How to Descale A Coffee Machine and Remove Permanent Hardness
How to Descale A Coffee Machine and Remove Permanent Hardness

 

In this article, we write about how to descale a coffee machine and removing permanent hardness. What is the difference between permanent and temporary hardness? And is it important when brewing coffee? Hardness is a measurement of the number of certain minerals present in water. The quantity and percentage of minerals present in your coffee water will have a profound influence on the taste of the coffee and can also influence the likelihood that your espresso maker is to be scaled up and therefore it's worthwhile to grasp a few basic concepts.

Hardness in water

The term "hardness" originally is derived from the effects of water-based minerals on the soap. The minerals found in hard water stick to soap and result in an insoluble 'scum' which makes it difficult to form a foam and making soap less effective at washing. Sometime in the past, there was a time when people noticed that if water was heated prior to usage, the water was less hard, which makes washing easier. 

The hardness that can be removed through boiling is known as temporary hardness. The permanent hardness, which remains regardless of how many times you boil the water can be referred to as permanent hardness. The definition is simple enough to remember, however, to truly understand the underlying concept we must know some basic information about the minerals is composed of. 

Every mineral that dissolves in water is composed of ions which are electrically charged particles. The solid mineral contains equally large amounts of negative and positive charges, and charges cancel one another out. For instance table salt, sodium chloride is composed of equal amounts of positive attracted sodium (Na +) and negatively charged chloride ions (Cl -). As the mineral dissolves in water the ions break up ('dissociate') and spread across the water.

preparing coffee with coffee machine

What is the substance that gives water the ability to remain hard?

Salts of sulfate and chloride of calcium and magnesium cause water permanently hard. Permanent hardness is caused by the presence of sulfates from Ca/Mg. This further increases the hardness when boiling, since boiling eliminates just water as vapor, while the mineral content does not evaporate, and they remain within the vessel.

How can permanent hardness be removed?

Permanent Water Hardness: If magnesium soluble salts and calcium are found by way of chlorides or sulfides, in the water we can call permanent hardness since the hardness is not removed through boiling. The removal of this hardness is with the treatment of the water using washing soda.

hardness in water

One of the methods for removing hardness from water include

  • Chemical Process of Boiling Hard Water
  • Add Slaked Lime (Clark's Method)
  • Then add the Washing Soda
  • Calgon Process
  • Ion Exchange Process
  • Utilizing Ion Exchange Resins

Effects of hard water

The cause of hardness is any mineral whose positively charged ions have several charges. The higher charge of these ions makes it react with soap. It is this charge that makes these minerals are able to help create flavors from the coffee. Calcium (Ca 2+) and Magnesium (Mg 2+) comprise the majority of the hardness found in drinking water. Since magnesium and calcium contain two positive charges, the two behave similar manner and are thought of as interchangeable when talking about hardness. 

Other ions, such as iron (Fe 3+) or aluminum (Al 3+) may technically play a role ( WHO 2011) however, we usually do not take them into consideration, since the amount in drinking water is very minimal. Thus, the total hardness sometimes referred to as general hardness or GH is simply an indication of the quantity of positively charged calcium as well as magnesium present in the water. 

Because the electric charge of these ions aids in the extraction of flavor molecules and flavor molecules, the GH measurement can be a measure of the ability to extract flavor molecules from the water.

Negatively charged mineral ion

negatively charged mineral ion

Remember that every negatively charged mineral ion needs to be coupled with negatively charged ions too. One of the most important present in the water supply is called bicarbonate (HCO 3 -). If you boil water that has bicarbonate the bicarbonate reacts with magnesium and calcium in the water, forming the solid known as limescale (calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate). So, this is what causes temporary hardness.

By making the boiling water hot, you're creating a limescale that falls to the lowest point. Permanent hardness refers to the remains in the form of hardness (any Calcium or Magnesium that does not have bicarbonate in it that it can react with. Permanent and temporary hardness. This water has a hardness of 2 because the calcium/magnesium unit is two (red) within it. It has one temporary hardness as one carbonate component is able to bind to one calcium/magnesium and make limescale. 

The remaining calcium/magnesium has a permanent, and does not form limescale, and doesn't get removed through boiling. Other negative and positive mineral ions that are present in the water are represented in gray. When we test the hardness of the water we generally measure two parameters such as KH and GH. General hardness is GH, and it measures the amount of magnesium and calcium present in water. 

KH is Karbonatharte which is the German term for carbonate Hardness. Carbonate hardness is like temporary hardness. it refers to all the hardness which is coupled with bicarbonate ions. These may form limescale.

Standard KH test

The thing that makes it confused is the fact that a standard KH test does not actually test the carbonate's hardness. It is a KH drop test is a simple test that determines the bicarbonate content in the water, which is also known as alkalinity. This is crucial because it buffers out the acidity in the coffee, and makes it taste less sour. 

Too much alkalinity makes the coffee taste bland. In the case we have seen up to this point we have seen that the alkalinity is exactly the same as temporary hardness because there's enough magnesium and calcium to react with the bicarbonate, forming limescale. 

This is what happens in the majority of drinking water that is natural the alkalinity as well as the carbonate hardness, also known as temporary hardness are exactly identical, and often the KH test also gives you the carbonate's hardness.

In some instances bicarbonate's amount could be higher than magnesium or calcium. This could happen in the event that water has softened or the saltwater has gotten into drinking water. In this situation, there may not be enough magnesium and calcium to completely react with bicarbonate. 

When you use this kind of water, when boiling it all hardness has been removed, thus the temporary hardness will be the same as the total hardness and there is no  lasting hardness.

Permanent water hardness in coffee machine

Carbonate hardness

In this instance this scenario, it is likely that the KH test will yield more results over your GH. If the result of the KH test is greater than GH and carbonate hardness and general hardness are in fact identical. The number that the KH test provides is actually the alkalinity, not carbonate hardness. If the alkalinity is greater than the overall hardness it will be temporary and carbonate is the hardest. 

In this instance, the remaining alkalinity does not affect the hardness. KH drop kit KH drop kit has an alkalinity of 2 however, the carbonate's hardness is actually just 1 because there is only one unit of hardness to make limescale. This is a rare occurrence in tap water however the majority of us will not notice it when checking our water. In most drinking water sources, KH = alkalinity = a temporary hardness. 

Permanent hardness is simply the remaining hardness that remains Thus Permanent Hardness = GH KH - GH. In the end, there are three crucial factors in the process of brewing coffee The total hardness, also known as general hardness (GH), and the temporary hardness or carbonate hardness, and alkalinity. The total hardness assists the water extract flavor of the coffee. 

The temporal hardness determines the extent to which that hardness will develop into limescale. The alkalinity also determines how much water can take away acidity from the coffee. In the event that the KH is lower than GH If it is, then the KH test will give you an estimate of as well the temporal hardness as well as the alkalinity.

KH determines the extent to which the GH is able to form limescale. In the event that the KH is higher than GH however, then the KH only determines the alkalinity, while the hardness for temporary use is like the complete since the 'extra' KH does not form limescale itself.

The hardness of Water Permanent and Temporary Hardness of Water

US water usage

The water's hardness is caused by the presence of bicarbonates that are soluble, chlorides, and sulfates that are composed of calcium as well as magnesium. The water that doesn't give lather after washing with soap is called hard water.

Water is the most vital chemical element that is vital to the existence of life on the planet. It is found in oceans as well as ponds, rivers glaciers, lakes, and so on. 

Rainwater is considered to be pure water since it doesn't contain any salt that has been dissolved into it. It is believed that there are gases that are dissolved.

Water is classified into soft and hard water.

Soft water foams with soap. The water that comes from rain is considered to be soft water. It is ideal to be used for household use, such as washing and cleaning. Hard water is referred to as hard water due to the presence of calcium-based salts and magnesium. It does not foam with soap, instead, it creates precipitates.

What exactly is Hard Water?

Hard water is rich in mineral content. It's created when water percolates through limestone and chalk deposits that are composed of calcium carbonates and magnesium. It is not able to lather with soap, which is why it will not be suitable for washing uses.

The water's hardness is damaging to boilers because the process of accumulating salts takes place and reduces the effectiveness in the heating system. The water that is hard can drink, but drinking it for a long period of time could cause numerous issues, including:

Skin Strains

Water appliances use more energy, which results in more water usage, which results in

  • Spots appear on clothing and on linens
  • The different types of hardness in water
  • The water's hardness can be divided into two categories
  • Temporary Hardness
  • Permanent Hardness
  • A Temporary Hardness for Water

The presence of calcium and magnesium carbonates in water can cause it to be temporarily hard. In this instance, the water's hardness can be eliminated by boiling the water. If we boil water, the insoluble salts of Mg(HCO3)2 transforms into Mg(OH)2, which has no soluble properties, and thus precipitates and gets eliminated. After purification, the water that we receive is soft water.

Permanent Hardness of Water

If magnesium's soluble salts and calcium are found by way of chlorides or Sulphides in water, we call it permanent hardness as the hardness is not removed through boiling. We can eliminate the hardness by treating water by using washing soda. Insoluble carbonates form by the reaction of washing soda with the chloride and sulfide calcium and magnesium salts and hard water transforms into soft water.

The disadvantages of hardness

  • The waste of soap
  • Fuel wastage
  • Scale formation on metallic boilers.

How to temporary remove the Hardness of the Water

By Boiling:

Bicarbonates that are soluble are transformed into insoluble carbonates, which are removed through the process of filtration. Reactions Ca(HCO3)2 + DCalo3| + CO2 + H2O = Mg(HCO3)2 + DMgCO3 + H2O + CO2

The Clarks Method:

The reagent Clark uses is calcium hydroxide. It reduces the toughness in water making bicarbonates carbonate. Reaction Ca(OH)2 + Ca(HCO3)2 - 2CaCO3 + 2H2O

How can I remove the permanent hardness from water?

Hard water to softwater ION Exchange Most Used

Gan's Permutit Method:

In this process the sodium orthosilicate referred to as permit or zeolite, is employed to eliminate the hardness that remains in the water. Reaction: Na2 Al2 O8.KH2O + 2Na Ca+++ + Ca Al2 si2 O8.xH2O

Calgon's Process:

In this method, sodium-hexa-meta-phosphate (NaPO3)6 known as Calgon is used. The water's hardness is eliminated through the absorption of Ca+ or Mg++ Ions. = Check: What is the difference between Absorption and Adsorption

Ion Exchange Resin Method:

In this way, the water's hardness is removed making use of resins. In this method, Ca++/Mg++ions exchange ClSO4-2 and -ions. are exchanged by anion exchange resin (RNH2OH). Demineralized water is created during this process. = 2RCOOH + Calcium (RCOO)2Ca + 2H+ = RNH2OH + Cl + RNH2Cl is H+ and OH H2O

What are the harmful effects of hard water?

soap scum Some of the most commonly used indications of hard water are:

  • The clothes and linens look dull and rough
  • Stains that are ugly on white porcelain as well as scale build-up in faucets
  • Showers that have low water pressure because of clogged pipes
  • Chalky, white residues and spots are visible on food items
  • Strains appear when you shower.

I have the exact question as you.  The first reason is that it takes time for limescale to develop. If you're boiling a kettle to make coffee just a little bit of limescale will be formed when you are ready to brew your coffee, which means there is still bicarbonate present in your water when it is boiling. It's necessary to simmer the kettle for a long period to get rid of all limescale.

In the case of a coffee maker, it is has a kettle that is boiling for a lengthy period of time - forever, if you don't turn it off. However, in this instance there is a second factor that is in play: the limescale that is already present in the boiler begins to dissolve into the water, too. 

There's an equilibrium point when it is determined that the limescale dissolving is exactly the same as the amount that's formed this is the premise of the Langelier Saturation Index.