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  • Filling Silvia boiler

    Having fun playing with my new Silvia and trying to improve my shots. One question re filling the boiler which is supposed to happen every time you use the steam wand (!)

    Rather than running water throught the group head with the coffee brew switch, is it OK to use the hot water dispenser switch and run hot water through the wand. Just a little less messy... Presumably this will do the same job of filling the boiler ?

    Cheers,


    Steven

  • #2
    Re: Filling Silvia boiler

    Welcome to CS Steven,

    Yes it is ok to fill the boiler by running water through the steam wand.
    The process of steaming empties the boiler.
    Hitting the brew switch or hot water switch will fill it.
    As long as you hear the pump running the boiler will be filled,

    Its a very good habit to get into but has the added bonus that it will bring the system temperature [following steaming] back towards brew temperature.
    I find it useful to give the group head and pf a bit of a clean too.

    I also suggest that each morning when you turn on the machine you give the steam valve a TWIST to tighten it.
    This will stop any drips.

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    • #3
      Re: Filling Silvia boiler

      Hi Steven,

      I agree with Reubster and while both methods will fill the boiler I use the group head instead and give it a clean with my coffee brush while Im at it. This is messy as youve noted but I hold a square plastic bowl (Glad storage container) as close as possible to the group while letting me get in with my brush. It is amazing how much coffee grounds comes off the shower screen and seal. Once the water is running clear, I then wash out the portafilter under the stream and Im all clean and ready for the next shot.

      As Reubster said this does in fact pull the temp down enough that you are pretty much ready temperature wise as well. This is where I really enjoy having the PID as I can watch the temperature coming down from the 150 degrees from steaming to the 108 Im set at for brewing.

      Enjoy the journey with the little Miss Silvia! This is a great place to come for information, there are many many people on here with amazing knowledge that they are happy to share.

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      • #4
        Re: Filling Silvia boiler

        another vote for using the group head and cleaning it while youre at it. Seeing as you should be cleaning the group head after each use, its got a dual benefit. extract, steam, drink coffee, then clean group had while filling boiler. machine off and ready for next time ;D

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        • #5
          Re: Filling Silvia boiler

          Good points all of them. Thanks for the info. Ill keep tinkering...

          Steven

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          • #6
            Re: Filling Silvia boiler

            I fill through the wand until the boiler comes on again on the _theory_ (or did I read it somewhere?) that this will both flush any milk sucked up into the wand and fill the boiler more completely than flushing via the GH (I do a quick flush of the GH before starting to steam).

            Ive also found that when I havent steamed for a while Miss Silvia starts to develop a "sudden rush" when you stop the brew - not certain but this could be a buildup of air at the top of the boiler expanding when the pump pressure stops?  When this happens I flush through the wand and the problem goes.

            Can I also backup the suggestion to flush the GH into a container - after 3 or 4 years of rinsing the PF and wiggling after each brew my poor Miss Silvia has developed rust in the front-left corner (ie. GH side) of the steel frame under the drip tray cover  
            Since flushing into a container it hasnt worsened and I make fewer dangerous trips to the sink with the _drip_ tray.

            Cheers...
            SCarey.

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            • #7
              Re: Filling Silvia boiler

              nothing pleases the Mrs more than a few days worth of dirty coffee reminents / water spilling over the recently cleaned kitchen floor......

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              • #8
                Re: Filling Silvia boiler

                Handy hint for Silvia owners, buy a plastic serving tray and sit Silvia in it, then when drip tray overflows (as it will) the tray catches the liquid, I learnt this early days when I had mine!!

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                • #9
                  Re: Filling Silvia boiler

                  if you watch pro baristas the poor hundreds of shots a day, you will see that they will run water through the group head pre and post shot to clean the head. a bit of mess is what good espresso is all about

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