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Thread: Whats the Rancilio S series like?

  1. #1
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    Whats the Rancilio S series like?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Occasionally I see one of these in a cafe or something; like the S24 / 26 ones and being a silvia owner the brand always catches my eye ;) What are they like under the hood, build and results quality-wise, as I know a commercial target doesnt necessarily mean its better than a good domestic machine, and I cant say Ive heard much about them before.

    Greg

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    Re: Whats the Rancilio S series like?

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Pullman link=1194835529/0#0 date=1194835529
    Occasionally I see one of these in a cafe or something; like the S24 / 26 ones and being a silvia owner the brand always catches my eye *;) What are they like under the hood, build and results quality-wise, as I know a commercial target doesnt necessarily mean its better than a good domestic machine, and I cant say Ive heard much about them before.

    Greg
    In general Greg, notorious for running hot. I guess if you want a 1980s seafoam thermonuclear "Cuppachino" though, one would be perfect!

    Chris

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    Re: Whats the Rancilio S series like?

    Im sure you could tune it to be espresso-only.

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    Re: Whats the Rancilio S series like?

    Quote Originally Posted by nunu link=1194835529/0#2 date=1194841925
    Im sure you could tune it to be espresso-only.
    Sure can nunu....but I have already done that with my Presso.... :P

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    Re: Whats the Rancilio S series like?

    Besides...Milks for dunking biscuits, and pouring over cereal.

    Greg must have spotted a bargain somewhere. Must have contracted a bit of upgradesis somewhere.

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    Re: Whats the Rancilio S series like?

    Quote Originally Posted by nunu link=1194835529/0#2 date=1194841925
    Im sure you could tune it to be espresso-only.
    I got a good chance to root around inside a bomb of a S/24 not too long ago. Disturbingly, the group heads appear to be identical to the silvia. I know that the silvia is often touted as having a "commercial" group head ... but that doesnt mean that a commercial machine with the same group is necessarily good! Rather than heating up a million litres of water for something and then trying to tune it to be espresso only, why not just PID a silvia?

    I know a commercial target doesnt necessarily mean its better than a good domestic machine
    Good to see that you have that in mind. I think that you would probably be a lot better off with one of good "e61 boxes." That said, I know a guy who regards his s/24 as a significant step up from the silvia that he owned before.

    Cheers,

    Luca

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    Re: Whats the Rancilio S series like?

    Wellllllll, I do keep my eye open when stuff comes up but Im not REALLY unhappy with the Silvia. More to the point, neither is my wife. ;D So it would have to be a compelling case, which it doesnt sound like a S series would make.

    Its funny; most people want to upgrade from a Silvia to get a HX machine so they have better steaming power, especially milk drinkers. Im a milk drinker (sorry Nunu!) but the Silvia is adequate for the volume of milk I do; the main reason Id upgrade is to get better espresso yet I rarely drink espresso; I more want that to serve as a better foundation on which to build a latte, and who knows I may end up drinking it more regularly. So I wouldnt really be able to justify something which is Silvia but with HX capabilities. I find the Silvia still generally blonds too early and inconsistently, but Ive never temperature surfed so maybe a PID would help, not sure, depends if thats the problem. Its not enough of a problem to change just yet, but I do find it a *little* frustrating to normally only get 5-6 seconds of extraction (10-12 from pump activation) before a blond streak breaks through. On the occasions Ive got a 25 second pour with no blonding its been really good, but those are few and far between.

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    Re: Whats the Rancilio S series like?

    Greg

    Probably telling you how to suck eggs, and Im sure youve tried this, given youre probably up to your neck in them, but I got satisfaction wrt extending the time before blonding and greater shot consistancy by using a larger [14g] basket.

    ............And of course using one of them Pullman Tamper thingys!!!!

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    Re: Whats the Rancilio S series like?

    Yep I use a ridgeless Synesso normally and it certainly helps, and in absolute terms the shots are still good but Im chasing more consistency which may be temperature related, not sure.

    The synesso baskets are nominally 14g amber; updosing adds another 5 or so grams to its capacity (fill, strike, weigh compared to fill, 3 settling knocks, strike, weigh).

    Oh yes and I use one of those Pullman things too, they seem to work ok. :)

    Greg

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    Re: Whats the Rancilio S series like?

    yea i realised its a stupid question after i got robins reply ;) - then i deleted that comment hehe

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    Re: Whats the Rancilio S series like?

    Hi Greg

    S27 owner here.
    The thing is like Silvia on steroids and tank-like construction.
    Exact same group on it - just with the HX ability to steam and brew.
    No thermosiphon loop and the S24 is vibe pump with the others a rotary.

    Heat can be managed with a flush routine and an adjustment of the pressurestat without killing steaming too badly. (for home use)

    No preinfusion/E61 - so the rotary hits the puck HARD.
    Dose, distribution and tamp need to be spot on or you get channels and gushers.

    That said - I still like it a lot.
    Way better than the modded gaggia I had before it.
    Itll last about forever and can handle large groups wanting coffee easily.
    The wife has even got used to seeing the thing on the bench.

    Frankie

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    Re: Whats the Rancilio S series like?

    Thanks Frankie, nothing like the perspective of an owner! :)

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    Re: Whats the Rancilio S series like?

    Hey Greg/ other CSers, could you take a look at this please? Is this whats happening to your shots too?

    Im using good fresh beans. Grinded on rocky at 10 - any finer - the coffee will taste really sharp and bitter and acidic. At number 10, the shot would taste ok. But blonds really quickly.

    Heres the link.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmEcdpzr8Rs

    This happens with those beans i roast myself too. They dont have as much crema, but they blond equally early... unless i overpack with coffee, but that leads to the grouphead not fitting in properly, and water gushes from around as well.

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    Re: Whats the Rancilio S series like?

    I guess your problems could be:
    1. your grind is too coarse
    2. you got channeling in your shot
    3. you left you portafilter out for too long results in temperature drops

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    Re: Whats the Rancilio S series like?

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Pullman link=1194835529/0#6 date=1194860006
    Its funny; most people want to upgrade from a Silvia to get a HX machine so they have better steaming power, especially milk drinkers. Im a milk drinker (sorry Nunu!) but the Silvia is adequate for the volume of milk I do; the main reason Id upgrade is to get better espresso yet I rarely drink espresso;
    hehe Im considering upgrading from my sivlia to a VBM domobar super - not for better steaming power, or even better espresso, but I just want something massive and shiny on my bench ;D

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    Re: Whats the Rancilio S series like?

    Hey Amberosw,

    Im no barista but it looks to me as though you have a couple of issues
    1. Grind may be too coarse. I use about 7-8 on my Rocky. But depends where your zero point ends up.
    2. Too much tamp pressure. I presume you are tyring too offset fast extraction. It looks like you were really putting some serious weight behind the tamper.
    3. Over filling of the PF basket. I use pretty much the same method as your video but I dont need to use my right hand to steady the machine. Also my group handle goes past the straight agead point to about 5 oclock (looking from o top of the machine) It may be that the finer grind settles in the PF basket better.

    Good luck

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    Re: Whats the Rancilio S series like?

    Hey, Amberosw

    Your grind is way out. You must go much finer.
    You tamp too hard. You need only 12-14 kg force on the tamper. Get a bathroom scale out or buy an Espro tamper like I did from
    Di Bartolis.
    You also seem to fill the basket up too much.

    You need to get the above right so that you get around 30 mls in 25-30 secs.



    On another note, which has nothing to do with the flow of the golden syrup, you need to get the temp surfing right too once you got the handle on the above. There are plenty of info on this forum on how to do that.



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