Any recommended water recipes with epsom salt and potassium bicarbonate?

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

#1: Post by boren »

I'm normally using potassium bicarbonate to make Rpavlis water and recently bought a pack of espom salt. Are there any recommended water recipes for espresso and pour-over that use these two ingredients?



#2: Post by luvmy40 »

When I've added Epsom salt to my rpavlis mix, I use equal parts potassium bicarb and Epsom salt. This based on nothing, the result worked and the spro was good. I did not see any real difference in flavor, so I don't add the salt anymore.

BTW, I mix 2g potassium bicarb to 5 gal. distilled

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#3: Post by AZRich »

See the Barista Hustle water recipe(s) on their website. : ... o-bottles/

For me with a scale that has 0.01g resolution, it was easier to do the simple arithmetic to find the correct amounts to add directly, and skip the 2 bottles of concentrate.
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#4: Post by homeburrero »

luvmy40 wrote:When I've added Epsom salt to my rpavlis mix, I use equal parts potassium bicarb and Epsom salt.
That's very reasonable -- If you go with the same amount of Epsom salt as your RPavlis' recipe potassium bicarbonate (100 mg/L of each salt) you will end up with 40 mg/L as CaCO3 of total hardness along with the 50 mg/L as CaCO3 of alkalinity that you get from the potassium bicarbonate.

You might try as much as twice that amount of Epsom, giving you a total hardness of 80 mg/L as CaCO3 and still not worry about scaling. (The hardness here, being all magnesium and zero calcium, is not very scale prone.) That gets your water well up into higher hardness recommendations that you find in some coffee water advice.

When evaluating, give it a blind taste test, maybe even a triangle test where you have a friend make 3 cups with bicarb only, and 3 cups with bicarb + epsom, then group them in two groups of 3 so that one group has two cups with epsom and one cup without, and the other group has one with epsom and two without. Then you taste each group to see if you can find the one cup of the three that tastes different, and whether you think that one actually tastes better or worse.

Especially for pourover, where alkalinity may in theory dull the brightness of coffees where you want that, you can experiment with half the amount of bicarbonate that is used in the full strength rpavlis recipe (i.e., use only 50 mg per liter of water instead of the usual 100 mg/L). Espresso is much more tolerant of alkalinity, so be aware that the reduced alkalinity might taste brighter and better in a pourover but would not make a tasteable difference in the espresso.

P.S. [edit addition]
For those who make up a concentrate, you'll want to use a separate bottle for Epsom rather than add Epsom to your potassium bicarbonate bottle. Mixing a concentrate of magnesium ion along with a concentrate of bicarbonate ion might produce a precipitate in the bottle. Also, be aware that Epsom salts can take a while, maybe overnight to dissolve fully.
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boren (original poster)

#5: Post by boren (original poster) »

Thanks for the useful comments. I'll make another bottle with espom salt concentrate and will experiment with different ratios. I wonder if I could tell the difference in a triangle test. I wouldn't bet in favor lol