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Ken Neyer Plumbing, Inc. Blog

Does Your Bakery Need a Water Softener?

You’ve probably heard people talk with strong opinions on the coffee and pizza in New York, or the amazing beignets and tortillas in Southern California. While food comes with a rich cultural history that places a very important role, it also depends a lot on chemistry–something we’re acutely familiar with.

Every cooking recipe you’ll ever use, whether it’s baking bread or preparing a curry, is going to require water. Water is all around us, is a vital part of our diet, and it’s going to make or break some of the delicious recipes you’re going to serve your customers. So, we think it’s only fair to talk about commercial plumbing in Cincinnati, OH, and whether or not a water softener could be a huge upgrade for your restaurant.

Hard water can greatly impact the quality of your food products, and if treated, it might be a competitive advantage your business has over other restaurants nearby.

What Are Water Softeners?

Water softeners are simply plumbing appliances that remove the minerals like magnesium and calcium from your water supply. While these minerals aren’t bad for personal health, they can be devastating to your plumbing system.

Hard water does a worse job dissolving detergents and soaps, causing cleaning appliances to take longer and run less productively. Also, it’s going to mess with the chemistry of your food recipes or baking, which is an important part of a restaurant or bakery!

What’s a “Good” Water Hardness?

There are three general levels of water hardness.

  • Water hardness of less than 50ppm. Soft water generally has a very low mineral content in it.
  • Water hardness from 50-200ppm. This is considered a “normal” mineral content in water.
  • Water hardness above 200ppm. Above this, and you’ll notice the effects of hard water, and you might even taste it in your water supply.

Things Affected By Hard Water

Here are just a few recipes that can be heavily affected by water that’s too hard.

  • Bread. Bread seems simple, but good, fresh-baked bread is a science that human beings have perfected for millennia. Hard water can lead to a tougher dough, since it has more minerals in it than it should. This can also delay the yeast rising, and even increase the time it takes for the bread dough to fully form, changing up your recipe and timing.
  • Pastries. Unlike bread dough, pastries require soft, buttery pastry dough in order to be perfected. Hard water will lead to dough that takes longer to ferment, with a tightening effect on the dough. This can make things take longer.
  • Stocks and other water-based recipes. Are you trying to prepare stock for your next soup? Well, the mineral content in your water is going to heavily impact how much other material can dissolve into the water over a given period of time. Softer water can absorb more nutrients from food, faster, so you’ll save yourself time, energy, and the headache of a bad stock.

Of course, certain mineral amounts are required for cooking and baking–but that’s the beauty of a water softener. They don’t remove all of the minerals, only enough to put your water at a normal level of hardness!

Contact Ken Neyer Plumbing, Inc. to invest in a water softener today!

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