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Rancilio Silvia Problem after 1 week: Water flow too quickly
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Rancilio Silvia...  
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,146
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Tue Oct 23, 2012, 8:33am
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia Problem after 1 week: Water flow too quickly
 

+1 on several of the previous points...bean age, calibrate grinder, upgrade grinder (give Baratza a call and see what kind of deal they may offer you on an upgrade), Silvia is unlikely the culprit.

Also, stop twisting your tamper.  as Wayne (calblacksmith) pointed out, tamping is the least important part of the process, but still...you don't want to ruin the puck by tapping the side of the pf, or twisting the tamper.  Just give it a nice level pack and get on with the extraction...and do it the same every time.

Last advice (for the moment) is go to www.espressomyespresso.com and read the article "Easy guide to better espresso at home"  It's number 12, about midway down the right column under "How-To".

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


Joined: 22 Oct 2012
Posts: 7
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Oct 23, 2012, 8:52am
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia Problem after 1 week: Water flow too quickly
 

Here are the results:

My Virtuoso was nearly calibrated to its finest setting, it was one screw-hole away from the finest setting. So I made it as fine as possible.
I made two separate shots, one on grind '0' and one on grind '1'. I put 18 grams of coffee in both shots.
Neither shot came pouring out as before (awesome!!!). So it seems to be that the grind is my problem. The espresso ground at 1 was decent, but a bit watery and not full flavored/bodied. The shot ground at zero was much better, but still not quite perfect.

So it looks like it may be time to get a new grinder because I have no where to go but up when my grind setting is at '0'.

I have a couple of questions:
First, If I do decide to purchase a new grinder, what would you all recommend? (it doesn't necessarily have to be a Baratza, but I have been satisfied with my virtuoso to date.)
Second, do you all have a recommendation for a bigger double shot basket for the Silvia's portafilter, my basket maxes out at about 18 grams, after that I can no longer fit the portafilter in the brewhead.

Thanks
Saam
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,146
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Tue Oct 23, 2012, 9:02am
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia Problem after 1 week: Water flow too quickly
 

Grinder...there are too many to choose from, but here's a very short list of home grinders: Baratza Vario, Macap M4, Compak K3, Mazzer Mini.  Or you can go commercial?  How much space do you have?  How much money can you throw into it?  Are you willing to get a used one?

Baskets...VST or Strada (both are state of the art top quality, and manufactured similarly, but the VST baskets can be ordered by dose weight).  Many of us use naked/bottomless portafilters. They hold large baskets, but that's not why we use them.  They allow us to watch the shot.  This is good because 1) it allows you to know right away if there are problems with the extraction, and 2) it looks really cool!

Also, go read the article I mentioned above, it has a nice tool (called the "nickel test") for assessing whether you're dosing correctly.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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Markarian
Senior Member
Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 658
Location: Seattle Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ECM Technika IV Profi WT-WC
Grinder: Baratza Forte AP, HG One
Vac Pot: Bunn Trifecta MB
Drip: Moka, Aeropress, Hario V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Tue Oct 23, 2012, 12:17pm
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia Problem after 1 week: Water flow too quickly
 

Kyle at Baratza let me trade up to a Vario-W from my Virtuoso for the difference in refurb pricing. I had the same problem you did, walked in with my Virtuoso and said it was too difficult to dial in for espresso. He demoed the Vario-W on his GS3 for me and we drank a few shots. I was immediately sold and cut him a check on the spot. It was pretty reasonable, so please do call Baratza! They're customer service is beyond amazing.

If you can afford it, I would recommend the Vario-W, because you grind the same weight every single time. It takes one of the variables firmly out of the realm of guesswork and makes it so you don't have to worry about it. Plus its flat burrs are made by Mahlkonig and produce a very consistent grind without the clumps or "cubies" as I like to call them that come out of the Virtuoso.

At bare minimum, trade up to a refurb Preciso. It will probably cost you less than $100 out of pocket to do so when all is said and done. But if you can manage it, go for the Vario or Vario-W. Plus these two grinders let you calibrate with a special tool that doesn't involve opening the machine at all.

+1 for a naked portafilter. It's pretty much the standard badge of being an espresso geek. For most applications, such as making lattes, it actually functions better than the spouts and gives you a slightly more intact crema. But as they've said above, its main application is as a training tool so you can see if your shot is even (a nice, striped cone) or has more channeling than a TV Guide (pale, sputtering and all over the place).
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SaamJB
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Joined: 22 Oct 2012
Posts: 7
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Oct 23, 2012, 12:36pm
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia Problem after 1 week: Water flow too quickly
 

Ok. I will talk to the people at Bartza later today.

How crucial is it to purchase the vario over the preciso?
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,146
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Tue Oct 23, 2012, 1:04pm
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia Problem after 1 week: Water flow too quickly
 

not crucial.   Think of it this way, the Preciso is entry level (bare minimum), while the Vario is fantastic.  If you're like most of the people who visit this forum, you'll probably end up with another grinder a lot sooner if you get a Preciso, rather than a Vario.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,834
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Tue Oct 23, 2012, 2:19pm
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia Problem after 1 week: Water flow too quickly
 

Things also depend on if you drink other brew methods and how much money you have. A lot of the members have two or more grinders as we are rather "fussy" with our espresso and our espresso grinder settings so one grinder for espresso and another grinder for everything else.

If used commercial size is OK you can get some great deals, NS MDX, Rossi RR45 are fairly common in the used market and can be had for a few $, often for less than a Vario. Plan to replace the burrs though and they run in the ball park of $50 to $75.

The Vario was designed for use as both an espresso grinder and a multi use grinder with easy adjustment back and forth. It works in that role for a lot of people, the most GEEKY though, have AT LEAST two and sometimes many more grinders..... don't ask how I know :O

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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SaamJB
Senior Member


Joined: 22 Oct 2012
Posts: 7
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Oct 23, 2012, 6:06pm
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia Problem after 1 week: Water flow too quickly
 

Do you all have any experience purchasing a refurbished Baratza? If so, how has it worked out?
I am thinking of either purchasing a refurbished Vario for $360 or purchasing a new Preciso.
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,021
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Tue Oct 23, 2012, 6:21pm
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia Problem after 1 week: Water flow too quickly
 

I have the refurb Preciso.  It came with all of the latest improvements.  I use it for espresso grind only, so mostly changes of micro adjustment for bean aging, or if I change espresso brands.  I suppose the only real change is when I clean it, and then I set it back to where it was.  $239 + shipping was hard to beat.  I did not have the money for a Vario, but am quite happy with the Preciso.

I am actually on my second refurb. The first developed a motor or bearing problem and I was able to use it until the replacement came, with a return tag.  The same great service for refurb as new.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,834
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Wed Oct 24, 2012, 6:35am
Subject: Re: Rancilio Silvia Problem after 1 week: Water flow too quickly
 

SaamJB Said:

Do you all have any experience purchasing a refurbished Baratza? If so, how has it worked out?
I am thinking of either purchasing a refurbished Vario for $360 or purchasing a new Preciso.

Posted October 23, 2012 link

Baratza has outstanding customer service, a referb grinder can be trusted to be just as good as new operational wise though there MAY be a slight imperfection in finish but not normally from what I understand. We have seen a lot of people buy referb and nearly all have been very happy. No company can hit 100%, 100% of the time but they try very hard to do so.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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