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  • Pre-infusion & the Silvia

    Hi,

    Im not sure if this is a really stupid questions and I havent really found any other threads that discuss this.

    Im quite new at coffee-making and am still trying out different things and improving my skills (btw, this forum has been great at helping me to learn many things...so many thanks to the people on this forum!). Ive read that pre-infusion is generally regarded as a good thing as it reduces the chances of channelling, etc. but the Silvia does not have this capability.

    I was wondering if when you begin brewing the shot you have the steam valve fully open and slowly close it in maybe around 3 to 7 seconds and then let the shot go ahead as usual would accomplish a similar sort of thing to progressiove pre-infusion. Ive noticed that when the steam valve is on that much less water comes out of the brewhead so I thought maybe the first few seconds could be used to wet the puck before ramping up the volume of water... or is this a really silly idea?


    Thanks,
    Tim

  • #2
    Re: Pre-infusion & the Silvia

    Cant really give you an authoritive answer but the more brew water bled off via the steam wand will be replaced by cold water which may impact on intra shot temp stability, will leave it to others to discuss the pros and cons.
    One suggestion I have read is to have a delay circuit, turn on the brew switch, solenoid opens and hot water preinfuses the puck, then pump kicks in after a predetermined time, havent read of any one trying it though.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Pre-infusion & the Silvia

      yeah, id be worried about temp stability, but having said that, its whats in the cup that counts. So if youre getting results to your taste then go for it.
      I once saw a vid on you tube of a guy who used a spritz gun (like you use on your garden, or window cleaner etc) of hot water to dampen the puck before inserting the pf into the grp head on his silvia. Never tried it myself, but he seemed to like it.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Pre-infusion & the Silvia

        Gday griffster,

        Theres no need to try any kind of Pre-Infusion trickery with the Silvia... Its not designed for it anyway. So long as you get your dose, distribution and tamp sorted out and consistent, Silvia will always produce excellent coffee for you. 8-)

        Mal.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Pre-infusion & the Silvia

          Thanks for all the replies. Im still learning and trying out a few different things such as temp surfing, WDT, etc. to improve the coffee from the machine so I thought that using this may help. At least it did in my mind when I was just sitting there thinking about it! ;-)

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Pre-infusion & the Silvia

            if you want to manually preinfuse, turn of coffee switch after 2-3 sec, turn backon after another 2-3 sec
            graham

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Pre-infusion & the Silvia

              Originally posted by fix link=1210326237/0#5 date=1210368937
              if you want to manually preinfuse, turn of coffee switch after 2-3 sec, turn backon after another 2-3 sec
              graham
              Only problem with this method though Graham, is that the 3-Way Valve will instantaneously bleed off any water under pressure along with coffee extraction. I think its a lot better to just use the Silvia as its designed, you wont lose any coffee that way......

              Mal.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Pre-infusion & the Silvia

                Originally posted by Mal link=1210326237/0#3 date=1210340475
                Gday griffster,

                Theres no need to try any kind of Pre-Infusion trickery with the Silvia... Its not designed for it anyway. So long as you get your dose, distribution and tamp sorted out and consistent, Silvia will always produce excellent coffee for you. 8-)

                Mal.
                Not designed for it, true, but does that mean it would have no benefit? :-? Imagine if the guy who thought of the first PIDd Silvia figured "Oh, its not designed for that, bad idea". The Silvias a great machine and you have to get your basic variables right for sure, but I reckon if pre-infusion has some value then that value could well be realised in the Silvia. Id be interested to see some experimentation.

                Greg

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Pre-infusion & the Silvia

                  Gday Greg,

                  If you read my post above yours, you will understand why pre-infusion just doesnt work with this style of machine. Has nothing to do with experimenting, unless you want to redesign the hydraulic circuit of the machine, it aint gonna work.....

                  Mal.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Pre-infusion & the Silvia

                    I think a timer mod would be worth experimenting with, if there is enough boiler pressure to saturate the puck it could work.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Pre-infusion & the Silvia

                      I dont really follow the pre-infusion thing, but thought Id ask anyway. I understand that the water needs to GENTLY flow through the puck, so what would happen if you hit the brew switch for a second or two with the PF held under the group rather than locked in. Turn off the brew switch, lock in the PF then proceed as normal.

                      Has anyone tried it? Im off to see what happens now.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Pre-infusion & the Silvia

                        Originally posted by Viviane link=1210326237/0#10 date=1210464982
                        I dont really follow the pre-infusion thing, but thought Id ask anyway.
                        One of the things that I found with Silvia when comparing to the Vibiemme is that the water delivery on Silvia, as well as other similar single boiler machines, is fairly rude to the puck. There have been some efforts to create a preinfusion. One was to put a delay relay inline with the brew switch so that the 3-way valve is opened to allow some boiler pressure to send some water to the coffee, but the blast from the pump still exists as soon as it starts. Try a Google Groups search on alt.coffee and you may find some of the posts that dealt with the subject.

                        Evey solution seems to have a problem- opening the steam valve to create a fake preinfusion lowers the pressure in the boiler and will affect the temperature curve of the pull. The water in the boiler can also flash boil when teh pressure is relieved and that can cause steam to be introduced at the coffee. You could try just spraying the coffee with hot water before locking to see if there is any difference in the taste, then decide whether it is worth pursuing.

                        I mentioned the Vibiemmes difference- the E-61 system has a low pressure flow until the portafilter is filled and then the pressure builds more gently to full pressure for the brew. its just one of the things that makes the "point-end machines" superior... sometimes. It depends on the machine.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Pre-infusion & the Silvia

                          Originally posted by Randy G. link=1210326237/0#11 date=1210469082
                          The water in the boiler can also flash boil when teh pressure is relieved and that can cause steam to be introduced at the coffee.
                          If the temperature of the water in the boiler is above 100° C, then it will flash boil anyway when exiting the group. Opening the steam wand wont increase the temperature.

                          However, in my Silvia days, I tried all the pre-infusion tricks I could and never found any difference in taste (except negative differences when it stuffed things up). Up-dosing, which Silvia tends to like anyway, also helps to reduce the impact of the initial water blast. But, even there, I also had a lot of success with low doses. The top of the puck looked terrible, but the taste was often spectacular. But, thats only my experience. You have to try all these things before you really know.

                          matt

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Pre-infusion & the Silvia

                            Originally posted by Dolcimelo link=1210326237/0#12 date=1210471423
                            If the temperature of the water in the boiler is above 100° C, then it will flash boil anyway when exiting the group. Opening the steam wand wont increase the temperature.
                            If thats the concern, why not put a little cold water on the puck before you put it in the machine?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Pre-infusion & the Silvia

                              Originally posted by Mal link=1210326237/0#8 date=1210440859
                              Gday Greg,

                              If you read my post above yours, you will understand why pre-infusion just doesnt work with this style of machine. Has nothing to do with experimenting, unless you want to redesign the hydraulic circuit of the machine, it aint gonna work.....

                              Mal.
                              Mal,

                              Yep I realise the 3-way would negate any effect if you toggled the brew switch. I wasnt suggesting a particular method of achieving the pre-infusion - Im simply saying that if pre-infusion *is* beneficial, then would or would it not be beneficial on the Silvia if it could be achieved? How to achieve it is a separate matter to whether it would have benefit - it may be that previous attempts to implement pre-infusion have brought more difficulties than it solves, but if the underlying theory of pre-infusion is sound then those with the inclination may be able to work out a different way of achieving it which hasnt been tried so far.

                              Greg

                              Comment

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