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Thread: Rainwater in machines

  1. #1
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    Rainwater in machines

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Understood that filtered or bottled water is all you should consider putting through your machine but what about rainwater? Is this pure or does it still contain high levels of calcium etc that can do harm?

    Can anyone also explain why water from reverse osmosis filters can potentially damage your machine too?

    any plumbers out there!

    CTGTC :)

  2. #2
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    Re: Rainwater in machines

    Mandrake, have you ever wondered why I only drink rainwater and distilled water and pure grain alcohol?

    Since rainwater is more or less the same as distilled water, I shouldnt think that it would have any sorts of calcium or anything in it. However, due to pollution, I think there is a high probability that, instead of calcium and other mineral deposits and fluoride, there are still probably some sort of chemicals and pollution in it, which is why Ive never used rainwater for any sort of cooking/drinking purposes.

  3. #3
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Rainwater in machines

    Simsy,

    When I last had my rainwater tested it had a very small amount of dissolved minerals, but more than high quality RO water or distilled. I used it in my original espresso machine for 20 years and never de-scaled. When it finally died (the group bracket on the machine wore out) the inside of the boiler was stained but not coated with any deposit.

    Some machines (those that rely on the electrical conductivity of the water) to re-fill the tank can have problems when the mineral content of the water is so low that it is basically non-conductive.

    Water from some high-end RO systems (or real distilled water) is so pure it tends to dissolve the metals with which it is in contact, and can cause premature corrosion (or so I have heard).

    The best tasting espresso is made with water that has some dissolved minerals--IIRC this is about 40-50 ppm.

    If by filtered water you are talking about mechanical filtering, like ceramic, paper, or carbon and the like, they take out non-dissolved solids but leave the dissolved minerals in place as they are too small to be stopped by the filter.

    I use a carbon block filter on my rainwater/tapwater mix which filters down to .5 microns and claims to remove all solids, most bacteria, and many of the long chain pollutant molecules.

    Bottled water varies greatly in the levels of dissolved minerals. Read the label to find out what they claim.

    Greg

  4. #4
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    Re: Rainwater in machines

    Ta guys - i have been using bottled water til now - choosing brands that have the lowest calcium content and its been fine, although over the long term pricey so i am looking at a filtration system. As you say Greg an in-line filter seems to be the way to go! thanks

  5. #5
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    Re: Rainwater in machines

    I just use rainwater and a Britta jug filter.

    Cheers

  6. #6
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    Re: Rainwater in machines

    Recommend that you read this thread

    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1209725970/19#19

    S

  7. #7
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    Re: Rainwater in machines

    I dont have access to processed town water supplies where I live. I have two 55,000 litre rainwater tanks and this is all I use.

    My kettles build up a thin coating after a few months of use, but its the kind of coating that wipes off easily.

    I think the only bad-ish things in my water are bird shit and possum piss, but these tend to add a bit of flavour so no problem really ;D

  8. #8
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    Re: Rainwater in machines

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Quote Originally Posted by PhilMac link=1228570481/0#4 date=1228697706
    I just use rainwater and a Britta jug filter.

    Cheers
    Exactly the same for me. Our rainwater tank has a filter on it as well.

    I reckon it tastes better than normal tap water.



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