Matt Perger's water recipe for coffee - Is it ok/safe for espresso machines? What do you think? - Page 2

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

#11: Post by GlennV »

Fine/great for brewed, but I agree with those saying that you'd be taking a risk putting this into an espresso machine.

I currently use a mix of magnesium and calcium carbonates, calcium chloride and magnesium sulphate to get to the same GH/KH whilst minimising the concentration of sulphate and chloride. I'd probably recommend calcium carbonate, magnesium chloride and magnesium sulphate if you're starting from scratch though.


#12: Post by Wacobipe »

I have enough trouble getting a good pull consistently and now I need to make water from scratch too ! :lol:

Decent Espresso: espresso equipment for serious baristas
Sponsored by Decent Espresso
User avatar
canuckcoffeeguy (original poster)

#13: Post by canuckcoffeeguy (original poster) »

GlennV wrote:Fine/great for brewed, but I agree with those saying that you'd be taking a risk putting this into an espresso machine.
Yeah, this is why I double checked the recipe on HB. No issues for brew. But I wasn't sure about it for an espresso machine.

HB member 'Zoey' kindly reached out to me with a water recipe he and HB user 'Homeburrerro' are using. Thanks again for this! I'm going to try it soon.

These simple home recipes are very useful for people who don't plumb in and only make a few shots or less per day. Maybe it would be good to have a thread about people's favourite ghetto water recipes for home use. No forum dedicated to water (I know that was already discussed and decided against). Just a thread for water recipes.


#14: Post by brianl » replying to canuckcoffeeguy »

Please share with the community.

A sticky topic would be interesting. Possibly have Team HB 'review' some as well. ha


#15: Post by dilin »

There is one 70/30 water from Five Senses, prepared using MgSO4 and NaHCO3 too. Not sure if it is the same as Perger's.


#16: Post by Zoey »

...a water recipe he and HB user 'Homeburrerro' are using.
I don't believe that Homeburrerro is using the recipe, but I am. It is the 70/30 recipe, but I vary the MgS04 amount somewhere between 12g and 24g. I haven't settled on an amount as of yet.

User avatar
Team HB

#17: Post by homeburrero »

Here is a link to the "70/30" recipe: ... recipe.pdf

And here's a discussion thread of it on HB:
70/30 Water

70-30 uses the same ingredients as Perger's recipe discussed here, but uses far less Epsom salt and therefore has lower hardness and lower sulfate, also slightly lower alkalinity. (It works out to GH:KH of 25:42 mg/l as CaCO3, and [SO4--] of 24 mg/l.) You can take Perger's recipe and simply decrease the Epsom salt to get water that is closer to the "70/30" -- for example if you use half as much Epsom salt you would get a hardness of 47 mg/l as CaCO3 (all magnesium hardness) and a sulfate of 45 mg/l [SO4--].

You could, of course use potassium bicarbonate rather than sodium bicarbonate. To get the exact same alkalinity you would use a bit more, by a factor of 1.2 (because KHCO3 has a molar mass of 100 g/mol, and NaHCO3 has a molar mas of 84 g/mol.) In the Perger recipe, if you use baking soda, you end up with 23 mg/l of [Na++], which is above the sodium recommendation by SCAA for "superior brew" but within their spec for adequate brew. Some people prefer potassium bicarbonate, for taste and theoretical reasoning -- because of the fact that coffee beans are low in sodium but very high in potassium, you can theoretically use a lot of potassium in the water without expecting much effect on the outcome.

keno wrote:I wouldn't put this water in my espresso machine. The sulfate level (over 90 mg/L) is almost twice the maximum recommended by La Marzocco ( .
That water spec is interesting in that it recommends 25-50 mg/L of sulfate as being optimal. I've never seen anyone else recommend that the water should include sulfate. It's not clear if they think that going above 50 mg/l is a corrosion issue. La Marzocco's Scott Gugliemino is very clear, however, that chloride is a major corrosion concern, as is "aggressive water" which Scott seems to define as any water low enough in calcium carbonate to have an LSI index lower than 0.1. The Perger water would certainly be aggressive water per that definition. This spec specifies a minimum calcium hardness of 3 gpg (51 mg/l as CaCO3), and of course the Perger and the 70/30 recipes, having zero calcium hardness, would not meet the spec there.

Finally, FWIW, I've recently noticed that the water spec that keno posted above, and which is linked fairly often in HB discussions, is not referenced in any of La Marzocco's machine installation guides, nor linked on any of their web sites. Recent discussions of water by the La Marzocco sites refer to a more forgiving spec ( ... ations.pdf) that does not mention sulfate.

For La Marzocco on water, see: ... episode-2/ (Scott Gugliemino talk)
nínádiishʼnahgo gohwééh náshdlį́į́h

Urnex: 100% dedicated focus on coffee and tea cleaning
Sponsored by Urnex
User avatar

#18: Post by keno »

Here's the recipe I use:

Note that the yield is an approximation, rounded to the nearest milligram. I also add this to my low TDS water (around 25-40 ppm after Brita filtering), but you could use it with distilled as is or by strengthening the concentration slightly to increase the end TDS.

Supporter ♡

#19: Post by IMAWriter »

Shife wrote:For those with questions about his recipe, why not ask the guy directly? I've had one on one conversations with Perger and I'm nobody special. He's pretty approachable.
Sure, you're special :D
And YES, Perger IS approachable, but of course, I'M special! :lol:

Edit: IMO Potassium bi-carb IS better tasting than Sodium Bi-carb. You should use only the most minimal amount though.
LMWDP #187

User avatar
canuckcoffeeguy (original poster)

#20: Post by canuckcoffeeguy (original poster) »

Thanks everyone, this is all very informative. These recipes are very simple. I'm hoping to make some water this weekend.

So where does one find food grade potassium bicarbonate?