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I'm using a filter and bottled water.. I switch between ashbeck and buxton ( I prefer buxton as its drinkable..) But ashbeck when theres no other option.

I bought 30litres of water from tesco the otherday and they thought I was running a cafe or trying to fill a pool... Little did they know I was taking advantage of their 12 pack 1.5litre bottles were on deal buy one get one free.

 

Sadly already on my last bottle... Tempted to create a siphon from a giant waterjug to my watertank... and a siphon from my driptray to the sink. Would be like having it plumbed in.

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i have a decalcifier on my on my hot water system which i had fitted to assist my boiler. i pop hot water through the Brita and crack on with that I also descale my espresso machine every other month. Surely that is good enough?!I have never noticed a problem thus far an am not anticipating one!

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jug filters aren't that effective

 

Damn really? Ahhhh flipping heck man, I bought one specifically.......I may not have looked into it enough but thought it better than not having one. Waters quite hard here also. So you think I should be buying bottled also?

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I know a little about this as i spent hours reading info so here is the 30 second elevator pitch (followed by some super long reference material!):

 

Use Volvic bottled water in your espresso machine if you don't want to descale at regular intervals

 

Brita Filters seem to have got better and do reduce the hardness of water resulting in LESS scale build up, however this does not mean no scale build up over time!

 

I personally use volvic in my Rocket as it makes things easier but i do have a Brita jug for drinking water and pour over etc. Hope this helps some!

 

The info out there is really confusing to say the least, with many contradictions (see links below)

 

http://users.rcn.com/erics/Water%20Quality/Water%20FAQ.pdf - Jim Schulman's Insanely long water FAQ

http://londiniumespresso.com/blog/brita-water-filters-protecting-your-espresso-machine-from-limescale - Slightly confusing post suggesting that Brita filters may be ok for use in Espresso Machines

http://londiniumespresso.com/blog/how-to-use-an-espresso-machine - Later post stating that Volvic should be used as Brita filters do not reduce hardness (contradicting their earlier post)

Edited by big dan
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It's worth noting that the cost difference is negligible when you factor in that the filters do not much more than 3 weeks depending on use. Brita recommend that the cartridge is good for 100 litres of water but this is base on a water hardness of 12 (degrees Clarke) but Reading for example has a hardness of 23 so it really depends on how hard your water is. Some users say that after only 2 weeks the amount of softening effect the filter has is less than half of when it was new.

 

I buy 6 packs of Volvic for about £3 which is 9 litres of water.

Brita Maxtra(RRP) costs around £4 per cartridge and could produce around 50 litres of water.

So that's 33p per litre for Volvic against 8p/ per litre for a Brita filter.

 

Definitely looks cheaper to have a brita jug but the savings are negligable when you look at consumption, assuming i have 3 double espresso's per day using Volvic costs me about 25p a day and a six pack should last me 18 days (this is including 2 cooling flushes for my HX machine). Over a year this is about £60 on bottled water. Brita Filters for the year would cost me around £30-50 depending on deals etc. So yes could save half as much but i don't think £30 in a year is a huge compromise! Don't forget to factor in costs (and labour time) of descaling if you do have some build up and the initial cost of the jug in the first place.

 

Another thing to consider if you are being geeky is that if you use bottled water you have removed a variable as you know the water will always be the same as it is from the same source. With a filter it's efficacy is being reduced every time you use it so you're water's composition will not be as stable.

 

My recommendation is to use volvic for your espresso machine and a brita filter for your kettle when making pour overs etc. Best of both worlds then! Also could be a good experiment (might do it myself actually) to buy a Brita kettle from new and replace the cartridges according to guidelines from Brita and see if any scale builds up over the course of a year. I know a boiler will get hotter than a kettle but would be a good indication if you have no scale after a year in your kettle.

 

Sorry for the rant, on my night shift and was bored, and now tired! :)

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Another thing to consider if you are being geeky is that if you use bottled water you have removed a variable as you know the water will always be the same as it is from the same source.

 

Not true, apparently. Spence, the forum's resident water geek, has found bottled water to be quite variable

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Interesting Jeebsy, do you know what brands he tested?

 

I found a couple of tests done on Volvic water over the last few years and they have been relatively close.

 

Of course i wouldn't be surprised if some companies were just filing up the bottles from any old tap, i mean source! ;)

 

Maybe we should get Spence in here to sort things out properly!

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Descaler is cheap. Maybe the best bet is to keep on top of the lime scale by descaling more often and just use tap water?

 

The issue is not just scale, it's taste too. Like with whiskey, the water used to prepare coffee contributes to the taste profile. FWIW I use Volvic too. The tap water in Norwich is rubbish (for hardness, CaCO3 and coffee making ;-).

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Descaler is cheap. Maybe the best bet is to keep on top of the lime scale by descaling more often and just use tap water?

 

Have a look in your kettle, is it scaled?

 

The supermarket own brand waters are ~20p/litre. See if you can detect a taste difference too?

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Are the Brita Purity C filters more effective than the jug filters?

 

I was hoping to be able to plumb in my (yet to be acquired) machine using something like the C500.

 

My tap water is Calcium Carbonate: 309 mg/l, Alkalinity 245 mg/l, pH 7.3, TDS 345 mg/l according to the latest published water quality data for my supply zone. Would a Brita Purity C500 be suitable?

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Well I have been using a Brita jug which I bought about a couple of weeks into getting my machine. I just popped out for a few things and bought two big bottles of Volvic as it was two for a £1.

Have new bags of rested beans at home so gonna open one and do a comparison....remembering to flush through the old before trying the bottled.

I may have to wait till the weekend though or I'll be up all night.....for the sake of a quid its gotta be worth a try.

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Are the Brita Purity C filters more effective than the jug filters?

 

I was hoping to be able to plumb in my (yet to be acquired) machine using something like the C500.

 

My tap water is Calcium Carbonate: 309 mg/l, Alkalinity 245 mg/l, pH 7.3, TDS 345 mg/l according to the latest published water quality data for my supply zone. Would a Brita Purity C500 be suitable?

 

I can't speak for Brita, but I'd recommend giving BWT a call. They gave me some good advice on home filtration systems that I currently have my trigger finger hovering over. Not particularly expensive either when you factor in the cost of bottled water, and the convenience factor is obvious.

 

Looks like you have quite hard water. Would be worth getting figures for permanent hardness and temporary hardness. It would also be worth getting a drop test kit for you water - you will probably want to measure it before and after to check that you're getting the results you want.

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Are the Brita Purity C filters more effective than the jug filters?

 

I was hoping to be able to plumb in my (yet to be acquired) machine using something like the C500.

 

My tap water is Calcium Carbonate: 309 mg/l, Alkalinity 245 mg/l, pH 7.3, TDS 345 mg/l according to the latest published water quality data for my supply zone. Would a Brita Purity C500 be suitable?

 

My readings are similar, slightly softer but not much.

I've bought a c300 and an adjustable filter head, the 3/500 etc is the size of the filter, the bigger the filter the more it can process before being changed.

I tested the water with a brita drop test which took 18 drops to change colour, which according to the install manual means I need to set the filter to 30% which will last for 3,500 litres (5,900 if it was the 500)

I just need a few bits of kit to arrive so that I can plumb it in and test again, if the life calculation is correct then it will cost me £0.02p a litre.

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My readings are similar, slightly softer but not much.

I've bought a c300 and an adjustable filter head, the 3/500 etc is the size of the filter, the bigger the filter the more it can process before being changed.

I tested the water with a brita drop test which took 18 drops to change colour, which according to the install manual means I need to set the filter to 30% which will last for 3,500 litres (5,900 if it was the 500)

I just need a few bits of kit to arrive so that I can plumb it in and test again, if the life calculation is correct then it will cost me £0.02p a litre.

 

Would be very interested to hear how it compares with bottled water in terms of cup quality and flavour - would be great if you could post back your findings

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My machine came with a BWT filter to fit in the inlet in the tank and this has put me in two minds as to what I should do going forward - I'm also using Volvic since I had a whole stack of it in... could be total overkill.

 

I should imagine the cost of swapping out the BWT softeners every couple months is roughly on a par to always running Volvic through it, so not sure what option is better moving forward.

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Descaler is cheap. Maybe the best bet is to keep on top of the lime scale by descaling more often and just use tap water?

 

Not sure about this?

 

It is highly frowned on by Londinium for one.

 

As others have said, water affects flavour too.

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My machine came with a BWT filter to fit in the inlet in the tank and this has put me in two minds as to what I should do going forward - I'm also using Volvic since I had a whole stack of it in... could be total overkill.

 

I should imagine the cost of swapping out the BWT softeners every couple months is roughly on a par to always running Volvic through it, so not sure what option is better moving forward.

 

Volvic is not overkill - it's one of the best for taste (espresso) and won't kill your machine. For pour over and other brewed coffee Volvic is overkill - Waitrose essential is one of the best if you are close to a Waitrose.

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Not sure about this?

 

It is highly frowned on by Londinium for one.

 

As others have said, water affects flavour too.

 

Hi Stephen, can't seem to access the Londinium link - permission denied. Can you summarise what it says? Presumably, use bottled water rather than descaling, but any rationale / explanation? Not that I necessarily disagree, just interested to know what it says (and, by extension, whether there are any particular issues with descaling a Londinium).

 

Thanks.

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Hi Stephen, can't seem to access the Londinium link - permission denied. Can you summarise what it says? Presumably, use bottled water rather than descaling, but any rationale / explanation? Not that I necessarily disagree, just interested to know what it says (and, by extension, whether there are any particular issues with descaling a Londinium).

 

Thanks.

 

OK... Here is the relevant comment from Reiss:

 

The L1 is a compact commercial espresso machine; the only way to properly descale it is by removing the boiler and then disassembling the boiler so the descaler can effectively clean the heat exchanger

 

For this reason I have stressed from day one: don't let limescale into your L1

 

Regardless of how easy it is to descale a machine, the chemicals used to descale machines drastically reduce the service life of the machine and so does the limescale. A machine that is allowed to become heavily scaled and then descaled is never the same again basically

 

If you are in any doubt get a decent water hardness test kit

 

Not very practical to descale an L1, other machines may be a lot simpler to descale... But he goes on to suggest that the chemicals themselves are destructive.

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I've been buying Ashbeck 6 packs since I bought the Gaggia. I make 2 to 3 milky coffees on an evening so not that bad.

Input: 'Terranovered’ Versalab M3  + Niche

Output: Slayer One Group + La Pavoni + V60 + AeroPress + Syphon + Bialetti Induction Moka Pot + Bialetti Mucka Express + jar of instant for visitors..

 

 

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