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Thread: Which water filters?

  1. #1
    Member ThankDog's Avatar
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    Which water filters?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I did a search here and found a lot of interesting information on this subject but none that answered the specific question I had in regards to it. I wasn't sure if this thread would fit in the other equipment thread or this one but figured that this would be the safer bet.

    From what I've read, being in Melbourne means that something like a Brita filter should be enough for my needs. My question about this, however, is in specific relation to the actual replacement filters and cost/performance. I've read elsewhere that one can use third-party filters in a Brita jug and that these can be bought for significantly cheaper amounts than what one would find in a department store or supermarket.

    Finding what these filters are or where to buy them however seems to be the challenge. If anyone knows of some alternatives, either sponsors here or from a department store or wherever, or if there are better alternatives to a Brita that are cheaper in the long run, I'd love to hear about them

    Essentially, what's good, cheap and easy to find?

  2. #2
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Have a read through this thread TD...

    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/brewing-eq...y-reading.html

    Lots of info contained therein that is very pertinent.

    Mal.

  3. #3
    Member ThankDog's Avatar
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    Thanks but I can't install something like what is recommended there even if I could afford it. Renting doesn't offer me much incentive in the way of improving a landlord's property at my own expense

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    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    ThankDog. If you are intending to use the Brita Maxtra-type jugs, I don't see how you'd get generic cartridge substitutes for a hell of a lot less than $7-$7.50 each that you can get them buy them for (delivered, from UK vendors). Whether they are sufficient for you purposes is another matter (I *think* they work well for me in Canberra, combined with a particle filter in the tank......but there may be non-scale related nasties that I'm thus far unaware of).

  5. #5
    TOK
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    I would be more worried about aluminium oxide for which I dont believe there is any fix except maybe to keep running one of the brand name "cleaners" through that are advertised to be "suitable" or "safe" or whatever, for machines with an aluminium boiler.

    Regardless, I think it will be a waste of time to buy any kind of filtering device that does not have scale inhibiting properties, and you can really only refer that one to the resellers of whatever filtering device you are looking at.....if it is not written on the label.

    Wrt "particles" (as in "particle filters" etc). I dont think I've ever seen a domestic gaggia that was blocked up by "...particles..." that came through from the water supply. Its usually always aluminium oxide gone mad or maybe a mix of aluminium oxide and scale.

    That is why it is my opinion that to buy a filter that is really only a "particle filter" (as in, it doesnt do scale)....is probably a waste of money.

    I expect filters that also inhibit scale will be more pricey than ones that dont, and TG has advised us time and again that he is on a budget.

    Therefore, my opening line that the right kind of "cleaner" may be more useful in this case to keep oxide in check, than a filter (if it does not also do scale)....

    After that its probably anybodies guess, because finding small / portable / cheap filters that also do scale (atleast in my area) is not easy....

  6. #6
    Senior Member Journeyman's Avatar
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    A cheap solution that should help a lot is to make your own.

    Activated charcoal is cheap to buy; I got 5kg for around $25 on ebay a while back.

    You need some PVC pipe, a couple of end caps to fit and some hose fittings... and a woman's stocking. Basically make a tube with the hose couplings drilled into the end caps and put the charcoal inside the stocking and into the tube. Connect to water supply and run water slowly through it.

    The stocking prevents any charcoal getting into the water and it cleans all kinds of stuff from your water, including the chloramines.

  7. #7
    TC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Journeyman View Post
    A cheap solution that should help a lot is to make your own....
    Just check that the holes in the stockings are 5 micron or finer....No fishnets....
    Journeyman likes this.

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    Member ThankDog's Avatar
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    I'm actually not too concerned about scale. I figure that's inevitable and something I can deal with by descaling regularly. I'm more concerned with taste and it seems that chlorination/fluoridation and water hardness are the main factors for that (although as I understand it they're all related and affect scaling as well, I'm just saying that these are my main focus). Melbourne water is apparently already fairly soft but short of testing my place myself I may as well run it through a softening filter. As for particulates, well, they're just icky so whether or not it clogs up the classic isn't the only concern

    At this point I don't want to be too picky about things. I just need to work within my means and from my limited understanding of things, a Brita filter is the cheapest and most convenient route for me. I was mainly wanting to know where to source the cheaper filters for a Brita jug. I can't even find out what they're called.

    I'll look into the activated charcoal thing but without access to tools, DIY things are a bit out of my league. Plus the idea of using something like that everytime I want to make a coffee is just daunting

  9. #9
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Well, I can only speak with respect to the Maxtra-type bench top filters, but these were certainly effective in reducing visible scale build-up when I was based in London (where calcium carbonate levels are high 270mg/l but magnesium levels negligible). The Maxtra cartidges contain activated carbon granules and ion exchange resin, and are asserted (by Brita) to reduce limescale (from carbonates), chlorine and 'various' heavy metals. I've little doubt that there are superior solutions, but the Maxtra's appear to be far from useless. YMMV.

    EDIT: Oh, and the drinking water tasted 1000 times better

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    Senior Member Journeyman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    Just check that the holes in the stockings are 5 micron or finer....No fishnets....
    Or those grunge types with large holes 'ripped' in them...
    Quote Originally Posted by ThankDog View Post
    I'll look into the activated charcoal thing but without access to tools, DIY things are a bit out of my league. Plus the idea of using something like that everytime I want to make a coffee is just daunting
    Well, you wouldn't do it that way unless you wanted to dedicate a tap to drinking/coffee/cooking water. What you do is, when needed, fill a 10L container, preferably with a tap on it.

    I used to have a portable RO filter attached to the laundry sink tap. Now I have an under-sink RO system with a remineraliser that has a tap at the side of the kitchen sink. Surprisingly cheap - cost about $350 and good for a rated 12,000L - if it's anything like the portable one our water is clean enough to get double that. Even at the rated level is about 3c per litre. And RO doesn't remove anything from water, it removes water from everything else, including chlorine, chloramines and fluoride.

  11. #11
    Member ThankDog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Journeyman View Post
    What you do is, when needed, fill a 10L container, preferably with a tap on it.
    Doesn't sitting water supposedly reduce oxygen or something in the water? I figured I'd just fill the machine's tank as needed from a Brita jug I filled up just before needing it.

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    I have an aquaponics system. I let the water sit in an IBC to outgas the chlorine, sometimes for weeks. Doesn't seem to affect the fish and fish are notoriously sensitive to DO. (Dissolved Oxygen) But if you were going to filter the water for your coffee, wouldn't you also use the cleaned water for other ingestion purposes? i.e. the water is not going to be sitting there long enough to worry about.

    And you could always just shake the container if it sits 'too long' - the O2 has nowhere to go in a closed container and shaking will call the partial pressure in the water to rise again.

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    Member ThankDog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Journeyman View Post
    I have an aquaponics system. I let the water sit in an IBC to outgas the chlorine, sometimes for weeks. Doesn't seem to affect the fish and fish are notoriously sensitive to DO. (Dissolved Oxygen) But if you were going to filter the water for your coffee, wouldn't you also use the cleaned water for other ingestion purposes? i.e. the water is not going to be sitting there long enough to worry about.

    And you could always just shake the container if it sits 'too long' - the O2 has nowhere to go in a closed container and shaking will call the partial pressure in the water to rise again.
    Cool.

    And I used to really hate the taste of tap water. I forced myself to get used to it because I ended up drinking too much coffee and too little water which caused health problems. Now I'm used to it, I figure the expense of filtering water just for drinking isn't really necessary, despite the icky particles.

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    Ah... I read up on the stuff they add to the water years back and decided I wanted an absolute minimum of that crap entering my body. I've been using RO for close to 20 years. You'd be surprised how bad water smells when what you're used to is pure.

    I've been told RO water isn't the best for coffee machines, something about being too pure. But I still had my portable one in use when I got my SB and it worked fine.

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    Try sponsor Bombora ..

    If renting, grab a C150 kit, it can connect in-line to a standard cold water hose feed under your kitchen sink, you will have cold water filtered from the tap

  16. #16
    Senior Member flashpixx's Avatar
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    I'm using a Brita jug

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    +1 on Bombora they'll help you out

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThankDog View Post
    I'm actually not too concerned about scale. I figure that's inevitable and something I can deal with ...
    Inevitable perhaps, but perhaps it's all a matter of time. After four and a half years of consistently using filtered water in my Giotto the mushroom shows a microscopic amount of scale. Most people probably wouldn't notice it unless it was pointed out to them. Compared with some photos I've seen on this site (I'm thinking of you Thundergod) I reckon I can go another couple of decades before scale becomes an issue for me.

    Thanks Bombora and thanks TalkCoffee. Your advice on these issues for me has been invaluable.

    BTW My filter for a long time was a from Bombora. It was attached to a rubber hose which I could attach to the bathroom tap. I simply filled a 15 litre container and used that to fill the Giotto as required.

    Best wishes, Russell

  19. #19
    Coffee Newbie okitoki's Avatar
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    thought I chime in on this... picked up a C150 too from Bombora... very helpful with my queries about how I should deal with WA water (According to someone... it's where coffee machine comes to die )
    Looks simple enough, but I ended up getting a plumber in to do the job properly...

    ## WRONG INFO
    One thing you have to be aware of is the C150 cartridge is pretty tall, and it has to be installed vertically so you may struggle if your kitchen bench is not so tall... If I had known, I properbly would have ordered the C50 instead of the C150, but it did manage to barely squeeze under the sink not using the wall mount...
    WRONG INFO##

    I also asked the plumber to install a longer running hose to give me some slack to able to take the whole canister out for when i need to change cartridge... as I found that pulling the cartridge out is a little bit hard, and would be extra difficult if it is installed in an awkward position at the back of my cabinet with no slack...

    so far the taste of the water seems sweeter than before... even my GF, who hates drinking tap water, liked it using a blind taste test...

    Hope it helps with my coffee machine too

    edit: to remove wrong info... sorry
    Last edited by okitoki; 20th February 2014 at 03:19 PM. Reason: Opps... my bad on wrong info

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    Quote Originally Posted by okitoki View Post
    .....Hope it helps with my coffee machine too
    Surely, It will! If you think about it, more than 90% of your espresso is water. You will get a more 'clean' taste to your espresso. Enjoy!

  21. #21
    TC
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    Quote Originally Posted by okitoki View Post
    One thing you have to be aware of is the C150 cartridge is pretty tall, and it has to be installed vertically
    Not according to the information I have. Mine is installed horizontally up out of the way and always has been.

  22. #22
    Coffee Newbie okitoki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    Not according to the information I have. Mine is installed horizontally up out of the way and always has been.

    hmmm... not according to the instruction sheet it came with... but it was Bombara's instead of Brita... I will double check it again when I get home tonight, but I was in a panic the night before the plumber came as I was trying to find a vertical spot to put the filter


    *edit* OK, I must have misread it when I was doing the last minute read up at 11:30pm... it states that "Wall mounts should only be used Vertically"
    :facepalm: I did RTFM but I guess I didnt do it properly....

    guess I should have open the box first to check before I called the plumber... oh well, lesson learned


    by the way... with the By-Pass option... is it higher the % the more filtered the water or less?

  23. #23
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    Before I was in a position to plumb a filter tap into my kitchen I used a counter-top "Brita" device which consisted of a rectangular box with an outlet tap near the bottom and a filling inlet at the top. The device could cache 2+ liters of filtered water, so when it was necessary to draw some filtered water at once the delivery was as fast as gravity would allow the water to flow through the tap. I still use that filter when I go camping.

  24. #24
    TC
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    Quote Originally Posted by okitoki View Post
    hmmm... not according to the instruction sheet it came with... but it was Bombara's instead of Brita... I will double check it again when I get home tonight, but I was in a panic the night before the plumber came as I was trying to find a vertical spot to put the filter


    *edit* OK, I must have misread it when I was doing the last minute read up at 11:30pm... it states that "Wall mounts should only be used Vertically"
    :facepalm: I did RTFM but I guess I didnt do it properly....

    guess I should have open the box first to check before I called the plumber... oh well, lesson learned


    by the way... with the By-Pass option... is it higher the % the more filtered the water or less?
    As the bypass increases, the % or water which only passes only through the carbon component increases- i.e less softening of the water.
    Last edited by TC; 21st February 2014 at 06:23 AM.



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