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Noob with Sylvia

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  • Noob with Sylvia

    Just got my newly purchased used Sylvia. Made the first cup of coffee by switching on, waiting for boiler light to go off (which means its ready?) and then brewing..... coffeee came out wamr and not hot enough. Do I need to just wait longer for the water to warm more? What am i doing wrong?

  • #2
    Re: Noob with Sylvia

    Im no sylvia expert, but you will need to leave it on for longer to warm up. 30 mins at least.
    Although the boiler is up to temp when the light goes out, the other parts still need to warm up.

    Other parts of your technique may also need work, but keep playing around and reading here and elsewhere on the web. You tube can also be a good resource.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Noob with Sylvia

      Originally posted by 363E30383A20203C3038530 link=1315038590/1#1 date=1315039445
      Im no sylvia expert, but you will need to leave it on for longer to warm up. 30 mins at least.
      Although the boiler is up to temp when the light goes out, the other parts still need to warm up.

      Other parts of your technique may also need work, but keep playing around and reading here and elsewhere on the web. You tube can also be a good resource.
      Thanks - any good starter reads you can point me to? Anyone sort of summarised it or is it spread between numerous threads here?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Noob with Sylvia

        Originally posted by 39343D3B2C580 link=1315038590/2#2 date=1315039541
        Originally posted by 363E30383A20203C3038530 link=1315038590/1#1 date=1315039445
        Im no sylvia expert, but you will need to leave it on for longer to warm up. 30 mins at least.
        Although the boiler is up to temp when the light goes out, the other parts still need to warm up.

        Other parts of your technique may also need work, but keep playing around and reading here and elsewhere on the web. You tube can also be a good resource.
        Thanks - any good starter reads you can point me to?  Anyone sort of summarised it or is it spread between numerous threads here?
        What Who me? said is correct, I had my Silvia on a timer to come on one hour before I used her so everything was definitely up to temperature.

        You also need to be aware that the stock thermostat on the Silvia has a wide range of temperature, and you may have pulled the shot when it was on the lower end of the scale. Look up temperature surfing for a bit more of an explanation on how to pull your shot at the right temperature. When I was learning, I did a fair bit of reading from coffeesnobs, as well as some of the earlier posts of the espresso my espresso blog.

        Tim

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Noob with Sylvia

          you could probably push 20 mins for heatup (mine does it in 20 nicely in the mornings in melb)

          i find if im short on time that I can give it 10 mins and run a couple of cups of water through the group and pf to get them close to brew temp

          like who me said, your boiler water is likely up to temp or close, but the group will still be only warm to touch which will cool the brew down quite a bit

          silvia is a picky girl but once mastered youll be best friends

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Noob with Sylvia

            Hi Alect,

            Try googling Cheating Miss Silvia for step by step instructions on how to bring her up to optimal operating temp in a relatively short time.

            Be very careful if you choose to try using a timer to switch on the Silvia before you get out of bed to pre-warm, as if you previously havent closed off the steam knob enough it can potentially empty the boiler drip by drip and kill the element.

            Good luck!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Noob with Sylvia

              Originally posted by 4641505C5B4C000000350 link=1315038590/5#5 date=1315044301
              Hi Alect,

              Try googling Cheating Miss Silvia for step by step instructions on how to bring her up to optimal operating temp in a relatively short time. 

              Be very careful if you choose to try using a timer to switch on the Silvia before you get out of bed to pre-warm, as if you previously havent closed off the steam knob enough it can potentially empty the boiler drip by drip and kill the element.

              Good luck!
              Thanks

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Noob with Sylvia

                Mine has the Watlow PID, which interestingly i find the shot too hot! If I start at 106 shown at PID, i will see a stable temp of 98.x during the brew.

                But still the shot come out a little scorching hot, the puck when knocked out still have steam steaming off it.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Noob with Sylvia

                  Originally posted by 02232E2F4A0 link=1315038590/7#7 date=1315063612
                  Mine has the Watlow PID, which interestingly i find the shot too hot!  If I start at 106 shown at PID, i will see a stable temp of 98.x during the brew.

                  But still the shot come out a little scorching hot, the puck when knocked out still have steam steaming off it.
                  Not sure what your are aiming for but the puck will always steam when using correct brew temps on that

                  98 seems quite high! you should be aiming for about 92-93 see

                  Andueza et al. Influence of extraction temperature on the final quality of espresso coffee.Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture.Vol. 83, no. 3, pp. 240-8. Feb. 2003

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Noob with Sylvia

                    Originally posted by 5F49155A1551154B5258505E4952555C3B0 link=1315038590/8#8 date=1315086788
                    98 seems quite high! you should be aiming for about 92-93 see
                    Hide, the PID is reading the temperature at the boiler rather than at the group. 106 degrees at the boiler worked for me when I was using Silvia but it could vary depending on your thermocouple placement. There is a sharp drop in temperature when pulling your shot on Silvia due to the small boiler size and the influx of cold water from the tank, however you can still manage to get relatively consistent shots.

                    Let taste be your guide as to whether you are getting the ideal 92-94 degrees at the puck, and keep experimenting with different temperatures on the PID.

                    Tim

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Noob with Sylvia

                      This shot walkthrough video gives a fairly good overview of the temp cycle and temp surfing if your a Silvia newbie.

                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhxvDusY3jk

                      Its easy after a while, becomes second nature. Shots are good quality and consistent if you know what your doing.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Noob with Sylvia

                        Hey Alec ideally needs a 30 min heat up. You may reduce this to about 20mins by pulling blank shots to make the boiler go through cycles.

                        When ready to go, portafilter should be hot to touch, romove, dry, dose, tamp pull blank shot wait for light to go off. lock in and pull shot.

                        If preparing milk, fill jug whilst shot is going. switch off when blonding stop shot and open steam tap and hit hot water for about 10 secs, switch off and listen for the boiler to fill. When sound stops hit steam switch and at about every 15 sec open and close steam knob to bleed excess water when light goes off bleed water and steam milk.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Noob with Sylvia

                          Make sure you heat up your cup too, with new users this is the most common fault

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Noob with Sylvia

                            Originally posted by 585349524857555C3B0 link=1315038590/11#11 date=1315120014
                            Hey Alec ideally needs a 30 min heat up. You may reduce this to about 20mins by pulling blank shots to make the boiler go through  cycles.

                            When ready to go, portafilter should be hot to touch, romove, dry, dose, tamp pull blank shot wait for light to go off. lock in and pull shot.

                            If preparing milk, fill jug whilst shot is going. switch off when blonding stop shot and open steam tap and hit hot water for about 10 secs, switch off and listen for the boiler to fill. When sound stops hit steam switch and at about every 15 sec open and close steam knob to bleed excess water when light goes off bleed water and steam milk.
                            Good advice for the first two sentences.

                            Last paragraph though, im puzzled.
                            I thought you only need to open the hot water tap after steaming to top up the boiler, not after brewing.
                            Also you only need to bleed the steam wand once when steam temperature is reached.
                            Opening the steam wand every 15 seconds to bleed is superfluous.
                            Thats my opinion.
                            Does others have a take on this?

                            30 minutes is definitely recommended for the warm up.
                            A 24 hour timer is handy.
                            Just set the time for when you make the coffee.
                            For eg. In the morning you have breakfast at 8am. Timer set for half hour at 7.30am.
                            So by the time youre ready, the machine is ready.

                            Heat up the cup with hot water through the grouphead with the empty portafilter locked in.
                            This helps keep everything warm.
                            Put your teaspoon in the cup so that warms up too. A cold teaspoon can affect the temp of the coffee.

                            One trick i can recommend if youre in a hurry or have forgotten to set the timer, is to turn on the machine, turn on the steam switch and lock in the portafilter handle.  Fill up jug with milk.
                            When light goes off, steam milk.

                            After steaming, turn off steam switch and turn on brew switch for hot water to go into your empty coffee cup. This step serves the purpose of re-filling the boiler at the same time, while bringing the boiler down to brewing temperature as well as getting rid of any stale coffee grounds in group head.

                            Remove portafilter and dry wipe.
                            Fill portafilter with coffee and brew.
                            Move the milk around the jug to prevent the microfoam from separating while brewing.

                            This reverse procedure saves the possibility of burning out the element, and theres no need to re-fill the boiler. 


                            Gary at G.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Noob with Sylvia

                              Thanks to all - the coffees are now coming out nice and hot

                              So now to cleaning. Am I right in having read I should backflush regularly (http://www.frcndigital.com/coffee/HowToBackflush.html) and semi-regularly actually clean it out (http://www.jetblackespresso.com.au/equipment/rancilio-silvia/cleaning-the-rancilio-silvia/)

                              Are these the best practice instructions?

                              So I need:
                              - blind filter
                              - group head brush
                              - cleaning poweder

                              ??

                              Any recommendations on the above?

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