emradguy Senior Member Joined: 31 Mar 2011 Posts: 3,305 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 Fri Jul 5, 2013, 4:48pm Subject: Re: Water - filters - testing - etc - again
If you want to know, you test. If you want to guess, you don't. Test kits are not that expensive. You can pick up an API GH/KH test kit for somewhere around $10 from an aquarium supply. I bought mine online, here... Click Here (www.aquacave.com)
It's one of the ones suggested in Jim Schulman's Insanely Long Water FAQ, but there are others you can get, and if you have an aquarium supply near you and you prefer, you can stop by and pick one up. It's super easy to use. Fill the supplied test tube to the line on it's side with water to be tested, count the number of drops needed to get a color change, then look up the numbers on the provided chart. Bam! you're done. If you like the results, great! If you don't, figure out what else you need to do to your water before it gets to your machine.
Seems like a no-brainer to me. Test your pre-treated water supply along side of what ends up in your espresso. You can even do it by letting some fresh water flow through a clean group head and allowing it sufficient time to cool.
. Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
Posted Fri Jul 5, 2013, 8:27pm Subject: Re: Water - filters - testing - etc - again
For scaling there has to be two things present. Carbonate hardness and general hardness. That is KH and GH. I am no expert, and that is what I took from reading the Water FAQ: http://www.big-rick.com/coffee/waterfaq.html At least to say, I have been sharing that conclusion for a couple of years and have not been corrected by those far more knowledgeable on the subject than I (which is just about everyone else). ;-)
The API kit that uses the liquid test with the vials does the job remarkably well and economically. The kit will test many dozens (if not 100's) of sample. There are inline filters that can remove either GH or KH, or mixed bed cartridges that can do both. The filters you have now will improve the life of the appliances and the taste of the water, but will not significantly or effectively change the propensity of the water to scale.
Wow - that was quick! Thanks for the link. From an initial scan, I agree with the author - that IS Insanely Long Water FAQ...
As I'm waiting for my new espresso machine, I'm trying to understand and evaluate my water-supply options. We have well water and I have a whole-house softener. I will first get a test kit, and once I have the numbers -- I'll probably post with more specifics.
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