HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Water for Hx boiler (and reservoir)? (60 msgs / 2909 lines)
1) From: Rudy Ramsey
As many of you know, I've only owned an espresso machine for a bit less than
a month, and it's been out of commission for about half that period. So I'm
a newbie, as far as espresso is concerned.
I wasn't sure what kind of water I should be using in my new Gaggia Achille
(an Hx lever machine), and the manual didn't address this specifically, so I
did a bunch of reading here on the forum and elsewhere. Though I can't
remember specifically where I found the information, I came away with the
impression that I should used:
1. distilled water in the boiler, presumably because I want to minimize
scaling and other such effects, and I don't drink this water, so distilled
is fine, and
2. mineral water in the reservoir that's used for the actual shots, because
distilled water is really too flavorless.
In the process of discussing the failure of my machine (heating element
burned out), one of the things that Importika (the Gaggia importer in New
York) told me was this:
	DO NOT USE DISTILLED WATER OR REVERSE OSMOSIS WATER IN THE
MACHINE!!!
	unless you add a tablespoon of tap water.) They will seek to replace
	minerals that have been eliminated and eventually will eat a hole in
the
	boiler.
That was news to me, and I suspect it might be news to at least some of the
folks here, since I've never seen it mentioned. Of course, I'm often the
last to know. :-)
No one is saying that this contributed to the failure of my heating element.
They're just trying to get me to use their (next) machine right.
But while they told me what not to do, they still didn't tell me what the
best kind of water is, for either side. What should I be using where?
Rudy

2) From: Michael Dhabolt
Rudy,
You asked for it.  Try this on for size.http://www.big-rick.com/coffee/waterfaq.htmlThe reference that all of us return to, when this subject comes up.
Mike (just plain)

3) From: L. Michael Fraley, MD
Boy, I am con-totally-fused now.  I thought an HX machine only had one 
reservoir.  I thought one with 2 was a double boiler.  Maybe somebody 
could explain the various machines to me.  I have a Pasquini Livia that 
I always thought was an HX machine.  It has only one place to put 
water. (I use filtered tap water.)  Is my machine really something 
else?
Michael
On Mar 31, 2007, at 7:30 AM, True, Dennis W. FC1 (CVN69) wrote:
Wow that is the first I have ever heard of that...good info!... I'll bet
you just educated a lot of people on the list.
Dennis
AKA
FC1(SW) Dennis W. True
Safety Dept
USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69)
FPO AE 09532-2830
HG/DB and Z&D roasting in the Arabian Gulf
  "On station and on point 54 and counting down..."
As many of you know, I've only owned an espresso machine for a bit less
than a month, and it's been out of commission for about half that
period. So I'm a newbie, as far as espresso is concerned.
I wasn't sure what kind of water I should be using in my new Gaggia
Achille (an Hx lever machine), and the manual didn't address this
specifically, so I did a bunch of reading here on the forum and
elsewhere. Though I can't remember specifically where I found the
information, I came away with the impression that I should used:
1. distilled water in the boiler, presumably because I want to minimize
scaling and other such effects, and I don't drink this water, so
distilled is fine, and
2. mineral water in the reservoir that's used for the actual shots,
because distilled water is really too flavorless.
In the process of discussing the failure of my machine (heating element
burned out), one of the things that Importika (the Gaggia importer in
New
York) told me was this:
	DO NOT USE DISTILLED WATER OR REVERSE OSMOSIS WATER IN THE
MACHINE!!!
	unless you add a tablespoon of tap water.) They will seek to
replace
	minerals that have been eliminated and eventually will eat a
hole in the
	boiler.
That was news to me, and I suspect it might be news to at least some of
the folks here, since I've never seen it mentioned. Of course, I'm often
the last to know. :-)
No one is saying that this contributed to the failure of my heating
element. They're just trying to get me to use their (next) machine
right.
But while they told me what not to do, they still didn't tell me what
the best kind of water is, for either side. What should I be using
where?
Rudy

4) From: Rich
There is a bit of budding confusion brewing here.  The boiler will not last long on reverse osmosis (RO) 
or deionized (DI) water.  DI or RO water is very active and will attack any dissimilar metal joints.
Real hat distilled water is not chemically active when compared to DI or RO water.  The distilled 
water is the water of choice for use in the small live steam locomotives and does not result in boiler 
failures.  The use of DI or RO water will result in boiler failure in these locomotives however.
The problem comes in when you buy the water.  some places will sell RO water as distilled.  If you 
bring your own jug then it is probably an RO unit.  Most true distilled water is sold in gallon jugs and 
is so labeled.
For the technically knowledgeable water chemists, this is the simple workable explanation on the 
water chemistry.  No need to pick it apart....
Real distilled water will be fine in the boiler.  Using either RO or DI water is not a real good idea, 
likewise tap water.
Rich
On Fri, 30 Mar 2007 20:06:59 -0600, Rudy Ramsey wrote:
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5) From: Rudy Ramsey
Michael,
I can't speak for all Hx machines, but here's how the Gaggia Achille works.
First, there's a closed boiler. It has a filler cap at the top, and the only
other outlet, as far as I know, is the steam wand.
At the top of the machine, there's a separate reservoir, from which water is
pumped through a tube that runs through the boiler to the group head, being
flash heated on the way, but only to 200 degrees plus/minus a bit. This
allows the boiler to run at good steaming temperature, while the water for
the shot is actually presented to the coffee at ideal temperature.
Thus, it's possible to fill the boiler with whatever is least reactive,
while filling the reservoir with whatever produces the best taste. :-)  And
the purpose of my thread is to try to find out what both of those are.
Rudy

6) From: Rudy Ramsey
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Mike,
 
That certainly sounds like just what I need. Unfortunately, that URL fails a
LinkScanner Pro test. It's marked as either being an exploit server or
containing a link to one. It may have been hacked.
 
Do you (or anyone) happen to have a captured copy of the information in the
FAQ?  Or do you know of another site containing it?
 
Rudy  
From: homeroast-admin
[mailto:homeroast-admin] On Behalf Of Michael Dhabolt
Sent: Friday, March 30, 2007 8:39 PM
To: homeroast
Subject: Re: +Water for Hx boiler (and reservoir)?
Rudy,
 
You asked for it.  Try this on for size.
 http://www.big-rick.com/coffee/waterfaq.html 
The reference that all of us return to, when this subject comes up.
 
Mike (just plain)

7) From: Sandy Andina
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An HX machine has a reservoir that sends water to the boiler AND to  
the tube that runs through the boiler. Because the tube (called the  
heat exchanger, or HX) runs through the boiler, it holds water at  
brew temperature once the machine has warmed up and as long as the  
boiler is full. The water in the tube and in the boiler both come  
from the reservoir.  Distilled water must not be used because some  
mineral (electrolyte) content is necessary to trigger the sensors at  
the base of the reservoir that then cause the boiler to fill. If the  
water doesn't have minerals, the boiler will not refill if it runs  
dry and the machine can overheat.
Jerry, the head tech at Caffe West/Baratza, which is the official  
distributor/servicer of Pasquini machines, recommends Crystal Geyser  
bottled spring water for the Livia, as having the optimal mineral  
content.  Jim Schulman's "insanely long water FAQ" leads me to the  
same conclusion.  At $1.70 a gallon for the water, plus the coffee,  
it's still cheaper to make espressos at home than to go out for  
them.  Filtered tap water might or might not have enough minerals,  
depending on the type of filter and the mineral content of the tap  
water.
On Mar 30, 2007, at 9:39 PM, L. Michael Fraley, MD wrote:
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Sandy Andina
www.sandyandina.com
www.myspace.com/sandyandina
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An HX machine has a reservoir =
that sends water to the boiler AND to the tube that runs through the =
boiler. Because the tube (called the heat exchanger, or HX) runs through =
the boiler, it holds water at brew temperature once the machine has =
warmed up and as long as the boiler is full. The water in the tube and =
in the boiler both come from the reservoir.  Distilled water must not =
be used because some mineral (electrolyte) content is necessary to =
trigger the sensors at the base of the reservoir that then cause the =
boiler to fill. If the water doesn't have minerals, the boiler will not =
refill if it runs dry and the machine can overheat.
Jerry, the head tech at = Caffe West/Baratza, which is the official distributor/servicer of = Pasquini machines, recommends Crystal Geyser bottled spring water for = the Livia, as having the optimal mineral content.  Jim Schulman's = "insanely long water FAQ" leads me to the same conclusion.  At $1.70 a = gallon for the water, plus the coffee, it's still cheaper to make = espressos at home than to go out for them.  Filtered tap water might = or might not have enough minerals, depending on the type of filter and = the mineral content of the tap water. On Mar 30, 2007, at = 9:39 PM, L. Michael Fraley, MD wrote:
Boy, I am con-totally-fused now.  I thought an HX machine only = had one reservoir.  I = thought one with 2 was a double boiler.  Maybe somebody could explain = the various machines to me.  = I have a Pasquini Livia that I always thought was an HX = machine.  It has only one = place to put water. (I use filtered tap water.)  Is my machine really = something else? Michael On Mar 31, 2007, at 7:30 AM, True, Dennis W. FC1 = (CVN69) wrote: Wow that is the first I have ever heard of = that...good info!... I'll betyou just = educated a lot of people on the list. AKAFC1(SW) = Dennis W. TrueSafety DeptUSS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69)FPO AE 09532-2830 HG/DB and = Z&D roasting in the Arabian Gulf "On station and on point 54 = and counting down..." As many = of you know, I've only owned an espresso machine for a bit = lessthan a month, and it's been out = of commission for about half thatperiod. So = I'm a newbie, as far as espresso is concerned. I wasn't = sure what kind of water I should be using in my new GaggiaAchille (an Hx lever machine), and the manual didn't = address thisspecifically, so I did a bunch = of reading here on the forum andelsewhere. = Though I can't remember specifically where I found theinformation, I came away with the impression that I = should used: 1. distilled water in the boiler, presumably because = I want to minimizescaling and other such = effects, and I don't drink this water, so 2. mineral water in the = reservoir that's used for the actual shots,because = distilled water is really too flavorless. In the = process of discussing the failure of my machine (heating = elementburned out), one of the things = that Importika (the Gaggia importer inYork) told me was = this: DO NOT USE DISTILLED WATER OR = REVERSE OSMOSIS WATER IN THE unless you add a tablespoon of = tap water.) They will seek to minerals that have been = eliminated and eventually will eat ahole in = the boiler. That was = news to me, and I suspect it might be news to at least some ofthe folks here, since I've never seen it mentioned. = Of course, I'm oftenthe last to know. = :-) No one is saying that this contributed to the = failure of my heatingelement. They're just = trying to get me to use their (next) machineright. But while they told me what not = to do, they still didn't tell me whatthe best = kind of water is, for either side. What should I be usingwhere? Rudy homeroast mailing listhttp://li=sts.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroastTo change your personal list settings (digest = options, vacations,unsvbscribes) go = tohttp://=sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettingshomeroast mailing listhttp://li=sts.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroastTo change your personal list settings (digest = options, vacations, unsvbscribes) go to http://=sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings L. Michael = Fraley, MD homeroast mailing listhttp://li=sts.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroastTo change your personal list settings (digest = options, vacations, unsvbscribes) go to http://=sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings = Sandy = Andinawww.sandyandina.comwww.myspace.com/sandyandina=

= = --Apple-Mail-3--562534375--

8) From: Rudy Ramsey
Thanks, Rich. That's very interesting.
Just to be sure, though, here's what's on the label of the 1-gallon bottles
of distilled water I'm buying:
Big K Distilled Water
Source: Artesian Well
Distilled and Ozonated for Purity
It's also fat-free, but maybe that part is less relevant. ;-)
Is this all OK? The only part that gives me pause is the "ozanated" part. I
assume this doesn't mean there are free radicals running  around (or
crouched in a starting stance) in there, but I'd like to be totally sure. Is
the ozanation strictly part of the process, without leaving undesirable
chemicals in the water afterward?
Rudy

9) From: Barry Luterman
It's not the number of reservoirs but the number of boilers that matter. One 
reservoir can feed two boilers. A HX machine has one boiler. The Brewtus has 
2 boilers plus a HX and one reservoir.

10) From: Michael Dhabolt
Rudy,
I'm sure there are a bunch of copies out there.  Do a Google for 'Insanely
long water FAQ'.  It is a paper by Jim Schulman.  If you can't find it in a
location that meets your needs, let me know and I'll email you with it as an
attachment.
Mike (just plain)

11) From: Andy Thomas
For as much as anyone could want to know about water in espresso makers, check out Jim Schulman's FAQ:    http://www.big-rick.com/coffee/waterfaq.html----- Original Message ----
From: Rudy Ramsey 
Subject: +Water for Hx boiler (and reservoir)?
The fish are biting. 
Get more visitors on your site using Yahoo! Search Marketing.http://searchmarketing.yahoo.com/arp/sponsoredsearch_v2.php

12) From: True, Dennis W. FC1 (CVN69)
Wow that is the first I have ever heard of that...good info!... I'll bet
you just educated a lot of people on the list.
Dennis
AKA
FC1(SW) Dennis W. True
Safety Dept
USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69)
FPO AE 09532-2830
HG/DB and Z&D roasting in the Arabian Gulf
 "On station and on point 54 and counting down..." 
As many of you know, I've only owned an espresso machine for a bit less
than a month, and it's been out of commission for about half that
period. So I'm a newbie, as far as espresso is concerned.
I wasn't sure what kind of water I should be using in my new Gaggia
Achille (an Hx lever machine), and the manual didn't address this
specifically, so I did a bunch of reading here on the forum and
elsewhere. Though I can't remember specifically where I found the
information, I came away with the impression that I should used:
1. distilled water in the boiler, presumably because I want to minimize
scaling and other such effects, and I don't drink this water, so
distilled is fine, and
2. mineral water in the reservoir that's used for the actual shots,
because distilled water is really too flavorless.
In the process of discussing the failure of my machine (heating element
burned out), one of the things that Importika (the Gaggia importer in
New
York) told me was this:
	DO NOT USE DISTILLED WATER OR REVERSE OSMOSIS WATER IN THE
MACHINE!!!
	unless you add a tablespoon of tap water.) They will seek to
replace
	minerals that have been eliminated and eventually will eat a
hole in the
	boiler.
That was news to me, and I suspect it might be news to at least some of
the folks here, since I've never seen it mentioned. Of course, I'm often
the last to know. :-)
No one is saying that this contributed to the failure of my heating
element. They're just trying to get me to use their (next) machine
right.
But while they told me what not to do, they still didn't tell me what
the best kind of water is, for either side. What should I be using
where?
Rudy

13) From: Tom Ulmer
I think ozone is added primarily as a disinfectant. 
I'm still running around, though crouching in a starting stance for very
long would not be preferable...

14) From: Vicki Smith
My machine, a Bezzera, came with warnings against using distilled water. 
I use RO water with 1/4 cup of Evian to the 2 gallon containers of RO 
water I have in a counter top dispenser. I checked the water with a 
testing kit meant for aquariums to determine how much to use. I believe 
I got the information about doing this from a combination of Jim's FAQ 
and a thread on Home Barista.
vicki (who is really still alive, just not getting much computer time 
these days)
<Snip>

15) From: Rich
Hi Rudy,
There is something that does bother me there.  If the water is boiled to distill it then there is 
absolutely no reason to run it through an ozonenator.  If they are actually running ozone gas into the 
water that will make it chemically active and will cause boiler problems.  For the steamers we buy the 
cheapest grocery store house brand water that is labeled "Distilled Water" and nothing else.  If the 
input water is actually heat distilled then it makes no difference where it came from as the output 
will be pure Ph neutral water.
I would look at the low cost mass market grocery store.  I do not happen to know what Wal-Mart sells 
but it would be worth a shot.
Any of the electric powered home water distillers will produce good distilled water.  If you have one or 
know of someone who does then you should be OK with that.
There are two types of ozonators and both will change the molecular makeup of the water.  Direct 
ozone gas injection will make the largest change and the UV light type the smallest.  Either one will 
produce water that is somewhat corrosive.
Try this.  Put a small glass pan of the water on the stove over a low heat and stick a thermometer into 
it and watch the temperature.  Note the temperature that resulted in the first bubbles rising to the 
surface.  If it is in the 150 to 170 range then there is dissolved gasses in the water.  Distilled water 
should not have very much dissolved gas and it would be all air (nitrogen / oxygen) anyway.  You will 
see some out gassing even in distilled water.  If it has been shaken at all.
Rich
On Fri, 30 Mar 2007 22:06:28 -0600, Rudy Ramsey wrote:
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16) From: Rich
The distilled water warnings have to do with the possible post treatment of the water and the 
consequences of that post treatment.
If you take RO or DI water and add a cup or two of raw water to it then you will effectively pasify the 
DI or RO water and only have to deal with the minerals added to the boiler by the small ammount of 
raw water added to each charge.
The water testing kits sold for aquariums lack sufficent precision to be of anything more than a gross 
indicator.  They are better than nothing though.
If you have access to a eral well, you can add a small ammount of well water to the RO water and that 
will pasify it.  Don't use well water that has been chlorinated though.  Plain raw well water.
On Sat, 31 Mar 2007 08:18:12 -0600, Vicki Smith wrote:
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17) From: raymanowen
"distilled water is really too flavorless. [What flavors do you like to
taste from the water?]
In the process of discussing the failure of my machine (heating element
burned out)...
[Whoever claimed this to be a Cause- effect relationship just blew their
credibility- water does not come into contact with any current carrying
conductor]
one of the things that Importika (the Gaggia importer in New
York) told me was this:
DO NOT USE DISTILLED WATER OR REVERSE OSMOSIS WATER IN THE MACHINE!!! unles=
s
you add a tablespoon of tap water.) They will seek to replace minerals that
have been eliminated and eventually will eat a hole in the boiler."
[Exactly how large, and what location will this hole be?]
In two weeks from brand new, the problem was absolutely Not Caused by the
water you use! More likely is the possibility the machine was inadvertently
turned on with no water on board. The real cause may be- too much fun
enjoying espresso when you shut it off, and it had just run dry!
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
Just because an idea is often repeated and gains popularity with some peopl=
e
doesn't necessarily support it- the earth was known to be flat…
On 3/30/07, Rudy Ramsey  wrote:
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o
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d
<Snip>
-- 
"When the theme hits the bass, I dance the Jig!" - -Virgil Fox at the Might=
y
Wichita (ex- NYC Paramount) WurliTzer- 1976

18) From: Leo Zick
This is a multipart message in MIME format.
Im still confused as to why its that hard to just descale if water quality
is a concern.  Best of both worlds - clean machine and good tasting coffee.
Blueberry breakfast muffins and whatever else you get out of your beans :o
From: raymanowen [mailto:raymanowen] 
Sent: Saturday, March 31, 2007 11:05 AM
To: homeroast
Subject: Re: +Water for Hx boiler (and reservoir)?
"distilled water is really too flavorless. [What flavors do you like to
taste from the water?]
In the process of discussing the failure of my machine (heating element
burned out)... 
[Whoever claimed this to be a Cause- effect relationship just blew their
credibility- water does not come into contact with any current carrying
conductor] 
one of the things that Importika (the Gaggia importer in New
York) told me was this:
DO NOT USE DISTILLED WATER OR REVERSE OSMOSIS WATER IN THE MACHINE!!! unless
you add a tablespoon of tap water.) They will seek to replace minerals that
have been eliminated and eventually will eat a hole in the boiler." 
[Exactly how large, and what location will this hole be?]
In two weeks from brand new, the problem was absolutely Not Caused by the
water you use! More likely is the possibility the machine was inadvertently
turned on with no water on board. The real cause may be- too much fun
enjoying espresso when you shut it off, and it had just run dry! 
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
Just because an idea is often repeated and gains popularity with some people
doesn't necessarily support it- the earth was known to be flat.
On 3/30/07, Rudy Ramsey  wrote:
As many of you know, I've only owned an espresso machine for a bit less than
a month, and it's been out of commission for about half that period. So I'm
a newbie, as far as espresso is concerned.
I wasn't sure what kind of water I should be using in my new Gaggia Achille
(an Hx lever machine), and the manual didn't address this specifically, so I
did a bunch of reading here on the forum and elsewhere. Though I can't 
remember specifically where I found the information, I came away with the
impression that I should used:
1. distilled water in the boiler, presumably because I want to minimize
scaling and other such effects, and I don't drink this water, so distilled 
is fine, and
2. mineral water in the reservoir that's used for the actual shots, because
distilled water is really too flavorless.
In the process of discussing the failure of my machine (heating element 
burned out), one of the things that Importika (the Gaggia importer in New
York) told me was this:
        DO NOT USE DISTILLED WATER OR REVERSE OSMOSIS WATER IN THE
MACHINE!!!
        unless you add a tablespoon of tap water.) They will seek to replace
        minerals that have been eliminated and eventually will eat a hole in
the
        boiler.
That was news to me, and I suspect it might be news to at least some of the
folks here, since I've never seen it mentioned. Of course, I'm often the 
last to know. :-)
No one is saying that this contributed to the failure of my heating element.
They're just trying to get me to use their (next) machine right.
But while they told me what not to do, they still didn't tell me what the 
best kind of water is, for either side. What should I be using where?
Rudy-- 
"When the theme hits the bass, I dance the Jig!" - -Virgil Fox at the Mighty
Wichita (ex- NYC Paramount) WurliTzer- 1976 

19) From: miKe mcKoffee
Different (primary) issue. Machines with boiler auto-fill won't auto-fill
properly with straight distilled water. Need some mineral content in the
water for the water level sensor to "sense" any water, the water contact
(usually) closes the circuit. 
Kona Kurmudgeon miKe mcKoffee
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://mdmint.home.comcast.net/coffee/Rosto_mod.htmUltimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must
first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal enlightenment
found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before.
Sweet Maria's List - Searchable Archiveshttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/
<Snip>

20) From: L. Michael Fraley, MD
Oh, OK Rudy.  My machine just has the one reservoir.  Everything fill 
out of that.
Michael
On Mar 30, 2007, at 11:41 PM, Rudy Ramsey wrote:
Michael,
I can't speak for all Hx machines, but here's how the Gaggia Achille 
works.
First, there's a closed boiler. It has a filler cap at the top, and the 
only
other outlet, as far as I know, is the steam wand.
At the top of the machine, there's a separate reservoir, from which 
water is
pumped through a tube that runs through the boiler to the group head, 
being
flash heated on the way, but only to 200 degrees plus/minus a bit. This
allows the boiler to run at good steaming temperature, while the water 
for
the shot is actually presented to the coffee at ideal temperature.
Thus, it's possible to fill the boiler with whatever is least reactive,
while filling the reservoir with whatever produces the best taste. :-)  
And
the purpose of my thread is to try to find out what both of those are.
Rudy

21) From: Rich
Scale insulates the heating element and raises its internal operating temperature.  Excessive heat is 
the primary cause of element failure.  Think of your electric water heaters.
Scale tastes bad, try it.
--Original Message Text---
From: Leo Zick
Date: Sat, 31 Mar 2007 11:54:39 -0400
Im still confused as to why its that hard to just descale if water quality is a concern.  Best of both 
worlds  clean machine and good tasting coffee. Blueberry breakfast muffins and whatever else you 
get out of your beans :o 
From: raymanowen [mailto:raymanowen] 
Sent: Saturday, March 31, 2007 11:05 AM
To: homeroast
Subject: Re: +Water for Hx boiler (and reservoir)? 
"distilled water is really too flavorless. [What flavors do you like to taste from the water?]
In the process of discussing the failure of my machine (heating element burned out)... 
[Whoever claimed this to be a Cause- effect relationship just blew their credibility- water does not 
come into contact with any current carrying conductor] 
one of the things that Importika (the Gaggia importer in New
York) told me was this:
DO NOT USE DISTILLED WATER OR REVERSE OSMOSIS WATER IN THE MACHINE!!! unless you add a 
tablespoon of tap water.) They will seek to replace minerals that have been eliminated and eventually 
will eat a hole in the boiler." 
[Exactly how large, and what location will this hole be?]
In two weeks from brand new, the problem was absolutely Not Caused by the water you use! More 
likely is the possibility the machine was inadvertently turned on with no water on board. The real 
cause may be- too much fun enjoying espresso when you shut it off, and it had just run dry! 
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa! 
Just because an idea is often repeated and gains popularity with some people doesn't necessarily 
support it- the earth was known to be flat& 
On 3/30/07, Rudy Ramsey  wrote: 
As many of you know, I've only owned an espresso machine for a bit less than
a month, and it's been out of commission for about half that period. So I'm
a newbie, as far as espresso is concerned.
I wasn't sure what kind of water I should be using in my new Gaggia Achille
(an Hx lever machine), and the manual didn't address this specifically, so I
did a bunch of reading here on the forum and elsewhere. Though I can't 
remember specifically where I found the information, I came away with the
impression that I should used:
1. distilled water in the boiler, presumably because I want to minimize
scaling and other such effects, and I don't drink this water, so distilled 
is fine, and
2. mineral water in the reservoir that's used for the actual shots, because
distilled water is really too flavorless.
In the process of discussing the failure of my machine (heating element 
burned out), one of the things that Importika (the Gaggia importer in New
York) told me was this:
        DO NOT USE DISTILLED WATER OR REVERSE OSMOSIS WATER IN THE
MACHINE!!!
        unless you add a tablespoon of tap water.) They will seek to replace 
        minerals that have been eliminated and eventually will eat a hole in
the
        boiler.
That was news to me, and I suspect it might be news to at least some of the
folks here, since I've never seen it mentioned. Of course, I'm often the 
last to know. :-)
No one is saying that this contributed to the failure of my heating element.
They're just trying to get me to use their (next) machine right.
But while they told me what not to do, they still didn't tell me what the 
best kind of water is, for either side. What should I be using where?
Rudy-- 
"When the theme hits the bass, I dance the Jig!" - -Virgil Fox at the Mighty Wichita (ex- NYC 
Paramount) WurliTzer- 1976 

22) From: Leo Zick
This is a multipart message in MIME format.
Right. That's why you DE-scale.
 
Whats the point of having coffee if youre so paranoid of scale, that you
sacrifice taste?
 
From: Rich [mailto:rich-mail] 
Sent: Saturday, March 31, 2007 12:48 PM
To: homeroast
Subject: RE: +Water for Hx boiler (and reservoir)?
 
Scale insulates the heating element and raises its internal operating
temperature. Excessive heat is the primary cause of element failure. =
Think
of your electric water heaters.
Scale tastes bad, try it.
--Original Message Text---
From: Leo Zick
Date: Sat, 31 Mar 2007 11:54:39 -0400
Im still confused as to why its that hard to just descale if water =
quality
is a concern. Best of both worlds  clean machine and good tasting =
coffee.
Blueberry breakfast muffins and whatever else you get out of your beans =
:o 
From: raymanowen [mailto:raymanowen] 
Sent: Saturday, March 31, 2007 11:05 AM
To: homeroast
Subject: Re: +Water for Hx boiler (and reservoir)? 
"distilled water is really too flavorless. [What flavors do you like to
taste from the water?]
In the process of discussing the failure of my machine (heating element
burned out)... 
[Whoever claimed this to be a Cause- effect relationship just blew their
credibility- water does not come into contact with any current carrying
conductor] 
one of the things that Importika (the Gaggia importer in New
York) told me was this:
DO NOT USE DISTILLED WATER OR REVERSE OSMOSIS WATER IN THE MACHINE!!! =
unless
you add a tablespoon of tap water.) They will seek to replace minerals =
that
have been eliminated and eventually will eat a hole in the boiler." 
[Exactly how large, and what location will this hole be?]
In two weeks from brand new, the problem was absolutely Not Caused by =
the
water you use! More likely is the possibility the machine was =
inadvertently
turned on with no water on board. The real cause may be- too much fun
enjoying espresso when you shut it off, and it had just run dry! 
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa! 
Just because an idea is often repeated and gains popularity with some =
people
doesn't necessarily support it- the earth was known to be flat& 
On 3/30/07, Rudy Ramsey  wrote: 
As many of you know, I've only owned an espresso machine for a bit less =
than
a month, and it's been out of commission for about half that period. So =
I'm
a newbie, as far as espresso is concerned.
I wasn't sure what kind of water I should be using in my new Gaggia =
Achille
(an Hx lever machine), and the manual didn't address this specifically, =
so I
did a bunch of reading here on the forum and elsewhere. Though I can't 
remember specifically where I found the information, I came away with =
the
impression that I should used:
1. distilled water in the boiler, presumably because I want to minimize
scaling and other such effects, and I don't drink this water, so =
distilled 
is fine, and
2. mineral water in the reservoir that's used for the actual shots, =
because
distilled water is really too flavorless.
In the process of discussing the failure of my machine (heating element 
burned out), one of the things that Importika (the Gaggia importer in =
New
York) told me was this:
DO NOT USE DISTILLED WATER OR REVERSE OSMOSIS WATER IN THE
MACHINE!!!
unless you add a tablespoon of tap water.) They will seek to replace 
minerals that have been eliminated and eventually will eat a hole in
the
boiler.
That was news to me, and I suspect it might be news to at least some of =
the
folks here, since I've never seen it mentioned. Of course, I'm often the =
last to know. :-)
No one is saying that this contributed to the failure of my heating =
element.
They're just trying to get me to use their (next) machine right.
But while they told me what not to do, they still didn't tell me what =
the 
best kind of water is, for either side. What should I be using where?
Rudy-- 
"When the theme hits the bass, I dance the Jig!" - -Virgil Fox at the =
Mighty
Wichita (ex- NYC Paramount) WurliTzer- 1976 

23) From: Rich
Distilled water should have a conductivity of somewhere in the range of 1 micro mho or slightly more 
and the auto fill should work.  Works fine in my steamers.
As a side note.  I do not like espresso so have never owned an ecpresso machine.  I do however, have a 
fair amount of experience with the art and science of water chemistry.  And, a great deal of practical 
experience with small steam locomotives and large nuclear power plants.  Both boil water in a closed 
vessel and the consequences of failure are not pleasant for either one.
The problem here is that some states require all water offered for sale / use by the public to be 
treated for coliform bacteria contamination.  that means either ozone or chlorine, depending on the 
state health department mandates.
Now, if you buy distilled water that has been treated you can do this.  get a large glass pan and fill it 
with your water.  heat to almost boiling and then cool.  this will drive off the ozone and the chlorine 
and you will not slowly dissolve your boiler.
On Sat, 31 Mar 2007 08:59:34 -0700, miKe mcKoffee wrote:
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24) From: miKe mcKoffee
Rich,
Your "locomotive & nuclear power plant" expertise aside every espresso
machine tech and dealer I've ever encountered disagrees with your water use
for espresso machines hypothesis. If I need to know the best water for a
nuclear reactor I'll definitely listen to your advice. But as you say you
don't even like espresso let alone have any experience with espresso
machines. While espresso machine auto-fill circuitry "may"
(usually/sometimes) work if using distilled water "may" is not a good thing.
When auto-fill fails to detect presence of water, doesn't mean machine won't
fill, means it won't QUIT filling! And if tank fed machine will just keep
filling the boiler until tank empty with not so good consequences, if a
direct plumbed machine with unlimited water available that happened to start
and not stop filling with you not in the room or maybe not even home...
Kona Kurmudgeon miKe mcKoffee
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://mdmint.home.comcast.net/coffee/Rosto_mod.htmUltimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must
first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal enlightenment
found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before.
Sweet Maria's List - Searchable Archiveshttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/
 
<Snip>

25) From: Tom Ulmer
Why would a someone build with a level sensor that knowingly doesn't work
reliably under feasible circumstances?

26) From: Sandy Andina
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Right you are. The Pasquini Livia (based on the Bezzera) has auto- 
fill and thus requires some mineral content in the water. The boiler  
and HX tube both fill from a single reservoir.  Hence tech support's  
recommendation to use Crystal Geyser or a spring water with similar  
composition.
On Mar 31, 2007, at 10:59 AM, miKe mcKoffee wrote:
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Sandy Andina
www.sandyandina.com
www.myspace.com/sandyandina
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Right you are. The Pasquini =
Livia (based on the Bezzera) has auto-fill and thus requires some =
mineral content in the water. The boiler and HX tube both fill from a =
single reservoir.  Hence tech support's recommendation to use Crystal =
Geyser or a spring water with similar composition.
On Mar =
31, 2007, at 10:59 AM, miKe mcKoffee wrote:
Different (primary) issue. Machines with boiler = auto-fill won't auto-fillproperly with = straight distilled water. Need some mineral content in thewater for the water level sensor to "sense" any = water, the water contact(usually) = closes the circuit.  Kona = Kurmudgeon miKe mcKoffeeURL to Rosto = mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://mdmint=.home.comcast.net/coffee/Rosto_mod.htmfirst not know. And in knowing = know I know not. Each Personal enlightenmentfound exploring the many divergent foot steps of = Those who have gone before. Sweet Maria's List - Searchable = Archiveshttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/ 

27) From: Rich
Mike,
You may or may not be aware that the distributor / manufacturer of any product will advise the 
consumer based on the worst possible use conditions and the assumed total lack of common sense of 
the user.  Not to mention the directives from the company legal department.
You may use all of the high conductivity water you like.  As I said, the automatic level controls that i 
use, which operate on the conductivity of the fluid function fine on distilled water.  maybe your 
problem is with the adjustment of your unit.
On Sat, 31 Mar 2007 10:13:07 -0700, miKe mcKoffee wrote:
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28) From: Leo Zick
I don't see how espresso machine water is related to the heavily chemically
treated (extremely heavy in some areas, with hard water, like southern and
western US).  I wouldn't add oxygen scavengers, anti-foaming agents,
anti-scaling agents, and phosphates to my espresso machine. Especially when
I could be drinking that byproduct in some form. Boilers also have the
advantage of a blowdown process.   Maybe Ill put in a call to chemtreat and
see if they can manage my espresso plant :p
<Snip>

29) From: Rich
Leo, you have missed the original question and answer.
On Sat, 31 Mar 2007 17:10:42 -0400, Leo Zick wrote:
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30) From: miKe mcKoffee
Rich,
Agreed, legal issues/departments often a factor in mfg recommendations.
However, IF you actually drank espresso and used an espresso machine you'd
also know that espresso brewed with distilled water tastes like flat crap
and since machines usually fill the boiler and brew from the same water
source it's actually usually a mute point when actual shot taste is factored
into the equation. Water conductivity theory is fine, taste is another issue
of greater import. BTW, the auto-fill sensors used in espresso machines MAY
OR MAY NOT have the sensitivity of the sensors used in Nuclear Reactors.
Since you have no actual experience with espresso machine auto-fill sensors
I'd say your input on the matter may be mute. 
No there is no "problem" with the adjustment of my espresso machine. Sure my
Bricoletta might theoretically operate fine on distilled water, but I don't
care and haven't and won't try it because the shot, which is what counts,
would greatly suffer.
Kona Kurmudgeon miKe mcKoffee
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://mdmint.home.comcast.net/coffee/Rosto_mod.htmUltimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must
first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal enlightenment
found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before.
Sweet Maria's List - Searchable Archiveshttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/
<Snip>

31) From: Sandy Andina
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Personally, when I've dropped more than a G-note on an espresso  
machine, I'm not about to disregard the manufacturer's and tech  
support guy's recommendations--taking the chance that they are merely  
c.y.a. measures to prevent product liability suits is a needlessly  
costly game of chicken, IMHO. Three bucks a week for spring water is  
not gonna kill me.  Now, for my Technivorm, I do use filtered tap  
water and descale twice a year, since mineral content is not  
necessary to trip any of that machine's sensors.  And I do use  
distilled water--but only for refilling my guitar-case humidifiers.   
DW tastes incredibly blah to me--can't see how it'd improve the taste  
of anything.
On Mar 31, 2007, at 5:37 PM, miKe mcKoffee wrote:
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Sandy Andina
www.sandyandina.com
www.myspace.com/sandyandina
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Personally, when I've dropped =
more than a G-note on an espresso machine, I'm not about to disregard =
the manufacturer's and tech support guy's recommendations--taking the =
chance that they are merely c.y.a. measures to prevent product liability =
suits is a needlessly costly game of chicken, IMHO. Three bucks a week =
for spring water is not gonna kill me.  Now, for my Technivorm, I do =
use filtered tap water and descale twice a year, since mineral content =
is not necessary to trip any of that machine's sensors.  And I do use =
distilled water--but only for refilling my guitar-case humidifiers.  =
DW tastes incredibly blah to me--can't see how it'd improve the taste of =
anything.
On Mar 31, 2007, at 5:37 PM, miKe mcKoffee =
wrote:
Rich,Agreed, legal issues/departments often a factor in = mfg recommendations.However, IF you actually = drank espresso and used an espresso machine you'dalso know that espresso brewed with distilled water = tastes like flat crapand since machines usually = fill the boiler and brew from the same watersource it's actually usually a mute point when = actual shot taste is factoredinto the = equation. Water conductivity theory is fine, taste is another = issueof greater import. BTW, the = auto-fill sensors used in espresso machines MAYOR MAY NOT have the sensitivity of the sensors used = in Nuclear Reactors.Since you have no actual = experience with espresso machine auto-fill sensorsI'd say your input on the matter may be mute.  No there is = no "problem" with the adjustment of my espresso machine. Sure = myBricoletta might theoretically operate fine on = distilled water, but I don'tcare and = haven't and won't try it because the shot, which is what = counts,would greatly suffer. Kona = Kurmudgeon miKe mcKoffeeURL to Rosto = mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://mdmint=.home.comcast.net/coffee/Rosto_mod.htmfirst not know. And in knowing = know I know not. Each Personal enlightenmentfound exploring the many divergent foot steps of = Those who have gone before. Sweet Maria's List - Searchable = Archiveshttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/ 

32) From: Rich
If you will remember the original question had to do with the use of distilled water in a machine with 
separate boiler and heat exchanger.
Commercial nuclear reactors, for your edification, do not use conductivity triggered level control 
devices in any system associated with the Nuclear Steam Supply System.  That includes the PWR and 
BWR types.  Thee ae some sump level detectors that are conductivity triggered but the crap in the 
water tends to make them fail randomly.  The only connection to nuclear power and espresso 
machines is water quality, and not level detection.
Taste is an issue with all brewing methods.  As I have been unfortunate enough to have spent the last 
18 years traveling around the country, I have experienced many different local waters.  I am sorry to 
say, most are not fit to make coffee with, even Folgers.  I have not tried bottled drinking water 
however.  The main reason is that I use a Bunn VPR coffee machine and feel that coffee is best 
consumed 12 oz at a time and the Bunn is tasked with producing a minimum of 4 to 6 full 64 oz pots / 
day.  I could not afford to buy that much bottled water.
I have made coffee with DI (de ionized) water and strangely enough, it makes decent coffee.  thee are 
real health hazards to drinking DI water though.  I was reasonably certain that the health risk went 
away when you made coffee with it.  You are right in stating that coffee brewed with true distilled 
water is, at best, flat.  Just brown hot water - no flavor.
On Sat, 31 Mar 2007 15:37:08 -0700, miKe mcKoffee wrote:
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33) From: Leo Zick
Then why did you compare to the equipment in your industry?

34) From: Rich
The water quality issue is the same for almost every boiler and the level control device comparison 
was to the one that is installed on my Accucraft C-16 locomotive.  It controls a positive displacement 
electric pump that feeds the boiler under operating pressure.  Steam engines do not work well with 
water in the cylinders, will not compress.  Hi level is water in cylinder time.  The level control 
reference was made in regards to the seam locomotive.  I might have not made that clear the first 
time.
Any boiler system that is used in power generation and is equipped with condensate demineralizers 
uses nothing but pure water.  If there are minimal or no demineralizers then the boiler water is 
loaded with chemicals.  Heating boilers are loaded up with all kinds of chemicals and the tubes are 
replaced fairly often due to gross degradation.
Should be more clear now.....
On Sat, 31 Mar 2007 19:26:05 -0400, Leo Zick wrote:
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35) From: Eddie Dove
"I'd say your input on the matter may be mute. [sic]"
Wow!  Input devoid of speech.  How did you know that?  Unless you were
referring to a process involving the cloaca, which is an entirely
different commentary.
Eddie
-- 
Docendo Discimus
My Home Coffee Roasting Blog and Profiles for the Gene Cafehttp://southcoastcoffeeroaster.blogspot.com/Sweet Maria's List - Searchable Archiveshttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/

36) From: Leo Zick
You don't drink any of the water from those processes. 
Steam power, steam sterilization, steam driven nuclear reactors...  none of
them will find a place in a home, or in a coffee cup.

37) From: miKe mcKoffee
<Snip>
Interesting question. Possibly because Italian espresso machine makers
couldn't fathom anyone using water that would yield lousy espresso and hence
never conceived it as a feasible possibility. Or possibly because they don't
care about sue crazy Americanos;-)
Kona Kurmudgeon miKe mcKoffee
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://mdmint.home.comcast.net/coffee/Rosto_mod.htmUltimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must
first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal enlightenment
found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before.
Sweet Maria's List - Searchable Archiveshttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/

38) From: True, Dennis W. FC1 (CVN69)
And This is excatlly why I LOVE THIS LIST!!!!!!!! 
Where else can you find this kind of information with out hours of
research or a lifetime of college? 
Dennis
AKA
FC1(SW) Dennis W. True
Safety Dept
USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69)
FPO AE 09532-2830
HG/DB and Z&D roasting in the Arabian Gulf
 "On station and on point 54 and counting down..." 
Distilled water should have a conductivity of somewhere in the range of
1 micro mho or slightly more 
and the auto fill should work.  Works fine in my steamers.
As a side note.  I do not like espresso so have never owned an ecpresso
machine.  I do however, have a 
fair amount of experience with the art and science of water chemistry.
And, a great deal of practical 
experience with small steam locomotives and large nuclear power plants.
Both boil water in a closed 
vessel and the consequences of failure are not pleasant for either one.
The problem here is that some states require all water offered for sale
/ use by the public to be 
treated for coliform bacteria contamination.  that means either ozone or
chlorine, depending on the 
state health department mandates.
Now, if you buy distilled water that has been treated you can do this.
get a large glass pan and fill it 
with your water.  heat to almost boiling and then cool.  this will drive
off the ozone and the chlorine 
and you will not slowly dissolve your boiler.
On Sat, 31 Mar 2007 08:59:34 -0700, miKe mcKoffee wrote:
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39) From: Rudy Ramsey
Sandy,
 
<Snip>
tube that runs through the boiler. Because the tube (called the heat
exchanger, or HX) runs through the boiler, it holds water at brew
temperature once the machine has warmed up and as long as the boiler is
full. The water in the tube and in the boiler both come from the reservoir.
Distilled water must not be used because some mineral (electrolyte) content
is necessary to trigger the sensors at the base of the reservoir that then
cause the boiler to fill. If the water doesn't have minerals, the boiler
will not refill if it runs dry and the machine can overheat.  
 
Not my machine (I'm the one who posted the original question). Since I
apparently didn't make it clear with my explanation:
	I can't speak for all Hx machines, but here's how the Gaggia 
	Achille works.
	First, there's a closed boiler. It has a filler cap at the top, 
	and the only other outlet, as far as I know, is the steam wand.
	At the top of the machine, there's a separate reservoir, from 
	which water is pumped through a tube that runs through the boiler 
	to the group head, being flash heated on the way, but only to 
	200 degrees plus/minus a bit. This allows the boiler to run at 
	good steaming temperature, while the water for the shot is 
	actually presented to the coffee at ideal temperature.
	Thus, it's possible to fill the boiler with whatever is least 
	reactive, while filling the reservoir with whatever produces 
	the best taste. :-)  And the purpose of my thread is to try to 
	find out what both of those are.
 
I'll quote from the home-barista review of the machine:
 
	The Achille has a removable and refillable heat exchanger reservoir 
	referred to as a "continuous refill tank". That is, the boiler water
	is used exclusively for steaming and heating the brew water, while 
	the brew water is pulled from the fresh supply atop the machine. 
So I have the luxury, if it's helpful, of using in the boiler whatever water
is best for the machine, regardless of taste, since that water isn't used to
make coffee. And I can use whatever water is best for taste in the brew
water reservoir, perhaps with less than the usual regard for scaling, since
that water has only a straight path through a tube in the boiler, and never
touches the heating element or the boiler itself.
I'll reply to another message of yours here, and perhaps you'll understand
my complete situation.
<Snip>
I'm not about to disregard the manufacturer's and tech support guy's
recommendations--taking the chance that they are merely c.y.a. measures to
prevent product liability suits is a needlessly costly game of chicken,
IMHO. Three bucks a week for spring water is not gonna kill me.
I have absolutely no hesitation about spending $3/week for the water, but
disregarding the recommendations is a bit trickier. First of all, the unit
came with no recommendations of any kind regarding water choice. That means
I was on my own, and I chose distilled water for the boiler and spring water
for brewing. The question of avoiding distilled water didn't come up until
after my unit had failed, and after the distributor had shipped a
replacement unit. No one suggested, even remotely, that my water choices had
anything to do with this failure. But the tech support person indicated that
I should not use distilled water. That left me with only a single piece of
negative guidance. She still didn't make any suggestion whatsoever about
what I *should* use.
And that's when I started this thread, trying to find out what water is best
for both of these purposes. A number of the replies have been based on the
standard Hx configuration, in which there's only one pool of water, fed by a
single reservoir but feeding both the boiler and the brewing. Thus, the
recommendations about the boiler have been influenced by questions of coffee
taste. That's not my situation.
Alas, I'm still uncertain what to do. I guess I'll go back to the
distributor and ask if distilled water isn't really the correct choice for
the boiler, as long as I avoid reverse-osmosis, de-ionized, or ozanated (why
isn't it spelled ozonated, anyway?) water, and do the
heat-at-low-temperature-check-for-bubbles test. Or she can recommend what
kind of water I actually should use.
A secondary problem is that I don't know where to get either Volvic water
(whatever that is) or Crystal Geyser water (whatever that is). I'm assuming
that these are a standard kind of spring water available perhaps at grocery
stores, but so far, the ones I've tried don't have it. Suggestions are
welcome. I'm wondering whether this is just a regional thing and I can't get
it here (Denver), or I'm looking in the wrong places.
Thanks, everyone, for all the replies. I'm still working my way through Jim
Schulman's FAQ, and maybe it will all be clearer by the time I'm done. I do
think, though, that the key thing to know for my particular situation is
that I have two independent water systems (boiler, brewing), and can make
separate, optimal water choices for the two systems.
Rudy

40) From: Sandy Andina
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Hi, Rudy,
AFAIK, Crystal Geyser is a nationally-distributed brand, bottled from  
springs in Tennessee and California (depending on which side of the  
Continental Divide you're on).  Dunno why supermarkets in Denver  
don't have it--besides the mainstream (Jewel/Albertson's and  
Dominick's/Safeway) stores here in Chicago, our local Whole Foods and  
Wild Oats natural grocery chains carry it.  Volvic is French (and  
actually, for drinking it's my favorite non-sparkling bottled water-- 
though the filtered tapwater coming out of my fridge's dispenser is  
just fine by me and a heckuva lot cheaper) and admittedly tougher to  
find (though easier than, say, Vittel), as well as wildly  
uneconomical since you can't buy it in gallon or five-gallon jugs.  I  
also shop for groceries online through Peapod.com, and they carry  
Crystal Geyser as well as Wild Oats' own brand of spring water, which  
is a little cheaper. One of these days I'll compare mineral analyses  
of both brands and if they are similar I may save myself some dinero-- 
but if they're sufficiently different, and if Jerry the Baratza tech  
(in Oregon) says he uses Crystal Geyser in his Livia and Silvia, I  
will trust his judgment.
The Gaggia Achille is fairly unique among HX machines in having  
separate fill sources for boiler and brew water.  This is a true case  
of "YMMV." Now, Baratza advises that HX machines of the Livia and  
other single-reservoir/fill source machines should not be descaled-- 
though single-boiler/dual purpose machines like the Rancilio Silvia  
MUST be (using Cleancaf, filtered lemon juice or citric acid/"sour  
salt").  OTOH, The owner's manual says never to backflush the Silvia,  
but Jerry says it's okay as long as it's done with plain water and  
not espresso machine cleaner like Cafiza or Joe Glo).  My guess is  
that the Achille, being a Gaggia, has an aluminum boiler, right? (The  
Silvia, Livia and just about every other HX I know have marine-grade  
brass boilers, and even cheaper single-boilers like Saecos have  
stainless-steel boilers).  Aluminum is extremely prone to scaling and  
corrosion, and minerals are a bigger danger to it than is excessive  
softness or purity.  Dunno why you couldn't safely use DW in the  
Achille if it doesn't have electrolyte-dependent sensors to trigger  
boiler fill--you are filling the boiler manually, after all. The  
resulting flavor is a matter of........taste.
On Apr 1, 2007, at 5:45 PM, Rudy Ramsey wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy Andina
www.sandyandina.com
www.myspace.com/sandyandina
--Apple-Mail-9--405287863
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	charsetO-8859-1
Hi, Rudy,
AFAIK, Crystal Geyser is a = nationally-distributed brand, bottled from springs in Tennessee and = California (depending on which side of the Continental Divide you're = on).  Dunno why supermarkets in Denver don't have it--besides the = mainstream (Jewel/Albertson's and Dominick's/Safeway) stores here in = Chicago, our local Whole Foods and Wild Oats natural grocery chains = carry it.  Volvic is French (and actually, for drinking it's my = favorite non-sparkling bottled water--though the filtered tapwater = coming out of my fridge's dispenser is just fine by me and a heckuva lot = cheaper) and admittedly tougher to find (though easier than, say, = Vittel), as well as wildly uneconomical since you can't buy it in gallon = or five-gallon jugs.  I also shop for groceries online through = Peapod.com, and they carry Crystal Geyser as well as Wild Oats' own = brand of spring water, which is a little cheaper. One of these days I'll = compare mineral analyses of both brands and if they are similar I may = save myself some dinero--but if they're sufficiently different, and if = Jerry the Baratza tech (in Oregon) says he uses Crystal Geyser in his = Livia and Silvia, I will trust his judgment.
The Gaggia Achille is = fairly unique among HX machines in having separate fill sources for = boiler and brew water.  This is a true case of "YMMV." Now, Baratza = advises that HX machines of the Livia and other single-reservoir/fill = source machines should not be descaled--though single-boiler/dual = purpose machines like the Rancilio Silvia MUST be (using Cleancaf, = filtered lemon juice or citric acid/"sour salt").  OTOH, The owner's = manual says never to backflush the Silvia, but Jerry says it's okay as = long as it's done with plain water and not espresso machine cleaner like = Cafiza or Joe Glo).  My guess is that the Achille, being a Gaggia, has = an aluminum boiler, right? (The Silvia, Livia and just about every other = HX I know have marine-grade brass boilers, and even cheaper = single-boilers like Saecos have stainless-steel boilers).  Aluminum is = extremely prone to scaling and corrosion, and minerals are a bigger = danger to it than is excessive softness or purity.  Dunno why you = couldn't safely use DW in the Achille if it doesn't have = electrolyte-dependent sensors to trigger boiler fill--you are filling = the boiler manually, after all. The resulting flavor is a matter = of........taste. On Apr 1, 2007, at 5:45 PM, Rudy = Ramsey wrote: The = Achille has a removable and refillable heat exchanger reservoir  referred = to as a "continuous refill tank". That is, the boiler water is used = exclusively for steaming and heating the brew water, while  the brew = water is pulled from the fresh supply atop the machine.  So I have the = luxury, if it's helpful, of using in the boiler whatever wateris best for the machine, regardless of taste, since = that water isn't used tomake coffee. = And I can use whatever water is best for taste in the brewwater reservoir, perhaps with less than the usual = regard for scaling, sincethat water = has only a straight path through a tube in the boiler, and = nevertouches the heating element or = the boiler itself.A secondary problem is that = I don't know where to get either Volvic water(whatever that is) or Crystal Geyser water (whatever = that is). I'm assumingthat these are a standard = kind of spring water available perhaps at grocerystores, but so far, the ones I've tried don't have = it. Suggestions arewelcome. I'm wondering = whether this is just a regional thing and I can't getit here (Denver), or I'm looking in the wrong = places.Sandy = Andinawww.sandyandina.comwww.myspace.com/sandyandina=

= = --Apple-Mail-9--405287863--

41) From: Rudy Ramsey
Claus,
No, boiler filling is entirely manual. No auto-fill.
The remainer of this message is off the topic of water choices, but may
interest some of you.
This creates an interesting limitation for the machine that's not =
obvious
from the reviews. One of the strengths of the machine is that it will
maintain the correct brew temperature for many shots in a row. However, =
if
you wanted to produce many milk drinks in a row, you would run into a
separate issue. Frothing for about 5 cappucinos in a row will run the =
boiler
from the maximum water line down to the minimum. At that point, it's
necessary to shut the machine down and refill the boiler. You might be =
able
to do this fairly quickly by releasing boiler pressure through the steam
wand, but I'm nervous enough that I've always allowed the machine to =
cool
pretty fully before opening the boiler filler cap.
This probably won't be an issue for me, and probably wouldn't be an =
issue
for most of you, but if you were serving a crowd, all of whom wanted
cappucinos, it would be an issue.
Rudy

42) From: Rudy Ramsey
Sandy,
 
 >> The Gaggia Achille is fairly unique among HX machines in having separate
fill sources for boiler and brew water. This is a true case of "YMMV."  
 
On the other hand, doesn't this just mean I'm in the same situation as folks
with double-boiler machines, as far as water choices are concerned? What do
they use for the boiler? For brewing?
 
 >> My guess is that the Achille, being a Gaggia, has an aluminum boiler,
right? 
 
No, the boiler and boiler covers are stainless steel. Here's the relevant
page of the home-barista.com review, if anyone wants to take a look:
 http://www.home-barista.com/gaggia-achille-buyers-guide-workmanship.html 
I *am* supposed to de-scale the machine, BTW, though I don't think I'm
supposed to back-flush it (I don't think that's even possible), but I
haven't yet had one long enough to arrive at the monthly/bimonthly cleaning
cycle.
I sent an email to Crystal Geyser customer service from their website,
requesting information about distributors in my area. Thanks.
 
Rudy

43) From: Rich
I should probably have trimmed this but....
The bottled water recommendations, Volvic water or Crystal Geyser water, are brand names if I am 
not mistaken.  from some of the material I have read over the years I think the bottled water business 
is somewhat like the label on Coors Beer that states that is is Brewed with Pure Rocky Mountain 
Spring Water".  What it does not say is that the rocky mountain spring water is directly from the 
Golden Colorado reservoir, city water.
I hope you have acquired sufficient knowledge about water and water activity to be able to extract a 
logical explanation from the tech department tomorrow.  I know from experience that it can be quite a 
challenge.
Rich
On Sun, 1 Apr 2007 16:45:17 -0600, Rudy Ramsey wrote:
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<Snip>http://sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings

44) From: Rich
A small word of warning here.  If you remove or open=
 the boiler so as to drop the pressure all of the =
liquid will flash to steam and exit as a steam / liq=
uid mixture.  This will result in a dry boiler and 
most likely severe burns to all parties close at hand.. =
 If a refill is needed on a routine basis to allow =
mass cappucino production a hand operated positive displacem=
ent pump could be rigged up to allow 
filling at pressure.
On Sun, 1 Apr 2007 17:35:22 -0600, Rudy Ramsey wrote:
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r choices, but may
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at's not obvious
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is that it will
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a row. However, if
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w will run the boiler
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hat point, it's
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r. You might be able
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he machine to cool
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ll of whom wanted
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 Thøgersen
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design like this Gaggia
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As you write it gives
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as I understand it that
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stilt water because it
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tanks I suppose your
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cations, unsvbscribes) go to http://sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings

45) From: Barry Luterman
For my double boiler water I use Hawaiian tap water and a water softener 
filter in the reservoir. This is the same water we bottle and sell 
worldwide. I will have my machine 1 year July 1 and intend to descale it 
then. If it doesn't have much will continue as I am doing.

46) From: MichaelB
Rudy,
You're right! It's not obvious that milk drinks are limited even if straigh=
t
espresso isn't. An interesting "gotcha"
Re quick cooling, I can do it on my closed boiler Olympia Cremina
without problems by bleeding the steam wand. Start slowly to let off the
steam gradually and keep opening it wider as the pressure decreases. Takes
just a couple of minutes. Then open the boiler cap and fill - preferably
with a long handled pitcher. I used to do this a lot but as a born again
home barista I don't do it much now because it would just produce overheate=
d
shots - the grouphead on the Cremina needs time to cool after a few shots
anyway. But machine wise there are no problems caused by the quick cooling
and refilling. Hopefully the Achille is sturdy enough to stand up to this
method, especially since you've got the temperature regulation to pull more
than a handful of shots.
On 4/1/07, Rudy Ramsey  wrote:
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MichaelB

47) From: L. Michael Fraley, MD
Thanks Sandy!
Michael
On Mar 30, 2007, at 11:52 PM, Sandy Andina wrote:
An HX machine has a reservoir that sends water to the boiler AND to the =
tube that runs through the boiler. Because the tube (called the heat 
exchanger, or HX) runs through the boiler, it holds water at brew 
temperature once the machine has warmed up and as long as the boiler is =
full. The water in the tube and in the boiler both come from the 
reservoir.  Distilled water must not be used because some mineral 
(electrolyte) content is necessary to trigger the sensors at the base 
of the reservoir that then cause the boiler to fill. If the water 
doesn't have minerals, the boiler will not refill if it runs dry and 
the machine can overheat.
Jerry, the head tech at Caffe West/Baratza, which is the official 
distributor/servicer of Pasquini machines, recommends Crystal Geyser 
bottled spring water for the Livia, as having the optimal mineral 
content.  Jim Schulman's "insanely long water FAQ" leads me to the =
same 
conclusion.  At $1.70 a gallon for the water, plus the coffee, it's 
still cheaper to make espressos at home than to go out for them.  
Filtered tap water might or might not have enough minerals, depending 
on the type of filter and the mineral content of the tap water.
On Mar 30, 2007, at 9:39 PM, L. Michael Fraley, MD wrote:
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of
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Sandy Andina
www.sandyandina.com
www.myspace.com/sandyandina
L. Michael Fraley, MD=

48) From: Derek Bradford
On 4/2/07, Rich  wrote:
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drop the pressure all of the
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ll result in a dry boiler and
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eeded on a routine basis to allow
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d be rigged up to allow
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Why not do what all people with this sort of machine do and open the
steam wand?  It bleeds off the pressure and you can then open the
boiler and refill.  Your method won't result in a dry boiler, but it
will (as you say) result in nasty burns.  But then again, there is
something to be said for Darwin...
--Derek
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if
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49) From: raymanowen
I absolutely refuse to remain mute here.
[moot
· adj. subject to debate, dispute, or uncertainty: a moot point.
· v. raise or suggest (a question or idea)...]
If I had never had the experience that brewed coffee was far too hot and
very weak, I would not question that brewing any kind of coffee drink shoul=
d
be brewed with whatever water could be bottled from Clear Creek in Golden,
CO, just after it passed the Colorado School of Mines Research Institute's
tailings pond before it flowed through Coors Brewery.
Unfortunately, I always loved the non-crap, non-flat taste of whole coffee
beans, and still do. I couldn't detect the lack of decaying isotopes and
heavy metal ions.
If you don't brew with distilled water, you don't have a clue as to the
source of "Flavor" in your cup. It's certainly not all coffee. Just what is
the white residue left when you boil down a container of tap, filtered or
spring water, how does it taste and exactly how does it adulterate delicate
coffee flavors?
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
An idea oft repeated and popular is not thus proven- the earth was known to
be flat.
"...the great enemy of truth is very often not the lie--deliberate,
contrived and dishonest--but the myth--persistent, persuasive--of our
forebears. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of
thought."* - -**John F. *Kennedy*, Yale, 6-11-1962*

50) From: Floyd Lozano
If God meant for us to drink distilled water with our coffee then...I don't
know, He would distribute it, I guess.  Or like, the moon would be a
gigantic still.  Or we'd all live on the edge of His Giant Glass Condensing
Dome.  Something like that.  Besides all those molecules in coffee are
REALLY small, and likely not meant to be tasted anyway.
I still like my Poland Springs.  Every cup reminds me what it feels like to
be from Maine.
-F
On 4/1/07, raymanowen  wrote:
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51) From: Justin Marquez
On 4/1/07, Floyd Lozano  wrote:
<Snip>
Distilled water is liquid water condensed from water vapor. Sounds a
bit like RAIN to me.
Wow - I sense a real firestorm approaching from this thread. There is
such a diversity of opinion about the DW, RO, and DI.
Makes me glad I use a drip coffee maker.
Safe Journeys and Sweet Music
Justin Marquez (CYPRESS, TX)

52) From: Floyd Lozano
Well, the thing about rain is yeah, it's condensed vapor but then it falls
through the atmosphere that man hath wrought which means sulfur,
incompletely combusted gas and other fuels, burning tires, CFCs (if they are
still around!) and whatever all else.  I tell you there's no way in hizell i
would drink the water that falls out of the sky in Cambridge, MA, if I knew
I was about to.  Sad =/
-F
ps I too enjoy the simplicity and relative lack of religious fervor
regarding drip brewing!
On 4/1/07, Justin Marquez  wrote:
<Snip>

53) From: =?iso-8859-1?Q?Claus_Th=F8gersen?=
Hi,
Well it is late, and I have never seen such a HX design like this Gaggia 
has, but as I understand things, it makes no difference that you have 
seperat tanks for water to the boiler and to the hx. As you write it gives 
you a few more choices, but a main concern here is as I understand it that 
the water you use to fill the boiler must not be distilt water because it 
will not trigger the autofill mechanism. Even with two tanks I suppose your 
machine still on its own fill the boiler?
Claus

54) From: Justin Marquez
On 4/1/07, Floyd Lozano  wrote:
<Snip>
See what i mean...? He DID give us distilled water, but *we* messed it up!
heheheh
Safe Journeys and Sweet Music
Justin Marquez (CYPRESS, TX)

55) From: Brett Mason
I use water in all my coffee beverages...
Just came to help!
Brett
On 4/2/07, Justin Marquez  wrote:
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-- 
Cheers,
Bretthttp://homeroast.freeservers.com

56) From: Eddie Dove
Ah!  No Spit!  I knew I was missing something!
I was just eating the beans right out of the roaster ...
Eddie
On 4/2/07, Brett Mason  wrote:
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57) From: Coffeenut
You could always go with the cave-man style brew...chew up some beans and
swizzle 200F water in your mouth.  It also burns the hair off your tongue!
Rick

58) From: Larry Johnson
You guys are a couple of beans shy of a full roast, ya know?
On 4/2/07, Eddie Dove  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Larry J
If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please
bring me some coffee.
  - Abraham Lincoln

59) From: Brett Mason
innamon ROast, we are!
Brett
  Zassin for Eddie too....
On 4/2/07, Larry Johnson  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Cheers,
Bretthttp://homeroast.freeservers.com

60) From: gene nandrea
OTOH, The owner's manual says never to backflush the Silvia, but Jerry says
it's okay as long as it's done with plain water and not espresso machine
cleaner like Cafiza or Joe Glo).
Does anyone know why the Silvia should not be backflushed with Cafiza? The
previous owner of my machine recommended it. I have done it occasionally for
almost a year and also backflush with water after each shot as part of the
clean-up process. I seem to remember conflicting advice when I purchased the
Silvia but could not think of any reason not to do it.
Gene
On 4/1/07, Sandy Andina  wrote:
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HomeRoast Digest