Water treatment options, please

Water analysis, treatment, and mineral recipes for optimum taste and equipment health.
Tony163

#1: Post by Tony163 »

I live in Bryn Mawr PA, water from Aqua America, and it's crap:

- Chlordine 2.4 (Quantab Units), 0.014% NaCL, 82PPM;
- Total Hardness: 230 PPM (13 GPG);
- Total Iron: 0
- Free Chlorine: 0
- Total Chorline: .05
- PH: 7.75
- Total Alk: 150
- TDS: 300

My target levels I believe should be:

- TDS 90-150;
- Hardness 70-100
- Ph 6.5 - 8.00
- Alk 60-80

I have an RO system already which feeds the fridge water dispenser and pot filler. Its from a company called Perfect Water and I believe it does what it is supposed to. This feed is available for the espresso. They make what they call an "Artesian Cartridge" to remineralize the water, but it makes it taste like crap and I removed it and tossed it years ago before I was into espresso.

I am desperately seeking a solution to bring my water into target ranges. I need specifics, PLEASE!! This is the part of espresso I dislike the most and I just need a solution. PLEASE!!

Thank you!!!

Tony163 (original poster)

#2: Post by Tony163 (original poster) »

Since nobody has replied, I thought I would throw out the idea of plumbing the RO together with the town water with a mixing valve in a 4 (RO) to 1 (town) ratio. Seems like that would get me to a decent output. Wondering what folks think of that idea? thanks!

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homeburrero
Team HB

#3: Post by homeburrero »

Tony163 wrote:My target levels I believe should be:

- TDS 90-150;
- Hardness 70-100
- Ph 6.5 - 8.00
- Alk 60-80
That's just one opinion about target levels. It may not be ideal, and at that level would require that you periodically check for limescale and would likely need to periodically descale. This post has a chart and discussion that shows a few different target levels.


Tony163 wrote:I thought I would throw out the idea of plumbing the RO together with the town water with a mixing valve in a 4 (RO) to 1 (town) ratio. Seems like that would get me to a decent output. Wondering what folks think of that idea?
That might be an option here. Some higher end RO units come with precision mixing valves, and some folks have done DIY versions. A ratio of 4:1 would give you about 30 mg/L alkalinity, and 3:1 would get you closer to the usual recommended 40 mg/L alkalinity. These blending valves can be tricky to get right and may need to be frequently measured with a TDS meter and re-adjusted. Also, before doing that I think you should make sure that your water does not have extremely high chloride ion levels. I think you're probably OK based on your hardness:alkalinity ratio, but maybe worth asking your water utility about that -- you want the chloride numbers, not chlorine.

It's interesting that you found the Perfectwater artesian remin cartridge distasteful. You might try that again. It should be adding only about 30 - 60 mg/L of mostly calcium carbonates to the water. You do expect a higher spike of mineral when you first draw water from the system after a long period of no-flow.
Pat
nínádiishʼnahgo gohwééh náshdlį́į́h

Tony163 (original poster)

#4: Post by Tony163 (original poster) »

Thanks for all of this great information. Apologies for the misspelling in the original post - my chlorides are 83, which I think makes mixing suboptimal.

I think I am going to get a 5 gallon Jug and a shurflo pump with an accumulator and use my existing RO system to generate the h20 and then use the third wave packets. This has the advantage of being highly controlled, great water (I think?) and quite cheap over time.

How does that sound? My principal question is whether I should make my own concentrates rather than use the third wave packets. The only reason to do so would be to improve the water. The cost of the third wave packets is irrelevant to me and frankly the hassle of figuring out my own concentrates and actually making them is a material negative.

Ty!

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homeburrero
Team HB

#5: Post by homeburrero »

Tony163 wrote:my chlorides are 83, which I think makes mixing suboptimal.
I agree.
Tony163 wrote:I think I am going to get a 5 gallon Jug and a shurflo pump with an accumulator and use my existing RO system to generate the h20 and then use the third wave packets. This has the advantage of being highly controlled, great water (I think?) and quite cheap over time.
That should work great. You can use an inexpensive TDS conductivity meter to watch that your RO system is performing properly. Lots of discussion about this approach is in the post: Espresso Cart - Goodbye Plumbed In

You can use TWW espresso packets, but you might also want to try using RPavlis water - - it would simply be 1.9 grams of potassium bicarbonate or 1.6 grams of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) per 5 gallons of RO. About as machine-healthy as you can get and very popular with folks on this site. Then can try other variants like the Barista Hustle recipes to see if you like the taste better.
Pat
nínádiishʼnahgo gohwééh náshdlį́į́h

Tony163 (original poster)

#6: Post by Tony163 (original poster) »

Thanks! That makes it really easy and I agree, I think that's where I should start. Do I need to buy a "special" scale to weight the potassium and sodium bicarbonates? And can I add them directly without making any kind of liquid concentrates? Thx!

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homeburrero
Team HB

#7: Post by homeburrero »

Yes, you can add them directly and they both dissolve readily (much faster than Epsom salts, for example). You don't need a fancy scale, an inexpensive AWS scale with 0.1g precision is fine. If you're off by a couple tenths of a gram of mineral in a 5 gallon container that's still more than good enough. (1.9 grams of potassium bicarbonate gives you 50 mg/L alkalinity, and 1.7 g gives you 45 mg/L alkalinity.)
Pat
nínádiishʼnahgo gohwééh náshdlį́į́h

Tony163 (original poster)

#8: Post by Tony163 (original poster) »

Amazing! Thank you so much!

greenbeans
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#9: Post by greenbeans »

I'm a bit surprised that your RO water isn't working for you. I have a similar system which was purchased on Amazon about 5 yrs ago. We change the cartridges yearly and the espresso is delicious. ( Los Angeles water )

Tony163 (original poster)

#10: Post by Tony163 (original poster) »

You are using straight RO water?