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Silvia, uneven pours from unlevel grouphead?

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  • Silvia, uneven pours from unlevel grouphead?

    I got a Silvia a couple of months ago as an upgrade from an old Krups machine and have been creating some great cappuccinos.

    What I have been struggling with is extracting even amounts of espresso into both cups from the double spout. Ive experimented with all sorts of things, grind, tamping, declumping but the right cup always gets more espresso (sometimes significantly more so). In the short term Ive resorted to speeding up the extraction (coarser grind), as the faster the espresso comes out the more even the pour is.

    So back to searching the forum where I first learnt about Silvia and came across someone who mentioned making sure the bench and machine were level. I checked the level of my kitchen bench. Fine. Checked the level of the machine at the top and at the drip tray. Both fine. I checked the level of the portafilter spouts when it is locked into the grouphead. Not level! The right hand spout is a lower than the left spout.

    I took the portafilter out of the machine and placed it on a level bench, balancing it on its spouts. Measuring the top of the filter came back level. So if the portafilter and spouts are level, but unlevel in the grouphead ...

    I checked the brass grouphead and sure enough, the left hand side is a couple of millimetres higher than the right! Is this supposed to be the case?

    The brass grouphead is significantly more off level than the spouts when the portafilter is locked in. The tighter I make the portafilter in the grouphead the closer to level the spouts become. I suppose this has something to do with the thread angle, etc. But Im worried inserting the portafilter so tight is bad for the seals, plus it reduces the amount of coffee I can place into the filter basket.

    Could some of the Silvia owners check the level of their spouts and grouphead for me? Is the grouphead supposed to be level? Is the level adjustable, or is this a warranty or service issue?

    Thanks.

  • #2
    Re: Silvia, uneven pours from unlevel grouphead?

    Im not sure if the Silvia has adjustable legs,.. but if it does,.. sometimes just a little turn of one of the legs can be enough to even out your pour,.. and Im only guessing but for that minor adjustment,.even though you GH is unlevel,..it probably wouldnt cause any ill effect to the operation of your machine otherwise.

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    • #3
      Re: Silvia, uneven pours from unlevel grouphead?

      Have you checked how level the cross hole in the spout is, in my case it was drilled at a angle resulting in an uneven pour.

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      • #4
        Re: Silvia, uneven pours from unlevel grouphead?

        Hi all, after the previous discussion about the holes in the PF spouts being drilled slightly higher or lower, I thought that was what was going on with mine.
        Following your description above, Lastmile, I took out the drip tray and stuck a tape measure from the base up to the bottom of the brass of the PF holder. What I am seeing is that the rhs is slightly higher than the left, leading you to think that the left would pour more than the right.
        Well I seem to get more out of the right ! Looks like I will need to investigate a bit more.
        Trouble is, I have been pouring ristretto shots from the double into a single cup, so not really a problem. Only when we have visitors, or wife wants one too. And usually someone wants stronger or weaker coffee, so can use to advantage as well. I guess there are pros and cons for leaving as is and not being too worried about it.

        Anyway, enjoy...

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        • #5
          Re: Silvia, uneven pours from unlevel grouphead?

          As far as I can tell the Silvia doesnt have adjustable legs. I tried chocking up one side with small pieces of cardboard this morning. That helped bring the spouts into level and the pour was pretty much dead even. Problem was that with only two rubber feet on the bench I had to hold the machine down while I inserted the portafilter, otherwise the machine rotated instead.

          Maybe some sort of non-slip stick-on rubber feet might help keep it level and secure.

          I plan to check the level of both the spout cross hole and the shower screen when I get a chance. I suppose a simple solution would be to file down the cross hole so that even if the spouts werent level, the cross hole would be.

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          • #6
            Re: Silvia, uneven pours from unlevel grouphead?

            I recall after buying Silvia posts about unneven pours, my machine does it as well. The concensus at the time was that the spouts were moulded slightly unneven thus the variation. Some members have filed out the offending spout and have evened up the flow. Some purchased another brand of spout and replaced Silvia spout. I pour mainly doubles so I havent bothered about it on the occasions I do 2 singles I just remove one earlier and top up other from both spouts.

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            • #7
              Re: Silvia, uneven pours from unlevel grouphead?

              As a proud owner of miss Silvia (for the last six months) I too have noticed the right spout flows faster then the left, particularly when pouring a ristretto. I thought this had something to do with my tamping technique but maybe it doesnt, I will have to get out the spirit level and measure how level each element of the machine is.

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              • #8
                Re: Silvia, uneven pours from unlevel grouphead?

                I seem to recall reading about adjustable spouts. Does anyone have a link to one?

                I almost always pour 2 singles.

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                • #9
                  Re: Silvia, uneven pours from unlevel grouphead?

                  http://www.coffeeparts.com/misc/spouts.html

                  Coffee parts are great to deal with too.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Silvia, uneven pours from unlevel grouphead?

                    Originally posted by LastMile link=1207431331/0#4 date=1207524355
                    Maybe some sort of non-slip stick-on rubber feet might help keep it level and secure.
                    Yep. Thats what I did when I had my Silvia.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Silvia, uneven pours from unlevel grouphead?

                      I have owned a Silvia for two months and have had the same problem with uneven pours and yes its always been the left spout being the lesser quantity of the two.

                      I complained to the people I purchased the machine from and they replaced the spout. Though the problem seemed somewhat improved I was still getting inconsistent and unequal pours.

                      I checked the level of the spout as in the Lastmiles image above and came up with the same result.

                      I ended up replacing the spout with a commercial one and now both ends of the spouts are dead level and my pours are not only equal and consistent but the quality of the coffee has improved.

                      I also came across a photo of a 5 year old Silvia and noticed that the spout was of the same design to the commercial spout that I had just bought. Its seems that not all the Silvias new model improvements have been in the pursuit of improved coffee making.

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