What Mg and Ca compounds to add to water if you must - Page 2

Water analysis, treatment, and mineral recipes for optimum taste and equipment health.
coffeeOnTheBrain (original poster)

#11: Post by coffeeOnTheBrain (original poster) »

After reading Boiler-safe level of chlorides (and other compounds) in water
I decided to use MgSO4 7H20 over MgCl2 6H2O.

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kupe

#12: Post by kupe »

I'm in a similar situation and am following this thread with great interest. I've used rpavlis water in my HX machine for years and have been pretty satisfied. However, recent experimentation with water formulas for pourover have been revelatory. Coffees I wrote off for 10+ years as unsuitable for my palate are now some of my favorites. I have not enjoyed pourovers with rpavlis water, so I am curious what I might be missing in the espresso realm. Of course, the situation is very different there. I'm looking forward to your findings, coffeeOnTheBrain. I've been considering a Cafelat Robot or Flair for a variety of reasons. The option to more safely use these water formulas is one of them. However, if a formula can be found that tastes better than rpavlis water while also being safe for copper HX boilers, it would be great to have.

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coffeeOnTheBrain (original poster)

#13: Post by coffeeOnTheBrain (original poster) »

kupe wrote:... I'm looking forward to your findings, coffeeOnTheBrain.
...
A life sign at last, I was about to abandon this thread :D
While that feels true, I have to thank homeburrero once more for his help! However it seemed more like a generous gift, as he probably was here and done that a while ago.

I just started comparing how CaCO3, MgCO3, and KHCO dissolve when combined with other compounds. I have not used these 3 before.
I was a little irritated that a recipe with
1,7g CaCO3, 1.4g CaCl2, 2.7g MgSO4 7H20 did not dissolve in 490ml of water. I blame the CaCl2 as there were bigger clumps in the bottle and the other 2 are fine powder.
However I used exactly the same amount of CaCl2 with MgSO4 before in different other recipes and never had this issue. Maybe CaCl2 doesn't mix well with CaCO3?
When I say dissolve I basically mean no clumps, as the concentrates are always milky when using a little more than nothing.

I am about to start some pour over side by side tests of the new - to me - water recipe and my old recipe. Let's see which I prefer.

For espresso I won't be able to do a side by side, as switching the water takes longer than an espresso needs to cool down to an undrinkable temperature. I will start with rPavlis water and drink that for a while and do a memory comparison.
kupe wrote: ... if a formula can be found that tastes better than rpavlis water while also being safe for copper HX boilers, it would be great to have.
I will never be able to give guidance on the safety of water recipes. Maybe someone else can. I would be very interested in the safety of the recipes I present here as well. I wouldn't even be sure that I did the LSI calculations correct :/

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kupe

#14: Post by kupe »

Thanks. I appreciate your testing and wish you luck. On my end, I've used the Barista Hustle "Redux" baking soda and epsom salt formulas for the last couple of months and had some of the best coffee of my life. About a week ago I found more complicated formulas on Coffee Ad Astra and think I like those even more, though I'm awaiting delivery of more "good" coffee for further testing. I'm using the Rao/Perger formula from that page for pourover currently.

https://coffeeadastra.com/2018/12/16/wa ... xtraction/

The writer states that he hasn't included scale or corrosion calculations, and refers to this calculator. I couldn't really figure it out. I may take another stab at it soon.
https://www.espressoschool.com.au/coffe ... lculators/

*Edit - I forgot that rpavlis said not to use chlorides in boilers anyway, so I wouldn't bother with the recipe I linked for espresso regardless. I also trust his words above most others. I'm still curious if there is any room for improvement possible with any sort of alternate formula though.

DamianWarS
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#15: Post by DamianWarS »

coffeeOnTheBrain wrote:I will never be able to give guidance on the safety of water recipes. Maybe someone else can. I would be very interested in the safety of the recipes I present here as well. I wouldn't even be sure that I did the LSI calculations correct :/
Have you tried the WaterGeek app (Andriod only)? Also La Marzocco has a good water calculator for machine safety.

coffeeOnTheBrain (original poster)

#16: Post by coffeeOnTheBrain (original poster) » replying to DamianWarS »

Awesome stuff! Thank you, I am checking them out now.

coffeeOnTheBrain (original poster)

#17: Post by coffeeOnTheBrain (original poster) »

I did a first taste comparison between my old and my new pour over water recipe. I didn't really think about logistics before, but even a cupping of 2 waters has it's challenges. I only have one temperature kettle, so I needed to use my regular old water heater for the second water. Hence I needed to heat to 100C rather than 95C as I just can not measure the temperature for the other water.
In addition the old water heater has a bit of scale build up, which might affect the taste.
This was not a blind tasting either.

However the 2 water were pretty similar, if anything the new water was a little more clean and smooth. Fruity flavors and bitter flavors were an exact match to my tastebuds. Maybe the old water had a tiny bit of salt to it. To me that makes sense as the concentrations of Ca, Mg, and HCO3 were almost the same and Na, Cl, and SO4 concentrations differed.

Old:
  • 10.4 ppm Ca
  • 15.5ppm Mg
  • 43.5ppm SO4
  • 40.9 ppm Cl
  • 18.6 ppm Na
  • 49.4 ppm HCO3
New:
  • 10.5 ppm Ca
  • 15.3 ppm Mg
  • 52.8 ppm SO4
  • 0.9 ppm Cl
  • 0.0 ppm Na
  • 49.6 ppm HCO3
Both have hardness of about 85-89ppm as CaCO3 and alkalinity of 40ppm as CaCO3. The water I use is a table water called Erikli, with nothing but 6.3ppm of SO4 and 0.9 ppm of Cl, both already included in above numbers.

The coffee I used was a nice washed Ethiopian by Gardelli with a very intense lemon aroma, it's acidity is just the right level when brewed with 95C. In this cupping I was pleasantly surprised that the coffee was able to maintain the lemon aroma, despite the boiling water. Not all other characteristics were that present, but when cooled down the acidity came back.

I am happy with the result and will use the new recipe for pour over in the future. Maybe I will do a better comparison with friends later, hopefully this year.
In regards to espresso water it will take me a while to get to know both waters to come to a conclusion.

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homeburrero
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#18: Post by homeburrero »

coffeeOnTheBrain wrote:In regards to espresso water it will take me a while to get to know both waters to come to a conclusion.
I would suggest NOT using your "Old" water in an espresso machine. It has some sodium chloride that you don't want in the machine for chloride corrosion reasons. It may provide a trace of saltiness to help (or hurt) the taste of a pourover coffee, but would probably not be tasteable in an espresso, so best to avoid it and the corrosion issue.

Your "New" water looks very nice to me. In terms of conventional CaCO3 equivalents it has an alkalinity of 41 mg/L, a calcium hardness of 26 mg/L and a total hardness of 89 mg/L.
Pat
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coffeeOnTheBrain (original poster)

#19: Post by coffeeOnTheBrain (original poster) »

homeburrero wrote:I would suggest NOT using your "Old" water in an espresso machine. ...
Yes you are right! Thank you for the warning.

I was not very clear in my post above. I ment to reference the following 2 recipes in regards to usage in espresso machines.
coffeeOnTheBrain wrote:...
I will try the original Pavlis recipe and compare it to my own with added CaCO3 and MgCO3.
I will make a concentrate with 2.3g of each in 1l of water and use 10ml per liter brewing water. ...