Jim Schulman's Insanely Long Water FAQ - Page 2

Water analysis, treatment, and mineral recipes for optimum taste and equipment health.
User avatar
another_jim
Team HB

#11: Post by another_jim »

I'm not really sure what the Claris does. From what Nicholas observed, it seems to do both cation and anion softening, producing basically distilled water (like the zerowater), but also bypassing some water.

In terms of taste, there are slight differences between all these water formulations. Personally I think once you get away from awful water (close to distilled, ferric, hugely mineral, contaminated, etc), the differences become small enough that minor preparation and blending changes can compensate.

Put it this way, I can't really say one way or the other which water provides the perfect taste for each coffee; but I do now that roughly right water will get you enough of all the flavors so that you won't be missing out on anything. As an analogy, if you go to the movies, and sit in the perfect center seat in an empty theater, you'll get the best view of the movie. But if you sit a few seats away, in a normally filled house, you won't be missing anything. That's roughly the difference between all these water formulations. The awful water, on the other hand, is like seeing the same movie on a VCR and a thirty year old TV.
Jim Schulman

User avatar
BradyButler

#12: Post by BradyButler »

I use a Hach hardness test kit and like it. Quick and easy, it was something like 30 bucks.

Bypasses are really easy to build - just tee off of your water line before conditioning, run to a valve, then tee right back in post-filter. Not much harder than plumbing a filter in in the first place. Do make sure you have some sort of filter before the bypass though to catch the chunks.
LMWDP #379
Carolina Espresso Services - "Quality Service for Espresso Equipment"

ChrisC (original poster)

#13: Post by ChrisC (original poster) »

Thanks Brady (and Jim). The bypass for the Claris is actually built into the system, I believe -- the adjustment dial is on the top of the cartridge head. And yeah, the hardness test seems to be around $30, but the alkalinity is $70ish. Still, for a commercial operation, those costs are easily justified.

User avatar
Marshall

#14: Post by Marshall »

ChrisC wrote:Thanks Brady (and Jim). The bypass for the Claris is actually built into the system, I believe -- the adjustment dial is on the top of the cartridge head.
Yes. All of the water is first filtered, and then only the portion you determine is softened. It all fits into a very compact cartridge and head unit.
Marshall
Los Angeles

User avatar
shadowfax

#15: Post by shadowfax »

another_jim wrote:I'm not really sure what the Claris does. From what Nicholas observed, it seems to do both cation and anion softening, producing basically distilled water (like the zerowater), but also bypassing some water.
For what it's worth, I don't think that Claris does any anion softening at all. As I understand it, it's just cation softening that uses resin charged with univalent hydrogen ions rather than sodium ions. As Everpure explains this, the hydrogen reacts with the carbonates/bicarbonates in the water and produces CO2 gas (and something else? water?), basically breaking the bicarbonate down as opposed to just producing sodium/potassium bicarbonate as a salt ion-exchange softener would. In my experience there is some TDS reduction with this particular cation exchange, but it's pretty modest (e.g. 250 ppm -> 150-200 ppm) compared to distillation which would take it down to near-zero. In any case, the hydrogen-charged cation softening eliminates both mineral hardness (which a salt-ion softener does as well) and carbonate hardness (which the salt-ion softener does not do), but it's not quite like distilled water even with the bypass shut off (at 0, where both KH/GH read <20 ppm).
Nicholas Lundgaard

User avatar
another_jim
Team HB

#16: Post by another_jim »

The only way to get rid of alkalinity is to have anion softening, replacing the HCO3- with OH-. The ion exchange in the Claris has to do a little of both types of softening, or you wouldn't get the readings you saw. Their literature is inconsistent with your readings.

The Zerowater cartridge does both anion and cation softening (very slowly), replacing the ions with H and OH, so producing distilled water. I was speculating the Claris had the same system with an adjustable bypass. But your TDS readings are inconsistent with that (that would reduce the TDS at the same proportion as the hardness)

Which is why I said I'm not sure what it does.
Jim Schulman