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Siliva tips required for a newby to Rancilio

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  • Siliva tips required for a newby to Rancilio

    Hi everyone and happy new years! I have had my Silvia for around 6 months now but want to get my shots and milk better.

    I am using the double basket with a new smart grinder seems pretty good Is the double basket best to use?

    When doing my milk I have been using the really small jug just for myself though I cant get the same result as from the larger jug. Do I have to use the larger jug to get the best microfoam?

  • #2
    Re: Siliva tips required for a newby to Rancilio

    Double basket is fine, I use a quad or occaisional double.

    You dont necessarily need a larger jug, though for folk learning to froth a bigger jug and more milk gives you more time to perfect the technique, but can also waste a lot of milk. The principles stay the same, controlling your steam becomes a lot more important with less milk and smaller jugs. I prefer jugs around 300mls for one latte, 600mls for 2 coffees

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    • #3
      Re: Siliva tips required for a newby to Rancilio

      Most people also tend to get a larger double basket (eg Synesso) as the stock Silvia double basket is on the small side.

      You can practice milk texturing by using water with ONE drop of dish washing liquid. Behaves very similar to milk when steaming.

      Cheers

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      • #4
        Re: Siliva tips required for a newby to Rancilio

        Happy new year kgp.

        I tend to have better results from milk filled to the bottom marker of the spout of 600ml jugs.
        This gives me 300ml of milk to play with.

        Too little milk in the jug tends to result in the milk being violently thrown around the jug, and causing large bubbles of air to find their way in.

        Gary at G

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        • #5
          Re: Siliva tips required for a newby to Rancilio

          Originally posted by 35262039353A540 link=1325797445/2#2 date=1325847449
          Most people also tend to get a larger double basket (eg Synesso) as the stock Silvia double basket is on the small side.
          When I bought mine from Chris - he supplied proper baskets :-? The standard ones are significantly smaller. Biggest single improvement in shot quality early on was consigning the Rancilio baskets to the back of the cupboard! Baskets are only $20 or so (Greg Pullman has them <-- for example). I always used 18g of coffee in an LM basket with really excellent results.

          The single biggest and most life changing thing you can do with Miss Silvia to make your life simpler and better is to PID it!

          /Kevin

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          • #6
            Re: Siliva tips required for a newby to Rancilio

            I agree with the above. Ditch the Rancilio baskets and get a ridgless synesso or similar. A bottomless PF might help with some diagnosis if your having trouble getting good consistent shots.

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            • #7
              Re: Siliva tips required for a newby to Rancilio

              Originally posted by 724F4B4B5F260 link=1325797445/5#5 date=1326020920
              A bottomless PF might help with some diagnosis if your having trouble getting good consistent shots
              Darn lack of sleep!! YES - a naked PF was the other thing I got that really helped. I didnt realise how slap-dash the dose/tamp was till I had that. I still have my naked PF - I used it on the Oscar (with difficulty) and on the Expobar. So the investment can be preserved when you upgrade

              /Kevin

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              • #8
                Re: Siliva tips required for a newby to Rancilio

                Hi All,
                I have recently purchased (from a CS sponsor) the V3 Silvia and a Compak K3 Push.

                Can anyone please tell me what they think is the optimal time to get a decent 30ml shot from the Silvia.
                I have been told approximately 20-25s (apparently the machines have been set to 10bar pressure).

                I am using a 9g filter for a single, and 18g for a double as I heard the standard filters werent adequate.

                Im also not sure at which level on the filter I should be tamping to (eg. 3ml from the top of the filter).

                Thanks for all the help.

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                • #9
                  Re: Siliva tips required for a newby to Rancilio

                  my way ( which is probably not the best but works for me...)

                  you need to make sure after the coffee is tamped it doesnt touch the shower screen. if it touches the screen it can greatly increase the tamping pressure and your shot may stall.

                  start by loading the basket dead flat with no pressure (i scrape a pencil across the top but i am sure there are many ways). Then tamp and see how it goes.

                  If there is too much coffee in the basket & its touching the screen you can feel pressure as you try to bring the portafilter to its locked position.

                  Retry with a lesser amount.

                  keep your tamping pressure and levelling method consistent and youll get the idea.

                  BTW my method always wastes a little coffeea as you level.

                  Originally posted by 5B767345577F747E7F601A0 link=1325797445/7#7 date=1326779258
                  Im also not sure at which level on the filter I should be tamping to (eg. 3ml from the top of the filter).

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                  • #10
                    Re: Siliva tips required for a newby to Rancilio

                    Originally posted by 032E2B1D0F272C262738420 link=1325797445/7#7 date=1326779258
                    Can anyone please tell me what they think is the optimal time to get a decent 30ml shot from the Silvia.
                    I have been told approximately 20-25s (apparently the machines have been set to 10bar pressure).
                    What you were told is correct, Nobody is going to say otherwise

                    If you are using the double basket, you should be able to get 60ml (2x30ml) in 20-25 seconds

                    apart from that, When you fill your basket with grounds, best way to judge is to smooth it off at the top, then tamp. Dont worry about compressing the grounds all that much, The 5 cent test is usually the best way to guess at what depth you need to tamp to (ie, put a 5cent piece on the grounds, lock the handle into place, pull the handle off, if the coin leaves a faint indent on the surface of the coffee, its at the right depth, you can then put the handle back in and see if youve ground the coffee the right weight by pulling a shot)

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                    • #11
                      Re: Siliva tips required for a newby to Rancilio

                      Thanks guys.
                      Thats a start at least.

                      So far Im really enjoying the machine and playing around with it. I even managed to fluke a love heart on a latte for my wife; she was so impressed! Couldnt do it again however...hehe.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Siliva tips required for a newby to Rancilio

                        Originally posted by 103D293B3435323B1D281A3D28395C0 link=1325797445/9#9 date=1326780175
                        The 5 cent test is usually the best way to guess at what depth you need to tamp to (ie, put a 5cent piece on the grounds, lock the handle into place, pull the handle off, if the coin leaves a faint indent on the surface of the coffee, its at the right depth, you can then put the handle back in and see if youve ground the coffee the right weight by pulling a shot)
                        Just dont put the 5c piece under Miss Silvias bolt that sticks out of the middle of the shower screen! Doing that would result in a serious under-dose!

                        /Kevin

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                        • #13
                          Re: Siliva tips required for a newby to Rancilio

                          The best duration to draw a shot depends on how fresh the beans are. You dont need to stick too tightly to the 20 - 25 second rule, thats just for reference. Your dosing and tamping is more important in getting a good quality shot, so make sure they create a slow viscous draw of espresso out (real slow, borderline drippy). As the colour of the shot changes to blonde yellow, stop the draw.

                          Beans you buy from supermarkets are not the freshest so they can blonde (turn blonde yellow) very quickly in less than 20 seconds. Really fresh beans bought from roasters or cafes can give you good draws of up to 30s.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Siliva tips required for a newby to Rancilio

                            Oh and have fun with the Silvia! I own one myself and the shots I get from it are better than many cafes around town!

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                            • #15
                              Re: Siliva tips required for a newby to Rancilio

                              Try and put your hands on an Espro jug. They are really good and in the case of the Silvia make more efficient use of the one hole steam tip.

                              As for your latte art. Practice, practice... practice

                              The trick with the Silvia and really any machine is getting everything up to the proper temps. When your first start your coffee making process make sure you run a blank shot through the potafilter until the element kicks in.

                              Then from there dry, dose, hit brew until light comes back on, tamp and lock in portafilter and brew. The quicker you are able to knit these steps together the better; as the freshness of your coffee and heat in the portafilter will deteriorate as the seconds pass.



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