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Date: 22 May 2007 09:22:21
From:
Subject: Silvia with PID or other comparably priced machine?
I am looking at replacing my existing setup with a new Ms. Silvia and
PID but I am looking for an objective view on if doing this is
worthwhile vs spending a comparable amount of money on a higher priced
machine w/o a PID. Any thoughts would be appreciated as well as if
anyone knows where I can see a machine you might recommend here in New
England.

Thanks!





 
Date: 23 May 2007 21:37:52
From: Rob Yokom
Subject: Re: Silvia with PID or other comparably priced machine?

<BostonCoffeeParty@gmail.com > wrote in message
news:1179850941.955910.148240@k79g2000hse.googlegroups.com...
>I am looking at replacing my existing setup with a new Ms. Silvia and
> PID but I am looking for an objective view on if doing this is
> worthwhile vs spending a comparable amount of money on a higher priced
> machine w/o a PID. Any thoughts would be appreciated as well as if
> anyone knows where I can see a machine you might recommend here in New
> England.
>
> Thanks!
>


I served as guinea pig for Jim's newest SD3C with steam control. It was a
piece of cake to install and it is rock solid on keeping the temps where
they should be. I no longer have to surf for either brew or steam temps. I'd
advise you to get a Silvia and one of Jim's kits. You won't be sorry.

You won't be able to produce milk drinks for a party, but you can do a
couple in a row in fairly quick succession by flushing the boiler to cool it
down after steaming.

Rob




 
Date: 22 May 2007 20:10:36
From: Boston Coffee Party
Subject: Re: Silvia with PID or other comparably priced machine?
thank you for your quick follow up and I am sorry for the delay in
responding, google listed the thread as deleted.

To reply to the points raised. Currently I have a very old machine
who's single boiler is not maintaining enough pressure nor correct
temperature to make the single double latte I drink in the morning and
on occasion a few cappuccinos at night with friends. IE this machine
is not in constant use so I think a dual boiler machine is perhaps
overkill. I was definitely budgeting for a new grinder and both the
rocky and mazzer appealed to me and were at the top of my list.
Everyone raves about the mazzer and of course it appeals to me.

The reason I was drawn to the PID is the idea of temperature surfing
due to the reported large temperature fluctuations in the cycling of
the boiler was too much work for me to do first thing in the morning.
I often get up too early to effectively keep up with the "required"
surfing technique and the PID clearly addresses this issue both
programmatically and visually. Also the combined cost of a PID +
Silvia is quite reasonable. I had seen Jim's kit for the Watlow SD3C
and it appealed to me but I wanted to make sure that I am not just
buying a very fun boy toy, but also something that was of equal or
better value to a HX machine for my home application.



  
Date: 23 May 2007 10:39:43
From: Moka Java
Subject: Re: Silvia with PID or other comparably priced machine?
I upgraded from a PID'd Silvia to a HX machine. I prefer cappuccinos in
the morning and straight espresso later in the day. I entertain often
and most guests prefer milky drinks to straight espresso. The PID'd
Silvia will make great straight espresso all day but it's really tough
to make a few cappuccinos. I gave up some control and quality in
straight espresso in exchange for constant steam but the trade off was
worth it for me.

R "steamin'" TF

Boston Coffee Party wrote:
> thank you for your quick follow up and I am sorry for the delay in
> responding, google listed the thread as deleted.
>
> To reply to the points raised. Currently I have a very old machine
> who's single boiler is not maintaining enough pressure nor correct
> temperature to make the single double latte I drink in the morning and
> on occasion a few cappuccinos at night with friends. IE this machine
> is not in constant use so I think a dual boiler machine is perhaps
> overkill. I was definitely budgeting for a new grinder and both the
> rocky and mazzer appealed to me and were at the top of my list.
> Everyone raves about the mazzer and of course it appeals to me.
>
> The reason I was drawn to the PID is the idea of temperature surfing
> due to the reported large temperature fluctuations in the cycling of
> the boiler was too much work for me to do first thing in the morning.
> I often get up too early to effectively keep up with the "required"
> surfing technique and the PID clearly addresses this issue both
> programmatically and visually. Also the combined cost of a PID +
> Silvia is quite reasonable. I had seen Jim's kit for the Watlow SD3C
> and it appealed to me but I wanted to make sure that I am not just
> buying a very fun boy toy, but also something that was of equal or
> better value to a HX machine for my home application.
>


  
Date: 23 May 2007 08:54:10
From: jggall01
Subject: Re: Silvia with PID or other comparably priced machine?
On 22 May 2007 20:10:36 -0700, Boston Coffee Party
<BostonCoffeeParty@gmail.com > wrote:

>...something that was of equal or
>better value to a HX machine for my home application.

BCP -

A comparision between an HX and a single boiler is subjective. An HX
machine like a Quickmill Anita (at $1100) would give you some
flexibility in preparing your milk drinks. It would be particularly
nice for the occasions when you are entertaining or making multiple
drinks.

And the Bezzera BZ02S looks like a steal at $800 for an HX.

The trade-off's are the need to flush water to cool the group down to
brewing temperature, perhaps a little lower reliability of the
pressurestat, and a little more complicated descaling procedure for
the steam boiler. [With some HX machines (I am thinking of Ian's),
folks have successfully dialed down the boiler temperature and created
no-cooling-flush-required machines. I'm not sure if this trick will
work with every HX machine.]

Those are the reasons I still have single boiler machines. If I owned
and used an HX I might feel differently so you should listen to those
owners, too.

In addtion to Silvia, for single boilers you could also consider ECM
Botticelli II-T (being phased out in the US, I understand), Isomac
Venus, and Quickmill Alexia.

To address the question you asked originally: the addition of PID
control to a good single boiler makes a huge improvement to the
machine. I know I can't be objective on this, but I don't think many
will disagree.

At the very least, if you are going to be serious about getting the
most from your single boiler machine, I would advise fastening a
thermocouple to the boiler to use with a digital thermometer to guide
temperature surfing.

Jim


  
Date: 23 May 2007 07:07:56
From: daveb
Subject: Re: Silvia with PID or other comparably priced machine?
No machine will deliver as stable brew temps at this price range.

to do better you would need to go another $800.

dave
250




 
Date: 22 May 2007 12:45:41
From: I->Ian
Subject: Re: Silvia with PID or other comparably priced machine?
On 22 May 2007 09:22:21 -0700, BostonCoffeeParty@gmail.com wrote:

>my existing setup

is what?

Unless you have the basest of equipment, not even really fit to be
called espresso, Silvia, an entry level machine, will be a lateral
move.


 
Date: 22 May 2007 17:51:40
From: Robert Harmon
Subject: Re: Silvia with PID or other comparably priced machine?
A PID will help you make quality shots more consistently, and it may
actually improve your efforts after you've eliminated all other variables
and are still having difficulties with brew temp consistency. But that's all
a PID will do - help regulate the brew temp; something most folks achieve
without a PID.

I'd advise mastering the Silvia without a PID, then if you feel the cost is
justified pick up one of Jim Gallt's PID kits (piece of cake to install). If
you go that route tell him the Cajun Man sent you. {;-)
--
Robert (Please don't buy from folks that post advertisements in this
newsgroup!) Harmon
--
http://www.tinyurl.com/mb4uj - My coffee pages.
http://www.tinyurl.com/2tnv87 - My 'Guidelines For Newbies' page.
http://www.tinyurl.com/2cr3e2 - I have things for sale here.

Remove "ZED" from address if replying by email.
<BostonCoffeeParty@gmail.com > wrote in message
news:1179850941.955910.148240@k79g2000hse.googlegroups.com...
>I am looking at replacing my existing setup with a new Ms. Silvia and
> PID but I am looking for an objective view on if doing this is
> worthwhile vs spending a comparable amount of money on a higher priced
> machine w/o a PID. Any thoughts would be appreciated as well as if
> anyone knows where I can see a machine you might recommend here in New
> England.
>
> Thanks!
>




 
Date: 22 May 2007 12:33:57
From: JimG
Subject: Re: Silvia with PID or other comparably priced machine?
On 22 May 2007 09:22:21 -0700, BostonCoffeeParty@gmail.com wrote:

>I am looking at replacing my existing setup with a new Ms. Silvia and
>PID but I am looking for an objective view on if doing this is
>worthwhile vs spending a comparable amount of money on a higher priced
>machine w/o a PID. Any thoughts would be appreciated as well as if
>anyone knows where I can see a machine you might recommend here in New
>England.
>
>Thanks!

First, decide whether or not you want a single boiler machine (Silvia
is one of several single boiler options).

Single boilers work best in situations where you do not frequently
switch the boiler back and forth between brewing and steaming.

If you are going to be making capp's and latte's a lot, especially
multiple drinks at a time, you are going to be happier if you spend
the additional money now for an HX machine or double boiler machine.

If you do not already have a good grinder (Rocky at least,
Mazzer/Macap better), then budget for that first. Much more
improvement per dollar in the grinder than in the espresso machine.

Depending on where you are in NE, Chris' Coffee in Albany, NY might be
convenient for a drop in.

Jim


  
Date: 22 May 2007 17:32:05
From: Robert Harmon
Subject: Re: Silvia with PID or other comparably priced machine?
Something to consider about Jim's advice is that he is THE major provider of
PID kits for Silvia espresso machines. Some folks in his position might not
offer advice that could work against their own self interest. So, if he
gives advice its based on his expertise & not on trying to sell you
something. His advice is as good as gold to me.
--
Robert (Please don't buy from folks that post advertisements in this
newsgroup!) Harmon
--
http://www.tinyurl.com/mb4uj - My coffee pages.
http://www.tinyurl.com/2tnv87 - My 'Guidelines For Newbies' page.
http://www.tinyurl.com/2cr3e2 - I have things for sale here.

Remove "ZED" from address if replying by email.
"JimG" <jggall01@yahoo.com > wrote in message
news:df6653hcg8dveijhbm1tjfabga9f43aobc@4ax.com...
> On 22 May 2007 09:22:21 -0700, BostonCoffeeParty@gmail.com wrote:
>
>>I am looking at replacing my existing setup with a new Ms. Silvia and
>>PID but I am looking for an objective view on if doing this is
>>worthwhile vs spending a comparable amount of money on a higher priced
>>machine w/o a PID. Any thoughts would be appreciated as well as if
>>anyone knows where I can see a machine you might recommend here in New
>>England.
>>
>>Thanks!
>
> First, decide whether or not you want a single boiler machine (Silvia
> is one of several single boiler options).
>
> Single boilers work best in situations where you do not frequently
> switch the boiler back and forth between brewing and steaming.
>
> If you are going to be making capp's and latte's a lot, especially
> multiple drinks at a time, you are going to be happier if you spend
> the additional money now for an HX machine or double boiler machine.
>
> If you do not already have a good grinder (Rocky at least,
> Mazzer/Macap better), then budget for that first. Much more
> improvement per dollar in the grinder than in the espresso machine.
>
> Depending on where you are in NE, Chris' Coffee in Albany, NY might be
> convenient for a drop in.
>
> Jim