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  • Spurting while drawing a shot

    I just purchased the Miss Silvia and am pretty excited to be owning my first fine piece of bean brewing equipment.

    Ive looked through the forums, but I am probably searching incorrectly. Im sure people have had this problem before. My coffee is spurting out of the head when i start my shot. Sometimes it evens out, most of the time it just ends up every where. Ive tried to be consistent to figure out where my technique problem is, but though Im sure it has to do with the amount of ground bean Im using, I cant isolate the technique I need to use. It doesnt do this every time, just some times, and is usually preceeded by a good amount of steam coming from the head.

    My possible problems are:
    Grind (though I usually am pretty careful with that)
    Tamping (too much, too little)
    Amount (I try to keep it below the ridge of the default cup that comes with the Miss Silvia)

    Hope my terminology makes sense, Im such a complete newbie.

    Any thoughts?


  • #2
    Re: Spurting while drawing a shot

    This can be caused by a number of factors. it could be pressure build up in the machine from idling and steam shooting through the coffee. This can be remedied by bleeding out the boiler a bit just before pulling a shot. The most likely factor is over-dosing and the puck becoming fractured before the pull by being shoved up onto the shower screen. I highly suggest reading Hot-To #12 on my website (http://www.EspressoMyEspresso.com) as it contains a lot of answers to questions you will be having, as well as possible solutions to this one.  

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    • #3
      Re: Spurting while drawing a shot

      Pretty sure its overdosing. The consistent factor is the puck being in pieces and some of it sticking to the shower screen afterward.

      Thanks for the resource! I needed it!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Spurting while drawing a shot


        Definitely overdosing, this happened to me when I first started with Silvia, its a fine line sometimes.
        Keep the screen and gasket clean between shots as grinds build up in there very quickly.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Spurting while drawing a shot

          I think its worth noting, that though I have reduced the quantity of my dose, theres still spurting now and then, and the puck doesnt have a nice compact appearance after the brewing. Im thinking the grind has something to do with it. Im ashamed to state the grinder Im using. Its a step up from banging two rocks together, but not a very big step!

          I must prevail though. The beans siren song has a hold on me.

          Seeing that I must resort to caveman grinding, is it worth it to pre-grind when I purchase it. I hate to do it, I know how much is lost when you dont grind just before the brew.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Spurting while drawing a shot

            Seeing that I must resort to caveman grinding, is it worth it to pre-grind when I purchase it. I hate to do it, I know how much is lost when you dont grind just before the brew.
            No dont do it
            Look in the equipment for sale section and you will see a few good pre loved grinders for sale

            KK

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Spurting while drawing a shot

              Originally posted by Kelrizzo link=1215359563/0#4 date=1215439319
              I think its worth noting, that though I have reduced the quantity of my dose, theres still spurting now and then.....  Im thinking the grind has something to do with it.  Im ashamed to state the grinder Im using.  Its a step up from banging two rocks together, but not a very big step! ......is it worth it to pre-grind when I purchase it.
              The grinder is an accessory to the espresso machine. I have no problem recommending that a person spends as much or more on the grinder as they do on their espresso machine. An "economy" espresso machine can make drinkable espresso when paired with a quality grinder, but a great espresso machine will be challenged wen paired to a cheap grinder.

              Green coffee is good stored for 12 months
              Roasted coffee is good for 12 days
              Ground coffee is good for 12 minutes

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Spurting while drawing a shot

                hmm.... I usually apply the 3 by 3 rule:

                Green coffee is good for 3 months
                Roasted coffee is good for 3 weeks, and
                Ground coffee is good for 3 minutes

                Certainly in any decent work environment you would be grinding your coffee to order, and would not consider serving any coffee that was not prepared this way


                And I agree that a good grinder is essential for quality espresso, so be prepared to spend a little bit extra on one if you can, and you will notice immediate results

                The Rancillio Rocky grinder is often paired up with the Ms Silvia - and they make for an excellent pairing

                I worked on the above set-up at a friends birthday party at the weekend, and I found myself bleeding off a lot of water through the group-head, prior to extracting each shot, especially if the machine had been left on for awhile without making many coffees - and Im talking at least a coffee cups worth of hot water each time

                It seemed to me that the Silvia (well at lease this one anyway) runs excessively hot - and running some hot water through prior to extracting the shot can help to reduce pressure and drop the temperature at the group head, which can only be a good thing under the circumstances

                Also, as with many domestic machines, I dont bother using the single portafilter at all, but just stick to the double, and either run the pour short, or else only use one pour at a time for the extraction (and dump the other

                Cheers,

                Pat :P

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Spurting while drawing a shot

                  Originally posted by askthecoffeeguy link=1215359563/0#7 date=1215452499
                  hmm.... I usually apply the 3 by 3 rule:

                  Green coffee is good for 3 months

                  Pat :P
                  Is that a typo Pat?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Spurting while drawing a shot

                    3 decades.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Spurting while drawing a shot

                      hmm.... I usually apply the 3 by 3 rule:

                      Green coffee is good for 3 months
                      Roasted coffee is good for 3 weeks, and
                      Ground coffee is good for 3 minutes
                      The only thing I would change or extend is green coffee should last 12 months
                      I am good with the rest

                      KK

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Spurting while drawing a shot

                        Maybe its 3 years! But I certainly try and use my green beans up as quickly as possible and preferably within a 3 month period

                        Further clarification may be required!

                        What is the shelf life of green beans? I guess I assume that many home storage environments are probably less than optimal, possibly subject to moisture, and that it is probably good practice to keep them turned over on a regular basis

                        What do others think?

                        Pat

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Spurting while drawing a shot

                          Im dosing up to a hair beneath the ridge on the double portafilter. Still having those broken puck problems and grounds on the sprinkler head.

                          Thats ok though. I need to give it a couple of weeks and Ill be able to drops a couple hundred on a grinder. I just know this machine is better then this grind is giving it, Im not even getting any crema on the shot.

                          I appreciate all the advice

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Spurting while drawing a shot

                            As has been discussed quite a lot in the past, it all comes down to the storage conditions with regard to longevity....

                            Fresh foods are always best when used as soon as possible after acquiring and this is no different for green coffee. However, provided care is taken with provision for longer term storage, green beans can still be quite good after as long as three years after purchase. This shouldnt be considered the norm though and you should aim to use your excellent CS beans within a twelve month window, where possible, to ensure you get the best out of them 8-).

                            Mal.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Spurting while drawing a shot

                              Originally posted by Kelrizzo link=1215359563/0#12 date=1215474954
                              I just know this machine is better then this grind is giving it, Im not even getting any crema on the shot.
                              Thats why we always try to encourage newcomers to buy the best grinder they can afford before worrying too much about the espresso machine.... The grinder is much more important than the espresso machine.....

                              Mal.

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