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Rancilio Silvia V4 - what is the verdict?

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  • SilentBoB
    replied
    The Silvia is a great little machine. They aren't that hard to use and all the little quirks like temp surfing become part of your morning ritual. The only time it becomes a bit annoying is when you have people over and are making multiple coffees.

    I'd still be using my Silvia if I hadn't started getting rust problems (due to user neglect). I was getting ready to fix it up when a great deal came up another machine I couldn't pass up.

    The Silvia is still in the house... just unused waiting for the day it gets called into action as a back up if the other machine fails

    I really should fix her up though and sell her off to a good home. Seems wrong having it sitting there unused...

    Leave a comment:


  • readeral
    replied
    Haha Snap Artman

    Leave a comment:


  • readeral
    replied
    I learned on a Silvia. It's not. All the stuff people go on about you won't care about for weeks. By the time you need to worry the machine will feel natural enough to you. Mal (Dimal) often suggests people look at the Lelit - if you don't go Silvia, go Lelit.

    Leave a comment:


  • artman
    replied
    Don't let the temp surfing ritual scare put you off. Think of it as stage two in your journey. I have a nemox (similar to lelit) single boiler and have never bothered to surf the temps, and it makes a ripper brew. Sure the temp surfing probably takes the shots up another notch but it's not mandatory.

    Have a look at the lelit machines also.

    Cheers

    Leave a comment:


  • Rexxyboy
    replied
    Here i am looking to buy my first espresso, a Sylvia or a Gaggia Classic, as as per usual, the Sylvia threads are killing me.. all seems pretty damn hard to use.

    Leave a comment:


  • koshari
    replied
    Originally posted by acid_rider View Post

    Have I understood the method correctly?
    i think you have just had whats commonly referred to as a "Eureka Moment".

    Leave a comment:


  • acid_rider
    replied
    Originally posted by koshari View Post
    What he is saying is that if you pull a shot on the up the boiler is in the on state and will stay on until the cutout temp is reached as opposed to pulling on the off state which means the temp will decay faster on the shot.

    I think you may be overcomplicating the concept a little. Me I just PID instead.
    Thanks, i think i understand it now,
    Given it takes ~45 seconds for the light to go from ON (i.e. heating) to OFF (finished heating), if I start the extraction/shot while the light is still just ON but getting *close* to OFF, i.e. perhaps at 40 seconds mark from the ON state, then the heating process will likely to continue throughout the extraction (which will take about 30 seconds).

    Have I understood the method correctly?

    Leave a comment:


  • koshari
    replied
    Rancilio Silvia V4 - what is the verdict?

    What he is saying is that if you pull a shot on the up the boiler is in the on state and will stay on until the cutout temp is reached as opposed to pulling on the off state which means the temp will decay faster on the shot.

    I think you may be overcomplicating the concept a little. Me I just PID instead.

    Leave a comment:


  • acid_rider
    replied
    Originally posted by Dimal View Post
    Ah well, forget it mate....

    Like I said, you don't start timing after the light goes out, but when it comes on...

    Mal.
    Hi Dimal (and others)

    I tried the timing trick you recommended over the last 3-4 days on my Silvia V3 (with V4 boiler element).
    In my case after a ~20 min warm up, after I purge the water so the heating light comes on, it takes about ~40-45 seconds until the light goes off i.e. "heated and ready".

    So waiting 60 seconds (as in a point 5 in your post) from the time the light comes ON means same as waiting ~15 seconds after the light goes OFF (60s-45s=15s).

    Have I understood you correctly?

    thanks

    Leave a comment:


  • Dimal
    replied
    Ah well, forget it mate....

    Like I said, you don't start timing after the light goes out, but when it comes on...

    Mal.

    Leave a comment:


  • acid_rider
    replied
    Originally posted by Dimal View Post
    You're missing the point mate, I'm afraid....

    You don't wait for the light to go Off at all. You start timing the moment the light comes On, and then pull your shot somewhere between 40-60 seconds after that, ie while the heating element is still On so that fresh incoming water is being heated immediately, rather than when the whole heating cycle starts up again. The whole idea is to avoid the thermostat hysteresis part way through pulling a shot. This method maintains a more stable shot temperature throughout the entire pour, it's just a matter of when you start pulling the shot after the Boiler Light comes On...

    That is what the procedure from Sweet Maria's (above) is attempting to explain...

    Mal.
    I think there is misunderstanding here.

    Let me quote your Point 5.

    "After 1 minute has elapsed*, start your shot. Watch your timer for proper extraction time (I shoot for 20-25 seconds). Folks have experimented with varying times; 20, 30, 40, 50 seconds. I like 1 minute after the boiler light has come on, but almost everyone else seems to prefer 40+ seconds.The boiler light should go on for 1 minute to 1:30, so you can also do this without a timer by simply starting the shot as soon as the boiler goes off. *Note - I used to use a shorter interval, but after a lot of testing I like a longer 1 minute +, which according to my thermocouple allows the water to get up to true espresso extraction temperature.""

    In above statement - note the following line:

    "...so you can also do this without a timer by simply starting the shot as soon as the boiler goes off...."

    This is what I do, I start the extraction either immediately or perhaps ~5 seconds after the boiler goes off.

    It seems that you are suggesting that I could start the extraction a little earlier, while the orange light is still on and hence still heating up the water.

    Interesting thought, I have not tried it, it seems to run against my logic, i.e. the ideal temperature has not been reached yet....
    hmmm, interesting.

    Leave a comment:


  • Dragunov21
    replied
    Originally posted by Darren_Cook View Post
    Dragunov21, Im interested in the PID kit for 40 bucks. Searched ebay but couldn't see it.
    Any chance you could provide a link please?
    I can't, as per site rules. The model you want is D1S-VR-220 (Sestos). Input that model number (or item number 221390899076) and you should find a PID + SSR + K-Type thermocouple kit for 40-50 bucks.

    Be aware that there's a bit of DIY involved (for instance, you need to remove the threaded stainless steel housing from the tip of the thermocouple, drill a hole through the center of a brass M4 standoff and mount the bare TC bead in thermal grease in the standoff). Read the write-up here to see what you might be getting yourself into.

    Leave a comment:


  • Dimal
    replied
    You're missing the point mate, I'm afraid....

    You don't wait for the light to go Off at all. You start timing the moment the light comes On, and then pull your shot somewhere between 40-60 seconds after that, ie while the heating element is still On so that fresh incoming water is being heated immediately, rather than when the whole heating cycle starts up again. The whole idea is to avoid the thermostat hysteresis part way through pulling a shot. This method maintains a more stable shot temperature throughout the entire pour, it's just a matter of when you start pulling the shot after the Boiler Light comes On...

    That is what the procedure from Sweet Maria's (above) is attempting to explain...

    Mal.

    Leave a comment:


  • acid_rider
    replied
    Originally posted by Dimal View Post
    Actually....

    What you guys are doing seems to be at odds with what all the long-time Silvia owners (and other Dual Purpose Single Boiler Machines) were doing regarding Temp.Surfing, from years ago, and makes a lot more sense to me. Rather than repeat what my procedure used to be at the time, here's an excerpt from a Sweet Maria's "How-To" which explains it all pretty clearly...

    From Sweet Maria's Website...

    1. Turn on the machine and let it get to full temperature. (Make sure water tank is full! always leave it full from the previous session) Put the coffeehandle in the brew head to heat it up during this time. My machine takes about 20 minutes to get really hot, so that touching the bottom of the coffee handle (the spouts where the coffee comes out) is uncomfortable!
    2. Now, grind your espresso, dose it, tamp it, and load the coffee handle in the group head.
    3. With a receptable under the steam wand, open the steam wand valve and flip the Hot Water switch. I have a 1 quart Mason Jar I leave under the wand permenantly.
    4. When the orange light on the front comes on (meaning the boiler is starting its heat cycle), Do the following: start your timer, turn off the Hot Water switch, close the steam valve.
    5. After 1 minute has elapsed*, start your shot. Watch your timer for proper extraction time (I shoot for 20-25 seconds). Folks have experimented with varying times; 20, 30, 50, 50 seconds. I like 1 minute after the boiler light has come on, but almost everyone else seems to prefer 40+ seconds.The boiler light should go on for 1 minute to 1:30, so you can also do this without a timer by simply starting the shot as soon as the boiler goes off. *Note - I used to use a shorter interval, but after a lot of testing I like a longer 1 minute +, which according to my thermocouple allows the water to get up to true espresso extraction temperature.

    Pretty sure that if you try this method as described, things will work out a lot better...

    Mal.
    This is virtually identical to my practice - i just dont use the steam wand at all - it seem pointless in a single boiler machine like Silvia to use wand in espresso making process
    (I dont ever steam milk).

    i just open the main brew switch to let the water out to bring the heating light on, after the initial 15-20 min warm up period.
    Once the heating light is on i wait for it to go off - then I tried the waiting periods of: 120 sec, 90 sec, 60 sec, 30 sec and 15 sec.
    In all of these cases I was not satisfied with my Silvia double shot - the best was 15 seconds wait and even this was only just good enough, not great.
    Now with 5 seconds wait I get much better results and to be honest i cant see much difference in espresso quality between 5 seconds wait and 1 second wait.
    I still think that Silvia (without PID) loses the water temp too quickly during espresso extraction so any wait time prior wont get you anything.

    Leave a comment:


  • JojoS
    replied
    "2. Now, grind your espresso, dose it, tamp it, and load the coffee handle in the group head."

    Shouldn't the time between doing No. 2 and pulling the shot be kept to a minimum? No. 3 to 5 appears to be quite a long time.

    Leave a comment:

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