Chris' Coffee says: Don't descale! - Page 3

Water analysis, treatment, and mineral recipes for optimum taste and equipment health.
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another_jim
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#21: Post by another_jim »

The difference between sodium bicarbonate in softened water and the magnesium/calcium bicarbonate in unsoftened water isn't big -- It's about the same as moving from an E61 box to a Speedster, or from a Jolly to a Robur. :wink:
Jim Schulman

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JohnB.
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#22: Post by JohnB. »

brianl wrote:They are both acid based I believe.
That isn't the case. Sodium softeners are not using acid to soften the water.
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brianl

#23: Post by brianl » replying to JohnB. »

Must be a misnomer then. Strong acid cation softener.

Ha, Jim's joke highlights our absurdity ha.

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Mayhem

#24: Post by Mayhem »

Speaking of descaling, is there guide available somewhere on the forum on the proper way to do it in general and a plumbed in commercial level double boiler in particular? What is the recommended way to get descaler into the boilers, removing say the vacuum breaker and pouring it in from above? What descaling agent and concentration is recommended for in my case stainless steel boilers?
Too much is not enough

Marcelnl
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#25: Post by Marcelnl »

In Jim's FAQ you"ll probably find what you need, it's linked a couple of posts earlier.

A while ago I noticed scale buildup was quite fast (having to open the boiler lid for filling with water makes you see that almost in real time), since I've switched to inexpensive soft bottled water and haven't noticed any scale while I must have gone through at least 15 bottles of 5 litres each.
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brianl

#26: Post by brianl »

Marcelnl wrote:In Jim's FAQ you"ll probably find what you need, it's linked a couple of posts earlier.
Jim's FAQ discusses Strong Acid Cations (SAC) vs water at various ppm hardness. I am taking it beyond that to include Potassium Bicarbonate, which is not the same as a SAC. However, I feel that based on Jim's conclusion that the SAC and 90ppm water taste almost similar. I also assume that so would the potassium Bicarbonate (the bicarbonate is the important part to stabilize the pH). As expressed in my prior post's quote, it seems that there is already potassium in coffee beans but there is no sodium. Like Jim's post above, we are really splitting hairs here :roll: .

Also included in my prior post: is according to Jim's FAQ, my water SHOULD not cause scale due to the low alkalinity. However, my only real concern is copper boiler erosion. Therefore, I might just toss a dash of potassium bicarbonate with 50ppm hardness and call it a day.

Marcelnl
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#27: Post by Marcelnl »

Was pointing Mayhem to descaling instructions he asked for.

The water I am using has a low mineral content (in mg/l; Ca 3, Na 2,2, Mg 0,7, K 0,6, SO4 10, HCO3 5,2, NO3 0,7, Cl 0,6, SiO2 7,5 a pH of 6.8 ) I figure my bronze boiler should survive it for many years...my Faemina probably never saw water this mild and is still going strong since 1954, no signs of erosion afaik.

Like I mentioned before in another thread, I'm thinking that electrogalvanic corrosion due to the various materials that connect may be a bigger worry.
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Randy G.

#28: Post by Randy G. »

JohnB. wrote:There are sodium softeners & acid softeners (Claris, ect) but I don't know of any that combine both. .
They are available:
http://www.premium-water-filters.com/Wa ... ridges.htm
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JohnB.
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#29: Post by JohnB. » replying to Randy G. »

None of the filters on that page are for softening water. Is there a specific softener cartridge that you saw that combines acid & salt?
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another_jim
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#30: Post by another_jim »

I did not mention anion exchange or mixed bed softening (alkalinity removal or ion exchange demineralization) in the FAQ, since these were not available readily available. I only discussed cation softening (salt softeners) and reverse osmosis demineralization. Also, TDS meters were not cheap when I was writing the FAQ; except for salt softening, they are the easiest way to check water now.

Also, the descaling instructions in the FAQ, which make use of the pump to fill the boilers, are somewhat outdated; people have come up with better ideas. In particular, if the boilers have a drain, use them; if they do not, remove the vacuum breaker or tube of the steam valve and siphon the descaling solution in and out -- this method works for plumbed in machines, doesn't mess with the autofill circuitry, and doesn't send descaler through the pump. For double boiler machines without a drain on the brew boiler, I am inexperienced and not sure what method of filling and draining is best.
Jim Schulman