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Date: 30 Oct 2006 06:32:11
From: Tom
Subject: Espresso Question
On Saturday, I fired up my new Silvia and Rocky combo. After 3 or 4
pulls I found myself with water leaking out of the grouphead. Either
there was loose debris in the lines or I packed one of my first baskets
way too tightly, but I ended up cleaning the solenoid and everything
has been fine since. Spent a fair amount of time on Sunday getting the
grind right for the Lavazza that was included in the package. Ordered
some fresh from my old Pittsbugh haunt La Prima Espresso. Practiced
temp surfing and generally had some good cups sub 25 second and a
couple of fine ristrettos. My question then. After every pull, I find
standing water on top of the puck. The puck holds it's shape in the
sink but the standing water seems odd. Is it? And any thoughts on
what to adjust to get a drier puck?

Thanks,

Tom





 
Date: 30 Oct 2006 13:17:41
From: Harry Moos
Subject: Re: Espresso Question
I get a little water standing on the puck, too, but it [puck] knocks out
nicely. The puck is dry; the water is on top. No problem, except a bit
messy.

"Tom" <tgmckinney@yahoo.com > wrote in message
news:1162218731.837014.312980@k70g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> On Saturday, I fired up my new Silvia and Rocky combo. After 3 or 4
> pulls I found myself with water leaking out of the grouphead. Either
> there was loose debris in the lines or I packed one of my first baskets
> way too tightly, but I ended up cleaning the solenoid and everything
> has been fine since. Spent a fair amount of time on Sunday getting the
> grind right for the Lavazza that was included in the package. Ordered
> some fresh from my old Pittsbugh haunt La Prima Espresso. Practiced
> temp surfing and generally had some good cups sub 25 second and a
> couple of fine ristrettos. My question then. After every pull, I find
> standing water on top of the puck. The puck holds it's shape in the
> sink but the standing water seems odd. Is it? And any thoughts on
> what to adjust to get a drier puck?
>
> Thanks,
>
> Tom
>




 
Date: 30 Oct 2006 08:17:26
From: Tom
Subject: Re: Espresso Question
> >On Saturday, I fired up my new Silvia and Rocky combo. After 3 or 4
> >pulls I found myself with water leaking out of the grouphead.
> >
> Probably caused by not tightening the PF sufficiently. This can be
> caused by over-packing the basket or not cleaning the gasket.

I wasn't clear. The machine was leaking through the grouphead with the
PF out and all switches off except main.

> The 25 second time frame is merely a starting guideline. It is
> possible to get excellent shots that run over that amount of time.

Good to know.

> If you are sure that the 3-way is working there are a few factors that
> might contribute to water on the puck:
> - Too coarse of a grind (or too light of a tamping force) that does
> not allow sufficient resistance to the flow.

The grind seems about right (9.5 on the Rocky) and I put some force on
the tamp, although my metal tamp has not yet arrived.

> -Too cold of a brew temperature or insufficient warm up time that does
> not allow enough heat in the puck

This could be. From some reading this morning, I think I'm rushing the
warmup, particularly on the group temp.


> about it. It isn't a problem other than forcing you to be a bit more
> careful when knocking the puck.

That's about it. The brew is nice. Just wanted to make sure the extra
H2O wasn't symptomatic of a technique issue.

Thanks,



  
Date: 30 Oct 2006 11:31:17
From: Randy G.
Subject: Re: Espresso Question
"Tom" <tgmckinney@yahoo.com > wrote:

>> >On Saturday, I fired up my new Silvia and Rocky combo. After 3 or 4
>> >pulls I found myself with water leaking out of the grouphead.
>> >
>> Probably caused by not tightening the PF sufficiently. This can be
>> caused by over-packing the basket or not cleaning the gasket.
>
>I wasn't clear. The machine was leaking through the grouphead with the
>PF out and all switches off except main.
>
That makes more sense. There have been two or three reports of a stray
bit of brass getting loose and causing the 3-way to stick open a bit.
When you cleaned the 3-way did you find anything of that sort?

>The grind seems about right (9.5 on the Rocky) and I put some force on
>the tamp, although my metal tamp has not yet arrived.
>
The number on Rocky means just about nothing to anyone but you. Too
many variables involved to comment on whether that is the correct
grind or not.

With new barristas, "some force" is almost universally too much. Get
out the scale, and I think you are going to find that you are probably
using about 50 pounds of force. 30 pounds can be achieved with two
fingers on the base of the tamper. Generally, I always tell new users
it is best to grind finer and tamp lighter. IMO, it is easier to find
the "sweet spot" if you start with a grind so fine that even no tamp
still produces virtually no flow at all than to grind too coarse and
try to move finer. As far as using the plastic tamper that came with
Silvia, it is a joke and there will be a good amount of adjusting when
the proper one arrives.

Don't worry.. it will happen in time.. Only took me about three years
to get decent at it. ;-)


Randy "better espresso, one pull at a time" G.
http://www.EspressoMyEspresso.com




   
Date: 30 Oct 2006 15:01:35
From: Moka Java
Subject: Re: Espresso Question
But what about those studies that show virtually no difference between
light tamp, hard tamp or even no tamp? Try it yourself and see what you
come up with.

R "nothing by rote" TF

Randy G. wrote:

>
> With new barristas, "some force" is almost universally too much. Get
> out the scale, and I think you are going to find that you are probably
> using about 50 pounds of force. 30 pounds can be achieved with two
> fingers on the base of the tamper. Generally, I always tell new users
> it is best to grind finer and tamp lighter. IMO, it is easier to find
> the "sweet spot" if you start with a grind so fine that even no tamp
> still produces virtually no flow at all than to grind too coarse and
> try to move finer. As far as using the plastic tamper that came with
> Silvia, it is a joke and there will be a good amount of adjusting when
> the proper one arrives.
>


 
Date: 30 Oct 2006 07:49:17
From: Randy G.
Subject: Re: Espresso Question
"Tom" <tgmckinney@yahoo.com > wrote:

>On Saturday, I fired up my new Silvia and Rocky combo. After 3 or 4
>pulls I found myself with water leaking out of the grouphead.
>
Probably caused by not tightening the PF sufficiently. This can be
caused by over-packing the basket or not cleaning the gasket.

>...but I ended up cleaning the solenoid and everything
>has been fine since.
>
Coincidence

>... Practiced
>temp surfing and generally had some good cups sub 25 second and a
>couple of fine ristrettos.
>
The 25 second time frame is merely a starting guideline. It is
possible to get excellent shots that run over that amount of time.

>My question then. After every pull, I find
>standing water on top of the puck. The puck holds it's shape in the
>sink but the standing water seems odd. Is it? And any thoughts on
>what to adjust to get a drier puck?
>
If you are sure that the 3-way is working there are a few factors that
might contribute to water on the puck:
- Too coarse of a grind (or too light of a tamping force) that does
not allow sufficient resistance to the flow.
-Too cold of a brew temperature or insufficient warm up time that does
not allow enough heat in the puck

Try this- at the end of the pull wait about 30 seconds before removing
the portafilter. You will probably find it is dry(er).

But as has been mentioned, if the coffee tastes good, then don't worry
about it. It isn't a problem other than forcing you to be a bit more
careful when knocking the puck.


Randy "Soupy Pucks- opened for Zappa in '75" G.
http://www.EspressoMyEspresso.com




 
Date: 30 Oct 2006 15:04:27
From: Robert Harmon
Subject: Re: Espresso Question
"Tom" <tgmckinney@yahoo.com > wrote in news:1162218731.837014.312980
@k70g2000cwa.googlegroups.com:

> On Saturday, I fired up my new Silvia and Rocky combo. After 3 or 4
> pulls I found myself with water leaking out of the grouphead. Either
> there was loose debris in the lines or I packed one of my first baskets
> way too tightly, but I ended up cleaning the solenoid and everything
> has been fine since. Spent a fair amount of time on Sunday getting the
> grind right for the Lavazza that was included in the package. Ordered
> some fresh from my old Pittsbugh haunt La Prima Espresso. Practiced
> temp surfing and generally had some good cups sub 25 second and a
> couple of fine ristrettos. My question then. After every pull, I find
> standing water on top of the puck. The puck holds it's shape in the
> sink but the standing water seems odd. Is it? And any thoughts on
> what to adjust to get a drier puck?
>
> Thanks,
>
> Tom
>

It's not unusual to have a wet top in the filter. The 3-way solenoid valve
doesn't actually suck the excess from the group, it's simply a relief valve
to draw off pressure. If you're getting a tasty shot why concern yourself
with it. If you want to get rid of it try a coarser gring - but know that
you might end up with an under-extracted shot.

Robert (duck & cover) Harmon
--
http://tinyurl.com/pou2y
http://tinyurl.com/fkd6r
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