Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Need help with Sylvia

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Need help with Sylvia

    Ive had my Sylvia/Rocky combo for over a year now but havent used it as often as I would have liked because Ive been so put off by very inconsistant results.
    Basically, the problem is the shot is coming out too fast. It trickles out after 5 secs then gushes out very fast after that. Im barely getting a 15sec pull before it goes blonde, and the coffee is quite weak.
    Ive made the grind finer down to about 8 on the Rocky, but then the portafilter chokes and starts to drip water....

    What am I doing wrong?

    Also, is the screw head/shower screen supposed to touch the coffee? Ive noticed the top of my coffee puck is broken by the screw and screen. Maybe water channeling is the problem?
    What do I do now?
    Newbie needs help :-[



  • #2
    Re: Need help with Sylvia

    Im going to post on what has worked for me - its likely wrong, but I am enjoying the end result that I am getting out of it, as does the Mrs.

    I found a grind that was "close" too what I imagined "right" to be - from your description around the 15 second mark before blonding and focused on tamping and dose. I discovered that I was unevenly tamping after I got hold of a bottomless filter and saw where the shot was starting up the front, with the back having the shot come out quite late in the shot right near where I was stopping it due to blonding.

    I at this point was performing the following dosing procedure: fill to half way -> distribute -> one knock on the bench -> fill to top -> make surface even with a level bit of plastic -> tamp.

    I found that if I didnt bother making the surface even (increasing the dose) I got a better result. I now grind to a mound shape I recognise (combined with time), tamp with my tamper (a pullman which has the rings on the side) and I can usually tell at the tamp time how happy Im going to be with this shot, how fast it will flow etc.

    I figure Im probably overdosing a little bit, pulling a tad early, making more of a ristretto, and there may be another way to achieve this result, but for me its currently working and Im getting consistent shots that I enjoy - Id rate this method for me as
    70% - Very Enjoyable
    15% - Cafe quality
    10% - Better than cafe quality, not happy withmyself
    5% - This is why I do this, nailed it!

    The hardest thing for me was to get over the "this is what you should be getting" on the internet and shooting for them (ie: 60mL in 30 seconds from 14g ground coffee) and using them as a flexible guide to get something that just tasted good to me. I no longer have any idea if Im pulling 45 or 60mL of extract, nor the time - its all based on colour and taste these days, and from what I find (and those who visit tell me) the results are pretty good.

    Use the benchmarks/ideals as posted on sites like this and youtube clips, as a starting point to help you find the sweet spot for yourself, equipment and beans.

    M

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Need help with Sylvia

      Thanks M, Ill try a few of those things and see if it helps.

      What I really want to know at the moment is the shower screen supposed to touch the coffee? When I take out the group head before pulling a shot to have a look at the coffee, the top is completely messed up by the screw and screen.
      Is this whats causing the water to channel?


      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Need help with Sylvia

        The tale of two of my shots this morning:

        #1 - Screw head punctured the puck, the rest of the surface was clean, dry and polished, the hint of brushing in parts. Id say there would have been a clearance of not very much at all. The shot was pretty jolly good. The Mrs is pretty happy.

        #2 - Was about .5mm more coffee in the basket (knew this was not going to be one of the better coffees), screw head and screen destroyed the surface of the puck. The shot started off ok, blonded much quicker and taste is about what youd expect from a cafe out on the street.

        Good luck finding the goldilocks zone!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Need help with Sylvia

          Originally posted by 00362E39320804323820570 link=1341547640/2#2 date=1341568961
          Thanks M, Ill try a few of those things and see if it helps.

          What I really want to know at the moment is the shower screen supposed to touch the coffee? When I take out the group head before pulling a shot to have a look at the coffee, the top is completely messed up by the screw and screen.
          Is this whats causing the water to channel?

          Could be. How are you dosing? By weight or by eye?

          To perfect the dose. Grab your porfafilter, make sure it and the group head is completely dry. Fill the pf with normal uncooked rice to the level you have been dosing. Try and lock it in to the group head. If you have trouble locking it in, take some rice out. Repeat until there is no resistance from the rice. This is the level you need to dose to for your machine. Thanks to saoye for his rice check - http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1327631793.

          Then, grind up some beans and dose and tamp to that level. Place a 5 cent coin on top and lock the pf in. Remove the pf and the 5c, there should be a slight imprint from the 5c coin. This is good! I think the screw is lower than the showerscreen on Silvia isnt it? You may need to put the 5c on the side of the puck. If the screw is touching, that may be alright (it may be unavoidable), as long as you arent compressing the coffee with the showerscreen. Then weigh that dose, and modify your technique to use this weighted dose every time. Ideally to within 0.1g (if you have accurate enough scales, i dont! ).

          Hope you become happier with Silvia.
          David

          Edit: Not sure who to credit for the 5c test... Its been around.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Need help with Sylvia

            Originally posted by 4F6A7D626F330B0 link=1341547640/4#4 date=1341616462
            Edit: Not sure who to credit for the 5c test... Its been around.
            AM IIRC.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Need help with Sylvia

              Thanks guys, the info is much appreciated.
              I always suspected the screw head touches the puck but the screen isnt supposed to. I mean, why bother polishing the top of the coffee with a turn of the tamper only to be messed up again right?
              Good trick with the rice. Ill have to try that.

              I wonder if you can cook rice in the portafilter.... ;D

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi Wayne,

                What tamper do you have?

                Apart from the 5 cent and rice method, dose, distribute and tamp until the top of the puck is aligned with the concave ring in the basket of the portafilter. This marker shows you how evenly you have tamped, and how much you have dosed.

                I use this marker every time and it gives me consistent results all the time.

                Use small adjustments on the Rocky thereafter to get the result you're after.

                Remember, dosage, even distribution and even tamping is more important than how hard you tamp. When the water soaks the puck, the grounds expand (thus alleviating the tamped coffee) and the pressure of the water pushing against the grounds is many times more than your hardest tamp.

                Always use the double basket. If you alternate between the single and double baskets, you will find varied results.
                If you are making a milk coffee, run a double ristretto shot, which means when you pull a shot, the first dark brown rich liquid comes out, then when it starts to go medium brown, cut off the shot. Or you could simply run a double espresso if you want a strong coffee. For a regular strength cup, follow instructions below for espresso.

                For a single espresso, simply put the cup under one of the spouts and run a espresso and let the other spout run into the drip tray.

                Nicer results come from the 18gm rather than the 14 gm basket.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Can I suggest it sounds like stale beans?

                  And you are trying compensate with overdose/too fine a grind.

                  This would fit with "Ive had my Sylvia/Rocky combo for over a year now but havent used it as often as I would have liked"

                  When where your beans rosted?

                  Comment

                  Working...
                  X