Water recommendation

Water analysis, treatment, and mineral recipes for optimum taste and equipment health.
cpro48609

Postby cpro48609 » Mar 09, 2019, 11:28 am

Hello,

I"m newer to the home espresso setup. I've had the Brewtus IV but switching to the Profitec Pro 600 in a few days. I can produce (to my liking anyway) decent drinks but am mainly concerned about water.

Our water here is a little on the hard side. All I have for testing is a TDS meter from a ZeroWater pitcher. I found out that it's not good to use ZeroWater in an Espresso machine as it has no minerals so things won't operate properly (sensors etc).

Eventually, we are going to get a whole house water softener but it might not be for several months. I don't want to harm my machine in the meantime so are there any temporary recommendations to keep it scale-free like water tank pouches etc? I do have an extra brewtus style water softening filter (has salt in it I think) that I could put in the Pro 600 tank if it would help. I heard there were ECM (same as Profitec to my knowledge) that has an in-tank filter also. The confusing part is are these just regular filters or do they soften (with salt) the water to actually reduce scale? It seems the brewtus style filter would as it's salt based and needs recharging every so often.

I do only put water in the Espresso machine from the refrigerator filter so it is at least filtered for particulates and taste. Are there any recommended methods that will tide me over until the whole house water softener gets installed?

Thanks,

Ciaran

Postby Ciaran » Mar 10, 2019, 12:23 am

Hi - I would get your water tested first before deciding what to do about it. Zerowater pitchers are just DI cartridges. Their marketing is deceptive, to say the least. There's no reason to be basing your decision on the quality of water using a salinity meter (like they use in their youtube videos - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_Ty0Wb0do4).

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homeburrero
Team HB

Postby homeburrero » Mar 10, 2019, 3:08 am

Ciaran wrote:I would get your water tested first before deciding what to do about it.

+1
Or check with your water utility - get numbers for hardness, alkalinity, and chloride at your tap to help you decide. My quick look (https://www.saginaw-mi.com/departments/ ... uality.php ) indicates that your chloride is probably reasonably low and your total hardness is perhaps up around 110 mg/L. I don't see an alkalinity number (it's always good to have that.)

As far as your interim solution you have some simple options.

1. Use one of those in-tank pouch softeners. The Oscar and Rocket pouches have conventional cation exchange resins, much like you will probably have in your whole house softener. They should do the job of reducing hardness (preventing scale formation) and keeping alkalinity. They need contact time to work, so would be best to try to always refill your reservoir at night after you are through pulling coffee for the day.

2. Mix charcoal filtered tap water with your ZeroWater. If your tapwater is indeed only 110 mg/L hardness, a 50:50 mix would be good. Your fridge may have a charcoal filter. A Brita would probably be OK for this, even though it has some resins that reduce hardness and alkalinity.

3. Use your ZeroWater (deionized water) spiked with a little bicarbonate. Use only about 0.3 - 0.4 gram of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) or potassium bicarbonate per gallon of ZeroWater. This would give you minerals for the sensor, and alkalinity (buffer) for corrosion protection, and have no scale potential and no nasty chlorides, sulfates, chlorine, etc. Many folks on this site have used this approach (aka "rpavlis recipe" , from the late professor R. Pavlis) and report good results. This one works irrespective of what's in your tapwater.
Pat
nínádiishʼnahgo gohwééh náshdlį́į́h
★ Helpful

tamadrummer

Postby tamadrummer » Mar 24, 2019, 1:12 pm

Wish I could vote homebuerro mvp all 5 times!

dudeimthebagman

Postby dudeimthebagman » Apr 29, 2019, 11:03 pm

homeburrero wrote:+1
Or check with your water utility - get numbers for hardness, alkalinity, and chloride at your tap to help you decide. My quick look (https://www.saginaw-mi.com/departments/ ... uality.php ) indicates that your chloride is probably reasonably low and your total hardness is perhaps up around 110 mg/L. I don't see an alkalinity number (it's always good to have that.)

As far as your interim solution you have some simple options.

1. Use one of those in-tank pouch softeners. The Oscar and Rocket pouches have conventional cation exchange resins, much like you will probably have in your whole house softener. They should do the job of reducing hardness (preventing scale formation) and keeping alkalinity. They need contact time to work, so would be best to try to always refill your reservoir at night after you are through pulling coffee for the day.

2. Mix charcoal filtered tap water with your ZeroWater. If your tapwater is indeed only 110 mg/L hardness, a 50:50 mix would be good. Your fridge may have a charcoal filter. A Brita would probably be OK for this, even though it has some resins that reduce hardness and alkalinity.

3. Use your ZeroWater (deionized water) spiked with a little bicarbonate. Use only about 0.3 - 0.4 gram of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) or potassium bicarbonate per gallon of ZeroWater. This would give you minerals for the sensor, and alkalinity (buffer) for corrosion protection, and have no scale potential and no nasty chlorides, sulfates, chlorine, etc. Many folks on this site have used this approach (aka "rpavlis recipe" , from the late professor R. Pavlis) and report good results. This one works irrespective of what's in your tapwater.



Hey Homeburrero, do you use rpavlis water in your machine? I've got my pot bicarb concentrate ready for my incoming new machine but it seems too easy. WLL recommends sodium bicarb and epsom. Any thoughts on what is best?

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homeburrero
Team HB

Postby homeburrero » replying to dudeimthebagman » Apr 30, 2019, 12:48 am

I'd recommend the rpalvis water. Since you already have potassium bicarb I see no reason to use sodium bicarb instead. R. Pavlis made the point that since coffee is already loaded with potassium you could add that and not expect the small additional potassium to affect the taste . When tweaking recipes between one or the other there is a slight adjustment because a chemically equivalent amount of potassium bicarb is a little heavier than sodium bicarb. If the recipe calls for 1 gram of sodium bicarb you can use 1.2g of potassium bicarb.

The recipe I'm using at home is similar in bicarbonate to the rpavlis recipe, but is a mix of calcium carbonate, magnesium carbonate, and potassium bicarbonate. It's easy for me to mix but I won't say that it's worth the extra fuss compared to the rpavlis water. Is discussed here: An all carbonate water recipe (cloudy concentrate, no sodastream)
Pat
nínádiishʼnahgo gohwééh náshdlį́į́h

dudeimthebagman

Postby dudeimthebagman » May 01, 2019, 1:56 am

Ok great, I'm going to go with rpavlis water. Thanks for weighing in!

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jchung

Postby jchung » May 03, 2019, 5:06 am

Hope you all don't mind if I piggy back onto this thread. I'm also starting to look at my water quality. I've tested my tap water, brita filtered water, and zerowater filtered water using a 5-in-1 test strip from Hach. These were my results.

Image

The Alaklinity and Hardness measurements are for CaCO3 ppm. The Chlorine measurements are also ppm.
The TDS was measured using the TDS meter included with the ZeroWater pitcher.

I have a Decent Espresso DE1Pro on the way and wanted to get my water sorted out before it arrives.

I was thinking I could mix straight tap + zero water in a 1:2 ratio, which would give me a hardness of ~ 57. Or would it still be better to mix the Brita + Zero in a 1:1 ratio?

Thanks!

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jchung

Postby jchung » May 03, 2019, 12:36 pm

Ok. After reading some more and giving it some thought.... I think you can ignore my previous post. I think I will go with the rpavlis recipe of just adding potassium bicarbonate to the zerowater. And then adjust from there as needed.

Thanks for all the info on all the various threads!