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Thread: Help getting a good shot!! Please!

  1. #1
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    Help getting a good shot!! Please!

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Having just spent two hours & probably half a kilo of coffee beans Im still no closer on my new (well secondhand!) silvia and iberital getting a good shot. Having wound the grind finer and finer Im still getting shots gushing out, blonding within 10 seconds and filling the cup in the 20 - 22 second range!! :(
    Am I on the right track in assuming the grind is still not fine enough? I worried about over & under dosing too, so I started weighing the coffee in the group head to make sure it was around 14g - double group handle. If the dose is right it has to be down to grind doesnt it??? Feeling Ive bitten off more than I can chew here - was relatively happy with my old cheapy machine?!?!? ::)

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    Re: Help getting a good shot!! Please!

    so these beans where did you get them?
    if they are old and stale................. they will be a big part of the issue


    if they are fresh, it is either grind, tamp or dose
    try dosing more 1st
    then a bit finer
    maybe a bit more weight on the tamp

    did you old machine have pressurized baskets (double floor)

    Leeham



  3. #3
    TC
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    Re: Help getting a good shot!! Please!

    Quote Originally Posted by 6F787E656F61626E6664687E0D0 link=1259624961/0#0 date=1259624961
    Having just spent two hours & probably half a kilo of coffee beans Im still no closer on my new (well secondhand!) silvia and iberital getting a good shot. *Having wound the grind finer and finer Im still getting shots gushing out, blonding within 10 seconds and filling the cup in the 20 - 22 second range!! * :(
    Am I on the right track in assuming the grind is still not fine enough? *I worried about over & under dosing too, so I started weighing the coffee in the group head to make sure it was around 14g - double group handle. *If the dose is right it has to be down to grind doesnt it??? *Feeling Ive bitten off more than I can chew here - was relatively happy with my old cheapy machine?!?!? ::) *
    Welcome ROC,

    To me it sounds like stale coffee or technique...

    Ensure that your coffee was roasted in the last fortnight. Also, if you are using the standard Silvia double (thimble) basket, ditch it for a deep double (14g) basket in which you will find you dose at more like 18g.

    Wax on, wax off ;)

    2mcm

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    Re: Help getting a good shot!! Please!

    New coffee fresh from Andy (what a waste so far!!!)
    Yes old machine had pressurised baskets - just learnt this! Thought I was such a good barista getting wonderful crema - what a let down!!
    Dosing more - by weight? Am I about right on the 14g mark? For half an hour or so Ive been turning the grinding knob every so slowly - now Im wrenching it half a rotation each time!!!! Anyway back to the machine - will try bigger dose. Pretty confident Im leaning on the tamp ok. Ill keep my eye on the posts while I test!! Non response means Ive fainted from lack of c :Daffeine for two days now!!!!!!

  5. #5
    A_M
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    Re: Help getting a good shot!! Please!

    Quote Originally Posted by 4F585E454F41424E4644485E2D0 link=1259624961/3#3 date=1259625511
    New coffee fresh from Andy (what a waste so far!!!)
    Yes old machine had pressurised baskets - just learnt this! *Thought I was such a good barista getting wonderful crema - what a let down!!
    Dosing more - by weight? *Am I about right on the 14g mark? *For half an hour or so Ive been turning the grinding knob every so slowly - now Im wrenching it half a rotation each time!!!! *Anyway back to the machine - will try bigger dose. *Pretty confident Im leaning on the tamp ok. *Ill keep my eye on the posts while I test!! *Non response means Ive fainted from lack of c :Daffeine for two days now!!!!!!
    Not a Sivila owner.. But only look at the weight afterwards to confirm / check.

    Dose level and tamp and grind..

    Ya puck, after a shot should be firm and reasonably dry with just an imprint of the shower screen..

    That will mean ya level is right and allowing teh coffee to expand...

    Then ya grind size and tamp will need to be adjusted, while always keeping an eye on teh dose level.

    Many have stated that teh Silvia requires a little effort to temp surf to get the best shots... Otherwise.. While cream bay be there... The shot may not taste the best...

    Do a full search of CS following this post.. http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1257241858

    You will find any number of like requests from other Silvia users.. And be able to see all the options and suggestions..

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    Re: Help getting a good shot!! Please!

    choke the silvia.......fine as you can on the grinder, so it chokes, then back off one click at a time, change only one variable, keep your tamp and dose the same, and back off on the grind, till you see that sweet drip drip drip pour.......

    let us know!

    cheers
    warren

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    Re: Help getting a good shot!! Please!

    well you have good coffee then :)

    as 2mcm said

    try dosing up (i dont weigh anything so no idea there)

    then i would go finer on the same tamp
    then even finer again and even less tamp (if possible on grinder)

    good luck

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    Re: Help getting a good shot!! Please!

    thanks people - went a whole heap finer & definitely slowed the pour down - still a way to go though!! Will keep persisting - now I feel more confident Im on the right track - was really worried about how fine I was going!! Also noticed after steaming milk for a coffee, the water spits and steams out of the group head when I flush it out before putting a new group handle of coffee in. IF I havent steamed milk, and I run water through the group head it just runs nicely through. What does this mean?

    One more thing - even with this machine I still should be getting that pause before the pour begins shouldnt I? Always thought that was a must - but to be honest dont know what that indicates? Im sure someone will tell me though!

  9. #9
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    Re: Help getting a good shot!! Please!

    Quote Originally Posted by 32252338323C3F333B393523500 link=1259624961/7#7 date=1259629320
    thanks people - went a whole heap finer & definitely slowed the pour down - still a way to go though!! *Will keep persisting - now I feel more confident Im on the right track - was really worried about how fine I was going!! * Also noticed after steaming milk for a coffee, the water spits and steams out of the group head when I flush it out before putting a new group handle of coffee in. IF I havent steamed milk, and I run water through the group head it just runs nicely through. * What does this mean? *

    One more thing - even with this machine I still should be getting that pause before the pour begins shouldnt I? *Always thought that was a must - but to be honest dont know what that indicates? *Im sure someone will tell me though! *
    As stated before.. Do a search and look for Temperature surfing etc Lots on it and using a Silvia..

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    Re: Help getting a good shot!! Please!

    http://www.sweetmarias.com/prod.rancilio.php

    has some stuff on surfing, and there is tonnes on youtube too, it is important, with a dead band of about 20C, its important to know when your shot is pouring.......

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    Re: Help getting a good shot!! Please!

    Hey RoC,

    This is the same as my mates setup - the first serious coffee gear I learnt to use! Keep at it - its a very good combo and should give you amazing coffee before too long.

    The Iberital fineness adjustment is what the call "micrometric" - meaning that you need to turn it about a MILLION times to make any adjustment to the grind. For reference, we used to have to turn the knob 20 to 30 complete turns to adjust between plunger (coarse) and espresso (fine). Does that give you a ballpark?

    As such, I suspect your main problem was just not grinding fine enough.

    You can weigh the amount of coffee youre putting in the basket if you like... but to be honest most of us simple fill the basket up as much as we can. Youll find your shots are better when your filling the basket (leaving enough room so you can still insert the group handle, of course!).

    Youre right, there should be a delay of maybe 3-5 seconds between flicking the brew switch and the first coffee appearing.

    If youre confused about the dual-purpose, single-boiler thing with the Silvia (ie. how the boiler is too hot from brewing after steaming and too cold for steaming after brewing...) I recommend finding a thread on this site which gives you the low down! Bottom line is, yes, you need to cool down after steaming (turn steam switch off, then flush water through the group until it stops spitting) and heat it up in order to steam milk (after brewing, flick the steam switch, wait until light turns off, spray the water out of the pipes and start steaming).

    Hope that helps,
    Cheers
    Stuart.

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    Re: Help getting a good shot!! Please!

    A technique you can use to temp surf - When you flick the brew switch and water spits and hisses we can assume you have an initial temp of about 209 F count down to about 3-4 sec and load your handle. Taste your shot. If it is flat and uniteresting, woody - try counting to 5-6 sec. If the shot then is too sourand underextracted *you may have gone too far. Its about finding that balance. Rule of thumb - increase in temp will increase body and sweetness up to a point . Decrease in temp will increase acidity (acids increase the sweetness of sugers= acidy) up to a point. Use as a general guide, as always there are exceptions.

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    Re: Help getting a good shot!! Please!

    Quote Originally Posted by 7D6A6C777D73707C74767A6C1F0 link=1259624961/7#7 date=1259629320
    Also noticed after steaming milk for a coffee, the water spits and steams out of the group head when I flush it out before putting a new group handle of coffee in. IF I havent steamed milk, and I run water through the group head it just runs nicely through. * What does this mean?
    Perfectly fine behaviour mate. *The others havent touched on it (and I think its important to) but the steam youve noticed after the milk texturing is left over steam build up in the boiler. *What you are doing is replacing the steam in the Boiler with water from the reservoir. *To attempt Temp Surfing without first doing this gives no clear starting point for getting the correct brew temperature.

    The only thing I do differently at this stage is to expel the steam out of the Steam Arm until no water is left and the element light comes on (Just my preference because I can contain any mess in a milk jug just for this purpose).

    I then commence the temp surfing process once the element light has switched off (indicating the water has been heated from room temperature).

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    Re: Help getting a good shot!! Please!


    Quote Originally Posted by 2B2C2D392A2C3F2A39362C580 link=1259624961/10#10 date=1259651221
    The Iberital fineness adjustment is what the call "micrometric" - meaning that you need to turn it about a MILLION times to make any adjustment to the grind. For reference, we used to have to turn the knob 20 to 30 complete turns to adjust between plunger (coarse) and espresso (fine). Does that give you a ballpark?
    Thank you sooo much for that info - not having adjusted a grinder before it was taking me forever and ever just a couple of mm at a time - this makes me feel much more confident at giving it a good turn ;D
    Quote Originally Posted by 12392B37580 link=1259624961/12#12 date=1259658129
    Perfectly fine behaviour mate. *The others havent touched on it (and I think its important to) but the steam youve noticed after the milk texturing is left over steam build up in the boiler. *What you are doing is replacing the steam in the Boiler with water from the reservoir. *To attempt Temp Surfing without first doing this gives no clear starting point for getting the correct brew temperature.

    The only thing I do differently at this stage is to expel the steam out of the Steam Arm until no water is left and the element light comes on (Just my preference because I can contain any mess in a milk jug just for this purpose).

    I then commence the temp surfing process once the element light has switched off (indicating the water has been heated from room temperature).
    Thank you for this info too - I will try again tomorrow
    .
    Quote Originally Posted by 2B2C2D392A2C3F2A39362C580 link=1259624961/10#10 date=1259651221
    You can weigh the amount of coffee youre putting in the basket if you like... but to be honest most of us simple fill the basket up as much as we can. Youll find your shots are better when your filling the basket (leaving enough room so you can still insert the group handle, of course!).
    When you say "most of us just fill the basket as much as we can" can you clarify how so if Im supposed to be aiming at getting the tamped coffee just on the indent inside the basket (hope you know what I mean?) Wouldnt over filling it just result in more wasted? I sort of aim to overfill the basket with a little mound - wipe off excess with a finger then tamp. But of course some mounds are more moundish than others!! :D ;D I fear Im getting a differing amount each time. Am I thinking this too much?!!
    Thanks once again for being willing to share so much helpful info with a novice!

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    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Help getting a good shot!! Please!

    The best way to get the dose right is to put a 5 cent piece on the grounds after tamping, lock in the handle, then unlock and look. If the 5 cents is lightly pressed into the coffee its perfect.

    Its actually about volume, not weight, and each roast and each bean will give differing volumes for the same weight, although by weighing youll usually get within a gram or so.

    Greg

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    Re: Help getting a good shot!! Please!

    Obviously one cant do that every time? So with a combination of practise, getting to know your group handle & the level of the tamped coffee by sight, this becomes easier with time, right?

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    Re: Help getting a good shot!! Please!

    Yeah it gets easier as you learn more.

    The Silvia has a dual purpose boiler, that means it does the water for the grouphead and the steam arm from the same boiler. a Hx machine has seperate paths for the grouphead and the steam arm, and a dual boiler machine has a seperate boiler for each.

    What does this mean for you?

    it means you can burn out your boiler element if you dont refill the boiler after steaming. To do this turn off the steam switch and run water through the group or use the hot water switch to run water out the steam arm. This will ensure your boiler if full and your element is safely under water.

    That one boiler has two thermostats, one for espresso temperature and one for steam temperature, obviously steam temp is hotter so you would get spitting and steam from the grouphead just after you have finished steaming.

    I think I usually counted to about 5 after I pressed the pump button before I saw espresso coming out the spouts.

    Hope that helps :)



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