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No Rancilio Silvia V3 consistancy!!
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Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > No Rancilio...  
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leeh1971
Senior Member


Joined: 20 Jan 2013
Posts: 9
Location: U.K
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Feb 14, 2013, 3:16pm
Subject: No Rancilio Silvia V3 consistancy!!
 

I've had my Rancilio Sylvia V3 2 month now, coupled with a Eureka Mignon grinder and i cannot get consistent results!!

I know I've fresh beans and I'm sure my equipment is in good order but i cant achieve consistency!? I grind fine and the machine chokes and spits out drops of black tar, so slowly dial down, tamping just the same and the coffee blonds and tastes weak? I'm starting to regret my purchases, (not cheap!!) i just never expected it to be so hit and miss and difficult to extract a decent shot?

Why is it so difficult. I did a lot of research before buying and looked up everything i could find on tamping, extracting etc. I'm not a quitter and enjoy a challenge, but i didn't expect this amount of trial and mainly error.

Any ideas??

Thanks Lee H.
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,007
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Thu Feb 14, 2013, 4:07pm
Subject: Re: No Rancilio Silvia V3 consistancy!!
 

You can help with a little more info.  You might read this if not already done.    Article 12 of "How To"   EASY GUIDE TO BETTER ESPRESSO AT HOME
 
http://www.espressomyespresso.com/

How much coffee are you putting in the basket?  What basket?

What is the actual roast to use time, not just "I know it's fresh?"  How many days?

What is the brew time and what is the brew volume?

What do you know about the temperature of the brew water?  Are you surfing to get the temperature?

How long of warm up time?

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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frcn
Senior Member
frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,394
Location: Northern California
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vibiemme Domobar Double
Grinder: Mazzer Kony, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Hario, 2 Cory pots, 1 Cory...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Bunn A10 mod...
Roaster: computer controlled Hottop,...
Posted Thu Feb 14, 2013, 5:32pm
Subject: Re: No Rancilio Silvia V3 consistancy!!
 

What he said ^   ;-)

Consistency with Silvia is not at all easy. Not with any of the single boiler designs like this, at least not in stock configuration. One of their weakest points is the brew thermostat which has a very wide deadband (the number of degrees between on and off). On my website, in the same area mentioned above, check time surfing and temp surfing. it's about all you can do without installing a PID.

The other item is to weigh your dose. An inexpensive scale that weighs to .1 grams is indispensable. A difference of .2 or .3 grams can make a huge difference.

EDIT: I will add this. Silvia has been proven to be able to deliver great consistency in terms of repeatability, IF it is properly controlled. In its stock state, when striving for consistency and "perfection," it is a challenge that will hold you to fairly tight parameters. But that's a good thing. It will challenge you mentally as you try to learn variables and the level of control you can perform. If you get hooked on that sort of challenge (as most of us have), and you decide to move up, whether it be PID'ing Silvia, going the "HX" route, dual boiler, or even a manual spring-lever machine, the skills you learn now, if you persevere, will serve you well. I used a Silvia for 6 years and it taught me a lot; humility not being the smallest lesson.

If you are in it for the long term and are ready to face the challenge, welcome.

 
Visit My Website
www.EspressoMyEspresso.com
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leeh1971
Senior Member


Joined: 20 Jan 2013
Posts: 9
Location: U.K
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Fri Feb 15, 2013, 6:33am
Subject: Re: No Rancilio Silvia V3 consistancy!!
 

Sorry, I should have been more specific. The roast date was 2 days before i received the beans!! honestly! I don't think you can beat that, superb seller on ebay and cheap. I'm confident it's not beans, i think i can rule out this variable....I know freshly roasted beans when i see and smell them.

I have been using the single basket, which i know is sometimes frowned on and people say you should use the double for all shots. But they should'nt supply it if it serves no purpose. I dont always feel like a double and i'm also mindful of the bean usage.

Brew time varies enormously, but its rather long and nearly always blondes, it often drips and occasionally spits, i never get that slow, thick constant flow? I think the dosing in the basket could be the main culprit, along with the clumping my grinder is prone to. I have a doseless Eureka Mignon, thats capable of grinding as fine as talc, this machine also has a time dial for the duration of the grind, which depends on how fine/coarse your grinding. I know when i've ground too fine because i get hardly anything and it chokes. During all this i have tamped consitentally at between 20 - 30 pounds with a proper flat steel Motta tamper.

I often leave the machine on all afternoon and rarely use for at least half an hour before swithching on. It's hard to know the exact temperature of the water while extracting, but the coffee, although often substandard is always the right temp for drinking immediately as it should be, just like espresso from any good cafe.

I have had a couple of shots that have come close to the sweet spot and tasted great, so i know the potential is there....It's just so difficult to repeat.

Thanks for the replies.
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JGG
Senior Member
JGG
Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 1,377
Location: Kentucky, US
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: PID Silvia; PID Alexia
Grinder: Mazzer SJ
Roaster: Hottop D w/HTC+TC4C
Posted Fri Feb 15, 2013, 6:44am
Subject: Re: No Rancilio Silvia V3 consistancy!!
 

leeh1971 Said:

I have been using the single basket, which i know is sometimes frowned on and people say you should use the double for all shots. But they should'nt supply it if it serves no purpose. I dont always feel like a double and i'm also mindful of the bean usage.

Posted February 15, 2013 link

Switch to doubles, at least until you've reached a level of consistency.  Singles are really tough.

Jim
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leeh1971
Senior Member


Joined: 20 Jan 2013
Posts: 9
Location: U.K
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Fri Feb 15, 2013, 6:48am
Subject: Re: No Rancilio Silvia V3 consistancy!!
 

I know. I'm guessing its something to do with the tapering design inside the basket? I suppose i could switch, i have to be honest when i make myself and my girlfiend one in the normal double basket it always extracts and tastes better.
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frcn
Senior Member
frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,394
Location: Northern California
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vibiemme Domobar Double
Grinder: Mazzer Kony, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Hario, 2 Cory pots, 1 Cory...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Bunn A10 mod...
Roaster: computer controlled Hottop,...
Posted Fri Feb 15, 2013, 8:15am
Subject: Re: No Rancilio Silvia V3 consistancy!!
 

The problem with singles is that you are dealing with half the volume of coffee and so the effect of any mistake in prep is (theoretically) doubled). It may not be a scientific or mathematically accurate statement, but you get the idea. Get good at making doubles, then transfer that knowledge to singles.

The problem is that when you pull a really great single, you'll wish it had been a double!   ;-P

 
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,007
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Fri Feb 15, 2013, 10:22am
Subject: Re: No Rancilio Silvia V3 consistancy!!
 

Have you looked at the cost of being "mindful of bean usage."  By now you may have figured about what a single or double is in weight or volume.  You get about 2 doubles per weighed oz of beans.  You get about 30 doubles per pound, and at $12/pound of beans, that is about 40 cents per double.  Half that for singles, but then take into acount the singles not enjoyed vs not finishing a double.  Doubles are so much easier to be consistent that it probably is most economical to do doubles unless you can reliably pull singles.  That was why I asked originally, and why we are all advising the same.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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takeshi
Senior Member
takeshi
Joined: 12 Oct 2002
Posts: 968
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Alex Duetto 3.0
Grinder: Super Jolly
Roaster: Amaya Roasting
Posted Fri Feb 15, 2013, 12:27pm
Subject: Re: No Rancilio Silvia V3 consistancy!!
 

I have been using the single basket
Already stated above several times but definitely use the double.  The advice has been used for years for good reason.

leeh1971 Said:

I think the dosing in the basket could be the main culprit, along with the clumping my grinder is prone to.

Posted February 15, 2013 link

So how are you ensuring consistency with your dosing?  Are you using any distribution work-around techniques to address clumping?

leeh1971 Said:

During all this i have tamped consitentally at between 20 - 30 pounds with a proper flat steel Motta tamper.

Posted February 15, 2013 link

Doesn't hurt but tamping is minor compared to everything else.

leeh1971 Said:

I'm starting to regret my purchases, (not cheap!!) i just never expected it to be so hit and miss and difficult to extract a decent shot?

Why is it so difficult. I did a lot of research

Posted February 14, 2013 link

Silvia's infamous for this.  I'm surprised that you didn't run across this in your research.  That said, consistency on your part can definitely overcome it.  Don't give up!
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,362
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Fri Feb 15, 2013, 1:03pm
Subject: Re: No Rancilio Silvia V3 consistancy!!
 

Like they said, go double, actually you yourself said it even taste better lol. Generally thats 1.5-2oz, which is what I and basically anyone I know would want, not the smaller amounts of a single basket which to even get 1oz to taste ok would be like finding a needle in a haystack. Singles were always pointless to me, way to hard to get down correctly and consistently. Which is basically why you rarely see anyone using them, especially on here. You can always adjust the grind on a double to pull more of a tighter ristretto type shot much much more easily then trying to futz around with a single if you wanted a smaller amount of coffee. Like mentioned too, get a .1 gram scale, the Silvia has a tight clearance too so whether double or single when locking in the pf before pulling a shot unlock and look at the puck, if indented then you have too much coffee dosed breaking the puck causing poor extraction.

And yeh w/o a PID the Silvia or any single boiler is a pain, temp surfing is your only choice unless you add a PID. PID is so worth it, accurate stable temp range, consistent, easily adjust to different degree's etc.
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