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Thread: Filtration for Espresso Machines- Compulsory Reading

  1. #101
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    I'm going through checking the boxes before I make a purchase for a new machine.

    I currently use a Brita A1000 drinking water filter under my sink, I was expecting to replace this with a Brita C150 kit, Is the C150 suitable for drinking water as well ?
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  2. #102
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    Sure is.... And this is why drinking water filtration generally doesn't cut it. Expobar Minore 4 or 5 years on tap water.

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    Last edited by TC; 27th April 2014 at 04:10 PM.

  3. #103
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    Hi Talk_Coffee, would the the c150 be overkill for Sydney (inner west) where the water is considered soft? I was about to purchase a 'basic' two stage kit (sediment and carbon filter) before I saw this thread.
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  4. #104
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    See our filtration guide Filtration | Talk Coffee

  5. #105
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    Given I'm limited to a countertop system, will a 2 stage system reduce scale and specifically what kind of filter?

  6. #106
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  7. #107
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    I am also after some filtration and the price for the c150 kit is far to high for what I'm willing to spend on tap water. I like the price point and idea of the countertop unit but it seems it only softens water and doesn't remove taste or odours.

    Chris, is it easy enough to use one of the C150 filters without the included tap, and just hook it up to the mains mixer tap? I understand it would be slightly wasteful, but in my laundry the sink is rarely used so it could be almost solely for my machine tank fill ups. I haven't yet looked at the LPM rating but I guess it's going so slow the tap down a fair bit.

  8. #108
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    I am buying a Big Berkey gravity fed system from the US for my drinking needs as it offers the best filtration for my circumstances, It doesn't soften the water though. Is there a way to do that to the water after the Berkey filters it?

  9. #109
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    Water Filters

    In the interest of improving the life time of my coffee machine, what are my options when it comes to feeding it water that's the healthiest for it?

    Water filters? What are my options here, in particular for a machine that is not plumbed in? Do you use one of these jugs with a filter in it?

    Using distilled water? I've heard it mentioned a number of times that one of the issues with using distilled water is that some water level sensors may not work since without the minerals the water won't be conducting electricity, and the machine will report there is no water and stop.

    Boiling the water first, ie in a kettle, let it cool down and fill up the tank with this water? Would it make any difference?

    Any other ideas, crazy or not?

    Thanks!

  10. #110
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    I personally use the Brita C150 kit. Have been very happy with it over the last 2 years.
    Or you could reach out to a filtration specialist for advice.
    What is best for you will also depend on where you are and what the local supply is like.

    Brett.
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  11. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snobben View Post
    Boiling the water first, ie in a kettle, let it cool down and fill up the tank with this water? Would it make any difference?

    Any other ideas, crazy or not?

    Thanks!
    Nope- boiling will remove only Chlorine and some nasties.

    See Filtration | Talk Coffee

  12. #112
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    In theory yes, boiling the water will remove most of the scale forming elements, but it is very energy inefficient (it also won't remove residual particulate matter). You're much better off buying a filtration system as outlined above.

  13. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by burr View Post
    In theory yes, boiling the water will remove most of the scale forming elements, but it is very energy inefficient (it also won't remove residual particulate matter). You're much better off buying a filtration system as outlined above.
    Boiling water will not remove carbonates of Calcium and Magnesium- the primary sources of scale.
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  14. #114
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    Snobbery,
    Hello,I've only ever used rain water in combination with first flush diverted,never need to de scale again......yes it's true!
    I do back flushing regularly,that's it,all very easy....if you have rain water on hand though.
    Some residential areas may be in close proximity to airborne pollutants however,diverted normally catches that,or you could use the filter jug to solve that also.
    All my thirty or so espresso appliances use rain water and are spotless !
    cheers,
    mick,

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    Quote Originally Posted by mulquemi View Post
    I've only ever used rain water in combination with first flush diverted,never need to de scale again... All my thirty or so espresso appliances use rain water and are spotless !
    That's interesting, thanks for that, Mick.
    What do you mean by "first flush diverted"?

  16. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    Boiling water will not remove carbonates of Calcium and Magnesium- the primary sources of scale.
    That was my initial thought too, although I didn't know Mg plays a role too.

    The reason pre-boiling the water came to mind is because that's what I do with the water I drink; boil it and let it cool down before putting it in my drink bottle. Tastes way better than straight from the tap, and I think it get's rid of some non-wanted chemicals too. I thought that might be healthy for my coffee machine too, even if it doesn't remove the problem all together.

  17. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    Boiling water will not remove carbonates of Calcium and Magnesium- the primary sources of scale.
    Well if scale deposits inside your kettle when boiling water, surely less will deposit inside your coffee machine when it is boiled again, no?

    My concept of scale was that it is primarily caused by bicarbonate salts of calcium and magnesium. As carbonic acid exists as an equilibrium between H2CO3 (aq) - CO2 (aq) - CO2 (g), boiling the water will drive the equation to the right by removing CO2 as gas. Calcium bicarbonate is then turned into calcium carbonate which is far less soluble and drops out of solution (this is probably more complicated - other Ca salts might also be involved).

    As stated above I am not advocating preboiling water as a effective means of water treatment, I just said in theory most of the scale will be removed.

  18. #118
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    My chemistry knowledge has faded, but when I said that I think boiling the water gets rid of some non-wanted chemicals, that's the sort of thing that came to mind - boiling may alter the chemicals that cause scaling.

    Good point about scaling in the kettle - that must remove some of it.

    It may be a waste of time and energy to boil your water before using it in your espresso machine, but you never know what comes out of discussing "crazy" ideas

    Thanks guys.

  19. #119
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    Boil away! Be mindful though that an espresso machine is not a kettle and that it is subjected to pressure along with frequent heating and cooling cycles.

    We're happy to get the scale back out- at a cost

  20. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snobben View Post
    That's interesting, thanks for that, Mick.
    What do you mean by "first flush diverted"?
    snobben,
    "first flush diverted" is another small water holding tank,usually fifty to hundred litre size,the first fifty to hundred litre of rain which is usually contaminated by bird droppings/dust/anthing else from your roof catchment is diverted to a slow drain storage tank .
    Once the diverter tank is completely filled a great big ball,usually stryene foam,blocks off the diverted water flow,directing the continuing rainfall into the main tank,resulting in far cleaner stored water.
    My system also have a leaf/large debris catcher/strainer in line ,which I need to clear from time to time.
    There are many systems available and on the market,do the search and you will find lots.
    I sincerely believe rain water ,correctly harvested and stored ,is both better tasting and far less detrimental to any hot water appliances.
    There you have it,also provides fresh and clear drinking water for family.
    Cheers,
    Mick,

  21. #121
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    Nice one, Mick!

  22. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snobben View Post
    That's interesting, thanks for that, Mick. What do you mean by "first flush diverted"?
    okey dokey....I'm not Mick, but just drew this up for your express entertainment.

    The bottom of this design would have a screw end cap or some kind of large bore tap/cock (or both) that can be unscrewed, opened, to allow the garbage to be emptied from the diverter pipe in readiness for the next downpour...

    In this example, each downpipe on the house would have one.

    OR, a larger single unit can be built downstream of the house and somewhere before the entry to the water tank...same effect.
    Attached Images Attached Images
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  23. #123
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    Hi,

    I've just purchased the Brita C150 kit commercial link removed per site posting policy plus some extra 1/4" John Guest bits (tees, shutoff valves, extra tubing, etc). My plan is to split the output from the filter three ways to go to the kitchen sink tap (included in the kit), the fridge, and, eventually, a plumbable espresso machine. I don't have the plumbable machine yet, but plan to purchase in the next couple of months, probably a Rocket Evoluzione. The kit comes with a "multifunction valve" which allows a tee off from the mixer tap line. I'm pretty sure it's this one commercial link removed per site posting policy which includes a 650kPa PLV.

    My understanding from reading various forum posts is that the Evoluzione requires a 350kPa PLV. Is this correct? My fridge came with a 350kPa PLV with 1/4" JG connectors (it looks similar to this one commercial link removed per site posting policy). I'm wondering whether it's ok to use this and put it in line somewhere after the 650kPa valve. I'm thinking the right place to put it would be after the filter and tee off to the kitchen sink so that only the water for the espresso machine and fridge go through it, i.e.

    650kPa PLV tee ==> filter ==> tee off to kitchen tap ==> 350kPa PLV ==> tee off to espresso machine and fridge

    Does this seem reasonable? Anything else I should watch out for?

    Thanks,

    David
    Last edited by Javaphile; 17th April 2015 at 05:23 PM. Reason: Commercial link(s) removed

  24. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by TOK View Post
    drew this up for your express entertainment
    Gotta love a simple solution! Entertainment it was, indeed. Thank you

    Quote Originally Posted by TOK View Post
    The bottom of this design would have a screw end cap or some kind of large bore tap/cock (or both)...
    I like Mick's idea about it being a "slow drain storage tank". Slow enough to allow it to fill up and thereby allow for catching the clean water; Fast enough to allow it to self-drain before the next rain.
    Quickly emptying them manually wouldn't be too bad either, as long as you make sure you do it before the next rain comes!

    Nice, thanks for the drawing!

  25. #125
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    No wuckens .

    Note that if you use a slow drain, certainly that drains out dust and pollens (they cause a lot of trouble because they act like a cement in gutters, glueing leaves and pine needles and other stuff together effectively bogging things up) and dissolved crap (literally) in the water, that will simply come out as dirty water. However a slow drain leaves all the big stuff in there (leaves, sticks from overhead trees etc) that wont come out by themselves. I prefer the sudden rush of water when I unscrew the end cap, which has more chance of bringing the solid items with it...

    We have pine trees close by and the guttering gets bogged up with a lot of needles. So that's why I prefer the the sudden rush approach over the dribble approach Depends on the individual situation.
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  26. #126
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    Yep, makes sense.

  27. #127
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    More viewing pleasure.

    This is a friend's set up.Diverter.jpg
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  28. #128
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    Nice. Looks pretty much like in your drawing. Cheers

  29. #129
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    Let me suggest that you read the sticky thread "Filtration for Espresso Machines--Compulsory Reading" above.

    Greg

  30. #130
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    Yep, missed that one. Crosslinking; Merged
    Last edited by Javaphile; 26th April 2015 at 06:35 AM. Reason: Merged

  31. #131
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    Currently I use a resin replaceable cartridge from Bombara fridge filters but about every second one has a leak from the John Guest fitting at the output end. I have replaced the 'o' ring and the piping to no avail. This makes the annual replacement filter expensive and could ruin my kitchen cabinets if a slight leak not detected.
    The supplier for our under sink filtration unit has said to use one of their carbon and phosphate filter cartridges. He said it does not affect the taste but holds the scale chemicals in suspension ( my words) so they don't form scale.
    Any comments would be greatly appreciated in my care of my espresso machine

  32. #132
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    Best idea is to check your TH (total hardness). This will assist selection for a good softening filter. Chlorine? Check chlorine (my TH here isn't bad but the chlorine is very high). I'm lucky to have a water quality chemist who does lab work for the council across the street so we collude.

    Then, guesstimate your consumption in litres and this will provide an excellent base to select a filter system.

  33. #133
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    I've been reading this thread with great interest. I live in Melbourne and am looking for a portable water filter, and I note that some previous postings mention or suggest Aqua Pro Benchtop.

    My questions are that it is good enough? Does it significantly make the tap water "more friendly" to the machine? And will the use of such filter badly change the taste of the water? I saw one posting saying that the water had tasted like carbon.

    Appreciate any comments. Thanks.

    Sandi
    Last edited by kopiku; 25th April 2016 at 03:13 PM.

  34. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by kopiku View Post
    I've been reading this thread with great interest. I live in Melbourne and am looking for a portable water filter, and I note that some previous postings mention or suggest Aqua Pro Benchtop.

    My questions are that it is good enough? Does it significantly make the tap water "more friendly" to the machine? And will the use of such filter badly change the taste of the water? I was one posting saying that the water had tasted like carbon.

    Appreciate any comments. Thanks.

    Sandi
    As far as taste goes, we've had tremendous improvement after installing this beast.

    It's not exactly portable but could be as it's easily detached from the bracket.

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    Thanks, Sprezzatura.

    The thing is I will only be using the filter for three or four months (as I'll be relocating), hence, I don't want to spend much money on the filter.

    My options are either buy the portable one or use bottled water.

    Quote Originally Posted by sprezzatura View Post
    As far as taste goes, we've had tremendous improvement after installing this beast.

    It's not exactly portable but could be as it's easily detached from the bracket.
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  36. #136
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    Hi Sandi,

    Will likely cost me or someone else a sale, but if it was just 2 or 3 months, the $$$ equation will probably favour a suitable bottled water alternative and I think that's what I'd be doing.

    It's also what I do with my travel machine...

    Chris

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    Thanks, Chris. Always spot on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    Hi Sandi,

    Will likely cost me or someone else a sale, but if it was just 2 or 3 months, the $$$ equation will probably favour a suitable bottled water alternative and I think that's what I'd be doing.

    It's also what I do with my travel machine...

    Chris

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    Forgot to ask. Does a brita jug sold in supermarket help? I know (as per the previous postings) that this is only good for a limited period, but is it still good for, say, 200 liters? Anyone knows the limit of the jug? I am considering the most economical option. Thanks.

  39. #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by kopiku View Post
    Forgot to ask. Does a brita jug sold in supermarket help? I know (as per the previous postings) that this is only good for a limited period, but is it still good for, say, 200 liters? Anyone knows the limit of the jug? I am considering the most economical option. Thanks.
    Interested. This is what I fill my machine up with. Brita water jug

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    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    Hi Sandi,

    Will likely cost me or someone else a sale, but if it was just 2 or 3 months, the $$$ equation will probably favour a suitable bottled water alternative and I think that's what I'd be doing.

    It's also what I do with my travel machine...

    Chris
    Any recommendations on bottled water or is it all the same?

  41. #141
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    Quote Originally Posted by kopiku View Post
    Forgot to ask. Does a brita jug sold in supermarket help? I know (as per the previous postings) that this is only good for a limited period, but is it still good for, say, 200 liters? Anyone knows the limit of the jug? I am considering the most economical option. Thanks.
    They do filter, but don't do too much else Filtration | Talk Coffee
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  42. #142
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    From what I read in the previous postings, not all bottled water are the same. Some have lower TDS and some are higher. It was said that Mt Franklin bottled water seems a better choice. Cmiiw.

    Quote Originally Posted by Loki23 View Post
    Any recommendations on bottled water or is it all the same?

  43. #143
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    I have an electric powered UV water filtration system and it works well for 3 years

  44. #144
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    Most CSers are aware that filtered, softened water is best when it comes to espresso machines.
    I've read most of the water-quality related threads on CS, although I confess that I haven't re-read them all again before making this post. The general impression I get, and particularly from sponsors, is that you should always run a softening filter of some kind if you're using mains water. There's also a general warning against over-filtering, e.g. RO, or using water that's too pure, e.g. very pure rainwater, as the machine won't be able to measure the water level correctly and such pure water won't result in good tasting coffee, and least not without adding something back in.

    This raises two questions in my mind. What level hardness should I be targeting for my espresso machine, since clearly is is possible to have water that's too soft? Related to this, how soft must mains water be before you'd dispense with a softening filter?

    I ask this because I live in a location where the water is soft, and I've just moved into a new house in a new development, and the water here measures as very soft. If I use a softening filter then the filtered water measures as incredibly soft and the coffee taste suffers.

  45. #145
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunda View Post
    RO, or using water that's too pure, e.g. very pure rainwater, as the machine won't be able to measure the water level correctly
    The above is only true for machines that sense low water level with conductivity. Some machines use water weight and others use magnetic sensors.
    Cheers
    Paul

  46. #146
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunda View Post
    ..... the water here measures as very soft. If I use a softening filter then the filtered water measures as incredibly soft and the coffee taste suffers.
    I have also read about the taste.... Can a small water taste difference really be detected in a brew. I'm keen to hear from people who have tried both...

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    Quote Originally Posted by K_Bean_Coffee View Post
    Can a small water taste difference really be detected in a brew.
    In my experience, in an expresso ... yes.
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  48. #148
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    I have a Brita C150 Purity kit fitted to my home machine. I'll try some back to back shots with the C150 filtered water, then from filtered (but not softened) water tank water. I'll post the results

  49. #149
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    Quote Originally Posted by K_Bean_Coffee View Post
    The above is only true for machines that sense low water level with conductivity. Some machines use water weight and others use magnetic sensors.
    Cheers
    Paul
    Not in the Boiler(s) though...

    Mal.

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    Filtration for Espresso Machines- Compulsory Reading

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Not in the Boiler(s) though... :eek.
    +1 for

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