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what's wrong with my rancilio silvia (too much too fast)?

Posted: Mon Sep 11, 2006 7:43 pm
by Susan
I've had a Rancilio Silvia since December 2002 and got many great cups of espresso from it until the last few months. Now, no matter what I try, the espresso cup fills up to the brim in about 20 seconds, at which point I shut the machine off to prevent spilling--the result is sour terrible espresso.

I've tried switching my grinder down to the finest setting, tamping as hard as I possibly can, 'bleeding off' excessive steam by running a 'blank' shot before the real shot, but nothing helps.

Does anyone out there in the Rancilio world have any suggestions? Could a part be worn out that needs replacing? How I miss those delicious ristrettos!

Thanks for any advice,

Posted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 10:40 am
by david
Hello Susan and welcome to the forum.

It sounds like you are a seasoned Silvia user because all the things I wanted to suggest you to try... you have already tried!

One more thing I can think of must be that the water is not going through the puck of coffee but instead around it.

Has the portafilter or filter basket been damaged? Try with a friends portafilter and filter basket.

Have you tried cleaning the gasket in the group head (where you fit the portafilter) with a damp cloth? Old coffee can get stuck there and cause leakage.

In the worst case the gasket it self could be damaged. Use a flash light and see if there is any visible damage from tightening the portafilter too much.

let us know!

silvia's gasket looks damaged!

Posted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 6:48 pm
by Susan
Hi David,

Thanks so much for your reply!

The portafilter, etc., look fine, but I checked the gasket with a flashlight and, yes, it actually looks rather off center--like maybe it got sqwushed from over tightening the portafilter... Do you know how one would go about fixing this on the Rancilio Silvia?

Thanks again!

my temporary workaround

Posted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 6:37 pm
by Susan
Of course, I've got to get the gasket fixed as soon as possible, but until then I tried overpacking the portafilter to slow down the flow. I put as much coffee in there as could fit and tamped it as hard as I could and --voila--I got 27 second delicious espresso that packs a mighty punch (you might call this a triple espresso). Two days in a row--so I think this will be a pretty successful workaround!


Posted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 10:38 am
by david
Being an espresso addict myself, I know a fellow espresso addict when I hear one :lol:

Good work-around but all that tamping and tight fitting must be hard work.

Espresso love

Posted: Sat Sep 23, 2006 9:31 am
by Susan
Oh, yeah... I love a well-drawn espresso with a passion!

Thanks again,