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Rancilio Silva/Lucy Brisbane – Need help with adjust OPV and install PID Controller

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  • Rancilio Silva/Lucy Brisbane – Need help with adjust OPV and install PID Controller

    Rancilio Silva/Lucy Brisbane – Need help with adjust OPV and install PID Controller

    Hi guys,

    I have recently purchased a secondhand Rancilio Lucy and have googled and done many reading on this wonderful forum.
    Gentle with my lack of technical knowledge. After few trial shots on the machine. I found the espresso shot I produced to be very inconsistent. Sometimes good crema most times not. I used the built in rocky grinder setting between 10 and 20. Overfill the double shot bucket and tamp with strength. Also doesn’t matter how hard I tried with the steam wand I can only make flat white. I have a 350ml milk jug.

    I have decided to do the following mod
    1, descale the machine as its second hand. It has been regular services tho. According to previous owner.
    2, replace existing steam valve and wand with silva v3 steam wand. It seem to be quite easy.
    3, PID the machine – I have no idea how to do.
    4, adjust OPV to 9 bar. Again no idea.

    Is there anyone near Brisbane CBD can show me how to PID and adjust the OPV pls.

    Thank you in advanced.

    David

  • #2
    Hi David.
    I've just done the same as what you are planning to do.

    - is your grind from the rocky really fine? And have you found the "true zero" of your grinder which means then point where your grinder's burr are barely touching each other. Once you have found that then you can start adjusting your grind size from there to get a good shot. (Youtube has a few videos on how to do it)

    - before adjusting your OPV you will need a pressure tester. Either you can buy one, make one or borrow one. I probably leave this out first until you've set your grinder right

    - depends on which PID you buy, they are pretty straight forward. I bought mine from a forum sponsor, an auberIns PID with the steam and preinfusion option. I was provided a pictured instructions on how to install it and it is really simple. Even for non handyman like me. Just make sure you take your time and have a Phillip and flat head screw driver. (Unplugged and cool down the Silvia before you work on it)

    Comment


    • #3
      Sorry if this sound like a complete idiot., I am not entirely understand what you mean by “true zero”. There is only one adjustable setting on the grinder where 0 mean really fine and the higher the number mean rough. I usually have it setting between 10 and 20. So should I adjust it to 0 instead to get the best grind?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by snobs View Post
        Sorry if this sound like a complete idiot., I am not entirely understand what you mean by “true zero”. There is only one adjustable setting on the grinder where 0 mean really fine and the higher the number mean rough. I usually have it setting between 10 and 20. So should I adjust it to 0 instead to get the best grind?
        " True zero" ..is the point at which the burrs contact each other..IE the absolute finest the grinder can work.
        That setting "SHOULD" coincide with the "0" mark on the dial,...but it may not, and there is a procedure for checking & resetting the "zero" point.
        Myself, and many others i know using "Rocky" grinders seem to get best results somewhere between "6" and "10" on the dial... ( using fresh beans and a "calibrated" dial).
        Can you grind fine enough to "choke" the m/c ..( stop any water flowing through the tamped puck when you try to pull a shot ) ?
        ..that occures at about setting "6" on my Rocky.

        Try to be very consistent with your dosing quantity and Tamp technique.
        Dont overfill the basket ..level to the top with loose grinds before tamping.
        If you are unsure , weigh the grinds ..14-16gms for the double.

        Comment


        • #5
          lol... nah... I too did not know about what true zero meant previously.... because the Rocky's numbering are stick on, the zero on it may not really mean that it is the lowest point of the grinder... so your setting of 10-20 may not tell us much (however, it sounds like it could still be too coarse for the Silvia)
          so the best way to determine it is by starting off with an empty hopper, turn on the grinder, and slowly turn the grind setting lower (finer) till you can hear a slight tick tick noise when the grinding plates (burr) are touching slightly... this is the point of "true zero" where you should not be going any lower without damaging your grinder. (mark it off with a sitcker or pen)




          From there you can pick a point from the true zero... say 5 up, and pull your shots... if it is still too fast, go 1 step finer... if it is too slow (getting bitter inky black shots), then try 1 step coarser.... from what everyone has said about the Silvia, we need to have very fine grinds to pull a decent shot... mine is only about 1-2 step up from true zero to pull the ideal 25sec shots I'm getting now, but then my beans are slightly old, and the burr of the Rocky might need to be replaced too

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks guys,

            Can’t access youtube from work. I will try to work on true zero tonight and go from there and let you guys know how I go.
            I was being lazy see if there is anyone in Brisbane that I could pop by with my machine for couple hours and learn it that way. :P
            okitoki – how did you find with the new V3 silvia steam wand upgrade. Any good?

            Comment


            • #7
              Sorry but mine is the V3 already so didnt change that. From what I gathered it would be the same as the older version except for the extra movement from the ball joint?

              If your steam wand has the 4 holes tip then maybe that is your problem? The single hole tip makes it really easy for a novice like me to do decent milk texturing.

              Otherwise its just practice and work on your technique.

              edit: noted that the Lucy comes with the 3 holes tip instead :P
              Last edited by okitoki; 19 June 2013, 06:33 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                just released my lucy only have 1 hole

                Comment


                • #9
                  changed the milk to a2 and now it works like charm

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I just PID'ed my Silvia using the Auber PreInfusion kit, which I got directly from them.

                    I will be completely honest, half the money is going to the instructions and effort to put together the kit, which is why they don't want people sharing them around!

                    That being said, I'm glad I went that way because it works absolutely wonderfully.

                    I'm pretty handy with electronics, only took me about 1.5 hours to fully do, I spent lots of extra time cable tying quite neatly (not enough cable ties were supplied with the kit either).

                    The PID is definitely a worthwhile upgrade IMO, all my coffees have been far far better once I got the new grinder dialed in too.

                    I also adjusted the OPV using the blind filter method as mine seemed VERY low (which it turned out it was), I do intend on getting a portafilter gauge to check it though.

                    Unfortunately for me, I changed lots of things at once, so I can't say for sure that any single change made my coffee better, but I'm very happy so far!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hi Snobs, Silvias/Lucys can be very temperamental if you don't quite know how to handle her right.
                      Before you look at going down the PID path, there is a lot you can do to improve consistency.

                      First, using a grind of up to 20 on Rocky sounds way too coarse.
                      Every Rocky will be slightly different by a few numbers, so this is why you need to find your machines true zero.
                      Without any beans in the grinder, keep on adjusting the grind downwards until you hear the burrs start to touch. This is your true zero point. On my own Rocky, I think this is about a 7 or 8.
                      From there you should go a few notches back up and then fine tune the grind. I grind on about 11 or 12 or so.

                      Second, some of your inconsistency could also be coming down to boiler temp.
                      Try and give your machine 30 minutes to warm up, and then temperature surf to make sure that you are at brew temp throughout the shot.
                      Before every shot on my Silvia, I run water through the brew head/filter into my coffee cup until the orange heating light switches on. I then grind and tamp and my timing ends up being ready to go about 5 seconds after the light has switched back off.
                      What you don't want to happen is to be pulling a shot mid way through a heat cycle so that your temperature drops too low and the heating element turns back on.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        "temperature surfing" works well , but it is really guessing the temp based on time and thermostat on/off points ( all unknowns in reality)
                        Note; ..a typical Silvia tcan have an boiler temperature range of 85 deg C to, 118 deg C as the thermostat cycles.
                        Its so much easier if you at least install a $5 digital temp readout with a probe attached to the boiler.
                        At least then you know what temperature your boiler is actually at when you pull the shot.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thanks guys,
                          After a few days of play around I think temp surfing works for me.
                          I takes about 15-20 mins for me to heat up the machine usually.
                          30 mins is usually too long and I don’t have much patience.
                          I found out that the zero is actually my true zero and the adjustment is at around 13-15 mark.

                          Recently I tried to change the shower screen but unable to turn the flathead screw.
                          Its very stuck. I didn’t want apply W40 as it will definitely change the taste of the coffee. LOL

                          Need help!!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by snobs View Post
                            Recently I tried to change the shower screen but unable to turn the flathead screw.
                            Its very stuck. I didn’t want apply W40 as it will definitely change the taste of the coffee. LOL

                            Need help!!
                            Given the difficulty of getting a big screwdriver to it, it may be easier to use a pliers and a coin, so you get enough leverage.

                            And back flush first, which should clear some of the crud.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Do those machines have the hex screw or just a plain flat head?

                              My v3 silvia has the hex screw and I couldn't remove it without a socket, with the screw driver it seemed like the screw was going to get damaged quite easily.

                              Comment

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