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Need help with a cheap machine :(
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Need help with a...  
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graystevens
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Feb 2013
Posts: 5
Location: England
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Silvercrest (Lidl Machine)
Grinder: Hario
Posted Fri Feb 1, 2013, 3:30am
Subject: Need help with a cheap machine :(
 

Hi All,

I bought myself a cheap espresso machine from Lidl for Xmas (Silvercrest Espresso Machine, see here) and have been messing around with it since. I can get a nice latte out of it, but I want to venture into the realms of espresso. I have tried some of them that have come out of my machine, and it's vile - bitter and makes your face screw up.
I have recently modified one of the baskets to remove any pressurisation  (can post pictures if anyone else wants to do it) and so am now relying on tamp & grind etc. I understand that aspect.
However I also tried weighing my grinds, rather than just filling the basket up like I normally do (oops) and the basket is filled by 12g of beans. I've read for a double this should be 18g? Is this a huge problem? Do I need to source out a 3rd party basket that will fit in my portafilter?

Any advice is welcome!

Graham
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Markarian
Senior Member
Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 658
Location: Seattle Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ECM Technika IV Profi WT-WC
Grinder: Baratza Forte AP, HG One
Vac Pot: Bunn Trifecta MB
Drip: Moka, Aeropress, Hario V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Fri Feb 1, 2013, 4:53am
Subject: Re: Need help with a cheap machine :(
 

Getting these entry level home machines to work with real espresso can be a challenge. The first thing I'd ask you is which grinder are you using? If you bought a new grinder, and it cost less than 200 quid, it's probably not suitable for espresso unless it's a hand grinder. As for dosage, would a bigger basket fit in the PF?
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graystevens
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Feb 2013
Posts: 5
Location: England
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Silvercrest (Lidl Machine)
Grinder: Hario
Posted Fri Feb 1, 2013, 5:20am
Subject: Re: Need help with a cheap machine :(
 

Yeah I've got a Hario mini mill, which I believe is enough? Seems to be able to go pretty damn fine.

I have just looked into how much I can get into the basket - 12g :( So I've been doing some searching, and I've figured out the tamper size is ~50mm, so I've ordered a spare (unpressurised) basket at 51mm that should hopefully fit, and take the full 18g
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,398
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Fri Feb 1, 2013, 5:47am
Subject: Re: Need help with a cheap machine :(
 

Looks like it's a rebadged Delonhi EC152, problem with these machines is their "starter" machines, they have no temp stability, very small boilers that cool fast as they pull in water dropping temps as water hits the puck, and they don't even get to the right espresso temps. I have a Delonghi bar 32 I started with. Was better then Starbucks lol, just no comparison to my setup now. You can mod the baskets like you already did. Leave the machine on longer to warm up, don't go by the lights (if it has any, the Bar32 would light up in like 5 minutes saying it's ready but that's not true). Could try little tricks like turning to steam and just before steam is ready, switch to pull a shot so the water is hotter and try that.

I have the Mini Mill around too, how are your shots coming out as far as time? Usually the Mini will be between gushing and choking and then you have to adjust the dose to compensate, but these baskets are smaller then normal as well. Have you tried 14g and so you may have a mound but level/tamp that in?
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graystevens
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Feb 2013
Posts: 5
Location: England
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Silvercrest (Lidl Machine)
Grinder: Hario
Posted Fri Feb 1, 2013, 7:50am
Subject: Re: Need help with a cheap machine :(
 

Surely if I bring it up to steaming temperature, then brew, it'll burn the coffee like no-ones business? What sort of temperature should it be out of the group head - i think i'll try and take a measure of it to see just how far off it is.

Others have said its a rebadged EC152 as well, however looking at them both, there are definitely differences: the steaming wand is a different style, and the pressurisation system was definitely different to that of the EC155 pictures I've seen. To depressurise, it was just a case of removing a few screws on the basket, rather than the portafilter itself (handy!) just a shame it doesn't hold 18g :(

As for the time of shots, I have only tried one 'true' unpressurised shot so far, and that lasted under 10 seconds really, but I hadn't changed the grind size to how I was using it before, so that is something I definitely need to fix as well. Needs to be much finer.
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,430
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Fri Feb 1, 2013, 8:18am
Subject: Re: Need help with a cheap machine :(
 

Did you also write this:

My partner and I testing out our Silvercrest Espresso Machine (rebranded DeLonghi, similar to the EC152). We bought the Silvercrest from Lidl for £39.99 and it’s AWESOME! The machine comes supplied with 2 pressurised portafilters (a single and a double) allowing you to use pre-ground coffee off-the-shelf. We used LaVazza Qualità Rossa coffee for this video and the pressurised double portafilter. We bastardised one of the portafilters so there’s no longer any pressurisation, therefore relying solely on the coffee tamp and grounds to produce the perfect pull. But unfortunately off-the-shelf, pre-ground coffee pulls in about 10 seconds. Our local Italian restaurant was kind enough to give us some of their own ground coffee to sample. By chance it was almost perfectly dialed for our machine, producing a 24 second pull. Beautiful! This proves that the machine is capable. However, we now know we need a grinder to get the best out of the machine. By the way, throw the supplied pannarello attachment away – it serves no useful purpose, unless what it produces is your idea of cappuccino foam
Video Rating: 5 / 5

?????

As Markarian said,

Markarian Said:

Getting these entry level home machines to work with real espresso can be a challenge.

Posted February 1, 2013 link

HOWEVER . . .

If you are serious about making great espresso, ditch both of the pressurized portafilters (PPF).  

Get a grinder.  There is no way to produce high quality espresso from pre-ground coffee.  Period.

JasonBrandtLewis Said:

Babbie's Rule* of Fifteens:
-- Green (unroasted) coffee beans should be roasted within 15 months of harvest, 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.

Posted February 15, 2011 link

Look at the Mahlkönig Vario HOME, the Eureka Mignon Mk 11, or a hand-grinder.

The problem with SBDU machines is that you have to wait.  Wait for the machine to rise in temperature from brew to steam before steaming the milk; wait for the machine to cool down from steam temp to brew, before you pull a shot.

Overall, you seem to be headed down the right track.  Patience, and practice.

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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graystevens
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Feb 2013
Posts: 5
Location: England
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Silvercrest (Lidl Machine)
Grinder: Hario
Posted Sun Feb 3, 2013, 1:55am
Subject: Re: Need help with a cheap machine :(
 

Just to point out, I didn't write that blogpost :)

What temperature should the water be hitting the grounds? I thought 100c was too much and would burn the grounds, hence the hesitation on the steam technique.

I am patiently waiting for my new basket, before carrying on - cant wait!
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,040
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Sun Feb 3, 2013, 10:45am
Subject: Re: Need help with a cheap machine :(
 

Temp at the portafilter is anywhere from 197-205 F.  Temp at the boiler is a bit higher as it cools while traveling.  You will have to test it to see what the offset is.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

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Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,180
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4, Pharos,...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Sun Feb 3, 2013, 10:49am
Subject: Re: Need help with a cheap machine :(
 

Coffeenoobie Said:

Temp at the portafilter is anywhere from 197-205 F...

Posted February 3, 2013 link

roughly 90-95c.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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