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Bestmax Premium Water Filter

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Hi,

 

After much deliberation I have just installed the BWT Bestmax Premium water filter kit onto my water supply. I did a drop test of my water before and after, as well as a bottle of Volvic. These were the results (TH=Total Hardness, KH=Carbonate Hardness):

 

Water supply:

TH 12 drops = 214ppm, KH 7 drops = 125ppm

 

Water supply with filter:

TH 7 drops = 125ppm, KH 5 drops = 89ppm

 

Volvic:

TH 4 drops = 71ppm, KH 3 drops = 53ppm

 

I can play around with the bypass setting (which determines how hard it filters the water), but I couldn't resist making a brew straight away. I applied the same recipe for the Rave LSOL that I've been using all week on the Kalita Wave and the flavour was considerably improved. It has taken some of the rough edges off it and the desirable flavours are much more pronounced.

 

In terms of espresso, 89ppm KH is possibly pushing it a bit in terms of scale. I will report back when I've done a few more brews at various bypass settings, but initial impressions are very positive.

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I bought the touch flow tap option from here:

http://www.thewaterwarehouse.co.uk/water-in-the-home/undersink-filters

 

They do free delivery or you can pay £20 for a next day service. I went for free delivery and it arrived the next day anyway! It's very good value - all of it is a similar cost to just buying the filter head and cartridge separately and with this kit it's a doddle to install.

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no I don't have a water supply near the machine at the moment :(

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Quick update:

 

I changed the bypass setting to "1" (which basically means more of the water is being fully treated), and ended up with the following:

 

Water supply with filter:

TH 6 drops = 107ppm, KH 3 drops = 53ppm

 

After having brewed a few cups on both settings, I think I slightly prefer this new one. Although it results in softer water (therefore slightly reduced extracting power), the bicarbonate is reduced disproportionately more than the total hardness and it seems to result in a more balanced cup. I think the higher bicarbonate on bypass setting "2" meant too much of the nice acidity was being lost to the buffer. The only downside is that the filter will not last as long.

 

I'm still massively impressed with the results!

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On bypass setting 2 I should expect 1360 litres. On bypass setting 1 it is not quite so clear, but looking at the table I would estimate around 1000 litres.

 

The installation kit was £120, so that would make it around 12p/litre. A couple of caveats:

- The filter needs replacing after 12 months regardless of usage. So if you don't exhaust the filter then the cost per litre will go up.

- The replacement cartridges are cheaper than the installation kit, so in future years the cost per litre should be less.

 

Given the amount we spend on equipment, I think this is excellent value for money for a discernible step up in cup quality, even compared with bottled water..

 

Bear in mind that your end result will be determined by your source water. Different source water to mine is unlikely to result in the same numbers. I think these filters are better for hard water where you have plenty of good stuff but want to get rid of the bad. Softer water will probably need something else, I think Xpenno has experience of this.

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I have posted elsewhere. We are about to move to Gloucestershire and the water is pretty hard. Will the bestmax help address that and also improve the flavour of our coffee. Currently we use the Tesco Ashbeck water and get through 10-15l a week.

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It will, but you will need to know the exact hardness. If it's very hard then it might not be able to filter hard enough.

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@fluffles

 

So 4 years on are you still impressed with the Bestmax? Does it reduce the risk of scale build up? Do you know how it compares to Brita jug filters which we currently use.

 

Which water test kit did you use?

 

Richard

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It's been great for me, but results will vary depending on your source water. Think it's fair to say the Brita jugs are not as capable as a true inline filter such as this.

If you can get details on your water I'm happy to advise, BWT are very helpful too if you give them a call

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I'm jumping on this thread as well as it's something I'm looking into at the moment as I'm sick of buying bottled water (currently Ashbeck). I'm going to order a test kit shortly but this is what the water board are coming back with a Total CaCO3 hardness of 199 mg/l

 

http://www.bristolwater.co.uk/water-quality/clifton-horfield-redland-and-kingsdown/

 

Am I right in thinking that I want the Carbonate hardness to be somewhere closer to 60/70 mg/l? From my lunchtime of research I'm getting a bit thrown off by the massive range of figures out there and what I should actually be focusing on so I'm going to fire off a few questions if that's alright :)

  • Is it CaCO3 that will scale up my machine?
  • How does MgCO3 affect taste/scale
  • Is total hardness the amount of everything else dissolved in the water and does it affect the amount of solids you can actually extract from coffee?


La Marzocco Linea Mini, Compak R120

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Hi JackBlackmore, I'm also in the same Bristol area as you and looking at plumbing my machine in. What did you go for in the end? How did you find it affected your coffee?

 

I'm thinking of going for the Bestmax S (think we'll get through 1000L a year if we use it for drinking water as well), plus the filter head and a flush valve. I couldn't work out from Fluffles waterwarehouse link what size filter the £120 kit came with?


Rocket Evoluzione R 2017 | Niche Zero | VST 18g Ridgeless | Acaia Pearl | TORR 58.55mm

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Waterwarehouse is a V from recall and a S is too small for daily use as described in my house

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Thanks Peter, I did actually see that it was a V when I looked closer. Think I'll go for that one then, plus a three way tap. Waterwarehouse seem considerably cheaper than anywhere else!


Rocket Evoluzione R 2017 | Niche Zero | VST 18g Ridgeless | Acaia Pearl | TORR 58.55mm

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I am onto my third from them and tbh it’s cheaper to turn over a V every 9 months or so than go a larger one. Get a KH test kit from an aquarium store and check it every other week for the fade out..

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Thanks for the info, I've been using a Brita jug but it's a hassle to keep refilling the Rocket reservoir!

 

I've also seen that some places include a flush valve with the cartridge & filter head, but then one of the features of the filter head seems to be that it shuts off to allow easy swapping of cartridges. Am I missing something here?!

 

I think all I need (once pipes are plumbed into place) is a Bestmax V + filter head, and nothing else.


Rocket Evoluzione R 2017 | Niche Zero | VST 18g Ridgeless | Acaia Pearl | TORR 58.55mm

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Coffeehit does all the little bits and bobs you need for fittings including hard to get ones, their cartridge prices are not competitive however

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Thanks Peter. I was also planning on supplying a drinking tap from the filter - is this as simple as a Y-splitter to feed two hoses? I'm assuming I'd then need to be careful of pressure then, i.e. not run tap and espresso machine together. As you can probably tell I don't have any plumbing experience - planning on having this professionally done.


Rocket Evoluzione R 2017 | Niche Zero | VST 18g Ridgeless | Acaia Pearl | TORR 58.55mm

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It’s a split on your cold tap, a run of 8mm pipe, a shutdown tap, a split and then 2 runs to the drinking tap and the filter, filter needs a push fit to the head, the head, a drainage tap and the adapter to your machine inlet. It’s not real plumbing

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Some one sort of mentioned an aspect of this area that has always concerned me - an assumption that only calcium compounds form scale. I doubt if that is the case. It would be interesting to see results from a proper TDS meter but really some one would need to check for scale physically to be sure that say bottled water achieved as much as the calcium hardness might suggest. The cheap conductivity meters aren't very good.

 

I live in an area that provides rather soft water 15.5mg/l or 15.5ppm yet scale still forms but never really builds up in a kettle over many years with a lot of use. Just a localised thin film on hot spots in a kettle with a hidden element in a flat base as most are these days.That reduces the efficiency of the heating in that area - probably why it never builds up.

 

I used a web conversion to go from mg/l to ppm as wasn't too sure how it was done. A water hardness converter gives the same result as general conversion tables.

 

We recently started using a hot water dispenser made my Morphy Richards. Rather than the usual thermoblock is uses a sort of kettle that can be loaded with enough water for say a cup to 1.5L It's used regularly several times a day 7 days a week by 3 people. We've had it for a few months. The temperature dropped off recently at it's 100C setting. I descaled it and that boosted it a bit but the main effect seems to be the cooling weather along with the the long drop from it's spouts to a mug. It's in the coldest place in the house. Descaling did push it up a bit though indicating that scale does occur even at the low levels we have.

 

;) So in my case even though on the face of it I may not need to descale going on common practice perhaps I should and if I do use an effective filter the results health wise may not be too good. Water doesn't like being too pure. Water out of a high end deioniser that really does produce pure water will take up some amount of just about anything that it comes in contact with.

 

John

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In Use Sage DB+IMS Shower Screen, Niche. Others Sage BE, Mazer Mini A,. Projects Little Gem, Gaggia M7D

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