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Rancilio silvia - early blonding + bitterness/sour/burnt

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  • Rancilio silvia - early blonding + bitterness/sour/burnt

    Hi All,

    Today i took my rancilio out of deep storage and once again tried to make some semblence of good coffee. However, no matter what settings i try i my coffe turns blonde really early and it tastes like $)*!#)!@#.

    Equipment: silvia, sunbeam burr grinder (forgot the name, but it was recommended at the time i bought the silvia as a grinda that is good $ for value).

    Technique:
    I tried to keep temperature stable by running water through the grouphead before I do the shot to activate the boiler (then bleed off steam just before i do the shot).

    I overfilled my portafilter (using the double shot one) with ground and then sweep off the excess. Then i tamp with 30lb (i use a scale).

    With all these variables kept constant i then tried to adjust the grind until i got about 60ml of coffee in about 25-30 seconds. I have finally arrived at a sweet spot of "8" in the finess setting (scale 1-25) for grinder, and i almost exactly 60 ml in 25-30 seconds. This is very consistent.

    However, despite this my shots blondes within 10 seconds of the coffee coming out, and tastes quite a bit sour/bitter/burnt. The crema is also mediocre. This is also very consistent. I tried adjusting the grinder finenss up or down, but going any finer exacerbates the burnt smell, and going down in fineness causes too much water to come through.

    So in summary, i am pulling consistent, but crappy shots, and i cant see any adjustments i can make :|. I was thinking that ive followed all the tips ive read on line about using this machine. The coffee is tolerable with milk (which i do well) but i was kind of expecting better than McCafe quality...


    Anyway, can anyone help this coffenoob troubleshoot =)?



    THanks!

  • #2
    Re: Rancilio silvia - early blonding + bitterness/sour/burnt

    Silly question, but did you get your beans out of storage also?

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Rancilio silvia - early blonding + bitterness/sour/burnt

      Ensure you have fresh beans (no more than 3 weeks from the "Roasted On" date.

      Forget about the 60 ml and just stop when the coffee starts to blonde. (My standard ristretto is made from a double basket, full, and I aim for 20 ml of delicious coffee essence in 20 seconds.)

      I hope it goes well for you, it does take some patience and some practice until you know what works on your machine FOR YOU.

      Greg

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Rancilio silvia - early blonding + bitterness/sour/burnt

        what basket are you using - know its adouble basket but is it the silvia one, or a different one?

        when I bought silvia from talk coffee about a year ago I got a larger double basket thrown in for free which appears deeper and more volume than the standard silvia double

        are you dosing to level with the lip or a bit over, I find that I need to updose the basket with a nice mound, otherwise after tamping the coffee is too low and my shot will blonde out too quickly

        maybe a picture of coffee after tamp would help us out, do you get a nice clean puck when you knock out or is it soupy?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Rancilio silvia - early blonding + bitterness/sour/burnt

          Questions then..

          1) So I should always stop when my coffee blondes? I would get like 10mL of coffee then...

          2) What are the factors that cause early blonding?

          3) How does updosing reduce blonding? Wont it just choke my machine?


          I am using the vanilla silvia one out of the box. Tomorrow when i try again i will take a picture of the tamped coffe.

          After i finish brewing i remove the portafilter and there is like a wet puddle on top of the puck, but when i actually knock the puck out its fairly dry and coherent.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Rancilio silvia - early blonding + bitterness/sour/burnt

            1) Personally I always stop my shots just short of light caramel colour, I try to not let it continue to brew if its blonding.

            If its doing that within 10ml, as mentioned before, is your beans fresh? roasted a week or so prior to you grinding, loading, locking and pulling?

            2) Stale; coarse; low temp(?)

            3) I would assume updosing reduces blonding in that there is more coffee being drained of its goodness, thus the visual difference in colour--longer.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Rancilio silvia - early blonding + bitterness/sour/burnt

              I shall try my 10mL shot tomorrow =)


              Btw, I think my grinder is the sunbeam EM480 (if this matters) - is this grinder good enough for the purposes (i nkow that its not on the level of some that ppl here have, but when i bought my stuff i remember ppl saying that its decent). Sunbeam is so cheap they dont even bother to put a model name on the grinder :@

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Rancilio silvia - early blonding + bitterness/sour/burnt

                Originally posted by 6F7F6879793F3E3D353A3E0D0 link=1252913402/1#1 date=1252914983
                Silly question, but did you get your beans out of storage also?
                ER1, I may have missed it in your follow up posts, but the freshness of your coffee is going to have a huge impact on the quality of your coffee. It can be extremely difficult to work with stale coffee.

                How old are the beans?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Rancilio silvia - early blonding + bitterness/sour/burnt

                  Possible, but not necessarily. It could just be the particular bag or batch of green beans. It could be a fresh roast, but the batch of coffee beans just doesnt cut it. It happens sometimes, particularly with some of the "fancies" or "gourmet" types that come in from time to time. Less likely to happen with more "run of the mill" large volume coffees where the FAQ is reasonably consistent.

                  Stale coffee wont taste good but will still produce a reasonable crema if you are a good operator, and wont necessarily blond early.

                  Updosing / downdosing...... Dosing to silvia is critical. If you up dose it will always leak over the top, if you down dose it will produce a crap result. there is only one way to properly dose up the silvia, the only choice you have is to use either the crap std filtrs or the deeper Australian market filter that allows you to use a couple of extra grams and tranforms the brew.

                  Simplicity is the key. Buy some beans from a different source - or the same source but a completely different blend - and try again. Dont buyy a "fancy" buy a run of the mill blend to compare.

                  If nothing changes borrow a decent grinder and compare the same coffees again using it.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Rancilio silvia - early blonding + bitterness/sour/burnt

                    Hmm, the beans arent really fresh, but I dont think they are the issue here. The coffee doesnt taste "bad"....its like physically burnt.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Rancilio silvia - early blonding + bitterness/sour/burnt

                      Originally posted by 687F1C2D0 link=1252913403/9#9 date=1252974937
                      Hmm, the beans arent really fresh, but I dont think they are the issue here. The coffee doesnt taste "bad"....its like physically burnt.
                      They ARE the problem, trust the knowledge here, it is vast

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Rancilio silvia - early blonding + bitterness/sour/burnt

                        Originally posted by 5E5A7C6565607F6867090 link=1252913403/10#10 date=1252977369
                        Originally posted by 687F1C2D0 link=1252913403/9#9 date=1252974937
                        Hmm, the beans arent really fresh, but I dont think they are the issue here. The coffee doesnt taste "bad"....its like physically burnt.
                        They ARE the problem, trust the knowledge here, it is vast
                        Interesting that many of the public know better... Was in a repair shop yesterday.. 3 units in and every one was a clear case of USER abuse.. It was clear to me even from a distance... The poor service agent had to cop it on the chin...

                        I asked why ??? He said about 10 to 15 % of the users will take some notice of what they are told... The REST just KNOW BETTER...


                        PS... Burnt coffee and a leak was the comment I heard...

                        A: 1kg of Supermarket pre ground coffee in a Tupperware container in teh fridge.. Packs teh PF and tamps till level with the top of the basket...

                        B: I saw a mess, group head stuffed, dirty dirty dirty and some one who double parked and was loud and was not impresses with a 10day turn around...

                        Nuff said...

                        CSs we are and we may get it wrong on occasions, but we care and try to provide well documented and or evedance biased advice... Take it or leave it...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Rancilio silvia - early blonding + bitterness/sour/burnt

                          Originally posted by 756201300 link=1252913403/9#9 date=1252974937
                          Hmm, the beans arent really fresh, but I dont think they are the issue here. The coffee doesnt taste "bad"....its like physically burnt.
                          Hi ER1!

                          What makes you think that the beans might not be contributing? If you have tried experimenting with dose/grind/tamp, perhaps it is time to try something else?

                          I suggest hitting the buy brown link. Andy roasts to order and dispatches faster than a speeding bullet in the backside of a bat out of heck.

                          Great espresso is just around the corner. Keep experimenting!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Rancilio silvia - early blonding + bitterness/sour/burnt

                            Perhaps I will - definitely when i figure out my technique.

                            The cheap beans are just for me to figure out how to make coffee...right now i waste so much that its just not economical to try my baby steps on premium beans

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Rancilio silvia - early blonding + bitterness/sour/burnt

                              Originally posted by 726506370 link=1252913403/13#13 date=1252989019
                              Perhaps I will - definitely when i figure out my technique.

                              The cheap beans are just for me to figure out how to make coffee...right now i waste so much that its just not economical to try my baby steps on premium beans
                              Probably false economy I reckon ER...The cheap, stale beans will cause many more problems (such as blonding) than they will ever deliver you in learning...

                              Bottom line is garbage in, garbage out...

                              Try some good stuff

                              2mcm

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