Penguin Pitcher Hardness

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

#1: Post by blutch »

WLL sold me a Penguin water purifier pitcher with my new espresso machine. They said that using this water would protect my machine. I am in the process of setting up a coffee cart system under my coffee bar so I finally bought a TDS meter. My tap water registers at 402, the water through my fridge filter is 384 and the Penguin pitcher water is 284. Is that number too high to protect my machine? Should I be worried about it? My machine has copper boilers. I've read that 150 is ideal and I will be working toward that using RPavlis water with my plumbed system, but I'm not sure how long that will take. I don't want to be doing any damage to my machine.

I find all the water science to be WAY over my head, so I need to keep it simple. I know there is more to it than hardness, but first and foremost, I want to protect my machine investment.

B

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homeburrero
Team HB

#2: Post by homeburrero »

blutch wrote:My tap water registers at 402, the water through my fridge filter is 384 and the Penguin pitcher water is 284. Is that number too high to protect my machine? Should I be worried about it?
TDS meters don't tell you nearly enough to make water treatment decisions, but your numbers as well as your location (OKC) tell me that this water is probably very hard and scale-prone, and that Penguin filter is not designed to reliably soften water. Probably no harm done here -- a little scale is not harmful and can be treated with a descaling if necessary.


blutch wrote:I need to keep it simple
Then you're on the right track with your plan to use rpavlis water. Make up some rpavlis from purified or distilled and switch to that now, and you'll have no worries about scale. You can use baking soda if you don't yet have potassium bicarbonate. To use this with a plumbed-in system you will need a container and a flojet-like arrangement (e.g., Espresso Cart - Goodbye Plumbed In )
Pat
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blutch (original poster)

#3: Post by blutch (original poster) »

homeburrero wrote:TDS meters don't tell you nearly enough to make water treatment decisions, but your numbers as well as your location (OKC) tell me that this water is probably very hard and scale-prone, and that Penguin filter is not designed to reliably soften water. Probably no harm done here -- a little scale is not harmful and can be treated with a descaling if necessary.

Then you're on the right track with your plan to use rpavlis water. Make up some rpavlis from purified or distilled and switch to that now, and you'll have no worries about scale. You can use baking soda if you don't yet have potassium bicarbonate. To use this with a plumbed-in system you will need a container and a flojet-like arrangement (e.g., Espresso Cart - Goodbye Plumbed In )
Thank you. I just ordered a bottle system from Caffewerks. Terry there was extremely helpful and set me up to plumb my machine and a pitcher rinser this way. Now I'm working to source the water for the system. I have RO water available from the grocery store, but he tells me that those machines are notoriously unreliable and they often don't remineralize. I also have very convenient access to Ozarka drinking water. It seems to not quite be right either, so I'm in the process of trying to find a convenient source for 5 gallon bottles of distilled water so I can use rpavlis water for everything or maybe TWW espresso blend. I don't want to buy it in gallon jugs. It seems so wasteful to have all those 1 gallon jugs. The grocery stores near me do not have distilled water refill stations... just this RO water. I wonder if adding rpavlis water to the RO water available to me would be a good plan? It would be the most convenient.

I REALLY want to avoid ever having to descale my machine.

Thanks for the help!

B

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homeburrero
Team HB

#4: Post by homeburrero »

blutch wrote:The grocery stores near me do not have distilled water refill stations... just this RO water. I wonder if adding rpavlis water to the RO water available to me would be a good plan? It would be the most convenient.
You can use the grocery store self serve RO and double check it with your TDS meter to make sure the unit is in working order. In your area it should be reliably below 50 ppm, probably more like 20 ppm. You would just use that in place of distilled in the rpavlis recipe and be fine -- the extra 20 ppm or so of mineral will cause no harm or scale. You might look for a dispenser that sells de-ionized (my Whole Foods sells that at the same price as their RO) -- it will be comparable to distilled for this purpose.
Pat
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