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Thread: Using bottled water?

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    Using bottled water?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hello,
    I have just upgraded to a new Diadema Jnr semi auto machine and i have no water filtration system set up yet.... Is using bottled water ok? Any brand better in particular?

    thanks for any advice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 13bob View Post
    Hello,
    I have just upgraded to a new Diadema Jnr semi auto machine and i have no water filtration system set up yet.... Is using bottled water ok? Any brand better in particular?

    thanks for any advice.
    Last time i checked Mt Franklin had the lowest TDS for mineral content, so would go pretty good in espresso machine.

    Frantelle was significantly higher but from memory still under 100ppm TDS so would still be acceptable.

    I would hazard a guess that your home brand waters would be pretty low to, however generally speaking unless you by actual " mineral water"
    the TDS in most bulk still bottled water will be low enough not to cause you any problems. Just find the one that tastes best to you.

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    Senior Member Journeyman's Avatar
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    Agree with the above - from memory Mt Franklin came in with best results a while back when they were testing bottled water. (& found a number of them were just tap water ) I use only a reverse osmosis system and have for years. Works extremely well - I have an electric jug that hasn't been cleaned inside in 12 years and is still shiny as new. If any of you boil tap water, lift the lid of your jug and take a look at the build up - if you've had it any length of time you'll probably chuck it.

    I find it funny when people talk about water 'tasting' or smelling' better - pure water has neither taste nor smell. I decided about 15 years back I would be choosy about the chemicals I put in my body - triggered perhaps by coming back to Melb after years in the country and smelling what came out of the tap in Melb.

    Taste buds will adjust to almost anything, but the more pure the water going into your coffee machine the better I think, both for health and taste.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Journeyman View Post

    I find it funny when people talk about water 'tasting' or smelling' better - pure water has neither taste nor smell. I decided about 15 years back I would be choosy about the chemicals I put in my body - triggered perhaps by coming back to Melb after years in the country and smelling what came out of the tap in Melb.

    Taste buds will adjust to almost anything, but the more pure the water going into your coffee machine the better I think, both for health and taste.
    Depends what YOU define as "PURE" There is plenty of different pure waters all over the country and world for that matter that taste and smell different, due to the environment they are found. Just because you cant taste or smell the difference doesn't mean its so.

    If your inferring that the only PURE water is water that is devoid of all salts and minerals then i believe that to be incorrect. Water can be defined as pure water and still contain natural minerals and salts from the environment where its found.

    What is even more incorrect is thinking that water with no or very low mineral content will make good tasting coffee, tea or beer.

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    Thanks for the replies guys, I will stick with Mt Franklin or a similar low TDS water until I get some sort of filtration set up.

    Cheers.

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    Senior Member Journeyman's Avatar
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    @Steve82 - these days one might think you are right - corporate use of English has changed meanings of all kinds of things, from organic, to natural to pure. So you can be forgiven for thinking pure can vary and, as I said, taste buds can be 'trained' to think of almost anything as 'normal' - I was in hospitality for a decade and CUB told of a guy who took over a pub in Melb and set everything in beer to the CUB standards and promptly lost all his customers. After lengthy investigation they found the previous Licencee had been adding 1 barrel of water to 5 barrels of beer - when the new guy put in straight beer the locals thought the beer tasted 'funny' and stopped coming in.

    Water is pure when it consists of H2O and the closer to being ONLY H2O the more pure it is - corporate BS aside. As to whether beer, coffee or any other drink tastes 'better' with contaminants in the water, that is a taste buds thing; personally I find I prefer my tea and coffee without the 'extras' that cause water to smell or taste.

    And breweries go to considerable lengths to use the most pure water they can for brewing - there are enough chemicals in a brew already without adding in extras.
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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Journeyman View Post
    @Steve82 -
    And breweries go to considerable lengths to use the most pure water they can for brewing - there are enough chemicals in a brew already without adding in extras.
    Not entirely correct Journeyman, this from Wikipedia,

    "Water
    Beer is composed mostly of water. Regions have water with different mineral components; as a result, different regions were originally better suited to making certain types of beer, thus giving them a regional character.[8] For example, Dublin has hard water well suited to making stout, such as Guinness; while Pilsen has soft water well suited to making pale lager, such as Pilsner Urquell.[8] The waters of Burton in England contain gypsum, which benefits making pale ale to such a degree that brewers of pale ales will add gypsum to the local water in a process known as Burtonisation." Brewing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[9]

    I do agree with you re taste buds becoming used to certain tastes, I've come across quite a few Europeans who add salt to coffee.
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    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Spot on, Yelta. The water in Burton gave their brewers a competitive advantage for hundreds of years. More locally, the site of the 'CUB Development' on Broadway in Sydney is the old Tooth's Kent Brewery. It was located there because of the 'quality' of the water flowing from Blackwattle Ck into Sydney Harbour (of course, the brewery taking most of the water out did wonderful things to the downstream areas like Harold Park).

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    As far as water for brewing beer goes, the Cascade Brewery in Hobart must be about the best in Australia.

    It’s water supply is absolutely pure, coming as it does from icy cold springs cascading from Mount Wellington.

    Bob, I don't know about Bunbury, a lot of WA water is hard and can lead to scale in your machine.

    If your water is hard, you need to reduce the calcium and magnesium by ion exchange treatment.

    Barry

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    I don't see how any water coming from a spring can be pure, since it will inherently have some of whatever was in the ground in it; similarly, any rainwater will pick up a little of what's in the air. It might be purer than what comes from Warragamba but that's not exactly a high standard.

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    The quality of spring and bore water varies a lot depending on the minerals in the rock and soil it passes through.

    Some bore water is too saline for gardens and irrigation but it may be suitable for livestock to drink.

    I have lived in country towns with much worse water than Warragamba. Some was that hard that you could stand a spoon up in it.

    Barry

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    Quote Originally Posted by Journeyman View Post

    And breweries go to considerable lengths to use the most pure water they can for brewing - there are enough chemicals in a brew already without adding in extras.
    Getting off topic.

    I do not know what chemicals you are referring to "IN" the beer? A lot of the big brewery's and some smaller ones use some chemical agents down stream to stabilize and clear beer but there is nothing left in the actual end result.

    Depending on the brewery and where they are getting their water from, they may RO treat the water and will then add minerals and salts (brewing salts) back to the water to get the right profile for the mash. Pure water, as in just H2O as you mentioned, does not produce good wort and subsequently will lead to fermentation problems and issues further down stream to do with flavour and stability.

    Most Melbourne and outskirts water (soft) is perfect for brewing beer, coffee or tea with low levels of all the needed elements, but enough to ensure good extracting / brewing. Some place may use a sediment filter but that's about all you need.

    Most smaller brewery's adhere to 4 basic ingredients of malted grain, water, hops and yeast coupled with good old TIME.

    Anyone on known hard water, bore water or water from a river ect should test the water or get it tested and take the appropriate action to treat it if needed.
    I have lived on many different types of water, some bore water that was so heavy it was thick and slippery.

    I love tasting different natural water sources where ever I may be. My most memorable would have to be on the Isle of Skye in Scotland, delicious water.

    Anyway il shut up now, all this good coffee nowadays is having its effects, might have to cut back haha.

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    Re: Using bottled water?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve82 View Post
    Getting off topic.

    I do not know what chemicals you are referring to "IN" the beer? A lot of the big brewery's and some smaller ones use some chemical agents down stream to stabilize and clear beer but there is nothing left in the actual end result.
    This.
    The big boys (who typically use clear bottles) are more likely to use preservatives/stabilising agents than the little guys (who typically bottle with yeast, which helps preserve the beer). Nothing I'm too worried about though.

    Id be more worried about the apparent lack of certain ingredients in beers from the big boys (like malt and hops...)


    I would consider purity (in its technical sense) to mean the relative quantity of one component over all others. Ground water, river water, etc would probably be considered "raw water". Brewers would likely still boil it to kill any microorganisms, regardless of the marketing spin.

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    The preference for a type of beer based on the quality of locally available water does not really make a comment about purity or otherwise of water. Wanting to have as original as possible water to be able to duplicate the standard product for a particular brewery doesn't mean they don't want pure water, just that they want it flavoured with their specific combination of chemical/mineral content.

    Back in the days when traditional breweries started making their beer, not only did they not have the tests we have to see what is in there, they mostly didn't have the same concerns with corporate polluting of waterways, nor the 'official' polluting of water for various reasons.

    And even in those areas, you can bet all the breweries try to get as pure as they can - they just (as noted above) want to retain the characteristic quality of their area, even if it means adding in extras. I doubt there's a brewery within reach of a town or city that doesn't filter and clarify their water these days.

    And just to bring things back to the main topic of CS, I challenge anyone to get the purest water they can, use it for 3 weeks and then try going back to tap water. I'm betting you taste the difference instantly. I'd rather have only the taste of coffee in my coffee, so I will stick to the RO version of water in the machine or jug.

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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Journeyman View Post
    And just to bring things back to the main topic of CS, I challenge anyone to get the purest water they can, use it for 3 weeks and then try going back to tap water. I'm betting you taste the difference instantly. I'd rather have only the taste of coffee in my coffee, so I will stick to the RO version of water in the machine or jug.
    Hate to be the nail sticking up again Journeyman, our home is set up to use either rain water or mains, when we have a decent head of rainwater in the tanks we use it (yes it's clean and quite soft) this can last us a month or 6 weeks then we switch back to mains.

    The difference? bugger all.

    So, what does this mean? perhaps we have good mains water and the difference isn't very noticeable, or could be my taste buds are stuffed and I cant tell the difference.

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    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Journeyman View Post
    And just to bring things back to the main topic of CS, I challenge anyone to get the purest water they can, use it for 3 weeks and then try going back to tap water. I'm betting you taste the difference instantly. I'd rather have only the taste of coffee in my coffee, so I will stick to the RO version of water in the machine or jug.
    So when you say "pure", do you refer to unadulterated H20, high-quality spring-water bottled from source or water with your "ideal" mixture of trace minerals?

    Personally, I can't stand bottled water, it tastes like plastic smells to me. Having lived in Adelaide I'm not saying it's worse than tap water, but living in Tassie I'll say that the tap water I have available is highly preferable to me.

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    OK, so we have talked a lot about beer.... but not so much about using bottled water for brewing coffee.

    Is it good to use bottled water?? If not, what sort of filtration system should I be installing?

    Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragunov21 View Post
    So when you say "pure", do you refer to unadulterated H20, high-quality spring-water bottled from source or water with your "ideal" mixture of trace minerals?
    Yes, good question.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dragunov21 View Post
    Personally, I can't stand bottled water, it tastes like plastic smells to me. .....
    I agree. I dont like drinking bottled water, but I'm more concerned with what type of water is best for the insides of my espresso machine.

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    I mean pure water. Reverse Osmosis removes almost everything possible from the water - it works by only letting water through a semi-permeable membrane. Anything larger than a water molecule is trapped on the far side and flushed away - which is why RO systems have to have a drain. Normal filters pass all the water through to the outlet. Something like 20% of Perth's water now comes from RO systems which desalinate salt water.

    I've lived in the country where water is fresh and passes through only the most basic of filters and a settling pond before arriving at the tap. I agree it is lovely stuff. But in a town where all kinds of chemicals are added for a variety of reasons. I want to filter the crap out and get my coffee using water as pure as I can get it. I don't mind that others think water with stuff in it is better than pure water. I don't like smelling my water as it comes out of the tap and I don't have a lot of trust in the various chemicals in our food and water. I run an Aquaponics system for that reason, to ensure as much opf my food as possible comes to my plate chemical-free.

    Others can make their own choices about their bodies - all I do is try to present enough to make them think - whether they do or not, or whether they come to the same conclusions as I have, is none of my business.

    Personally I also don't think much of bottled water, nor do I like the taste of the plastic milk that seems so popular these days. So I avoid both.

    As for what is best for the machine? As pointed out above, my kettle, in constant use for coffee and tea for well over a decade, still has the shiny insides it had when I got it. It has never had tap water in it. The one I had before that had scale and other contaminants coating the insides and even scrubbing what I could didn't remove it.

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    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    I'll leave the explaination of hardness vs TDS to people who know it better, but basically your first step would be to measure the hardness of your tap water and figure out whether or not it's suitable/ideal for espresso (both the beverage and the machine)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragunov21 View Post
    I'll leave the explaination of hardness vs TDS to people who know it better, but basically your first step would be to measure the hardness of your tap water and figure out whether or not it's suitable/ideal for espresso (both the beverage and the machine)
    OK Thanks. Lets say I have it tested and the hardness of the tap water is not ideal for espresso, what are my best options? Do I just need a filtration system? Or do I need to add something to the filtered water to soften it?

    Thanks.

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    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    I think in-line cartridge filtration is a popular choice.

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    The TDS is total dissolved solids (most of it might be inert), vs total hardness counts only the calcium and magnesium that ionise and create a limescale in the boiler.

    You can actually get an idea about the TDS and hardness in your area form your local water supplier's annual report, where they make accurate measurements. You can also buy test strips and do it yourself at your place. Here is some info on filters, etc from a site sponsor Fridge Filters Australia Fridge Filters Australia .

    In general you do need some minerals in your water for it and your brewed coffee to taste well. Moreover, on some machines there are safety switches for low tank water that can be triggered if you use very soft water that poorly conducts electricity.

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    Thanks demq, I am going to get a look at the TDS and hardness of the tap water where I live. From what it tastes like I am pretty sure it is pretty hard. So I guess I need to get some sort of balance between water with no minerals at all to water with enough minerals to conduct enough electricity for the low tank safety switch to work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragunov21 View Post
    I think in-line cartridge filtration is a popular choice.
    Thanks, I will look into that.

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    Re: Using bottled water?

    Filtration for removing magnesium and calcium salts - not very effective

    By definition, filtration is the separation of solid particles from a fluid by means of a physical barrier.

    You'd need an adsorbent, ion exchange, chemical additives or RO to reduce hardness.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrJack View Post
    Filtration for removing magnesium and calcium salts - not very effective

    By definition, filtration is the separation of solid particles from a fluid by means of a physical barrier.

    You'd need an adsorbent, ion exchange, chemical additives or RO to reduce hardness.
    Some filter cartridges also incorporate softeners using, for example, ion exchange resin.

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    Re: Using bottled water?

    Quote Originally Posted by demq View Post
    Some filter cartridges also incorporate softeners using, for example, ion exchange resin.
    True, but unless you have problems with solids, the filtration stage is unnecessary, whilst a cartridge with only a filtration stage/medium will not reduce hardness.

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    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrJack View Post
    Filtration for removing magnesium and calcium salts - not very effective

    By definition, filtration is the separation of solid particles from a fluid by means of a physical barrier.

    You'd need an adsorbent, ion exchange, chemical additives or RO to reduce hardness.
    While that's true, I haven't yet seen an inline ion-exchange-resin-device that wasn't also a filter. You knew what I meant :P

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    Re: Using bottled water?

    Plenty of filters without Ion Exchange though

    It's true I knew what you meant, but some may not (and could then go buy a carbon filter thinking it will reduce hardness).
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    OK so I got the info back from my local water authority... The common hardness is ~90 and the TDS is ~280.

    what would be the best thing to do with this water?

    thanks

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    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    It should be good for your machine at 90ppm hardness, so my advice would be do a couple of blind tests (tap water vs bottled) and if you can't tell the difference, save yourself the hassle and use tap water.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 13bob View Post
    OK so I got the info back from my local water authority... The common hardness is ~90 and the TDS is ~280.

    what would be the best thing to do with this water?

    thanks
    Both high in my opinion.

    FWIW, any numbers from your local water authority are often a snapshot of on a particular day. We have hard evidence that significant variation can occur between next door neighbours letalone within a suburb.

    Best to have your water tested professionally and then consult a coffee filtration specialist if required.

    We have added some general guidelines to our new website.

    Chris

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    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    Both high in my opinion.

    FWIW, any numbers from your local water authority are often a snapshot of on a particular day. We have hard evidence that significant variation can occur between next door neighbours letalone within a suburb.

    Best to have your water tested professionally and then consult a coffee filtration specialist if required.

    We have added some general guidelines to our new website.

    Chris
    Hi Chris,

    If I get my water tested professionally and the readings I have now are true, which filtration system would you be recommending for my situation? The Brita C150 kit?

    thanks.

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    Hi bob,

    In all but extreme circumstances, yes.

    Cheers

    Chris



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