RPavlis water bland?

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

#1: Post by cmin »

So on BDB with Slayer mod I've been having issues (bought it last month) with what taste like thin body and thin crema and using Pavlis recipe (.4g potassium bicarbonate in 1 gallon distilled). Now usually pour over I just use bottles spring water or filtered water. So occurred to me and was curious so did V60 with my Pavlis water and it was just bland and almost, muted, in comparison I guess you could say, like some notes were there but toned down. With reg Publix Spring water, side by side same dose and grind (a light Sidamo), much better. So I took the tank out of the BDB and filled with Spring Water, much better shots. I had seen someone I think on Reddit say the samething way back that they too thought Pavlis recipe made for thinner/blander tasting coffee.

So now I'm confused as everyone and their mother raves about Pavlis recipe, I had no problem using spring water over the years if was a machine not plumbed in like my GS3 or even the Lucca when I had it at other place not plumbed in like before and ran Spring Water no problem. And never had an issue with scale in like 10 years, would just descale once a year or so and that's it. But with the BDB it seems people really freak out with it in regards to preventing scale more than any other machine.

So I'm trying to figure out what to do now. I did 3rd wave packets out of curiosity way back but honestly can't remember what they were like but I do remember the price being wack. I get the "no scale" love with Pavlis but taste/feel matters more to me lol. So wondering where I should go from here? Maybe add a tiny amount of epsom?

There's always that saying taste your water first, if good or bad that will apply to your brewing. I mean it taste like, distilled water, nothing like spring/mineralized/plumbed in setup. But I know Pavlis recipe has a massive amount of fans so I'm kinda perplexed... Lol?

I can't find my water test kit so have to order another as curious what that Spring Water is at, I did it way back with a few from Publix or Whole Foods but can't recall and can't find my notes with what the readings were.

Edit - also found something funny out as with the Df64 for example I was getting insane static with the Pavlis water in a mister and saw elsewhere I think on FB group someone said not to as it won't do anything with static. Usually always used spring in the mister, sure enough, now I have 0 static issues with the DF. And now makes sense why with the Monolith Flat I was seeing static like crazy as well.

luvmy40

#2: Post by luvmy40 »

So, the reason the BDB crowd is so gonzo for the rpavlis/scale free water is because of the Breville Dual Boiler Descale Curse. If you run the descale function/program there is a very good chance you will blow the steam boiler thermal fuse. The fuse is cheap, but the job replacing it is fairly difficult. Not undoable but a bit above the average appliance owner DIY level.

I do not see a major difference in flavor/body/feel between my tap water and rpavlis water with my medium/dark roast beans of choice. Then again, I am definitely not a super taster. I grind my darker roasts finer than most would and like a spring lever style profile at lower temps.

I'd say trying some different water recipes would be far from a bad choice.

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yakster
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#3: Post by yakster »

The coffee / roast will play a large part in this too. There's a story about Tim Wendlebow's coffee not traveling well due to the different waters available, the water is very low TDS there. Chromatic Coffee has/had a Radio project with coffee roasted for low TDS water and my home roast works well for RO water just because I unconsciously change my roast profiles so that it tastes good, it just naturally tends to work well with my chosen water.
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cmin (original poster)

#4: Post by cmin (original poster) »

yakster wrote:The coffee / roast will play a large part in this too. There's a story about Tim Wendlebow's coffee not traveling well due to the different waters available, the water is very low TDS there. Chromatic Coffee has/had a Radio project with coffee roasted for low TDS water and my home roast works well for RO water just because I unconsciously change my roast profiles so that it tastes good, it just naturally tends to work well ewith my chosen water.
Interesting about Chromatic, huge fan of Chromatic. Just finding this kinds funny now as years ago I never paid attention and just pulled incredible brew after brew, even plumbed in I think I just measured once and left as. Now last 5 years or so seems everyone has lost their minds with water to avoid scale (I don't even know how many recipes there are now, I remember the BH like 4 years ago?), and here I am playing around for the 1st time "really" paying attention to water and my coffee including espresso is mehhh lol, vs bottled spring or plumbed. Light roast, med, dark never had an issue with water prior to a recipe it seems like 99% of people say is mandatory now haha.

Just trying to figure out now as I know the BDB is extremely sensitive with scale so has me hesitant, but I don't want thin shots anymore either, even the crema is weaker. And now on other threads I read where there can be issues with distilled and RPavlis recipe causing some machine sensors to not read correctly? I dumped spring water in a CC1 for years, descaled maybe every year or two, I still have that machine laying around at the other place and 10 years later it still pulls great shots lol.

So I made great shots with the Spring Water, but not sure if I should keep using as worried like post above and others have said that will cause issues with the BDB. Have to wait for the test kit as I can't find mine, curious what the spring water reads at.

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yakster
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#5: Post by yakster »

You may want to look into pre-infusion and/or pressure profiling to get a better extraction out of lighter roasts too.
-Chris

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cmin (original poster)

#6: Post by cmin (original poster) » replying to yakster »

Have BDB with slayer mod

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Jeff
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#7: Post by Jeff »

There was a period when there were machines "going haywire" that the manufacturer/vendor explanation was use of blended water. I found that an implausible cause. There were hints of improperly installed sensors that seemed, to me, to be more plausible. That the rate of complaints has since plummeted suggests to me a problem with components or assembly, not water choice.
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BodieZoffa

#8: Post by BodieZoffa »

No doubt I think attention to water quality is overkill at times. Is the tap water in your area concerning? You can always go online and find the yearly test results listed for public view and then test it yourself to see how things match up and go from there. My municipality supplied water is near perfect in numbers and taste and I Pur filter it to remove the trace amount of chlorine. The end result is great in taste, texture and no possibility of scale buildup as well as being quite cheap. Cost is around .05/gallon all said/done.

ojt

#9: Post by ojt »

Yeah, do try different waters. So my water choices are basically tap or bottled, can't find distilled nor RO easily here. The tap water is horrendously hard and coffee made with it (moka pots mind you.. not the Pavoni) do taste very bitter.

In my opinion the choice of water also comes down to personal taste and roast level preferences. Maybe mr Pavlis preferred certain type of coffee brewed to a certain taste profile?

Anyway, this is what I've observed by using different bottled waters here ranging from barely mineral to fairly mineral. Here are the rough specs:

water 1: 22mg/l TDS, of which 3.3 calcium and 11 bicarbonates

water 2: 38mg/l TDS, of which 7.5 calcium and 16 bicarbonates

water 3: 80mg/l TDS, of which 19.9 calcium, 56.8 bicarbonates

There was a fourth water, harder than water 3 but I deemed it too hard. What I have noticed is that I prefer the softer waters for dark roasts. In my experience they would decrease the bitterness and highlight the nutty/chocolatey notes, but also decrease body which I am OK with. Now, I'm a light roast drinker mainly so that may be a reason for my preference. Some of my friends prefer body / mouth feel over everything else and they do not seem to mind the bitterness. With light roasts though the softer waters to my taste lack something in both body and taste. It's like the minerals help extract more of the "good stuff", the nice acids and whatever other compounds we get, and with light roasts I don't have to worry about the bitterness which I personally do not like.

So, currently I'm using water 3. It gets me good results with the coffees I usually brew, both in espresso and pour over. I am open for improvements if someone will point me out what to change and how, keeping in ming I do not have access to distilled water :)

I should also note that in a couple of years of using the water number 3 I have had zero scaling in my Pavoni. Though I'm not overly concerned even if I had some, given the ease of descale procedure on this machine.
Osku

cmin (original poster)

#10: Post by cmin (original poster) »

BodieZoffa wrote:No doubt I think attention to water quality is overkill at times. Is the tap water in your area concerning? You can always go online and find the yearly test results listed for public view and then test it yourself to see how things match up and go from there. My municipality supplied water is near perfect in numbers and taste and I Pur filter it to remove the trace amount of chlorine. The end result is great in taste, texture and no possibility of scale buildup as well as being quite cheap. Cost is around .05/gallon all said/done.
Tap water in South FL you may as well grind up rocks and drink lol, super hard and chlorine filled. Don't even wash the vehicles with a hose, use a rinseless/waterless wash setup.
ojt wrote: So, currently I'm using water 3. It gets me good results with the coffees I usually brew, both in espresso and pour over. I am open for improvements if someone will point me out what to change and how, keeping in ming I do not have access to distilled water :)

I should also note that in a couple of years of using the water number 3 I have had zero scaling in my Pavoni. Though I'm not overly concerned even if I had some, given the ease of descale procedure on this machine.
Yeah I'm going to test the spring water and maybe a few other brands and go from there, b/c RPavlis recipe is simply not working for me whether light to med dark roast, even V60 taste bland. Just taste like distilled water from the jug, which isn't appetizing, and obviously if it taste like that straight explains why it would be mehhh for brewin. Guess I was just so confused as, and no disrespect meant as I know he passed away, but the RPavlis recipe is treated like the greatest invention since fire. To me, taste/feel matter more than scale issues, who cares about 0 scale notion if you're stuck drinking basically flat or bland coffee?

I ran spring water for years and not one issues or boiler issue etc in like 10 years, even on the GS3 and Lucca when they weren't plumbed in especially the Lucca which ran like that for 2 or 3 years straight? But now you read on here and people make it seem like using spring water is going to spontaneously combust your machine lol. Nobody went overkill on water 5+ years ago, even for plumb in I would just setup and that was it, change filter/cartridge when needed. Now I feel like I'm in a lab microdosing recipes on a mg scale getting the right proportions or concentrates for the fridge, but coffee is mehhh?!? lol