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zosohick1
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2013
Posts: 4
Location: Honolulu
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Nov 21, 2013, 11:51am
Subject: New machine/grinder
 

Aloha from Hawaii :)

New user here for both the forum and espresso machines.  I've always enjoyed coffee in general, but took a shine to espresso in the past couple months.  My fiance and I decided to get a 'beginner' machine and grinder as a Christmas gift to ourselves.  It arrived in the mail yesterday!  I was overjoyed as I was really dragging a** :)  Well, I knew that the semi automatic machines required a skill set that I've never tested, so I was prepared meet failure a few times before I started making espresso I considered to be good enough to serve myself and any guests in my home.  However, after a few hours (yes, I realize that a few hours isn't sufficient enough to consider myself a barista, however I thought I could at least provide myself with *something* quaffable) of trying I began to have some concerns.  The coffee I kept producing, notwithstanding any changes in methods, was really diluted and there was absolutely *no* crema.  The machine "drips" the espresso out and sometimes only through one exit hole (forgive my ignorance in terminology).  Since last night and this morning we've been blaming my lack of skill set and the machine.  However, it occurred to me that the grinder might also be a problem.  Is it possible that the grinder is not grinding the beans finely enough for the water to be pressed through?  Below is my equipment.

Delonghi EC155 Espresso Maker
Baratza Encore Coffee Grinder

Any help offered would be appreciated.  :)
Travis
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RoyceRuiz
Senior Member


Joined: 31 Mar 2012
Posts: 116
Location: San Francisco, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Thu Nov 21, 2013, 12:47pm
Subject: This is going to be discouraging so please stick with it.
 

Unfortunately that setup is not sufficient for espresso.  That machine has a pressurized portafilter.  At the very least that needs to be modified.  Other mods are also needed to adjust the pressure.  You also need to learn the right technique to get the right temp water.

That grinder can technically grind fine enough for espresso but the steps are too wide to dial in properly.

Other things to consider (please answer these questions)

What coffee are you using?

How many days has it been since your coffee was roasted?

Are you weighing your dose?

Are you tamping? (you don't need to with a PPF)

What volume are you producing?

What temp are you brewing at?

How many secinds are you brewing for?
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zosohick1
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2013
Posts: 4
Location: Honolulu
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Nov 21, 2013, 1:00pm
Subject: Re: This is going to be discouraging so please stick with it.
 

Unfortunately that setup is not sufficient for espresso.  That machine has a pressurized portafilter.  At the very least that needs to be modified.  Other mods are also needed to adjust the pressure.  You also need to learn the right technique to get the right temp water.

That grinder can technically grind fine enough for espresso but the steps are too wide to dial in properly.

Other things to consider (please answer these questions)

What coffee are you using? Lavazza Gran Crema Espresso

How many days has it been since your coffee was roasted?  They aren't.

Are you weighing your dose?  Yes, 7 grams per single shot.

Are you tamping? (you don't need to with a PPF) Yes.

What volume are you producing?  Single shot.

What temp are you brewing at? I didn't measure temperature, however I let the machine "warm up" for about a half hour.

How many secinds are you brewing for?  20 seconds

Can I buy another portafilter that is not pressurized? (is that the problem?)
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RoyceRuiz
Senior Member


Joined: 31 Mar 2012
Posts: 116
Location: San Francisco, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Thu Nov 21, 2013, 1:11pm
Subject: Re: This is going to be discouraging so please stick with it.
 

RoyceRuiz Said:

What coffee are you using? Lavazza Gran Crema Espresso

How many days has it been since your coffee was roasted?  They aren't.

Are you weighing your dose?  Yes, 7 grams per single shot.

Are you tamping? (you don't need to with a PPF) Yes.

What volume are you producing?  Single shot.

What temp are you brewing at? I didn't measure temperature, however I let the machine "warm up" for about a half hour.

How many seconds are you brewing for?  20 seconds

Can I buy another portafilter that is not pressurized? (is that the problem?)

Posted November 21, 2013 link

The first thing you need to change is you need fresh roasted coffee.  Something roasted in the last 5-15 days.  Search the forums here to find a good shop.  FYI coffee is green until roasted.  That brand of coffee is too stale by the time you get it.  Your should measure your shot size.  I would recommend doing double shots at about 16 grams.  Aim for about 1.5 oz in 25 seconds brew temp should be measured and be at about 198 F.  Yes, I think you can get non pressurized baskets for that machine.  That will only help you if you use good coffee (FRESH).  Where did you purchase your setup?
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,219
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Thu Nov 21, 2013, 1:14pm
Subject: Re: New machine/grinder
 

]You can depressurize the PF, or I believe Krups makes normal replacement baskets for these types of machines. But depressurized it could still be better with the Encore but the Encore isn't a good espresso grinder, it's meant for coarse and "pressurized PF" espresso machines. I'd stay away from LaVazza, their selling you way over priced stale coffee. Need fresh roasted, you should see a nice difference even leaving your setup as is and using fresh roasted beans. Theirs not much you can do for temp on these machines either, the boilers are tiny and they don't get to the right temps anyway, even if you PID'd it like some have, the boilers are so tiny that as water get's draw in would immediately change the temp hitting the puck as there's no stability.

7g, are you using the single, or double? Your better off using more in the double, single baskets are a waste imo. Do you have a scale or are you going by a measure scoop etc? Using the double will help the coffee not taste as weak.

Basically you shouldn't have any issues with teh grinder, though you may be too fine and can choke it out. The way a pressurized PF works is there's a clip with a tiny hole that releases and forces coffee through to the spouts (on a real machine you have just the basket and the puck creating the correct pressure). When the coffee get's forced through the tiny hole to the spouts it's akin to sticking your finger over the end of a hose, it just sprays... so there's no real crema or honestly resembling espresso, more like shot of drip. Why they come with the pressurized PFs though, for people who use preground, don't know/want to tamp, just buy store beans, or don't have an "espresso" grinder.

I started with a Delonghi Bar32 (same internals as your EC155). I would start with fresh roasted beans, use the double basket and see if the change is nice. You can depressurize the basket or buy the krups baskets (have to search as I don't remember the replacement model). Here's a pic from back when I depressurized my Bar32:

Click Here (i146.photobucket.com)

RoyceRuiz Said:

The first thing you need to change is you need fresh roasted coffee.  Something roasted in the last 5-15 days.  Search the forums here to find a good shop.  FYI coffee is green until roasted.  That brand of coffee is too stale by the time you get it.  Your should measure your shot size.  I would recommend doing double shots at about 16 grams.  Aim for about 1.5 oz in 25 seconds brew temp should be measured and be at about 198 F.  Yes, I think you can get non pressurized baskets for that machine.  That will only help you if you use good coffee (FRESH).  Where did you purchase your setup?

Posted November 21, 2013 link

Unfortunetly there's no way to keep these Delonghi and similar machines temp stable or at right temps lol, ask me, I tried and measured lol. These are way smaller then normal baskets too, I don't think you can fit 16g in the double, I still have my machine under the sink keep forgetting to throw it out (lasted only a year), and the double basket is way smaller then my CC1 double, think it only held like 12g or something like that without being stuck to the group head.

OP - google/yelp your area in HI and you should be able to find a good shop/roaster, either a roaster, or a shop that carries fresh beans (not Charbucks or similar lol). If your at a grocery store and see beans that only have "best by" or "use by" dates, run lol. There's plenty of roasters online but not sure it would be cost effective with shipping to HI, pry be better off looking in HI etc.
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 2,972
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Thu Nov 21, 2013, 1:32pm
Subject: Re: New machine/grinder
 

welcome to coffeegeek!  everybody has to start somewhere and where you are is where a lot of people have started.  you will probably want to upgrade if you stick with it , when you upgrade get a grinder first.  when you de pressureize the portafilter you will need a better Grinder  than what you have currently.

 
Coffeenoobie

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

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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zosohick1
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2013
Posts: 4
Location: Honolulu
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Fri Nov 22, 2013, 1:23pm
Subject: Re: New machine/grinder
 

Thanks everyone for their replies!  I will regroup and let you all know any progress. :)
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zosohick1
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2013
Posts: 4
Location: Honolulu
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sat Nov 23, 2013, 12:32pm
Subject: Re: New machine/grinder
 

So I depressurized my portafilter and poof:  the machine made espresso! The crema was only moderate in amount but I think practice will make that better.  Thanks for your suggestions everyone! :D:D:D
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,479
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 Mon Nov 25, 2013, 6:53am
Subject: Re: New machine/grinder
 

HI, You do not mention changing the coffee. Stale coffee in a can from half way around the world will never make quality espresso. You NEED fresh roasted beans, less than two weeks from the day they were roasted.

Just depressurizing the PF, really will not gain you much as your grinder is not able to grind for espresso in a depressurized setup and in that respect you may be better off just leaving it pressurized.

Welcome to the hobby, it can be rewarding but frustrating too. Lower end starter gear is the most frustrating of all as the boilers are very small causing the temp to swing a lot and the grinders can not grind for espresso, it is more than just grinding fine, it is a different shape and size particle of coffee that you are after.

You have available to you some very good coffee locally so I advise you to buck up and spend the required $15 to $20 per pound for the coffee you have there !

 
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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