I recently purchased a Rancilio Silvia/Rocky (refurbished) from an online vendor referenced on this site. I have some questions... I know the learning curve can be steep... I may just need more practice. I have probably made ~ 60 shots. Over half have been quite good.
My concern is that I seem to be very easily choking the machine. I have the Rocky set on ~ 12 (a higher setting than what I read for most Rocky users). To my untrained eye, the grind looks about right. I estimate that I need to tamp at 10 lbs-force or less (rough calibration on a bathroom scale). If I tamp harder, I get no flow.
I am able to get decent crema. Typically I have ~ 3 seconds of dark black/brown liquid out of the portafilter followed by between 15-30 seconds of crema. Occasionaly I have shots that too quickly shift to blonde.
I am not overly concerned about the variations I see... I chalk that up to my inexperience.
The need to use a relatively course grind setting (maybe) and an extremely light tamp does concern me. Is there anyway to test the pressure output of the machine? Is there any diagnostic work I should be doing?
I hope the many more experienced folks here can provide some advice. I am thrilled by the taste of many of the shots I have made, but wanted to run past some of the \"issues\" I am having readers here.