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Rancilio Silvia. KK or standard method?

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  • Rancilio Silvia. KK or standard method?

    After trying both different ways of steaming 300-400ml of milk on the Silvia, I found the best way was to start steaming 20 seconds before the steam switch light goes off and using Koffee Kosmos style, only slightly differently.

    Switch steam switch on.

    30 seconds after, purging steam wand of water until steam appears. Close steam knob.

    20 seconds before light goes out, proceed with steaming.

    Start with a quarter turn of steam knob with the wand on the side of the jug and the tip fully submerged in the milk.
    For those with unsteady hands, having the wand on the side of the jug gives better position control. One hand holding the jug, one hand on the steam arm sleeve to steady.

    Open steam knob fully and bring steam tip to the surface to introduce air as per KKs method. Steam wand on the side of the jug. A good slurp of air for a second and then "surf" the tip just below the surface, this incorporates and breaks down big bubbles into smaller ones throughout the milk. This is texturing.

    The circulation of milk in this case is not the standard whirlpool style of spinning round and round, but more like a convectional... down, south, up then north.

    When the hand feels the jug getting warm, the tip is submerged about 1 to 2 cm below the surface of the milk and still on the side of the jug. Steaming is stopped once the jug feels too hot to touch.

    I found this way to be consistent for my unsteady hands and the microfoam more silky than the whirlpool method.

    Anyone with Silvias care to share their thoughts?

  • #2
    Re: Rancilio Silvia. KK or standard method?

    Ive always found that simply spinning the milk around gives unsatisfactory results. You only get really silky almost "sticky" like microfoam from folding the milk like youve described. Its doubly important on the silvia or any other single hole tip i imagine. Also i was under the impression that the KK method only really worked for multiple hole tips?

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    • #3
      Re: Rancilio Silvia. KK or standard method?

      Originally posted by 253F323321372F2525560 link=1310798473/0#0 date=1310798473
      20 seconds before light goes out, proceed with steaming.
      Just how far into the future can you see? ;D

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      • #4
        Re: Rancilio Silvia. KK or standard method?

        He he trentski,

        Im good but not that good.

        After living with coffee machines, over time you get a feel for it until you dont need a clock to know when the heating light goes off.
        I found the best results came from commencing of steaming 20 seconds before light is out, so that steaming power is maximised and youve still got full power at the end of frothing.

        Now that the PID is installed, i can simply start steaming at the 130 degree mark on the display.

        Zaneus, i found on my machine, im getting equally fantastic results using the KK method as well as the standard whirlpool method. It has good steam power.
        The most important factor to get great microfoam with any method is to get that tip surfing the surface before it gets lukewarm.
        Then dip the wand to finish it off so that the milk takes on the glossy white paint appearance.

        What KK meant was his experience related to multiple hole tips, but it does not mean it wont work on single hole tips.
        If you look at the Lelit and the Rancilio V2s, theyre wands are vertical on the lower half. They have sufficient pressure for the KK method.
        Having said that though, the later versions of the Rancilio and the new Lelit with the brew PID comes with angled articulated wands for more flexibility.

        Gary at G

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        • #5
          Re: Rancilio Silvia. KK or standard method?

          Interesting. I havent bothered with the KK method on my silvia thats because i already have a method of getting near perfect microfoam, but i guess that just comes with practice.

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          • #6
            Re: Rancilio Silvia. KK or standard method?

            I just got the Silvia with Watlow PID, coming from a Gaggia Classic, Silvias steaming power scares me.

            Its so difficult to steam with the Silvia, the steaming knob is also not positioned like the Classic, allowing you to open the knob while having a good holding of the jug.

            The milk heats up too fast before i could hold the jug properly =__=

            Should I start steaming at lower temp so the milk wont heat up that fast?

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            • #7
              Re: Rancilio Silvia. KK or standard method?

              He he.

              I had the same situation going from the gentle clunk clunk ffftt ffftt of the Sunbeam to the Psssshhhhphwoaar power of the Silvia.

              Another thing with Miss Silvia too is you open the steam knob a turn, it comes out at a rush, then it gradually eases which is caused by something in the line getting restricted, then you have to open the knob some more and then its all good.

              It just requires a sensitive hand at the start.
              With time you will get a feel for it.

              I usually start purging the wand at 125 deg celcius, then start steaming at 130 deg c.

              The PID does make life easier dont it?

              Gary at G

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              • #8
                Re: Rancilio Silvia. KK or standard method?

                Originally posted by 53727F7E1B0 link=1310798473/5#5 date=1314110252
                Its so difficult to steam with the Silvia, the steaming knob is also not positioned like the Classic, allowing you to open the knob while having a good holding of the jug.

                The milk heats up too fast before i could hold the jug properly =__=
                Dont expect too much as far as quality microfaom goes from the Silvia.

                http://coffeesnobs.com.au/attachments/screenshotmilkdataPC.JPG

                Even in the hands of an experienced barista, you can expect average at best, and it gets worse if steaming larger amounts of milk.



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                • #9
                  Re: Rancilio Silvia. KK or standard method?

                  I usually steam around <200ml in a 600ml jug.

                  There is also not much videos on Youtube to show good positions at steaming with the V3.

                  I guess making microfoam with the Silvia  will be a great achievement right now 

                  -Morning Edit : Just made a cup, used the steam wand by the side of the jug trick to start off, much much better steaming this way. But maybe I didnt had enough air to it, the milk was shining but not frothy enough. But still its better than foam top to bottom.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Rancilio Silvia. KK or standard method?

                    For those struggling to texture good/acceptable milk on the Silvia, have you thought to not open the valve full at the start?

                    Using cheap full cream milk on a PIDd Silvia, I can make consistently acceptable microfoam - the only restriction being the size of the boiler and large quantities of milk (usually texture enough for a 190mL ACF).

                    I dont use the KK method, just pull the wand out as far as it goes, stick it near the side so the milk tumbles and pools and open the wand gradually as the milk textures. By the time the milk is at ~30o the valve is open fully.

                    Practice makes perfect guys, if its not working for you - change what youre doing!

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                    • #11
                      Re: Rancilio Silvia. KK or standard method?

                      I dont have a thermometer to gauge the temp, but Im feelling that its getting too hot too quickly, maybe it only takes 10-15sec to heat up the milk.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Rancilio Silvia. KK or standard method?

                        That would only be the case if your milk was pretty warm to begin with. The silvia doesnt have anywhere near enough power to get cold milk to 60-70c in 15 seconds

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                        • #13
                          Re: Rancilio Silvia. KK or standard method?

                          I have a 2009 model Silvia with a three hole tip and articulated wand and my technique is to flick on the steam setting, grab milk from fridge and fill the jug with as much milk as I think Ill need.
                          By now the boiler should be close to warm enough, give it a purge for a few seconds and then have the jug sit on the bench or the drip tray depending on milk level and which jug Im using and then either angle the jug or wand so that the wand just hits the surface for a second or two.
                          I then readjust either the wand or jug or both over a few seconds until Ive strached the milk as much as I want and then let the tip dip low enough into the milk so that it no longer builds volume, but causes a cenvention current that pulls in the big surface bubbles and breaks them down and sends them to the bottom of the jug. Usually the tip will be close to an edge and off centre.
                          Because Im not holding the jug by this stage I find it much easier to get consistent results as my small movements when holding it usually result in one of the steam holes getting too high for a quarter of a second and making big bubbles, and it also frees me to do something else for 30+ seconds while I wait (longer if Im doing larger quantities at once)
                          I just listen and check with touch to tell when it is done, and when I cant stand to hold my hand against the jug for more than a second I let it keep on steaming for two seconds and then turn the steam valve off (which takes a couple of seconds to turn off from all the way on anyway)

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