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One year with Silvia

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  • One year with Silvia

    Hi all,

    Havent posted for a while, still drinking lots of coffee and working my way through the 15kg of green beans I have left after going crazy on a few bean bays. Thought Id join the fray again with an update on my Silvia, bought second hand about a year ago.

    Shes been getting a good workout - moderate to vigorous as recommended by health professionals - about 2 -4 coffees a day. Gets a good clean after every use but lately shed been a bit out of sorts, not producing the best crema and the coffee had to be ground very finely - about true 4 on my rocky. I thought it may have been some older coffee that Id been using so I tried using the freshest coffee, and it helped, but still the whole machine had become just a bit lacklustre - the magic was not quite there like it was a year ago. So, the big clean.

    I flushed the machine (and steamwand) with descaler, wiped everything, soaked all the portafilters and baskets and all the trays and everything and gave it all a big scrubbing, backflushed her with my blind filter (I know this is forbidden in the manual) and then flushed the machine with a tank of clean water.

    Well - the result is that the magic is well and truly back! She is working better than ever and the crema just keeps coming - its beautiful! I guess its hard to see the gradual build up of dirt and coffee oils when it is accumulating day by day, but from now on Im scheduling 6-monthly maintenance sessions because it makes a massive difference..

    So Im sure youre all on top of this but maybe someone might get the nudge to do the big clean who has been putting it off too long, or like me, has forgotten!

    Have just ordered a 4-pack of descaler sachets from coffeeparts (is there a CS discount there?) for future cleans and some brushes too.

    Looking forward to the next beanbay!

  • #2
    Re: One year with Silvia

    Andrew,

    Good to hear it is all going well.
    Having owned a Silvia previously, I strongly suggest that you need to do a chemical backflush each week.
    A small amount of cafetto or similar product.
    http://www.coffeeparts.com.au/accessories/cleaner.html
    Note - NOT the descaling product. Thats a different purpose.

    Once I got past the worry of backflushing (curse you silly manual!), I never looked back. Believe me, at 2-4 a day, you need to go weekly to keep getting the best from your unit.

    Brett.

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    • #3
      Re: One year with Silvia

      Yes. A good clean makes a huge difference. I did the same thing after 6 months with the Silvia.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: One year with Silvia

        Originally posted by fatboy link=1202776350/0#1 date=1202776937
        A small amount of cafetto or similar product.
        http://www.coffeeparts.com.au/accessories/cleaner.html
        Note - NOT the descaling product. Thats a different purpose.
        Thanks for the tip - I have some cafetto - but there are no directions with it.. how much do I use and where do I put it? Do I need to dilute it and put it in the blind filter?

        Cheers!
        Andrew

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        • #5
          Re: One year with Silvia

          Empty and clean drip tray. This is important as it will give you an indication of how much residue you have flushed.

          Small amount of cafetto, say half a teaspoon, into the blind basket in the PF.
          Put a little hot water from the group in and give it a swish to mix a bit.
          Lock PF in place and do 3 to 6 backflush pulses.
          You should see some quite soapy and brown water returning into the drip tray via the 3 way.
          You can then also do something many call the PF wiggle. Loosen the PF slightly and run brew water. Wiggle PF so the water sprays abit around the group. You need to be careful here as the water is hot and burny ow-ows could occur.
          Remove PF and rinse out any excess cleaning solution.
          Empty and clean drip tray.
          Lock PF in place and do more backflush pulses.
          You want to do this until you see no soapy (chemical) residue coming back via the 3 way.
          Remove PF.
          Run more water through the group.
          Empty and clean again.
          Replace your normal basket into PF.
          Do a sink shot to ensure you get rid of all chemicals from the important areas.

          Should take no more than 5 or 10 minutes all up.

          Brett.

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          • #6
            Re: One year with Silvia

            Originally posted by fatboy link=1202776350/0#4 date=1202780985
            Should take no more than 5 or 10 minutes all up.
            Fantastic thanks mate - will do it now!

            P.S. Do you use this powder once a week? or just a normal backflush once a week and the powder every six months?

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            • #7
              Re: One year with Silvia

              Personally, I use the powder once a week.

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              • #8
                Re: One year with Silvia

                Originally posted by fatboy link=1202776350/0#4 date=1202780985
                You need to be careful here as the water is hot and burny ow-ows could occur.

                Guess who has kids?

                Haha, nice one Brett!

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                • #9
                  Re: One year with Silvia

                  Just finished the clean and yeah, with the cleaning powder and the pf wiggle and it made a big difference..

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                  • #10
                    Re: One year with Silvia

                    I got Silvia last July and have just done my first descale. Every Saturday I do the chemical backflush and give everything on the machine a good clean, it is amazing the amount of oils and gunk that flush out after 7 days use!!

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                    • #11
                      Re: One year with Silvia

                      Hi guys,

                      Ill jump on the bandwagon and agree with weekly backflushing. You dont need to use a lot of detergent, but you do need to backflush regularly.

                      Bretts backflush walkthrough was excellent. I just have three quick addenda:

                      (1) I used to do the straightforward several bursts thing. Now I do one or two bursts, then let the pf sit in the group for five minutes or so. The pump is off, but the blind contains cafetto dissolved in hot water, so it seems to help it to really eat into the oil on the dispersion block. I finish off with a few more bursts. This isnt a common technique, but it seems to me to do a slightly better job than the standard technique. Andrew taught me this technique at Maling Room and it basically eliminated the need to remove the shower screens to scrub back the dispersion block (although that was with stainless steel dispersion blocks).

                      (2) If you grab the PF handle through a teatowel, your chances of burny ow-ows are greatly reduced.

                      (3) I used to backflush weekly and change blends weekly. It is probably obvious, but bears mentioning that if you backflush when you change blends, you can use your dialling in shots as seasoning shots too!

                      Cheers,

                      Luca

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