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Who understands water?
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Lee_M
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Lee_M
Joined: 2 Dec 2012
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Posted Tue Mar 12, 2013, 8:01pm
Subject: Re: Who understands water?
 

The 0.1 gram figure I gave you assumes that the calcium chloride is in its dihydrate form, since that's the most commonly available form. I don't think it will absorb any more water. It's pretty soluble, so just stir it in.
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jpender
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jpender
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Posted Fri Mar 15, 2013, 1:42pm
Subject: Re: Who understands water?
 

Okay, I took a quick stab at it.

250g of distilled water in one cup, 250g of distilled water + 25mg each of table salt and calcium chloride in a second cup.
I randomized them so I didn't know which water was which and then brewed two cups of coffee, sequentially.

They both tasted pretty good, at least to my not so sensitive palate.

Then I equalized their temperatures and mixed up the cups so I didn't know which I'd brewed first.
As they cooled I detected a subtle but distinct acidic, almost metallic, "tang" to one of them. That's it.

That one turned out to be the one brewed with distilled water.

I'm not convinced yet.
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Netphilosopher
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Posted Sat Mar 16, 2013, 2:38pm
Subject: ...
 

...
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jpender
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jpender
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Posted Mon Mar 18, 2013, 12:55pm
Subject: Re: Who understands water?
 

Netphilosopher Said:

One of my descriptors was your explanation - a "tang" (to me it's like the just-barely-detectable tang of a spent 9-volt battery) to distilled water brewed coffee.  It seems to be worse at higher strengths.  I never tried espresso with it, but most noticeable with water brew ratios stronger than 8 (water to brew coffee).

What brew ratio are you using?  

Convinced of what, by the way?  Not sure what you were trying to determine.

With my wife, I find it doesn't take very much hard water mixing to make the tang go away.  Only 50g of 300ppm hardness water in 450g of distilled seems to tame the tang.

Posted March 16, 2013 link

A 9-volt battery? Then maybe I was tasting what you and your wife tasted.

I was wondering if the strength made a difference but I was guessing it might go in the other direction. My usual brew ratio is about 9.5 so I get a little over 2% TDS out of the Aeropress.

What I'm not convinced of is, well, anything really. Just two cups of coffee and one taster, it's a lone data point in a sea of possibilities.

What I want to know is whether ammending my tap water will have a positive effect that I can perceive. Supposedly 150ppm TDS is the ideal, based on what some group of people can actually taste. But if 30ppm is enough to eliminate the only objection one might have to brewing with soft water then perhaps I wasted $2 on that package of calcium chloride.
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jpender
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jpender
Joined: 11 Jul 2011
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Location: California
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: OE LIDO
Vac Pot: S/S Moka Pot
Drip: Aeropress
Posted Mon Mar 18, 2013, 1:04pm
Subject: Re: Who understands water?
 

I did another taste test, this time with 6 cups of coffee.

6 lots of water: 2x distilled; 2x tap; 2x distilled with added salts as before

I mixed up the cups of water (with hidden marks) so that I didn't know which was which when I brewed.
I brewed 6 cups sequentially, tasting each as I brewed them.
I tried to detect the "tang" or anything distinctly different but my perceptions did not correlate with the water type.

Then I let the cups cool, mixed them up so I didn't know which was which, reheated them, and tasted them again.
I still could not tell which was brewed with which water.

If there was a difference to be tasted in these six cups, I couldn't do it.
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