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  • It all started with a Moka Pot...

    ... then a Sunbeam 6910 came along and now I’m nodding appreciatively at my Silva v1 (acquired from a gracious CSer).

    This has all happened in less than a year, so I’m still very much finding my way and at this stage my goal is to be making a decent single shot (i.e. it doesn’t have to be epic) once a day without too much fiddling about. Also note that I’m trying to do this all on the smallest budget possible… although this slope is slippery!

    Anyway, after using the naked PF it’s pretty clear I’ve got some problems. The shots run fast and are obviously channelling. So I’d be stoked if you guys could point me in the right direction.

    I’m using the v1 Silvia with an EM0480 grinder and beans from a notable roaster in Newcastle. I’ve been playing around with dosage in the original single and double baskets but I’m still using the old Sunbeam tamper (I’ve got a feeling this might be one of the problems).

    After doing a bit of reading, I thought a good plan of attack might be:
    1. Invest in a better tamper & perhaps a new basket
    2. Work on my dosing and tamp technique
    3. Play with the grind size (I have a shim that I could install in the EM0480)

    Am I on the right track?? If so, could y’all please recommend an *ahem* economical tamper / basket?? If not… then I’m all ears.

    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    eskimo,
    It not really the machine that matters,you need to consider the grain size,too large = excessive flow, too fine=no flow.
    Your plan of attach is sound 2. and 3. should get you going correctly.
    Try the finest until you choke the flow completely (you may need the shim here)then find the best (coarser) grind setting that neither chokes or channels and you should be there.
    Stick with the gear you have until you get that perfectly operating then evolve from there.
    Also confirm the 5 cents test to confirm your not over filling,look for that very faint impression is Ok.
    Cheers
    Mick
    Originally posted by eskimo View Post
    ... then a Sunbeam 6910 came along and now I’m nodding appreciatively at my Silva v1 (acquired from a gracious CSer).

    This has all happened in less than a year, so I’m still very much finding my way and at this stage my goal is to be making a decent single shot (i.e. it doesn’t have to be epic) once a day without too much fiddling about. Also note that I’m trying to do this all on the smallest budget possible… although this slope is slippery!

    Anyway, after using the naked PF it’s pretty clear I’ve got some problems. The shots run fast and are obviously channelling. So I’d be stoked if you guys could point me in the right direction.

    I’m using the v1 Silvia with an EM0480 grinder and beans from a notable roaster in Newcastle. I’ve been playing around with dosage in the original single and double baskets but I’m still using the old Sunbeam tamper (I’ve got a feeling this might be one of the problems).

    After doing a bit of reading, I thought a good plan of attack might be:
    1. Invest in a better tamper & perhaps a new basket
    2. Work on my dosing and tamp technique
    3. Play with the grind size (I have a shim that I could install in the EM0480)

    Am I on the right track?? If so, could y’all please recommend an *ahem* economical tamper / basket?? If not… then I’m all ears.

    Thanks in advance.

    Comment


    • #3
      If your tamper is too small a diameter, and you're not ready for an upgrade, you may want to experiment with NSEW tamping or a nutating tamp.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks Mick & Kbilleter. I'm yet to try the 5cent test, so I'll give it a go. Likewise the grinder & tamp tweaks.

        I think I'll sell the Sunbeam (inc the tamper) anyway, so I'm gonna need a tamper in any case. So a basic 58mm with flat base should do the trick, right??

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by eskimo View Post
          Thanks Mick & Kbilleter. I'm yet to try the 5cent test, so I'll give it a go. Likewise the grinder & tamp tweaks.

          I think I'll sell the Sunbeam (inc the tamper) anyway, so I'm gonna need a tamper in any case. So a basic 58mm with flat base should do the trick, right??
          eskimo,
          I need a basic grinder for here at work,please keep me in mind (depending where you are).I have a sunbeam 58mm tamper as supplied with the em6910,perhaps we could work something out.
          cheers
          mick

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by eskimo View Post
            So a basic 58mm with flat base should do the trick, right??
            You sir, are correct. No need to spend more than you need to on a tamper whilst on a budget but something with a bit of weight and a smoother finish than the Sunbeams brushed finish will do some good for the Silvia.
            My finger is pointed at your grinder though eskimo. Your next major upgrade should be a grinder that can provide a more consistent grind.

            P.S. Have a look through the "Pay it Forward" thread. You should find a free to good home 58mm tamper in there somewhere.

            Comment


            • #7
              Great, thanks Luke_G. I've been keeping an eye out for a better grinder but cripes, they are expensive. I'm going to look into hand grinders, actually

              Mick, I've got the same tamper which I'll sell with the 6910 but thanks anyway and I'll keep you in mind for the grinder if I upgrade.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by eskimo View Post
                Great, thanks Luke_G. I've been keeping an eye out for a better grinder but cripes, they are expensive. I'm going to look into hand grinders, actually
                Dollar for dollar you will get a significantly better grind (and outcome) investing in a quality hand grinder than another electric grinder at a similar price point. Probably a better option for you if the idea of grinding by hand before pulling each shot doesn't concern you.

                Heaps of info on the forums here re high quality hand grinders

                Sean

                Comment


                • #9
                  I've been in the exact same position as you so I can confirm you're on the right track. I had a Gaggia Classic and a modded Breville Bar Aroma grinder and what I thought was a decent tamper. But the tamper was actually just a light alloy one and wasn't even 58mm. I can't believe I persevered with it for so long.
                  The first thing I replaced was the grinder. I did some research and found out that the Nemox Lux was probably the most highly regarded budget grinder and that I should be able to get one for less than $150. So I was patient and ended up getting one for $140 which is no easy task here in NZ as the 2nd hand coffee equipment market is small and stuff tends to go for a premium. I'd say that finding something on eBay Australia for less than $100 would be possible if you are patient.
                  I'd choose a decent budget electric grinder over a hand grinder as you'll quickly get sick of it I reckon. They're great, but you said you want to be able to make a coffee with little fuss and a hand grinder certainly doesn't provide this. In your case I'd actually start with a better tamper as you might find the Sunbeam grinder is actually ok. If you can fit a shim to the grinder for little cost then do that too.
                  Don't worry too much about the basket until you've tried the other things. You should be able to get a decent tamper for $40 max so why not start there. A decent tamper was the last thing I got but I think it made the single biggest difference in my case. Good luck and let us know how you go.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hey Leroy, thanks for the response.

                    I added another shim to the EM0480 (there were a couple in there already??) and it made a BIG difference. The grind is now much more fine; enough to choke the Silvia in fact. I think I'll stick with this grinder for the time being and work on my dosing / tamping.

                    So, the next step: invest in a new tamper.

                    It's funny how little things like this get you all excited again... Have I lost the plot?? haha.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I totally get the it started with a moka pot thing.... I've got a moka a couple / few weeks and since have gone a BCG450 grinder (and modded it) and got a Breville BES800, and replaced the broken coffee brewers (plunger & auto dripper).. then I went and got various beans from nearly every decent roaster in town......

                      Since switching from instant coffee to real coffee I've found I'm actually drinking less cups per day.... quality over quantity I guess!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Update: With the new tamper, finer grind and nutating/NSEW tamping things are looking up.

                        I haven't completely eliminated the channeling but within 4 or 5 shots this morning I'm getting reasonably close to a decent shot. The naked PF shows extraction beginning slowly, with multiple drips, then joining together after a while into a single stream with different shades. It aint perfect but it's encouraging

                        TBH I was hoping for a little less "hassle" in getting the Silvia to play nice. It is what it is... Fingers crossed that this setup will work for me for a while to come. Thank you everybody for your input!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by eskimo View Post
                          Update: With the new tamper, finer grind and nutating/NSEW tamping things are looking up.

                          I haven't completely eliminated the channeling but within 4 or 5 shots this morning I'm getting reasonably close to a decent shot. The naked PF shows extraction beginning slowly, with multiple drips, then joining together after a while into a single stream with different shades. It aint perfect but it's encouraging

                          TBH I was hoping for a little less "hassle" in getting the Silvia to play nice. It is what it is... Fingers crossed that this setup will work for me for a while to come. Thank you everybody for your input!
                          Eskimo, keep on experimenting... you'll get a good extraction in no time......

                          Is you Silvia pid'ed or stock?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thanks mate. It's stock, and even though I've only had it a few weeks I feel like the water from the group head is a little hotter than it should be.... PID is not something I really want to entertain at the moment so I'll have to learn how to surf it I guess.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by eskimo View Post
                              TBH I was hoping for a little less "hassle" in getting the Silvia to play nice. It is what it is... !

                              I'd say a few current and former Silvia owners had a little wry smile at that one there.

                              Comment

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