HomeRoast Digest


Topic: My New Solis Master 5000 (5 msgs / 297 lines)
1) From: Larry Furr
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
This is my first post as I’ve been in lurk mode now for about 2 years
reaping the benefits of all the great tips and information provided by you
“regulars”. I feel I owe all of you a shot or two. My main machine is Silvia
with a Rocky grinder and I have been interested in the SM5K and after
reading such great things about it on most all discussion boards, I decided
to take the plunge and purchased one from SM this past week.
In looking back on some archived posts, it seems that I have received one of
the old models as mine does not have the ounce markings on the volume
display. Only the 3 different size cup markings with 1 dot between each cup
indicator. The knob rotates way beyond the last indicator making it
difficult to remember the larger cup settings and settings in between the
cup indicators. This is a minor problem that I can deal with.
Now for the larger problem. I’m getting very inconsistent pulls from this
machine. Sometimes I can get a couple of good back to back pulls and then I
get a very bitter pull (volume set middle cup & grind set at 8 with Monkey
espresso blend). Further inspection revealed that very wet grounds or goo is
sticking to the tamper screen and the puck box is mostly full of goo with a
semi-solid puck here and there. There is also a large amount of goo on the
chute that goes into the puck box. Is this normal and are non-solid pucks
the result of some kind of problem? Looking at the pucks in the picture on
the product description page, the pucks look very solid and there is no
water present in the box. I have removed the brew mechanism and washed and
cleaned it making sure there was no moisture in the chamber screen or the
tamper screen when reinstalling. The problem still occurs. The other problem
with this scenario is disposal. Since there is mostly goo with water
standing in the puck box, it is a pain to get most of this stuff into the
garbage. The rest has to go down the drain which I don’t think will be a
good thing over time.
Can anyone tell me if what I am experiencing may have been a known issue
that was corrected in newer machines? I don’t mind having an older machine
if they are the same excepting for cosmetics. But if the design or parts
have been changed to deal with problems the older machines might have been
having, then that might be different if I can’t overcome that problem.
In any event, the good pulls are just as everyone has described. The café
cremas are very good and my wife really likes those. If it were just more
consistent….
Thanks!
Larry
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2) From: Wandering Curmudgeon
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3) From: Rick Farris
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Larry,
 
I am surprised that you’re using espresso roasted coffee in your Solis =
5K.
Espresso is not its best trick; rather it is Café Crème.  I’ve =
tried some
Starbucks Columbian under duress, which is pretty dark, but it certainly =
is
not espresso roasted.  If you ever measure the temperature at brewing,
you’ll see that it is at about 180°, which is quite cool for =
espresso.  I
would be very surprised that it consistently brews well with espresso =
roast.
 
My Solis, which is about three years old, has 1-, 3-, 5- and 9- oz =
labels on
the volume knob.  In between each of the oz labels are coffee-cup icons.
 
In addition I don’t move the volume knob all that much.  I’ve found =
that
normal-roasted beans are always somewhere between 4-oz and 7-oz to my =
taste,
so it never gets very far from a narrow setting.
 
One of the tricks that Charlie taught me was that the grinder knob, =
inside
the bean hopper should be set to the same number as the number of ounces
you’re brewing.  For instance, at my usual 5-ozs, I put the grinder at =
5.
If I ever got as high as 9-ozs, I’d adjust it to 9.
 
I suspect that if you got the right green, the right roast-level, the =
right
water, the volume knob set to 5-ozs and the grinder set to 5 that =
you’d find
a very tasty beverage.  Of that list I’d say that the 5-ozs and =
5-grinder
would be the most important.  Oh, and *not* espresso roast.
 
If your plan is, instead, to figure out how to make the SM5K to turn out
your previous favorite beverage, well, you may not be all that happy.
 
 
-- Rick
 
P.S. One minor thing to consider is that if you snake a thermocouple =
into
the bean hopper you’ll find out that after the machine is a few hours =
warmed
up, the bean hopper gets warm.  Personally, I feel that keeping the =
beans
warm doesn’t make the best grinding.  I usually load in a few =
tablespoons of
beans – just enough to get me through breakfast, say – and then =
leave it
empty until I plan to use it again.
[RF]  
From: Larry Furr
Now for the larger problem. I’m getting very inconsistent pulls from =
this
machine. 
 

4) From: miKe mcKoffee
Rick I'm somewhat surprised by your post. What is "espresso roasted 
coffee"?(not) For years I've been taught, especially by members of this 
list, that espresso is a brewing method not a roast. Of course it gets 
rather humorous trying to figure out how to roast coffee beans with Miss 
Silvia!-)
Excellent SM5k use "how to" however.
Kona Kurmudgeon miKe mcKoffee
3rd Annual Pacific Northwest Sweet Maria's Home Roasters Gathering infohttp://mdmint.home.comcast.net/coffee/Rosto_mod.htmFrom: "Rick Farris" ">http://mdmint.home.comcast.net/pnwgIII.htmURL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://mdmint.home.comcast.net/coffee/Rosto_mod.htmFrom: "Rick Farris" 
Sent: Sunday, June 12, 2005 11:40 AM
Larry,
I am surprised that you're using espresso roasted coffee in your Solis 5K.
Espresso is not its best trick; rather it is Café Crème.  I've tried some
Starbucks Columbian under duress, which is pretty dark, but it certainly is
not espresso roasted.  If you ever measure the temperature at brewing,
you'll see that it is at about 180°, which is quite cool for espresso.  I
would be very surprised that it consistently brews well with espresso roast.
My Solis, which is about three years old, has 1-, 3-, 5- and 9- oz labels on
the volume knob.  In between each of the oz labels are coffee-cup icons.
In addition I don't move the volume knob all that much.  I've found that
normal-roasted beans are always somewhere between 4-oz and 7-oz to my taste,
so it never gets very far from a narrow setting.
One of the tricks that Charlie taught me was that the grinder knob, inside
the bean hopper should be set to the same number as the number of ounces
you're brewing.  For instance, at my usual 5-ozs, I put the grinder at 5.
If I ever got as high as 9-ozs, I'd adjust it to 9.
I suspect that if you got the right green, the right roast-level, the right
water, the volume knob set to 5-ozs and the grinder set to 5 that you'd find
a very tasty beverage.  Of that list I'd say that the 5-ozs and 5-grinder
would be the most important.  Oh, and *not* espresso roast.
If your plan is, instead, to figure out how to make the SM5K to turn out
your previous favorite beverage, well, you may not be all that happy.
-- Rick
P.S. One minor thing to consider is that if you snake a thermocouple into
the bean hopper you'll find out that after the machine is a few hours warmed
up, the bean hopper gets warm.  Personally, I feel that keeping the beans
warm doesn't make the best grinding.  I usually load in a few tablespoons of
beans - just enough to get me through breakfast, say - and then leave it
empty until I plan to use it again.

5) From: Rick Farris
Well, you may not know, but I had a stroke recently, and sometimes I get my
words all mixed up, or even worse, I can't find the words at all.  What I
was trying to say was something along the lines of "Most people who make
espresso use beans that are roasted more darkly than those who make a
non-espresso brewing method."
Does that help you from being surprised?  Or is your point that many
espresso drinkers don't roast their beans darkly?  That would surprise me!
-- Rick


HomeRoast Digest