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Thread: Filtered Water

  1. #1
    Ren
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    Filtered Water

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi All,

    I have read various recommendations to use filtered water to reduce scale formation and improve coffee taste.

    Is there a particular type of setup (RO, ion-exchange, particulate etc) or possible brand of unit do people recommend for coffee machines?

    Ren

  2. #2
    TC
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    Re: Filtered Water

    Hey Ren...NEVER use RO water in a machine...you will kill it quickly and often end up with a huge bill and void your warranty.

    Also an interesting thread on a machine where the water was too clean http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1147416357/0

    I recommend filtered (eg Brita jug) or bottled water..

    2mcm

  3. #3
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    Re: Filtered Water

    Ren,

    very often an "associatiuon" is made in these forums between the build up of scale VS taste.

    Let me clarify.....scale will not affect the flavour of your coffee. It is simply a build up of scale. End of story. If you live in an area that is known to be bad for scale, you need to either pass the water through a "softener" before it goes into the machine, or pass *it through a "scale inibiting" filter.

    Either way has the same effect, stopping or minimising scale build up in your machine.

    Again, this is very much affected by the quality of thew water where you live.

    Also, the over all situation it is affected by what kind of equipment you have ie plumbed in or not, as to whether you place a filter in the line going to the machine, or that you get water out of and place into the tank of a non plumbed in *machine.

    On the other hand and separate to the scale issue, the most common way to affect flavour of your coffee (through the water you feed it with) is from the way town water is treated before it comes out of your tap and goes into your machine. By that I mean, how the water utility company adds flouride and / or chlorine etc. The smell from these in town water is easily taken care of by placing a simple, replaceable activated charcoal filter in the line to your drinking water or coffee machine (under the sink), or through use of one of these bench top water filter thingos.

    We fit simple & easily replaceable water filters in the water line to "plumbed in" espresso machines that take care of all the above ie the filters are designed to remove unpleasant odours from the water, filter particles, & release scale inhibitor into the water to stop build up of scale.

    The filter units are easily replaced (a simple bayonet fitting) & including the "head unit" that the filter bayonets into, are way below a hundred bucks to buy (from us) but you have to fit.

    Over to you.

    Regardz,
    FC. *

  4. #4
    Senior Member Lovey's Avatar
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    Re: Filtered Water

    I understand that hard water causes premature scale build up, but water that is too soft can damage the boiler, hence why RO or distilled water is a no no.
    Is there a recommended softness for espresso machine water?
    I was thinking of getting an undersink filter system, mainly to soften the water prior to being put into my machine.
    I read somewhere, probably here, that you shouldnt have the softener cartridge directly feeding the machine, ie having the softener cartridge, then another filter cartridge, then the machine. I would imagine that a 2 or 3 stage filter would be required then to eliminate this.
    Is this important for non-plumbed in machines, or does it only apply to plumbed in units?
    If so, could I get away with a single softener cartridge?
    So many questions ::)
    Thanks in advance.

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    Re: Filtered Water

    Not that it is really relevant to this thread, but just for the record, water fluoridation does not change the taste or smell of water. Chlorination is a different story.

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    Re: Filtered Water

    Tim,

    thanks for your advice that fouridation does not affect smell of water...

    ........still learning something new every day!

    Lovey.
    Im not sure why someone would say not to place a softener directly in line with an espresso machine without a "buffer" as that *is exactly how they have always been fitted ie. stopcock + pressure reduction / limiting valve + softener to machine.

    The scale inhibitor filters are fitted the same way and in most cases the one cartridge does the lot ( ie particle filtration, scale inhibition & removal of odours)......

    Do you think you could find the link to where this came from?

    With regard to your other questions........reverse osmosis and or distilled water can cause different problems not the least of which is that if your water is too "pure" the circuit that controls the boiler level on the boiler of commercial esp machines will not work...it relies on the impurities in the water to carry the "circuit" and or break the circuit whenever the water level in the boiler either reaches the probe, or drops off the end of the probe....resulting in the CPU (simple as it is) starting the pump & opening the solenoid valve so the boiler can be refilled (and then stopping this when the water level reaches the bottom of the probe again). In machines that have a LOW WATER safety cut out, this wont work either of too pure a water is used. *Those that use Reverse Osmosis systems, and also use it to feed an espresso machine, also run a "re-salinating" system that intorduces just enough salt into the water for the auto fill circtuitry to operate.

    As others have mentioned elsewhere, you can also end up with corrosion problems in boilers made from stainelss steel...........

    But all the above is to do with commercial & semi-commecial espresso machines....I dont know how RO, distilled or whatever water may affect the sundry domestic machines around but remember, they DONT have automatic boiler fill circuitry like the above that rely on "impurities" in the water to operate. The only problem that I can think of there would be to do wityh possible corrosion depending on whether the domestic boilers are BRASS, stainless steel or aluminium.

    In any case..........honestly, I dont think it needs to be this hard. If you are in an area that is known for crap water (eg Adelaide, Bungendore etc...with apologies...) go to a water business & install the very simplest of whatever they recommend ( and use it for your drinking water as well as to feed the machine). If you are in an area where the water is known not to be hard, an activated charcoal filter to remove odours may be all that is required.

    Anyone else?

    Regardz,
    FC.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Lovey's Avatar
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    Re: Filtered Water

    Gday FC,
    I finally found the site where it says not to have the softener cartridge directly feeding the machine.
    http://tinyurl.com/pdm2t
    In relation to RO or distilled water, it apparently gives a flat tasting coffee due to having no minerals in it.
    Thanks for your feedback.

  8. #8
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    Re: Filtered Water

    Yup ok I get it, their instruction not to place the softener directly in line with the feed to the machine is specific to *their* brand / type */ model softener.... Thanks for the url.

    We have never had a problem doing this with regular esp machine water softeners as supplied with commercial machines by their manufacturers. These are intended to be placed directly in line with the machine.

    By the way if anyone wants one of these, we have them. They are a permament rechargeable softener that never needs replacing and will keep softening forever, as long as the client keeps *recharging* its capacity to do so. I.e., the softener can only "absorb" so much calcium out of the water until the softener is saturated and cant soften any further. The client recharges the softener, and away it goes again, ad infinitum. You only need a kilo of coarse salt per recharge. Dirt cheap, and about 1/2 an hour of your time.

    Regardz,
    FC.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Lovey's Avatar
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    Re: Filtered Water

    Thanks FC,
    is there a preferred water softness level for espresso machines?
    Ive heard numerous figures bandied about in various denominations like PPM, mg/L, etc.
    Thanks again.

  10. #10
    Ren
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    Re: Filtered Water

    Thats to All,

    I am going to purchase the under the sink type filters (inline particulate and carbon filters) suitable for drinking and machine. And if required possibly a regenerable softner cartidge in the machine tank.

    Ren

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    Re: Filtered Water

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Here you go, this is a diagram of what we use now. The filter supplied (but not pictured) reduces sediment, chlorine & offensive odours & taste, and inhibits scale.

    Mind you, I mentioned an approximate price for the head units and filters somewhere up above but the picture below includes extras such as the pressure limiting valve & fittings....


    We also still have the older style large permanent water softener/filters that can be regenerated forever, for those that want to go down that path.

    Regardz,
    FC.






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