Water Water Everywhere... What’s Your Water?

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Tue Mar 14, 2023 12:43 pm

bentz98125 wrote:
Sat Mar 11, 2023 8:36 pm
pedant wrote:
Tue Jul 06, 2021 11:42 am
Bok wrote:
Mon Jul 05, 2021 9:05 pm
Speaking of... it is also that people do go up in arms over the tiniest threat to their perceived right to bear dangerous firearms, but do not care enough for the water that keeps them alive.
entering political territory...
Hope I'm not the only one to see the ironic hilarity in this turn of the thread. Maybe you have to be a child of the western United States to understand (but I don't think so) that water is not for drinking never mind brewing tea. That's what whiskey is for and water as everyone knows, is for fighting. Which is where guns come in. The fact that we on this forum find meaning discussing the intricacies of brewing tea with a variety of different waters we have access to, is a profound political statement (having to do with privilege and good fortune) all on its own!
Well said.

The deplorable state of municipal water in the US makes the subject political since these are municipalities attempting to meet poor federal and local standards: it’s generally potable and won’t cause severe illnesses if you live in affluent areas. There are large cities in the US, impoverished cities, with famously unhealthy water.

Having water that tastes nice is an afterthought. Our government can’t reliably produce water that doesn’t have heavy metals, radiation, or unsafe flora.

Then there’s a third of the US that lives in rural areas with personally maintained septic and well water. The septic systems frequently enough are faulty and seep into the ground water.

These aren’t merely news items. I’ve seen and experienced all of these things myself.

So not only does our government not provide tasty water, it can’t be relied on to provide safe water.
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Wed Mar 15, 2023 1:49 am

For the French speakers/readers among us and it just so happens to fit into our discussion

Interesting study how much water is used to produce tea, coffee, beer – and bottled water. Preliminary good result for our conscience, it seems that tea uses the least water among them, even less than bottled water!

So tap or tea.
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Wed Mar 15, 2023 3:54 pm

Interesting @@Bok

I've been making my recent project figuring out a way to get off the bottled water as much as possible. Though while learning about reverse osmosis you find it also can produce quite a substantial amount of it if you don't have a decently efficient system set up. It can at least be used for things like watering your plants, etc though...

To be honest at least for now the issue of getting and weighing out all these minerals, making sure I'm getting decent quality food grade ones, some of them being hard to dissolve... it was kind of intimidating and off-putting because my end goal here is making good tea not water as its own end. So my goal has been to find a mineral water or combination of really concentrated mineral waters that I could mix in to reverse osmosis water instead. I've been experimenting with distilled water and feel I'm getting reasonably close so I'll be switching to an R-O system very soon. It has been really tricky though. With two or even three water mixtures I can hit what look like almost identical numbers to my current bottled waters of choice combo - and yet it tastes totally different. Or you think you have something almost dialed in, try tweaking things a bit and it goes in a totally different direction than anticipated. I'm using mineral waters I'll need in small quantity so I'm talking about using 15-40ml per liter, so I'll be able to mix up 5-10L batches using just two returnable glass bottles or less for that. I've been trying to figure out what is missing or off, but its a task. I think some of it might have to do with how the pH might shift, so I need to get some strips to check the levels there. The other is probably the difficult world of chemistry - maybe I have the same amount of sulfates as my target recipe... but what are those sulfates and in what concentrations? Maybe the ones in one water are substantially different from those in another and how they may combine and interact. Also that there might be other things other than what tend to be listed on the bottle are contributing, even if not substantially, to the TDS of a bottled water that when starting from distilled h2o are missing and make it taste flat or two dimensional. One test combo might be right and have decent aroma but way over-extract the tea, another might offer more even brewing but under-extract. I'll be happy when its sorted out enough that I can get back to enjoying my nicer teas and be done with this taking up so much of that time, but being able to do it in a more planet friendly way will be nice.
Ethan Kurland
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Wed Mar 15, 2023 6:02 pm

I & some other members use sterasyl ceramic filters which have granulated charcoal inside of them. My tabletop set up holds about 6 liters of water in the top w/ 2 of these filters. (The top has 4 holes but 2 are plugged because my water is not terribly bad.) 2 new filters cost under $60 & might last me a year. (I clean them a few times.)

In the early life of the filters, almost all of the water makes it to the bottom section (the resevoir) but as the filters age, some remains unfiltered above to be used as regular tap water (or if one is not avoiding waste totally, poured down a drain).

I bought my set up used. It is British Berkefeld which became Big Berkey, but several companies offer what is pretty close to 2 big aluminum cans. Big Berkey stopped selling ceramic filters but a few companies have the size I need. You can research Europe's providers.

My tap water is not really dirty or dangerous but does not taste good. For tea & drinking water, the filtered water is my choice. The only bottled water that impressed me for noticeably better tea is Fuji. (Someone gave me a couple of bottles. I wouldn't buy it.) Truely processed r.o. water is close to distilled water without enough minerals for tea's flavors to cling to. The water filtered w/ what I like makes excellent tea. Good luck.
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