Making batch water for brew - Zerowater

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

#1: Post by Phobic »

I've been playing around with making water using Zerowater as a base and I now don't think I could go back to bottled water.

however....it's a pain, a 1 litre jug just doesn't cut it, and unlike for a coffee machine I can't make it directly in the reservoir

I'd like to make 4-5 litre (~1 gallon) batches, has anyone got any advise or tips for things to buy and ways to improve workflow?

the ideal would be buying a single 5 litre zerowater jug and then just adding powered chems directly but for a number of reasons I don't think that's very workable - epsom salts take a while to dissolve for example.

Adding a solution directly seems like a workable option but I'm not sure if doing so directly into the zerowater jug is a good idea - you'd need to remove the filter which is a pain.

so decanting into another jug might be a better idea though that adds to the work flow...

Adding a concentrate is a bit of a fiddle as well, it's easy to add too much/little, using a pipette or syringe would provide more control but to make that workable would need a smaller volume of high concentrated chems.

What options there are with concentration levels - is it as simple as double the dry weight and then use half the amount, topping up with more zerowater?

Another approach could be to add zerowater from the jug directly to the kettle, and then add in the chem solutions, however I think this would need the solution to be more dilute so there was decent control when making 300-600ml brews - assume half the strenth solutions and double the amount with less zero water in the kettle is fine.

so many different routes to take here, would be good to hear what everyone else is doing.

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homeburrero
Team HB

#2: Post by homeburrero »

I'd recommend that the Zerowater jug should always just contain Zerowater. You don't need to remember if you've dosed it or not, and if you're ever in need of de-ionized for whatever reason it's there for that. Then use any other convenient container for your coffee water. If you're experimenting with different mineral mixes you can put a sticky note on that container with the recipe.

If you use concentrates then you may have one or two bottles of that to keep in the fridge or other cool dark place (because it may be a long time before you use them up.) You can tweak your concentrate strength so that you can simply use a shotglass to add concentrates to your coffee water container. You really don't need high precision here. In my case I have a recipe that calls for 44 ml of concentrate per 3 liters of water. I just crudely eyeball it -- if I add roughly 1.5 gallons of purified to my coffee water container I simply hit it with a couple shots of concentrate using a standard 1.5 fluid ounce whiskey shotglass.

Having the jug or carboy of coffee water is nice because whenever you want to brew a coffee (or fill a suddenly blinking espresso machine) the water is there and ready.
Pat
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Phobic (original poster)

#3: Post by Phobic (original poster) »

thanks Homeburreo.

based on what you've said I've actually had a go at mixing directly into the kettle, I've made 700ml concentrate which includes both the buffer and Mg (Epsom salts) and stuck that in a squeezy water bottle, I can then add a dash of it to the kettle and top up with zero water, then simply fill up the zero water jug.

This doesn't give any flexibility to experiment, but for the volume of water I need for daily drinking is much more practical - in fact I think I'll make a double concentrated batch next time so the 700ml goes further, by my calcs that will last me ~4 days.

I'll tackle experiments separately, and tweaking the recipes based on the bean + roast level is a problem for another day I think...

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homeburrero
Team HB

#4: Post by homeburrero »

Phobic wrote:I've actually had a go at mixing directly into the kettle, I've made 700ml concentrate which includes both the buffer and Mg (Epsom salts) and stuck that in a squeezy water bottle, I can then add a dash of it to the kettle and top up with zero water, then simply fill up the zero water jug.
That should work. Because your concentrate probably has a high concentration of both magnesium and bicarbonate ion, the two of them can get together and produce a precipitate of magnesium carbonate and/or magnesium hydroxide. If so, the concentrate solution might look a little cloudy, and you would want to shake it well before adding to your kettle.

P.S.
The Barista Hustle recipes use separate bottles for Epsom and for bicarbonate. That makes it easy to experiment with different levels of hardness vs alkalinity, and it also prevents the two from combining to create a precipitate.
Pat
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Phobic (original poster)

#5: Post by Phobic (original poster) replying to homeburrero »


thanks again!

it's not been too long but I'm not getting any precipitate so far, if I do is there any issue with it? especially flavour wise!

if there is it might be better to just go back to separate bottles, better for experimentation too.

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homeburrero
Team HB

#6: Post by homeburrero »

Phobic wrote: it's not been too long but I'm not getting any precipitate so far, if I do is there any issue with it? especially flavour wise!
Even if you do have a precipitate it should be fine as long as the concentration of the brewing water is reasonable. My current home method involves a cloudy concentrate (from undissolved calcium carbonate) and once diluted to brew strength it never leaves a precipitate.
Pat
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Phobic (original poster)

#7: Post by Phobic (original poster) »

really good to hear thanks.

this certainly seems to be working very well for me, I quite like it, fill the kettle up with zero and then give it a squirt of concentrate.

mmartins

#8: Post by mmartins »

I'm on the same boat of trying to find an easy workflow for the water.

I bought some 6l water bottles that I was using directly for coffee and I'm adding some more minerals to them. It's easy but when the bottled water finishes I'd like to move to a more sustainable workflow but at same time will be much more time consuming!

My plan was to use my tap water ran through a Brita just to remove taste as my tap water is really soft and add some minerals, but having to fill a 5/6l bottle with a brita is a painful flow :(

I tried to fill a cup of water from the tap and leave it for some time to see if the taste went away but it doesn't.
I not sure how brita removes taste but I use the same filter for about a year or so as I don't have any perception of taste change and the water is soft from start (45 mg/L of total hardness)

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homeburrero
Team HB

#9: Post by homeburrero »

mmartins wrote:having to fill a 5/6l bottle with a brita is a painful flow
Especially with the new Longlast/Elite filters it does take a long time. If you have a refrigerator with a carbon filter you might try that. Or you could plumb up an undersink filter with a high flow GAC or carbon block filter in a generic housing. Something like this perhaps: https://www.chriscoffee.com/products/ge ... 2865083428
mmartins wrote:I tried to fill a cup of water from the tap and leave it for some time to see if the taste went away but it doesn't.
If it's chlorine causing the off-taste, then it should improve after sitting overnight in a cup. But it may be chloramine or some other contaminant causing your off taste that requires charcoal filtration.

P.S.
I notice you also asked this question on a Discord site. For future reference, please avoid cross-posting. Why is cross-posting strongly discouraged? provides the rationale for this policy.
Pat
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Phobic (original poster)

#10: Post by Phobic (original poster) »

as an update I've been doing my routine for 2 weeks now and it's working perfectly for me.

fill kettle from the zero jug, then top up jug up with tap water right away, I add a squirt of double concentrate which I'm weighing to the nearest gram.

pretty easy and quick