Water analysis, treatment, and mineral recipes for optimum taste and equipment health.
I have a Profitec Pro 300 which I've been using for a little over a year averaging 2 double espressos per day. I've been using only Crystal Geyser water bottled at the Salem source. Will using this water be adequate for preventing scaling? Or should I use something like a BWT filter in conjunction with the Crystal Geyser? Either way, will a machine like mine go indefinitely without scaling issues or is scaling inevitable and using proper water just delays it?
- Team HB
CG from Salem is soft - - here's the report: http://www.crystalgeyserasw.com/docs/AS ... _Salem.pdfbilitz wrote:. I've been using only Crystal Geyser water bottled at the Salem source. Will using this water be adequate for preventing scaling? Or should I use something like a BWT filter in conjunction with the Crystal Geyser? Either way, will a machine like mine go indefinitely without scaling issues or is scaling inevitable and using proper water just delays it?
The calcium hardness is only 21 mg/L and the alkalinity 24 mg/L (CaCO3 equivalent), and if you do an LSI calculation on a hot steam boiler temp of 130C (about 1.7 bar of pressure) you still get a negative number, which says that this water would tend to dissolve rather than deposit limescale. So in a sense, this water is constantly doing a safe, acid-free prophylactic descaling of the machine.
The water is also low in sulfate, so the odds of calcium sulfate deposits are low. One thing that can cause deposits in the steam boiler would be if you are constantly concentrating your steam boiler water by taking steam out and never draining water from it. You can avoid this by pulling a little water out of the hot water tap whenever you steam. I think the manual advises that you can drain the steam boiler every 2 - 3 weeks, which would also take care of that.
Adding an in-tank pouch filter probably wont hurt but would be a waste of money. In theory at least the BWT tank filter might reduce your alkalinity, and you would not want that. Your CG has no chlorine or chloramine so you don't need a charcoal filter.
At an alkalinity of only 24 mg/L, this CG water is a little lower than the usual recommendation of 40 mg/L or more. In this case I don't think that's an issue because the water is nicely low in chloride and sulfate and should not be a corrosion problem.
It is softer than the conventional wisdom for tasty extractions, but I don't think that's an issue. It's comparable to Seattle city water, where people do make perfectly tasty espresso.
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Thank you for the excellent, detailed answers to my questions. That's what I was hoping to hear. One thing I have not been doing is pulling hot water from the steam boiler but I will definitely start doing that.
Scaling or not, the steam boiler is "distilling" the water, leaving the minerals behind.
So then eventually all steam boilers will accumulate minerals to the point where they need to be cleaned/serviced? Any idea how long that usually takes?
I've been wondering the same thing. I plan to use Dr. Pavlis's water recipe in my soon to arrive Technica V. The ECM manual recommends regular light descaling. Will this maintenance still be necessary with the distilled water/sodium bicarbonate mix? I'd think not, based on what I've read in these forums, but I don't want to screw anything up.
Draw about half a litre from the hot water tap every day or two and that will refresh the boiler water.bilitz wrote:So then eventually all steam boilers will accumulate minerals to the point where they need to be cleaned/serviced? Any idea how long that usually takes?
Use the water as part of your prep or cleanup.
Ever taste the water coming out of an HX's water tap? (Don't...)bilitz wrote:Any idea how long that usually takes [for steam boilers to get nasty inside]?
If your machine has an easily accessible drain tap, perhaps once a month shouldn't be too painful. If you're using an HX's hot-water tap, perhaps a bit more often as it won't completely change the water and remove the sludge. I used to draw hot water off my HX regularly to clean the steam wand and work area. If neither are available, then it comes down to your time and patience to do the work. If you steam a lot, you probably want to consider more than less regular.
It's fine IF you turn over the water frequently AND your machine hygiene procedures are good.Jeff wrote:Ever taste the water coming out of an HX's water tap?
On the other hand, if not, its a mineral cocktail with bonus potential for cheese sucked up the steam wand!
My particular machine is a dual boiler, not HX. How much difference does that make?