Delonghi ec702 and Ariete pro 3017

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#1: Post by kris772 »

It's been a very very long time and logon ID long lost and the E61s, Jrs, Mazzers, and Macaps are also long gone. Getting near 80 and satisfying myself with Nespresso and Hair bender. Yeah, I know...

Was wandering through goodwill as I often do and saw a near mint delonghi ec702. Boiler heated and pump hummed so I figured I could probably get it to work so grabbed it for $15. The pump was seized but a little work with vinegar and tapping the output one-way valve (first Ulka I have ever seen with rusted springs!) so now it purrs. It looked like it had very little use - only slight coffee oils above the brew head screen but gave it the obligatory day with citric acid in the boiler, and hour with caffiza on the head and voila. (yeah I still have that stuff around from the old days.)

The only coffee I had on hand was hair bender (from WF store local) pre-ground at one step above espresso for the nespresso machines. (This is a bean I have LOVED since I found I really favored "the thinking cup" chain and they used it. This worked fine in the pressurized filter baskets though a little fast for my tastes, and I was encouraged, so lobotomized the baskets an it worked okay without the pressurized parts. I quick grabbed 51mm 2-for baskets from amazon and pressed on.

So I was encouraged. Quick ordered a Solis grinder from seattle gear but then almost immediately found out they were (correctly) dumping the old 14 step version and I didn't feel that would work so took a chance (new name to me) and picked up an "Ariete pro 3017" grinder and that has done very well - no static, little retention, fine enough that fines get stuck in filter on click 2, will choke DL, even enough that no channeling, can grind straight into pf (or small cup since I am still weighing it). Soooooo.

Again been a long time so refreshed myself with Jim's great espresso 101 article
Espresso 101: How to Adjust Dose and Grind Setting by Taste
and the 2 figure/charts in there and using them to help/remind me what to adjust - last one was 14.3g for 1.5oz brew at about 25 sec timed from pump-on. Taste was good.

I put one brew's worth of beans ( maybe 1.5 "scoops") in the bean hopper at a time (so no stale beans) and weigh before and after grind and thunk grinder at end of grind so I know retention and know exactly what I put into the pf. I was lucky enough that the pf filter holder that came with it was the one where the bottom half was plastic so very easy to removethe 4 screws, saw plastic bottom half in half, and replace half with weight and leave other half open, so new plain 51mm double baskets work fine as naked in it. I somehow had kept an old tamper (looks like a RB but just knock-off but at 51mm, works fine and has a tad of necessary weight - I tamp firm with a twist off as removing tamper.

I almost always do a "latte" - that is, (and fortunately these cheap-"espresso"-machine-manufacturers are now making their sometimes-damnable panarellos so that you can simply remove the outer panarello shell and voila! a standard steam wand!) I can stretch "Blue Diamond Almond Breeze"(unsweetened!) (cold into chilled 12oz SS steaming pitcher), and with care, can do art, though still learning - it is simply learning how to not let it cavitate too much. Easy and delicious - to me. The challenge is to learn the capabilities of that little SS boiler (on these low-end dual purpose brew/steam SS boilers) and the inside steam wand and adjust to that as you are stretching. Fun!

So there I am, with Jim's great article firmly in hand, and simply playing/experimenting, and easily getting a good (to me) brew.

I do have a 3rd version Salton (looks like Vesuviano-type) electric unit on the way as I have long wanted one to have lying around just to play with occasionally. One should always have toys around. Espresso should always be fun.

No I will not PID it though I discovered I still have a PID and 2 SSRs from the old days. That would be reserved for a more massive boiler/head imho.

This is simply about a machine/grinder and brew that can satisfy me, at least for now. (I will edit for typos after I post this)

EDIT: Oh, only advice for newbies using these (non-solenoid) type machines - release pressure from steam wand just before removing pf - else mess. Also I always steam after brew, so puck is hard and easier to clean. Whatever - have fun! edit you can also study your puck and understand more about your pull!

Added pics: puck porn. nick was from thunck bucket bar. Grounds on 1"x1" graph so small boxes are 0.1" square, and then fluffy in little bowl - 15.4g was so fluffy on 2nd click up from bottom click that hard to fit into double basket and still not hit brew head screen. pf (30 secs for 1.5oz brew and not best taste) A professional photographer I am not.

kris772 (original poster)
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#2: Post by kris772 (original poster) »

Sorry to drag this back into the light of day but it has 2 egregious errors if anyone tries to repeat it.

1) I said I started counting from pump on. I realized that was wrong and found this to confirm it:
Gaggia Classic water flow delay
Many thanks to @bean74 - so my 25 second count was in reality an effective 15 sec count since it takes a good 10 seconds for the water to get to the head (unless you've pulled recently), so no wonder things were a bit sour!!! Can be timed from when the pump clearly changes tone/sound to a low hum.

2) because of (1), I was using a grinder setting of 2 or 3. Now I find that 0 (lowest it will go) is more appropriate. So my raving about the Ariete grinder has to be taken with caution - Yes, the grinds are fluffy, consistent, and non-static-y. BUT, at 0 you would have no room for further dialing-in except to increase dose (I tried 13g before I wrote this and will try 14 next, but if I need to go to 15 I may have to get a different/bigger basket, so, there is little room for error. Big plus and big minus. $100 grinder. And there are always variances from one unit to another with the same brand/model.

Preheat machine with empty pf&basket loosely locked in. Half hour or more. Machine stays on all day.
Grind and weigh beans. to 0.1g .
Remove pf and fill basket and tamp hard, spin off.
Turn pump on and let it run (usually 10 seconds) until water starts to come out and continue for another 3?(suggestions here please)seconds to heat brew head.
Lock and load and again immediately turn pump on and start counting. I go for about 25 seconds and about 1.5-2 liquid ounces. Remember, with these machines with no solenoid, you must then immediately yank your brew out from under the pf and replace it with a waste cup - when you see how much "brew" there is in the waste cup, you will see why.

Bye the bye, that little Salton (looks like a Vesuviana) worked out beautifully and will be nice to have around for occasional brews.
Life is too short for bad espresso!

kris772 (original poster)
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#3: Post by kris772 (original poster) »

This is much further enhanced by a little cone/funnel on top of pf while filling, and WDT technique before tamping, as well as a much lighter tamp, and fairly consistent pre-infusion at start of pull (as well as starting to steam milk before boiler shuts off to get continuous blast of steam). (as well as a further mod to the pf holder and leveling of the machine because for some reason the bottom of the pf slopped to the front when locked.) I have a real WDT tool, and cheap ($20) distributor on the way to play more with(toys!), but more importantly I have a doserless(!!!) RR45 on the way as I now view (word to the wise here...) that that beautiful Ariete to be insufficient for a non-pressurized pf. So that will be the end to this thread. Again, sorry to the members of this forum for bumping this low-level machine to the top. Next will be under RR45. Or maybe a Pasquini or some old machine with a heavier brew head that I can PID.
I am savoring these brews I am currently getting, but, like any espresso junkie, I want more! :) Fun! Be well all!
Life is too short for bad espresso!