Water purification/filtering best practices

(j l) #21

PPM measurement is kind of tricky… Like the HM Digital TD EZ for example. The measurements are calibrated to NaCl. I called them up and confirmed that for other mineral content, this is only an approximation.

It is actually, quite the rough approximation. However, if you know the relative conductivity for the type of minerals you are mixing relative to NaCl EC value, then you can reverse back into a true ppm vs. assuming all particles are NaCl.

I bought a Hanna instrument for measuring magnesium and calcium content precisely but haven’t got around to it yet.

(Matthew Perger) #22

Oh distilled water literally eats the metal of the machine. Read up on the Langlier index (I think…)

If the weldments are thin, you can end up with an espresso machine cum sauna situation. Happened at Intelligentsia Venice once when the RO wasn’t remineralised.

(j l) #23

Yes, I did read up and AGAIN found out that I didn’t quite know everything.

Rather annoying.

But that’s the price of education.

I would state that all the quotes of “ppm” in the brewers cup competition is quite probably, most inaccurate.

(Matt Campbell) #24


Almost a month since this post, but I’m wrestling with this problem right now.
I have almost perfect GH, but I need to reduce my KH by almost 50%. I have exhausted my internet searches for ion exchange columns (K+ was my thought) and I can’t seem to find the source for these buggers. All solutions seem to be total softening (not interested, we are almost perfect with GH) or RO.

Any suggestions?

(Matthew Van Elkan) #25

In that situation I would apply a BWT Bestmax Premium the cartridge exchanges calcium and bicarbonate for magnesium so will balance out your KH / GH. Hope that helps.

Matthew Van Elkan
Managing Director
07540 608 504

(Matt Campbell) #26

Solid stuff, Matt. Many thanks!

(Matt Campbell) #27

I went a bit further and tested with more sensitivity. As it turns out, I’m calculating my KH at 20-24. Using titration, I made the test more sensitive by using 4x more test water, and dividing the drops results by 4 as well.

Any recommendations if I need to add buffer with an in-line system, without affecting the GH much?

Thank you in advance!

(Pat Moore) #28

I think that is a dilemma. It’s a no-brainer if you are manually mixing - just add some sodium bicarb or potassium bicarb. In theory it should be do-able using an inline system, but I don’t believe anyone sells such a thing. For example, all the Pentair cartridges that offer an alkalinity boost use calcite filters, which boost the hardness to the same degree as alkalinity. Also, if you look at the SCAE water chart (highly recommended read, currently available at http://scae.com/images/pdfs/SCAE-water-chart-report.pdf ) on page 17 they discuss an alkalizer that increases alkalinity only by adding hydrogen carbonate (aka bicarbonate) salts of sodium or potassium But alas, their text says: “…This treatment is currently not sold as continuous systems (in form of a cartridge or dispenser).”

(Spencer Lattimer ) #29

You’d be surprised how many cafes would fill up a water jug for you during slow hours. Get yourself a 5 gallon water jug & Flojet and save cash.

Is your GS/3 hooked up to your water supply or do you have a reservoir?

(Nick Price) #30

Anyone using an RO system having to use an inline pump to get the water pressure back up? I’m thinking about installing an RO system in my shop since the water is pretty hard here in Salt Lake, and the little filter cartridges that I’m using don’t seem to be doing a great job.

(Spencer Lattimer ) #31

In my experience, all RO commercial systems use a inline pump. Essentially it needs the pressure to force the water through the membrane to minimize waste water. I love everpure products (sans the Claris) but i really don’t like the pumps they use on their RO systems. Way undersized in my opinion.

(Nick Price) #32

Thanks Spencer! I’ve been talking with the folks over at Global Customized Water and they said the same thing. They use an in-line pump on their systems to bring pressure back up to about 60psi. I appreciate your response.

(Spencer Lattimer ) #33

The folks at GCW have been in the game for a while (and really good people). They used to be called cirqua water systems. I would recommend them for sure when it comes to water systems for cafes. I’ve worked with them for years now. There are a lot of ways to get the most out of your RO system. Drop me a line if you have more questions.

(Mitchell) #34

Hi all! I’m currently renovating my place and it seemed like a great opprtunity to install a water filter system.

The info I’ve seen has been great, but I’ve a few questions!

  1. My local rep has recommended 2FC series for coffee, but I see that both Chris and Dan are sing the ESO series. Whats the difference in general? I see the FC series as a generic filter for home and the ESO systems have been marketed for “specialty coffee”.

  2. the numbers following ESO, 6 and 7, what is the difference? is it capacity?

  3. Installation of the filter: Closer to the mains or the coffee machine? Line pressure drop across approx 7m from the mains, would it be an issue?

thank you all for your help!

(Chris Moore) #35


It really depends on your incoming water quality. Go off of your water quality and your manufacturer recommended hardness for your espresso machine.

But in general:

Too high of hardness = a scaled up espresso machine.

To low of hardness = flat drip coffee.

I recommend using a generic filter for the cold water supply to your bar. Your coffee machines should all be on the cold tap as well as your sink for drinking water and your ice machine. Then I would do a softening system (ESO or comparable) for just the espresso machine. No use softening the things that don’t need it. Also, no use filtering any hot water at all. No one will be drinking from the hot tap.

6 vs 7 is just a size thing. 7 has a larger capacity for softening (good if you have very hard water).



(Mitchell) #36


Thanks for the advice!

Yeah, my plan is to have the filter system only hook up to my machine as well a drinking fountain next to my machine.

As for the difference between the ESO and FC, I guess i’ll have to consult my local rep.

Could I check if you would know if there is any difference in placement of the filter system?

(Chris Moore) #37

Looks like FC is not a softener but ESO is. You only need to be worried about softening for espresso. Usually the capacity of a softening cartridge is much smaller. I think the ESO is around 600 gallons at a nominal hardness. Conversely, I think the FC is more like 25,000 gallons but didn’t soften. So you may not want to have a fountain on your espresso filter as it’ll just eat through your filter capacity a lot faster.

And remember to change your filter periodically. Probably once a year is about right.

What do you mean by placement?


(Mitchell) #38

i see! i’ll prolly have to check my mains hardness to decide!

Placement as in, should the filter be closer to the mains or to my machine? My machine sits about 6-7m of wall away from the mains. My worry is either placement may result in a poorer in-line pressure. Not sure if placing it near to the machine would be better or vice versa.

Thanks again for your help!