HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Sylvia question (8 msgs / 184 lines)
1) From: Michael Guterman
This really isn't a home roast question, but I know that at least Mike, 
and probably more, use a Sylvia.  My Sylvia is quite new.  I am using 
the double Maz... ridgeless basket.  I am saving for a new grinder, so I 
ordered some pre ground coffee.  The coffee is supposed to be espresso 
ground, and seems quite fine.  Using two Illy spoon measures and tamping 
with all my weight I am unable to get a double to take more than 15 
seconds.  Much more coffee and I can't lock the porta filter in place. 
 I did get one pull where I used enough coffee that I was able to get 
the filter on, but not turned to position.  That shot took 28 seconds. 
 Unfortunately it was decaf for my wife's lattee.  Does this sound like 
they didn't grind it fine enough, or does it sound like I have some 
other problem?  Gary at Whole Latte Love did tell me that Illy coffee 
was nopt fine enough for Sylvia.  Have I added yet another really hard 
to satisfy woman to my life?
Michael Guterman
West Haven, CT
(Just finishing the last of my 02 Karamundi.)
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2) From: Mike Gallant
I would say not ground fine enough. I had the same type of problem with 
pre-ground when Silvia first came in to our house. Unfortunately, 
there's not a lot you can do until you get a good grinder (our Silvia 
had a little brother Rocky within a few months :)
-mike
--
Mike Gallant
pischke
On Sunday, Jan 5, 2003, at 09:16 US/Pacific, Michael Guterman wrote:
<Snip>
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3) From: Mike McGinness
From: "Michael Guterman" 
<Snip>
I can't speak for fineness of any pre-roasted pre-ground since none has ever
passed my Miss Silvia's portafilter. The best technique I know of for
filling the PF, I first saw Dr. J (of Malabar Gold fame) using at a coffee
expo', is to fill the PF to slightly heaping, very lightly tap (not tamp)
the PF, scrape the grounds level with the top of the PF (they used tongue
depressors!, I use the flat edge of Rocky doser cover or my finger:-), then
tamp, tap, tamp, polish and pull. I use the LM double basket (older one with
ridge) and have no problem getting 25sec pulls. Uh, I can grind fine enough
with Rocky to choke Miss Silvia (burrs not touching, try doing THAT with a
few month old Maestro!) Did one oops grind got maybe 1/2 teaspoon in 25sec!
Save your grinder $ fast, best thing you'll ever do for your home brew after
home roasting.
MM;-) aka Kona Krazy miKe mcKoffee
Variable Variac Rockin' Rosto Roasting
Rocky grindin' - Miss Silvia brewin'
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4) From: Andrew J. Lynn
I don't have a Silvia, but generalizing...
Have you worked on your tamp technique?  If nothing else can be said for
canned ground coffee, Illy's got a very nice grind.  Maybe putting so much
pressure on it is hurting you - harder to control that way, you could be
getting an uneven tamp, which would have an impact on both shot time and even
extraction (water will take the short way out by going through the thinner
part of the puck).
You could try the tamp-tap-tamp technique or the rocking technique - tilt the
tamper north, south, east, west so there's a mound in the center, then press
hard and finish with a twist.  I read an article about this somewhere and
there's a name for it but I can't remember.  It gave me a slightly longer pull
than tamp-tap-tamp, which might be because of the tapping separating the puck
from the wall of the filter basket and making easy routes through for the
water.
Also, and this is just idle speculation, but...  I've read that Illy uses a
mix of 2 different grinds (there was some talk of this in the thread on screen
testing).  Is it possible that in the shipping the can gets shaken, causing
some settling so that more of the fine grind ends up on the bottom and more of
the less fine on the top?  If Illy's grind depends on the the fine filling in
the spaces that the course (or maybe I should say the less fine) leaves, then
having the mix ratio wrong would give you a shorter pull.  Maybe this could be
tested by comparing some all-else-equal shots using grinds from the top on the
can compared to scooped out from the bottom...
Andy Lynn
On Sun, 05 Jan 2003 12:16:38 -0500 Michael Guterman 
wrote:
<Snip>
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5) From: Angelo
I can do that with a 2yr old Solis166(SB Barista) with a relatively new (3 
months) upper burr, which, btw, SB sent gratis....
You can say what you want about SB's coffee and ruthlessness, but if I have 
a choice of buying between an "original" brand model and a SB's branded 
model, I will always go for the SB model. I have found their customer 
service to be excellent, ....
A relative of mine wanted an extra filter for the Utopia Vac pot... He was 
willing to pay for it. SB sent him 3 of them at no cost...
BTW, Baratza wanted $25  for a replacement burr...
Angelo
snip...
<Snip>
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6) From: Mike McGinness
From: "Angelo" 
<Snip>
If you can grind fine enough without the burrs touching to choke a Silvia
power to you. My Maestro could not. (the burrs touching is what causes the
fast dulling, replacing just the upper means lower burr still dull, yielding
more dust and uneven grind, especially noticable coarser grinding...)
<Snip>
have
<Snip>
From what I've heard most don't say SB customer service is bad, just what
they try to pawn off as coffee:-)
<Snip>
Great that you got your upper burr replaced free and your relatives filter
also free.
MM;-) aka Kona Krazy miKe mcKoffee
Variable Variac Rockin' Rosto Roasting
Rocky grindin' - Miss Silvia brewin'
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7) From: Angelo
Mike,
To be fair, I have to tell you that I ordered a Maestro and could not get 
it to grind fine enough to get a properly timed shot. The woman at Baratza 
said that I probably got one of the machines set to grind coarser. I was 
hoping that I could tweak it as I did the Barista, and all my other 
grinders, but she reminded me that I would be voiding the warranty. When 
they first came out with the Solis 166, they used to walk people through 
the tweak over the phone...
I will say, though, that she offered to exchange it for a machine that they 
would "prepare" to grind finer. I decided I would wait for a better 
grinder...Looking forward to the rolling out of the Rocky doserless...
Ciao,
Angelo
<Snip>
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8) From: Andrew Thomas
From  : Michael Guterman:
[...]so I ordered some pre ground coffee.  The coffee is supposed to be espresso ground, and seems quite fine.  Using two Illy spoon measures and tamping with all my weight I am unable to get a double to take more than 15 seconds.  Much more coffee and I can't lock the porta filter in place.[...] 
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Try a two-layer tamp. Half load the portafilter, tamp, fill, retamp and polish. If you get a longer pull--but still not long enough--try three layers.
Andy
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