Rancilio Silvia M V6 with PID - Need help from experienced users!

Mencken1976

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Apr 7, 2023
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Virginia
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Good Morning,

I've been trying different combinations of fineness, gram weights, and temperatures, and so far, the draws have always been excessively watery and lacking in crema. Background:

Beans - Roasted by me, so they are fresh. Beans are not oily.
Baratza Grinder - Tried three settings from 0 (extremely fine) to 8.
Basket - 2 Dose.
Grams - From 15 to 19.

Made sure the coffee was level and well packed (also tried various amounts of pressure) and broke up clumps using the needles.
Temperature 96C.

*The head has a screw which idents the coffee, impossible to avoid when loading with recommended 18 grams, is this screwing up my extraction? I do look afterward and haven't noted any suspicious holes.

I like the design of this machine, especially the professional steamer, which heats the milk so quickly. So far, I've spent nearly two hours with about a dozen attempts.

Note: I now have the Rancilio grinder and will try it this weekend.

I would love to hear from those who have struggled with this machine and how you figured out getting a good draw. What is your routine? Or perhaps there is a video out there that has more details, so far the ones I've followed haven't yielded any results.

Thank you!
 

bullet08

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Mar 30, 2023
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Not that machine. But, first dial into putting 18 g in and getting 36 g out. That's 1:2 ratio. Time can be off. You can change coarseness once input/output is set. If it's watery, finer grind. But does it pull 36 g out? One thing at a time.
 

Musicphan

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May 11, 2014
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Which Baratza grinder are you using? Not all are suitable for espresso.

The impression on the top indicates too much coffee. It's not the end of the world and not the reason you are having issues but you should either a) reduce the dose size or b) get a triple basket if you want larger shots.
 

shadow745

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Aug 15, 2005
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A few things to mention... Silvia in stock form tends to have a somewhat small basket. My V1 I used for yrs could barely hold 14 grams. Switched to their updated basket and drastic improvement. Let us know what number is stamped on the basket as that will help. Keep in mind that various coffees require different doses due to bean density, fineness, etc. Also, a flat screen conversion kit helps get rid of screw impact, which can fracture the puck if you updose like me.
The Silvia in stock form also tends to have too high brew pressure, meaning it might crank out 10.5 bars before the OPV recirculates the excess.

Regarding your roasting, keep in mind that some coffees pull thin due to origin, roast level, etc. Not always just about freshness.
 

Musicphan

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May 11, 2014
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Kansas City
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A few things to mention... Silvia in stock form tends to have a somewhat small basket. My V1 I used for yrs could barely hold 14 grams. Switched to their updated basket and drastic improvement. Let us know what number is stamped on the basket as that will help. Keep in mind that various coffees require different doses due to bean density, fineness, etc. Also, a flat screen conversion kit helps get rid of screw impact, which can fracture the puck if you updose like me.
The Silvia in stock form also tends to have too high brew pressure, meaning it might crank out 10.5 bars before the OPV recirculates the excess.

Regarding your roasting, keep in mind that some coffees pull thin due to origin, roast level, etc. Not always just about freshness.
Was your updated basket still considered a double? I swapped for a triple basket in my OG Silvia... never had issues (esp considering I up-dose as well)
 

shadow745

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Aug 15, 2005
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Was your updated basket still considered a double? I swapped for a triple basket in my OG Silvia... never had issues (esp considering I up-dose as well)
Actually it was labeled as the Rancilio 18 gram double and it easily holds around 19 grams while still using the spouted portafilter, which is why I wanted it. Based on what I've read it's no longer made by Rancilio and of course impossible to find as their replacement is made by IMS or VST. Actually bought a few of those just to have, but still like that 'redesigned' 18 gram basket Rancilio did make for a handful of years. The number on it is 40-100-103.
 

Mencken1976

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Apr 7, 2023
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Thank you all for the replies. Switched to Rancilio grinder and used #2 setting so quite fine. Output is far better though some improvement in crema is still needed. Keeping the Portafilter in for warming helps a great deal as does flushing prior to doing a draw.

Getting better at tamping as well, if I have any on the edges I bump it and re-tamp.

Next quest: Make the espresso less bitter, so changing grind size, water, beans, roasting time, etc. etc. etc.
 

shadow745

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Aug 15, 2005
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Central North Carolina
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Thank you all for the replies. Switched to Rancilio grinder and used #2 setting so quite fine. Output is far better though some improvement in crema is still needed. Keeping the Portafilter in for warming helps a great deal as does flushing prior to doing a draw.

Getting better at tamping as well, if I have any on the edges I bump it and re-tamp.

Next quest: Make the espresso less bitter, so changing grind size, water, beans, roasting time, etc. etc. etc.
Main thing to keep in mind is not changing multiple variables at once as a bit of experimenting is needed to dial in.

Also, 6 mins on any roaster that I am aware of just won't develop any depth of flavor/body. Saw your post on H-B mentioning that and be aware of some replies you might get there. First, they get bent out of shape with cross posting on various forums and they tend to be blunt and just say to use the search function as it's beneath some of them to reply with much useful info.
 
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