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Espresso: Espresso Machines
Preparing a used machine for use
Rancilio Silvia - How to
Step by step guide for easy brewing and steaming with the Rancilio Silvia
www.seattlecoffeegear.com
 
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ethom
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Nov 2012
Posts: 65
Location: Pittsburgh
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: NS Oscar, Silvia broken :o(
Grinder: Vario
Drip: Bosch
Posted Fri Nov 30, 2012, 9:49am
Subject: Re: Preparing a used machine for use
 

No spray when removing the portafilter.  All is well.

I gave Silvia a good cleaning last night back flush, descaling, brew head, and good wipe down.  Seattle Coffee Gear has a collection of videos specifically for the Rancilio Silvia that I found helpful:
Click Here (www.seattlecoffeegear.com)

I can already see and taste an improvement - more even flow, less bitter, better crema and still with my old Braun grinder.  The Vario is somewhere between Seattle and Pittsburgh and I'm dying to see the difference.

For maintenance, I now know a blind filter basket is needed and found one on Amazon:
Click Here (www.amazon.com)  

Im a complete noob at steaming.  Will a thermometer help or is it just a matter of practice?  If needed, is this one OK?
Click Here (www.amazon.com)

Other goodies: I may need a new tamper; mine might be a couple mm too small.  Or am I being too anal at this point?  Right now I have a cheap double ended cast alloy one with small and large ends.  What is a decent budget tamper or do I already have it?  
Click Here (www.amazon.com)

Also, I notice a lot people using a shot glass; I suppose to easily measure and time shots.  Is there a particular type for this or is a regular liquor shot glass fine?  The top would have to be wide enough to catch both spouts.
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,726
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 Fri Nov 30, 2012, 11:22am
Subject: Re: Preparing a used machine for use
 

Congrats on getting her up and running.
Your new grinder really will improve the ease and consistency, nice choice of grinder.

Thermometer for steaming.
I use one. My personal feeling is that there is a bit of a disconnect when it come to steaming and geeks.

For everything else, we weigh, measure, time and obsess over the smallest detail yet when it comes to steaming the milk, the advice is to steam until the pitcher feels warm then stop when hot. REALLY?

I use a digital NSF thermometer made by Tailor I think. It is fast acting and does what I need it to do. There will be people who say that the steaming is an art and you don't need a thermometer. They may be correct but I guess, I am not that good so I just use a thermometer. Breaking the word down Thermo=heat,  meter= a way to measure. Measuring the heat makes sense to me YMMV!

With a semi auto machine, you need to measure the volume for the shot but not to the point of volume over quality. It is used as a tool to make sure you have the correct volume in the correct time, nothing more or less. Again though, the taste of the shot and if it blonds is much more important than the time or the volume. Use them to get you in the ball park.

Yes any device that measures in oz or ml is fine, snag them from the bar or buy a new one at the store, all the same. I have a angle view 4oz measuring cup that I take with me or keep on my machine to keep things honest. One spout or two, two measuring devices or one, your call. The one I use is this. It is accurate and easy to read, plus you get to see "inside" the shots and that can't be a bad thing!
Click Here (www.bedbathandbeyond.com)

 
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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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,005
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Fri Nov 30, 2012, 11:43am
Subject: Re: Preparing a used machine for use
 

ethom Said:

Also, I notice a lot people using a shot glass; I suppose to easily measure and time shots.  Is there a particular type for this or is a regular liquor shot glass fine?  The top would have to be wide enough to catch both spouts.

Posted November 30, 2012 link

I like this 4 oz shot glass as it fits under the Gaggia PF, double spout off, and is large enough to hold a double of mostly crema before if settles.  Also Partsshipfree!

http://www.espressoparts.com/EPMEAS?&search_id=1956343

I believe that it is wide enough to catch both spouts, but I took mine off to make more room under the PF.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,023
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Fri Nov 30, 2012, 12:10pm
Subject: Re: Preparing a used machine for use
 

I use a thermometer but I can do it without one.  Remember there is an offset of 10-20 degrees or more depending on how much steam power you have and the amount of milk make the offset more.  So stop early.  Right now with 4 oz of milk with full steam I am stopping at 100-105 and it is getting to the 150 range after I stop.

I spent 30$ on a nameless tamper.  I will probably get one more VST basket and the tamper for it since that is all I am using.  And this is the shot glass I am using.

Click Here (www.chriscoffee.com)
Click Here (www.chriscoffee.com)

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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