Water comprises an integral ingredient in coffee. That is why it is crucial to understand what type of water you should use in your Keurig brewer.
The quality of water not only impacts the coffee’s taste and quality but also affects the brewer’s performance.
Many people opt for distilled water with no minerals to avoid frequent descaling sessions. But do you know you will get an error code if you use distilled water in Keurig brewers?
Keurig brewers have a built-in sensor that detects and removes minerals from water. But if water has no minerals, i.e., distilled, you will get an error code on old Keurig brewers. Similarly, distilled water absorbs chemicals from its surroundings, causing damage to the tank. Moreover, your coffee would no longer taste good with distilled water, as the softened water weakens the extraction process.
There are multiple reasons why you cannot use distilled water in Keurig reasons. You can continue with the article to learn how distilled water affects your brewer and what are the better alternatives.
What is Meant by Distilled Water?
Before moving ahead, it is important to understand what distilled water is and how it differs from tap or hard water.
Water that has been subjected to distillation is called distilled water. During distillation, water is boiled into steam. The steam is then collected and condensed to form water.
Thanks to the distillation process, water becomes 99% free from all sorts of impurities. After this process, you will find nothing in the water, not even minerals that our body often requires.
Thus, it would be apt to say that distilled water is not always the right choice as it deprives your body of essential minerals.
Reverse osmosis purifiers are a perfect example of filters that provide distilled water.
Can You Use Distilled Water in Keurig Brewers?
Now that you are familiar with distilled water, let’s continue discussing how it is unsuitable for your Keurig brewers.
The proposition of using distilled water in Keurig brewers is very controversial. Some people deem distilled water viable for brewers as it cannot cause scaling.
Hard or even tap water has tons of minerals that can accumulate in the brewer with time. This gradual accumulation can cause limescale to build up in the brewer.
When scaling happens, the machine’s brewing quality drops. To remove scale particles, the brewer requires regular descaling after every two to three months.
But in the case of distilled water, there should be no such scenario. Since distilled water has zero impurities and minerals, there is practically nothing in it that can accumulate inside the brewer.
Thus, people believe that using distilled water will prevent scaling and will save them from routine descaling sessions without compromising the brewer’s functionality.
All of these claims could have been true only if the Kueirg brewers were compatible with distilled water. Even if you check Keurig’s manual, you can see that they suggest not to use distilled water with brewers.
Why Should You Not Use Distilled Water in Keurig?
When it comes to using distilled water, the Keurig brewers are classified into two categories, i.e., older models and newer ones.
Keurig 1.0 Brewers
Keurig 1.0 were the first brewers that the company ever made. They are usually bigger than the modern versions but are still superior technology-wise.
Since these brewers do not have sensors, they accept distilled water without showing any error code. That is why, if you own Keurig’s 1.0 models, you can use distilled water with them.
But Remember! It would still take a negative toll on your brewer’s health. Basically, distilled water acts like a vacuum.
When used for brewing, distilled water leeches chemicals from the plastic tank.
Thus, distilled water may cause less scaling but damages the tank with time. Furthermore, distilled water imparts a peculiar taste to coffee, which you must determine whether you like it or not.
Keurig 2.0 Brewers
The 2.0 series was Keurig’s second generation of coffee makers. These brewers are more compact and portable than the previous ones. One of their unique additions was the water reservoir sensor.
The sensor detects the water level and then passes it on for brewing. Besides, it is also the reason why newer Keurig models cannot use distilled water.
Actually, the sensor works by detecting the minerals in the water. If water has no minerals, i.e., distilled, the sensor will show that the reservoir is empty.
Thus, even if your reservoir is full of water but has no minerals, the sensor will not detect it. And if the sensor shows zero water level, the coffee maker will not initiate the brewing process.
Conclusively, the sensor fails to detect distilled water in the reservoir. It gives a red single, and the brewing cycle does not initiate. Moreover, you get an error code stating that the water tank is empty.
Keurig 1.0 vs 2.0: Which Works Best with Distilled Water?
Apart from the fact that distilled water is unsuitable for any brewer, we shall scrutinize both Keurig series to determine which is more compatible with mineral-free water.
Keurig 1.0 brewers have no sensors. They readily take up distilled water even though it damages the plastic tank. On the contrary, Keurig 2.0 brewers fail to detect distilled water levels.
These brewers stop the brewing process and display error codes on the screen. Therefore, Kuerig 1.0 brewers are better for making coffee with distilled water.
For more information, you should know that Keurig 2.0 brewers have been discontinued. These brewers were less popular among the audience.
The 2.0 brewers only accepted K-Cup pods which people found highly unaffordable. Similarly, many users prefer distilled water for making coffee, which cannot be used with these brewers.
Thus, the only Keurig brewers you can find in the market these days are Keurig 1.0 brewers, which can utilize distilled water.
What are the Disadvantages of Using Distilled Water in Keurig Brewers?
Though some Keurig brewers can use distilled water, it is crucial to learn whether it would be safe for the machine. Below are some disadvantages of using distilled water in Keurig brewers.
1. Causes Damage to the Tank
Distilled water does not contain nutrients and chemicals. Its acts as a vacuum and absorbs chemicals from the plastic tank or nearby components.
In some severe cases, distilled water may even leech the metal parts to absorb more chemicals.
Therefore, prolonged use of distilled water can pose severe damage to your brewer.
Your brewer’s tank and its components may wear out sooner than expected. Consequently, you will have to make frequent repairs and replacements, which can be hassling and expensive at the same time.
2. Unsafe for Consumption
When distilled water absorbs chemicals from plastic and metal components of the tank, it itself becomes contaminated.
Thus, due to leeching, the water becomes unfit for consumption. If you consume it for a prolonged duration, contaminated water may affect your health negatively.
Water comprises 98% of coffee. That is why it is essential to ensure that the water you use in your coffee is safe for your health.
Due to safety risks, Keurig’s guidelines for brewers also suggest not to use distilled water in the water reservoir for brewing coffee.
Read Also: Keurig Not Brewing Full Cup?
3. Not Compatible with 2.0 Series
This is something you already know from the previous context. Distilled water does not show compatibility with all Keurig brewers.
Only the brewers from 1.0 can utilize distilled water. Whereas, with a Keurig 2.0 brewer, you cannot use mineral-free water as it will show an error code.
4. Noticeable Change in Taste
Minerals and chemicals in water affect its acidity/alkalinity. Thus, coffee made with distilled water tastes different from those made with filtered/mineral/spring water.
Most people have bad reviews for coffee made with distilled water. They say it tastes bland and does not give off the vibe you get from mineral water.
However, there are also some people who like their coffee with distilled water. That is why it utterly depends upon your preference whether coffee made with distilled water is suitable for you or not.
What Type of Water Is Best for Keurig Brewers?
As far as I have researched, tap or filtered water is perfectly fine for Keurig brewers. Distilled and hard water are the two extreme ends you should skip. Instead, opt for the middle way.
Keurig brewers have a charcoal-sealed water tank. The tank removes all kinds of impurities while leaving a healthy amount of minerals in the water.
Thus, if you are concerned about your health, don’t worry! You can trust Keurig Brewers on this one. You can also use bottled mineral water, but that would be too expensive, plus it causes plastic waste.
Filtered water will do the best for your Keurig brewer. It won’t absorb or leech off chemicals from the tank, ensuring the brewer’s and consumer’s safety.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why should you not use distilled water in a coffee maker?
Distilled water is unsuitable for brewers as it causes the coffee grounds to swell and also obstructs the water flow.
Similarly, distilled water absorbs chemicals from the plastic tank, which gradually damages the tank.
Does distilled water taste bad for coffee?
Distilled water is softened water with no mineral salts. The extraction process becomes weak when the water has lesser minerals.
As a result, the coffee becomes flavorless and bland with distilled water compared to the one made with filtered/mineral water.
Which water is best for coffee?
Filtered tap water or filtered alkaline water are the top choices for brewing coffee. Unfiltered/hard water causes limescale accumulation in the brewer.
While distilled water having no minerals absorbs chemicals from the reservoir’s surroundings and brews a flavorless coffee.
Distilled water in Keurig Brewers seems a very safe option to many people. But after research, you will know it can actually be more harmful than hard water.
Keurig has explicitly mentioned in its user manuals not to use distilled water. But many people tend to ignore it, which is a grave mistake.
My best alternative for Keurig brewers would be either tap or filtered water. Both choices are safe for consumption. Besides, they don’t extend any harm to water reservoirs, unlike distilled water.
Though you will have to do frequent descaling solutions with tap/filtered water, it is much better than having a bland coffee daily or replacing the tank every now and then.