Using hot water tap to manage steam boiler water concentration - Page 2

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

#11: Post by Carl K »

Thanks for your help Homeburrero,
I just ordered a TDS meter.


#12: Post by tinman143 »

I almost don't want to know what the inside of my steam boiler looks like even with softened water. Sigh this is depressing.

Carl K

#13: Post by Carl K »

homeburrero wrote:Unlike HX or dual boiler machines you are drawing water out of the steam boiler whenever you brew or flush, so it's much less of a concentration problem. You could verify that with an inexpensive TDS meter -- just be sure to measure the water out of the brewhead after it's cooled to the same temp as your reservoir water and compare the two. You could do the steam ratio calculation but in your case you would use the amount of water used by the steam wand divided by the total of that water plus all water removed from the group during brewing and flushing. In your case if you want a lower concentration you'd just flush more water through the brewhead

With rpavlis water it would not become a scale issue, but might possibly become a taste issue because (unlike HX and DB) your steam boiler water is used in the brew. If you get a more than 3x concentration your alkalinity would go above around 150 mg/L, which may not be best for taste.

I just tested my boiler water (cold, out of the steam tap) with a TDS meter the first time. After using Dr. Pavlis' water recipe for 2 years exclusively it measured 66 ppm TDS. The starting Dr. Pavlis water measures 50 ppm. I'd say no worries. Thanks very much for you help homeburrero!


#14: Post by BaristaMcBob »

I see TDS meters on Amazon for $5. Do you think they actually work? Or at least good enough for espresso machine purposes?

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homeburrero (original poster)
Team HB

#15: Post by homeburrero (original poster) »

I see TDS meters on Amazon for $5. Do you think they actually work? Or at least good enough for espresso machine purposes?
I have a nice one that displays conductivity and temperature that I keep calibrated, but often just use a cheap HM -digital TDS-EZ that came with a ZeroWater pitcher. It has worked fine for this purpose for years and I think sells in the $15 USD neighborhood. Even with a temperature compensated meter it's important to always compare readings at the same temperature, ideally 25 C (77 F).
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