HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Water (56 msgs / 2292 lines)
1) From: W. Scholtes
I personally use distilled in my espresso machine.  If you are really 
concerned about water quality, go with distilled.   The next best bet is 
real Reverse Osmosis.  Real RO* will take damned near everything out of the 
water.  Your basic wallyworld cartridge systerms are better than nothing, 
but if you're serious about your water, you'll go with a real RO 
system.  For best RO membrane life it should have a micro-filter in front 
of it.
You need to check this out.  I'm not an expert on home systems.  I deal 
with municipal systems that start at 200gpm.
*You have to read the fine print.  It should remove most chemicals and 
anything below .1 microns.

2) From: Jim Schulman
On 5 Jun 2003 at 18:39, W. Scholtes wrote:
<Snip>
I hope you enjoy changing the brass pipes on your 
machine every four years or so, since RO or 
distilled water is corrosive. Also, don't use it 
on an HX machine with autofill, since it won't 
work. Finally, avoid acidic coffees, since RO 
water overextracts.
Brewed coffee is best, according to SCAA 
guidelines, at 150ppm mineral content (about 5 
grains hardness). Espresso machines need slightly 
less minerals to prevent scaling, about 3 grains 
hardness. The water treatments at good cafes use 
remineralization cartridges downstream of the RO 
unit to get the mineral content inot these ranges.
Jim

3) From: HeatGunRoast
Given the data that's provided on the Everpure website, I'm having a hard time determining the adequacy of my water-filtering system for my Isomac Tea.  It does a fine job turning L.A.'s hard and chemically-tasting water into very palatable drinking water.  Beyond that, I haven't a clue as to what it's going to do to my machine's guts.  Or mine. I'd appreciate your taking a look.  Beyond that, what testing and/or what follow-up questions to ask? As always, thanks.
 http://www.everpure.com/pdf/H104.pdfJim Schulman  wrote: 
On 5 Jun 2003 at 18:39, W. Scholtes wrote:
<Snip>
I hope you enjoy changing the brass pipes on your 
machine every four years or so, since RO or 
distilled water is corrosive. Also, don't use it 
on an HX machine with autofill, since it won't 
work. Finally, avoid acidic coffees, since RO 
water overextracts.
Brewed coffee is best, according to SCAA 
guidelines, at 150ppm mineral content (about 5 
grains hardness). Espresso machines need slightly 
less minerals to prevent scaling, about 3 grains 
hardness. The water treatments at good cafes use 
remineralization cartridges downstream of the RO 
unit to get the mineral content inot these ranges.
Jim
Martin
---------------------------------
Do you Yahoo!?
Free online calendar with sync to Outlook(TM).

4) From: Alan Marchiori
<Snip>
are these remineralization cartridges practical for home use?  We =
already
have the RO unit, but I don't use it for coffee for the previously =
mentioned
problems.  I just use plain tap water now (it's not too bad).  I can =
hardly
taste the difference between that and bottled water, but there is a =
slight
change.
I googled remineralization cartridge and didn't find anything obvious.
Thanks

5) From: Jim Schulman
LA water is hard, and will need softening prior to 
use. You can get a hose end softener that attaches 
to the intake hose of the tea. The one 1st line 
sells under Silvia accessories is good, as is the 
one sold by Chris Coffee. They need to be 
recharged with uniodized (pure) salt water every 
two weeks or so.
You can read about water to gruesome excess by 
gooing tohttp://groups.google.comand searching 
for my "insanely long water faq"
Jim
On 5 Jun 2003 at 17:53, HeatGunRoast wrote:
<Snip>

6) From: Jim Schulman
On 5 Jun 2003 at 20:36, Alan Marchiori wrote:
<Snip>
It's hard to find anything on the web about these, 
except the diy soda ash ones made by tropical fish 
owners. The water treatment companies have their 
own formulations which fit the cartridge systems 
they use. Cirque makes one specifically for coffee 
and espresso use, you might see if they can help 
you.

7) From: The Scarlet Wombat
My experience is that water for coffee, as in for home beer brewing, needs 
some mineral content.  Distilled water or water that is too pure via any 
method does not extract properly and leaves the coffee tasting flat.
Dan

8) From: Phyllis Speed
That is the truth !!
phil in arlington tx

9) From: john roberts
To offer a different experience set. I've been home brewing beer for over 15
years and had problems with my local tap water (stalled primary
fermentations). After a few years of buying bottled water for brewing I
installed an under sink RO unit and haven't looked back. The taste
improvement in my coffee, tea, and beer was immediate and apparent, and the
yeast was much happier.
I don't dispute that some trace minerals might be a further improvement but
in my case the tap water had more than that in it and was a problem.
I haven't budgeted the time yet to peruse the water link posted yesterday
and look forward to learning how pure RO water is somehow more corrosive
that that poop that comes out of my tap.
JR

10) From: W. Scholtes
At 10:03 AM 6/6/2003 -0500, John wrote:
<Snip>
Hmm, I hadn't thought of it from the homebrew standpoint.  I think I'll 
have to start approaching coffee like I do brewing.  Except that I was able 
to buy a decent coffee grinder and had to _make_ an adjustable power roller 
mill for brewing.   As usual with my hobbies, I'm already thinking about 
the next espresso machine and PIDs.  Now if I could just get a PLC w/analog 
I/O from work, I could go totally nuts.

11) From: Jim Schulman
On 6 Jun 2003 at 10:03, john roberts wrote:
<Snip>
Since I did the FAQ I've gotten lots of reports 
from people who've compared different waters in 
presspots. Not everyone agrees with the SCAA, and 
there's a significant minority who prefer low 
mineral water.
<Snip>
Pure H2O without gases is neutral by definition; 
but water low in carbonate ions absorbs gasses and 
becomes acidic, to about 5.5 to 6 pH. Water high 
in carbonates become alkaline, up to about 8.5 pH. 
Corrosion problems associated with low carbonate 
waters occur at pipe joints, and water/air 
boundaries. Unfortunately, corrosion appears to be 
complicated and it's hard to predict who will have 
problems and who won't.

12) From: john roberts
Thanks, I did read your water FAQ and am working to integrate that
information into my personal coffee making. Since I've been using RO water
for years I hadn't really considered that a variable until I started
investigating taste differences between my first and second pot of the day.
After a few experiments I'm starting to suspect the presumably "tasteless"
RO water is being changed by sitting in the Bunn's heated tank overnight.
The taste change is subtle, more like a blunting of the coffee's flavor
expression than an off-tone.
My chemistry's a little rusty (it has been over 30 years since I studied
it). Does free carbon from the post RO charcoal filter react with dissolved
oxygen and heat to make carbonate, then with hot water to make carbolic (?)
acid? I can imagine a change in PH affecting extraction. If not that, my
next guess would be less dissolved gases, but it seem PH would be the
stronger phenomenon.
This kind of defeats the benefit of the Bunn at least for that first pot.
JR

13) From: Jim Schulman
On 8 Jun 2003 at 11:51, john roberts wrote:
<Snip>
The carbon from the filter does not dissolve in 
water. RO water will absorb CO2 and become 
slightly acidic (carbonic acid or fizz). This will 
change the extraction by itself, and it may leach 
any matrials in the water path that are attacked 
by mild acids, e.g. aluminum (don't know if there 
are any).
Finally, tap water can have an excess of dissolved 
oxygen which is released when it stands. This 
affects the taste for some people.
Jim

14) From: Brice D. Hornback
Could someone please send me the link to the water FAQ again?  I lost my
computer (water cooling pump blew a gasket) and don't have any of my old
emails.
Thanks,
Brice

15) From: Ed Needham
JR...Run a bit of water through into a clean mug.  Let it cool and compare
(same temp for each to be fair) to a mug of RO water that has not been run
through the machine.  If there is a significant difference, then find a new
brewing method.
Ed Needham
To Absurdity and Beyond!http://www.homeroaster.comed
****************************************
**********************************************

16) From: john roberts
I've already tried simply smelling and tasting the water and did not detect
anything obvious. However after a few experiments the coffee is definitely
improved by not allowing the water to sit in the bunn overnight.
My next step is to pick up some PH strips and start testing the PH. If
that's it, once I can measure it, I can manage it. If it isn't PH then I may
pursue more controlled taste testing to try to figure out what the precise
mechanism is.
However for now it's academic, I am getting better taste from flushing the
water tank before my morning brew. My immediate task is to simplify my
morning brew process and the bunn may have to go if it gets too
complicated/time consuming.
JR

17) From: Rich Adams

18) From: Ed Needham
My always gets up first in the morning, and does not want to fuss with making
coffee.  So I set up the Bunn before I go to bed (there's about 4 hours
between the time I go to bed and the time she gets up).  I grind the beans,
flush two pots of water through the Bunn and set everything up so she can
just pour water in the top and have coffee to put into the carafe.  Coffee
made this way is not significantly different than if I make it on the Bunn on
the spot, but it is radically different than what I really enjoy made with
the Chemex or a press pot.  The Bunn makes drinkable coffee, but there is a
LOT missing in the flavor profile.  It's as if the subtle flavors are
stripped out.  Not offensive, and sometimes really good, but side by side,
the Chemex wins hands down (even by my wife's own admission).
I always use the Chemex when I'm doing the brewing, and rarely ever use the
Bunn, but compromises are what a relationship is all about.  (minus a few CSA
points, I'm sure)
Ed Needham
To Absurdity and Beyond!http://www.homeroaster.comed
****************************************
**********************************************

19) From: john roberts
For the last few days I've been getting up an hour or so before my normal
brew time and flushing water through my Bunn. I saved some of the "aged"
water from this morning and sat it out to cool (it might pick up flavors in
the fridge).
I just performed a crude taste test and while they were not yet identical
temperature, I do not taste any difference. Both glasses of water are now
sitting out on the counter and I will repeat later. While I expect the
temperature to further equalize, I don't expect tastes to diverge.
When I do my shopping this week I plan to pick up some PH strips so I can
investigate that theory... whatever I learn should be applicable to my
future brewing techniques.
Since I'm not a fan of increasing complexity in my life I will come up with
a lower impact resolution, but first I must understand precisely what's
going on. For now my morning pot is just as good as my second pot, and the
best coffee I've ever had.
JR

20) From: Rick Farris
I used to date a girl whose father worked in water quality for the
county of San Diego.  The way he checked water for off-smells was to
heat it and waft the vapors to his nose.  You might find that the water
had more taste/smell problems if you heated it instead of cooling it.
--Rick

21) From: john roberts
Agreed, when I began investigating this about a week ago I sniffed it hot
and found nothing. I was just reporting back on a suggestion I got the other
day to taste it too.
My best theory right now is PH shift affecting extraction, but that's
unproved and I'm still open to other suggestions.
JR

22) From: Angelo
Ed,
You might consider using an electric Vac pot in the same way that you use 
the Bunn....I think that the flavor profile would be closer to the press pot...
A.
<Snip>

23) From: Rich Adams
I think it has a lot more to do with the amount of free oxygen in the water
affecting the brewing rather then the taste of the starting water.  The
water inside a hot water tank virtually has no free oxygen cells.
Respectfully,
Rich Adams

24) From: john roberts
Yes, that is another possibility,, if I draw blanks on the PH balance that's
next. Could you expand upon the mechanism? How would less dissolved oxygen
(or other gasses) be expected to impact brewing/extraction?
The PH theory is related to dissolved (?) CO2 converting to acid.
JR

25) From: Rich Adams
Well, I am not a chemist, but I remember reading about how important oxygen
in the water was for proper brewing/extraction.  Hence the "always use fresh
water to make coffee" rule.
Rich Adams

26) From: Ed Needham
I like vac pot coffee, but not as much as the brew I get from my Chemex.  My
wife would never go for futzing with a vac pot in the morning, or waiting for
it to vac up and suck down.
I do think there is a better machine to make morning coffee with, but the
Bunn is still working, and...I just had a yard sale.
I know, I know.  Anybody who's anyone in coffee uses a vac pot and loves it.
The pressure is so intense to change...
Ed Needham
To Absurdity and Beyond!http://www.homeroaster.comed
****************************************
**********************************************

27) From: Ron
<Snip>
My
<Snip>
for
<Snip>
it.
<Snip>
Ed I still use my Bunn each morning for my thermos of coffee to take to
work.When I have the time I use a Melita pour through cone, which I prefer
to the Bunn, I think the Bunn makes a adequate pot of coffee. I run about
1/2 picture of water thru, to kick the boiler on so the water will be up to
temp. grind up 50 grams of whatever coffee I have on hand, and brew it.
I do grind a bit coarse, because with that much coffee the bunn will run
over and out the filter if it is to fine.makes a really big mess.
I need to get a Chemex:O)
Ron
rnkyle
Home Roasting in SC

28) From: Ed Needham
I use a Melitta #6 cone on top of my Bunn carafe, and I think it improves the
coffee quite a bit.  sits perfectly on the carafe and under the sprayhead.
No overflows and a finer 'Melitta' grind.   Can use better Melitta filters
too.   I still use quite a bit if coffee though.  I like it strong.
Ed Needham
To Absurdity and Beyond!http://www.homeroaster.comed
****************************************
**********************************************

29) From: David Lewis
At 5:53 PM -0700 6/5/03, HeatGunRoast wrote:
<Snip>
The people who really know water and coffee are Cirqua. You can 
probably do cheaper if you already know what you're doing, but 
they've done the research and I was happy to pay them for it. 
.
Best,
	David
-- 
Less than 0.1 percent of the U.S. population gave 83 percent of all 
itemized campaign contributions for the 2002 elections, according to 
the Center for Responsive Politics.

30) From: David Lewis
At 8:36 PM -0500 6/5/03, Alan Marchiori wrote:
<Snip>
As I mentioned in another thread, I got a home system with an RO 
followed by a reformulation cartridge from Cirqua and have been very 
happy with it. It's possible that what Cirqua sells as a 
reformulation cartridge for $80 (good for a year or 1000 gallons), is 
also available for less as a calcite cartridge, but I don't know that.
Best,
	David
-- 
Less than 0.1 percent of the U.S. population gave 83 percent of all 
itemized campaign contributions for the 2002 elections, according to 
the Center for Responsive Politics.

31) From: David Lewis
At 1:58 PM -0400 6/10/03, Angelo wrote:
<Snip>
I've been using one of the new Black & Decker Infuze vac pots for 
large amounts of coffee without a lot of trouble. It does from about 
28 to about 70 oz at a time, and while the filter is a little coarse 
and the coffee doesn't quite have the body the Hario or Cona 
produces, it's still damn good for low-effort coffee.
Best,
	David
P.S. I got it from TechnoScout, who appear to have a temporary 
exclusive; I've not seen it anywhere else.
-- 
Less than 0.1 percent of the U.S. population gave 83 percent of all 
itemized campaign contributions for the 2002 elections, according to 
the Center for Responsive Politics.

32) From: Jim Schulman
<Snip>
<Snip>
You can get simple hardness test strips from Chris 
Coffee, and fancier titration tests in the fish 
section of Petsmart (or any pet store). You should 
have no more than 3 grains (3 DKH or 50 mg/L) 
hardness for your boiler to be happy and scale 
free. Your taste buds might have different 
preferences. Purity will be taken care of by your 
friendly water board plus a carbon filter.
Jim

33) From: Marc
Well I'm finally going hardcore - after 3 years of home-roasting and brewing
the coffee in a number of different ways - Drip, FP, Moka Pot, Vac Pot and
KMB - I've made the decision to buy a  Miss Silvia (once SM has them back in
stock).
My question has to do with water - I live in the country with an artesian
well and my water is moderately hard (I can't find my water analysis at the
moment to give exact numbers).
I have a water softener (standard salt based softener) for the whole house
except for one faucet in the kitchen. The water to this faucet passes
through a charcoal filter first, and then I run the water through a Brita
Filter. This is the water I use to drink and make coffee. This water tastes
great but it is still hard, I have to regularly clean out white dust from
the water chamber of the KMB.
I have not yet tried running the softened water through the Brita.
I belive the better tasting water would make the best coffee, but I'm also
concerned about damaging Miss Silvia. Any thoughts on which water would be
less damaging:
Softened filtered water - less hardness, mineral content, more balanced ph,
more sodium (salt) in the water.
Unsoftened filtered water - more hardness and minerals, slightly acidic
(aggresive water), no salt
One other option is a reverse osmosis system ($200-$600+) which is an
expense that would delay purchasing Miss Silvia as I cannot afford both at
this time.
Thanks for your thoughts...
Marc

34) From: Steve Hay
I drank RO water for years as a child and had no complaints.  However, I've
heard that the process removes minerals.  Some say this has health effects
due to sapping nutrients out of your body.  This may not be true, I don't
know.  The other aspect is that you may notice a difference in flavor
without the minerals.  The advantage of a filter, so I've heard, is that
those minerals aren't removed.
I've been holding off on a POU RO system for this reason and may just do a
Brita/Pur in-sink solution which is pretty cheap and effective.
On 10/28/06, Marc  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Steven Hay
hay.steve -AT- gmail.com
Barry Paradox: Consider k to be the greatest element of the set of natural
numbers whose description require maximum of 50 words: "(k+1) is a natural
number which requires more than 50 words to describe it."

35) From: Leo Zick
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
a lot of people RO or soften water, then add hardness to bring it back to
ideal. 
personally (and i just finished descaling the HX and cafiza-ing the
grouphead this morning), i would use what tastes best, and keep a good
maintenance program. i dont think my water is overly hard, and i have a
direct line for the machine with a filter, but no softener. i prefer the
better taste too. :)  
From: Marc [mailto:marc.nh] 
Sent: Saturday, October 28, 2006 10:12 AM
To: homeroast
Subject: +Water
Well I'm finally going hardcore - after 3 years of home-roasting and brewing
the coffee in a number of different ways - Drip, FP, Moka Pot, Vac Pot and
KMB - I've made the decision to buy a  Miss Silvia (once SM has them back in
stock). 
My question has to do with water - I live in the country with an artesian
well and my water is moderately hard (I can't find my water analysis at the
moment to give exact numbers).
I have a water softener (standard salt based softener) for the whole house
except for one faucet in the kitchen. The water to this faucet passes
through a charcoal filter first, and then I run the water through a Brita
Filter. This is the water I use to drink and make coffee. This water tastes
great but it is still hard, I have to regularly clean out white dust from
the water chamber of the KMB. 
I have not yet tried running the softened water through the Brita.
I belive the better tasting water would make the best coffee, but I'm also
concerned about damaging Miss Silvia. Any thoughts on which water would be
less damaging: 
Softened filtered water - less hardness, mineral content, more balanced ph,
more sodium (salt) in the water.
Unsoftened filtered water - more hardness and minerals, slightly acidic
(aggresive water), no salt
One other option is a reverse osmosis system ($200-$600+) which is an
expense that would delay purchasing Miss Silvia as I cannot afford both at
this time.
Thanks for your thoughts...
Marc

36) From: Jim Wheeler
We also live in the country and have a water well.  The water is hard
and treatment is appropriate for household use.  A combination of
sediment filter, water softener, and RO units provide water for
various uses, including drinking, coffee, cooking, darkroom, etc.  No
problems noted in the several years we have been on the system.
Before the RO units, we used a Brita filter for some purposes and a
steam distiller for others.  The steam distiller was about $80 from
Sears.  The RO unit is considerably more convenient.
One RO system (kitchen unit) came from the water softener installer.
A second one came from Goodwill, new in the box for just a few
dollars, and is installed.in the darkroom.
-- 
Jim in Skull Valley

37) From: Sandy Andina
--Apple-Mail-168--931734527
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
Content-Type: text/plain;
	charset-ASCII;
	delsp=yes;
	format=flowed
I used to just use water from a Brita pitcher in the fridge, and  
descale a couple of times a year with citric acid (Cleancaf or sour  
salt).  Since I switched to Crystal Geyser bottled water (per the  
advice of Jerry the tech at Cafe West/Baratza, which services  
Pasquini and Rancilio machines under warranty), I have not gotten  
mineral deposits. Just enough minerals to taste good and trigger the  
sensors in the boiler-autofill system in the Livia. Not cheap, but  
when you amortize it cup-by-cup, $1.69 every three days is no biggie.
On Oct 28, 2006, at 9:52 AM, Steve Hay wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy
www.sandyandina.com
--Apple-Mail-168--931734527
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable
Content-Type: text/html;
	charsetO-8859-1
I used to just use water from a =
Brita pitcher in the fridge, and descale a couple of times a year with =
citric acid (Cleancaf or sour salt).  Since I switched to Crystal =
Geyser bottled water (per the advice of Jerry the tech at Cafe =
West/Baratza, which services Pasquini and Rancilio machines under =
warranty), I have not gotten mineral deposits. Just enough minerals to =
taste good and trigger the sensors in the boiler-autofill system in the =
Livia. Not cheap, but when you amortize it cup-by-cup, $1.69 every three =
days is no biggie.
On Oct 28, 2006, at 9:52 AM, Steve Hay =
wrote:
I drank RO water for years as a child and had no = complaints.  However, I've heard that the process removes minerals.  = Some say this has health effects due to sapping nutrients out of your = body.  This may not be true, I don't know.  The other aspect is that = you may notice a difference in flavor without the minerals.  The = advantage of a filter, so I've heard, is that those minerals aren't = removed. I've been holding off on a POU RO system for this = reason and may just do a Brita/Pur in-sink solution which is pretty = cheap and effective. On = 10/28/06, Marc <marc.nh> = wrote:Well I'm finally going hardcore - after 3 years of home-roasting = and brewing the coffee in a number of different ways - Drip, FP, Moka = Pot, Vac Pot and KMB - I've made the decision to buy a  Miss Silvia = (once SM has them back in stock). My question has to do with = water - I live in the country with an artesian well and my water is = moderately hard (I can't find my water analysis at the moment to give = exact numbers). I have a water softener (standard salt based = softener) for the whole house except for one faucet in the kitchen. The = water to this faucet passes through a charcoal filter first, and then I = run the water through a Brita Filter. This is the water I use to drink = and make coffee. This water tastes great but it is still hard, I have to = regularly clean out white dust from the water chamber of the KMB. = I have not yet tried running the softened water through the = Brita. I belive the better tasting water would make the best = coffee, but I'm also concerned about damaging Miss Silvia. Any thoughts = on which water would be less damaging: Softened filtered water - = less hardness, mineral content, more balanced ph, more sodium (salt) in = the water. Unsoftened filtered water - more hardness and minerals, = slightly acidic (aggresive water), no salt One other option is a = reverse osmosis system ($200-$600+) which is an expense that would delay = purchasing Miss Silvia as I cannot afford both at this = time. Thanks for your thoughts... Marc =
-- = Steven Hay hay.steve -AT- gmail.com Barry Paradox: Consider k = to be the greatest element of the set of natural numbers whose = description require maximum of 50 words: "(k+1) is a natural number = which requires more than 50 words to describe = it." = --Apple-Mail-168--931734527--

38) From: miKe mcKoffee
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Before addressing the water issue with Miss Silvia I'll ask the obvious
question. What grinder will she be paired with?
 
Water wise I agree taste is paramount. Some people run extremely soft water
to virtually eliminate any need for descaling, at the expense of a "flatter
or duller" tasting shot. The PNW deep well water feeding Vancouver WA tastes
very good but is moderately hard ~7ppm. Can't really taste a difference
filtering the water but run a solid block charcoal under sink filter on the
cold line anyway. But I don't soften the water. Silvia had no problems
running 7ppm moderately hard water the 3 & 1/2 years I had her and the
Bricoletta no problems ~11 months. Did preventative maintenance through the
tank descale Silvia about twice a year and have descaled the Bric' once.
Never had any indication of more than minimal scale with either.
 
Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffee 
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc: http://mdmint.home.comcast.net/coffee/Rosto_mod.htm
Ultimately 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.  
From: homeroast-admin
[mailto:homeroast-admin] On Behalf Of Marc
Sent: Saturday, October 28, 2006 7:12 AM
To: homeroast
Subject: +Water
Well I'm finally going hardcore - after 3 years of home-roasting and brewing
the coffee in a number of different ways - Drip, FP, Moka Pot, Vac Pot and
KMB - I've made the decision to buy a  Miss Silvia (once SM has them back in
stock). 
My question has to do with water - I live in the country with an artesian
well and my water is moderately hard (I can't find my water analysis at the
moment to give exact numbers).
I have a water softener (standard salt based softener) for the whole house
except for one faucet in the kitchen. The water to this faucet passes
through a charcoal filter first, and then I run the water through a Brita
Filter. This is the water I use to drink and make coffee. This water tastes
great but it is still hard, I have to regularly clean out white dust from
the water chamber of the KMB. 
I have not yet tried running the softened water through the Brita.
I belive the better tasting water would make the best coffee, but I'm also
concerned about damaging Miss Silvia. Any thoughts on which water would be
less damaging: 
Softened filtered water - less hardness, mineral content, more balanced ph,
more sodium (salt) in the water.
Unsoftened filtered water - more hardness and minerals, slightly acidic
(aggresive water), no salt
One other option is a reverse osmosis system ($200-$600+) which is an
expense that would delay purchasing Miss Silvia as I cannot afford both at
this time.
Thanks for your thoughts...
Marc

39) From: John Blumel
On Oct 28, 2006, at 9:40 pm, miKe mcKoffee wrote:
<Snip>
Perhaps you mean ~7 gpg (grains per gallon), which would be somewhat  
hard, rather than 7 ppm (parts per million), which would be quite soft.
John Blumel

40) From: miKe mcKoffee
Oops my bad, correcto mundo 7ppm quite soft. Didn't check the test strip
container just went from memory remembering 7, but rather it's ~7gpm
~120ppm. 
miKe
<Snip>

41) From: Marc
miKe,
I hope I've taken care of the grinder issue - I have a Gaggia MDF 800? and
for backup a Solis Maestro Plus. Adequate?
-Marc
On 10/28/06, miKe mcKoffee  wrote:
<Snip>

42) From: Marc
miKe,
I belive you mean 7 gpg (grains per gallon). According to my notes 1 gpg =
19 ppm. So your 7 gpg would be about 133 ppm.
My hardness rating is 200 mg/l which is 12 gpg, or 230 ppm.
On 10/28/06, miKe mcKoffee  wrote:
<Snip>

43) From: Marc
Steve, Leo, Jim & Sandy
Thanks for your suggestions, I am going to start off with my filtered (not
softened) water as that tastes the best. Bottled water is always an option
(and a concern as you really do not know what you are getting) - but I was
impressed with the information on the Crystal Geyser website and there's
even a source and bottling plant right here in New Hampshire.
As for RO, I'd want to try some for taste before spending the money on that
route.
Thanks all,
Marc
On 10/28/06, Sandy Andina  wrote:
<Snip>

44) From: miKe mcKoffee
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
With your filtered water hardness up around 12gpg you might want to try
mixing with distilled for Silvia, seeing how it tastes first of course.
 
miKe  
From: homeroast-admin
[mailto:homeroast-admin] On Behalf Of Marc
Sent: Sunday, October 29, 2006 8:53 AM
To: homeroast
Subject: Re: +Water
Steve, Leo, Jim & Sandy
Thanks for your suggestions, I am going to start off with my filtered (not
softened) water as that tastes the best. Bottled water is always an option
(and a concern as you really do not know what you are getting) - but I was
impressed with the information on the Crystal Geyser website and there's
even a source and bottling plant right here in New Hampshire. 
As for RO, I'd want to try some for taste before spending the money on that
route.
Thanks all,
Marc
On 10/28/06, Sandy Andina <  
sandraandina> wrote: 
I used to just use water from a Brita pitcher in the fridge, and descale a
couple of times a year with citric acid (Cleancaf or sour salt).  Since I
switched to Crystal Geyser bottled water (per the advice of Jerry the tech
at Cafe West/Baratza, which services Pasquini and Rancilio machines under
warranty), I have not gotten mineral deposits. Just enough minerals to taste
good and trigger the sensors in the boiler-autofill system in the Livia. Not
cheap, but when you amortize it cup-by-cup, $1.69 every three days is no
biggie. 
On Oct 28, 2006, at 9:52 AM, Steve Hay wrote:
I drank RO water for years as a child and had no complaints.  However, I've
heard that the process removes minerals.  Some say this has health effects
due to sapping nutrients out of your body.  This may not be true, I don't
know.  The other aspect is that you may notice a difference in flavor
without the minerals.  The advantage of a filter, so I've heard, is that
those minerals aren't removed. 
I've been holding off on a POU RO system for this reason and may just do a
Brita/Pur in-sink solution which is pretty cheap and effective.
On 10/28/06, Marc  wrote: 
Well I'm finally going hardcore - after 3 years of home-roasting and brewing
the coffee in a number of different ways - Drip, FP, Moka Pot, Vac Pot and
KMB - I've made the decision to buy a  Miss Silvia (once SM has them back in
stock). 
My question has to do with water - I live in the country with an artesian
well and my water is moderately hard (I can't find my water analysis at the
moment to give exact numbers).
I have a water softener (standard salt based softener) for the whole house
except for one faucet in the kitchen. The water to this faucet passes
through a charcoal filter first, and then I run the water through a Brita
Filter. This is the water I use to drink and make coffee. This water tastes
great but it is still hard, I have to regularly clean out white dust from
the water chamber of the KMB. 
I have not yet tried running the softened water through the Brita.
I belive the better tasting water would make the best coffee, but I'm also
concerned about damaging Miss Silvia. Any thoughts on which water would be
less damaging: 
Softened filtered water - less hardness, mineral content, more balanced ph,
more sodium (salt) in the water.
Unsoftened filtered water - more hardness and minerals, slightly acidic
(aggresive water), no salt
One other option is a reverse osmosis system ($200-$600+) which is an
expense that would delay purchasing Miss Silvia as I cannot afford both at
this time.
Thanks for your thoughts...
Marc 
-- 
Steven Hay
hay.steve -AT- gmail.com
Barry Paradox: Consider k to be the greatest element of the set of natural
numbers whose description require maximum of 50 words: "(k+1) is a natural
number which requires more than 50 words to describe it." 
Sandy
www.sandyandina.com

45) From: Vince Doss
This reminds me of a story...a Naaaaavy story...=)
We had a new ice machine installed on the ship just as we were departing for
the Med and it was put into use literally as we were headed across the pond.
It kept spewing water out and the guys that worked on that kind of equipment
couldnt figure out why the shut off was not working until the corpman tested
the water which was sourced from the evaporators and realized the water was
99.99% pure. They solved it temporarily by hanging a saline IV drip bag in
the top of the machine
On 10/28/06, Sandy Andina  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
At some point between French and fire, it really doesn't matter much what
the "origin character" of the coffee was...
Tom Owens - Sweet Marias

46) From: Leo Zick
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
the downside to bottled, esp with an HX, is you literally see flushing your
money away, with every backflush.  i went from bottled to brita to filtered
within a month. 
also with the 'concern' for bottled water and claims against them lately,
you are at least assured water coming into your home is being tested under
more stringent standards than bottled..  
From: Marc [mailto:marc.nh] 
Sent: Sunday, October 29, 2006 11:53 AM
To: homeroast
Subject: Re: +Water
Steve, Leo, Jim & Sandy
Thanks for your suggestions, I am going to start off with my filtered (not
softened) water as that tastes the best. Bottled water is always an option
(and a concern as you really do not know what you are getting) - but I was
impressed with the information on the Crystal Geyser website and there's
even a source and bottling plant right here in New Hampshire. 
As for RO, I'd want to try some for taste before spending the money on that
route.
Thanks all,
Marc
On 10/28/06, Sandy Andina <  
sandraandina> wrote: 
I used to just use water from a Brita pitcher in the fridge, and descale a
couple of times a year with citric acid (Cleancaf or sour salt).  Since I
switched to Crystal Geyser bottled water (per the advice of Jerry the tech
at Cafe West/Baratza, which services Pasquini and Rancilio machines under
warranty), I have not gotten mineral deposits. Just enough minerals to taste
good and trigger the sensors in the boiler-autofill system in the Livia. Not
cheap, but when you amortize it cup-by-cup, $1.69 every three days is no
biggie. 
On Oct 28, 2006, at 9:52 AM, Steve Hay wrote:
I drank RO water for years as a child and had no complaints.  However, I've
heard that the process removes minerals.  Some say this has health effects
due to sapping nutrients out of your body.  This may not be true, I don't
know.  The other aspect is that you may notice a difference in flavor
without the minerals.  The advantage of a filter, so I've heard, is that
those minerals aren't removed. 
I've been holding off on a POU RO system for this reason and may just do a
Brita/Pur in-sink solution which is pretty cheap and effective.
On 10/28/06, Marc  wrote: 
Well I'm finally going hardcore - after 3 years of home-roasting and brewing
the coffee in a number of different ways - Drip, FP, Moka Pot, Vac Pot and
KMB - I've made the decision to buy a  Miss Silvia (once SM has them back in
stock). 
My question has to do with water - I live in the country with an artesian
well and my water is moderately hard (I can't find my water analysis at the
moment to give exact numbers).
I have a water softener (standard salt based softener) for the whole house
except for one faucet in the kitchen. The water to this faucet passes
through a charcoal filter first, and then I run the water through a Brita
Filter. This is the water I use to drink and make coffee. This water tastes
great but it is still hard, I have to regularly clean out white dust from
the water chamber of the KMB. 
I have not yet tried running the softened water through the Brita.
I belive the better tasting water would make the best coffee, but I'm also
concerned about damaging Miss Silvia. Any thoughts on which water would be
less damaging: 
Softened filtered water - less hardness, mineral content, more balanced ph,
more sodium (salt) in the water.
Unsoftened filtered water - more hardness and minerals, slightly acidic
(aggresive water), no salt
One other option is a reverse osmosis system ($200-$600+) which is an
expense that would delay purchasing Miss Silvia as I cannot afford both at
this time.
Thanks for your thoughts...
Marc 
-- 
Steven Hay
hay.steve -AT- gmail.com
Barry Paradox: Consider k to be the greatest element of the set of natural
numbers whose description require maximum of 50 words: "(k+1) is a natural
number which requires more than 50 words to describe it." 
Sandy
www.sandyandina.com

47) From: Aaron
RO plants can remove minerals from water, but not all of them.
RO plants are not 100 percent effective at removing minerals either.
RO plants are not 100 percent effective at removing biologicals either, 
which can also affect taste to some extent.
IN other words, while a RO plant will purify water, don't expect it to 
make 'tainted' water 100 percent safe to drink, you might need 
additional treatments.... Don't quote me on this, I didn't google it to 
verify but I believe cholera is one of the critters that can get by a RO 
plant's membrane.
Drinking RO purified water is not going to 'sap' nutrients from your 
body, or suck them out of you.  Realistically, the drinking water folks 
drink is actually very scarce in vitamins and minerals that are 'needed' 
by the body.  Except for possible flouride which is induced in many 
water treatment plants world wide.  The minerals might be in the water, 
but the water provides actually a very small percentage of what your 
daily requirements are.  The rest come from sunlight (vitamin K 
synthesis just to name one) and the foods you eat.
With this, Vince, having worked with RO plants, and Distillers for over 
20 years in the navy, yes the water tends to be extremely pure that 
comes out of an evap.  (for the record, unless it changed recently, RO 
water was NOT authorized for boilers because it is NOT as salt free as 
distilled water), we would measure salt, or chloride concentrates in 
water in the parts per million but effective parts per billion.  In 
order for water to be satisfactory to throw in a boiler, it had to be 
generally less than 0.02 parts per million of chloride in it, (or 
bromide, while the readings will be a bit different...you better not put 
treated water in a boiler).  This concentration was generally measured 
using a conductivity meter or Mohmeter for the geeks out there.  To give 
an example of the sensitivity, if you took a 10 gallon bucket and filled 
it with pure water, then threw one grain of salt in it, not gram, one 
little grain you'd pour out of a salt shaker, you'd peg the meter in the 
bad direction.
Pure water tended to while tasting pure, be very tasteless, or for lack 
of a word,  no body to it.  chemicals / minerals can impart a feeling, a 
body, or nuance to the water to make it more pleasing to the palate.
It was also mentioned that pure water was not working on some pots 
because the sensors didn't detect it and one was using bottled water 
instead.  Granted price is reasonable but does add up.   Try a gallon of 
distilled water if you want, or a gallon of water out of your filter / 
ro unit, and throw a grain or two of salt into the water... that will be 
way below the threshold of salt that you can taste in the water, but 
depending on the quality of the sensor, might be enough to make it 
conduct enough to turn on for you.  Also this little bit of salt will be 
negligible in any scale build up either although scale tends to be 
calcium carbonate and minerals rather than sodium.
Just something to think about.
Aaron who knows all about distilling plants  from the 212 F  type to the 
194 proof type.

48) From: Aaron
This was written:
also with the 'concern' for bottled water and claims against them 
lately, you are at least assured water coming into your home is being 
tested under more stringent standards than bottled..
=======
I am aware of the concerns over bottled water and I never could really 
justify paying a friggin dollar for a glass of water to begin with.  
anyways....
During an expose it was shown that most bottled water plants, while they 
may want you to think their water is so pure, so pristine, so virgin, 
with names like,  artic glacier wonder,  aspen fluff, and other goofy 
stuff like that the fact is, most of them are just hooked to their 
city's water systems and selling you that as their precious water.
Now one may like to think their homes water is tested to such higher 
standards and it very well may be, however, that test is conducted at 
the water plant, NOT your home.   The trip to your home is a very long 
and well... hazardous one to be honest.  There are many places where 
things can go wrong to contaminate your tap water.  Not to mention if 
you live at the end of a street or a remote location, the water can 
simply get stale in the pipes.
With the bottled water, since they are using city water, their water, 
technically is tested to the very same standards as your tap water is, 
as they are getting it from the very same source, the very same pipes.  
This means that bottled water should be at least as pure as tap water 
right?  not so fast,  you can't really tell how it is handled in the 
bottling plant, or from production line to grocery store to your kitchen.
I *think* it is fda regulated like any food product would be, but still, 
even, there are still limits to filth and contamination that is allowed 
in food items.  Not to mention, sitting in a plastic bottle, especially 
in the trunk of your car for a month or two, in the sun, bottled water 
can pick up flavors from the 'sterile' bottle itself... ick.... then 
again how good,or shall i say, how old... is your town's water 
distribution system.
Bottom line, bottle water is no better, or worse for that matter. than 
what you should expect out of your kitchen faucet, except perhaps less 
chemicals in it if you happen to live in a hard water place, or a heavy 
iron place or have a well etc etc.  It just happens to be a heck of a 
lot more expensive is all.
aaron

49) From: Leo Zick
I think if the water is dubbed bottled at the source, or called spring
water, its not required to meet fda standards.  Don't quote me on that
though..
Nice info in this and your last post!

50) From: Steve Hay
On 10/29/06, Aaron  wrote:
<Snip>
This may be true where you live, but here in Alexandria, VA and Washington,
DC, tap water tastes horrible.  Bottled beats it.  even the Brita doesn't
get rid of the funk.
In Alexandria, the water tastes like chlorine (even after the Brita) and in
DC its got a kind of "funk" to it that kind of reminds me of swamp or sewage
water.  Haven't tried the BRITA with it yet...  YMMV.
-- 
Steven Hay
hay.steve -AT- gmail.com
Barry Paradox: Consider k to be the greatest element of the set of natural
numbers whose description require maximum of 50 words: "(k+1) is a natural
number which requires more than 50 words to describe it."

51) From: Sandy Andina
--Apple-Mail-230--762222155
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Here in Chicago, nearly every August the zebra mussels in Lake  
Michigan die off; and even though the lake water (ordinarily among  
the most delicious in the country) gets most of the funk removed at  
the municipal processing plant, there's still an awful mildewy  
taste.  My Brita always got rid of that, as did friends' PÜR faucet- =
mounted filters.  This year, there was no die-off (or maybe the zebra  =
mussels stayed dead from the previous summer or moved up or across  
the lake before they died), and I got a new fridge with its own built- =
in water filter;  I didn't taste anything. Still and all, ever since  
I got a Livia I've been using Crystal Geyser in it (used Brita- 
filtered tapwater in the Silvia and had to descale twice).
On Oct 30, 2006, at 4:55 AM, Steve Hay wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy
www.sandyandina.com
--Apple-Mail-230--762222155
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	charsetO-8859-1
Here in Chicago, nearly every =
August the zebra mussels in Lake Michigan die off; and even though the =
lake water (ordinarily among the most delicious in the country) gets =
most of the funk removed at the municipal processing plant, there's =
still an awful mildewy taste.  My Brita always got rid of that, as did =
friends' PÜR faucet-mounted filters.  This year, there was no =
die-off (or maybe the zebra mussels stayed dead from the previous summer =
or moved up or across the lake before they died), and I got a new fridge =
with its own built-in water filter;  I didn't taste anything. Still =
and all, ever since I got a Livia I've been using Crystal Geyser in it =
(used Brita-filtered tapwater in the Silvia and had to descale =
twice).
On Oct 30, 2006, at 4:55 AM, Steve Hay =
wrote:
In Alexandria, the = water tastes like chlorine (even after the Brita) and in DC its got a = kind of "funk" to it that kind of reminds me of swamp or sewage water.  = Haven't tried the BRITA with it yet...  YMMV.  = --Apple-Mail-230--762222155--

52) From: Marc
At least I don't have that kind of problem - my artesian well is 550 feet
into New Hampshire bedrock. The water has absolutely zero organic
contaminents, funky smells or statse. But is very high in minerals and iron=
;
and the pH is a little high (I wish I could find my last water analysis!)
And being NH I should probably have it checked for Radon.
Once it goes through a whole-house 5 micron sediment filter, through a
whole-house granular activated charcoal filter and finally through a Brita
filter it tastes fine.
Note: I tried running my softened water through the Brita but it still
didn't taste as good as the unsoftened water.
Like I said previously Crystal Geyser's website piqued my interest but ther=
e
wasn't any for sale at my local grocery store- oh well I'll keep looking.
-Marc
On 10/30/06, Sandy Andina  wrote:
<Snip>
ous
<Snip>
 no
<Snip>
or
<Snip>
h
<Snip>
ver
<Snip>

53) From: Aaron
When I do wines and stuff, I run my must through a DE (Diatamatious 
Earth) filter that takes it down to about half a micron.  Wine comes out 
crystal clear and any water I run through it is pretty clean afterwards too.
I remember the lake michigan water very well.  The mussels dying off, at 
least it wasn't that summer back in the 70's???  when all the adelweise 
(sp) swam up into the lake and died, leaving literally a two foot line 
of dead fish around the lake essentially.  Then again the city I lived 
in Oak Forest, had great well water, until we switched to 'city water' 
ie lake michigan and everyone complained about it I remember.
Here in jacksonville, in some parts you can hit water as shallow as 15 
feet or so,  many folks dig irrigation wells and only stop there or 
maybe 30 feet when they hit the hard pan.  Problem is there is terrible 
iron and rotten egg at that depth and they generally end up turning 
their sidewalks rust red/brown.   The normal aquafier, depending on 
which one they drill to generally runs about 700 to 1400 feet and the 
water is pretty good coming out of it depending on where you live.   
Another issue that i mentioned briefly is that the pipes and system 
carrying the water to your house, depending on where you live can be 
anywhere from a few months to 70 years old or so... im sure that can add 
flavors to your water as well.
When I said there was no difference between bottled water and tap water, 
I was more referring to quality control, and not necessarily the taste, 
especially if you (or your municipality) are getting water from a well.  
Now of course if the water is being bottled 500 miles away from where 
you live, and is on a different water system, then of course it's going 
to taste significantly different.
Ive used a culligan water pitcher before and it makes the water taste 
pretty good too.
Aaron

54) From: Leo Zick
DE filter for wine?  I use DE for my pool filter, never even thought it
would cross over to wine for some reason. Got a link of the product?  I use
a cartridge filter media.  0.5 micron for red and 0.25 for white.  Works
well b/c it filters as it bottles.  How does your setup work?  Bulk
filtering and racking?
Thanks!

55) From: Sandy Andina
--Apple-Mail-235--734946242
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	format=flowed
Nah, the alewife die-off has no effect on the water's taste other  
than a slight fishiness (definitely not that chemical/moldy/mildewy  
zebra mussel taste). Looks and smells pretty disgusting on the beach  
though.  Which reminds me of Marty Peifer's parody of "Edelweiss:"
Alewives, alewives
Every summer you greet us.
Small and bright,
Dead? Not quite....
On Oct 30, 2006, at 5:46 PM, Aaron wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy
www.sandyandina.com
--Apple-Mail-235--734946242
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	charsetO-8859-1
Nah, the alewife die-off has no =
effect on the water's taste other than a slight fishiness (definitely =
not that chemical/moldy/mildewy zebra mussel taste). Looks and smells =
pretty disgusting on the beach though.  Which reminds me of Marty =
Peifer's parody of "Edelweiss:"
Alewives, = alewivesEvery summer you greet us.Small and = bright,Dead? Not quite.... On Oct 30, 2006, at = 5:46 PM, Aaron wrote:
When I do wines and stuff, I run my must through a = DE (Diatamatious Earth) filter that takes it down to about half a = micron.  Wine comes out = crystal clear and any water I run through it is pretty clean afterwards = too. I remember the lake michigan water very well.  The mussels dying off, at = least it wasn't that summer back in the 70's???  when all the adelweise (sp) = swam up into the lake and died, leaving literally a two foot line of = dead fish around the lake essentially.  Then again the city I lived = in Oak Forest, had great well water, until we switched to 'city water' = ie lake michigan and everyone complained about it I remember. Here in = jacksonville, in some parts you can hit water as shallow as 15 feet or = so,  many folks dig = irrigation wells and only stop there or maybe 30 feet when they hit the = hard pan.  Problem is = there is terrible iron and rotten egg at that depth and they generally = end up turning their sidewalks rust red/brown.   The normal aquafier, = depending on which one they drill to generally runs about 700 to 1400 = feet and the water is pretty good coming out of it depending on where = you live.   Another issue = that i mentioned briefly is that the pipes and system carrying the water = to your house, depending on where you live can be anywhere from a few = months to 70 years old or so... im sure that can add flavors to your = water as well. When I said there was no difference between bottled = water and tap water, I was more referring to quality control, and not = necessarily the taste, especially if you (or your municipality) are = getting water from a well.  = Now of course if the water is being bottled 500 miles away from = where you live, and is on a different water system, then of course it's = going to taste significantly different. Ive used a = culligan water pitcher before and it makes the water taste pretty good = too. 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 = = = --Apple-Mail-235--734946242--

56) From: Aaron
Leo, mine is a frankenstonian setup really.  They don't sell them pre 
made but what I do is, I get one of these string wound cartridge water 
filters like you would see for regular water lines.  Its the one with 
the cartridge on the bottom of it that screws on and you can put the 
string would cylindrical filters into it.
Put the filter in it, take the bottom off, pour about a cup of water 
with about 1/2 cup I believe it was of the de, ill have to check my 
notes again, its been a while.    close it back up, shake the heck out 
of it, get the mud all good and sloshy on the string wound, then run 
water through it to basicaly imbed the DE into the string filter.   I 
use my CO2 setup that I use for my kegs, just boost the regulator a bit 
and you are fine, the DE filter itself I believe is rated at well over 
100 psi, it's meant for a water line so can easily handle some 
pressure.  Run water through it until it comes out clear (doesn't take 
real long) and all the mud is imbedded into the filter then.
You will end up with about a 1/2 micron substrate doing this, which will 
filter out yeast and everything pretty much.  This trick was shown to me 
many years ago and so far, I have had very good luck with it when I have 
had to use it to clear a batch.    This is basically good for one shot 
only really due to sanitary reasons.  Id not want to keep a slug of 
yeast, wine parts sitting around for a few months then try it again, i 
hate to think at what might grow in it by then.
Aaron


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