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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
 

Hello All,

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.
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 2,736
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, 2 Macap M4s, OE...
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.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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FullyWashed
Senior Member


Joined: 22 Aug 2012
Posts: 2
Location: Cambridge
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Aug 22, 2012, 1:26pm
Subject: Re: Silvia Advice
 

Thanks for the advice - I'll check out that site.

I don't currently weigh out my shots but have been considering getting a set of digital scales.  I think your response has added extra impetus to this.

By channeling, do you mean channels in the coffee open up so the extraction stops being even and water rushes through the channels?
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,213
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Wed Aug 22, 2012, 1:35pm
Subject: Re: Silvia Advice
 

FullyWashed Said:

Thanks for the advice - I'll check out that site.

I don't currently weigh out my shots but have been considering getting a set of digital scales.  I think your response has added extra impetus to this.

By channeling, do you mean channels in the coffee open up so the extraction stops being even and water rushes through the channels?

Posted August 22, 2012 link

Pretty much, when you take the PF out look at the puck, you may even notice pin-prick type holes in the puck.
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