HomeRoast Digest


Topic: New to Silvia (15 msgs / 888 lines)
1) From: David Morgenlender
I just started using my first "real" espresso machine a few days ago, a =
Silvia.
I'm slowly learning to pull a good shot ... I've managed a few.  I think =
I've
finally nailed down how to load the portafilter properly, and how to =
temperature
surf ... I'll know more when I try again!
So far, I've been using a can of Illy ground espresso, which I've had =
lying
around unopened.  I figured this would reduce the number of variables, =
since the
roast & the grind would be consistent.  Hopefully, tonight I'll try my =
new
Rocky!
A couple of questions ...
The shots which came out well are so much better than what I had been =
used to
(Starbucks, etc.) ... really rich without any bitterness.  But the flavor=
 at the
bottom of the cup is MUCH more intense than the remainder of the cup.  =
It's
actually a little overpowering for me.  Is this extra intensity normal?
I'm getting very little crema, barely enough to cover the top of the =
drink.
Could this be because I'm not using fresh beans, or is it a technique =
issue?
Thanks!
Dave
==========================
==========================
=====
Dave Morgenlender
e-mail: dmorgen
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2) From: Barry Luterman
I'm getting very little crema, barely enough to cover the top of the drink.
Could this be because I'm not using fresh beans, or is it a technique issue
 Absolutely. When you start using the Rocky and fresh roast coffee both 
problems will disappear. Enjoy Silvia. She spoiled me I am strictly an 
espresso and Americano drinker now. Only have brewed coffee when my wife is 
here or we have company.

3) From: John Dudgeon
Congratulations on getting a solid, home espresso machine!  I had one for 
two years, myself, and never pulled a real 'poor' shot once I got acquainted 
with it.  Many people tend to label Miss Sylvia as 'quirky' or 'picky', but 
I believe that that is because it's the only 'home' espresso machine with 
the combination of an e61 group head (commercial component) and 
pressureless portafilter.  She does demand practice to master, but once you 
do, you'll be pulling shots of pure gold.
http://www.geocities.com/may9ard_g/Hal-esp-vot.jpg- Happy Halloween!)
I think what you're tasting at the bottom is what they call 'pre-fill', the 
first extraction of steam through the ground puck.  Espresso extracts in 
three layers, and pre-fill is the first, and strongest.  Some people skip 
the pre-fill, and withhold the shot glass until the stream gets lighter in 
color, maybe just a couple of seconds into it.
That pre-ground Illy is probably why you're not seeing much crema.  How long 
did it take to pull?  10-15 seconds?  It generally should take 20-25.
Yes, break in that Rocky, and don't worry if you blow a few shots.  It's 
worth it to get it right.
John

4) From: miKe mcKoffee
John,
Glad you're happy with your Silvia. Silvia is known to be finicky because of
huge ~30f temp swing from heater on to off and over shoot and hence the need
to temp surf for decent shot temps. Also because of usually having rather
high OPV max shot pressure setting.
If Silvia had an E61 group that would actually make her less finicky with
the E61 groups greater temp stability and pre-infusion. Just so there's no
confusion she does not sport an E61 group but does have commercial size and
style group. Though much lighter weight, simply bolted on and no
thermalsyphon or saturation with the boiler.
Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffee
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://mdmint.home.comcast.net/coffee/Rosto_mod.htmUltimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must
first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal enlightenment
found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before.
<Snip>

5) From: Sheila Quinn
Probably a stupid question, but what the heck is temp surfing??? No, I 
obviously don't have an espresso maker, but I'd love to get a Silvia 
someday. Guess I'll have to ask Santa!
Sheila
miKe mcKoffee wrote:
<Snip>

6) From: miKe mcKoffee
<Snip>
You get a really big flat wide thermometer and ride the wave! No no that's
not it. It's timing your shot to the heaters cycle to attain desired shot
temp. There are numerous how to's out there. Or get sick and tired of temp
surfing Silva and add PID:-)
Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffee
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://mdmint.home.comcast.net/coffee/Rosto_mod.htmUltimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must
first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal enlightenment
found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before.

7) From: Sheila Quinn
Okay, that's what I was imagining... funny that it doesn't have a temp 
gauge on it! Seems like that would be a basic feature, but what do I know?!!
It's timing your shot to the heaters cycle to attain desired shot
temp. There are numerous how to's out there. Or get sick and tired of temp
surfing Silva and add PID:-)
Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffee

8) From: Sandy Andina
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Go to Coffeegeek.com and look for founder Mark Price's excellent  
article "Cheating Miss Silvia" (a pun on Rancilio's DVD "Meeting Ms.  
Silvia").  Looks confusing at first, but write or print it out and  
tape it up next to the machine till it becomes second nature. Only  
reason I progressed to a heat exchanger machine (Livia 90A) was to  
pull lattes and cappuccinos for a crowd. If you're not drinking  
cappas all day and you drink mostly shots, you'll do just fine with  
Silvia for a long, long time. (And I still have her to bring to other  
people's parties).
On Oct 11, 2006, at 9:26 PM, miKe mcKoffee wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy
www.sandyandina.com
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Go to Coffeegeek.com and look =
for founder Mark Price's excellent article "Cheating Miss Silvia" (a pun =
on Rancilio's DVD "Meeting Ms. Silvia").  Looks confusing at first, =
but write or print it out and tape it up next to the machine till it =
becomes second nature. Only reason I progressed to a heat exchanger =
machine (Livia 90A) was to pull lattes and cappuccinos for a crowd. If =
you're not drinking cappas all day and you drink mostly shots, you'll do =
just fine with Silvia for a long, long time. (And I still have her to =
bring to other people's parties).
On Oct 11, 2006, at 9:26 =
PM, miKe mcKoffee wrote:
-----Original = Message-----From: homeroast-admin= s.sweetmarias.com [mailto:homeroast-adm= in] On Behalf Of Sheila = QuinnSent: Wednesday, October 11, = 2006 6:46 PM Probably a stupid question, but what the heck is = temp surfing??? No, I  someday. Guess I'll have to ask Santa! You get a really big flat wide = thermometer and ride the wave! No no that'snot it. = It's timing your shot to the heaters cycle to attain desired = shottemp. There are numerous how = to's out there. Or get sick and tired of tempsurfing Silva and add PID:-) Kona = Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffeeURL to Rosto = mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://mdmint=.home.comcast.net/coffee/Rosto_mod.htmfirst not know. And in knowing = know I know not. Each Personal enlightenmentfound exploring the many divergent foot steps of = Those who have gone before. homeroast mailing listhttp://li=sts.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroastTo change your personal list settings (digest = options, vacations, unsvbscribes) go to http://=sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings = = --Apple-Mail-15--214241898--

9) From: jim gundlach
Santa discovered temperature surfing when he realized his bottom  
accumulated more heat going down a chimney than it did going up.   
applied to the Silvia it means running hot water out until the  
heating indicator light goes on then installing the prepared  
portafilter and waiting for a set time, I think mine was 17 seconds,  
before starting to pull the shot.  The idea is to catch the temp  
cycle at the right point and by bringing new water into the boiler as  
it is heating to keep the temperature as stable as possible while the  
shot is pulled.
      Pecan Jim
On Oct 11, 2006, at 8:46 PM, Sheila Quinn wrote:
<Snip>

10) From: David Morgenlender
What's this DVD ... is it supposed to come with the machine?  None came =
with
mine.  
I actually printed that out a few days ago, but haven't had a chance to =
go
through it.  But I've been using Tom's version from the SweetMaria =
website.  It
looked complicated at first, but now that I've done it a few times, it's =
really
simple.  So, prep & cleanup have turned out to be much faster than I had
imagined after reading these instructions & the cleanup instructions!  =
Maybe one
of these years I'll be able to do Tom's quicker alternate approach ... =
grinding,
tamping & installing the portafilter within a 60 second window!
Dave
On Wed, 11 Oct 2006 23:57:48 -0500, you wrote:
<Snip>
==========================
==========================
=====
Dave Morgenlender
e-mail: dmorgen
==========================
==========================
=====

11) From: David Morgenlender
I've been using a simplified approach to this I read about ... instead of=
 timing
it, I wait for the heating indicator to go out, which supposedly takes =
60-90
seconds, although I haven't timed it.  The espresso I've been getting has=
 been
awfully good!  But then I don't know how good it really can be, so maybe =
I'm
missing something.  One of these days I'll have to play around with that =
timing!
Dave
On Thu, 12 Oct 2006 06:15:34 -0500, you wrote:
<Snip>
unsvbscribes) go to =http://sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings==========================
==========================
=====
Dave Morgenlender
e-mail: dmorgen
==========================
==========================
=====

12) From: David Morgenlender
So, last night I decided to give Rocky a go.  I would brew some Santa =
Elena
Decaf in my Presto Scandi drip machine.  I experimented until the grounds=
 felt
the same as I had been getting from my Braun grinder, which turned out to=
 be
pretty quick & simple ... it was +22.  (It's amazing how different the =
grinds
look between the 2 grinders!)  I'm pretty sure the Rocky coffee tasted =
much
better than I had gotten using the Braun.  But I had only brewed one pot =
of this
bean previously, so I can't be certain.  But it was good!
A little while ago I used Rocky for Silvia.  I matched the feel of the =
grind to
the pre-ground Illy I had been using ... this happed at +10.  I used =
pre-roasted
beans I had purchased from Chris' Coffee ... Machristay Black Pearl =
Espresso.  I
wanted to use pre-roasted beans to eliminate the roasting variable, and I=
 just
missed the weekly cutoff for SM's pre-roasted.
I had recalled that I should shoot for a 45 second brew for 2 oz. using =
the
double basket.  I don't know if this was the best time, but it's what I =
was
mostly getting ... and it required tamping with just about all my =
strength!  My
first attempt using Rocky resulted in a SLOW brew ... I killed it at =
about 55
seconds with probably 1.5 oz.  I had about the same amount of chrema as =
with the
Illy pre-ground, but it was much thicker & really hugged the shotglass =
walls.
It was the best tasting I had produced so far ... but tasted quite =
intense.
So for the next go-round I didn't tamp as hard.  This got me 2 oz. in =
about 25
seconds.  The chrema was AMAZING ... it was almost all nice thick chrema!=
  That
was GOOD!!!  Now I have a better idea why everybody wants a lot of =
chrema!
There's something about getting caffeine from espresso instead of drip, =
which is
really nice (not the first time I've noticed this)!  My mind feels really=
 sharp
for the first time all day & no jitters.  This espresso stuff could =
become a
habit! :)
Now I'm left with one "problem".  I'm used to bringing a nice big mug of =
coffee
to my desk ... it makes just about any kind of desk work more pleasant!  =
But
these espressos don't last long enough to walk from the kitchen to my =
desk! :)
I made an americano ... but even it was much smaller than my usual mug, =
or even
americanos I made using my mokapot, since I diluted according to flavor. =
 (And
to think I want to try ristrettos one of these days!)  Maybe one of these=
 days
when I'm fast enough at it, I can shoot for using multiple shots in my
americanos ... assuming I can leave the shots alone long enough to get =
into the
americano! :)
Thanks everybody for your help & encouragement!!!
Dave
On Wed, 11 Oct 2006 17:16:11 -0700, you wrote:
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for 
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acquainted 
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but 
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with 
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you 
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the 
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<Snip>
skip 
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in 
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long 
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<Snip>
 
<Snip>
lying
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since 
<Snip>
new
<Snip>
used 
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flavor at 
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It's
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drink.
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issue?
<Snip>
==========================
======
<Snip>
==========================
======
<Snip>
unsvbscribes) go to =http://sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings==========================
==========================
=====
Dave Morgenlender
e-mail: dmorgen
==========================
==========================
=====

13) From: Brett Mason
Make a 4x4 - 4 shots (2oz 25sec) + 4oz hot water... makes a nice mug!
Brett
On 10/12/06, David Morgenlender  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Cheers,
Bretthttp://homeroast.freeservers.com

14) From: miKe mcKoffee
Sounds like you're starting to get the hang of it and having fun!
Couple tips:
Keep your final tamp constant. Use a bathroom scale to get the feel of 20 to
50# tamp, decide what pressure to use and stick with it for now. Some tamp
light, some heavy, some in-between. I happen to use 30# final tamp.
Consistency is the key. Vary shot length by changing grind not tamp. (oh
sure as you gain experience you can tweak the shot slightly varying the tamp
pressure but stick with consistent tamp to gain experience.) Also strive for
consistency in PF fill and distribution. This is actually more critical than
tamp!
25 seconds is not a hard fast rule but guide. Standard 2oz double shot is 20
to 30 seconds. If using single basket timing same for half the volume. (FWIW
20 to 30 seconds is the actual timing parameter in SCAA barista
competitions.) Watch the crema! You want to learn to stop the shot just
before it turns blond REGARDLESS the volumet or time.
Ristretto whole 'nother ball game. Sounds like you accidentally about nailed
a couple! There is no accepted standard that I know of just what others have
found to work for the sweetest smoothest ristettos. Here I target 1 to
1.25oz double shot ristetto in 35 to 45 seconds. Don't be alarmed or even
expect to see the first barely dribbling flow until 10 to 12 seconds! Again
when to stop shot not based on exact time or volume but shot flow
appearance.
For my ~13oz SS travel mug I'll make an Americano pulling two double shots
and topping off with off boil water. 
Welcome to the Dark Side! I didn't really arrive until I'd had Miss Silvia
about two years, using her daily but mostly for Americanos. Then one day
drinking a straight shot had an epiphany, the linger man the linger. Up to
an hour later the taste lingers on. (Good or bad shot the taste lingers
BTW!) But when you nail it no other form of coffee compares...
Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffee
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://mdmint.home.comcast.net/coffee/Rosto_mod.htmUltimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must
first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal enlightenment
found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before.
<Snip>

15) From: Sandy Andina
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The DVD used to come with the machine.
On Oct 12, 2006, at 2:06 PM, David Morgenlender wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy
www.sandyandina.com
--Apple-Mail-10--142264477
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The DVD used to come with the =
machine.
On Oct 12, 2006, at 2:06 PM, David Morgenlender =
wrote:
What's this DVD ... is it = supposed to come with the machine? = None came withmine.   I actually = printed that out a few days ago, but haven't had a chance to = gothrough it.  But I've been using Tom's = version from the SweetMaria website.  Itlooked complicated at first, but now that I've done = it a few times, it's reallysimple.  So, prep & cleanup have = turned out to be much faster than I hadimagined = after reading these instructions & the cleanup instructions!  Maybe oneof these years I'll be able to do Tom's quicker = alternate approach ... grinding,tamping & = installing the portafilter within a 60 second window! On Wed, = 11 Oct 2006 23:57:48 -0500, you wrote: Go to Coffeegeek.com and look for founder Mark = Price's excellent  article "Cheating Miss Silvia" (a pun on Rancilio's = DVD "Meeting Ms.  Silvia").  = Looks confusing at first, but write or print it out and  tape it = up next to the machine till it becomes second nature. Only  reason I = progressed to a heat exchanger machine (Livia 90A) was to  pull = lattes and cappuccinos for a crowd. If you're not drinking  cappas = all day and you drink mostly shots, you'll do just fine with  Silvia = for a long, long time. (And I still have her to bring to other  people's = parties).On Oct 11, 2006, at 9:26 PM, = miKe mcKoffee wrote:


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