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Everything posted by GlennV

  1. Backer no 58 here - no sign of it yet.
  2. I don't know, but I imagine they're pretty much the same. They all (these, 3M scaleguard and others) work by replacing calcium, magnesium and heavier metal ions with hydrogen ions, thus reducing GH and KH by equal measure. I use the Brita ones as they're plentiful and cheap on that well known auction site. The Bestmax premium filters are a bit different, as they replace calcium and heavier cations with a mix of hydrogen and magnesium ones.
  3. Yes, the (right) undersink systems are unquestionably more effective. Cambridge water is very hard (~400GH) and the Brita Purity Quell ST reduces this to a non scaling level.
  4. It depends on what you mean by an upgrade. Quick disclaimer: I've not owned a Royal, but have owned a Major, and I've not owned a Mythos, but have owned a 75mm MDL which is essentially the same grinder without the slant. In my opinion it's not going to make better coffee, but it might make it easier to get the grinds into the portafilter.
  5. A while ago I used two identical 68mm conical grinders side by side over a period of weeks with the same beans in each, but using various beans over the period. One was hopper fed and the other single dosed. Both were kept dialled in and I alternated between them. The intention was to organise some blind tasting, but I soon realised there was no point as it was pretty obvious that I was not possible to detect any taste difference between the two. The single dosed one required more basket prep, and even then the pours never looked as good, but the result in the cup was no different. I don't think there's any doubt that there is considerable grind variation when single dosing, I've done the test where you divide the dose into thirds. So yes, there is more effort required but I'm convinced there's no difference in the cup. If the conclusion is that the Niche produces results every bit as good as any other large conical when single dosed then it's doing pretty well.
  6. The aquarium test kits are all pretty much the same. The general hardness (8 degrees/140ppm GH) will be measuring calcium and magnesium ion concentration (the standard test can't distinguish them). Carbonate hardness (4 degrees/ 70ppm KH) refers to carbonate/bicarbonate ion concentration (although the test will actually be measuring alkalinity as a proxy for that). These numbers say nothing about the calcium/magnesium balance. In answer to the original question, Cambridge water is significantly harder than Oxford's (we're well hard here, at over 400ppm GH) and I have a Brita Purity Quell ST filter, which gets the water down to 100GH/50KH on zero bypass. This is still slightly scaling, but is often regarded as providing a good balance between scaling and the taste of the coffee. I bought the Brita as I wasn't convinced that the bestmax would be able to get the water down to this level, and your numbers seems to confirm this (I was getting numbers like yours with bypass set on 1 with the Brita). This makes sense, the Brita replaces calcium ions with hydrogen ones, which brings down the GH and KH by equal measure (as the hydrogen combines with carbonate and bicarbonate ions to release CO2, roughly speaking). The bestmax, by design, replaces some calcium ions with hydrogen ions and some with magnesium ions, and exchanging magnesium ions with calcium ions changes neither number. So, you might want to go to a zero bypass for this filter and think about getting a brita (+head) next time if you want more life out of the filter.
  7. The sage DB does like a fine grind, which is a good thing as far as I'm concerned. If you turn off the PI then you should be able to use a coarser grind. I normally use an 18g VST, but the 15g VST works fine too.
  8. This doesn't make sense. If the grinder can't go fine enough to stop the flow then there must surely be an issue with it. Just for fun, I've just dosed 10g in a 20g VST, ground at several notches finer than my usual setting, and just got a few drips (this was using a 68mm conical with the sage DB).
  9. Mine did this. I sent it back and got a replacement after people here said they hadn't observed this. The replacement behaved identically. I think it's the superheated water, sat in the pre-heat heat exchanger in the steam boiler, flash boiling when the solenoid opens and the pressure drops. I don't think it matters.
  10. I enjoyed playing with the machine at Prufrock yesterday, particularly the flow profiling modes. Thanks to @matisse for organising this. I was also impressed at how quiet it is, far quieter than any other vibe pump machine I've come across and not at all unpleasant to the ear. Question: Do the DE1+ and DE1PRO+ have the same pressure and flow sensors?
  11. To get back to the original question, almost all commercial grinders use induction motors. You can change speed by changing the supply frequency, but that doesn't work so well for single phase ones. Mazzer do make three phase grinders, and a variable frequency drive works fine for them - AndyS on here uses one to drive a robur I believe.
  12. That can't be the case, it must be a measurement issue. Either cartridge must decrease the KH by precisely the same amount as it deceases the GH, as otherwise the water would end up electrically charged.
  13. The second of those, and probably the first as well, just adds polyphosphates to the water rather than removing anything. I'd recommend something like the brita purity quell ST, or one of the BWT offerings, which use ion exchange to reduce both the hardness and alkalinity (your whole house system reduces the hardness without reducing the alkalinity). This looks like good value (I have no connection to seller): https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Brita-Purity-C300-Quell-ST-Water-Filter-Cartridge-Head-Unit/282726598509?epid=1506198074&hash=item41d3d1876d:g:NTkAAOSwke9Z9ixe
  14. I got my last set from @foundrycoffeeroasters.com. Great service.
  15. You can add a British PC keyboard layout (with the @ and " in the "'right" place etc) in keyboard preferences (input sources) and then switch between layouts easily if you wish).
  16. GlennV

    Rubix Cube

    Oh, go on then ... My maths teacher got hold of a batch of these in early 1980 from eastern europe, before they were released here. It took me from midday, when he gave them out, to 4am to solve it for the first time, and I went into school the next day with a method that took about 15mins. The records fell rapidly after that. Fun days, and teachers do make a difference ...
  17. This will increase GH and KH by precisely the same amount, with all the GH in the form of calcium. Personally I prefer around 100GH/50KH as recommended in Jim Schulman's insanely long water faq, but Volvic has roughly equal GH and KH (60 of each) and seems to be liked well enough here. It might need a plumbed bypass to avoid adding too much though.
  18. That's correct. As far as I'm aware, the only BWT filter that actually adds mineral content is the rather expensive Bestmin.
  19. The bestmax premium does not add minerals. It removes some of the calcium and exchanges some of the rest for magnesium.
  20. Column 3 is actually general hardness (GH), ie 2.5 x [Ca] + 4.1 x [Mg]. KH is likely a bit lower.
  21. No. Assuming that's in units of ppm (or mg/l) calcium carbonate equivalent - as it almost certainly is - your water is about the same hardness as volvic. I'll edit my post to say "softer" water areas.
  22. Yes. I had a QM Vetrano 2B (double boiler). Bought a Sage when they were heavily discounted. Sold the Vetrano. I've now modified the sage, with a gear pump and a needle valve with solenoid bypass, but even before that it was able to match the best espresso from the Vetrano, and with greater consistency.
  23. BB sell the C50 Fresh, which is for softer water areas. It removes nasties without changing the hardness. The link I gave was to the domestic version of the C50 Quell ST, which does reduce hardness.
  24. This is what I have. Produces excellent coffee water (100GH/50KH) from super hard tap water. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Brita-Kelda-Brushed-3-Way-Ambient-Kitchen-Sink-Mixer-Tap-Water-Filter/302049208701 (other sellers are available)
  25. I don't know if they've changed anything, but mine goes very coarse indeed. The attached photo is at 7 full turns from zero and is far coarser than anything I'd use to make coffee. You have fully loosened the thumbwheel at the top?
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