New Espresso Machine Pulls Too Fast

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enargins

#1: Post by enargins »

I just got a new machine (DeLonghi Stilosa EC260), replacing my old DeLonghi EC155. I noticed the shots are being pulled way too fast.

With my old machine, I had my Capresso Infinity grinder in the middle of the "Fine" group, and it worked well. So I made the grind more fine, but it didn't help.

So I finally moved the grind to the finest setting in the "Very Fine" group (which is as fine as the grinder goes). The grounds were like powder; like turkish coffee grind.

I made sure I tamped down firmly, placing the portafilter on the counter and pressing firmly. I then timed the shot.

From the time I switched the machine to pull the shots, until it had pulled one ounce of espresso (out of two spigots) was 18 seconds. Still too short.

I'm wondering, though: since the portafilter was for pulling two shots, should I have had one shot glass under each spigot and timed it until both shot glasses were full (2 oz total)?

Anyway, that's my situation. Any thoughts/comments/suggestions?

dndrich

#2: Post by dndrich »

This description makes it difficult to assess, since ounces have crema etc. The best way to understand this is by weight. So, if you don't have a scale, get one. They can be had for like 10-15 dollars on Amazon, and the cheap ones are perfectly sufficient. What we need to know is this: grams in and grams out over time. So, for your machine I expect your double basket will hold around 18 gm, so pull an 18 gm shot in to 36 gm shot out or 1:2 recipe, and time that from hitting the button. Of course, taste is everything. But aim for around 25-30 seconds to start, and see what that tastes like.

vit

#3: Post by vit »

I used to have EC150. However, I didn't like pressurized baskets that came with it, so I replaced them with ordinary baskets from Delonghi. However, for those, you need a proper espresso grinder

As I could see from one youtube video, EC260 is also fitted with pressurized baskets, but portafilter is slightly different and baskets might also be slightly different or differently tuned. I believe they switched from 52mm (on EC15x series) to 51mm baskets. If new baskets fit to old machine (or maybe vice versa), try that combination to see what happens. Check also the plastic valve at the bottom of the basket

Nunas
Supporter ♡

#4: Post by Nunas »

enargins wrote:I just got a new machine (DeLonghi Stilosa EC260), replacing my old DeLonghi EC155. I noticed the shots are being pulled way too fast. With my old machine, I had my Capresso Infinity grinder in the middle of the "Fine" group, and it worked well. So I made the grind more fine, but it didn't help. So I finally moved the grind to the finest setting in the "Very Fine" group (which is as fine as the grinder goes). The grounds were like powder; like turkish coffee grind. I made sure I tamped down firmly, placing the portafilter on the counter and pressing firmly. I then timed the shot. From the time I switched the machine to pull the shots, until it had pulled one ounce of espresso (out of two spigots) was 18 seconds. Still too short.
I'm wondering, though: since the portafilter was for pulling two shots, should I have had one shot glass under each spigot and timed it until both shot glasses were full (2 oz total)? Anyway, that's my situation. Any thoughts/comments/suggestions?
I agree with Daniel; until we know how much coffee you're putting into the portafilter and how much you're trying to get out, and what sort of baskets you're using, it's very difficult to provide you with any information. I would strongly urge you to get a scale. Do a search here on HB; you'll find that you don't have to buy an expensive "made for espresso" scale.

Okay, with that out of the way, here are some shot in the dark comments.
- You may be expecting too much, given the grinder you have. Your grinder should do for pressurized baskets, but not for standard baskets. Even if it will grind fine enough (down to Turkish, as you report), you won't be able to fine-tune the grind for proper shots, as the click stops on your grinder are too coarse.
- I wonder about the coffee you're using. Again, assuming it really is grinding fine enough to be Turkish, that should be fine enough to choke any espresso machine (i.e., little to no coffee comes out). Most coffee, even quite old coffee, ground fine, will choke a machine. But, really stale, dried-out coffee won't. So, you may need to change coffee.
- Ratio. As already noted, the ratio of in/out should be nominally 1:2 (18 grams in, 36 grams out) for an espresso normale, at least until you've got some experience and consistency. Then, play around with the variables as you wish, "tune for best taste". It does not matter if your ratio is pulled into one or two servings. All that matters is the ratio.

JRising
Team HB

#5: Post by JRising »

Well, the simple answer is if your grinder can not choke off your machine's flow, you need to dose more grounds into the portafilter or calibrate the grinder so that it can grind fine enough.

You can get into more complications with better machines such as using the machine's over-pressure valve to set a maximum brew pressure or pre-infusing, letting the coffee grounds swell up a bit and then brewing to increase the length of the total brew time, but first things first, if the grinder can't choke the machine, it is probably responsible for the "too coarse" grounds in the portafilter.

bigbacon

#6: Post by bigbacon »

I joined to pretty much ask the same question. I have the same espresso machine and using a bottomless have the same problem....the shots are always too fast and always very sour.

doesn't seem to matter if I use 14g or 18g of coffee and grinding as fine as my machine will go, its always this. I am doing double shots into a 2oz cup and I can let it go for a 1:2 or even higher, that cup is filled in 20 seconds or less.

I have a scale but the machine makes it very difficult to use the scale while its running because it vibrates so much it starts throwing off the scale. Even if it seems to be ok, the machine can push out like a whole cup so fast I can't even really stop it in time for 36g or so. I'm usually at like 60 to 70 and it is still just nearly full on sour.

My grind can't get fine enough to choke the machine out so I don't know if that is part of the issue. Using the dual shot pressurized basket that comes with the machine, I can put 16g of the finest my grinder will go and get an OK shot out of that, pretty well balanced.

Soon as I use the bottomless its likes the machine just shoves that water out so fast I can't really do anything more.

I am using a medium roast, decaf, coffee that I believe is probably a few months old. The portafilter really can't go beyond 18g in the 51mm basket. Could maybe edge out 19 but you are talking the coffee being near the rim of the basket at that point.

My grinder is just a cheap Capresso burr grinder, which was fine for pour overs, which I used to do but maybe its just not up to the task for non-pressurized espresso?

I am kind of chalking this all up to using cheap hardware but you have to start somewhere to learn without spending upwards of 500 to 1000 bucks on a espresso machine + grinder

beans+crumble

#7: Post by beans+crumble »

From my experience & through my learning over the years when dialing in a new machine/grinder/different roast of beans... start with setting the dose of the coffee you will grind. This dose will be dependent on the basket you're using in the portafilter. Set your dose and then only work on adjusting the grind from there to get the extraction you're looking for. If you mess with the dose and the grind all at the same time you will enter the death spiral and end up throwing your machine out the window.

I would suggest that if the shot is pulling way too fast (less than 20 seconds) it indicates you need to grind finer. Adjust the grind finer in larger steps until you get close to the ratio you want out in the timeframe you're looking for [a very basic recipe to start with is a 1:2 ratio in 25-30 seconds]. Once you're close then make small adjustments on the grinder to dial in on your extraction. If you're nearly there but can't quite get the grinder adjusted then consider increasing your dose slightly to slow the shot down a little more.

It sounds like your grinder is inhibiting you from getting the extraction you want. The pressurized basket helps add more resistance when pulling your shot making the grind less important. When you switch to the non pressurized basket that added resistance is removed so your grind (and dose) become much more important. Perhaps you need to look at upgrading your grinder (or maybe barrow a better grinder from someone to "test it out"). Basically all machines will do the same thing... force water through the coffee at a high pressure. The more expensive espresso machines just have more functions and features, but in the end they do the same thing as an entry level machine... push water through coffee. If your budget is limited focus on improving the quality of your grinder.... an espresso focused one. It will make your life so much easier!

User avatar
Jeff
Team HB

#8: Post by Jeff »

bigbacon wrote:My grind can't get fine enough to choke the machine out so I don't know if that is part of the issue. Using the dual shot pressurized basket that comes with the machine

[...]

My grinder is just a cheap Capresso burr grinder, which was fine for pour overs, which I used to do but maybe its just not up to the task for non-pressurized espresso?

I am kind of chalking this all up to using cheap hardware but you have to start somewhere to learn without spending upwards of 500 to 1000 bucks on a espresso machine + grinder
Pretty much spot on.

In my opinion, the "You need to be this tall to ride this ride" sign is somewhere around a Cafelat Robot (or maybe Breville Bambino with replacement basket) and a 1ZPresso JX-Pro

bigbacon

#9: Post by bigbacon »

beans+crumble wrote:From my experience & through my learning over the years when dialing in a new machine/grinder/different roast of beans... start with setting the dose of the coffee you will grind. This dose will be dependent on the basket you're using in the portafilter. Set your dose and then only work on adjusting the grind from there to get the extraction you're looking for. If you mess with the dose and the grind all at the same time you will enter the death spiral and end up throwing your machine out the window.

I would suggest that if the shot is pulling way too fast (less than 20 seconds) it indicates you need to grind finer. Adjust the grind finer in larger steps until you get close to the ratio you want out in the timeframe you're looking for [a very basic recipe to start with is a 1:2 ratio in 25-30 seconds]. Once you're close then make small adjustments on the grinder to dial in on your extraction. If you're nearly there but can't quite get the grinder adjusted then consider increasing your dose slightly to slow the shot down a little more.

It sounds like your grinder is inhibiting you from getting the extraction you want. The pressurized basket helps add more resistance when pulling your shot making the grind less important. When you switch to the non pressurized basket that added resistance is removed so your grind (and dose) become much more important. Perhaps you need to look at upgrading your grinder (or maybe barrow a better grinder from someone to "test it out"). Basically all machines will do the same thing... force water through the coffee at a high pressure. The more expensive espresso machines just have more functions and features, but in the end they do the same thing as an entry level machine... push water through coffee. If your budget is limited focus on improving the quality of your grinder.... an espresso focused one. It will make your life so much easier!
I wouldn't say my budget is limited. the grinder I had before this. Its more like not wanting to spend before knowing what I'm getting into. It would be like spending 1000 bucks on a machine and then realizing I don't like having to do this myself...

even though its been mostly a failure, I have enjoyed being like some kind of warlock mixing all these different things trying to make it work.

beans+crumble

#10: Post by beans+crumble »

Totally understandable! It's an investment in both money and time for sure!!! It's far easier to go out and have your coffee made for you... I still do that sometimes because I love to support the little local cafe. But the advantages of doing it at home, in my opinion, are (1) you get to make your espresso/drinks exactly how you like them and (2) once you get past the initial frustration of figuring it all out... it's extremely fun and satisfying being able to make your own drinks!!

Focus on your grinder... if you have a friend that makes espresso at home ask to barrow their grinder to try. The grinder can really make or break your experience. Good luck!!