HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Add Calcite to water? (4 msgs / 107 lines)
1) From: Frank Haist
Just from experience brewing (beer that is), and what I've read 
regarding water in coffee, etc. Typically, distilled water is not 
recommended. You need some of those minerals in there as they make a 
significant contribution to flavor. This does lead to the problem of 
scaling, but reasonable mineral contents can be dealt with via a monthly 
descaling. I live in San Diego, where the water is so hard you could 
pave a street with it. Terrible for coffee or beer. I get home delivered 
spring water that has been RO filtered then had some minerals added back 
in. I use CleanCaf once a month and have had no problems in my Silvia. 
Hope this helps.
---Frank
Richard T. Simoni, Sr. wrote:
<Snip>

2) From: Richard T. Simoni, Sr.
Hello crazy coffee people,
I'm confused (not unusual). I am using distilled water in my dual boiler
S1 for making espresso. Distilled water tastes very bland to me and it
has been suggested that one can add the mineral calcite to the distilled
water to make it more palatable to our taste buds. However, I am
concerned about scale developing in my two boilers.
Does it make sense to add calcium to my distilled water, when I paid for
distilled water so as to avoid scaling in the boilers?
I will appreciate your comments.
Best
Richard Simoni

3) From: John Blumel
On Feb 15, 2005, at 12:30pm, Richard T. Simoni, Sr. wrote:
<Snip>
Distilled water is not recommended for a couple of reasons. First, as 
you note, it makes for a somewhat bland brew. Secondly, it tends to 
defeat the fill sensor in some (most?, all?) boilers, which depends on 
some electrolytes in the water to function properly. If you haven't 
read it already, I suggest having a look at Jim Schulman's excellent 
"Insanely Long Water FAQ" posted some time back to alt.coffee (You can 
find it by searching Google Groups.)
"Drinking Water" tends to be fairly low in dissolved solids and is, I 
believe, produced by either filtering or reverse osmosis. "Spring 
Water", theoretically, comes from some natural source and is bottled 
with, I believe, minimal filtering. I usually prefer "Spring Water", 
although sometimes it is a bit too alkaline for my taste and it tends 
to be higher in dissolved solids.
My solution to this problem was to get water test kits from a pet 
supply store -- hardness and pH -- and use these, along with taste 
testing (taste and cost rarely seem to equate), to find a suitable 
bottled water, usually "Spring Water". I then test the water for 
hardness and pH and determine the required dilution with distilled or 
other waters to get a pH in the high 6's and a TDS (total dissolved 
solids) of around 40. There are a few waters that actually have that 
profile but, typically, I end up having to do a bit of mixing to get 
the desired levels.
Currently, I'm using a mix of 3 parts spring to 1 part distilled so I 
just buy 1 gallon of distilled for ever 3 gallons of spring. I mix it a 
gallon at a time using a mark on the side of an empty bottle to measure 
the distilled water and then topping the bottle off with the spring. So 
far, after about 2 years, I don't seem to be having any problems with 
scaling and I'm quite happy with the taste. I use the same water in my 
4 cup Kitchen Aid auto-drip machine to avoid scaling.
John Blumel

4) From: David M. Lewis
At 9:30 AM -0800 2/15/05, Richard T. Simoni, Sr. wrote:
<Snip>
By happy accident, a saturated solution of calcite in water is about 
50 ppm hardness, which is enough to taste good but not enough to 
scale an espresso machine. I've used an RO system followed by a 
calcite filter to feed my Techno for several years. I just had 
occasion to take apart a couple of the solenoid valves, and they were 
completely free of scale. You do, of course, want to keep particles 
of calcite out of the pump somehow. I have an inline calcite filter 
and have never had a problem, but the Techno has a fine screen at its 
water inlet.
Best,
	David
-- 
"A fool and his money are soon elected."
	- Kinky Friedman


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