Water filter recommendation?

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

Postby gp » Aug 14, 2019, 10:28 am

I'm doing a kitchen remodel and converting my GS/3 to plumbed-in water, which makes me think I should put some sort of water treatment in place. I live just to the east of Oakland, CA, and draw from three different EBMUD reservoirs/water treatment plants. I dug up the water quality reports, did a little testing, and got the following:

TDS: 52 ppm [32-120]
Hardness: 30 ppm [9-58]
pH: 9.1 [9.0-9.4]
Alkalinity: 31 ppm [21-53]
Calcium: 6 ppm [4-15]
Magnesium: 1 ppm [1-4]
Sodium: 10 ppm [5-16]
Chloride: 5 ppm [3-8]

The water seems basic and soft. Am I looking at a carbon filter and some sort of remineralizing cartridge? Thanks for any advice!

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Postby homeburrero » Aug 14, 2019, 12:35 pm

gp wrote:The water seems basic and soft. Am I looking at a carbon filter and some sort of remineralizing cartridge?

I think that a particulates and carbon filter, either carbon block or granulated activated carbon, will do the job for you. Your water is approximately Seattle soft, but should taste fine and will be non-corrosive without causing much if any scale. At that pH a calcite remineralizing cartridge probably would not add anything significant.

Don't let the buzz about needing high hardness water for better extractions get to you. Refractometer studies are not finding higher extraction yields with harder water, and controlled taste tests (e.g., page 20 of this magazine) seem to be favoring somewhat softer water. Also, the water standard for recent coffee championships* is not much harder than yours.

* For the 2020 US Coffee Championships:
a. Competitors must use the provided water.
b. The provided water will be provided at room temperature in the Preparation Room.
c. The provided water will be calibrated with the following standards as the target:
i. Odor: Clean/fresh, odor free
ii. Color: Clear color
iii. Total Chlorine/Chloramine: 0 mg/L
iv. TDS: 85 mg/L (acceptable range 50-125 mg/L)
v. Calcium Hardness: 3 grains or 51 mg/L (acceptable range 1-5 grains or 17- 85 mg/L)
vi. Total Alkalinity: 40 mg/L (acceptable range at or near 40 mg/L)
vii. pH: 7.0 (acceptable range 6.5 to 7.5)
viii. Sodium: 10 mg/L (acceptable range at or near 10 mg/L)

( https://static1.squarespace.com/static/ ... .17+CC.pdf )

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Postby frank828 » Aug 14, 2019, 12:50 pm

i dont have a specific recommendation but wanted to remind you that your water composition could randomly change whenever your water district decides to change sources.

I also deal with city water(in southern california) and at least a couple times a week, i detect large changes in water TDS coming from the city. We use a blending system so this causes constant issues where our set blended water TDS is constantly changing depending on what water they're sending through the pipes.

If you're obsessed with having a specific TDS, like me, this will cause you to go bonkers. If you're like me, I'd almost just recommend creating your own water using that. Otherwise, you'll be like me checking your water 5-20x a day and making adjustments constantly(in a commercial environment though) and dumping tons of water. :\