Filter recommendation for my water?

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

Postby kwikoff » Jul 12, 2018, 1:14 pm

Hello Everyone,

I just ordered a Profitec Pro 500 PID and was wondering what water filter system I should get for my water conditions. Here are the results of my water:
Attached image with table also here

Currently looking at the BWT Bestmax Premium or the Grindmaster 60206 Espresso Machine Water Filtration system. I know my machine isn't plumb-able but I am just going to run a line to the back of the machine with a quarter turn valve and refill the reservoir when it gets low. Anything else I should be looking at or concerned about?


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Postby homeburrero » Jul 12, 2018, 10:44 pm

Is that from a Denver area water source? If so, I'm surprised at those numbers. That water has high chloride numbers at 81 - 162 mg/L, and neither of those filters will reduce that at all. Chloride is a corrosion concern, and on a direct plumb-in you generally need to go to a reverse osmosis system to filter it out. You see different recommendations about how high is too high - Synesso says it should be below 15 mg/L, and La Marzocco recommends that chloride be below 30 - 50 mg/L.

If it were me I would just fill the machine's reservoir with bottled water, or with purified water (distilled or RO from the store) spiked with minerals. You can start simple with a sodium bicarbonate or potassium bicarbonate spike. You'll see many references in this forum to "rpavlis water" which refers to chemistry professor Robert Pavlis' water recipe. (HB member rpavlis, RIP) -- which is purified or distilled water spiked with 50-100 mg/l of potassium bicarbonate.
From 1977 La Pavoni Europiccola with green deposits/scale :
rpavlis, in linked post above wrote: .... I personally use, as I have stated many times, about 0.5 to 1.0 mMolar potassium bicarbonate. You can simply add from 250 to 500 milligrams of potassium bicarbonate to a 5 litre container. You can use sodium bicarbonate too, but I do not like doing that because it seems to create peculiar flavours because Na is very low in coffee beans.

This water is great for machine health -- would cause no scale at all and is non-corrosive. And many people find that it produces fine tasting espresso. An easy way to make it up is to make a bottle of concentrate: Get a 750 ml soda bottle, add 9.6 gram of potassium bicarb to that, fill with water and shake well. Then for every US gallon of purified water just add 1 to 2 tablespoons of that concentrate. (1 tablespoon works out to 0.5 mMolar bicarbonate -- or a total alkalinity of 25 mg/L as CaCO3.) If you go with sodium bicarb you would use a little less - about 8.1 g instead of 9.6 g in the concentrate bottle.

Down the road you can consider experimenting with different recipes to see if adding hardness minerals might make better tasting espresso.
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Postby kwikoff » Jul 13, 2018, 12:54 am

Yes, this is from Parker, CO. I ended up ordering the BWT Bestmas and filterhead today, should I just cancel/return that and go with the distilled water recipe you mentioned in your post? Seems very easy to make.


Postby gr2020 » Jul 13, 2018, 12:17 pm

I'm in Highlands Ranch (close to Parker for those who don't live around here), and my Chloride numbers are similar. I called the utility, and they said the current chloride level was 72 ppm, with an expected range is around 43-139 ppm, all of which are well outside of La Marzocco's recommended range. Because of this, filters alone won't work, and RO is the only practical way to go.

So rather than do that, for the moment, I'm using distilled water and third wave water packets for mineralization. My next step will probably be to mix my own water, as Pat suggested.


Postby portamento » Jul 13, 2018, 12:51 pm

Since your water appears to be high in chlorides, I don't think any ion exchange filter (including BWT Bestmax) is a good fit for your application. Ion exchange resin in these types of filters introduces H+ into the water, which in combination with high chlorides can lead to corrosion.

kwikoff wrote:Yes, this is from Parker, CO. I ended up ordering the BWT Bestmas and filterhead today, should I just cancel/return that and go with the distilled water recipe you mentioned in your post? Seems very easy to make.

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Postby homeburrero » Jul 13, 2018, 3:29 pm

I agree with others that you should return that BWT. It is, as Ryan said, a WAC filter which will reduce your alkalinity and may make the chloride issue even worse. (See /downloads/ ... pdated.pdf )

The other filter (Grindmaster 60206) is a conventinal sodium exchange filter and would not reduce your alkalinity, but still is not a great choice since what you really need for filtering that chloride is RO. (Or just use made or bottled water in the reservoir.)

Those Parker CO numbers are interesting. It appears to be related to that Rueter Hess Reservoir. Looking at the 90 day samples here, it appears that the highest chloride numbers are from the west side of town.
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