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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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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 Mon Sep 10, 2012, 9:57am
Subject: Re: DeLonghi EC155 Modification Guide & Ideas
 

PeanutButterBoy Said:

Hey all, I'm a brand-new EC155 owner and ever since experiencing cafe con leche in Spain...

Posted September 10, 2012 link

Welcome to the board and the wonderful world of coffee!

PeanutButterBoy Said:

I've never made espresso prior to owning this machine, so in the past week I've done a lot of learning/practicing/drinking

Posted September 10, 2012 link

That never ends. Nice thing, the drinking part gets a lot better :)

PeanutButterBoy Said:

I notice that most of you are modifying your baskets to be un-pressurized (as mentioned below). What is the reason for this? In order to make true "espresso", I thought you needed a certain amount of pressure?

Posted September 10, 2012 link

True, you do want a certain pressure (usually 8-9bar) when brewing. Pressure, of course, is something flowing with resistance, and--rather than a hole at the bottom of the basket--we want that resistance to come from the coffee itself. There are a number of reasons we want that: primarily, if the coffee is providing adequate resistance, that means it is ground finer than something that needs the aid of a "crema-enhancer." A finer grind, in return, yields a richer extraction. That's the simplest way to put it.

Secondly, espresso is a beautiful, delicate balance of lovely emulsified oils, dissolved solids, and soluble chemicals. Blasting this through a crema enhancer messes with that balance and--in my opinion--destroys a lot of the shot qualities.

Finally, as you've already discovered, espresso is a sort of art that we strive to perfect. A crema enhancer will mask issues of grind/dispersion/tamp in your technique (they still  negatively affect the shot), and you need to know about those problems before you can correct them!

Your shots might seem to drop in quality when you opt for depressurized baskets at first, but give it a week or two and you'll never look back (assuming you have a proper espresso capable grinder and quality, fresh beans!).

PeanutButterBoy Said:

Is it just a matter of unscrewing that black plastic cap from the bottom and removing the rubber/plastic gasket inside the filter?

Posted September 10, 2012 link

If I remember correctly (it's been a while), you unscrew the bottom, pop the whole filter part out of the basket, remove the plastic piece sticking out of the gasket/screen part, keep the screen in the gasket, and replace the gasket/screen into the basket part. That's a good way to try out a depressurized basket, but if you like it you'll probably want to get a different basket for the machine. There's a lot of discussion on that above, if you're interested.

PeanutButterBoy Said:

The PF - it seems a lot of people cut off the bottom (or does it screw off?). What's the purpose of this? Just to make it "naked" so you can see the shot being produced?

Posted September 10, 2012 link

Yea, sort of. Let's say you tamp with the tamper tilted to your left. There is more coffee on the right side of the basket and, therefore, less resistance on the left. If you have a naked basket, you will be able to see the more-extracted espresso flowing from the left side of the basket and make a correction for it next time you pull a shot, whereas with a normal portafilter the shot just tastes bitter for some unknown reason.

Also, like I mentioned above, espresso is a delicate thing. The mixing and cooling of a conventional portafilter has it's place, but I don't want that cheap plastic portafilter to be my shot's first experience with the world. Remember that emulsion that I mentioned before? It's known as crema and is delicious. Crema naturally likles to be at the top of the shot, but the spouts will mix it in and degrade the crema (think of whipping a meringue-it won't be as fluffy). Some prefer the flavor, but I'd rather have the layered progression of drinking an unmixed shot.

To remove it, you can unscrew the whole bottom assembly and cut off the circular part of the bottom. If you end up getting a different basket, you may need to file a metal screw socket off, but it will work fine with the standard basket. Also, if you keep the end screw, you can screw just the splitter back on if you want to make two singles or something.

PeanutButterBoy Said:

My Gaggia Fantastico at work has a basket marked for 2 and 4 shots. Is it possible to buy a "quad filter" for the EC155 so I could make 2 double-shots at a time?

Posted September 10, 2012 link

As enticing as it might be to produce multiple drinks at once, it's really not possible with these machines. If time is really of the essence, I make macchiatos or cortados, where I can split a standard double and still enjoy the coffee. Small drinks are cooler anyway :)

The standard equation, to be modified in circumstance, will be:
18g coffee
25-30lb tamp (sure, you can practice on your bathroom scale)
1.5-2oz yield
25-30 seconds of pour time (not from the time the pump gets activated)

If you can get that down, you'll probably be getting decent espresso.

PeanutButterBoy Said:

FYI: I'm currently using pre-ground Lavazza and Cafe Bustelo coffee (espresso grind), which as I understand, is a big no-no. But right now, I'm content on using this stuff since I want to perfect my technique before getting a grinder, and fresh beans. Also, convenience is a slight factor for me since I barely have enough time to make a cappuccino before leaving for work (and I have no desire to wake up earlier).

Posted September 10, 2012 link

I understand the mentality. I did the same for nearly six months before getting a grinder, but once I actually got the grinder, I wished very much that I had had a grinder since the beginning. That being said, the LavAzza brick seemed to have the better suited grind for the depressurized basket, but for what it's worth, get a good grinder!

Here are a couple links that will help you immensely in the beginning parts of your coffee journey:

Click Here (www.seattlecoffeegear.com)]Ok intro to espresso prep (if anyone knows of a better one, please post it!)
Write-up of the importance of the grinder
Guide to steaming milk

Other random resources:

Glossary of espresso terms
Espresso acronyms common on the forum

~Nick

 
There's a big difference between drinking coffee to wake up and waking up to drink coffee.
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Burner0000
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Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 1,090
Location: Cambridge, Ontario Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia, VFA Expres...
Grinder: Macap MX/VFA N1464/Kyocera...
Drip: Manual Drip, French Press
Roaster: Behmor 1600 / Sonofresco
Posted Tue Sep 11, 2012, 4:54am
Subject: Re: DeLonghi EC155 Modification Guide & Ideas
 

The EC155 is as cheap as it gets! $100 new or even less used.  

My machine is still going strong after 2 years.  I found the Delonghi Bar 12 basket's work well.  But for the double to fit nicely you would need to make your portafilter bottomless.  The Silvia V1/1 steam wand replacement is also a good mod for only $18.
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PeanutButterBoy
Senior Member
PeanutButterBoy
Joined: 10 Sep 2012
Posts: 18
Location: Hoboken
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Delonghi EC155
Posted Thu Sep 13, 2012, 10:29am
Subject: Re: DeLonghi EC155 Modification Guide & Ideas
 

It's great to be here. I realize that the EC155 is getting a little older now, but it still seems like a great machine to me (even though I'm a newbie). And thanks for the fantastic amount of info you guys provided. I've been reading through it a couple of times to get it all, and I'm working on some of those links now.

I'll certainly work on the de-pressurized mod in the near future once I get my hands on a good grinder, fresh beans and of course, more free time. A couple more questions:

  1. Your equation of 18g coffee, 1.5-2oz yield, etc... is that for a single or double shot?

  2. If I were to get a replacement basket (like the Delonghi Bar 12 double) and make the portafilter bottomless (to make it fit) - I'm essentially making the PF depressurized AND naked at the same time, right?

  3. The Silvia V1/1 steam wand replacement mod - I looked up the wand, does that simply screw onto the thread of the EC155 when the stock black plastic frother is removed? I've already purchased an M6 x 1.0 acorn nut I plan to drill with a 1/16th bit - is the Silvia wand really that much better than the stock frother and the acorn nut frother? For the record, I find the stock frother to be pretty darn good, it's just that I'm afraid it's slowly becoming stripped from constant removal and re-attaching.

That's all for now.

Cheers,
Nick

 
The Peanut Butter Boy
http://peanutbutterboy.com
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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 Thu Sep 13, 2012, 2:39pm
Subject: Re: DeLonghi EC155 Modification Guide & Ideas
 

Hehe, sorry if I dropped too much on you. I get excited when people like coffee :)

PeanutButterBoy Said:

Your equation of 18g coffee, 1.5-2oz yield, etc... is that for a single or double shot?

Posted September 13, 2012 link

That's basically a double.

PeanutButterBoy Said:

If I were to get a replacement basket (like the Delonghi Bar 12 double) and make the portafilter bottomless (to make it fit) - I'm essentially making the PF depressurized AND naked at the same time, right?

Posted September 13, 2012 link

Yep!

PeanutButterBoy Said:

The Silvia V1/1 steam wand replacement mod - I looked up the wand, does that simply screw onto the thread of the EC155 when the stock black plastic frother is removed? I've already purchased an M6 x 1.0 acorn nut I plan to drill with a 1/16th bit - is the Silvia wand really that much better than the stock frother and the acorn nut frother? For the record, I find the stock frother to be pretty darn good, it's just that I'm afraid it's slowly becoming stripped from constant removal and re-attaching.

Posted September 13, 2012 link

The Silvia wand replaces the whole wand contraption. There is a plastic disk that holds and rotates the current wand set up inside the body of the machine. I removed all the stuff from the Silvia wand, took the top off and loosened the boiler, removed the tubing connecting the old wand and the top of the boiler, pulled the wand out with the rotating disk, popped the old wand out of the disk, slipped it on the new wand, put the burn guard and tip back on, and locked the disk back in place. Then I reconnected the tubing and put it back together. It was probably the easiest mod, only took ~15 minutes. I have a disassembly guide around somewhere on the forum if you'd like to see how to get in there before you do it yourself.

The silvia wand is deeper, meaning it's easier for low milk ratio drinks like macchiato's ("marked" with foamed milk) or cortado/gibraltar's (about 50/50 steamed milk to 'spro).

I haven't used the acorn tip, so I can't comment on that, but the Silvia wand is great for "microfoam." You'll read all about that in the milk-steaming guide. It is essential for good sweetness, satisfying texture and--ofcourse--latte art.

 
There's a big difference between drinking coffee to wake up and waking up to drink coffee.
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PeanutButterBoy
Senior Member
PeanutButterBoy
Joined: 10 Sep 2012
Posts: 18
Location: Hoboken
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Delonghi EC155
Posted Fri Sep 14, 2012, 7:17am
Subject: Re: DeLonghi EC155 Modification Guide & Ideas
 

Hey, I feel ya - ever since getting an espresso machine for the office, I've been getting my coworkers excited about making espresso, cappuccinos and lattes. It's amazing how much there is to discuss about it....

I'm going to try the acorn nut mod this weekend and see how it turns out. I'd like to see some nice microfoam develop, otherwise I may give the Silvia mod a shot.

One last question, if you don't mind =) - What's the best process for steaming/frothing milk? From my experimentation, I've figured out that cold milk works the best. I've been using predominantly skim milk, which seems to produce more foam, but it's obviously a bit more airy/watery, but I'm enjoying it like that. What I've been doing is starting with the wand deep in the milk to get it hot and steamed, then when the milk is hot and the noise changes (the tone gets deeper), I move the wand closer to the top of the milk and hold it there to produce the foam. This method seems to be working better than anything else I've tried. How does this sound?

- Nick

 
The Peanut Butter Boy
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MDiddy
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Oct 2012
Posts: 118
Location: PA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Technika IV Profi
Grinder: Baratza Forte AP
Drip: Cuisinart DCC-1200
Posted Wed Oct 3, 2012, 8:47am
Subject: Re: DeLonghi EC155 Modification Guide & Ideas
 

Hey guys.  First time posting but have been lurking for quite a bit.

I have an EC155 and have done all the PF mods to it, removed plastic and have a 607706 2-CUP FILTER .  One question for all of you that use the same.  How are you getting the cup to fit snuggly in the PF without coming out?  

I've ground down the screw holder in the bottom of the PF to get the basket to fit and it does fit fine, however, it doesn't stay put in the PF.  After pulling a shot, when removing the PF, many times the basket stays attached the machine and I have to pull it off.  Any idea why this is happening?

Thanks!
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soad_x83
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Joined: 3 Oct 2012
Posts: 7
Location: Stratford-upon-Avon
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Oct 3, 2012, 10:13am
Subject: Re: DeLonghi EC155 Modification Guide & Ideas (& ECC152CD)
 

Hi All,

New to espresso, new to CoffeeGeek.com. I've got the EC152CD, which seems to be the same as the EC155 in nearly every way!

re: MDiddy - Same for me , it sometimes takes me a few goes to get the basket out of the group head but I have just accepted it was because of the modding we have done... I don't think it causes any problems, but if someone has fixed this I'd be glad to know.

I'd like to say a massive thanks to the efforts of NickFrogger and others for the mods they have done to the EC155 that I have copied. Because the second I get something new I look for mods, I never tried making espresso with the original setup, but I have no doubt I will one day  pull a really decent shot because of the mods I've made to the machine.

There seems to be relatively little info about the Rancilio Silvia (v1/v2) steam wand modification on the forums. I found it listed as a wand replacement for the gaggia classic (a UK site called happydonkey has them for pretty cheap)

I've made the change and I think it's a vast improvement in the quality of my milk. Here's what I did - it's simple but I thought I'd document it here in any case...
  1. Take the steam knob off (friction fit)
  2. Take the screws of the top of the machine (for the EC152CD it is under the hatch)
  3. Take the screws of from the bottom of the 'head' of the machine (in front of the group head).
  4. Pull top off
  5. Inside, take the screws off the boiler
  6. Unclamp the hose clamp connecting to the steam wand to the hose, and take the hose off - I also unclamped the hose clamp from the boiler but I guess this isn't necessary
  7. Pull the original steam wand down and out - there's a black triangular piece keeping it in place (friction fitted - just pull hard)
  8. Strip the Silvia wand of the steam tip, rubber grip and bolt
  9. Connect the hose and hose clamp to the wand (and connect the hose and hose clamp to the boiler if you removed it
  10. Shove the wand through the black plastic triangle thing - the Silvia wand has a lip which will stop at the boiler screw
  11. Put the 'head' back on the machine
  12. Put the rubber grip and tip on the wand

Very easy to do, took 15 minutes or so.

To the coffee machine....
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MDiddy
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Oct 2012
Posts: 118
Location: PA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Technika IV Profi
Grinder: Baratza Forte AP
Drip: Cuisinart DCC-1200
Posted Wed Oct 3, 2012, 10:46am
Subject: Re: DeLonghi EC155 Modification Guide & Ideas (& ECC152CD)
 

Soad,

That's exactly what's happening, every time.  I just pulled a shot (pretty decent mind you) and when I removed the PF, the basket stayed attached to the group head and when I attempted to remove it, it fell off, spilling my fairly damp puck all over the counter.  It's a bit of a pain.  I'm thinking someway to permanently attach the basket to the PF should solve the issue.  Maybe a few dabs of crazy glue around the inside of the PF and then slide the basket in???

It's obvious this is happening because of the slightly smaller diameter of the new basket compared to stock.  Due to the smaller size, the basket forms a very tight seal around the drip head and then does not want to come off.

If anyone has any ideas on how to remedy this, it would be greatly appreciated!

- Diddy
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,022
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Wed Oct 3, 2012, 11:11am
Subject: Re: DeLonghi EC155 Modification Guide & Ideas (& ECC152CD)
 

Careful with the glues.  Some might add flavor and many will fail at temperature.  They might not fail on first try, but that is getting pretty hot for many glues.  Cleaning might be a problem also.  Could you drill and thread a small hole in the PF and use a screw to just pressure a drag fit on the basket?

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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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 Oct 3, 2012, 11:28am
Subject: Re: DeLonghi EC155 Modification Guide & Ideas (& ECC152CD)
 

My basket is held in by friction from the remains of the screw holder, so perhaps a *small* drop of glue on your screw holder will do the trick if it protrudes enough. You certainly will want to get the basket out for cleaning of the PF as Fred mentioned, but that wouldn't be an issue if you just used a little. Otherwise some sort of heat-resistent tape wrapped to give enough friction on the basket might do the trick?

To get the basket unstuck, put the PF around the basket so that when it falls, it lands in the basket carrier, then flip the pump on and off until the basket falls from the grouphead. Otherwise sometimes pulling the basket over with the pf will loosen it enough.

Graham, thanks for the nice write-up on the steam wand!

~Nick

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