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Burnt taste on silvia

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  • Burnt taste on silvia

    Have a silvia with PID and smart grinder but try as i may unfortunately I get a consitent burnt taste in the shots.
    Recently split the shots into three different parts and seem to have identified that the first black drops are totally unpalatable bitter burnt taste.
    Do i need to dump this or try to rectify something to retain it.
    Baskets are original, good tamper, PID was set to 106 by previous owner have dropped to 95 seem a touch better. Have tried fresh beans from multiple differnt suppliers no change so its me. Have read and followed standard shot methods here to no avail so somethings amiss and would greatly appreciate any tips from experienced users

  • #2
    How is your dosing?
    I was experimenting with the VST basket yesterday. And my result was
    20g : sour
    21g : great
    22g : bitter

    Never knew 1g makes a different but was interesting to taste the difference.

    Also, do you pull the shot as soon as it reaches temp (light off) or do you do a flush before putting the PF on the pull

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    • #3
      When you say you dropped the temp to 95, did you taste as you progressively dropped the temp or just changed it from 106 to 95. My Silvia/pid did something similar but in reverse and I increased the temp by degree changes and tasted at each change to finally settle on 102. Takes a while but worth it. Everything else, grind/tamp/amount of course must be same same, if you havent, maybe try that
      Last edited by Graeme; 9 June 2013, 05:53 PM.

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      • #4
        And another thing. Each time you change the temp, wait 10 minutes before you pull the next shot. Do this at every temp/shot change

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        • #5
          How are your shots looking as it pours?

          Does it just drip without a visible pour?

          If it just drips one drop at a time, it could be over extraction. Too fine a grind which the hot water is unable to push through the puck, thus burning the grounds, giving the burnt taste.

          The opposite is under extraction caused by too coarse a grind. Hot water pushes though the puck too fast, resulting in less flavor and a sour taste.

          Change the PID setting back to 105-106 deg celcius. If you do a thermometer reading from the group head, you should see 94- 95 deg.

          Pay attention to dosage. A good safe and consistent way is to invest in a set of digital diet scales and weigh out the correct weight of the beans for the basket used, put them into a totally empty smart grinder hopper and grind into the portafilter.

          Another good method is to overfill the portafilter, tap it on the bench once to collapse the grinds, level off using a card, then tamp, evenly (very important), you should see the line marking inside the Silvia basket align with the puck.

          Follow those steps, then play with the grinder settings.
          If it pours too fast, grind finer. Too slow, grind coarser. Look at the pour and taste the result.
          Look for a syrupy slim pour that has a stream from the top and a drippy appearance one third to half way down. Repeat the same process and keep tasting/evaluating.

          Eventually when you get the bingo result you're after, you can have fun adjusting the PID temperature settings in small increments according to roast levels of the beans.

          Try and see how it goes.

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          • #6
            Auber PID? Before changing the pid settings check what the offset is, PSb in the menu accessed by entering code 0089. If it is 0 then the temp should be 100+ as others said already, you can read why here Auber PID Manual

            From the manual...

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            • #7
              I had a similar problem - after much swearing and useless cups of coffee (and changing beans, backflushing, cleaning grinder) i found the culprit was my grind setting. What i percieved as burnt (maybe it was sour - my palate isn't that refined), i found a finer grind setting changed my coffee from undrinkable to amazing.
              This, in combination with what Sideways mentions above:
              "Another good method is to overfill the portafilter, tap it on the bench once to collapse the grinds, level off using a card, then tamp, evenly (very important), you should see the line marking inside the Silvia basket align with the puck" = one happy coffee drinker (thanks sideways)

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              • #8
                You're welcome Shanewhathisname.

                Hopefully the advice will help others in need, and the same technique will apply to any other machine they own and use.

                Cafe quality coffee is within the grasp of anyone who is willing to follow the correct steps.

                A few tweaks here and there is part of the coffee journey that one can enjoy, just like tweaking a car to give you better performance.

                I work in the coffee industry and have never had the need to upgrade from the Silvia since I,m only making coffee for myself and the missus.

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                • #9
                  Thanks to all who offered advice.
                  I am producing better shots now which has pleased the wifeometer and has saved me money from not destroying the machine and the window i contemplated throwing it out of.

                  Sidewayss your advice about dosing the portafilter was particularly helpful as i was measuring with shot glass but probably didnt know how precise i needed to be.
                  I was rather annoyed at the trouble i was going to and not getting good results and then buying a coffee from a bakery (not a coffee shop) and the 15yo girl who worked part time and probably would have preferred to be on facebook could do a better job of making a cuppachino.

                  Shanepankotsch I think you were spot on with your call about it being bitter not burnt, so I'll keep trying and hopefully getting better.

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                  • #10
                    Update, beans beans beans! Changed to a lighter roasted bean and a coarser grind and big improvement straight away.

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                    • #11
                      Good to know you are enjoying better coffee Oz.

                      Strange though. Usually you would need a finer grind for lighter roasted beans. Having said that, changing to a different kind of bean would require a change in grinder setting.

                      For example, the right setting for Kenya may result in a gusher for a Nicaraguan due to the varietal (plant type like caturra or bourbon) and other factors like roasting profile and equipment used. ( drum or fluid bed)

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