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Thread: Filtration for Espresso Machines- Compulsory Reading

  1. #51
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    Re: Water filtration and espresso machines

    Just a thought, but wouldnt any local pool supply shop test your water for you?

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    Re: Water filtration and espresso machines

    I have a spa Who Me so check it regularly for all the usual characteristics, including water hardness, but from looking at the way domestic water is tested there is no way I could gauge with the required accuracy.

    The test strips are around $12/ 10 and I will only test a couple of times for now, then every 3 Months or so.

    All that said, maybe a Pool Shop commercial testing gear could do it for you.

  3. #53
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    Re: Water filtration and espresso machines

    Quote Originally Posted by 6A6E6D686668010 link=1245022813/51#51 date=1297314795
    All that said, maybe a Pool Shop commercial testing gear could do it for you.
    Actually, if you prefer to head down that route, an aquarium supplies retailer is the best option as TDS testing for some species of fish demands very accurate testing regimes.

    A suitable TDS test kit would probably cost less than $20.00 and be good for 50+ tests... 8-)

    Mal.

  4. #54
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    Filtration for espresso machines- compulsory reading

    Bernard Peters, of CS sponsor Bombora supplies has produced another comprehensive guide for water filtration for home espresso machines.

    I have attached the article and would recommend it as an excellent read.

    2mcm
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by Javaphile; 13th July 2013 at 04:55 AM. Reason: Fixed link

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    Senior Member trentski's Avatar
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    Re: Filtration for espresso machines- compulsory reading

    How do we save or open these at the moment? :-[

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    Re: Filtration for espresso machines- compulsory reading

    Quote Originally Posted by 696F7873696E76741D0 link=1300415168/1#1 date=1300418182
    How do we save or open these at the moment?
    Click the file/link, copy the link in the window that opens and paste it in your browser.

    Or just click this one: http://coffeesnobs.com.au/attachments/Espresso_Filters_for_Home_2010.pdf :)


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  7. #57
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    Re: Water filtration and espresso machines

    [postsmovedhere1] 53 [postsmovedhere2] Brewing Equipment (non-machine specific) [move by] Mal.

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    Re: Filtration for Espresso Machines- Compulsory Reading

    Many thanks 8-)

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    Re: Filtration for Espresso Machines- Compulsory Reading

    Hi all, I have a two stage "Pure Water Systems" undersink unit with a Pre-filter cartridge (which removes dirt, sediment, rust and algae) and then a submicron Triple Action compressed carbon cartridge (which removes chlorine, bad taste & odour and a large percentage of heavy metals and chemicals from the water). Added to that I have a resin softener cartridge in the reservoir of my machine. Can anyone tell me if this system is enough to eliminate or severely reduce scale? According to our local water authority the hardness here is 66 ppm or .6598 mmol/l or 3.7dH . From what I have read in these posts that is a fairly good TH reading straight out of the tap? I havent tested the water from either tap or filter myself but will do so ASAP, does anybody know exactly what is the optimum reading or level to reduce scale build-up?
    Thanx, D.

  10. #60
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    Re: Filtration for Espresso Machines- Compulsory Reading

    Gday D. .... :)

    It probably would be but I would direct your query to Bernard at Bombora to be absolutely certain, since hes the professional in this area or expertise....

    Mal.

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    Re: Filtration for Espresso Machines- Compulsory Reading

    Arh another thing to think of. Being an ex - lab manager with chem background, could relate to the 18.2megohm comments. I was thinking rather than hooking up a filtration system, maybe a distillation unit may be the go? Anyone do that? Or should I just invest in a small rain water tank and utilise a particulate filter?

    All I can see with this research is $$$ going out the door but all for a good cause ;)

  12. #62
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Re: Filtration for Espresso Machines- Compulsory Reading

    Quote Originally Posted by 694C4D575A230 link=1300415170/60#60 date=1321179941
    I was thinking rather than hooking up a filtration system, maybe a distillation unit may be the go?
    Distilled/DI/RO water is not what you want to use in an espresso machine. Pure water prevents water level probes from functioning and will attack various metal components of the system. Search the site for further information on this as it has been discussed in detail multiple times over the years.


    Java "Search engines are your friends!" phile

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    Re: Filtration for Espresso Machines- Compulsory Reading

    Hi All,
    I am a newbie to this site and would like to just add alittle to what I have learnt.
    I have an RO 5 stage system with a 12 litre tank. My tap water is around 400ppm and my RO system out is approx 28ppm. I never have a problem with scale, i use it for my kettle and cooking. The filters obviously come in a wide array of types. Re-mineralizers, full de-ionizing etc.
    I want to ask you all if I upgrade to a Giotto Premium Plus, will the 28ppm output be enough to still register electrical current for water level indicator? I have a Rancilio Silvia which I will sell for the upgrade has never needed to be descaled although I meticulously maintain it.
    I never wanted to strip the water bare as this is really bad for your machine and for your body as the water will act like a sponge and strip minerals from where ever it can, including your cells, metal parts etc.
    Any advice from or chemically, electronically minded people would be much appreciated.
    Cheers
    ;D

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    Re: Filtration for Espresso Machines- Compulsory Reading

    Quote Originally Posted by 173E2834306868685F0 link=1300415170/62#62 date=1340611625
    Hi All,
    I am a newbie to this site and would like to just add alittle to what I have learnt.
    I have an RO 5 stage system with a 12 litre tank. My tap water is around 400ppm and my RO system out is approx 28ppm. I never have a problem with scale, i use it for my kettle and cooking. The filters obviously come in a wide array of types. Re-mineralizers, full de-ionizing etc.
    I want to ask you all if I upgrade to a Giotto Premium Plus, will the 28ppm output be enough to still register electrical current for water level indicator? I have a Rancilio Silvia which I will sell for the upgrade has never needed to be descaled although I meticulously maintain it.
    I never wanted to strip the water bare as this is really bad for your machine and for your body as the water will act like a sponge and strip minerals from where ever it can, including your cells, metal parts etc.
    Any advice from or chemically, electronically minded people would be much appreciated.
    Cheers
    ;D
    Welcome Hawko777,

    Whilst I normally recommend against RO systems and espresso machines, your output at circa 30ppm *should* be ok. I guess it would be dependent on what else finds its way through your filter.

    Bernard of Bombora is our resident coffee filtration expert. Perhaps you might approach and pay him to test your water for you. You will then have the definitive answer. Alternately, if you have more comprehensive test results, post up and he may be able to comment here.

    Happy shopping...

    Chris

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    Re: Filtration for Espresso Machines- Compulsory Reading

    Quote Originally Posted by 7950465A5E060606310 link=1300415170/62#62 date=1340611625
    will the 28ppm output be enough to still register electrical current for water level indicator?
    I am in a similar position to you only our source water is 5-800 depending on the source used or season in our location. Output water of my pumped R/O runs around 30-35 PPM at full production rate. The Autofills on my couple of commercial levers have been detecting fine at that. Like yourself scale isnt a problem. BUT

    OT a little with R/O much as even to me seems a little nuts the adding of a remineraliser cartridge will give you a better brew. I am going to buy one and play with a shandy of the two and run at about 50ppm mainly for taste rather than machine reasons. Way OT the suggestion for brewed coffees is more like 100PPM to avoid a flat taste you get with straight R/O.

    Sip it and see :)

  16. #66
    Senior Member C-man's Avatar
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    Can I just replace the cartridge? Or do I need to re-plumb the whole thing?
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    Hi all, ive been searching but I can not find the Bombora PDF you mention. Could some one please point a newbie in the right direction.

    I have a new Lelit PL60T that I have been using for a month or so with just the resin filter but have had Jetblackespresso recommend additional filtration, so here I am floundering in the sea of info. IX resin sounds good to me. Help.....


    Regards Sean

  18. #68
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    Bernard of Bombora is not a PDF--he's a *he* and is a site sponsor. Here: Bombora Coffee + Water Supplies

    Greg

  19. #69
    Probably drunk on coffee bodyboardingbum's Avatar
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    Old thread, but does anyone have a copy of the documents linked? Would love to read.

    Have been using Brita filters for my water, our "raw" tap water TDS is ~200ppm.
    I'm an avid marine aquarist, so have an RO/DI filter with dual TDS meters outputting TDS 0ppm water. Would this be better? I was under the impression it's not recommended for use in an espresso machine.

  20. #70
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    Here you go mate...

    Best bet is to drop them an email first to explain your circumstances, then work it out from there. Very professional and courteous people and highly recommended.

    Mal.
    Last edited by Javaphile; 13th July 2013 at 05:15 AM. Reason: Fixed link

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    Everpure 4H. Works fine for me. adjustable Pressure & flow Reg to feed the ECM bang on-spec.

    IMG_1959.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Actually, if you prefer to head down that route, an aquarium supplies retailer is the best option as TDS testing for some species of fish demands very accurate testing regimes.

    A suitable TDS test kit would probably cost less than $20.00 and be good for 50+ tests... 8-)

    Mal.
    what about an electronic one? i see them on various appliance sites for 15-20 bucks. dont think they have a limit to how many times they can be used? not sure how accurate they are but i dont imagine they're too far off.

  23. #73
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    As with everything, you only get what you pay for....

    In order to ensure a TDS probe remains useful, you would also need to regularly calibrate it against known TDS Buffers, which on their own can become expensive.

    The TDS kits referred to above are very simple to use and quite accurate. Test solution refills are pretty economical to buy too...

    Mal.

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    what's the best way to contact bernard from bombora? need some advice on the inline kit, already have a twin system in place...

  25. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Avex View Post
    what's the best way to contact bernard from bombora? need some advice on the inline kit, already have a twin system in place...
    Just head to their website and then the Contact page.... Bernard's email address is just his first name care of the main Bombora website...

    Mal.

  26. #76
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    Fridgefilters et al is the retail website and given that Bombora is wholesale only, it might be better to enquire via fridgefilters.

  27. #77
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    Yeah, that's right Chris but Bernard's direct email address is linked to the Bombora website as I discovered...

    Mal.

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    Looks like the goal posts on filtration will soon move again.

    There are new EU regs coming into place and these will ultimately mean we start seeing stainless boilers in pretty much everything. Good you may say...

    At Dimattina WA last week, I saw a veritable pyramid of dead LM boilers- some were stalactite laden, all were corroded out...

    The story goes like this: High TDS/hardness = big filtration and therefore heaps of liberated Chloride ion in the water heading to the boilers. Stainless steel + heat and chlorides = rust...These days, LM demands water quality info. No info, no warranty.

    I have Bernard from Bombora having a think about the implications for domestic systems, but for the moment in areas of high hardness and TDS (>100ppm) and stainless boilers, we're currently of the mindset that it will have to be either bottled or remineralised (energy and water wasting) RO....Our current recommendations are here and I'll update them again once we have a clearer picture.

    Interesting times....

    Chris
    Last edited by TC; 7th February 2014 at 07:14 AM. Reason: more info

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    eek! Just had a quick look and it seems my technika profi rotary has a S/S boiler. Living in Kalgoorlie means my TDS is high so I use a filter. How long is it taking for rust to build up in those machines Chris?

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    Coincidentally I was going to start a separate thread asking about a carbon taste from my bench top filter with CFS117R. The taste of carbon is very noticeable, to the point where if I make yogurt with the water from it, the yogurt tastes like carbon!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rukudo View Post
    eek! Just had a quick look and it seems my technika profi rotary has a S/S boiler. Living in Kalgoorlie means my TDS is high so I use a filter. How long is it taking for rust to build up in those machines Chris?
    Are you plumbed Rukodo? If so, it may be worth considering switching to bottled...

    Dimattina have certainly seen problems within the warranty period....

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    Not plumbed as I rent. Currently using an aqua pure bench top with CFS117R filter. The machine is only a year old but am feeling nervous now! Might have to book a service when in Perth next.

  33. #83
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    I really don't think it will be adequate. I'd switch to bottled.

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    Damn it. That is incredibly frustrating! I replaced the filter two weeks ago too.

    In the worst case scenario that there is damage and i cant get in for a service until April, will using bottled water from now stall any further damage, or is it a case of progressive rusting. i.e now that exists in there it just gets worse regardless of water quality?

    time to email around and find out the TDS of bottled waters.

    Apologies for the whinging, just a little upset that my "forever" machine may be damaged when i thought i was doing right by it I don't have kids, so my machine is my replacement.

  35. #85
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    Don't panic Rukodo....In the big picture, a few of weeks is nothing!

    Cheers

    Chris

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    heheh, thanks Chris. I think i've got my early morning "headless-chook-running-in-circles" out of my system now.

  37. #87
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    This issue with S/S Boilers and chlorinated/chloramine water is not a new one...

    Problems were identified many years ago and it is really surprising that manufacturers have not switched back to copper/brass to avoid the whole mess. I guess S/S Boiler just sounds sexier than Copper or Brass...

    Mal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    This issue with S/S Boilers and chlorinated/chloramine water is not a new one...

    Problems were identified many years ago and it is really surprising that manufacturers have not switched back to copper/brass to avoid the whole mess. I guess S/S Boiler just sounds sexier than Copper or Brass...

    Mal.
    Hi Mal,

    Manufacturers are being forced to switch to stainless as it's an EU directive. I'd think pretty much everything will be stainless in the not too distant future.

    In markets such as Australia, owners in many areas will have to do much more with water as a result. Give me copper any day in preference....
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  39. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    Manufacturers are being forced to switch to stainless as it's an EU directive.
    Good grief...

    Another case of the tail wagging the dog. Seems that politicians the world over have a problem understanding science and the implications of decisions improperly applied and unscientifically assessed.

    I'll be sticking with copper too, for what it's worth...

    Mal.
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  40. #90
    Probably drunk on coffee bodyboardingbum's Avatar
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    It was mentioned above by Chris, about re-mineralizing RO water. What's the process involved here?

    I've got an RO/DI Filter hooked up here that I use for my marine aquariums which outputs 0TDS water.

    Perth water is notoriously hard, so perhaps this might be an idea for myself (and friends)?

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    For those of us having to switch to bottled water what constitutes low enough levels of Ca, Mg and chloride in mg/L?

    I'm using frantelle at the mo, as that was available, but just asking around local suppliers for their figures.

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    Look for low Ca, Mg and Chlorides.

    As a guesstimate (and Bernard might shoot the numbers down), Hardness (Ca+Mg) <40ppm, TDS <100ppm and Chlorides the lower the better.

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    Thanks Chris, frantelle is okay in that case, but not great. Seems Mt Franklin might be the go if i can find it in bulk.

    Thanks also to whoever it was who called me from Dimattina today (sorry, it was a shocking line and i missed your name). Appreciated the discussion about the state of S/S boilers and the rubbish WA water supply.

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    What grade of stainless steel is used in these boilers? (And perhaps more importantly, how good is the QC/QA in the supply chain...)

  45. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrJack View Post
    What grade of stainless steel is used in these boilers? (And perhaps more importantly, how good is the QC/QA in the supply chain...)
    At this stage- dunno. Guesstimate is you'd need 316 due to the temperature involved but I could well be barking up the wrong tree.

    QC? Given that there are supply chains for a host of companies which use a variety of manufacturers- I'd hazard that it will vary as much as it does with copper/brass.

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    Have you considered getting a water distiller which should remove everything that could cause issues for your boiler and would pay for itself in bottled water savings, meant to be super good for normal drinking water too. I read about it on this website that I was asked to some work on recently which has got me thinking of getting one too. The bench top distiller is about $345.
    firstclasshealthproducts.com.au

    Interested to hear what others think of using consumer quality distilled water in coffee machines.

    Kind regards,
    Tony

  47. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by thewpguy View Post
    Have you considered getting a water distiller which should remove everything that could cause issues for your boiler and would pay for itself in bottled water savings, meant to be super good for normal drinking water too. I read about it on this website that I was asked to some work on recently which has got me thinking of getting one too. The bench top distiller is about $345.
    firstclasshealthproducts.com.au

    Interested to hear what others think of using consumer quality distilled water in coffee machines.

    Kind regards,
    Tony
    Hi Tony- like RO, it won't work without remineralisation as there is nothing in the water to conduct a charge. In this scenario the machine cannot detect the presence of water and this leads to issues such as refusal to fill and/or boiler overfills.

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    What's the distiller made from? Might be just transferring the problem somewhere else.

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    As a follow up i borrowed a TDS meter from work and tested:

    straight Kalgoorlie tap water = 440ppm
    tap filtered through aqua pure bench top with CFS117R filter = 320ppm
    frantelle bottle water = 110 ppm

    I found it interesting that running the water through the filter only reduced the TDS by ~100ppm

  50. #100
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Quote Originally Posted by Rukudo View Post
    As a follow up i borrowed a TDS meter from work and tested:

    straight Kalgoorlie tap water = 440ppm
    tap filtered through aqua pure bench top with CFS117R filter = 320ppm
    frantelle bottle water = 110 ppm

    I found it interesting that running the water through the filter only reduced the TDS by ~100ppm
    That's about what we would have thought and why we have refined our recommendations. Would be interesting to see how a C150 at 0% bypass would go...

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