Espresso Cart - Goodbye Plumbed In

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

#1: Post by CarefreeBuzzBuzz »

For those that are going to dive in here, let me emphasize that the best part of this whole set up is never having to worry about your water and what's going on inside your machine. No worries about filter performance or aging, or bypass %, or the income water changing over the seasons.

Thank you to everyone here for educating me on some water basics. Having departed awesome CO water and found hello crappy AZ water. I packed up my espresso machine and roaster back in March 2019. Scottsdale water has a ton of chlorides. Since there was no convenient place in the new house for the espresso machine near the kitchen RO with remineralizer, I transitioned to an espresso cart. This setup has been used by quite a few others now.

The set up is: Holding tank>shut off>check valve>pump>accumulation tank>shut off>pressure regulator>espresso machine



EDIT - JANUARY 2023 - Have now used this flawlessly for nearly 4 YEARS and highly recommend it. You can either use RO water without reminerialization or distilled water. This system is particularly great if you have high chlorides (different than chlorine). If you use an RO to feed your tank, you will want to get a flow measurement device to know how much buffer and hardness stock you want to add. I have collected my learnings on this forum in a document called "Coffee Water Made Easy for a Non-Chemist" and am happy to share them if you PM me with an email address. In Jan 2023 I decided to put the Aquatec on a smart timer. Don't know why I didn't do this earlier but now for sure it doesn't go off in the night and often it cycles first thing after being turned on which means I know I have great pressure for the day.

NOTE: I originally rejected Flojet as a pump choice. After post 96; another 5000 series failure after 14 months, I continue to not recommend them. One of their products only provides 40psi. ASLO if you are doing line pressure pre infusion, you might consider a high end pressure gauge such as a Swagelok. AND, I am not sure that a variable pressure pump makes sense if you use an accumulator tank

Some insight into this system is said well in post 103 by my friend and mentor Dan.

I have owned 3 different brands of diaphragm type pumps for various water delivery systems over the years and although they all can be construed as "noisy" the Aquatec isn't quite as loud (relative); it seems smoother in its vibration pattern (kinda of like the difference between a stroker motor and higher revving motor with less cam lift). Use vibration isolating pads between the mounting surface and the pump's feet and for best sound isolation, construct a box lined with acoustic foam panels, sound deadening material, over the pump itself.

And to minimize vibration transfer from the inlet and outlet side of the pump, if you can, incorporate a short section of softer durometer/more flexible water line if you are using more rigid water tubing within the system. This will absorb some of the vibration that would otherwise be transmitted throughout the system. This is more of a concern, say in an RV , where larger diameter PEX type water lines are used. FWIW/FYI, I didn't bother with deploying this technique in my espresso machine water delivery system.

This box still needs some ventilation, however the pump doesn't run that long in my system (I'm using a 2-gallon SS Shurflo accumulator; bigger is better to minimize pump cycling and high/low pressure differentials within the water delivery system). Isolating the mounting feet of the accumulator also helps isolate vibration, although less so than isolating the pump.

The accumulator will lengthen the time between pump cycles. You should also note, the water pressure measured at the espresso machine, will have a range: Higher PSI/BAR right after the pump cycles and lower PSI/BAR right before the pump cycles. Most of the pumps have an adjustable pressure switch but when you're shopping pay attention to the minimum & maximum PSI range for pump on/off cycling. The more narrow this range, the smaller the differential between high and low system water pressure (but the more frequent it will cycle). Probably the biggest reason to incorporate an accumulator within your system and to go with the largest capacity you can within the respective space for the system: Less frequent cycling of the pump and more consistent water pressure at the espresso machine.

Regulators, I have found through using water delivery systems for my espresso machines the past 10+ years, are complex beasts all their own. Incorporating a pressure regulator will allow you to set a static water pressure level for the system but the system will still have a pressure range. Here's a link that provides an overview of what they do and what you can expect it to perform for the system.

All in all, even given the limitations I describe above, I prefer this type of water delivery system over a more complex and expensive array of filters, mineral add-backs, etc., from a consistent pressure regulated municipal water supply, that provides the ability & versatility to easily use whatever water I want.



Sorry about some the image sizes.

Here is the final product on the cart. Note the wide mouth on the tank makes filling easy. The waste tank has a handle which makes it easy to carry out to the garden and dump. The cart has LEDs on a timer and this was an early am shot. You will also see in the image a stainless tank which holds my aquarium brushes which are used for cleaning tubes as well as a white Ember Mug recharging saucer.



Holding Tank - 6 gallon rectangular tank. July 2020 edit notes. I find this tank really needs to be refilled with four gallons as the exit point is not at the very bottom of the tank. Four gallons lasts about three weeks for 4-6 espressos a day plus cleaning routines. Note the wide mouth opening makes refilling very easy.



I am considering replacing the tank with this 16 gallon larger one which would fit my space although the opening is only 4" and not 5".

To use the Holding Tank with JG 3/8 tube you will need a reducer bushing of some sort and JG adapter. I chose the following. You might want to base your decision for the reducer on whether you can buy a single (rather than a pack of 10) JG adapter. Note the this link below for the reducer is not the one I got as I didn't know I would need it. Confirm fit first but since its from the same website should work.

Reducer Bushing 3/4" NPT Male x 1/2" NPT Female



John Guest ½ NPTF Straight Adapter 3/8 OD tubing PP011224W 3/8" 1/2"




Check Valve to prevent backflow when refilling tank. [Not sure this is necessary but is nice to have so I don't have to turn the shut off valve]



Pump
Aquatec 5853-7E12-J524 1.7 GPM 60 PSI 3/8 inch JG 120V Delivery/Demand Pump with Cord.



Pump Specs - note the run dry protection.



3.2 Gallon Accumulator - with a John Guest 3/8 adapter on top connects into pump line with a T. You can get a smaller accumulator but it will likely cycle the pump more often.



J Guest Valve for Accumulator



John Guest T - one side to pump and other side to pressure regulator before espresso machine with the T side to the accumulator.



John Guest 3/8 tubing


Shut off valves for 3/8 John Guest Tubing - I recommend you order at least 3 if not 4 of these. Extra ones are useful for cleaning operations.


Pressure regulator - I chose the 0-125 range as sometimes the pump puts you over 60. Turn the screw clockwise to tighten it and increase the pressure, or turn it counterclockwise to decrease the pressure.
Watts 560 pressure regulator


For more precision at more cost consider a Swagelok pressure gauge.

Waste Container



Note this is what I use by OXO to measure my water stock and for refilling. This is excellent as the precision tip lets you drip a little out at a time and since it's stainless you can clean it well and not contaminate your stock.
Artisan.Plus User-
Artisan Quick Start Guide
http://bit.ly/ArtisanQuickStart
★★ Quite Helpful

User avatar
spressomon

#2: Post by spressomon »

IHO I'd ante-up for the ShurFlo SS accumulator. I had one of the NSF painted steel (yes, I know there is bladder that contains the water...) and it was a problem. When I tore the system down I purged rusty-goo-water from the accumulator bladder. Since moving to the 2-gallon ShurFlo SS accumulator there has been no such issue.

If you refill the water tank before it sucks air...no need for the one-way valve; although its good insurance for cheap :).

And incorporate T fittings with on/off valves for draining if/when necessary on both sides of accumulator, tank & pump. Again, for a little more $ it will make your life so much easier if/when maintenance, draining, etc., needs to be performed.
No Espresso = Depresso

User avatar
CarefreeBuzzBuzz (original poster)

#3: Post by CarefreeBuzzBuzz (original poster) »

Dan thanks for the input. So is the Shuffle all SS on the inside? I have shut offs from my current filter system that I was going to migrate over so I'll have that part covered.

Thanks.
Artisan.Plus User-
Artisan Quick Start Guide
http://bit.ly/ArtisanQuickStart

User avatar
spressomon

#4: Post by spressomon »

Need to confirm this with Pentair, but I believe their "patented dome" is the only component that is in contact with water in addition to the internal SS walls of the tank.

It is possible the internal bladder on the unit I had problems with was compromised, which would explain the rusty-goo that presumably came from the steel tank's internal walls. It was only ~$35 so I never bothered sending it in to verify and instead went with the Shurflo SS and haven't looked back.
No Espresso = Depresso

User avatar
CarefreeBuzzBuzz (original poster)

#5: Post by CarefreeBuzzBuzz (original poster) »

Want to confirm that this is up and running and so far is a great system. The only thing with the parts list is that the JG bulkhead did not fit the tank so I had to get a 3/4 to 1/2 reducer and get a John Guest 1/2 in straight adapter to the 3/8 tubing.

So far the system is working great with very little pump action needed. No aftertaste detected either from the pump.

So here was the final parts list:

Holding Tank
6 gallon rectangular tank and John Guest 3/8 bulk head
https://www.usplastic.com/catalog/item. ... mid=125271

No link for the following two items.
Reducer Bushing from ¾ to 1/2
John Guest ½ NPTF Straight Adapter 3/8 OD tubing
PP011224W 3/8" 1/2"

Check Valve to prevent backflow when refilling tank.
https://www.freshwatersystems.com/produ ... k-pressure
Pump
Aquatec 5853-7E12-J524 1.7 GPM 60 PSI 3/8 inch JG 120V Delivery/Demand Pump with Cord
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B008GNFN82/?c ... _lig_dp_it
Accumulator - with a John Guest 3/8 adapter on top connects into pump line with a T.
https://www.freshwatersystems.com/produ ... nk-3-2-gal
J Guest Valve for Accumulator
https://www.freshwatersystems.com/produ ... x-1-4-nptf
John Guest T - one side to pump and other side to pressure regulator before espresso machine with T too accumulator
https://www.freshwatersystems.com/produ ... olypro-3-8
Pressure regulator
https://www.chriscoffee.com/Pressure-Re ... /334gg.htm
Artisan.Plus User-
Artisan Quick Start Guide
http://bit.ly/ArtisanQuickStart

Exb2019

#6: Post by Exb2019 »

Before making massive purchases on water for a plumb system, try buying a $25 Honeforest quality water tester at Amazon. I was surprise of the different types of tests I did. However, a bwt water system under the circumstances of having a new espresso machine, currently it is not what I need. But the water tester I did need. Here is why. Every month I can test the water before it gets into the espresso machine and when it comes out. I can determine there and then whether there is scaling in the boilers. Here is a video I have made of my tests

User avatar
CarefreeBuzzBuzz (original poster)

#7: Post by CarefreeBuzzBuzz (original poster) »

Exb2019 wrote:Before making massive purchases on water for a plumb system, try buying a $25 Honeforest quality water tester at Amazon. I was surprise of the different types of tests I did. However, a bwt water system under the circumstances of having a new espresso machine, currently it is not what I need. But the water tester I did need. Here is why. Every month I can test the water before it gets into the espresso machine and when it comes out. I can determine there and then whether there is scaling in the boilers. Here is a video I have made of my tests

[youtube] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBfbx3CWns0 [/youtube]
In my case no tests needed. Phoenix water is very high chlorides. Testing or city water reports or both are a must in order to decide. Thanks for sharing this.
Artisan.Plus User-
Artisan Quick Start Guide
http://bit.ly/ArtisanQuickStart

User avatar
redbone

#8: Post by redbone »

Exb2019 wrote:Before making massive purchases on water for a plumb system, try buying a $25 Honeforest quality water tester at Amazon. I was surprise of the different types of tests I did. However, a bwt water system under the circumstances of having a new espresso machine, currently it is not what I need. But the water tester I did need. Here is why. Every month I can test the water before it gets into the espresso machine and when it comes out. I can determine there and then whether there is scaling in the boilers. Here is a video I have made of my tests

<video>
Two points here. The TDS meter measures in parts per million as opposed to milliseconds. All water has to be tested at the same room or cool temperature since temp effects tds reader. If measuring water out of machine wait for it to cool to room temp. You can expedite the process by placing in refrigerator until temp is achieved.
Between order and chaos there is espresso.
Semper discens.


Rob
LMWDP #549

User avatar
CarefreeBuzzBuzz (original poster)

#9: Post by CarefreeBuzzBuzz (original poster) »

The final image in this post was moved into the first post with my July 2020 update.
Artisan.Plus User-
Artisan Quick Start Guide
http://bit.ly/ArtisanQuickStart

Ciaran

#10: Post by Ciaran »

redbone wrote:Two points here. The TDS meter measures in parts per million as opposed to milliseconds. All water has to be tested at the same room or cool temperature since temp effects tds reader. If measuring water out of machine wait for it to cool to room temp. You can expedite the process by placing in refrigerator until temp is achieved.
I would add the following:

1. that honeforest TDS meter is for salinity, not freshwater. It will read 30% under the actual TDS of freshwater. Spend a few bucks more and get a 4-4-2 calibrated meter, but if you are interested in measuring hardness - get a hach 5b titration kit

2. A decent meter will have temperature correction - but still - don't test hot water

3. Measuring the TDS of the water coming out of the machine is meaningless - measure the water going into the machine instead - otherwise, you will be making a bunch of guesses and assumptions about the composition.