FullyWashed Senior Member Joined: 22 Aug 2012 Posts: 2 Location: Cambridge Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Wed Aug 22, 2012, 1:06pm Subject: Silvia Advice
I recently bought a Ranvilio Silvia and a Rocky non-doser after a few years of serviceable espresso from a Dualit machine. I've read through quite a number of threads on here and the Cheating Miss Silvia article but am still seeking some advice I was hoping someone might be able to help me with.
For the first week or so, everything went smoothly. I was getting great espresso with a 25 second draw time. Then, overnight, this changed. Now, I get the normal 5 or so seconds after turning the pump switch on, an the next few seconds with the normal mouse tails. Then things seem to go a bit crazy and coffee suddenly rushes out, filling the cup in just a few seconds. The whole things takes less than 10 seconds. The puck seems a little muddy on the surface, although is dry elsewhere. It does seem to get grounds round the lip of the portafilter too.
The shower head is well cleaned of any loose grounds and I've backflushed and descaled. I'm prepared to concede it may be either my tamping or my grind although I don't feel either of these changed prior to the change in my coffee output.
My main concern is that there's a fault with the machine but I have no real way of knowing what to test or look for. I'm also not sure what I can try with the tamping or grind to try and change the situation.
Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.
emradguy Senior Member Joined: 31 Mar 2011 Posts: 3,684 Location: Houston Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2 Grinder: M Major, Macap M4, Pharos,... Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Wed Aug 22, 2012, 1:17pm Subject: Re: Silvia Advice
Let's assume for a moment that you're using fresh beans from a good source, and you've been storing them in an acceptable fashion...
Grind setting (difficult to fine tune with a Rocky - but not responsible for all your problems), distribution and overdosing are all likely in play here. Tamping, although important, is probably the least of your worries, but depending on how you do it, you may or may not be ruining any good you're doing with your distribution technique. The change you describe in your extraction midstream is likely due to channeling.
Do you weigh your pre-extracted shots? (0.1g resolution scale)
I highly recommend giving a good thorough read to Randy Glass's (frcn) easy guide to better espresso article on his website www.espressomyespresso.com. It's article 12 under "how-to" about mid-way down the right hand column. I'd be surprised if it doesn't help you improved your shots faster than about anything else short of a live tutor session.
Another option is to post a video of your technique and resulting shot, then wait for analysis from others here.
I doubt your Silvia is having any problems.
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