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Espresso Machine Help?

I have a Rancilio Silvia espresso machine. I had a wonderful cup of
latte this morning but forgot to turn the machine off. (I did not leave
the steaming wand on.)

When I got home this evening, I thought I’d see if the machine was
damaged. When I tried to pull a shot of espresso the water ran through
the grind way too fast.

Any suggestions?

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Michael W

posted March 31, 2009 at 10:00 pm

The only thing I can really think of is the water being too hot, and burning the coffee rather than really “extracting” through the coffee.
My only suggestion is one that I am sure you thought of: turn the machine off and let it cool, then try again.
Few questions though: How long of shots do you pull? Do you get good ristretto results with that machine? I know you go to intelligentsia in Chicago. I am from Portland, home of Stumptown, and lived in Seattle, but can’t find any spro in Minneapolis worth looking at twice.
I am looking into buying a home espresso setup, but don’t really have the cash.
Anyway’s keep me posted, interested in seeing how your machine turns out. Worst comes to worst, you will just have to adjust the grind, which will take a bit of time, but not too long. What kind of grinder do you use by the way?

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Scot McKnight

posted March 31, 2009 at 10:04 pm

Thanks. On the grind… it was perfect earlier today so I’m not convinced it is the grind. (I use a Zassenhaus hand grinder.) I think I pull good shots out of the Rancilio.

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posted April 1, 2009 at 12:53 am

I’m wondering if the head gasket was damaged?Is there any water leaking from the grouphead, or were the used grounds wet, rather than the “dry puck”?

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Scot McKnight

posted April 1, 2009 at 7:33 am

I can’t see that it is. What is the “dry puck”?
It seems to me that this new coffee I’m using, Second Cup, needs a finer grind than I was using and last night’s attempt to see if it was working was without enough grinds or a tight enough tamp. Thanks.

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posted April 1, 2009 at 7:58 am

Sorry, by “dry puck” was meant to describe the used grounds after you’ve pulled your shot. I have a machine with a bad gasket, and the grounds are very wet after the shot is pulled.
Glad to hear you’re back onto the Second Cup, must have been the second trip up north that sold you! 😉

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