emradguy Senior Member Joined: 31 Mar 2011 Posts: 3,682 Location: Houston Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2 Grinder: M Major, Macap M4, Pharos,... Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Mon Dec 16, 2013, 11:02am Subject: Re: Espresso/Pour Over Hard Water Solution?
I use the filter that's in my refrigerator. It's made by Pur. I've tasted water from the ZeroWater filter, and it's very clean. You fill it from your tap and then store it in your refrigerator. periodically, you test the water with their special device and change the filter when indicated.
What you choose to do depends a lot on how much work you want to do and how much money you want to spend. A couple hundred bucks will get you a nice undercounter setup. The Zerowater pitcher is something like $50 (iirc). Short of filtering the water for your entire house, you could go as elaborate as installing an in series filter system under your sink (check out Chris' Coffee Service or Espressoparts for starters) along with a tap coming out of the counter (you can get a whole kit at Lowe's or Home Depot), or as simple as the ZeroWater pitcher mentioned above. I don't think the Brita pitcher does much to change water hardness/mineral content. Given my test results with the Pur refrigerator cartridge, I suspect their pitcher might work, but I don't really know if they use the same technology in it or if it does anything more than the Brita one.
In any case, I highly recommend buying a water test kit that reads by GH and KH from an aquarium supply shop. I got mine online from a site called Aquacave for less than $10, and there's enough reagent in there to run 100 tests. Of course, there are many other sources, perhaps even down the street from your house. You simply fill the small test tube with source water then add drops of reagent until the water changes color, then read the hardness on the chart provided. You should use this to periodically test the water you end up drinking/using in your coffee.
oh and read Jim Schulman's insanely long water FAQ. It's easy to find via google.
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Posted Mon Dec 16, 2013, 11:46am Subject: Re: Espresso/Pour Over Hard Water Solution?
We would need more information to offer the best method. Like, do you own the home or are you a renter? How do you make coffee and what other needs are there for treated water? What budget do you have? Brita filters soften, others use the Zerowater, there are under-sink softening systems, counter-top systems, all the way to whole house reverse osmosis and softening systems.
JerDGold Senior Member Joined: 11 Dec 2013 Posts: 142 Location: Chicago, IL Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II Grinder: Baratza Vario Drip: Chemex
Posted Mon Dec 16, 2013, 1:20pm Subject: Re: Espresso/Pour Over Hard Water Solution?
I wouldnt want to spend...at the most...$100 but If I could keep it around 50-75 thatd be awesome. BB&B would be ideal because I have all those 20% off coupons. Something I can fill for my fridge...I'm just not sure if the Brita, Pur, ZeroWater or what else works the best is I guess my question. I'm a renter...
Posted Mon Dec 16, 2013, 2:43pm Subject: Re: Espresso/Pour Over Hard Water Solution?
I use a Brita at home and they don't soften. Well it does a but by removing carbon from the water but even with a new filter I still get scale build up. I just went ahead and installed a large softener to stop scale all around the house. Because your a renter your only 2 options would be to install a small softener under the sink or get a Zero water tank. 23 cup model last I saw only cost $40 and will reduce your ppm (hardness) down to almost nothing.
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