Need a Home Espresso Water System

Water analysis, treatment, and mineral recipes for optimum taste and equipment health.
Shawnaks5

#1: Post by Shawnaks5 » Nov 08, 2019, 5:05 pm

I need to get a water system for my home setup. For a while now I've been using GC water and mixing it with a gallon of Distilled water and it comes out to a TDS of 105. Not sure what minerals are in GC water. This is getting really old! I want to get an espresso machine and plumb in a water supply that adds the right amount of minerals and produces Zero scale. Preferably I'd like it to taste like the GC water. Can someone point me in the right direction?

Also I make different water for all my brewed coffee. I use a mixture of Baking Soda and Epsom Salts with distilled water for a TDS of about 70. So I'm making two different gallons of water all the time for brewed coffee and espresso and I'm really tired of it. We drink a lot of coffee in our house. Ideally I'd have a tap that produces the same water as I make now for my brewed coffee and a plumbed system for my espresso machine that produces similar water as the GC water.

Any help would be much appreciated!

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homeburrero
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#2: Post by homeburrero » Nov 10, 2019, 5:28 pm

Shawnaks5 wrote:I want to get an espresso machine and plumb in a water supply that adds the right amount of minerals and produces Zero scale.
To properly answer that we would need an analysis of your tap water (ca hardness, alkalinity, chloride, sulfate, silica.) For a solution that works about the same irrespective of your incoming water, you would consider a reverse osmosis system followed by a remineralizer. Water from that would come out softer than your GC-water, maybe close to your 70 ppm bicarb/epsom water.
Shawnaks5 wrote:Preferably I'd like it to taste like the GC water.
That might be a challenge. You can purchase a plumb-in solution that does just that from the GC water people, but it's expensive and made for high volume needs.
Shawnaks5 wrote:Not sure what minerals are in GC water.
Old and unverified rumor was that it was a mix of CaCl₂, KHCO₃, and NaHCO₃ to produce calcium hardness, alkalinity, and sodium numbers in line with the old SCAA standard.* I would not be surprised if the latest formula is different. People nowadays are more comfortable with magnesium (which is less scale prone) rather than calcium, and are leery of chloride (which can be a corrosion concern.)

* Edit addition: Just checked here: https://prima-coffee.com/equipment/glob ... er/38-1005 , and see that the ingredients are still as above. "Formula contains sodium bicarbonate, potassium bicarbonate, and calcium chloride."
Pat
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Shawnaks5

#3: Post by Shawnaks5 » Nov 10, 2019, 8:22 pm

Thank you for the reply! Can you recommend something to use to analyze my tap water? That's interesting about the GC water. I didn't think to check back on Prima site for that info.

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EvergreenBuzzBuzz

#4: Post by EvergreenBuzzBuzz » Yesterday, 11:52 am

Also you don't say why its getting old, cause you do a gallon at a time? I use a six gallon system with 1000ml water concentrates. The concentrates last 9-12 months depending on use and I refill my tank every three to four weeks using the concentrates. That is not a hard or long process. Less than 10 min so it doesn't get old and I still get high quality water. Here in AZ good tap water doesn't exist unlike where I was before in CO. Hence why I came up with this with the help of this forum and people like @homeburrero.


I am using the system I explained here:

Espresso Cart - Goodbye Plumbed In
CarefreeBuzzBuzz
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[creative nickname]
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#5: Post by [creative nickname] » Yesterday, 12:17 pm

Check your water utility's website-they might already publish the data you need! If not, I've used Simple Water's Tap Score kit to get home water tested, and was pleased with the process.

FWIW I use the BWT Bestmax Premium system for all our coffee water needs (a plumbed machine and a tap for brewing water) and it has been great.
LMWDP #435

Shawnaks5

#6: Post by Shawnaks5 » replying to [creative nickname] » Yesterday, 1:15 pm


Thank you for the info! We are on well water. I will have to check out Simple Water. Did you get the BWT from Whole Latte Love? How often do you have to replace the filter for your system?

Shawnaks5

#7: Post by Shawnaks5 » Yesterday, 1:20 pm

EvergreenBuzzBuzz wrote:Also you don't say why its getting old, cause you do a gallon at a time? I use a six gallon system with 1000ml water concentrates. The concentrates last 9-12 months depending on use and I refill my tank every three to four weeks using the concentrates. That is not a hard or long process. Less than 10 min so it doesn't get old and I still get high quality water. Here in AZ good tap water doesn't exist unlike where I was before in CO. Hence why I came up with this with the help of this forum and people like @homeburrero.


I am using the system I explained here:

Espresso Cart - Goodbye Plumbed In
Yes it's getting old because I do one gallon at a time. That's an interesting system you have. I need to convince my wife to make a cart. I've talked to her about it but she says I have plenty of room on the counter for all my coffee stuff. That's awesome that your concentrates last that long! I think Ideally i'd have something in the cabinets under my espresso machine. I wonder if I should take a picture of my setup to show the location and the cabinets and perhaps get some recommendations from there. What do you think? My machine sits near my fridge. To me that would be where I'd have to access the water supply.

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homeburrero
Team HB

#8: Post by homeburrero » Yesterday, 3:57 pm

Shawnaks5 wrote:Can you recommend something to use to analyze my tap water?
Since you're on a well you can't just get a report from your local water utility. You can, however, easily test your hardness and alkalinity with an inexpensive, easy to use drop titration kit like the API fishcare GH and KH kit. You can also pick up an inexpensive TDS meter, which doesn't tell you enough in most cases, but if it gives you very low numbers you know that your water is soft and may not need anything beyond particulates and carbon filtration.

With an adjustable decarbonizing filter (like the BWT premium) you would initially set the bypass based on the KH of your tap water, then perhaps tweak that setting based on the GH and KH output after the filter. If you know the GH and KH of your filtered water you can do scale deposition estimates using Jim Schulman's Insanely Long Water FAQ.

Chloride or, less likely, silica (which might cause you to consider RO) is unlikely to be high. A little research about water in your area might confirm that.
Pat
nínádiishʼnahgo gohwééh náshdlį́į́h

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[creative nickname]
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#9: Post by [creative nickname] » Yesterday, 4:14 pm

Shawnaks5 wrote: Thank you for the info! We are on well water. I will have to check out Simple Water. Did you get the BWT from Whole Latte Love? How often do you have to replace the filter for your system?
I got the original full system from WLL but you can also order the filter replacements from Amazon. My first one lasted six months, but I use it for lots of things, including big batch brews for the family every morning and big batches of iced tea for my wife to drink.
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