"Water For Coffee" book discussion thread - Page 7

Want to talk espresso but not sure which forum? If so, this is the right one.
baldheadracing
Posts: 1265
Joined: Nov 01, 2014, 12:38 pm

Postby baldheadracing » Oct 24, 2015, 4:07 pm

All you missed is that the authors of the book want you to buy the book to get the answers that you want.

charlesaf3
Posts: 234
Joined: Dec 22, 2007, 12:21 am

Postby charlesaf3 » Oct 25, 2015, 1:06 pm

I got that, and understand their point. But the gist of this discussion seems to imply a harder water than most espresso machine manufacturers seem to want one to use. If (big if) I understood things correctly. AP Chem in high school was the last time I looked at this stuff, and that was a long time ago.

our caffeinated commitment to you
Sponsored by Whole Latte Love - our caffeinated commitment to you
baldheadracing
Posts: 1265
Joined: Nov 01, 2014, 12:38 pm

Postby baldheadracing » Oct 25, 2015, 1:36 pm

charlesaf3 wrote:I got that, and understand their point. But the gist of this discussion seems to imply a harder water than most espresso machine manufacturers seem to want one to use. If (big if) I understood things correctly. AP Chem in high school was the last time I looked at this stuff, and that was a long time ago.

You are correct. Espresso machine manufacturers have always wanted you to use water that has no chance of scaling - yet, for many, water that scales results in espresso that tastes better. How do you measure it? How do you attain it? etc. The book proposes a new standard for taste.

If you haven't already, then please consider reading another_jim's excellent water FAQ - the recipes/recommendations are free 8) http://users.rcn.com/erics/Water%20Qual ... %20FAQ.pdf

charlesaf3
Posts: 234
Joined: Dec 22, 2007, 12:21 am

Postby charlesaf3 » Oct 25, 2015, 1:41 pm

I've read the FAQ 5 or 6 times, I have it saved on my computer.

I've even understood some of it. All of it... now that would be another thing. But, and I may be wrong, I was under the impression Another Jim's recommendations were more along the line of the SCAA, and less than what this book is proposing

baldheadracing
Posts: 1265
Joined: Nov 01, 2014, 12:38 pm

Postby baldheadracing » Oct 25, 2015, 2:53 pm

I haven't read the SCAA book, but that seems reasonable given that this book claims a new approach. In any case, it is "Water for coffee," not "Water for coffee machines." :wink:

OldNuc
Posts: 1678
Joined: Jan 02, 2014, 12:02 am

Postby OldNuc » Oct 25, 2015, 3:38 pm

adding non H or O ions to the water in liquid state changes the extraction all other variables held constant. As any gas will not stay in solution above the boiling point so what is added is destined to become scale. Descaling boilers is a destructive process so this leads to considering the machine as a consumable item.

charlesaf3
Posts: 234
Joined: Dec 22, 2007, 12:21 am

Postby charlesaf3 » Oct 26, 2015, 10:55 am

baldheadracing wrote:I haven't read the SCAA book, but that seems reasonable given that this book claims a new approach. In any case, it is "Water for coffee," not "Water for coffee machines." :wink:


Yes, so I'm wondering what the ideal compromise is.

coffee & espresso equipment and accessories
Sponsored by Prima Coffee - coffee & espresso equipment and accessories
User avatar
yakster
Posts: 4064
Joined: Feb 20, 2009, 8:27 pm

Postby yakster » Oct 27, 2015, 5:39 pm

I don't have anything quantitative and this is pretty subjective, but I've tried my current water formulation for pour-over, espresso, and cold drip coffee with my Bruer and I feel that it's improved all methods but made the most difference with the cold drip coffee. Not sure if this is due to longer contact time or the lower extraction temperature, but I'm happy to report that it seems to help pull more of the fruity acids from a cold drip process which is often lacking these flavors.
-Chris

LMWDP # 272

User avatar
welone
Posts: 88
Joined: Dec 21, 2006, 11:18 am

Postby welone » Feb 07, 2016, 4:11 pm

Dear Home-Baristas
After a discussion with Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood today it turned out that they did indeed use test kits that measure in ppm CaCO3, meaning the same ones that are standard in the US and many other countries worldwide - and not as they state in the book and the corrigendum in mg/L of the respective ions. Also they did derive their "ideal brew zone" as well as the "acceptable brew zone" based on a one reagent titration (one for general hardness, one for the buffer/alkalinity) which measured in ppm CaCO3 (identical to mg/L CaCO3). So in practical terms this means that the lower third of their "ideal brew zone" overlaps perfectly with the higher half of the SCAA standard - or put into numbers the range of 40-85 ppm CaCO3 of total hardness at 40 CaCO3 alkalinity).
What remains still a largely unchartered territory which could be very interesting to explore is their upper part of the "ideal brew zone" which extends as far as 175 ppm CaCO3 in total hardness at alkalinity values of 40-75 ppm CaCO3 - the higher values in alkalinity being recommended/"allowed" for the values higher in total hardness.
So if you just switch out any mention of ppm (of the ions) in their book with ppm CaCO3 you are fine. Except for chapter 6 where they give instruction on how to mix water from scratch - there you have to transform the mg/L into mg/L CaCO3 - which is as they also mention in the corrigendum go as follows:
To convert [HCO3-] as [CaCO3] to [HCO3-]: multiply by 1.22
To convert [Ca2+] as [CaCO3] to [Ca2+]: divide by 2.5
To convert [Mg2+] as [CaCO3] to [Mg2+]: divide by 4.1

NB
Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 24, 2016, 9:54 pm

Postby NB » Feb 25, 2016, 11:00 pm

I could be wrong but that might actually make more sense.

Once you start mixing ions in solution it might be more intuitive to measure the relative ion concentration, rather than the relative ion mass. That is what using the ppm CaCO3 unit does. It removes the relative molecular weights of the individual ions, so effectively you are now counting ions rather than weighing them (I think?).

If the extraction process is more directly related to the ion concentration (which I assume it is?), using ppm CaCO3 as the total GH unit means you get a more immediate idea of how much each cation you add is contributing to the extraction, relative to the other.

Just a thought.

 
Advertisement