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Newbie - Silvia Coffee Problems

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  • Newbie - Silvia Coffee Problems

    Hi Everyone

    I seem to be having very inconsistent results with my Siliva. Ill go through the process and someone can hopefully let me know what Im doing wrong:

    1) Grind the beans at approximately 11 on my Sunbeam 4800 burr grinder directly into filter basket.

    2) Level off with back of knife

    3) Grind more coffee into filter basket.

    4) Tamp (with budget Silvia tamper whilst wating for my pullman tamper to arrive!!!) coffee down to line in filter basket. I do tamp quite hard.

    5) Attach filter to machine and turn pump on.

    6) The coffee usually takes about 8 seconds to start puring and is a very slow drip or trickle. Then it takes about 40 seconds for 30 mls and it has very limited to no crema.

    Im assuming that I am either:

    - tamping too hard;
    - or grinding to fine.

    What are everyones thoughts?

  • #2
    Re: Newbie - Silvia Coffee Problems


    Assuming your Silvia is is good working order, you are correct in suspecting the grind or tamp...I think you will get better results with a decent tamper, but in the meantime, try:

    backing off on your tamp pressure a bit and see if that improves the flow and crema...if not,
    try making your grind a degree or two coarser, and try the same...Im not sure how the numbers on your grinder relate to mine, but you can certainly experiment with these two variables...

    Oh, and make sure your coffee is fresh too.....




    • #3
      Re: Newbie - Silvia Coffee Problems

      Coffee is definately fresh as it was from my first roasted batch of Sumatran beans i received in the starter pack!!! They smelled fantastic this morning!!


      • #4
        Re: Newbie - Silvia Coffee Problems

        Another observation/suggestion,
        It looks like youre over-dosing the basket, try packing a bit less into the basket and see how you go.
        When Im grinding into the basket and I get to about 3/4 full, I give the portafilter a tap on the counter top to settle the grounds. I then continue grinding so that I get a slight mound in the basket, I then level off with the back of a knife and then tamp.
        Once you get your dosing consistent, then you can make adjustments to the grind to adjust the pour time.
        Hope this helps.


        • #5
          Re: Newbie - Silvia Coffee Problems

          You haven’t said how long your machine was running or if you have been temp. surfing.   My experience was that until the temp. thing is sorted results will be very inconsistent.
          Randy Glass has a blog and how to pages on just about everything to do with Silvia.

          I’m certain that you will find your solution here.

          Good luck


          • #6
            Re: Newbie - Silvia Coffee Problems

            I agree with what the other have said and suggested. Sounds like youve packed the PF too tight and are choking Silvia. To confirm this as the pump struggles to get a shot out, lift up the water tank lid and see if there is water being returned through the shorter of the two plastic water tubes. The long one is the water pick up, the shorter is the head bypass.

            Ill assume your pucks are knocking out like biscuits. This is what your after, combined with fresh beans, then really the only other variables are the temperature cycle (when to pull the shot) the grind size and how to pack the PF. Ill also assume youre not using the single basket (its a pain when youre starting out).

            If you grind too course, youll have to tamp harder, grind to fine and youll have to pack and tamp lighter. Bear in mind that by over filling the PF, when you lock it into position, the force you apply to the PF to get it in position is further compacting the grinds. Then when you pump water through it, the grinds are going to swell as the absorb the water. All this will choke the Silvia.

            Back off the tamp, try testing the pressure on the bathroom scales. If youre happy its not excessive, settle the grind in the PF by tapping a few times, then top up and tamp. You may have to grind a little more course.

            Any snobs near by to visit?

            Good Luck



            • #7
              Re: Newbie - Silvia Coffee Problems

              Hi Marxman,
              sorry its a bit late,
              But I had a time where it was taking about 8 seconds or more for water to come through, and two of the factors that can affect this are;
              - Not refilling boiler after last use, especially if you were steaming milk, or pulled a couple of shots, AND,
              - the steam wand will drip a bit while youre waiting for Silvia to stabilise, so I make sure the steam kknob is firmly OFF

              If either of these two possibilities done make any difference than next thing I would try is to change grind setting by one notch, aiming for approx 30 mls in about 25-30 seconds.