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Brewing temperature on Silvia

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  • Brewing temperature on Silvia

    Hi all,

    I'm wondering if people out there have tested the temp you get out of the group on your ranchilio.
    I've been questioning if my temp is too low on my machine so have done a crude test. I was hoping some of you could do the same and see how my machine compares.

    My test.
    1 standard ceramic gen purpose mug
    1 thermostat (frothing type)

    Test:
    Warm up machine for 30 min (flush group to during this time to bring up temp)
    Put thermostat in mug and run water from empty group (hold mug up do it s close as possible o group)
    Run water until light goes on hen stop.
    While element is bringing boiler o temp keep water in mug
    As soon as light goes off spill water out of mug hen run water no empty mug agin
    Run until light comes on hn stop
    Again keep water in mug
    Repeat this process fo 5-6 times

    The last 3 times or so my temp. was consistently the same.
    While running water into cup temp would rise to 85. Then drop to 81.

    I would have thought ths is too low but it may be right when portafilter is in and pressure builds.
    It would be good to see what others can get the max temp to.

    Ogi

  • #2
    Yes the test is totally crude (no offence intended), notwithstanding it seems the readings you are getting indicate the machine is pretty much A OK.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks Chris. Am I correct in thinking that this is he max temp I can get when brewing? Not the abs value of degC but rather max I can get when using the brew function of the machine?

      Reason for question is I've been waiting to push the max temp expecting to taste bitter espresso and then drop down to optimise for a good shot. But even using this process my shots are still a little sour/grassy (subtly I should not).

      I guess this is where I should start looking into the next level of machines. Just feel guilty doing so after only having he Silvia for 2 months.

      Comment


      • #4
        Yep if you're getting water out of the group and into a cup at 85 deg. just when the thermostat has clicked off, then things are fine as there is alot lost just from water falling through the air. For reference, the thermostats in brand new Silvias will usually heat slightly past boiling point, sometimes up around 105 degrees before clicking off. The water will flash to steam for a few seconds when it exits the group but cools very quickly due to the low thermal mass, so my standard is wait 30 seconds after the light goes off, then flush a tiny amount through the group and should be roughly right.

        Sounds to me like your machine is good to go as soon as the light goes off though!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by ogip View Post
          .....Am I correct in thinking that......
          No. The actual brew temp is higher than the figure you are getting with your test.

          Hope that helps.

          Attilio
          very first CS site sponsor

          Comment


          • #6
            ogip,
            ... google "Silvia temperature measurement" and similar, you will find there has been a lot of effort put into this.
            You will find better methods of measurement, and ways of operating the m/c to give you the optimum brew temperature.
            Dont give up on Silvia yet, she can produce very satisfying shots.

            Comment


            • #7
              I have a thermometer attached to the top of my boiler, and the temperature swing/range is huge, the reading is 90C when the thermostat clicks on and 110C when it clicks off and the temperature will keep rising after the switch off until reaching 120C. Temperature coming from the group will be lower and not as varied but there should still be plenty of range to play with, so if you dont think its hot enough adjust your surf times.

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks all.
                Can I just confirm in order to get the max temp I should begin the brew right after the light switches off?

                If not when is the max temp achieved?

                Thanks

                Comment


                • #9
                  You should try http://coffeesnobs.com.au/brewing-eq...ilvia-but.html

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I've done a similar test, but using a different technique. The aim was to verify - when temperature surfing, what time should elapse after the light goes out before brewing a shot, to achieve the best brewing temperature range. Depending on who you ask, this is roughly in the low 90s deg. C.

                    The way I did the test was to fit a styrofoam cup into the slots of the group head. To do this, you will need to cut the top off the cup. I then stuck a thermocouple into the side of the cup (using one that came with my multimeter), so that it was in direct contact with the stream of water when brewing. This method is a cheap and fairly effective way to measure the temperature of the water directly off the group head with minimal heat loss. A small hole in the bottom of the styrofoam cup will ensure that it won't overflow with repeated tests or during a single test.

                    I then played around with timings and temperature surfing techniques until I found the best temperature range over a 30 sec period. Ultimately, with the stock machine as is, I think it will be impossible to end the shot in the 90s without starting the brewing process at too high a temperature. What is working best on my machine is waiting 30 sec for the brew light to turn off, hitting the brew switch for 2-3 seconds, then loading the loaded portafilter and brewing the coffee immediately. I think for my machine, this is the best temperature control possible without going to a PID.

                    Has this improved my coffee's taste? Hard to say, but I enjoy the geekiness.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by darrend View Post
                      .... I think it will be impossible to end the shot in the 90s without starting the brewing process at too high a temperature. What is working best on my machine is waiting 30 sec for the brew light to turn off, hitting the brew switch for 2-3 seconds, then loading the loaded portafilter and brewing the coffee immediately. I think for my machine, this is the best temperature control possible without going to a PID.
                      .
                      Have you tried turning the Steam switch on at the same time as you start the brew switch. ?
                      and the whole process is much easier with a temperature display as Jimmytheboot described, rather than the timing/ guesswork method.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        No, thanks for the tip.

                        I don't find a live temperature display necessary given I've experimented with this already. It is not guesswork, rather a temperature at a time.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Ogi - I posted a graph of the temperature variation in the shot on my PID'd Silvia a few years ago. The temperature measurement was done with a thermocouple on the puck - so it is accurate in terms of shot temperature.

                          Now while mine had a PID - the temperature is stable for the shot duration. It does droop by a tiny bit, but is stable. The temperature surfing I did prior to putting the PID in was as per the collective net.wisdom you'll find everywhere. That worked, but was a PITA for me. I also did the styrofoam cup measurement thing and saw significantly lower temperatures than the in-puck thermocouple showed. I don't have that information anymore, but my memory (memory!? forget-ory is maybe better!) says it was 9C different.

                          /Kevin

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                          • #14
                            Kevin thanks so much for the info. The 9deg delta makes since as it suggests a 94ish max at the puck.

                            I have tried reasesching the surfing technique but have not come up with a clear process.
                            Would you mind sharing yours.

                            Mine is:
                            30min warm up with some flushes though portafilter to bring it to temp.
                            Load the basket and tamp
                            Temp surf part
                            Flush water until light comes on
                            Wait for light to switch of
                            Flush for about 2 seconds
                            Instantly load the portafilter and start to brew.

                            Is this the correct temp surf method?

                            Thank

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