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Rancilio Silvia 2009 + Rocky Grinder …. Disastrous start!!

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  • Rancilio Silvia 2009 + Rocky Grinder …. Disastrous start!!

    Ok, cutting the story short…  I received my Rancilio Silvia 2009 and Rocky 2009 yesterday - GREAT!  This morning after pulling a few shots, I had to throw the white tower, as I was running out of my fresh bean. – DISASTROUS.

    - A bit on what I did.

    :: Fresh bean – Ticked
    :: Temperature surf - Ticked
    :: Followed, the Rocky instruction.  – Ticked then un-tick, readjusted several times.  (First was 6-7clicks anti clockwise (as instructed), dose, tamp, pull the shot, 30 seconds later, 1 drop of coffee!! @#$#@)… Few shots later, gave up!!

    In summary, it went pretty bad first day…and I know there are much to learned, but please help me anyway…

    Questions –

    1) Knowing there are many variables that can affect the grind setting, about what number should I be setting my Rocky on?  I’ll make the final adjustment around those numbers.

    2) Having used the Breville Burr Grinder, I used to tamp and press the coffee grind as hard as possible, I mean really hard.  Obviously I think this is wrong with the finer grind output from the Rocky, so do I just let the Tamper do the pressing (weight), and I just do the twisting and turning to get an even surface?

    3) The shower screen is digging a hole into the puck!!  There is this big bolt head on the shower screen.  Seriously, shouldn’t it be kindda hidden away into the screen face instead of the whole bolt head sticking out????

    4) What do I do with the White plastic cover on top of the Silvia?  Must I unscrew the top of to peel the plastic covering off?  It’s pretty well covered….

    5) The silver Rancilio logo at the steam knob fell off!!  I can just put it straight back in, but should it be falling off (already)??  I can’t believe it!!!

    HELP!

  • #2
    Re: Rancilio Silivia 2009 + Rocky Grinder …. Disastrous start!!

    1) have no idea, but try going the other way. go coarse so that the 30ml just about drops through, and then go finer. try 2 clicks at a time, until you get around the mark, then one click either side will be about right...
    2) Not so hard, but not just the tamper weight either. try putting the tamper in place, and pressing down with one finger...
    3) yeah, it would be good to have a flatter bolt head, there are countersinking mods that Ill be trying later myself. it doesnt really affect the shot
    4) you have to unscrew the top to get rid of it completely. not much else to say
    5) the logo shouldnt be falling off at all! in inauspicious start all round for you!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Rancilio Silivia 2009 + Rocky Grinder …. Disastrous start!!

      Thanks Doug, I guess I can deal with everything else apart from the stupid Bolt sticking out of the shower screen.  I would prefer to keep the machine as original as it is out of the box... Actually is it normal for the Silivia to have a bolt sticking out of the shower screen like that?  Ill take a picture of it when I get home later.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Rancilio Silivia 2009 + Rocky Grinder …. Disastrous start!!

        Yes, it is normal. After some practice, youll be able to get excellent shots from her nonetheless.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Rancilio Silivia 2009 + Rocky Grinder …. Disastrous start!!

          OH Thank GOD!.. I thought it was something Silvia decided to add as a new feature for the 2009 model.  Puck art!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Rancilio Silivia 2009 + Rocky Grinder …. Disastrous start!!

            It takes a while to settle in on Silvia and get good shots, take it one variable at a time until you get it right. Dont rely on numbers on Rocky for grind settings just dial it down until you choke Silvia and then go up a fraction until you get a good pour, my Rocky used to be on 1-2 setting for espresso.
            The Synesso double ridgeless baskets are great for Silvia, they hold a little more coffee and produce great shots.
            Im sure you will get great pleasure and espresso from your new Silvia
            cheers gm

            (I changed my avatar so that there wouldnt be 2 Sylvesters!!)

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Rancilio Silivia 2009 + Rocky Grinder …. Disastrous start!!

              2) Having used the Breville Burr Grinder, I used to tamp and press the coffee grind as hard as possible, I mean really hard.  Obviously I think this is wrong with the finer grind output from the Rocky, so do I just let the Tamper do the pressing (weight), and I just do the twisting and turning to get an even surface?
              I have found to hard a tamp causes channeling I suppose the water is forced to find a way through, sit a bathroom scale on the bench and tamp at say 15kg to start with, so your tamp pressure is consistent shot to shot, the tamper needs to be level, the rings on the Pullman tamper help here so maybe scribe a guide ring around the tamper if not using a pullman. As Greenman suggests the ridgeless Synesso basket is great.
              I found shots improved once I had replaced the hex head with a countersunk screw as described here but you have to consider your warranty so maybe thats something to try later.
              Temperature stability can be addressed quite cheaply by Gronking.
              Fresh beans not all "fresh beans" are fresh I have bought "fresh beans" from roasters which were stale so try a few different sources as you go along just to make sure.
              Hope this helps

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Rancilio Silivia 2009 + Rocky Grinder …. Disastrous start!!

                Sounds like you need to start fresh with the absolute basics.

                First, I would recommend you get your dose / tamp right.

                Ignore the pour (for now) and find a dose / tamp routine that is repeatable, and gets the right amount of coffee in the filter. You should be able to dose / tamp, put in the PF into the group and then before pressing the brew switch, pull the PF out and your puck should be intact and possibly have the faintest impression of the shower screen (or in this case screw) on the top, but nothing more. As others have said, dont tamp too hard. 15kgs is plenty.

                Once you have your dose / tamp technique sussed, then worry about grind and pour times.

                Once you have your dose / tamp and grind right, then think about temp surfing etc.

                It sounds as if you expected to achieve perfection straight off. Baby steps mate, baby steps.

                Lastly, dont use the single basket, use the double. Never owned or used a Silvia myself, but from what I have read on here, the single is an absolute shocker of a basket and only really useful as a tamper stand.

                Sen

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Rancilio Silvia 2009 + Rocky Grinder …. Disastrous start!!

                  Budget about 1/2 - 1kg of fresh beans, then just play with the machine and practice, practice, practice.
                  After pouring a couple of dozen shots you should have the grind right and your dose & tamp fairly sorted.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Rancilio Silvia 2009 + Rocky Grinder …. Disastrous start!!

                    Originally posted by 5B1C1F5C57472F0 link=1242097904/8#8 date=1242171364
                    Budget about 1/2 - 1kg of fresh beans, then just play with the machine and practice, practice, practice.  
                    After pouring a couple of dozen shots you should have the grind right and your dose & tamp fairly sorted.

                    Sound advice no matter what machine you start with I reckon.

                    Chris

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Rancilio Silvia 2009 + Rocky Grinder …. Disastrous start!!

                      Guys, thanks for the suggestion.  Baby steps is the way to go, and after following a suggestion from another thread, tamping the grind down to the ridge level did stop the shower screen from disturbing the puck.... the shot is improving also,..... great.

                      One thing which I noticed on my Silvia is that, after turning on the machine in the morning, the boiler light goes off after only about 5 minutes (from cold start)? HUH?  I took out the Thermometer and measure the Temperature of the hot water and it was at about 50-60 degree C (in the bowl).  So I ran more hot water to get the boiler going again (light on).  After the light goes off, I ran the hot water into the bowl and measure the water temp again, its now at about 70 degree C.

                      --Shouldnt the hot water from the group head be close to 100 degree after temp surfing?  Am I measuring it wrong?  Ie. Measure in the bowl instead of the water that just came out..

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Rancilio Silvia 2009 + Rocky Grinder …. Disastrous start!!

                        The boiler was up to temperature but the rest of the machine wasnt. It takes time to heat up the group head, portafilter etc.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Rancilio Silvia 2009 + Rocky Grinder …. Disastrous start!!

                          Identical performance here using the procedure in the link in my signature -- 60° from cool, 70° after surfing.

                          However, I then boiled water in a kettle, and as soon as the switch flicked I poured it into a new mug (same type), with another (same type) thermometer, and it registered 80°. The mug soaks up a lot, and I imagine it cools pretty quickly regardless (especially in Sydney this time of year).

                          Keep in mind that I know very little though; some food for thought nonetheless.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Rancilio Silvia 2009 + Rocky Grinder …. Disastrous start!!

                            I think 15 - 20mins is the generally accepted minimum time that the Silvia (or most domestic machines?) should sit warming up before running a shot.

                            My morning routine is to switch the machine on as soon as I rise and put the PF into the grouphead at that time, then go for shower etc . By the time I am dressed ready for the day, so is my machine.

                            Sen

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Rancilio Silvia 2009 + Rocky Grinder …. Disastrous start!!

                              I think the traditional low cost method for measuring the temperature is to use a styrofoam cup (or similar) containing the thermocouple, held in the Group Head. You loose too much heat otherwise.

                              Also, as noted by others above, Gronking gives invaluable info and is (relatively) cheap

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