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Constant 15 second Silvia shots
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Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > Constant 15...  
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numbers1thru9
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Joined: 2 Feb 2012
Posts: 9
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Thu Feb 2, 2012, 7:29pm
Subject: Constant 15 second Silvia shots
 

Hello all, I have been trying to find a forum to ask this and I cant believe I never found these before. First off I am new to making my own espresso shots but get the idea of what I should do. So heres the deal, I have the Silvia V3 with the Gaggia MDF grinder. Currently my grinder is on setting 3 (started around 4 after watching a video on WLL that recommended this range) and i grind beans to fill up the portafilter. I scrap off the excess and give a nice tamp to start, followed by a quick N, S, W, E pattern along the walls to ensure that it is sealing. I followed the video here on how to temp surf with the silvia and it seems that no matter what I change, grind setting, tamp pressure, temp surfing, anything, I have only gotten 1 good 25 second shot. The rest always seem to flow at 15 seconds... I cant figure it out and its driving me nuts because I have changed practically everything. I followed the exact procedure that got me the 25 second shot and pulled a 15 second shot... Im so confused. That is why im seeking the knowledge of all you espresso masters here in the land of coffeegeeks :) If anyone can help me figure out what Im doing wrong it would be seriously appreciated! Thanks in advance!

--Ryan
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diggi
Senior Member
diggi
Joined: 28 Nov 2011
Posts: 383
Location: Halifax, NS
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Spaz vivaldi S1 V2
Grinder: B Vario, OE LIDO
Drip: Chemex, Espro Press,...
Roaster: Poppery I
Posted Thu Feb 2, 2012, 7:52pm
Subject: Re: Constant 15 second Silvia shots
 

You've done a good job explaining your equipment and technique but not your beans.....so I suspect they are the problem.

You should be using good quality artisan roasted beans with ROAST DATE no older than 15 days, not date from opening bag.  What are you using for beans?
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numbers1thru9
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Feb 2012
Posts: 9
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Thu Feb 2, 2012, 7:55pm
Subject: Re: Constant 15 second Silvia shots
 

I am switching between lavazza super crema and intelligencia black cat. The lavazza came with the machine and so Im trying to perfect with that before I use all my black cat haha. Using either bean produces same results.
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diggi
Senior Member
diggi
Joined: 28 Nov 2011
Posts: 383
Location: Halifax, NS
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Spaz vivaldi S1 V2
Grinder: B Vario, OE LIDO
Drip: Chemex, Espro Press,...
Roaster: Poppery I
Posted Thu Feb 2, 2012, 8:00pm
Subject: Re: Constant 15 second Silvia shots
 

So the lavazza are likely too old.  The roast date on the black cat still within 15days?.....  If so, grind finer.  

Another variable you left out is the dose of beans in your portafilter.  You are dosing by volume, which if fine, but has some variability.  You could try by weight.  A double is by definition 14g, but many find updosing of benefit.  I use 18g.  This would also decrease your shot time......but I still think it is your beans :)
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numbers1thru9
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Feb 2012
Posts: 9
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Thu Feb 2, 2012, 8:06pm
Subject: Re: Constant 15 second Silvia shots
 

Tried that as well. I dont have a scale but using a 7g scoop im assuming im getting pretty close to 14g, which is less that how much is in the filter when i fill it to the top and scrape off to level it out. If I werent getting consistent 15 second shots with both beans I would be more inclined to believe the beans are the major fault causing it. Any other ideas to try? As I said I did get a 25 second shot just 2 days ago with setting 3 on my grinder but havent gotten it since.
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diggi
Senior Member
diggi
Joined: 28 Nov 2011
Posts: 383
Location: Halifax, NS
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Spaz vivaldi S1 V2
Grinder: B Vario, OE LIDO
Drip: Chemex, Espro Press,...
Roaster: Poppery I
Posted Thu Feb 2, 2012, 8:08pm
Subject: Re: Constant 15 second Silvia shots
 

What is the roast date???????!!!!!! It should be on the bag.
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numbers1thru9
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Feb 2012
Posts: 9
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Thu Feb 2, 2012, 8:13pm
Subject: Re: Constant 15 second Silvia shots
 

No date on the lavazza, just an expiration date, 1/19 on the blackcat
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diggi
Senior Member
diggi
Joined: 28 Nov 2011
Posts: 383
Location: Halifax, NS
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Spaz vivaldi S1 V2
Grinder: B Vario, OE LIDO
Drip: Chemex, Espro Press,...
Roaster: Poppery I
Posted Thu Feb 2, 2012, 8:18pm
Subject: Re: Constant 15 second Silvia shots
 

numbers1thru9 Said:

No date on the lavazza, just an expiration date, 1/19 on the blackcat

Posted February 2, 2012 link

Someone else will chime in here soon with another angle.  But:
  1. Ditch the lavazza; use the black cat
  2. Grind finer
  3. Updose your basket. Rather than using flat edge to level, you can tap your portafilter on the grinder forks when it is ~1/2 full to help settle the grounds and let you fit more in the basket, and/or use your finger to level (that sort of packs the grounds down  a bit rather than just scraping off the top to again, fit more in basket).

you could be getting some channeling as well, but would only know that for sure with naked portafilter, which I suspect you don't have.  Some people may take issue with your tamping technique (but others wouldn't).  Could tamp straight down 30lbs pressure.  Some use a slight twist/polish at end.  other's say it isn't needed.  But this may help with channeling; with the NESW tamp you may be disturbing the grounds on the sides of the basket if uneven tamp, and probably just increase this risk each time you tamp.....but others wouldn't aggree with this. Could try different technique anyway and see if it makes a difference.
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numbers1thru9
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Feb 2012
Posts: 9
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Thu Feb 2, 2012, 8:24pm
Subject: Re: Constant 15 second Silvia shots
 

actually, tonight was the first time I did the N S W E method as I was thinking that maybe I wasnt getting a seal on the grounds at the edge of the filter.
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diggi
Senior Member
diggi
Joined: 28 Nov 2011
Posts: 383
Location: Halifax, NS
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Spaz vivaldi S1 V2
Grinder: B Vario, OE LIDO
Drip: Chemex, Espro Press,...
Roaster: Poppery I
Posted Thu Feb 2, 2012, 8:26pm
Subject: Re: Constant 15 second Silvia shots
 

Could post a video of extraction but also prep stages and see if that helps identify the problem....
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