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DeLonghi EC155 (and EC152CD, EC310, etc.) Modification Guide & Ideas
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > DeLonghi EC155...  
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Weeksy79
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Feb 2012
Posts: 7
Location: Southampton
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Delonghi EC152CD
Grinder: Delonghi KG40
Posted Wed Feb 15, 2012, 7:42am
Subject: Re: DeLonghi EC155 Modification Guide & Ideas
 

Well I plan on getting a Meastro or equivalent as soon as possible but for now I'm worried about the spray as my kitchen is becoming rather covered in brown splatter. In your experience with the different baskets have you found your ground varying at all for them? I'm thinking that the underextraction could be cured by a super fine grind (Hopefuly achievable on a budget Baratza), as changing dose and packing method has not fixed the problem at all. Although who knows, i could just have a defective basket!
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critikay
Senior Member
critikay
Joined: 23 Aug 2010
Posts: 23
Location: Central IL
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Delonghi EC155 modded Naked...
Grinder: Hario Hand Grinder
Roaster: Local
Posted Wed Feb 15, 2012, 9:51am
Subject: Re: DeLonghi EC155 Modification Guide & Ideas
 

Hi and welcome.
(Nick, I'm an art student I'm going to be using the equipment I have access to to mod my portafilter).

Anyone at CG will lay the basic rules about espresso machines:
- A grinder and fresh beans are KEY to good espresso...a lot of the issues you're having might be from the fact that when your basket is unpressurized (liked you modded it to be), you have to get extremely fussy with the grind. b/n 20-30 seconds for roughly 2 oz. (all those varying with temperature, pressure etc.)

- Babbe's Rule of fifteens:
-- Green (unroasted) coffee beans should be roasted within 15 months, or they go stale.
-- Roasted coffee beans should be ground within 15 days, or they go stale.
-- Ground coffee should be used within 15 minutes, or it goes stale...

The shots your getting are unsatisfactory probably because, your coffee is old- once its ground it goes stale quick (even if your nose disagrees), the grind is not the best for the type of coffee you like.

The deeper you dive into the world of coffee, the more complicated it gets I find. It drives me nuts sometimes.

Also Nick, I would argue that distribution of the coffee in the filter is the most important!
Try to get your coffee as evenly distributed in the basket as you can, there are some great techniques out there for leveling your coffee, to reducing clumping, tamping all four sides and then a full tamp. A scale is less important, a lot of people will just dose by volume, feeling it out ya know.
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Nickfrogger
Senior Member
Nickfrogger
Joined: 26 Nov 2010
Posts: 199
Location: Spokane
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia V3 w/PID,...
Grinder: Lelit PL53, Baratza Maestro
Vac Pot: Yama TCA-5 Siphon
Drip: V60 (A red one!)
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Wed Feb 15, 2012, 4:23pm
Subject: Re: DeLonghi EC155 Modification Guide & Ideas
 

critikay Said:

Hi and welcome.[and the rest of his post]

Posted February 15, 2012 link

 
+1 All great advice. Also, just to clarify, I meant the distribution was least important compared to grind and coffee age. Now I that know he is using pre-ground, I'd agree distribution jumps to the top of the list until he gets himself a grinder.
 
Jonathan, your overextraction and channeling are almost completely due to using pre-ground coffee. Definitely get a grinder if at least for your paint's sake! :) Then you can take care of distribution issues that can cause spray from there.
 
What Baratza are you thinking of?

Edit: I see that you are looking at the Maestro. The maestro isn't capable of grinding fine enough for espresso, so I'd suggest you check out some other options. Expect to spend at least $200 for a used capable grinder, otherwise over $300 new (unless you look into the LeLit PL53 or go the hand grinder route). I'd search the forums for info about grinders before you buy one.

 
There's a big difference between drinking coffee to wake up and waking up to drink coffee.
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DoubleVanos
Senior Member
DoubleVanos
Joined: 29 Nov 2011
Posts: 34
Location: GTA, Ontario
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Lelit PL41, DeLonghi EC155
Grinder: Mazzer Mini, Ascaso mini,...
Drip: Chemex, Kone
Posted Wed Feb 15, 2012, 7:19pm
Subject: Re: DeLonghi EC155 Modification Guide & Ideas
 

Weeksy79 Said:

Well I plan on getting a Meastro or equivalent as soon as possible but for now I'm worried about the spray as my kitchen is becoming rather covered in brown splatter. In your experience with the different baskets have you found your ground varying at all for them? I'm thinking that the underextraction could be cured by a super fine grind (Hopefuly achievable on a budget Baratza), as changing dose and packing method has not fixed the problem at all. Although who knows, i could just have a defective basket!

Posted February 15, 2012 link

I agree with the other members here, so I will not say what has already been said.  I briefly owned an EC155 and in that time I de-pressurized the portafilter.  I initially had it paired with my Capresso Infinity($120 CDN) and enjoyed limited success and a few very good shots.  The Capresso certainly went fine enough, but didn't have enough grind settings for espresso. I also found that the grind selection wasn't very accurate, when say grinding for a press pot and then trying to return to the last espresso setting.  I enjoyed more success and better tasting shots when I picked up the Hario Slim Mill ($35 CDN).  I takes a bit of elbow grease and time, but the grinds in my case were fluffy and had minimal clumping. I was able to make passable shots most every time, with the occasional "wow" shot.  I still ran into similar issues as with the Capresso, mainly not enough steps, too much space between them, and the selection accuracy.

I guess the gist of what I'm saying is, don't despair. There are some good grinder options out there that won't break the bank, and IMO the EC155 is capable of producing some great shots. It is a good little machine that offers a great bang for the buck.
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critikay
Senior Member
critikay
Joined: 23 Aug 2010
Posts: 23
Location: Central IL
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Delonghi EC155 modded Naked...
Grinder: Hario Hand Grinder
Roaster: Local
Posted Wed Feb 15, 2012, 9:43pm
Subject: Re: DeLonghi EC155 Modification Guide & Ideas
 

Check it out, new modded naked portafilter (parts from the delonghi site).
About become coffee bootcamp 101 in my kitchen.
Wish me luck.

critikay: IMAG0233.jpg
(Click for larger image)
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Nickfrogger
Senior Member
Nickfrogger
Joined: 26 Nov 2010
Posts: 199
Location: Spokane
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia V3 w/PID,...
Grinder: Lelit PL53, Baratza Maestro
Vac Pot: Yama TCA-5 Siphon
Drip: V60 (A red one!)
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Wed Feb 15, 2012, 9:51pm
Subject: Re: DeLonghi EC155 Modification Guide & Ideas
 

critikay Said:

Check it out, new modded naked portafilter (parts from the delonghi site).
About become coffee bootcamp 101 in my kitchen.
Wish me luck.

Posted February 15, 2012 link

Beautiful! Good luck :)

 
There's a big difference between drinking coffee to wake up and waking up to drink coffee.
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Weeksy79
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Feb 2012
Posts: 7
Location: Southampton
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Delonghi EC152CD
Grinder: Delonghi KG40
Posted Thu Feb 16, 2012, 5:48am
Subject: Re: DeLonghi EC155 Modification Guide & Ideas
 

Yeah after a little more reading I see now that the Maestro wouldn't meet my needs. I think I could stretch to the Virtuoso but anymore than that would mean saving for a couple of months (as sad as that sounds). So are we all agreed that getting the grind finer would slow down extraction and stop the spray issues? Because for now that's the major issue rather than the general underextraction.
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DoubleVanos
Senior Member
DoubleVanos
Joined: 29 Nov 2011
Posts: 34
Location: GTA, Ontario
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Lelit PL41, DeLonghi EC155
Grinder: Mazzer Mini, Ascaso mini,...
Drip: Chemex, Kone
Posted Thu Feb 16, 2012, 6:28pm
Subject: Re: DeLonghi EC155 Modification Guide & Ideas
 

Weeksy79 Said:

Yeah after a little more reading I see now that the Maestro wouldn't meet my needs. I think I could stretch to the Virtuoso but anymore than that would mean saving for a couple of months (as sad as that sounds). So are we all agreed that getting the grind finer would slow down extraction and stop the spray issues? Because for now that's the major issue rather than the general underextraction.

Posted February 16, 2012 link

I wish it was that simple(it isn't).  Going finer should slow down the extraction, but there is much more to it, much much more.  I'm still a newb myself but in my short time I have learned that the distribution of the grinds is one of the most important things in getting a good shot regardless if the grind is at the proper fineness. Spraying can be caused by channeling, excessive pressure, too much tamping etc...

Look through this article from the HB site. It helped me a lot and is great tool for anyone who is learning.

I have never used the standard virtuoso, but I do know that it is a stepped grinder with roughly 40 or so steps covering the range from filter to espresso. I don't think that it would be enough to pull consistent shots. I have on the other hand played around with the Virtuoso Preciso, and the micro adjust feature it has is very cool and might be better suited to your needs.
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Weeksy79
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Feb 2012
Posts: 7
Location: Southampton
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Delonghi EC152CD
Grinder: Delonghi KG40
Posted Tue Feb 21, 2012, 10:01am
Subject: Re: DeLonghi EC155 Modification Guide & Ideas
 

Less pressure during tamping definitely helped but still not eradicated the issue. The Preciso would be great but a major expense at the minute, I've been looking at the Rancillio Rocky which I think would be nice but depending on how highly you recommend the Preciso I may have to save a bit more and make the investment. What do you think?
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Nickfrogger
Senior Member
Nickfrogger
Joined: 26 Nov 2010
Posts: 199
Location: Spokane
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia V3 w/PID,...
Grinder: Lelit PL53, Baratza Maestro
Vac Pot: Yama TCA-5 Siphon
Drip: V60 (A red one!)
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Tue Feb 21, 2012, 11:27am
Subject: Re: DeLonghi EC155 Modification Guide & Ideas
 

Though I have not used the Rocky myself, I've heard some reviews that complain about the lack of stepless adjustment and clumpy grind. Right now I use the Lelit PL53 and really like it. It was fabulous with the EC155 and it's holding up well with my Silvia also, so there is a bit of upgrade room if need be. I don't get much friction and no clumping at all, and it is cheaper than the Rocky.

Just my opinion :)

~Nick

Edit: Sorry, I haven't used the Preciso so I can't speak for that. However, the Preciso is cheaper than the Rocky and seems to have better reviews. Also, just a note, switching between drip and espresso is a long process of turning with the Pl53 but it'd be no problem with the Preciso.

 
There's a big difference between drinking coffee to wake up and waking up to drink coffee.
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