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Help me find that shot again!

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  • Help me find that shot again!

    Just need some help with my shot. Using a silvia and a k3 touch. I Preheat for about half an hour, flush till light comes on then grind fairly fine,dose small mound level off and tamp fairly lightly 10kg or so, using a double, about 2min after boiler light turns off i pour the shot, it blondes in around 5 secs at which point i have around 10 mls so i keep going. trying for 60ml for two cups but normally stop around 30-40 because it blonded very early. Have around the 40 ml in 25 sec. good crema, fresh beans from local roaster. Make two caps for me and my wife but mostly they taste burnt. If they dont they seem flat. Puck seems dry with the bottom intact but often a disturbance on top near edge. I also use %100 filtered rainwater. i have made a good shot once that tasted very sweet and i want it again, what am i doing wrong?


  • #2
    Re: Help me find that shot again!

    Originally posted by 676C766D77686B73040 link=1263637267/0#0 date=1263637267
    it blondes in around 5 secs at which point i have around 10 mls
    Chris I dont own a Silvia but blonding in 5 secs would worry anyone no matter which machine they had.

    Blonding that quickly indicates to me that the coffee is offering no resistance to the water.

    Have you tried grinding finer?
    Have you tried settling the grinds after the initial dose then adding more coffee before levelling and tamping?

    To slow the pour you have to, either grind finer or add more coffee.

    Originally posted by 202B312A302F2C34430 link=1263637267/0#0 date=1263637267
    often a disturbance on top near edge
    This could be a sign of channelling.


    • #3
      Re: Help me find that shot again!

      I have tried. I find dosing difficult. If i try to up dose i cant do it consistently so i just level and tamp. I am still getting used to my k3, got it yesterday. Had a good grind but thought i wanted it a bit finer so i moved it a little. it choked, moved it back and it gushed, i have gone through 400g of beans in one day. threw most of it out. Basically you are saying grind finer, I will just have to keep trying to adjust it. it is very sensitive, came from a em480... so


      • #4
        Re: Help me find that shot again!

        It can be frustrating I know. It may be a good idea to invest in a naked group handle so that you can see what the shot is doing. If it does not pour from the centre, you may find it is gushing from the area that you see the disturbance in the puck.


        • #5
          Re: Help me find that shot again!

          Originally posted by 4C475D465C4340582F0 link=1263637267/2#2 date=1263640581
          came from a em480
          I used to own one.
          The k3 can make smaller adjustments than the Sunbeam so you will eventually have much better coffee.

          As I said, you can either grind finer or dose more; do whichever you are more comfortable with for now.


          • #6
            Re: Help me find that shot again!

            Id be getting the dose volume right first (do a search for the 5 cent piece dose measuring technique) and then adjusting the grind to get the time. Be very consistent and careful with your tamp.

            40 ml in 25 seconds sounds about right, but the early blonding says something is not working out. Puck disturbance indicates this as well.

            Both machines you have are capable of good coffee so some deliberate adjusting (ONE VARIABLE AT A TIME!!!!!!!!!!!! ) will get you there.



            • #7
              Re: Help me find that shot again!

              Which beans are you using Chris? Also, do you know when they were roasted.... :-?



              • #8
                Re: Help me find that shot again!

                Not sure whats in the blend, he calls it Jamaican spice. Not sure what day they where roasted but i know they are fresh. He roasts daily and sells them when they are ready, once they were too fresh and he told me to wait a day or so to use them.

                Dosing is killing me. If i try to updose a bit the silvia doesnt have much room and i often have trouble with the puck touching the screen. Im at the moment every cup nudging the grind finer but it always blondes in seconds. If its my tamp or dose im doing my best. The tamp is good solid 58mm but leaves half mm or so around it, would a pullman help or is it just user error with the dosing.

                Ill try the 5cent thing now...


                • #9
                  Re: Help me find that shot again!

                  tried the 5 cent test and failed miserably. dosed and scraped off level and tamped. i put the 5cent piece in the middle and loaded it. the puck was destroyed pushing the coin in around 4mm. The silvia has a large nut under the shower screen which pushed the coin in. So i took the coin out and tamped  loaded again no coin this time. Took it out without pouring and the nut from the screen was pushed into the puck by a few mm. Not good i take it, So am i updosing too much by even only leveling it, how can that be, too fine


                  • #10
                    Re: Help me find that shot again!

                    If youve still got the original screw in the Silvia then you dont need the 5c - just the impression of the screw by a smidge is good.

                    If you are just dosing then leveling you could try a collapse at half full - I half fill the double, shake side to side once or twice to level then tap on bench two or three times finally filling, leveling & tamping.

                    Im not sure what going from choke to gush with one change of the grinder could mean (other than the obvious - too big a change... you should only need to nudge the K3T by a mm or two each change)

                    Your tamper sounds OK - Ive resisted the temptation of a Pullman so far (but there is a birthday due very soon) - mine is a decent solid aluminium also 1mm smaller than the basket but I can get fairly decent shots.

                    Temperature may still be a bit high at 2 min - Ive gronked my Silvia but the ritual I use is to flush ~45ml after the light goes out (aiming for 102*C on my thermometer) then lock and pull the shot.

                    Some other second order techniques that may give you some improvement are a "nutating tamp" (thanks to Mal - search for it) and preinfusion (run the shot for say 1/2 sec then pause for 2 or 3 secs before pulling as normal) - with a naked GH both of these have noticeably reduced channeling.


                    • #11
                      Re: Help me find that shot again!

                      Thanks, but wouldnt the impression of the screw break the puck and induce channeling? I feel overwhelmed by the complexity of variables and getting sick of undrinkable shots, more i try worse it gets, miss my sunbeam a bit


                      • #12
                        Re: Help me find that shot again!

                        hey Chris, Miss Silvia can certainly be a little unforgiving at times. But with some perseverance she will give you more than just that one awesome shot.

                        My setup is pretty similar to yours, and I find that Miss Silvia can certainly punish you if you use the wrong dose, be it under or over dose. One thing I would suggest is getting a larger basket than the double supplied with Miss Silvia, Im using a triple than can hold 18-21 grams, and found this really helped. A larger basket increases your margin for error and makes things a little easier, well, at least thats my experience.

                        1. Flush boiler in stages. Dont just turn the brew switch on and let it run until light comes on, just run it for a few seconds each time until the light comes on, then wait.

                        2. Once the light goes out, thats when I remove the group handle, wipe and start to grind and dose.

                        3. Dosing is something I try to keep consistent from coffee to coffee, only adjusting my grind. Fill group handle about halfway, tap on bench twice, fill again until just over the top of the basket and tap twice again. Strike off with #2 scottie callaghan tool. tamp the coffee, I use an Espro so am using 30lb of pressure. If you dont have those tools, dont worry, I find that if I  havent dosed past the ridge in the basket Im pretty safe.

                        4. Purge boiler briefly again to ensure the super-hot water is gone, once you see a nice even flow youve got it, not spraying all over the place.

                        5. Put in group handle and flick the switch right away.

                        6. Stop extraction when youre happy and/or blonding appears, whichever happens first!

                        Thats what works for me at least anyway. Good luck!

                        P.S. dont say anything critical about Miss Silvia where she can hear you, youll be punished on your next shot, shes hot blooded ...  

                        Originally posted by 5D564C574D5251493E0 link=1263637267/10#10 date=1263718848
                        Thanks,but wouldnt the impression of the screw break the puck and induce channeling?
                        no, not necessarily. You only want a faint impression, not that ability to fit a screwdriver into it!


                        • #13
                          Re: Help me find that shot again!

                          Just pulled this shot, made the grind slightly finer, dosed level, tasted pretty good, but is that channeling i can see?


                          • #14
                            Re: Help me find that shot again!

                            Funny thing is, i get that little hole near the edge everytime in the same place...


                            • #15
                              Re: Help me find that shot again!

                              Hi Chris,

                              It might be my screen, but the grind looks too coarse to me.

                              The K3 needs very small adjustments to the grind - half to one increment at a time.

                              Try this:

                              1. Dose to the top of the basket and level off.
                              2. Tamp harder and evenly.
                              3. Look for a thick dribbling pour.
                              4. Dont watch the clock - watch the pour!
                              5. Stop when blonding begins.
                              6. Adjust ONLY the grind to fine tune the pour.

                              Lets know if that helps.

                              Cheers 8-)