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Rancilio Silvia V3 & Compak K3 Touch

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  • Rancilio Silvia V3 & Compak K3 Touch

    Hi Guys,

    I purchased a Silvia V4 in December along with the K3 Touch. I was until that stage, a complete coffee making noob - As in, I had never brewed a shot until that point.

    The problem I am facing, is frustrating me to say the least.

    I am finding the Coffee I am making is tasting quite terrible!

    I have been reading/viewing videos/practicing for long enough now to understand somewhat the art of coffee. I use the term somewhat because I thinks its a life long learning experience that always throws up new challenges


    Here is some background:

    I buy fresh roasted and locally sourced beans
    I use the standard silvia double basket
    I temperature surf
    I have a Rancilio metal tamp (~$80)
    I weigh each dose
    I tamp evenly
    I try to remain consistent and change only one variable at a time
    I polish the tamp by spinning a few times (with no pressure) just to ensure the top of the puck is smooth
    I have played around with different grinds, and doses.
    I rinse my group head after every use
    I brush extra grinds from the shower screen after EVERY SHOT. Without fail.
    I'm always looking for around that 30ml range

    Some things I've tried:

    23g and coarser grind to yield my 30 second shot and down to;
    17g and much finer grind to yield the same shot times;
    and everything in between!

    The 23g shots have trouble locking the group handle into place, and produce a very noticable hex divet from the shower screen nut
    The 17g shots actually tamp below the ridge of the double basket, but not too low where the tamp hits the ridge and produces and uneven tamp

    I am pulling shots/cutting off between 25-30 seconds, depending on blonding for espresso's.

    I am pulling shots/cutting off around the 20 second mark for a long black, so trying to extract only the darker colours and taking away any chance of over extraction from the long black. I pour espresso over water.


    I am finding that my espresso's are actually enjoyable enough to drink.
    The problem I am finding is that every long black, tastes c*ap, really c*ap

    I have found, during my time that even when i change coffee beans, that they still all taste the SAME and leave a slightly lingering burnt-ish taste in my mouth. All coffee taste pretty well the same out of the machine, and has done so from the point at which i got a handle (well presumably so) on the grind/tamp/brew process

    For instance, I had a coffee at a new local I discovered and the Long Black was absolutely spectacular. It knocked my socks off if was that good. I recently purchased a KG of their beans, took them home, and (insert rasberry noise here) .... Crap. Same s*it taste.

    I have taken the shower screen off twice in 6 months, including taking off the gasket/seal. Cleaning all around the group head. Dipped the brass bits/shower screen/group head in some citric acid to clean it up all nicely. So maintenance is not an issue here, as I feel I look after Miss Silvia pretty well.

    Any advice on how I can improve the quality of my shot, specifically long blacks, and how can all my coffee's taste the same, and leave a "similar" taste in my mouth regardless of bean used. And also, am I aiming my sights too high. As in, SHOULD i be experiencing a cafe quality coffee from the equipment I have purchased, or will results always be mediocre at best....

    Looking forward to your vast knowledge CS'ers.

    Sorry for the long post, but i wanted to make it fairly clear what I've been up to, what I've tried etc.

    Regards,

    Chud

  • #2
    Hello Chud,
    Consistency with technique is the essential for effective coffee making,sounds like you're just about there however,have a go at grinding beans just fine enough to choke (cease flow) your Rancillio.
    Once choked flow is confirmed then try backing off (grind adjustment) just enough for flow to occur,see how you go with that.
    Have you heard of the technique using a five cent piece to correctly calibrate the ideal tamping pressure/gap,the idea is to (once tampted)achieve faint imprint to confirm the correct gap between shower screen and compressed coffee.
    Have a play with these options, might may be of some help,works for me anyway.
    Cheer's ,
    Mick.

    Comment


    • #3
      Do you water backflush and chemical backflush at all? Not sure If I saw any mention of that in your post. Could be what is causing this "when i change coffee beans, that they still all taste the SAME and leave a slightly lingering burnt-ish taste in my mouth."

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi Mike,

        Thanks I will try this and the 5 cent test and report back.

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi Kyeba,

          I knew I missed something on my list! I do a water backflush every 1-2 weeks and a chemical and say 4-6 week on average.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by chud View Post
            Hi Kyeba,

            I knew I missed something on my list! I do a water backflush every 1-2 weeks and a chemical and say 4-6 week on average.
            Nowhere near enough in my opinion. We recommend daily water and weekly chemical in domestic environments.

            Comment


            • #7
              "I buy fresh roasted and locally sourced beans"

              Can you tell us where your located and a little more about the beans your using Chud?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
                Nowhere near enough in my opinion. We recommend daily water and weekly chemical in domestic environments.
                Talk_coffee

                will make changes immediately. Appreciate the advice.

                Chud

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hi Yelta,

                  Qld, Gold coast.

                  I have used the following over the last few months.


                  1. Quest Coffee Roasters
                  2. Silipo Coffee
                  3. Amarillo fine food (Packaged and roasted by Silipo)
                  4. Supreme Roasters (Yatala)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by chud View Post
                    Hi Yelta,

                    Qld, Gold coast.

                    I have used the following over the last few months.


                    1. Quest Coffee Roasters
                    2. Silipo Coffee
                    3. Amarillo fine food (Packaged and roasted by Silipo)
                    4. Supreme Roasters (Yatala)
                    I'm in SA Chud, perhaps others can comment on the suppliers you mention, and perhaps suggest alternatives.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by chud View Post
                      Talk_coffee

                      will make changes immediately. Appreciate the advice.

                      Chud
                      Don't forget to remove the basket and soak the portafilter in back flush solution, gets pretty grotty under there if neglected.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hi Yelta,

                        yes i I did this last week. As well as a chemical backflush as well as disassembling the shower screen, clean and remove gasket and associated brass surrounds.

                        Chud

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hi Chud

                          i'm not sure how helpful this may be. Fairly informative theoretical explanation.
                          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-BT7-yOUMDM

                          Just keep trying and you will get there.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            What's hot water through the group and empty basket taste like?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Something to try - run through your usual routine without any changes, then before locking in the group handle, flush some water through the group for 5 seconds or so. Immediately lock in the group handle and pull your shot.
                              This will lower the temperature by a few degrees and you may notice less burnt flavours in the cup. It is possible when temp surfing you are pulling your shots at the upper end of the temp cycle (which is quite large in a Silvia).
                              Anyway, can't hurt to try.

                              Comment

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