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Topic: distilled water (22 msgs / 706 lines)
1) From: j3r
At this point I use distilled water for all my brewing, but looking 
through the SCAA cupping protocol I see "Water used for cupping should 
be clean and odor free, but not distilled or softened." Can anyone 
comment on why this would be so?
Thanks,
Jeremy
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2) From: ricky carter
My experience indicates that distilled water or water that is softened
produces a cup that lacks  sugars, has little character, and is generally
"thin" tasting.
I'm not sure of the exact chemical reason, but there is a water faq that
has more info
Jim Schulman's Insanely Long Water FAQ
@ http://www.big-rick.com/coffee/waterfaq.htmlOn Wed, May 16, 2012 at 12:27 PM, j3r  wrote:
<Snip>
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3) From: Scott Miller
A little bit of mineral content IS necessary based on what information I
have read and what folks who are far more knowledgeable than I have told me.
I have not tested this with espresso drinks, but have done a side by side
comparison with pourover drinks.
The difference was noticeable by me and others. Distilled water was not the
preferred water by any of us who tried it.
cheers,
Scott
On Wed, May 16, 2012 at 12:50 PM, ricky carter  wrote:
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4) From: Phil Palmintere
I prefer RO water (not as pure as either DI or distilled water).  It still
has some hardness in it.  I've thought about adding a remineralization
cartridge, but have not as yet done this.
With more modern homes, even if you have a traditional ion-exchange water
softener, your kitchen sink is probably plumbed such that hard water (not
soft) comes out of the cold spigot.

5) From: Greg Gearheart
Distilled water is quite a good solvent and "hungry" for anything it can
dissolve and has the tendency to dissolve a lot more stuff than plain old
"tap water."  This combined with the points made by others that humans
prefer a little taste to their water would suggest to me that distilled
water is not ideal for extracting good coffee flavor.
On Wed, May 16, 2012 at 10:10 AM, Scott Miller  wrote:
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6) From: j3r
On 12-05-16 01:46 PM, Greg Gearheart wrote:
<Snip>
It is kind of counter-intuitive since the readiness of distilled water 
to dissolve substances would seem to make it ideal for brewing.
I will definitely rethink my coffee water situation. I dislike the taste 
of chlorine, which I know will evaporate out in time (or can be boiled 
out), but perhaps a charcoal filter would be the way to go.
The gunk left in my distiller after doing a few litres of water helps me 
to visualize that what comes out of my tap is pretty awful. For each few 
litres of tap water I am drinking 2 tablespoons or so of brown 
disgusting smelling "stuff". I love the taste of distilled water, as 
does my family. We have run the gamut of water filtration systems, 
bottled waters, etc.
Jeremy
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7) From: Andy Thomas
A rule of thumb is, water that tastes good on its own makes good coffee. Distilled water is flat tasting. Water with a little dissolved minerals tastes better, and probably makes better coffee (but I haven't tried distilled for coffee). If your tap water is very hard -- lots of dissolved minerals -- that can be bad for your brewing equipment, causing mineral deposits that are difficult to get rid of. If that's the case, you can mix your tap water with distilled to get the desired result. Jim Schulman's Insanely Long Water FAQ (see link in Ricky Carter's reply) is a great resource.
 From: j3r 
To: "A list to discuss home coffee roasting. There are rules for this list, available athttp://www.sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html" 
Sent: Wednesday, May 16, 2012 9:27 AM
Subject: [Homeroast] distilled water
 
At this point I use distilled water for all my brewing, but looking through the SCAA cupping protocol I see "Water used for cupping should be clean and odor free, but not distilled or softened." Can anyone comment on why this would be so?
Thanks,
Jeremy
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8) From: Greg Gearheart
Yes, it is counter-intuitive.  I think the subtle distinction I would make
is that distilled water is ideal for extracting.  What results is not
necessarily tasty.  In my realm (environmental engineering and regulatory
stuff), distilled water has the ability to dissolve a lot more of a metal
than regular, hard water does.  Taking this analogy to your brewing process
(whatever it may be), the distilled water will end up with a bunch of stuff
you probably don't want to drink (or like to taste).
On Wed, May 16, 2012 at 11:00 AM, j3r  wrote:
<Snip>
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9) From: Andy Thomas
If you like coffee made with distilled water compared to your alternatives,=
 then you should use distilled water, IMO.
 From: j3r 
To: "A list to discuss home coffee roasting. There are rules for this list,=
 available athttp://www.sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html" =
Sent: Wednesday, May 16, 2012 11:00 AM
Subject: Re: [Homeroast] distilled water
 =
On 12-05-16 01:46 PM, Greg Gearheart wrote:
<Snip>
It is kind of counter-intuitive since the readiness of distilled water to d=
issolve substances would seem to make it ideal for brewing.
I will definitely rethink my coffee water situation. I dislike the taste of=
 chlorine, which I know will evaporate out in time (or can be boiled out), =
but perhaps a charcoal filter would be the way to go.
The gunk left in my distiller after doing a few litres of water helps me to=
 visualize that what comes out of my tap is pretty awful. For each few litr=
es of tap water I am drinking 2 tablespoons or so of brown disgusting smell=
ing "stuff". I love the taste of distilled water, as does my family. We hav=
e run the gamut of water filtration systems, bottled waters, etc.
Jeremy
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10) From: Tony Rowe
On Wed, May 16, 2012 at 02:00:53PM -0400, j3r wrote:
<Snip>
I also think that water with taste is nice sometimes.  As an aside, 
according to Wilfred Thesiger in his great account of travelling across 
the Empty Quarter of the Arabian Peninsula in the 1940's, "Arabian 
Sands", the Bedu used coffee a few times a day to make the evil-tasting, 
brackish water there more palatable.  Depends which end of this you are 
coming from I guess (though I am not suggesting that you should drink 
coffee for water!). :)
<Snip>
I agree.  Chlorine is hostile to coffee.
Tony
PS. Hi list people.  I am new here.  I have been stove-top roasting for 
about thirty years and buying from sweet marias for about five years.  I 
use a hand-mill (I have a Zass and another, my favorite: a nameless 
older mill, the box for which is from Austria but the grinding mechanism 
is from an unknown place, which I purchased twenty years ago at a local 
flea market) for grinding.  I use paper filters for brewing.
I live an urban life but am a mountain man at heart.
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11) From: sci
Do some cupping tests with distilled, tap, spring and filtered water. I
think you'll find the spring and filtered give the best results for coffee
and tea. The reason is because they have good mineral content that makes
water taste good. Tap of course usually has chlorine. Distilled, lacking
vital minerals, is flat and dull tasting.
Ivan
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Date: Wed, 16 May 2012 12:27:36 -0400
From: j3r 
To: "A list to discuss home coffee roasting. There are rules for this
       list,   available athttp://www.sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html"       
Subject: [Homeroast] distilled water
Message-ID: <4FB3D578.5010201>
Content-Type: text/plain; CHARSET-ASCII; format=flowed
At this point I use distilled water for all my brewing, but looking
through the SCAA cupping protocol I see "Water used for cupping should
be clean and odor free, but not distilled or softened." Can anyone
comment on why this would be so?
Thanks,
Jeremy
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12) From: j3r
On 12-05-16 04:13 PM, sci wrote:
<Snip>
I suppose it all comes down to taste. I don't want water to taste like 
anything but water personally (ie have no taste). The trace minerals 
found can change the taste, but they are not adding anything to my 
health, nor my taste. If I want my water to taste different I will drink 
a beer or a fruit juice :)
I will do a blind cupping, it is certainly important to get the best 
liquid medium for your personal taste. I do find it strange that SCAA 
cupping relies on water that is not truly neutral tasting - this seems 
that it could introduce a variation in taste from geographic region to 
region. The tap water here tastes very different from water a hundred 
kilometers away, even after charcoal filtering.
Even if it does seem to produce less "tasty" coffee for some (I suppose 
due to the fact that many find distilled water to be "flat tasting"), it 
should still give a truer idea of the taste of the coffee instead of the 
water. In my understanding we are not trying to evaluate the water being 
used, it is simply a delivery vector for the oils and particulates in 
the coffee.
I use glass for my brewing so I don't see a problem with it picking up 
metallic tastes and so forth.
Thanks for the ideas and thoughts all!
Jeremy
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13) From: Byron - Sweet Maria's Coffee
On a semi-related note, this is a good opportunity to bring up the fact
that using distilled water in some espresso machines will lead to bad
results as well. Certain machines send an electrical current through the
water in the tank to be sure that the boiler is always submerged in water.
Distilled water is too pure for the machine to sense the current and will
confuse the sensor into thinking there's no water touching the boiler.
On Wed, May 16, 2012 at 1:13 PM, sci  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
*Byron Dote*
Sweet Maria's Coffee Inc.
1115 21st  Street
Oakland, CA 94607
510 628 0992 phone
510 628 0919 fax
www.sweetmarias.com
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14) From: Josh Housh
Distilled water should not be used when brewing coffee, the lack of
minerals will mean there is nothing for the flavorful elements to bond to
during brewing leaving lots of good stuff behind in the basket.  In fact,
our fancy Giotto espresso machines have a sensor that detects when the
removable tank gets low and this sensor won't even function properly if
distilled water is used since the electrons from the minerals carry the
current through the water.  It is a well established fact that distilled
water does not yield good results.  That said water varies greatly and so
will brewed results.  Some people are even selling little packets to treat
water to ensure it has the "optimum" mineral content.  If you want to use
purified water from the store use Spring water for best results.
On Wed, May 16, 2012 at 1:31 PM, j3r  wrote:
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15) From: Mike Chester
Before entering my La Marzocco GS-3, my water goes through several steps. I 
have a well so chlorine is not an issue, but iron and other minerals are in 
the raw well water. When it leaves the pressure tank, it first goes through 
an iron filter. This removes the iron and iron containing compounds, such as 
iron sulfide. It then goes through a water softener. This feeds the sinks, 
showers, toilets, etc. Some of it then goes through a 5 stage reverse 
osmosis filter and this is plumbed to the LM, my ice maker and drinking 
water chiller. This water has a clean crisp flavor that does not taste 
bland. My espresso and other coffee drinks (I make them all using the LM) 
are better than any coffee house I have been to, though I have not been to 
Compass Coffee yet.
When I have city water while out, it tastes like pool water to me due to the 
chlorine.
Mike

16) From: Phil Palmintere
As previously noted, deionized water and to a lesser extent RO water
(reverse osmosis) are very aggressive -- they can eat through soft metals
such as copper and soft stones as well.
I don't know about the La Marzocco, but if it has copper tubing inside this
can be a problem in the long run.  If it uses stainless steel, it would be
fine.  Ditto for your ice maker.

17) From: j3r
On 12-05-16 05:26 PM, Phil Palmintere wrote:
<Snip>
Pure Dihydrogen Monoxide is in fact a quite dangerous substance and will 
eat through almost anything given enough time. I suggest everyone 
educate themselves and learn how to protect yourself www.dhmo.org/facts.html
I am wondering if you can point me to any info on the solvent properties 
of tap water vs. distilled water? I can't find anything yet.
Jeremy
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18) From: Doug Hoople
+1.  Distilled water is flat and dull tasting.
Filtered tap water works for me.  The chlorine in tap water definitely
detracts from the coffee, and the filter takes care of that nicely.
I would have thought that filtering would also take out some of the
minerals as well, so I'm not sure that it's the minerals that make the
difference.  But I'm no expert, so I'll leave it for others to chime in.
Doug
On Thu, May 17, 2012 at 8:13 AM, sci  wrote:
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19) From: Mike Chester
The LM has stainless steel boilers and fittings. The ice maker is plastic 
and stainless.

20) From: Sandy Andina
My preference is Crystal Geyser spring water for brewed and espresso. (for drinking water, seltzer-making and for my cats, I use fridge- dispenser water). Distilled works well for reconstituting dried up fountain pen ink, refilling those syringe-filled guitar-case sound hole humidifiers, room humidifiers, humidors and steam irons.
Sent from my iPhone
On May 16, 2012, at 4:31 PM, j3r  wrote:
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21) From: miKe mcKoffee
Coffee brewed any method is large percentage water, hence quality of water
very important. SCAA water standard (not distilled:)http://scaa.org/PDF/ST%20-%20WATER%20STANDARD%20V.21NOV2009A.pdfMike McGinness, Head Bean
Compass Coffeehttp://www.compasscoffeeroasting.com360-989-6658
Ultimately the quest for Coffee 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.
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22) From: Mike Koenig
I also find pure RO water to produce somewhat dull espresso..  Not sure of the chemistry behind this phenomenon, but it seems to be true.   
I use an RO system, since we have rather hard city water, and water from the softener doesn't make the best espresso either.  After the RO, I use a 4x10" housing filled with calcite and a little magnesium oxide.  This puts some minerals back in the water, brings the pH back up near 7 (it's around 5 straight out of the RO), and lets the level sensor in my espresso machine function.  
Makes good drinking water too... made the same way that overpriced Dasani stuff is made.  
--mike
On May 16, 2012, at 6:21 PM, Doug Hoople wrote:
<Snip>
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