Advice on water quality reports

Water analysis, treatment, and mineral recipes for optimum taste and equipment health.

#1: Post by Winstonsmith »

Hi All,

I am a newcomer to home-barista although I have gleaned quite a bit of useful information from perusing the forums as a guest when I was relatively new to brewing coffee a few years ago. My (ex)wife and I enjoyed making primarily milk based espresso drinks on an ECM Technika IV Profi, which was plumbed in to my then current municipal water supply. I am now in a new locale and await delivery of a new machine (ECM Mechanika V Slim) and unfortunately will not be able to plumb in this machine due to serious space constraints, as I essentially live in a shoe box. It has been a couple of years since I've been able to invest in another home barista setup and I am looking forward to enjoying espresso again. Almost as an afterthought, my attention has once again turned to water quality, and I remember how important that piece of the puzzle is to the whole. I have been drinking Crystal Geyser instead of the municipal water here in Keene and assumed I would use the same for coffee, until I looked at the CG Roxanne report for the Johnstown, NY source I have access to: ... REPORT.pdf

For comparison here is my current municipal water quality report in Keene, NH: ... ersion.pdf

As my under-caffeinated brain is struggling to make sense of these reports, I am hoping to solicit advice from those much more experienced members here as to how to most efficiently come up with a water recipe that falls within an acceptable range of the target scaa standard: ... V2009A.pdf

Thank you in advance for your consideration,


Winstonsmith (original poster)

#2: Post by Winstonsmith (original poster) »

After doing some more searching I think I found the answer I was looking for:
by » May 24th, 2020, 5:21 pm

lukehk wrote:
Mix 150ml of Evian with 850 ml distilled water. This gives you calcium 29, mag 15, alk 44 (caco3 equiv). 1.5 mg sulphate and 0.75 chloride. As far as i know this should be fine for machine health and scale.

This is a straightforward way to get into the conventionally recommended zone for non-scaling espresso machine water. Evian is like Volvic in that the water always comes from the same source. (as opposed to Crystal Geyser here in the US, which has 7 different sources.) Evian has reasonably low numbers for everything that you don't want (chloride, sulfate, silica), and when diluted to 85% distilled those numbers become insignificant.

For US bottled water, you could do something similar with Crystal Geyser if verified from the Johnstown NY source. That one has a total hardness of 180 mg/L and alkalinity of 140 mg/L CaCO3 equivalent. You could dilute that at 30% CG and 70% distilled to come out at:
total hardness: 54 mg/L (CaCO3 equiv)
calcium hardness: 42 mg/L (CaCO3 equiv)
alkalinity: 42 mg/L (CaCO3 equiv)
chloride ion: 9 mg/L
sulfate ion: 4 mg/L
TDS: 63 mg/L

non-scaling*, healthy alkalinity, low 'undesirable' minerals, hardness very close to water now used in WBC competitions.

* At 130℃, the Langelier Saturation Index at the Puckorius pHeq of 6.92 is 0.02, essentially neutral.
nínádiishʼnahgo gohwééh náshdlį́į́h
I will give this recipe a try. Thanks to all who led me there!

Winstonsmith (original poster)

#3: Post by Winstonsmith (original poster) »

An update on my water journey: Having investigated more options local to me I have opted to pursue the Rpavlis recipe often shared on this forum using the Target Good and Gather brand of both distilled and purified water 1 gallon jugs, currently for sale @ $.75/gallon. The water quality reports for both variants are here: ... 868389f19d

I am using the full (light roast) Rpavlis recipe for the medium roast coffee that I am currently brewing. I checked the TDS for both Target variants, as well as the Crystal Geyser (Johnstown) water I have, and both the Target brands (Rpavlis) were in the 30-40 TDS range while the stock CG was 150-160 TDS. There is another option available to me in RO Keene water dispensed @ $.50/gallon at the local co op; and while I am interested in that option for the reduced plastic consumption I would have to invest in more accurate testing to feel more confident in the water quality: the local water has more chlorine and chlorides than I would want to trust to crude measurements. Of course, that assumes I actually trust the measurements provided by the Target, or any other corporation, municipal or otherwise...