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KISS - Keep it simple Silvia

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  • KISS - Keep it simple Silvia

    I am still on the learning curve with Silvia and I have tried a few of the common brewing tricks but IMHO one of the simplest yields good results. If you wait until the light goes off and then bleed off any steam via the steam valve and then brew. If you want a slightly lower temp you can flick on the water switch and drain off 30ml of water. No timers and no waiting around.

    It seems to me you do not want to brew at the lowest temp (ie just before the light goes on). The machine does sit near this temp quite a bit though - it drops quickly from its upper temp and then more slowly as it nears its lower temp so in effect is more often sitting near this lower point. Equally the highest temp is a bit too high. The temperature surfers seem to choose 40 seconds into the reheat cycle ie reasonably close to the top of the temperature range. My simple trials suggest that brewing after draining off the steam produces a similar temp.

    I always preheat my cup and the light comes on while I do this. By the time I am ready to brew the light is off, I drain off steam and go. Now I am not saying this is as good as to-the-second temp surfing but for the less obsessive among us its a simple alternative. I cant remember where I read about this method but I would like to thank whoever it was - when I am only half awake in the morning I can just about cope with it but not much more.

    I would be interested in what the thermocouple brigade reckon to this.

    Chris


  • #2
    Re: KISS - Keep it simple Silvia


    Temperature surfing --on the up or down cycle -- has long been de rigeur to overcome Silvias notoriously wide deadband.

    But what makes it a good machine is its thermal stability during a shot: from the brass boiler, to chunky group and commercial portafilter.

    Its the temperature at the shower screen that counts, not so much what is happening elsewhere.

    The temperature at the top of the boiler is approx 15º hotter than at the shower screen.

    Drawing off a little steam drops the top of boiler temperature by about 2º or 3º.

    But down below, the temperature remains pretty stable.

    During the actual pour, depending on how quickly it happens, the temperature difference is way, way bigger.

    Top of boiler temperature drops by as much as 15º as 1/5 of the hot water in the boiler is replaced with cold.

    But down below at the showerscreen, all those thermal masses are keeping things constant within a degree of two of ideal temperature. It would take considerable time to filter through.

    So, a two or three degree sudden change at the top of the boiler by drawing off steam, in my opinion, isnt going to affect the temperature at the puck.

    --Robusto

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    • #3
      Re: KISS - Keep it simple Silvia

      Originally posted by cjhfield link=1169768974/0#0 date=1169768974
      I am still on the learning curve with Silvia and I have tried a few of the common brewing tricks but IMHO one of the simplest yields good results. If you wait until the light goes off and then bleed off any steam via the steam valve and then brew. If you want a slightly lower temp you can flick on the water switch and drain off 30ml of water. No timers and no waiting around.

      It seems to me you do not want to brew at the lowest temp (ie just before the light goes on). The machine does sit near this temp quite a bit though - it drops quickly from its upper temp and then more slowly as it nears its lower temp so in effect is more often sitting near this lower point. Equally the highest temp is a bit too high. The temperature surfers seem to choose 40 seconds into the reheat cycle ie reasonably close to the top of the temperature range. My simple trials suggest that brewing after draining off the steam produces a similar temp.

      I always preheat my cup and the light comes on while I do this. By the time I am ready to brew the light is off, I drain off steam and go. Now I am not saying this is as good as to-the-second temp surfing but for the less obsessive among us its a simple alternative. I cant remember where I read about this method but I would like to thank whoever it was - when I am only half awake in the morning I can just about cope with it but not much more.

      I would be interested in what the thermocouple brigade reckon to this.

      Chris
      This works with a Botticelli- 1/3 bigger boiler but similar-
      I have a thermocouple attached to the top of the boiler and I look at the temp and either use the brew switch or bleed off a tiny amount of water and watch until temp is a bit above 93 C. Bleeding off tiny amounts of water to get to 93 C, I then put on the steam switch to get the heater on. Then I hit the brew switch to start the extraction.
      With this the temp generally stays within 2 or 3 degrees of the initial brew temp of 93 C.
      This works quite well with my daughters Quaha (similar to a Silvia in that it has a 300ml brass boiler) but it is not quite as stable in the pour, which I put down to a smaller boiler than the Bott.
      Sounds complex but is quite easy in practice if you have your other stuff pretty much under control.
      All the best

      Brett

      ps
      all of the above is probably unnecessary- helps pass the time- with the Quaha (Greg Pullmans incidentally and a fantastic machine) just waiting for the heater to go off then bleeding of steam from the brew head works very nicely- so really the same as your Silvia trick except bleeding from head not steam arm- will try your way though!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: KISS - Keep it simple Silvia

        Brett,

        Does that mean that when you say 93C for your Botticelli, you have always been talking about 93C at the top of the boiler?

        Cheers,

        Luca

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