At work now with the other EC155. So this other machine with the PF/filter from the "faulty" machine yields plenty of crema (see attached).
So the fault lies somewhere with my home EC155. It's not the PF or the filters.
As a recap, the steps I've taken so far:
- Cleaned the filters and PF (vinegar soak + wash), but these are definitely not the issue. - Cleaned the shower screen and gasket (vinegar soak + wash) and checked for blockages behind it. - Ran a full tank of vinegar through the EC155 followed by 2 tanks of filtered water. This was done 2 months back and the machine still produced crema afterward. - It's not the coffee - I opened a fresh can at home of the type I always use and neither the old batch or the new batch yielded crema. - Checked the stream coming from the shower screen - the flow is the same as it used to be, no less, no more. - Frother still works great.
As of now, I have an $80 machine that makes great frothed milk!
I can't see where temperature was confirmed as normal? You can use the styrofoam cup method, but I think that you would notice if not up to temperature.
As well as the parts diagram, this teardown of the Starbucks Barista may help. The boilers seem very similar, as well as the valve in the bottom. Looks like you might remove the valve without taking the machine apart and make sure that it is clean and working normally.
Use an instant digital thermometer instead, and preheat the cup and thermomoter to about 200F+. Keep a cup of boiling water handy. Even an "instant" takes a second or two and then you see a temperature and then can watch it fall. You loose heat rapidly. It is only an approximation, to help you get around 180 - 200 in the cup. After that it is about taste. You can learn to temperature surf somewhat by learning to raise the brew water temperture this way, but still, taste. Repeat the test a few times, allowing the machine to restabilize bewteen, and see if you can get some consistency. Warm up at minimum 15 minutes prior, and you may need 5 minutes between tests/pulls.
Posted Sun Mar 3, 2013, 1:37pm Subject: Re: DeLonghi EC155 (and EC152CD, EC310, etc.) Modification Guide & Ideas
Yes, I heat the styrofoam cup though it has little thermal mass. Once you see how faast the temperature drops off, you realize that you need to do all that you can to get an "accurate approximation." Without preheating, especially the thermometer, you get low readings, up to 20F low.
I preheat espresso cups as well, but no espresso cups in the test.
PeanutButterBoy Senior Member Joined: 10 Sep 2012 Posts: 18 Location: Hoboken Expertise: Just starting
Espresso: Delonghi EC155
Posted Sat Mar 9, 2013, 5:13am Subject: Re: DeLonghi EC155 (and EC152CD, EC310, etc.) Modification Guide & Ideas
So I've got an update to the "no crema" problem. I haven't measured the temperature via the stryofoam cup method - I've been busy at work and starting my own business on the side (unfortunately it's not a styrofoam cup business) - but I have noticed that the past few times I've tried to pull a shot, something else has been way off:
The flow is terribly slow.
I know someone asked before about this and at the time the flow seemed fine, but now the flow is incredibly slow. It takes at least 30-40 seconds to get a full shot and still no crema. I thought maybe this would be more of a telltale sign than anything else?
If not, I'll go buy a coffee at the store today to get a styrofoam cup.
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