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Thread: New Member, New/Old Equipment Rancilio

  1. #1
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    New Member, New/Old Equipment Rancilio

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hello All New member here, Quite a nice little community you seem to have here on first glance.


    Recently i've Acquired a Rancilio Rocky & Rancilio Silvia V1 with Dual Readout Watlow PID LCD @ $530


    As these items are 7 years old and i dont have a clear total understanding of there previous maintenance schedule i intend on doing the following to them once collected.


    Silvia


    Descale Water Tank w Urnex Descal
    Backflush Machine w Urnex Cafiza
    Replace Grouphead Seal & Shower Screen in Grouphead


    Rocky


    Replace Burr Grinders


    From what i've been able to gather in 5 or 6 hours of reading forums and opinions I think this covers most basis.


    Does anyone have any feedback as to some further things that would be prudent to do and/or check to avoid issues presenting themselves in the beginning of ownership?



  2. #2
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    I haven't owned a Silvia or Rocky but as they're a popular combo someone should be along soon.

    I wouldn't be spending up front on new burrs for the grinder though as you may find they don't need replacing yet.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thundergod View Post
    I haven't owned a Silvia or Rocky but as they're a popular combo someone should be along soon.

    I wouldn't be spending up front on new burrs for the grinder though as you may find they don't need replacing yet.
    Got the machines yesterday and fiddled for quite awhile, including a full clean of the Rocky... Finding the Zero point on the unit and then taking it one notch from there Still isnt grinding fine enough. 14g of coffee beans is pouring 60ml in 20 seconds and i'm left with a wet puck.

    My understanding is i should be using setting 4-10 instead of 1, whereas 1-4 in theory should choke the machine.

    Would love if someone that owns this combo could chime in.

    Hopefully replacement Burrs will arrive this week, I have also preformed the teflon tape fix.

  4. #4
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    7-10 is the normal working range on my Rocky,..so there must be something really wrong with those burrs ?
    ..assuming your distribution, & Tamping are normal. ?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by blend52 View Post
    7-10 is the normal working range on my Rocky,..so there must be something really wrong with those burrs ?
    ..assuming your distribution, & Tamping are normal. ?
    Its certainly a possibility, the machine is 7 years old and only been replaced once about 4 years ago. Used for 1-2 coffees a day....

    From what i've seen scouring the net there is no sure fire way to ascertain if they are beyond there useful life visually, I'd love if someone could offer insight here.

    I'm new to this all, So i cant assure you that distribution and tamping are "normal" however i've absorbed as much advice as i can from the forums.

    Thanks for the replies

  6. #6
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    soooo i fiddled some more

    Instead of 14g of beans i used 15.5. Same tamping... Same setting on Rocky #1...

    Getting a 25 second extraction time 60ml, With in my opinion a pretty damn good espresso.

    Burrs still have not arrived however fingers crossed that resolved my Grind setting 1 issue.

    At least i have a working solution in the interim

  7. #7
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    i've got the same combo but both machines a newer and the silvia doesn't have a PID

    my rocky likes anything between 4 and up to 10 depending on the beans

    my setup is probably close to 5 years old and still on all the original parts except for semi regular backflushing

    I find that results with the silvia are better if you dose more grounds than you normally would or think you need

  8. #8
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    Nimer I used to dose about 18grams comfortably into my double basket and aim for 30ml in 30secs roughly, but 60ml in 25 secs still seams way too fast.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wynton87 View Post
    Nimer I used to dose about 18grams comfortably into my double basket and aim for 30ml in 30secs roughly, but 60ml in 25 secs still seams way too fast.
    hmmmmmm I thought the goal is to aim for 25-30 second extraction and 7g roughly per 30ml? So if pouring a double then 14g roughly 60ml but same time period?

    Based on what your saying a double should take ~60 seconds and a triple 90 seconds? That doesnt sound right.... Maybe i'm misunderstanding

  10. #10
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    New Member, New/Old Equipment Rancilio

    I too go for a shorter double from my Silvia, maybe 30-40ml - 60ml seems like way too much and usually includes a lot of blonding.

    Are you sure you got your grinder reassembled correctly? Did you set to burrs so they touched at the '0' point?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by nimer View Post
    Got the machines yesterday and fiddled for quite awhile, including a full clean of the Rocky... Finding the Zero point on the unit and then taking it one notch from there Still isnt grinding fine enough. 14g of coffee beans is pouring 60ml in 20 seconds and i'm left with a wet puck.

    My understanding is i should be using setting 4-10 instead of 1, whereas 1-4 in theory should choke the machine.

    Would love if someone that owns this combo could chime in.

    Hopefully replacement Burrs will arrive this week, I have also preformed the teflon tape fix.
    Therein lie the answers, so cutting straight to the job:

    You seem to be
    a) underdosing, caused by weighing incorrect number of grams for whatever filter the machine is equipped with, which we do not know (which size filter?). Even the standard filter needs appreciably more than 14 grams in order to brew properly. Dose instead by volume to get correct amount of grinds in whatever filter you are equipped with;
    b) in order to compensate for appreciable underdosing, you are probably grinding the coffee much finer than required in order to slow the pour;
    c) finding the zero point on a grind adjuster ring is well nigh irrelevant. The correct setting is where ever it ends up to get the best result using correct dose and technique, and that is irrelevant to any number on the scale...it is where it is where it is on any particular grinder! Therefore refer back to a) before any grind setting can make sense.
    d) New burrs are also probably irrelevant and also introduce another unwanted variable into your mix in terms of you disassembling and reassembling equipment and the possibility of something not going according to plan for you. Note in a later post you mention the burrs were apparently replaced 4 years ago with only a couple of coffees made per day since then. That means the encumbent burrs are still in virtually as new condition, and I dont advise fixing anything that aint broke!
    e) suggest to leave mods like so called teflon tape "fix" until after you have a good understanding of the equipment and have it mastered in standard condition where it works well enough, after which you may understand and benefit from whatever such a mod will do for you.

    My advice at this point would be, work out the proper dose to suit your filter and your current supply of beans, for your machine (usually within a hairs breadth of the TOP of the circlip groove of whatever filter you are using, after tamping (tamp consistently), and using this dose, brew coffee. If it runs too fast or too slow, make corresponding grind setting changes to the grinder and try again, using the same tamped dose, until you get somewhere in the specified rate of pour. Then keep doing this until you get the best possible coffee, and that will be the correct grind setting for your beans and equipment, at the time of the test. Grind will then vary around that setting according to age of beans and relative humidity etc. OR if you totally change the blend or origin or use a different supplier then the grind could vary more significantly.

    Tip. If you overdose Silvia (ie fill the filter to a significantly higher tamped level than what I've described above), it wll invariably leak over the top of the group handle while you are brewing espresso, causing you to come back into the forum to ask what is wrong with the machine (nothing) !!!!!!!! So.......strongly suggest dont overdose silvia!

    Enjoy.

    Attilio
    very first CS site sponsor.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fresh_Coffee View Post
    Therein lie the answers, so cutting straight to the job:

    You seem to be
    a) underdosing, caused by weighing incorrect number of grams for whatever filter the machine is equipped with, which we do not know (which size filter?). Even the standard filter needs appreciably more than 14 grams in order to brew properly. Dose instead by volume to get correct amount of grinds in whatever filter you are equipped with;
    b) in order to compensate for appreciable underdosing, you are probably grinding the coffee much finer than required in order to slow the pour;
    c) finding the zero point on a grind adjuster ring is well nigh irrelevant. The correct setting is where ever it ends up to get the best result using correct dose and technique, and that is irrelevant to any number on the scale...it is where it is where it is on any particular grinder! Therefore refer back to a) before any grind setting can make sense.
    d) New burrs are also probably irrelevant and also introduce another unwanted variable into your mix in terms of you disassembling and reassembling equipment and the possibility of something not going according to plan for you. Note in a later post you mention the burrs were apparently replaced 4 years ago with only a couple of coffees made per day since then. That means the encumbent burrs are still in virtually as new condition, and I dont advise fixing anything that aint broke!
    e) suggest to leave mods like so called teflon tape "fix" until after you have a good understanding of the equipment and have it mastered in standard condition where it works well enough, after which you may understand and benefit from whatever such a mod will do for you.

    My advice at this point would be, work out the proper dose to suit your filter and your current supply of beans, for your machine (usually within a hairs breadth of the TOP of the circlip groove of whatever filter you are using, after tamping (tamp consistently), and using this dose, brew coffee. If it runs too fast or too slow, make corresponding grind setting changes to the grinder and try again, using the same tamped dose, until you get somewhere in the specified rate of pour. Then keep doing this until you get the best possible coffee, and that will be the correct grind setting for your beans and equipment, at the time of the test. Grind will then vary around that setting according to age of beans and relative humidity etc. OR if you totally change the blend or origin or use a different supplier then the grind could vary more significantly.

    Tip. If you overdose Silvia (ie fill the filter to a significantly higher tamped level than what I've described above), it wll invariably leak over the top of the group handle while you are brewing espresso, causing you to come back into the forum to ask what is wrong with the machine (nothing) !!!!!!!! So.......strongly suggest dont overdose silvia!

    Enjoy.

    Attilio
    very first CS site sponsor.
    Far Out! Thank you for the advice..... A few times during this experience i was wondering if i was trying to run before knowing how to walk.....

    I have been using a Bodum Santos for last 12 months which i adore and doing a bunch of reading decided an investment into a Rocky would improve my overall experience rather then beans that were ground 1-2 weeks ago....

    I ended up finding the Rocky i was looking for but also a Silvia from the same seller, I thought heck why not price doesn't seem to be too bad, (how hard can it be) circa 500$-700$ investment, It quickly dawned on me the enormity of different accessories to do certain things and variables to control to get some nice espresso.

    That aside rather then making un-educated decisions 10 hours later of web research and a few physical days i had all my bits and pieces....

    You have made it clear to me i have so many different variables that i keep changing wily nilly getting very very mixed results.

    Tmrw morning i'll tackle the process from beginning to end, focusing solely on proper dose... Trying to keep other variables static....

    i should add I have been weighing the beans before going into hopper. but not once coming out of the grinder, obviously there is going to be some discrepancy in terms of what my end weight is in my basketů. This I will change, Focusing on weight of whats in the basket.

    For the record i was using a double basket that came with the rancilio, Pretty sure it holds ~15.5g. I've been dosing with 14.5-16g trying to find a sweet spot.

    I ordered a VST 15g Ridgeless and Bottomless Porta-Filter which i'm now using. (in hindsight prob a dumb idea seeing how many of you professionals are finding difficulty with the VST) I assumed it might be easier to form my process and learn with the equipment i plan to use for the longterm.

    The VST i've been having mixed results with. Occasionally prob 1 in 5 i end up with a product that i'd buy from a Cafe anyday.

    Was very surprised the difference in pour speed between the Campos Rwanda Mibirizi Cup of Excellence Lot #3 & Swiss Water Process« Decaffeinated Espreso - Both whole beans using the same Grind, I read of course that different beans will require different settings but how pronounced this was, i wasn't prepared for!

    Stay tuned for the next interesting Chapter :P


    Thanks again for your time in the response!









  13. #13
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Well done Nimer for your frank and appreciative reply to FC's post. Great to see.

    With respect to your dosing levels, you'll find that the nominal dosing weight of almost all filter baskets (e.g. the 15.5g you cite above) will underdose many people's machines (possibly not so much for the VST's you've ordered...which take a bit of getting used to). I'd not be too obsessed with the whether your dose is similar to the basket's nominal capacity, get the dose level right then adjust your grind etc. If that means you've got 19g in a 15g basket, no problem.

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    Senior Member greenman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry O'Speedwagon View Post
    Well done Nimer for your frank and appreciative reply to FC's post. Great to see.

    With respect to your dosing levels, you'll find that the nominal dosing weight of almost all filter baskets (e.g. the 15.5g you cite above) will underdose many people's machines (possibly not so much for the VST's you've ordered...which take a bit of getting used to). I'd not be too obsessed with the whether your dose is similar to the basket's nominal capacity, get the dose level right then adjust your grind etc. If that means you've got 19g in a 15g basket, no problem.
    Nimer when I had a Silvia it performed at it's best being updosed, you will see the bolt mark from the shower screen in the puck, going too far with the updose will sometimes cause leakage--persevere and all will be good, Silvia produces a great espresso!
    good luck
    gman

  15. #15
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    I agree with the previous comments regarding underdosing. I found that the Silvia to be very sensitive to dose. I never weigh my dose but I used to fill till the (standand double) filter basket was overflowing and then level. The shots tended to be sour and prone to channeling. They were acceptable with milk but as espresso were pretty unimpressive. It took me a while to diagnose because I was incorrectly focussing on the 60ml in 30 seconds, thereby grinding very (too) finely. My improved routine is to fill, tap twice firmly against my tamping map, continue to fill and then level. This means I grind less finely and the results are lovely as an espresso. I suspect I am 'overfilling' as the portafilter is quite firm to turn into the correct position and there is a very clear indentation of the nut on the puck but the proof is in the cup. I did buy a set of 'precision scales' yesterday (not sure how precise they will really be - $15 from Target) and will see over the next day or two how much I am really dosing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nimer View Post
    hmmmmmm I thought the goal is to aim for 25-30 second extraction and 7g roughly per 30ml? So if pouring a double then 14g roughly 60ml but same time period?

    Based on what your saying a double should take ~60 seconds and a triple 90 seconds? That doesnt sound right.... Maybe i'm misunderstanding
    regardless of the basket size the shot should stop without too much blonding, it will just have more body with the bigger triple basket, not necessarily more volume,

    hope that helps explain.

  17. #17
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    hrmmmm So working soely on Dosing and Tamping... As much as i try, Every time I pour i seem to have 1 or 2 super tiny streams of coffee coming off the bottom of the portafilter shooting all over the counter top left and right.... Its difficult to see where its coming from but i'm quite certain its from the bottom of the portafilter itself and not the mating surface of the filter and O-Ring...

    I've inspected the O-Ring... (replaced it a few days ago) And there isnt any coffee obstructing the mating surface...


    Suggesstions?

  18. #18
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    This is probably channeling, caused either by the distribution of grounds in the basket being uneven, or possibly your dose is now too high and the bolt on the shower head is going too far into the puck and breaking it up. Unless you are very consistent, you may find that this happens every now and then even after you start making satisfactory coffees. Taste them anyway....to my taste they are normally quite ok, unless the channeling is very extreme / or the extraction just too fast.

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    Taste seems fine.... The mess to clean up afterwords though is unsatisfactory

    I will continue to persevere.

  20. #20
    Senior Member ArtW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArtW View Post
    I did buy a set of 'precision scales' yesterday (not sure how precise they will really be - $15 from Target) and will see over the next day or two how much I am really dosing.
    After 2 weeks of weighing my dose, I reckon that a total weight of 44 - 44.5g in the standard Silvia double basket (including the basket) or 17.5 - 18g of coffee (basket weighs 26.5) is about right. When the grind is set correctly blonding starts at about 25 seconds though this does seem to vary according to the bean. The grind is not too fine so I think this helps with reducing channeling.



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