Originally Posted by fleery link=1125931172/0#10 date=1210718344
    Has anyone done tests with a thermocouple to see if this is correct with the new model??
    Call me stupid ... but why not just taste the coffee at different wait times and decide for yourself?

    Cheers,

    Luca

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    Re: Guide to Using an Rancillio Silvia

    Quote Originally Posted by roknee link=1125931172/0#11 date=1212667184
    hey fleery

    re milk, i think its better to pull your shot first. if you steam your milk first, and then pull your shot, theres going to be AT LEAST 1 minute where your milk is setting and separating out. not ideal. better to have your espresso sitting for a bit than your milk
    Not to mention the problem of unstable brew temperature (youll need to flush water to bring down the temp)

    cheers
    aaron
    Id rather have my milk waiting then my espresso. If I have to let my espresso sit that long, I know itll be splitsville for the crema.

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    Re: Guide to Using an Rancillio Silvia

    Quote Originally Posted by fleery link=1125931172/0#10 date=1210718344
    Ive been reading the posts for a while now trying to find out if the 1.5-2 min wait after the bolier light goes OUT results in the perfect temperature for pulling a shot with the a NEWER silvia (apparently with a lower 100C thermostat)?? Has anyone done tests with a thermocouple to see if this is correct with the new model??
    Ive done some tests (sorry, but the data are in Fahrenheit) of the new Silvia we are now using on our bench for testing kits. A plot is shown below.

    One of the complicating factors in answering the question "when is best?" is the fact that the group temperature (red line) and the boiler temperature (blue line) are out of phase. The boiler temperature peaks approximately 45 seconds after "light off," while the group temperature peaks at around 280 seconds. The group temperature, IMO, has a lesser effect, but is still significant.

    Plus, any flushing that was done prior to pulling the shot would affect the group temperature (the data below are recorded while the machine is idling).

    So, while I think the graph is useful in helping to understand what is going on behind the scenes, experimentation is still going to be necessary.

    Jim

    [EDIT Interesting to note that the deadband (hysteresis) of the stock thermostat would seem to be 9C. It turns off at 100C + 9C = 109C (228F). It turns on at 109C - 9C = 91C (196F). So, the thermostat itself is responsible for around 18C of the range of the temperature cycle.

    There is another 12C that results from overshoot when the heater is quickly switched off by the thermostat (from 109C/228F to 121C/250F).

    So the total range in temperature of the new Silvias boiler is around 12C + 18C = 30C/54F. ]


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    Re: Guide to Using an Rancillio Silvia

    Jim
    I recall seeing a post by yourself on another forum where you felt the group ran to cool with the 100c thermostat compared to the older thermostat, have you done any more research on this?

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    Re: Guide to Using an Rancillio Silvia

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    A year or so ago, I performed similar testing on a different V2 Silvia. On that first machine, the group ran several degrees cooler than the current machine. On the first machine, I never pulled a shot that I thought was hot enough (they were running around 90C-91C).

    But on the current machine, I was able to pull shots through the Scace device at around 92C-93C, which is within an acceptable range.

    With both series of tests, I used accurately calibrated logging equipment (in fact, it is the same equipment). So the only explanation I can offer is that there must be a fair amount of variation between stock thermostats.

    Jim





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