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Thread: Water, water, water, and questions

  1. #1
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Water, water, water, and questions

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Ive been experimenting with various waters in my machine, and Im getting results that astound me!

    The water makes more difference than either the latest machine upgrade, the latest grinder upgrade, or the switch to high quality, fresh beans--go figure!

    At the moment I have rain water (no hardness/minerals to speak of, pH 7.6), tap water (carbonate hardness 60 ppm, general hardness 150 ppm, pH 6.8) and some Pureau reverse osmosis water (no hardness at all, pH 6.0).

    Outcome so far--
    Best taste: 50/50 rain water/tap water--but some issues (still being explored!)
    Next best taste: tap water--but too hard for continued use as it will scale the machine.
    Worst taste by far: RO water--sour, flat-tasting coffee. Might be OK for steam boiler fill (with some tap water or buffering) but I wouldnt make coffee with it. Maybe OK if it is re-mineralised, but RO and mineraliser may be overkill (or not--depending on the cost).

    Now the question--
    Im interested in a softening/filter system that leaves the taste of the coffee intact, will minimise scaling in the boiler (HX machine), and give me decent water to drink.

    While this may be a tall order, does anyone out there have recommendations? or part recommendations? I am willing to consider almost anything, depending on long term costs--after all I have thousands of $$$$ tied up already, and really do love a superb coffee!

    Greg

  2. #2
    A_M
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    Re: Water, water, water, and questions

    Quote Originally Posted by 704552506058455A565B53370 link=1248090769/0#0 date=1248090769
    Ive been experimenting with various waters in my machine, and Im getting results that astound me!

    The water makes more difference than either the latest machine upgrade, the latest grinder upgrade, or the switch to high quality, fresh beans--go figure!

    Outcome so far--
    Best taste: 50/50 rain water/tap water--but some issues (still being explored!)
    Next best taste: tap water--but too hard for continued use as it will scale the machine.
    Worst taste by far: RO water--sour, flat-tasting coffee.
    Ya taste buds must be well tuned.. Be careful with what else you eat/drink

    However, I still like Rain water and all is impurities, followed by tap, then some spring water, but no RO water... And if you then have to add stuff back in why bother :D ;)


    Quote Originally Posted by 704552506058455A565B53370 link=1248090769/0#0 date=1248090769
    Now the question--
    Im interested in a softening/filter system that leaves the taste of the coffee intact, will minimise scaling in the boiler (HX machine), and give me decent water to drink.

    While this may be a tall order, does anyone out there have recommendations? or part recommendations? I am willing to consider almost anything, depending on long term costs--after all I have thousands of $$$$ tied up already, and really do love a superb coffee!

    Greg
    As they say its in teh cup... And of course teh holder; of said cup... ;)

    I liked their article in one of teh coffee mags and other stuff they have posted etc Can only suggest - Bombora

  3. #3
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Water, water, water, and questions

    Quote Originally Posted by 1A353C3E29163A353A3C3E363E352F5B0 link=1248090769/1#1 date=1248091533
    I liked their article in one of teh coffee mags and other stuff they have posted etc *Can only suggest - Bombora
    Thanks, Im already talking to Bombora, but they have so many choices!!! Unfortunately their articles in the coffee mag havent reached Adelaide yet :( , although I havent checked this week.

    Im not sure how trained my palate needed to be, the differences were enormous!

    Greg

  4. #4
    A_M
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    Re: Water, water, water, and questions

    Quote Originally Posted by 66534446764E534C404D45210 link=1248090769/2#2 date=1248093382
    Quote Originally Posted by 1A353C3E29163A353A3C3E363E352F5B0 link=1248090769/1#1 date=1248091533
    I liked their article in one of teh coffee mags and other stuff they have posted etc *Can only suggest - Bombora
    Thanks, Im already talking to Bombora, but they have so many choices!!! Unfortunately their articles in the coffee mag havent reached Adelaide yet :( , although I havent checked this week.

    Im not sure how trained my palate needed to be, the differences were enormous!

    Greg
    Got it wrong again...

    http://www.cremamagazine.com.au/water-and-espresso-coffee/#more-945

    In summary, for better tasting coffee, moderately hard water is fine but ensure it is filtered and that you descale your machine occasionally.

    But still a Sponsor *;)

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    Re: Water, water, water, and questions

    Gotta say Ive noticed an improvement since I started filtering too. Looking at getting one of the machines converted to plumb-in with some of those funky inline filters from Megan, next time we move.

  6. #6
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Water, water, water, and questions

    Quote Originally Posted by 735E5F544E534E433A0 link=1248090769/4#4 date=1248113155
    Gotta say Ive noticed an improvement since I started filtering too. Looking at getting one of the machines converted to plumb-in with some of those funky inline filters from Megan, next time we move.
    This response is useless without detail! :D

    What filter/sort of filter are you using?

    Greg

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    Re: Water, water, water, and questions

    Quote Originally Posted by 09262F2D3A052926292F2D252D263C480 link=1248090769/1#1 date=1248091533


    but no RO water... *And if you then have to add stuff back in why bother *:D *;)
    Hate to tell you this AM but your saturday morning meet up cafe - First Pour, Veneziano - use and are big advocates for remineralised RO water. Personally, if and when I set up a cafe/cart I wouldnt use anything else for water purification. But then again that is just me. It does have its downsides though, more maintenance, more expensive and it physically takes up a larger area.

  8. #8
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Water, water, water, and questions

    Have to say we much prefer our brews made with filtered water, even though our town water originates from a spring fed reservoir; also goes for tea and cocoa based drinks too. Our system is a Bombora system purchased from Attilio at CosmoreX, using this filter.... http://www.bomborasupplies.com.au/pr...at=6293&page=1 8-)

    Mal.

  9. #9
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    I only have rainwater and it is very pure. We generally do not drink it as is - weak powerade or hydralite.

    Anyway on my coffee journey i found out pretty quick that my coffee tasted heaps better with bottled water or tap water in syd and melb when travelling with AP.

    Being a brewer i adjust my water for that, so as a low tech solution i have been making my own water up for making coffee and thought i would share it in case there is anyone else out there struggling with very pure rainwater.

    I Have done a fair bit of reading on CS and sites abroad and its generally accepted you want somewhere in the realm of 50 - 150ppm total salts - most of that being hardness adding mineral calcium and magnesium. The higher end requiring more frequent de scale on machines but around 90ppm can have a significant effect on reducing scale build up with no perceptible difference in taste.

    I have settled on middle of the road around 100ppm total after trying mixes around 50 and 150ppm.
    To 1L of my rainwater, filtered through brita jug, boiled and cooled i add 0.5g Epsom salt, 0.5g Calcium Chloride, 0.5g Calcium Carbonate and 0.2g table salt.
    Shake the crap out of this (helps if it is warm) until it all dissolves and keep in the fridge. It may not all dissolve right away, just shake it up for a day or so here and there.

    Use 100ml of this concentrate to make up 1L of water for brewing coffee - I always shake the concentrate well before use and shake the mixed water for brewing as well.

    Using this water makes a big difference to what ends up in the cup for me. I have done side by side comparisons and it really is chalk and cheese.



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