[Homeroast] Silvia n00b: tips and tricks?

Mike Koenig koenig.mike at gmail.com
Mon Mar 28 19:55:01 CDT 2011

The Silvia really needs to be fully warmed up and "temperature surfed"  to
get in the right temperature range.  The mechanical thermostat has a pretty
wide temperature range so if you are pulling your shot a while after the
last time it heated the boiler, you are going to be on the cold side.

It's been a few years since I've worked with my Silvia, but I remember
having pretty good luck with "reverse temperature surfing" (try a google
search), where you wait a certain amount of time after the heater turns
off.  I would grind and tamp my shot, while a stopwatch kept track of how
much time until I should pull my shot.  It did require a bit of patience,
which is why I put a PID controller on it after a while.

"Normal" temperature surfing involves pulling your shot a certain amount of
time after the heater comes on,  which is MUCH faster, but a bit less

Let us know how you make out.


On Sat, Mar 26, 2011 at 6:30 PM, Scot Murphy <deppitybob at comcast.net> wrote:

> I recently picked up a Rancilio Silvia off eBay and it seems to work fine,
> but I'm having trouble getting used to it. For one, it's not an auto-fill
> machine, so I have to figure out how to get it to fill the boiler between
> shots/steaming. I also can't seem to get the steam power I really need out
> of it. Worst is that I can't seem to get a non-sour shot out of it. Usually,
> isn't a sour shot the sign of underheated water? I get this no matter what
> grind I use.
> What is the best website for teaching the n00b how to manage the Silvia?
> Scot "my cold cafe au lait was supposed to be a latte" Murphy
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