[Homeroast] Distilled H2O

Mike Koenig koenig.mike at gmail.com
Wed Jun 5 15:09:05 CDT 2013

So, I'm jumping into this thread a bit late, after it's been beaten to
death already... but I will add my 2 cents anyway since it has caused some
list traffic for a change.

There were a few points mentioned that I will poke my nose into:

1.  Distilled water has a pH of 7 ONLY right after it is distilled.  Once
it's exposed to the atmosphere for a while, carbon dioxide will dissolve
and form carbonic acid, lowering the pH.  Very pure water will end up with
a pH of about 5.5 or so due to this effect.  If you are still seeing pH 7
in your distilled water, then you still have enough minerals in it to
buffer the carbonic acid, or your measurement technique is not very good.
 (and dont' trust your measurements unless you are doing them with a
calibrated pH meter).  I spent a lot of years testing high-purity water,
and you can clearly see this effect if you vigorously stir some recently
boiled purified water.

2.  I would not want to buy bottled purified water that was not ozonated.
 This is done to kill bacteria, and will dissipate long before you actually
get the bottle.  Yes, stuff will grow in pure water, and the taste of mold
is not at all appealing.  We used to find all sorts of stuff in our water
systems at work, including Pseudomonas (which can be a pathogen) on

3.  Due to the pH effect I mentioned, and the lack of other dissolved
minerals, very pure water will be much more aggressive to the components of
your equipment, and can be a problem in espresso machines (in addition to
the previously mentioned non-functioning of the auto-fill).

4.  There is a tremendous amount of dubious literature out there regarding
water, primarily circulated by the manufacturers of "magical" water
purification equipment.  By far the worst is guy that claims he can cure
disease with his magical device that "changes the bond angle of water".

5.  If distilled/pure water was so good for you, and there were supportable
claims to be made for it, Coke and Pepsi would be all over that with their
gazillion dollar a year bottled water business.  Instead, they purify
water, then add some minerals back (which is additional cost to them) to
make their Aquafina and Dasani products.  Mainly because pure water tastes

6.  A subjective data point:  I tried espresso with my RO water - it tastes
flat and dull.  I use calcite and magnesium oxide to add some minerals back
into my RO water.


On Mon, Jun 3, 2013 at 1:54 PM, Raybob Bowman <raybob at tube-tone.com> wrote:

> Just wondering how many on this list brew coffee with distilled water..
>  Many years ago, I used to drink mucho beer.  I stopped that and began
> drinking mucho coffee, all the time.  I found out getting whole bean and
> grinding just before brewing made it better.  Then I found a 'gourmet'
> coffee shop and got better beans.  At that shop, I mentioned using spring
> water making it better.  She said try distilled.  There's absolutely
> nothing bonded to the atoms yet, so it pulls more flavor from the beans.
> I found she was SO right.  Not only that, the health benefits of distilled
> water cleansing everything out of your body as you drink it.  That was in
> '91 I began using distilled H2O for coffee, then later for all food prep
> especially boiled noodles, beans, etc., that normally fill up with all the
> stones (minerals) in the condensed boiled tap water.  Now I can eat heaps
> of spagetti and never get that bloated feeling.  As for health, I haven't
> needed to see a doctor since '91, I'm turning 58 this year and am far
> healthier than I was at 38.
> Additional benefit, I can have a cup before bed, still sleep like a baby.
> Raybob
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