Be wary (and weary) of dogma passed as learned knowledge - a Ford family car and a race car can both have a gas engine, but comparison between the two is more fruitful after lifting the hood to see what is going on inside. This blog generated out of a discussion on a coffee enthusiast forum where a post was presented that in my opinion dissmissed Thermoblocks without considering the application.

Is the HX better than a thermoblock only machine like a Krups? Sure it is. The steam thermoblock in the Silvano has it's basic operations in common with a Krups thermoblock since both heat water  - I have seen both up close - the Krups (XP4000, XP4030, 964, 969) system is different in appearance than the one found in the Silvano  - in the photo below on the left courtesy of a post by Chris from Chris Coffee you will find a large circle of metal under the word "bracket" - this is the steam thermoblock and is found behind the brass boiler inside the machine. On the right is the group assembly of the Krups. The Krups thermoblock is the part sitting above the polished metal group.

Most home use machines with a thermoblock will look similar but the Krups is nicer in build than some cheaper models I have dissected.  These are required to hold a larger volume of water than the steam only thermoblock because this part functions as the entire boiler for the machine. Since the pump must still deliver 9 bar of water pressure, the cooler water from the tank will negatively affect water temperature stability while pulling the shot - hence the bad rap thermoblocks earn for brewing espresso.  Make this block larger and the stability improves - ask it to flash boil only a small amount of water at a time for steaming and the design works very well.

Here is a cool video from Chris Coffee that speaks better than I can to the machine's ability:

Silvano by Quick Mill: Making a Cappuccino

And here is a longer overview of the Silvano - Steaming starts at 6:21 and is finished by 6:50 so less than 30 seconds to steam the milk - nice performance by this thermoblock steam heat bank.

Silvano by Quick Mill Overview 

Blog Category: 

Comments

Submitted by EricBNC on
<br>Thanks for that - HX is a sound method, double boiler is a sound method, maybe this is a sound method too for a low volume 2 - 4 drink at a time application for home use.

Submitted by EricBNC on
<br>The steam bank has it's own smaller 16 watt pump drawing water from the 2 liter reservoir and 1000 watt heating coil so it should steam as long as you want to steam or till the reservoir runs dry. The pump draws a small amount of water per cycle - I have never run the tank dry testing to be honest but heating the thermoblock shouldn't be too hard on that component any more than low heating the eye of a stove would be hard on a burner - the steam thermostat is probably set well under 300 F. The pump isn't under serious load or back pressure like the main pump is during a shot either.

Submitted by yeahyeah on
Thanks for the write up, I am quite interested in the Silvano.

Submitted by EricBNC on
<br>Your welcome - all I can say is I am happy with mine.

Submitted by jbviau on
Krups sounds a little sexier than Ford to me for some reason though. ;)

Great in-depth info on the steaming performance of the Silvano. For most home user, steaming performance is of no real consequence except for bragging right. As long as in the end, microfoam is produce, it is all good.

Submitted by EricBNC on
<br>If it makes enough steam to build a milk drink or two then it is plenty for normal household use. If I entertained a lot - and had a large espresso drinking circle of friends - then more might be better. Most people I know will just want coffee or ice tea so my espresso machine only has to meet my wife's (limited use) and my (heaviest user) needs. Much as I love equipment, I went the sensible route and so far have no regrets.

I think in this application it is going to work fine, but for me and my 32 oz milk per shot habit I need something more powerful! j/k Thanks for the info.

I would be especially interested in how fast it steams the milk. For example how long to heat up 4 oz of milk to 160F. The CC video looks good, but doesn't include the details.

Submitted by EricBNC on
<br>I am happy it will steam milk, but i am happier with a PID temp stable 21 fl oz brass boiler - the shot consistency is awesome.

Submitted by EricBNC on
<br>In the video the pitcher is "wet paint" in under 30 seconds.

QuickMill Silvano: Comparing HX vs Boiler and Steam Thermoblock

| by

Be wary (and weary) of dogma passed as learned knowledge - a Ford family car and a race car can both have a gas engine, but comparison between the two is more fruitful after lifting the hood to see what is going on inside. This blog generated out of a discussion on a coffee enthusiast forum where a post was presented that in my opinion dissmissed Thermoblocks without considering the application.

Is the HX better than a thermoblock only machine like a Krups? Sure it is. The steam thermoblock in the Silvano has it's basic operations in common with a Krups thermoblock since both heat water  - I have seen both up close - the Krups (XP4000, XP4030, 964, 969) system is different in appearance than the one found in the Silvano  - in the photo below on the left courtesy of a post by Chris from Chris Coffee you will find a large circle of metal under the word "bracket" - this is the steam thermoblock and is found behind the brass boiler inside the machine. On the right is the group assembly of the Krups. The Krups thermoblock is the part sitting above the polished metal group.

Most home use machines with a thermoblock will look similar but the Krups is nicer in build than some cheaper models I have dissected.  These are required to hold a larger volume of water than the steam only thermoblock because this part functions as the entire boiler for the machine. Since the pump must still deliver 9 bar of water pressure, the cooler water from the tank will negatively affect water temperature stability while pulling the shot - hence the bad rap thermoblocks earn for brewing espresso.  Make this block larger and the stability improves - ask it to flash boil only a small amount of water at a time for steaming and the design works very well.

Here is a cool video from Chris Coffee that speaks better than I can to the machine's ability:

Silvano by Quick Mill: Making a Cappuccino

And here is a longer overview of the Silvano - Steaming starts at 6:21 and is finished by 6:50 so less than 30 seconds to steam the milk - nice performance by this thermoblock steam heat bank.

Silvano by Quick Mill Overview 

Category: BLOG

steam speed

November 16, 2011 | by EricBNC


In the video the pitcher is "wet paint" in under 30 seconds.

@intrepid510

November 16, 2011 | by EricBNC


I am happy it will steam milk, but i am happier with a PID temp stable 21 fl oz brass boiler - the shot consistency is awesome.

Hope to try this one of these days

November 14, 2011 | by samuellaw178

I would be especially interested in how fast it steams the milk. For example how long to heat up 4 oz of milk to 160F. The CC video looks good, but doesn't include the details.

I think in this application

November 14, 2011 | by intrepid510

I think in this application it is going to work fine, but for me and my 32 oz milk per shot habit I need something more powerful! j/k Thanks for the info.

yup, they vary

November 12, 2011 | by EricBNC


yup, they vary

Thermoblocks Compared...........

November 12, 2011 | by Cyclone

Opinions vary.

Thanks Son Ton

November 9, 2011 | by EricBNC


If it makes enough steam to build a milk drink or two then it is plenty for normal household use. If I entertained a lot - and had a large espresso drinking circle of friends - then more might be better. Most people I know will just want coffee or ice tea so my espresso machine only has to meet my wife's (limited use) and my (heaviest user) needs. Much as I love equipment, I went the sensible route and so far have no regrets.

Great info!

November 8, 2011 | by sontondaman

Great in-depth info on the steaming performance of the Silvano. For most home user, steaming performance is of no real consequence except for bragging right. As long as in the end, microfoam is produce, it is all good.

Should I change it to a Chevy?

November 8, 2011 | by EricBNC


Should I change it to a Chevy or Dodge instead? ; )

Analogies

November 7, 2011 | by jbviau

Krups sounds a little sexier than Ford to me for some reason though. ;)

@yeahyeah

October 31, 2011 | by EricBNC


Your welcome - all I can say is I am happy with mine.

Thanks

October 29, 2011 | by yeahyeah

Thanks for the write up, I am quite interested in the Silvano.

@wakenot

October 29, 2011 | by EricBNC


The steam bank has it's own smaller 16 watt pump drawing water from the 2 liter reservoir and 1000 watt heating coil so it should steam as long as you want to steam or till the reservoir runs dry. The pump draws a small amount of water per cycle - I have never run the tank dry testing to be honest but heating the thermoblock shouldn't be too hard on that component any more than low heating the eye of a stove would be hard on a burner - the steam thermostat is probably set well under 300 F. The pump isn't under serious load or back pressure like the main pump is during a shot either.

It totally makes sense

October 29, 2011 | by wakeknot

How many ounces can you steam before you outrun the steamer? (Or can it keep up with any reasonable amount)?

@broseph

October 29, 2011 | by EricBNC


Thanks for that - HX is a sound method, double boiler is a sound method, maybe this is a sound method too for a low volume 2 - 4 drink at a time application for home use.

cool, nicely educational

October 29, 2011 | by donnedonne

cool, nicely educational

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