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Thread: Help would be appreciated

  1. #1
    Senior Member csutak40's Avatar
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    Help would be appreciated

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I have been thinking about asking this, but was too chicken. * :-[ *Then I discovered in one of the threads, a gentleman from Sydney had the same idea a while back. *He asked, and got a positive reply. *So, this gave me courage to try the same. *;D

    I was wondering if any Silvia/Rocky guru would be willing to give me some demo/lessons in both the making and the cleaning (both daily and periodical). *Oh, and some roasting while we were there. *I bought a popper and ordered an Imax. *Havenít tried yet, still have roasted beans left, but the more I read about 1st and 2nd cracks the more Iím convinced that I will never be able to do it, unless I can actually watch someone in action.

    I think I have the coffee making thing down to a reasonable level, but Iím sure I could do better if I could watch an expert do it. *I have been cleaning the group daily, with both the brush and wet paper towel, yet when I take the PF out the next morning; it has grounds stuck on the edges. *Obviously, Iím not doing the cleaning right. *One morning the filter was actually stuck in there!

    So, is there anyone in Melbourne that would be willing to give me a demo? *:P *It would really be appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Re: Help would be appreciated

    Judy,

    while someone from this group who is close by (to you) may be happy to help out, have you tried your vendor? This is the kind of "service" that the best traders will happily give you (although I doubt their service will stretch to showing how to roast some coffee in a popper *;) ) !

    Just a thought.

    Regardz,
    FC.


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    Re: Help would be appreciated

    Quote Originally Posted by Judy link=1133294106/0#0 date=1133294106
    Iwhen I take the PF out the next morning; it has grounds stuck on the edges. *Obviously, Iím not doing the cleaning right. *One morning the filter was actually stuck in there!
    Hi Judy. Could it be you are cleaning more of the shower screen and less of the group seal?
    Try scrunching the damp cloth so it inserts snuggly into the grove and run it around until no more black sooty material (old grounds) are visible.

    Also, I much prefer to leave the portafilter OFF the group. This saves wear and tear on the seal.

    Hope this helps
    Robusto

  4. #4
    Senior Member fatboy_1999's Avatar
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    Re: Help would be appreciated

    Judy,

    Im in the Eastern suburbs and youre welcome to come by on a weekend or evening for a demo.

    Im certainly not a guru, but Ive been using the Silvia/Rocky for over a year now and I can make some reasonable coffee.

    Send me a PM if interested.

    Brett.

  5. #5
    Senior Member csutak40's Avatar
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    Re: Help would be appreciated

    Quote Originally Posted by Fresh_Coffee link=1133294106/0#1 date=1133299982
    Judy,

    while someone from this group who is close by (to you) may be happy to help out, have you tried your vendor? This is the kind of "service" that the best traders will happily give you (although I doubt their service will stretch to showing how to roast some coffee in a popper *;) ) !

    Just a thought.

    Regardz,
    FC.
    I did, and he did, but doesnt seem very good at it *:P. *He made several shots, none of them came out very well - water was dripping out of sides, the puck was wet, etc. *He mumbled about must have used too much coffee, etc. *To make a long story short, dont have much confidence in his knowledge on how to use Silvia. (which would mean any machine, I suppose) *Shame really, I decided to buy from him (whereas I could have saved at least $140, had I gone directly to Moccopan - that was just the quote on the phone, and she said come and talk to us :-)) so that I could have local "after sales service" *:(

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    Re: Help would be appreciated

    Quote Originally Posted by robusto link=1133294106/0#2 date=1133303903
    Hi Judy. Could it be you are cleaning more of the shower screen and less of the group seal?
    Try scrunching the damp cloth so it inserts snuggly into the grove and run it around until no more black sooty material (old grounds) are visible.

    Also, I much prefer to leave the portafilter OFF the group. This saves wear and tear on the seal.
    Yep have to agree. Its suprising how much crap gets stuck up around the seal even after one shot.

    When Im done I always flush the group without the portafiller in to get rid of the big bits, then rinse the potrafiller and basket clean under the tap, insert the portafiller with basket and jiggle it around while I flush again. This seems to clear more out and then I finally wipe the screen and up in and around the seal with a wet cloth (and God help me if I happen to use the GOOD kitchen cloth ;D). This seems to get rid of it all except a few specks. Its a bit of arsing about but its kinda automatic now.

    Matt

  7. #7
    Senior Member csutak40's Avatar
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    Re: Help would be appreciated

    Quote Originally Posted by robusto link=1133294106/0#2 date=1133303903
    Judy. Could it be you are cleaning more of the shower screen and less of the group seal?
    Try scrunching the damp cloth so it inserts snuggly into the grove and run it around until no more black sooty material (old grounds) are visible.

    Also, I much prefer to leave the portafilter OFF the group. This saves wear and tear on the seal.

    Hope this helps
    Robusto
    I do do that with the brush and then with wet paper towel - obviously not well enough. * :( *Now Im wondering about the brush too, read here somewhere that it is too harsh on the rubber.

    Good advice about leaving the protafilter off, will do in future.

  8. #8
    Senior Member csutak40's Avatar
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    Re: Help would be appreciated

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt G link=1133294106/0#5 date=1133317387
    Yep have to agree. Its suprising how much crap gets stuck up around the seal even after one shot.

    When Im done I always flush the group without the portafiller in to get rid of the big bits, then rinse the potrafiller and basket clean under the tap, insert the portafiller with basket and jiggle it around while I flush again. This seems to clear more out and then I finally wipe the screen and up in and around the seal with a wet cloth (and God help me if I happen to use the GOOD kitchen cloth ;D). This seems to get rid of it all except a few specks. Its a bit of arsing about but its kinda automatic now.

    Matt
    I more or less do the same. Except for the putting the PF back and jiggle etc. Havent been doing that one :-) I use a paper towel instead of the cloth, because Im the person that does the screaming if the good kitchen cloth gets used ;D Must say, have done quite a bit of screaming at my self in the last week or so ;D

    But the last few days Ive even been peering up the group to see if Im missing any bits, looks all clean. ::) However, reading your post, maybe Im just too fussy? You did say that a few specks remain. I suppose you could call what I see the next morning a few specks ;D

  9. #9
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Help would be appreciated

    Hi Judy,

    I think you must be a bit fussy ;).... I do all the usual cleaning activities too but short of using a high pressure cleaner to get into the crevices of the gasket area and blast the remaining grounds away, there will always be a few that manage to stay behind. So long as you get 99% of whats there, should be ok. When you have to eventually replace the PF gasket, then that would be a good time to get in and scrub the bejesus out of it (no offence intended :) ).

    Regarding leaving the PF locked in place between coffee making sessions, Im with the other guys.... This will only accelerate the wear of the PF gasket and is not really a good idea. Better to leave the PF sitting upside down on the drip tray or where-ever after youre finished.

    Regarding using a kitchen cloth to wipe around the gasket area.... Have you seen those new-ish extra tough Chux Wipes that you get from the supermarket? They seem to be made from some kind of coarse weave material that is very tough.... you can even throw them into the washing machine once theyre beyond rinsing clean. I bought a packet about 12 months ago - 3 in a packet - and Ive still got one left to go. Theyre way too big on their own so I usually cut them in half and it works out to be pretty ideal. Worth a look :D. All the best,

    Mal.

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    Re: Help would be appreciated

    Agree, Mal, the Chux are ideal. Very cheap, disposable, and the weave is just right for removing the ubiquitous old coffee grounds. Also use them ---very wet---to wipe the steam wand after frothing milk.

    Ironically I am the one reluctant to scrap the old tattered wipe and pull out a new one from the pack, whereas my wife thoroughly encourages me to do it. (Different case with the sponge, though. She hates her nice bright yellow new ones being blackened with coffee muck overnight).

    Robusto

  11. #11
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Help would be appreciated

    Quote Originally Posted by robusto link=1133294106/0#9 date=1133353277
    Also use them ---very wet---to wipe the steam wand after frothing milk.
    Me too! 8-)

    Ironically I am the one reluctant to scrap the old tattered wipe and pull out a new one from the pack, whereas my wife thoroughly encourages me to do it. (Different case with the sponge, though. She hates her nice bright yellow new ones being blackened with coffee muck overnight).

    Robusto
    Yep, know that feeling only too well. Its amazing just how small a few well chosen words can make you feel.... just for a bit of cloth? ;)

    Mal.

  12. #12
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Re: Help would be appreciated

    I leave my PF in the grouphead between brews but not locked down tight. That way I figure it stays warm but is not wearing out the gasket from being locked down tight against it. I would assume that the gasket on my Cimbali is quite a bit beefier than the Silvias and I leave the Cimbali on all day once its turned on in the morning as it takes an hour or more to bring everything up to temp and reach equilibrium on it.

    If you dont leave the machine on between pulls theres really no reason to leave the PF in the grouphead and you can save wear and tear on the gasket by not leaving it locked in place.

    Java "Dreaming of a ceramic roaster" phile

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    Re: Help would be appreciated

    Another thing you can do with cleaning is the portafilter wiggle - youll need a blind filter basket, or backflush disk. replace the normal basket with the blind basket or insert the backflush disk, loosely insert the portafilter, hit the brew switch. Water will start to flow around the sides of the portafilter - wiggle it a bit (tight-loose-tight-loose), but not too much - it will clear 99.99% of the grinds off the shower screen and seal and all that.

    Its a good idea to put a bowl under the group - one that is widfe enough to catch all the dripping hot water, and its also a good idea to have a tea towel ready to wipe up any spills. BE REALLY CAREFUL DOING THIS - YOU CAN BURN YOURSELF IF YOURE NOT PAYING ATTENTION ... but it works really well!

    Or you could also read this how to guide: http://www.coffeegeek.com/guides/dirtygrouphead

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    Re: Help would be appreciated

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Gah! Cleaning! I probably spend more time cleaning than actually building drinks.

    Grounds in seal: I used to have a second portafilter, which I kept the blind filter in constantly. This was phenomenal because it only took about two seconds to do the portafilter wiggle. Now I dont do it nearly as often because futzing around with hot baskets and portafilters to swap the blind in really is the last straw. I now have a transparent lime green Pallo coffee tool (www.coffeetool.com) sitting on top of the machine that gets used after every shot to remove the crud that gets around the gasket. (Sidebar: when I told 2muchcoffeeman that Id won a coffee tool his response was "I thought you were a coffee tool." Good call)

    Portafilter: This thing is going to get dirty real quick, no matter what. A bottomless portafilter is probably worth it for cleanliness alone. But I often need to split a double into two macchiati, so I havent chopped my sole portafilter. Im using a basket at the moment that always has grounds left in it after the knock-out because it has a ridge to tell you how much you should, in theory, dose. PITA. I wipe it out with kitchen paper strips. I have started running water through the portafilter and into the cup to start my temperature surfing now. This flushes out a whole bunch of crap from the inside of the portafilter, whilst preheating the cup. A quick tip and wipe and were all good to go.

    Roasting: Im a newbie to roasting myself ... and I waited a good while before starting. This would be my advice to anyone - just use a consistent and fresh blend for at least a few months to learn how to actually get the best out of the machine before starting roasting.

    Demos: Might be an idea to pop over to one of the decent cafes in the city and ask if you can have a look at how they do it. Im sure that theyll say yes.

    Cheers,

    Luca



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