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Any tips for preheating cups on Rancilio Silvia ?

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  • Any tips for preheating cups on Rancilio Silvia ?

    I am happy with the results (taste/crema/froth) I am getting with my new Rancilio Silvia - even given that my current coffee was bought pre-roasted and pre-ground over 4 weeks ago (I guess my snobiness will have to develop somewhat if I am to remain in this forum).

    Anyway, the one thing I am not satisfied with is the pre-heating ability of the machines cup tray. Are there any tricks to use or do I have to go to the trouble of hot water and drying cups before use every time ?

  • #2
    Re: Any tips for preheating cups on Rancilio Silvi

    Vin,

    I use the brew switch to pour hot water into the cup beforehand. I dont even think about it as it is part of the ritual now. Doing this, I think anyway, helps to bring the group head to the right temp plus it will activate the element. I fill unjtil the element light comes on, swirl the hot water a few times then tip it out. A quick dry and by that time Im nearly ready to pour the shot. The tray isnt that great for cups, but does take the chill out of them. I have noticed that my tamp will get flamin hot if left on top for a while.

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    • #3
      Re: Any tips for preheating cups on Rancilio Silvi

      I find that the tray does OK for my Maxwell and Williams ceramic cups (standard size) as long as the machine has been on for at least 30 minutes.

      However, if Im using my glass mugs:
      • Fill with hot water using the hot water switch and steam wand.
        Do my grind/tamp/load
        Dump the water out of the mug (into next mug if doing multiples)
        Pour the shot into the heated mug.


      I dont usually worry about drying the mug before doing the shot.

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      • #4
        Re: Any tips for preheating cups on Rancilio Silvi

        i essentially do the same processas fatboy.... through the steam wand until the brew light flicks on.. (then swirl water and tip it)
        But, i always dry the glass (usually a 90ml piccolo). :-D

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Any tips for preheating cups on Rancilio Silvi

          Originally posted by vinessence link=1161233414/0#0 date=1161233414
          (I guess my snobiness will have to develop somewhat if I am to remain in this forum).
          ;D....no, not really. It takes all kinds here!


          But, seriously...you would do well to purchase a suitable grinder or even if you live close to a roaster and can get them to freshly grind you small batches of coffee when needed if your budget cant stretch to a grinder at this stage. Fresh is definitely great but dont forget that having the right grind is even better! ::waits to see how many argue point::

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          • #6
            Re: Any tips for preheating cups on Rancilio Silvi

            Thanks for the replies ... I will go on preheating the cups with hot water as suggested above, however I have found that I am constantly checking the water level to make sure I dont run out - wouldnt it be nice if the machine had some sort of visual or auditory alarm when you ran low ...

            Also, I was half expecting someone out there to know of a clever way of covering both the cups and the top of the heating tray to keep the heat in ... I guess its a silly idea.

            Cheers.

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            • #7
              Re: Any tips for preheating cups on Rancilio Silvi

              Originally posted by vinessence link=1161233414/0#5 date=1161441550
              Also, I was half expecting someone out there to know of a clever way of covering both the cups and the top of the heating tray to keep the heat in ... I guess its a silly idea.
              In fact vinessence,

              Youve got to be a bit careful about doing that. Espresso machines are very carefully designed from a thermal input/output equation point of view. Any attempt at trying to retain the "waste" heat from the cup warming tray to improve cup warming efficiency will almost certainly lead to the excessive build-up of heat inside the machine and cause a more rapid onset of heat associated deterioration of certain components.

              Better to just keep on doing what youre currently doing and preheating the cups with hot water. Just have to get into the habit of always checking the water level after the last brewing session and filling her up if necessary.... thats what I used to do and Im sure a lot of other CSers do too. All the best,

              Mal.

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              • #8
                Re: Any tips for preheating cups on Rancilio Silvi

                Originally posted by Mal link=1161233414/0#6 date=1161443722
                Better to just keep on doing what youre currently doing and preheating the cups with hot water. Just have to get into the habit of always checking the water level after the last brewing session and filling her up if necessary.... thats what I used to do and Im sure a lot of other CSers do too.
                Indeed Mal! Even with My Cimbali M28 that is what I do.

                I have set the auto-refill sensor/switch so that it doesnt kick on until the boiler is only a quarter full (technically not a quarter full, but rather a quarter of the way up the sight glass) and I manually maintain the level at 3/4s of the way up the sight glass. At the end of each brewing session I use the manual fill lever to replace any water used from the boiler. I would have to forget to do this several times before the water level fell to the point where the auto-fill would kick in.

                Ive found that doing it this way means I can use the exact same flushing regimen each time. The water level in the boiler directly effects the rate of heat transfer in the HX. By maintaining the boiler at the same exact level one more variable is removed from the brewing equation.


                Java "Its all about consistancy!" phile
                Toys! I must have new toys!!!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Any tips for preheating cups on Rancilio Silvi

                  Originally posted by Javaphile link=1161233414/0#7 date=1161473940
                  I have set the auto-refill sensor/switch so that it doesnt kick on until the boiler is only a quarter full (technically not a quarter full, but rather a quarter of the way up the sight glass) and I manually maintain the level at 3/4s of the way up the sight glass. At the end of each brewing session I use the manual fill lever to replace any water used from the boiler. I would have to forget to do this several times before the water level fell to the point where the auto-fill would kick in.
                  Java "Its all about consistancy!" phile
                  Java,

                  No thats what I call being a perfectionist :

                  I allow my M20 to autofill..... but being a fully auto it has a float and a microswitch to determine boiler water level.

                  The maximum drop in level is about 0.5 cm before the autofill kicks in and takes it back to "full"..... so I figure the variation caused by the different percentage of the HX in steam and water will have little effect...

                  I think the consistancy of the machine is far greater than the nut behind the handle (in my case at least) ;D

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Any tips for preheating cups on Rancilio Silvi

                    Originally posted by JavaB link=1161233414/0#8 date=1161475880
                    Java,

                    No thats what I call being a perfectionist :
                    Guilty as charged! :

                    I allow my M20 to autofill..... but being a fully auto it has a float and a microswitch to determine boiler water level.
                    The M28 also has a float/switch for the auto-fill detection system, probably the identical one the M20 has as Cimbali has been using the same system for decades. The difference between a semi-auto and a full-auto is only in the dosing control and has nothing to do with the boiler auto-fill system which is completely independent of the dosing control system.

                    The maximum drop in level is about 0.5 cm before the autofill kicks in and takes it back to "full"..... so I figure the variation caused by the different percentage of the HX in steam and water will have little effect...
                    As long as the auto-fill doesnt kick in whle youre brewing youre right, it has little effect on the pull. However, if it kicks on while youre pulling a shot (which I found to be common while brewing and steaming at the same time) it has a definate effect on the temp of the brew water due to the lag time of the heating element.

                    I think the consistancy of the machine is far greater than the nut behind the handle (in my case at least) ;D
                    LOL Indeed!


                    Java "Is all about consistancy!" phile
                    Toys! I must have new toys!!!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Any tips for preheating cups on Rancilio Silvi

                      Originally posted by Javaphile link=1161233414/0#9 date=1161477413
                      The M28 also has a float/switch for the auto-fill detection system, probably the identical one the M20 has as Cimbali has been using the same system for decades. The difference between a semi-auto and a full-auto is only in the dosing control and has nothing to do with the boiler auto-fill system which is completely independent of the dosing control system
                      Java "Is all about consistancy!" phile
                      Interesting...

                      I assumed (and we all know to assume makes an ASS out of U and ME :) that all semi autos had a level probe and relay due to lack of electronics. Certainly the circuits of semi autos Ive seen do.

                      The float/microswitch method IMHO is much better.... no problem of boiler scale insulating the probe = less chance of overfilling (and water coming out of the OPV on the boiler )

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                      • #12
                        Re: Any tips for preheating cups on Rancilio Silvi

                        Originally posted by JavaB link=1161233414/0#10 date=1161478726
                        The float/microswitch method IMHO is much better.... no problem of boiler scale insulating the probe = less chance of overfilling (and water coming out of the OPV on the boiler )
                        Scale build-up can also be a problem with the float type systems as scale can build up on the float itself, and its hinge, and weigh it down so that it is no longer detecting the true water level and in cases of extreme scale build up the pump never gets turned on/off. Leading to the boiler running dry or over-filling.

                        When I bought my M28 and tore it completely apart for a rebuild I discovered that other than the inside of the HX tubes the worst area of scale build up was on the float of the water level detector.

                        Ive attached a pic of the end of the boiler in my M28 showing the external portions of the water level control. I was taking the pics mainly to have them to reference if I forgot how something went back together and as the interior parts were so simple no pic was needed.


                        Java "Trys to float" phile

                        Toys! I must have new toys!!!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Any tips for preheating cups on Rancilio Silvi

                          In caravan shops, they sell a water level monitor for abour $60.

                          It is designed to go into any plastic/steel tank and consists of an "L" shaped rod with sensors every few centimetres, and a gauge connected via cable to the sensor.

                          The idea is to cut a hole approx 18 mls diameter into the side of the tank, near the top... feed the rod through it so it points down towards the bottom. Its held in place with a tightly fitting grommet.

                          Whatever sensors are underwater will illuminate a corresponding number of LEDs on the gauge. Simple.

                          Perhaps the unit can be popped into Silvias water tank to give the same result ---- for anyone who finds lifting the lid and looking is too tedious a task.

                          --Robusto

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                          • #14
                            Re: Any tips for preheating cups on Rancilio Silvi

                            30 seconds in the mirowave on high. Works a treat, I also use the timer on the microwave to time shots. At least until my new baby arrives with volumetric controls.

                            Bart.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Any tips for preheating cups on Rancilio Silvi

                              What is the advantage of drying the cups before pouring the shot/after pre heating?

                              I currently just preheat using the hot water switch and steamwand but dont dry the cup.

                              Should i be drying the cup?

                              mattm

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