HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Crystal Geyser (30 msgs / 1075 lines)
1) From: Bob Chandler
I have been using Crystal Geyser bottled water for both french press and 
  in my La Spaziale S1 espresso machine (5 gal water bottle and a 
flojet).  It measures consistently at 60 ppm on my meter. I was recently 
talking to a tech at Chris' Coffee on another issue and mentioned the 
reading and he said it was a bit too high in mineral content and I 
should mix in a little distilled water to ensure a long life for my 
machine.
bob

2) From: raymanowen
Oh, Blue Blazes- math time.
The CC tech was bordering on the Vacuum Brained Jughead qualification.
Sometimes I think people put way too much faith in their Drivel. Could they
even distinguish between  physiological features and certain geographic
locations?
I'm sure the CC tech was non-specific about exactly what the desired mineral
content is, or how to achieve it and why. (What fails if it's too low and
what if it's too high?)
If you add 5gal dist H2O to the 5gal of Crystal Geyser bottled water and mix
it thoroughly, you'll have 10gal of 30ppm water.
Add 45gal to the 5gal and get 50gal of 6ppm water.
Or add 295gal to the original 5gal and get 300gal of 1ppm water. I don't
know if the math is right. I still have my shoes on and I disremember the
formula anyway. What does he want?
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
Even more important- Got Grinder?

3) From: Aaron
Mineral content generally implies crap suspended in your water.  while 
it may add to helping the flavors of the water, eventually all this 
stuff gets boiled out and left in your boiler on your machine and can 
build up and cause problems.
Ideally distilled water would be the best for your machine, because it 
*should* have no suspension in it, but.. from what I have heard it taste 
pretty bad in espresso machines.  By mixing distilled with your regular 
water, you are hoping to maintain some of the flavor still of the 
bottled water, yet cutting down on the particulate matter  in it to 
prolong the machine.
Think of it like a low cholesterol diet, by reducing the stuff that will 
build up and clog, you are extending the time before you need your heart 
rotor rooted... sort of same principle.
Aluminum, which many of the boilers are made of, is very reactive 
anyways, and residual water in it can cause that white powder to form, 
aluminum oxides of sort I believe, so even with distilled water you 
still need a good flush and frequent cleaning.
Aaron

4) From: miKe mcKoffee
<Snip>
I can't help myself so will jump back in and say not necessarily the case! A
remote mountain stream fed from pure melted snow and nary touched by taint
of man will have mineral content, provided by Mother Nature. How much and
precisely what minerals will vary of course. 
As far as mineral content causing problems in an espresso machine boiler or
lines taint necessarily so either. If mineral content excessive and/or if
the user doesn't do any periodic preventative mild descaling then yes over
time it can become a problem. However, even with moderately hard ~6 to 7
grain water very very little scale will build up in a years time of constant
home use. This based on using said water for 3 1/2 years with Miss Silvia
and 15 months with the Bricoletta. Annual mild descaling all that's needed
at most.
<Snip>
As far as aluminum boilers go, the only decent prosumer machine I know of is
Gaggia that uses them. The vast majority of prosumer espresso machines do
not have aluminum boilers.
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/

5) From: Aaron
Constant home use is one thing, you are always flushing out the water or 
circulating it through and build up will be less of a problem.   For the 
person who doesn't do constant use of their espresso machines, then the 
build up can become an issue much faster, because the water is left to 
basically 'sit' there and develop it's problems.  Mineral content ie 
crap suspended in the water can come from many sources.  manmade - 
injected into the water at the bottling plant, or the pristine stream 
with carribean cariboo on top of the mountain piss running down it.... 
those who have well water I am sure can tell you all kinds of stories 
about mineral content.
Yes yes yes, one empties out their machine, don't let it set with a full 
tub of water etc, but you can't really empty it completely without 
pretty much turning it upside down and shaking the #$%%$ out of it I 
bet.   It's that little bit of water left over thats the main culprit, 
not the boiler full waiting for the next pull 20 minutes down the road.
For those who have an old steam toy laying around,  wash and clean it 
out thoroughly, then run a shot through it,  don't need to waste coffee, 
but just run the water through it and turn it off and let it sit for two 
weeks after it has finished 'huffing' itself out from the shot......  
open up the boiler and look inside now and you will see what can happen 
with standing water on metal, even just that little bit that was left.
hard / nasty water can be an issue, but proper care of your machine and 
a good cleaning is the key to keeping it alive years down the road.
aaron

6) From: Sandy Andina
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True for aluminum boilers, but we don't really get that with marine- 
grade brass.  A weekly Cafiza backflush does help quite a bit, and my  
machine gets constant use--when I don't want to do a whole pot of  
Technivorm, the Livia does double duty for Americanos, shots-in-the- 
dark (to liven up leftover drip still in the carafe), and hot water  
for the Aeropress, French Press, tea,  instant miso soup and the  
like--plus the usual espressos and cappas.
On Apr 2, 2007, at 3:31 AM, Aaron wrote:
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Sandy Andina
www.sandyandina.com
www.myspace.com/sandyandina
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True for aluminum boilers, but =
we don't really get that with marine-grade brass.  A weekly Cafiza =
backflush does help quite a bit, and my machine gets constant use--when =
I don't want to do a whole pot of Technivorm, the Livia does double duty =
for Americanos, shots-in-the-dark (to liven up leftover drip still in =
the carafe), and hot water for the Aeropress, French Press, tea,  =
instant miso soup and the like--plus the usual espressos and =
cappas.
On Apr 2, 2007, at 3:31 AM, Aaron wrote:
Constant home use is one thing, you are always = flushing out the water or circulating it through and build up will be = less of a problem.   For = the person who doesn't do constant use of their espresso machines, then = the build up can become an issue much faster, because the water is left = to basically 'sit' there and develop it's problems.  Mineral content ie crap = suspended in the water can come from many sources.  manmade - injected into the = water at the bottling plant, or the pristine stream with carribean = cariboo on top of the mountain piss running down it.... those who have = well water I am sure can tell you all kinds of stories about mineral = content. Yes yes yes, one empties out their machine, don't = let it set with a full tub of water etc, but you can't really empty it = completely without pretty much turning it upside down and shaking the = #$%%$ out of it I bet.   = It's that little bit of water left over thats the main culprit, = not the boiler full waiting for the next pull 20 minutes down the = road. For those who have an old steam toy laying = around,  wash and clean = it out thoroughly, then run a shot through it,  don't need to waste coffee, = but just run the water through it and turn it off and let it sit for two = weeks after it has finished 'huffing' itself out from the = shot......  open up the = boiler and look inside now and you will see what can happen with = standing water on metal, even just that little bit that was = left. hard / nasty water can be an issue, but proper care = of your machine and a good cleaning is the key to keeping it alive years = down the road. aaronhomeroast 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-11--371358138--

7) From: Alchemist John
OK, I am going to jump in too.  First off, that 60 ppm is an estimate 
of the TDS (total dissolved solids), not suspended solids (TSS), and 
is actually just a measurement of the conductivity with a factor 
applied.  It may or may not be related to the hardness.  Personally I 
don't find 60 ppm all that high.  I would get a number from tech 
support before you fuss around too much.
At 00:21 4/2/2007, you wrote:
<Snip>
John Nanci
AlChemist at large
Zen Roasting , Blending & Espresso pulling by Gestalthttp://www.chocolatealchemy.com/

8) From: Rich
Maybe you should call him and ask, you might learn something.
--Original Message Text---
From: raymanowen
Date: Mon, 2 Apr 2007 00:33:20 -0600
Oh, Blue Blazes- math time.
The CC tech was bordering on the Vacuum Brained Jughead qualification. Sometimes I think people put 
way too much faith in their Drivel. Could they even distinguish between  physiological features and 
certain geographic locations? 
I'm sure the CC tech was non-specific about exactly what the desired mineral content is, or how to 
achieve it and why. (What fails if it's too low and what if it's too high?)
If you add 5gal dist H2O to the 5gal of Crystal Geyser bottled water and mix it thoroughly, you'll have 
10gal of 30ppm water. 
Add 45gal to the 5gal and get 50gal of 6ppm water.
Or add 295gal to the original 5gal and get 300gal of 1ppm water. I don't know if the math is right. I still 
have my shoes on and I disremember the formula anyway. What does he want? 
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
Even more important- Got Grinder? 

9) From: Mike Koenig
As an analytical chemist, TDS measured on a conductivity meter is one
of those measurements that makes me twitch.  It doesn't really give
you much information other than the quantity of ionized species in the
water.  If you were to mix some acid into your water, you would show
indreased TDS, even though you havent added and "dissolved solids".
Absolutely pure deionized water will measure some TDS due to the
conductivity caused by dissolved CO2.  So it's really a rotten tool
that can lead to incorrect conclusions about water quality.
What is more important for the life of your machine would be the
calcium and magnesium content,  since when heated they precipitate out
as hard to remove and rather insoluble "crust".  (This is why
"hardness" is a measure of the calcium and magnesium content.)
The "softeners" that the machine vendors recommed you install in-line
are ion exchangers that simply replace the calcium and magnesium with
sodium (or potassium in some cases).  You would still show a high
level of TDS after one of these units, but they are exactly what is
recommended to "extend machine life"
You might be able to get an idea of the mineral content from the water
company.  I often use bottled Poland Spring water for making beer,
specifically because they post the range of mineral content on their
website (it's fairly low in minerals).
--mike
On 4/2/07, Bob Chandler  wrote:
<Snip>

10) From: Rich
If you all would like to play along at home you can spring for a Hanna Instruments Hardness Test Kit, 
HI 4812 and determine the water hardness directly in mg/L CaCO3.  This is probably the best way to 
find out what is in the tap or bottle, or your cup.
I have an untreated well and a water softener, so I have the testing tools.  The subject of water 
chemistry just seems simple, it is not.
There have been several derisive comments that distilled water tastes bad.  Strange, as water has no 
taste.  If there is "taste" or "flavor" then it is contaminated.  Some contaminates do add to the flavor of 
the final product and some do not.
On Mon, 2 Apr 2007 10:25:12 -0400, Mike Koenig wrote:
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11) From: Leo Zick
This is not true. It may not be a taste, like, my water has a fuirt punch
flavor to it, but there is certainly a quality to it.
Its also probably why there are different brands of water, and why Mike,
below, chooses a certain water for beer making. Same for foods. Pizza tastes
better in certain areas b/c the water used to make the dough affects the
final product.
I guess its good you don't drink espresso. The 'flaws' of your well system
would be more enhanced.
Then again, I guess you don't make much pizza at home either :p

12) From: miKe mcKoffee
Aaron,
Actually whether pulling shots or not the boiler water on an HX machine is
not flushed out or circulated, HX shot line totally different water path.
Water only leaves the boiler during use via steaming or if using the hot
water tap. (unless a machine with HX'd hot water line.) On a double boiler
machine like the Brewtus yes the brew boiler would have it's water flushed,
but still not it's steam boiler. Only on single boiler non HX machines would
your statement apply.
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>

13) From: Rich
Pure water has no taste, look it up.  If it has taste then the taste is from the contaminates.
On Mon, 2 Apr 2007 11:16:04 -0400, Leo Zick wrote:
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14) From: Tom Ulmer
Are you stating that you could tell a shot pulled with a specific water
source - including distilled - in a blind taste test?

15) From: Rich
It sure sounds like it.  I bet he can feel the pea beneath the 6 mattresses also.....
On Mon, 2 Apr 2007 11:44:40 -0400, Tom Ulmer wrote:
<Snip>

16) From: Mike Koenig
Leo,
Purified water (distilled, deionized, etc) has no taste whatsoever
when it's still pure.  If you buy distilled water at the supermarket
in one of those semi-opaque white plastic containers, it will
definately have a taste...plastic! Whatever gets dissolved in the
water (be it minerals, plastic, etc.) give it the taste that it has.
I have heard annecdotal comments that espresso tastes best with some
mineral content in the water.  I've never tried to experiment with
purified water at all (I always have better uses for what I bring
home).   I have used both my filtered tap water (passes through the
household softener), and bottled Poland Spring, but not in a
controlled manner,  and I don't notice a huge difference in taste (but
then again, my shots are not that consistent either).
As counter-intuitive as it may seem, extremely pure water would
probably be worse for an espresso machine over time than hard water.
Since it contains no ions at all, it will begin dissolving the metal
from the inside of the boiler, plumbing etc.  RO water is OK, since
there are still some residual ions.
--mike
On 4/2/07, Leo Zick  wrote:
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17) From: Rich
I have used DI water right out of the mixed bed for making coffee and it does produce great tasting 
coffee.  I always figured after it had extracted the coffee that it now had enough ions to not dissolve 
my insides.  The inline conductivity ran 0.035 or so depending on temperature right out of the demin.  
The plant domestic water system suffered from excessive chlorination, you could smell it in the water 
with a bad cold.
On Mon, 2 Apr 2007 11:52:09 -0400, Mike Koenig wrote:
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18) From: John Moody
I put a calcite cartridge in the last stage housing of my RO system.  I
added another housing to the output for the carbon polishing filter that was
where the calcite cartridge is now.
Any comments?  It there a better way to do this?
The calcite filter is from Applied Membranes, Inc.  1 x 10" Standard Calcite
Neutralization Filter.
John

19) From: Rich
The best approach, unless you want to turn into a chemist and by a small lab, is to talk with the local 
water purification / softening dealers.  All of these items have to be matched to local conditions.  The 
calcite cartridge wil raise the Ph of the water.
On Mon, 2 Apr 2007 12:15:19 -0400, John Moody wrote:
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20) From: Mike Koenig
John,
Rich is right, without knowing your exact water situation, it's
difficult to comment, but having the calcite in there is probably a
good thing.  Since calcium carbonate (calcite) has very low
solubility, you shouldn't be putting too much calcium back into your
water (and into your machine).
You could test for hardness at the outlet of the calcite filter, and
see where you fall.
Inexpensive hardness kits can be had at aquarium stores.
--mike
On 4/2/07, John Moody  wrote:
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21) From: Sandy Andina
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Crystal Geyser is available in clear plastic (like soda-bottle  
plastic) gallon bottles with separate (not molded-in) carrying  
handles, that should not impart the "polyethylene" taste that cheaper  
translucent plastics are alleged to. But I don't notice such a taste  
in milk sold in those translucent or opaque plastic jugs.
On Apr 2, 2007, at 10:52 AM, Mike Koenig wrote:
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Sandy Andina
www.sandyandina.com
www.myspace.com/sandyandina
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Crystal Geyser is available in =
clear plastic (like soda-bottle plastic) gallon bottles with separate =
(not molded-in) carrying handles, that should not impart the =
"polyethylene" taste that cheaper translucent plastics are alleged to. =
But I don't notice such a taste in milk sold in those translucent or =
opaque plastic jugs.
On Apr 2, 2007, at 10:52 AM, Mike =
Koenig wrote:

If you = buy distilled water at the supermarket

in one of those semi-opaque white = plastic containers, it will

definately have a taste...plastic! Whatever gets dissolved in = the

water (be = it minerals, plastic, etc.) give it the taste that it has.

= Sandy = Andinawww.sandyandina.comwww.myspace.com/sandyandina=

= = --Apple-Mail-15--340641033--

22) From: Mike Koenig
I realized what I wrote here, and I'm thinking steel (I'm at work, so
thinking in work mode), and not copper and brass inside of espresso
machines.  I'd hate to have something misleading quoted later.  RO
water might not be so good for the inside of your espresso machine.
There are also varying degrees of quality to RO water..so take my
recommendation with a grain of salt, or calcite or whatever.
--mike
On 4/2/07, Mike Koenig  wrote:
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23) From: Floyd Lozano
2 parts to this
1) could you tell in blind cupping, the difference between distilled, RO,
tap, or spring water?
2) does this translate to difference in the cup?
I assert that you cannot reliably determine #2 because of the variablility
of the pulled shot.  I don't care how good you think you are.  You're not a
machine, you are not pulling the same ideal shot over and over.  If you are,
you better set up a shop and charge whatever you want, because you are the
only one in the world that can boast this!   This makes it difficult to
test.
It's moot anyway.  Suit to taste.  Find what you like, stick with that,
until you feel the need to expend more effort to see if there's something
better you like.  People can give you advice, and guidance, and even fact,
but they can't tell you what you will like best =)
-F
On 4/2/07, Rich  wrote:
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24) From: Mark J Bergh
This discussion is really diverse!  Many differing opinions; some based on
anecdotal, some on the academic.  I was waiting for the "Analytical Chemist"
of the bunch to chime in with the straight scoop.  Very enlightening,
indeed!  Truly, there is a big misunderstanding as to TDS meter readings
versus actual "dissolved solids" content.
I personally had a field day with every "Drinking" water available from the
local grocery stores in trying to discern taste differentials in drip coffee
(My favorite is Crystal Geyser).  My conclusion was that most of the
verifiable spring waters (not the RO processed with a drop or two of
minerals, such as the outside vending machines provide) made a better
tasting coffee than my home RO system (at less than 9 PPM TDS on the Myron L
Meter) or the 1 MegOhm DI water I produce for my plating processes.
Whatever the dissolved solids and their ratios, some do effect the taste of
various origins of coffee more than others.....to each individual's tastes,
I guess.
In the final analysis, I chose to follow Chris's (Chris's Coffee)
recommendation in adding a 10" Calcite filter in it's own cartridge holder
after my RO water system.  This line is tee'd off the output from the RO
system and feeds the direct plumbed Andreja Premium.  So, my drinking water
and refer/icemaker is still direct RO water while the Andreja is receiving
some "Treated" RO water.  Chris stated that after many years of repair and
experience with boiler types of all kinds, this arrangement would all but
negate any worries with buildup in the boiler.  I still (Like Mike) do a
minor, if not weak, descaling once a year or whenever I feel like it.
Sometimes, it is just a rewarding feeling to do some maintenance on the
equipment to make it run better....you know, like when you wash and wax your
car it just seems to run a bit better?
However, when the dust settles, (as Dennis would agree) Any Old Port in a
Storm!  JUST MAKE COFFEE!!
MJB

25) From:
Hi Mark:
I have been playing/testing the Zero Water filter system
0 TDS
I have tested water for ages, especially with the green house.
I find that my cafe cremas and espressos have more crema with the Zero water as opposed to the Brita, local "spring", bottled etc.
No flat taste as some my talk about. It again is personal taste. I like the no taste/after taste of the Zero Warer system. From a medical standpoint I need to drink as much water as I can (kidney stones ages ago) that is the "cleanest."
So far Zero water has tested and tasted GREAT>
ginny
---- Mark J Bergh  wrote: 
<Snip>

26) From: Leo Zick
For the record, I clarified and said it was a quality, not a taste.  And,
like ive been saying for what seems to be a week now, I agree with you on
the below. And yes, there is also a 'taste' factor associated with water
types..

27) From: Leo Zick
No. did i?

28) From: Leo Zick
Again there are qualities within water that give it its taste. Ok, so it's
the minerals within the water that are giving the water its 'substinance'
that's wonderful. In the end, its in the water, and it came out of the
ground that way. (more or less)
Are you simply avoiding the point that these water qualities affect the cup
of coffee and the operation of the machine(the whole point of this and the
other thread, and this list) so that you can show off your vast knowledge of
the empircal studies related to water in large scale systems?

29) From: stereoplegic
that's what i've been using since i started brewing w/ bottled water, 
even before i read Jim's faq (glad i made a good choice), because i like 
the taste better than the other choices available here. you can't really 
tell how good/bad water tastes until you've had it at room temp. that, 
and many of the available waters around here are sourced at city of 
houston municipal (ewwwwwwww).
sandraandina wrote:
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30) From: Tom Ulmer
It seemed to be implied. So I asked.


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