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Filter Basket Replacement/Espresso with +- 3 bars pressure
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Nickfrogger
Senior Member
Nickfrogger
Joined: 26 Nov 2010
Posts: 205
Location: Spokane
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia V3 w/PID,...
Grinder: Forte, Lelit PL53, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Yama TCA-5 Siphon
Drip: V60 (A red one!)
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Tue Jul 26, 2011, 9:55pm
Subject: Filter Basket Replacement/Espresso with +- 3 bars pressure
 

Hey everyone,
    Just a couple things. First, does anybody ever replace filter baskets, and if so, how often? I modified my ec155 to a naked pf about 8 months ago and yesterday noticed that the bottom of the basket is ever so slightly bending out. No difference in shots and certainly no grounds through or anything, but it is noticeable.
   
    Second, just to hear what you think of this, I seem to be getting better shots with my now 3 bar (give or take) DeLonghi if I grind finer, use more grounds (21-24g), tamp less (say 20-25lbs or so) and pull the shot to about 16 seconds (~1.25 fl oz). It seems to produce better mouthfeel and more crema, in addition to bringing out the more acidic or floral flavor notes. Does that make sense or is it heresy?

Thanks in advance!
~Nick

Edit: That the machine has only 3 bars is simply an estimate due to replacing the pressurized basket; I could be wrong about that (it is pump driven).
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,947
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Wed Jul 27, 2011, 7:32am
Subject: Re: Filter Basket Replacement/Espresso with +- 3 bars pressure
 

Hi,

First question, What grinder are you using?
EDIT: I just saw you are using Lelit PL53. I have never used one of those but I seem to remember that it will work OK, like I ask further into the post, how fresh is your coffee?


Just by removing the PPF device, that will not lower the power of the pump so you are still getting full power at the PF even naked.

Each coffee requires that you work to get the best shot from it. 16 seconds is a bit quick, most coffees like to be extracted between 22 and 30 or so seconds. 21 to 24 g is the high end for a double (I use 18g) and yet you are just pulling a long single! With that amount of coffee, you really need to grind finer. Tamping is the LEAST important part of the process. Just be consistent and all will be well. It sounds like you are trying to compensate for your quick shot and underextraction by adding more coffee into the basket.

For example (from memory so don't attack me if I misquote here!)  Redbird recommends that you pull at about 199F with 18g of coffee for about 30 seconds after the coffee starts to drip from a standard, nonmodified commercial style PF.

You make no mention of who the coffee roaster is or how old the coffee is but old coffee will flow fast so perhaps this is what is going on, you are way over dosing and still getting a quick pull.

Start by grinding fine enough that 18 g in a double basket will choke the machine then back off the grind until you get a ~25 second 1.75 to 2.25 fl oz shot (depending on the coffee and how you like it)

It is not unheard of to have the basket start to bow and to replace them. The bow can cause a change in the way the water flows through the puck. If you like what you are getting, keep the basket, there is no hard and fast rule about them. Commercial baskets are less prone to this than thinner consumer baskets.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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Nickfrogger
Senior Member
Nickfrogger
Joined: 26 Nov 2010
Posts: 205
Location: Spokane
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia V3 w/PID,...
Grinder: Forte, Lelit PL53, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Yama TCA-5 Siphon
Drip: V60 (A red one!)
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Wed Jul 27, 2011, 9:49am
Subject: Re: Filter Basket Replacement/Espresso with +- 3 bars pressure
 

My coffee is between 3 and 12 days old (I'm working at a summer camp in the middle of no-where so I have to buy a bit in advance, otherwise it is weekly). I switch between Classic Black Cat Intelligentsia and Espresso Toro from Alterra.

Start by grinding fine enough that 18 g in a double basket will choke the machine then back off the grind until you get a ~25 second 1.75 to 2.25 fl oz shot (depending on the coffee and how you like it)

Sounds like a good plan, I have been really going through the beans lately :) I think this will help.

~Nick

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


Joined: 26 Jul 2011
Posts: 3
Location: Ithaca, NY
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Delonghi EC155
Grinder: Capresso Infinity
Drip: Aeropress, melitta single...
Posted Thu Jul 28, 2011, 3:23am
Subject: Re: Filter Basket Replacement/Espresso with +- 3 bars pressure
 

Nick,
 This may be off topic, but if you don't mind I'd like to ask a couple of questions. I've also got an EC155 that I just recently unpressurized, right now I have the stock basket with all the plastic bits off. Less of a tortuous path, almost naked even, but it's a pain because the bottom falls straight out in the knockbox (kitchen sink :). What basket did you go with to replace it, I see from a previous post you've tried all three of the normally suggested baskets. I'm ordering the two delonghi baskets to try out but was curious what you found.

also i found this site: Adding a pressure gauge to a Delonghi espresso machine (blog) that shows somebody else's mod where he studied the pressure.

I'm a noob, but I take from this that the pump can only really get higher pressures at low flow rates (30s double) so I was planning on choking my little guy to hopefully approximate a real machine. Seems like another variable in pulling a shot, not ideal but maybe if we get it dialed in at 25s it'll be fine. I've a crap grinder (black infinity) and was thinking of upgrading that first (probably a preciso). My capresso infinity seems to grind plenty fine enough (got one of the good ones) but without the ppf I'm worried about adjustability.

Anyway just wanted to let you know there's a kindred spirit trying to get the most out of this little machine. I'm probably too early in my journey to help much but do let me know if you want to bounce ideas / confirm theories, or just commiserate

Thanks,
Charlie
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,947
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Thu Jul 28, 2011, 6:40am
Subject: Filter Basket Replacement/Espresso with +- 3 bars pressure
 

Charlie, welcome to the board!

The pump in your machine will be "enough" to make a good shot. You do have a "real machine" it is just a starter level machine.

Any stock pump in an espresso machine will only develop enough pressure to force the water through the coffee. This is the reason that when makers of lesser machines tout 18 bar pump!!!!  it is so much baloney. This is not to say that the pump may not need regulation for pressure but it will be enough pressure to do the job. We brew espresso at about 10 bar (give or take a little depending on your machine and how you like it setup) Let me explain.

(just using random numbers here to show a point)

If a pump was able to  develop 150 psi under a static load (no water flow, this would be the max pressure the pump is able to produce) then you ground your coffee so fine that water was not able to flow through it, the pump would be making 150 psi of pressure but it would do no good because the restriction of the coffee is more than the pump can push so the machine is choked IE, no water can flow.

Now, lets remove the coffee from the machine and turn it back on again. Now you have only the restriction of the pipes and tubing in the machine, lets say, 1 psi restriction, the pump would only put out slightly more than 1 psi, just enough to overcome the resistance of the machine it's self. There would be nothing holding the pump back (back pressure) and the pump would push as much water as it could move.

Pumps are rated at pressure and a flow rate. Say for example, 100 psi and 1 gallon per minute. This means that the pump can move one gallon of water per minute at 100 psi.  With no load, most pumps can move more water per minute than at rated pressure/flow. This is not unlimited though. Depending on how the pump is made, it may move 1 1/2 gallons at 1 psi pressure. As the pressure increases, the flow rate goes down as the work the pump needs to do in providing pressure goes up. There is also a max pressure the pump can reach. Our example pump is rated at 100 psi at 1 gal a minute, we have established that it will move 1.5 gal per minute at 1 psi and it's max pressure is, say 150 psi. At 150 psi, it is unable to make even one more ounce of pressure per inch so the pump is stalled, no water movement.

The performance of a pump is more of a curve than a straight line so the pump is chosen to deliver the desired volume of flow and the desired pressure. If the pump needs to make more pressure, the flow will slow down, if it needs to make less pressure, the flow will increase.

The short answer is though, that removing the PPF, does not affect the pressure of the pump. You simply need to grind the coffee so it provides the proper resistance to water flow, that the PPF USED to provide for you. The PPF has a built in resistance to flow so it will slow the flow through poorly ground coffee to the point that you will get a better result without proper grinding of the coffee, this won't produce a great cup but it is better than it would have been.

You really do need to get a better grinder now that you are depending on the COFFEE to provide the proper resistance to the water flow.

Remember, that I said above that a pump MAY need pressure regulation? This is why. I have shown that a pump can produce more pressure than need (and manufacturers take advantage of this in the advert on their boxes). As the pump can push more water pressure than desired for espresso (about 10 bar) even up to 18 bar, it is possible to grind your coffee so that you get a 25 second shot at 18 bar or a 25 second shot at 15 bar or a 25 second shot at 12.4 bar or a 25 second shot at 10 bar. This is why you may need an OPV (over pressure valve) to limit the max output of your pump to the desired 10 bar.

A shot pulled at 18 bar will have a different flavor profile than one pulled at 10 bar. This is just something you need to keep in mind when working with less expensive machines. The PPF and a bad coffee grind (too coarse) will limit the shot to about 10 bar but that may cause pressure issues when grinding properly.

Taking the guts out of a PPF or going naked puts the pressure (pun intended) on you to do things correctly.

Enjoy the journey it is a tasty and very rewarding one when you put your effort into it!

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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CharlieBlackmer
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Jul 2011
Posts: 3
Location: Ithaca, NY
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Delonghi EC155
Grinder: Capresso Infinity
Drip: Aeropress, melitta single...
Posted Thu Jul 28, 2011, 7:34am
Subject: Re: Filter Basket Replacement/Espresso with +- 3 bars pressure
 

Thanks for the welcome.

That's pretty much what I thought; and it's why I put the link up for Nick who was concerned about lower pressure. That guy showed that at a 10.4s/oz (~20s double) he was getting 7.5 bar. Since the pump in the EC155 isn't oversized and OPV'd then it seems like the right pour time is even more critical.

For instance with a bigger machine regulated down to 9 before the grouphead a shorter or longer pull will still have 9 bar as long the pump can keep up. With my little guy it seems that a quick 2oz pull will result in a 7bar extraction also... more variables equals harder for me to get a good coffee right?

Based on what I'm hearing though my grinder will limit me (makes sense). Although I think the infinity is doing a pretty good job (hard for a newbie like me to tell), it can choke the machine so it seems fine enough. I know uniformity is an issue, and adjustability. That should come out in the timing; and the crema color right?

Anyway variation is bound to be an issue with cheaper machines so I thought I'd play around a little with my infinity before springing for the preciso (which seems the best grinder decision based on wanting multiple brew methods and low cost, is that right?). I still haven't really used any fresh beans since my mod so I feel like I have homework to do first!

Thanks again; I may post in the near future asking for more help or input (and so I don't hijack in my first thread... sorry Nick).
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Nickfrogger
Senior Member
Nickfrogger
Joined: 26 Nov 2010
Posts: 205
Location: Spokane
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia V3 w/PID,...
Grinder: Forte, Lelit PL53, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Yama TCA-5 Siphon
Drip: V60 (A red one!)
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Fri Jul 29, 2011, 9:29pm
Subject: Re: Filter Basket Replacement/Espresso with +- 3 bars pressure
 

Hey Charlie,
   It is fun to find someone with the same machine, it is such a cheap fun machine. My favorite basket right now is from DeLonghi, # 607706 two cup basket. I needed to file down a screw hole a bit to get it to fit, but now it doesn't fall out :) Just for fun, I have an Ec155 mod forum here:
"DeLonghi EC155 (and EC152CD, EC310, etc.) Modification Guide & Ideas"
If you have any ideas, I'd love to see them.

...let me know if you want to bounce ideas / confirm theories, or just commiserate

Sure, and feel free to let me know what works for you, too!

And, thank you, calblacksmith, for a good explanation of pressurization; it is something I hadn't given much thought.

~Nick

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