What to test for in drinking water for coffee

Water analysis, treatment, and mineral recipes for optimum taste and equipment health.
dchooo
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#1: Post by dchooo »

I've been trying to find a good article or related content on what I should be testing for in water. Is there even a point in doing this? Surely there must be shops/cafes that get their water tested to see what kind of filtration system they will need.

a. It's not that practical to constantly put baking soda and epsom salt or whatever hardness agents you guys may use to make the water from an RO system to be more "SCA standards." Is a remineralizing component on a RO system the only way to confidently get the correct hardness? Then won't the calcium hardness/magnesium hardness, or am I overthinking this?

b. I have a bluelab Ph reader and a TDS reader. I was thinking about purchasing the Taylor K-1770 calcium hardness tester, Hanna alkalinity HI755/775, some kind of Chlorine tester.

c. Is it important to test for chlorine?? If so, should I be testing free or total??

I'm a bit overwhelmed but maybe this stuff is actually supposed to be very simple. Any help would be tremendously helpful. Thanks.

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homeburrero
Team HB

#2: Post by homeburrero »

dchooo wrote:I've been trying to find a good article or related content on what I should be testing for in water.
This thread: What tests to request to decide on water filter system might help.


dchooo wrote:It's not that practical to constantly put baking soda and epsom salt or whatever hardness agents you guys may use to make the water from an RO system to be more "SCA standards." Is a remineralizing component on a RO system the only way to confidently get the correct hardness? Then won't the calcium hardness/magnesium hardness, or am I overthinking this?
The easy way that most home units use is a simple remineralizing finishing cartridge on the RO unit. This can be a simple calcite or crushed marble filter. Some of them add formulated mineral beads to get a little more correction (Corosex is a common example, containing magnesium oxide.) These don't usually add a lot of minerals but are good enough to get you a Seattle-like water with a reasonably healthy alkalinity. More advanced RO systems may use a blending valve to blend back some tapwater minerals into the finished water. This can get you more mineral in the water provided the water does not have a very high chloride issue.


dchooo wrote:Is it important to test for chlorine?? If so, should I be testing free or total??
No. If you have city water you can just assume that chlorine or chloramine is there in small amounts. It can and should be treated with simple carbon (GAC or carbon block) filtration.


dchooo wrote:. I have a bluelab Ph reader and a TDS reader. I was thinking about purchasing the Taylor K-1770 calcium hardness tester, Hanna alkalinity HI755/775, some kind of Chlorine tester.
TDS readers have their uses, and one is to verify that your RO and remineralizers are working as expected. Above that I think a total hardness and alkalinity drop titration test kit is worthwhile. I think Hach makes the best, but the inexpensive API fishcare kits do a good enough lob for our purposes. Calcium hardness will be something less than total hardness, so you can play it safe and assume that all of your hardness is calcium hardness if doing scale risk (e.g., LSI) calculations. If you know your alkalinity you don't really need a pH measurement. You don't need a chlorine tester, but you generally do need to know whether or not your water has high chloride numbers. Hach makes a good drop titration kit for that, but often you can get your chlorde numbers fro your water utility. Chloride (unlike chlorine) is not easily filtered, and is a corrosion risk. If it is high you may be advised to use RO teatment. (Synesso recommends chloride below 15 mg/L, LaMarzocco USA often recommends that it be below 30 mg/L.)
Pat
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