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  • Silvia - some questions

    Hi

    1) Read with interest the Weiss Distribution Technique.
    http://www.home-barista.com/weiss-distribution-technique.html
    However with the Silvia I touch the showerscreen before locking it in. I dose, needle, level off with a flat edge on a double filter, tamp "as hard as I can". Then it takes a few seconds to find the position to lock it in, since Im touching the screen. Is this normal?

    2) And another question, do people recommend a click tamper? I seem to read everywhere some people tamping as hard as they can with a Rocky setting of about +10 from zero.

    3) Do people prefer a curved tamper or flat?

    Thanks
    Kan.

  • #2
    Re: Silvia - some questions

    Gday Kan,

    Welcome to CoffeeSnobs mate [smiley=thumbsup.gif]. From what several Silvia owners have posted previously, the Shower-screen of the Silvia is positioned slightly lower than standard so this translates to dosing the basket with slightly less coffee so that the puck after tamping, just kisses the Screen/nut/screw. You will probably have to experiment a little to achieve this consistently but Im sure that once youve got this down pat, youll only need to adjust the grind after that to control the pour.

    Regarding tamping, theres pros and cons for all the different tamper designs out there but for me, I love my Pullman Tamper as not only is it a joy to behold but it is 100% functional. Its not necessary to tamp the coffee down with the equivalent of a hand-stand tamp you know, its far better to find a tamping method and force that you can apply on a consistent basis and then adjust the grind accordingly for shot control. For example, I use a tamping force of between 10-12Kg and have found that this allows me to be consistent in its application.

    If youre a big strong bloke then maybe a heavier tamp will be easier for you to apply consistently, and visa versa. Consistency is the name of the game after which everything starts to fall into place. You can use the tried but true method of practising your tamping method with your PortaFilter placed upon your bathroom scales to find out where your "tamp fits in around the nominal 13.7Kg (30lb) standard and then just work at your method to become consistent. I still drag the scales out of the bathroom from time to time just to check that I am still operating within the ballpark, doesnt hurt .

    Hope some of this helps a bit......

    Mal.

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    • #3
      Re: Silvia - some questions

      Hi Kan and welcome to CoffeeSnobs...

      I also love the Pullman tamper.... but didnt buy one for ages because I had always sworn by the convex based tampers.... and Greg didnt have them...

      Then Greg added these to his range.... I was just about to order one when there was a lengthy discussion here on which base was best.... after which I decided I would try a flat based tamper after all....

      Well its great!! It (unlike the others Id used) is a fitted tamper so it tamps right up to the basket... the others left a mm or two gap.... and a convex base seemed to be better in that case....

      With Gregs the coffee was sweeter, the pour a second or two longer ( same grind and tamp pressure) and tamping was a breeze....

      So if you want a good tamper - Gregs the man.... and a flat tamper works better than the convex (well for me at least).

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Silvia - some questions

        Thanks for the reply.
        Ive just ordered a 58mm espro click tamper (convex) from coffeeparts. Lets see how we go. I already have a flat 58mm and the WDT helped my extraction a lot over the last few days. Never realised the Rocky was so static.

        You mentioned the Pullman is a fitted tamper? Is that different from a 58mm tamper on the Silvia?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Silvia - some questions

          Greg Pullman will lathe the tamper base to the exact dimensions of your basket...some baskets vary in size wildly.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Silvia - some questions

            Originally posted by kangurusmoke link=1176628620/0#3 date=1176713582
            You mentioned the Pullman is a fitted tamper? Is that different from a 58mm tamper on the Silvia?
            Gregs tampers are machined to fit your basket - exactly. Most 58mm baskets are 1-2 mm larger (some even more!) - a 58mm tamper is exactly 58 mm - So the gap between the wall of the basket and the tamper wont be compacted properly - which leads to channelling.

            You can try a N-S-E-W tamp with a standard tamper to compress that area - but that disturbs the rest of the puck. Gregs tamper is the answer!!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Silvia - some questions

              Welcome aboard, Kanga.

              Just a couple of observations. Theres no great need to tamp as hard as you can. As Mal said, ccnsistency is more important, but try making that a consistent 14 or so kilos.

              If a click tamper works for you, thats fine, but I wouldnt recommend going to the expense when its pretty easy to develop a repeateable 14 kg force with a (cheaper) ordinary tamper.

              If you feel much resistance screwing in the loaded portafilter, the basket is overloaded. A slight impression from the shower screen bolt should be visible.

              I wont add to the endless debate on flat v curved tampers!

              -Robusto

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Silvia - some questions

                Ok, after using the espro click convex tamper for a few days and getting the feel of a correct tamp pressure, Ive gone back to using a standard 58mm stainless steel flat tamper that I originally bought. Flat works better for me, and gets me better distribution. The question is, when I dose, tap, dose and level off with a flat edge, and tamp, I hit the showerscreen when locking in. So now Im using a curved index finger with my palm facing up to level off. So just before I tamp, the coffee is kind of concaved". So Im using a flat tamper with a concaved coffee. Anyone else doing this with the Silvia?

                PS. ordered myself a Pullman. Cant wait! Any chance of fitting a click handle to this?  

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Silvia - some questions

                  kangurusmoke,

                  Personally I find you get the best results on most machines by "up dosing" or having enough grinds in the basket so that after tamping they just touch the showerscreen.

                  You need to ensure that the PF still locks in comfortably... but the puck just touching IMHO gives the best extraction.

                  And you will certainly find a big improvement using Gregs tamper. I dont think the click handle will fit - but I found after a few practices on the bathroom scales it was dead easy to be consistent.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Silvia - some questions

                    kangurusmoke,

                    I agree with the others, re touching the showerscreen, you should get a light screw impression in the puck [check this prior to brewing], but maybe with a concave puck [caused by a convex tamp] that impression might not appear.

                    Alan Frew and others have noted that the force level of the tamp is less critical when you touch the showerscreen.

                    Ive noticed the same and suspect that as the puck swells due to water infusion, it effectivley gets squeezed between the PF and the shower screen.
                    Perhaps this is an argument supporting a flat tamp as a concave tamp would "free-swell" in the centre.
                    But given how subtle the concave is, I doubt this would make any difference.

                    What your doing sounds right, and ultimately if it works for you then go for it....."its whats in the cup that counts!" [credit Luca]

                    It is very difficult to get the dosing exactly right.
                    I find the lines/rings around the base of the Pullman tamper provide a very useful indication of the depth that the tamper has entered into the basket. Hence you can tell when the dose is at the right height.

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