Lotus Water experiences

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

#1: Post by kidloco »

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/lo ... ing-coffee

I thought it is time to open this thread. I think most of the backers received their packages, so maybe we can exchange observations maybe share new recipes etc.

So far I can say it is super simple to use and gives results a bit fruitier (subjectively) then my coffee brewed with a BWT filter. Just starting though.

NYFilter93

#2: Post by NYFilter93 »

So far I've used it in addition to TWW/Aquacode and in addition to our current water system at work. The latter is to see how additions of certain minerals will affect our brews. Our water is pretty soft in NY

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homeburrero
Team HB

#3: Post by homeburrero »

Beware that the hardness solutions of these concentrates are calcium chloride (CaCl2) and magnesium chloride (MgCl2). For every 10 ppm (as CaCO3) of hardness you are getting 7.1 mg/l of chloride ion. Even at low hardness levels of 20 - 50 ppm as CaCO3 you are looking at chloride levels in excess of what many espresso machine makers advise as the max permissible because of chloride corrosion risks.*

Maybe fine for pourover coffee, but for espresso machines, you're better off avoiding chloride. That's one reason that TWW's espresso formula contains no chloride.

Also, their claims about the effect of calcium and magnesium on taste is not at all established.
* Magnesium and calcium both contribute to your water's hardness. Increasing these is like turning a dial on the extraction power of your water. There's a limit though, if we go too high you can pull in undesirable flavors and/or mute some of the more complex ones.

* Calcium tends to accent sweetness of coffee but maintain clarity while magnesium helps add complexity of flavor and mouthfeel. Playing around with varying ratios of these ingredients can fine tune dialing in a new coffee.


P.S. [edit addition]
After looking at their newer web pages, at https://lotuscoffeeproducts.com/pages/p ... structions, I see that they now have special recommended recipes for espresso brews, and these recipes use very little hardness - 20 ppm as CaCO3. This would have chloride ion levels of about 14 mg/L, which would be just under Synesso's current recommended max chloride number of 15 mg/L. The alkalinity of their recommended espresso formulae are also a little higher, which should help. But for the cautious person with a vintage machine I think it's still worthwhile to keep in mind that any chloride may be harmful.
Pat
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kidloco (original poster)

#4: Post by kidloco (original poster) »

I just tested their "light and bright" recipe for espresso, it gives 40 on a cheap TDS meter.

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LBIespresso
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#5: Post by LBIespresso »

I got mine but have not had the time to play with it. I envisioned using this when I travel since I mix up a few gallons at a time of Dr. Pavlis' recipe when home and trust it in my espresso machine. I would consider using this for Turkish and PO at home if I like it better though.

I am eager to hear what others have to say. I was kind of surprised not to hear more about this yet. Maybe I will have time to play with it this weekend.
LMWDP #580

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LBIespresso
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#6: Post by LBIespresso »

I did a side by side PO comparing Light & Bright with Pavlis using some of Aida Batlle Burundi process that I did a fine job of roasting (if I don't say so myself :wink: )

Light & Bright Vs R. Pavlis

First sips of hot coffee:

Light & Bright was brighter and Pavlis was sweeter with better balance: Winner: Pavlis

Later sips of still warm but slightly cooled coffee:

Light & Bright was still brighter, to the point of being unbalanced and Pavlis was still sweeter with better balance: Winner: Pavlis

Last sips as it had cooled off:

Light & Bright was actually better in this round. The sweetness was much more present as the cup cooled bringing things more in balance. Oddly the Pavlis cup seemed flatter when it was fully cooled. Winner: Bright & Sweet

Obviously I need to play this out a few different ways and a few more times since it was so unscientific.

Anyone else try Lotus yet?
LMWDP #580

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homeburrero
Team HB

#7: Post by homeburrero »

LBIespresso wrote:comparing Light & Bright with Pavlis
It may be worth noting here that professor Pavlis said he sometimes preferred to use his recipe at half strength for some dark roasts. The Lotus 'light and bright' has the same amount of potassium bicarbonate as a half strength rpavlis recipe.

Full strength R Pavlis is 100 mg/L KHCO3, giving you 50 mg/L as CaCO3 of alkalinity (acid buffering capacity).
Half strength, 50 mg/L KHCO3, is of course 25 mg/L as CaCO3 of alkalinity (acid buffering capacity).
Pat
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LBIespresso
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#8: Post by LBIespresso replying to homeburrero »

Thanks for shedding some light on what I just looked at as a black box.

It makes more sense now. I still prefer full strength Pavlis recipe at this point but am looking forward to more A/B tests.
LMWDP #580

BeatTheSunUp

#9: Post by BeatTheSunUp »

kidloco wrote:I just tested their "light and bright" recipe for espresso, it gives 40 on a cheap TDS meter.
Is this the brew recipe or the espresso recipe? Bc I have been making the Light & Bright for brew, and I have been getting in the 40s for ppm on two separate cheap TDS meters (both have a 0.5 NaCl conversion factor), but the Lotus website says the total ppm for Light & Bright brew should be 85 ppm.

I wonder if it's supposed to be in the 40s for these cheap TDS meters?

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homeburrero
Team HB

#10: Post by homeburrero »

The Lotus 'light and bright' recipe from their kickstarter page is now called their light and bright 'manual brew' recipe, and they have since added a very different recipe for espresso brew. (Their espresso brew recipes both have much lower hardness, which I think was done to alleviate chloride corrosion concerns, and use magnesium rather than calcium).

Just crunching some numbers, and trusting Lotus' ppm as CaCO3 numbers . . .

Light and Bright manual brew (6 drops calcium + 5 drops potassium in 450ml):
1.2 mEq/L CaCl2 (60 ppm as CaCO3)
0.5 mEq/L KHCO3 (25 ppm as CaCO3)
would have a calculated conductivity of about 211 µS/cm at at 25 °C, which would read about 105 ppm on an NaCl calibrated TDS meter.

Light and Bright espresso brew (2 drops magnesium + 5 drops potassium in 450ml):
0.4 mEq/L MgCl2 (20 ppm as CaCO3)
0.9 mEq/L KHCO3 (45 ppm as CaCO3)
would have a calculated conductivity of about 248 µS/cm at at 25 °C, which would read about 124 ppm on an NaCl calibrated TDS meter.


The conductivity estimates here are from aqion which I have found to be trustworthy in the past.

BeatTheSunUp wrote:the Lotus website says the total ppm for Light & Bright brew should be 85 ppm
Interesting, and seems a tad low. I looked and couldn't find where they said that.

Your readings of only 40 ppm on an inexpensive meter do seem low for either of these recipes. It helps to read them with the sample temp near 25 °C, and be careful to rinse the container with the sample water, then add the sample, then measure.

BeatTheSunUp wrote:I wonder if it's supposed to be in the 40s for these cheap TDS meters?
A fancier TDS meter calibrated against a 4-4-2 solution would have a calibration factor of around 0.65, and would be expected to read higher (by about 30%) than an NaCl calibrated meter. Given a conductivity of 211 µS/cm for the original Light and Bright it would be expected to read about 140 ppm.
Pat
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