Water Setup

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

#1: Post by blutch »

I'm a newbie and will be purchasing my first espresso machine soon. I've been reading a lot about water here and must admit that I'm pretty intimidated by all the chemistry. I have zero previous knowledge on this subject. I do not plan to plumb in my machine, nor do I plan to use filtered tap water. I think I would like to start with distilled water and use a recipe to make it taste good but my major concern is that I do the right thing to keep my machine clean and free of scale. I have used TWW packets with distilled water for pour overs, but really don't taste much difference. Although the tap water here tastes good and makes good pour overs, it is pretty hard as evidenced by our drip maker and other appliances that need descaling often. I have not looked up the analysis of our water, nor have I tested it with any kind of test strip system because it all pretty well confuses me, hence my decision to just avoid using tap water all together. I could use some help with my setup so I'm doing it right from the get go. Answers to these questions will really help me. TIA!

1. I've read some of you talk about getting distilled water in 5 gallon containers. I've never seen this, so I'm wondering what kind of places offer it in these quantities. I know I can get RO water in that quantity by filling up a 5 gallon carboy at the grocery store, but I think I'd rather start with distilled. I'd rather not use single gallon containers if possible. I also use distilled water in my CPAP machine, so buying in larger quantities might help there too.

2. Once I find 5 gallon containers, do any of you know of a convenient way to distribute water out of this kid of container? Some kind of flow system or pump? I use a water dispenser in my office at work where the carboy is turned upside down into a crockery container with a spigot on it, but this requires I use counter space for it which I'd rather not do. It takes a lot of space, is unsightly and it's a bitch to turn them upside down without spilling. I'm thinking it would be nice to have this in the cabinetry under my coffee station. Do any of you use this sort of pump device? I'm looking for recommendations on this scenario. https://www.amazon.com/Charging-Automat ... 07HFPC7HB/

3. What's your favorite 5 gallon distilled water recipe? I need specific quantities and minerals for water that will keep my machine clean and that tastes good.

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blutch (original poster)

#2: Post by blutch (original poster) »

I just read on the thread "Easiest way to make rpavalis water" some really simple recipes that answer my question #3. I think I'm good on that one now.. I've saved that post.

B

blutch (original poster)

#3: Post by blutch (original poster) »

After reading even more tonight, I'm considering, as an alternative, the 23 cup Zero Water filtration system + the Rpavalis recipe. The advantage is not hauling 5 gallon water jugs. Yes, I realize I'm answering my own questions. :) Just interested in what the experts/more experienced folks think.

B

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homeburrero
Team HB

#4: Post by homeburrero »

The zerowater option will provide purified water for use in the R Pavlis recipe, and is one way to avoid lugging water from the store, but if you have high mineral content in your tap water the filters will not treat much and may not be cost effective. You can estimate your filter life based on your ballpark TDS: https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0311/ ... 1601429855 You may need to call your local water utility to get a TDS number for your water.
Pat
nínádiishʼnahgo gohwééh náshdlį́į́h

blutch (original poster)

#5: Post by blutch (original poster) » replying to homeburrero »

Thank you for the reply Pat. I just looked at the Consumer Confidence report on my city's water. There is a rather long chart with all sorts of numbers on it and I don't see TDS anywhere. Is this something you have to test yourself? I see Inorganic Compounds, Radiological, Chloramines, etc etc.... but no TDS.

B

User avatar
homeburrero
Team HB

#6: Post by homeburrero »

Many consumer confidence reports lack info that coffee people are interested in, such as hardness, alkalinity, chloride, sulfate, TDS. If they aren't available in any online report, which seems to be the case for OKC, then give the water utility a call and ask. If they get enough calls they might start making more info available online.

You can buy inexpensive conductivity 'TDS' meters for 10 or 20 dollars and will get one included if you buy a zerowater pitcher. They don't tell you what's in the water but are good for distinguishing low mineral from high mineral water. When buying RO or de-ionized from a self-serve they do a good job of letting you know you are getting water that is purified enough to be used in a recipe. With zerowater they are used to tell you when the filter is exhausted and must be changed.
Pat
nínádiishʼnahgo gohwééh náshdlį́į́h