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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: oscarvan on February 10, 2011, 02:18:43 am

Title: You know you're a (serious) home brewer when........
Post by: oscarvan on February 10, 2011, 02:18:43 am
You're in the kitchen taking notes while staring at a pot with 5 (FIVE) thermometers in it as it heats up to, and cools down from a boil...... ;D
Title: Re: You know you're a (serious) home brewer when........
Post by: lonnie mac on February 10, 2011, 02:25:19 am
You're in the kitchen taking notes while staring at a pot with 5 (FIVE) thermometers in it as it heats up to, and cools down from a boil...... ;D

Pick one and go with it, brew good beer. If it's off it's off, if it brews good beer! A man with five thermometers simply don't know what temperature it is! :)

Title: Re: You know you're a (serious) home brewer when........
Post by: oscarvan on February 10, 2011, 02:40:41 am
Agreed in principle... however..... 1 dial is in the HLT, one dial is in the MLT.....one dial in the BK, who cares except for the below 80º part. The kitchen one is to stave off salmonella, the glass is a "control"

The frustrating part is that the divergences are not linear......

Glass/MLT/BK/HLT/KIT

211/212/213/210/212
186/188/190/184/183
177/177/179/170/180
170/168/169/166/164
160/158/160/156/160
150/146/147/144/144
146/140/139/138/142
Title: Re: You know you're a (serious) home brewer when........
Post by: lonnie mac on February 10, 2011, 02:47:29 am
Lol! I know what you mean. I have ten! The Miljoco's are great, the Loves are also. I try to keep them all under control with my Thermapen. I have one moving probe during brew day. It is one of my Love controllers. All brew day temps are based on that one probe, right or wrong. It makes great beer! :)

Brew on brotha...
Title: Re: You know you're a (serious) home brewer when........
Post by: tygo on February 10, 2011, 03:27:11 am
Yeah, I've done the five (or six) thermometer test before.  Drove me nuts.  That experiment immediately preceded my purchase of the thermapen.
Title: Re: You know you're a (serious) home brewer when........
Post by: rabid_dingo on February 10, 2011, 05:30:40 am
You're in the kitchen taking notes while staring at a pot with 5 (FIVE) thermometers in it as it heats up to, and cools down from a boil...... ;D

Damn, I knew pilots depended on redundancies but that is re-donk-ulous. :D
Title: Re: You know you're a (serious) home brewer when........
Post by: rabid_dingo on February 10, 2011, 06:26:47 am
By the way, how many hydrometers do you have? Reminded me of our last brew session. .004 difference between
the two we had...
 :-[
Title: Re: You know you're a (serious) home brewer when........
Post by: euge on February 10, 2011, 06:56:57 am
The thermapen is counted as one of my most valued belongings.  :D

After doing the same thing Oscar has just done and losing digitals into the mash I settled on a couple cheap agreeing dial thermometers. Haven't done the callibrate to 154F thing yet but everything lines up at boiling & freezing. The thermapen has the final say on everything.

 ;D

Title: Re: You know you're a (serious) home brewer when........
Post by: dzlater on February 10, 2011, 11:55:23 am
Last brew day my dial thermometers were all reading different, and none of them were matching the digital.
 I finally realized you could turn the nut on stem to adjust them.
Doh! :-[
Title: Re: You know you're a (serious) home brewer when........
Post by: majorvices on February 10, 2011, 01:03:08 pm
...you open a brewery (FTW)  ;)
Title: Re: You know you're a (serious) home brewer when........
Post by: oscarvan on February 10, 2011, 01:23:49 pm
By the way, how many hydrometers do you have? Reminded me of our last brew session. .004 difference between
the two we had...
 :-[


One. Once it's done, it's done. Whether the beer is 5.2% or 5.4% I don't care, I'm going to drink it.

Aside from that I know it reads .002 low at 60º and I am assuming that the error is linear. I may be .0005 of at some point, but in that case see my first statement.
Title: Re: You know you're a (serious) home brewer when........
Post by: SiameseMoose on February 10, 2011, 01:43:38 pm
Only one hydrometer? Allow me to let you in on a little known secret: glass doesn't bounce!  :D
If it's made of glass, whatever it is, I have two (or more).

For the record, I have five hydrometers (not to mention a refractometer). Two bottling version (0.990-1.020), and three regular. I had four but broke one. I did not set out to have that many, but two were gifted to me when someone cleaned up an estate. They were made by a glass company in Cincinnati that hasn't existed for years.
Title: Re: You know you're a (serious) home brewer when........
Post by: punatic on February 10, 2011, 01:55:41 pm
You guys are funny.  It's like putting a tachometer and an altimeter on your trail bike.
Title: Re: You know you're a (serious) home brewer when........
Post by: oscarvan on February 10, 2011, 02:05:07 pm
You're right, I should get a second one for a spare.....but they'll be DIFFERENT, and then the whole insanity will start over again......stop the voices, stop the voices..... ;D
Title: Re: You know you're a (serious) home brewer when........
Post by: phillamb168 on February 10, 2011, 02:10:42 pm
Thermapen schmermapen. Here's what you REALLY need: http://www.diytrade.com/china/4/products/3198797/Infrared_thermometer.html
Title: Re: You know you're a (serious) home brewer when........
Post by: maxieboy on February 10, 2011, 02:18:59 pm
Thermapen schmermapen. Here's what you REALLY need: http://www.diytrade.com/china/4/products/3198797/Infrared_thermometer.html

+/- 2.7*F. Eh..
Title: Re: You know you're a (serious) home brewer when........
Post by: Hokerer on February 10, 2011, 02:24:55 pm
You're right, I should get a second one for a spare.....but they'll be DIFFERENT, and then the whole insanity will start over again......stop the voices, stop the voices..... ;D

It's really not that bad.  See, once you have a second one, you'll never break the first one so you don't care if they match.  If you only have one, though, that's when you'll break it.
Title: Re: You know you're a (serious) home brewer when........
Post by: oscarvan on February 10, 2011, 02:25:57 pm
Thermapen ordered.
Title: Re: You know you're a (serious) home brewer when........
Post by: bluesman on February 10, 2011, 02:39:20 pm
....you spend a couple of hours every day on homebrew forums.  ::)

By the way, I broke down and ordered a Thermapen.  :)
Title: Re: You know you're a (serious) home brewer when........
Post by: tygo on February 10, 2011, 02:43:11 pm
By the way, I broke down and ordered a Thermapen.  :)

You won't regret that decision.
Title: Re: You know you're a (serious) home brewer when........
Post by: euge on February 10, 2011, 05:04:56 pm
Thermapen schmermapen. Here's what you REALLY need: http://www.diytrade.com/china/4/products/3198797/Infrared_thermometer.html

+/- 2.7*F. Eh..

I have one similar ala Harbor Freight. Great for HVAC but sucks for reading mash temps. I'll check my fermenters with it sometimes...
Thermapen ordered.
....you spend a couple of hours every day on homebrew forums.  ::)

By the way, I broke down and ordered a Thermapen.  :)

Muahahah! Enjoy!
Title: Re: You know you're a (serious) home brewer when........
Post by: tschmidlin on February 10, 2011, 05:31:07 pm
...you open a brewery (FTW)  ;)
But then you're not a homebrewer, serious or otherwise :)
Title: Re: You know you're a (serious) home brewer when........
Post by: denny on February 10, 2011, 06:18:01 pm
....you spend a couple of hours every day on homebrew forums.  ::)

Only a couple?  I spend at least that much on this one alone, not to mention the other 5 I'm on!
Title: Re: You know you're a (serious) home brewer when........
Post by: bluesman on February 10, 2011, 06:24:14 pm
....you spend a couple of hours every day on homebrew forums.  ::)

Only a couple?  I spend at least that much on this one alone, not to mention the other 5 I'm on!

...but Denny you are the "King of all internet homebrewers".  ;) ;D
Title: Re: You know you're a (serious) home brewer when........
Post by: denny on February 10, 2011, 06:25:45 pm
....you spend a couple of hours every day on homebrew forums.  ::)

Only a couple?  I spend at least that much on this one alone, not to mention the other 5 I'm on!

...but Denny you are the "King of all internet homebrewers".  ;) ;D


God, I hope not!
Title: Re: You know you're a (serious) home brewer when........
Post by: punatic on February 10, 2011, 06:36:56 pm
Thermapen schmermapen. Here's what you REALLY need: http://www.diytrade.com/china/4/products/3198797/Infrared_thermometer.html

I have one of those I use when I'm out on the active lava flows.  They only measure surface temps.

Whoa!  as I was sitting here writing this we had a bit of an earthquake, I'm guessing around M3.5 -3.8

Real-time earthquake data:  Here (http://tux.wr.usgs.gov/)

Hah!  M3.6  I'm getting pretty good at it...

<edit>  The scientists had a look at the seismometers and uped it to a M3.8
Title: Re: You know you're a (serious) home brewer when........
Post by: oscarvan on February 10, 2011, 06:43:03 pm
Thermapen schmermapen. Here's what you REALLY need: http://www.diytrade.com/china/4/products/3198797/Infrared_thermometer.html

I have one of those I use when I'm out on the active lava flows.  They only measure surface temps.

Whoa!  as I was sitting here writing this we had a bit of an earthquake, I'm guessing around M3.5 -3.8

Real-time earthquake data:  Here (http://tux.wr.usgs.gov/)

Hmmmm, brewing on a lava flow...... ;D

Hah!  M3.6  I'm getting pretty good at it...
Title: Re: You know you're a (serious) home brewer when........
Post by: punatic on February 10, 2011, 06:48:35 pm

Hmmmm, brewing on a lava flow...... ;D


Well kind of... I live on the flank of an erupting volcano, Kilauea.  My home sits on a 400 year old flow, and that's where I brew, so I guess I do brew on a lava flow.  

The erupting vent Pu`u `O`o is 14 miles from my house.
Title: Re: You know you're a (serious) home brewer when........
Post by: oscarvan on February 10, 2011, 11:35:13 pm
I was more thinking kettle on hot rocks..... Guess that's not practical....kettle may melt.... :o
Title: Re: You know you're a (serious) home brewer when........
Post by: morticaixavier on February 10, 2011, 11:50:27 pm
I was more thinking kettle on hot rocks..... Guess that's not practical....kettle may melt.... :o

shoes may melt!
Title: Re: You know you're a (serious) home brewer when........
Post by: majorvices on February 11, 2011, 01:25:05 am
...you open a brewery (FTW)  ;)
But then you're not a homebrewer, serious or otherwise :)

I still homebrew. I just have a wet area and a cold room.
Title: Re: You know you're a (serious) home brewer when........
Post by: punatic on February 11, 2011, 01:49:09 am
I was more thinking kettle on hot rocks..... Guess that's not practical....kettle may melt.... :o

shoes may melt!

I have melted many pairs of hiking boots on hot lava.  They last about 3 months.  More than once I have left smoking bootprints across newly emplaced lava.  That's what the IR thermometer is for.  Been trying to calculate the ROI on my thermometer vs buying new boots...

Guess I ought to figure out how to post some of my lava photographs here...
Title: Re: You know you're a (serious) home brewer when........
Post by: punatic on February 11, 2011, 02:39:17 am
Here is the thermometer that I use. (http://cgi.ebay.com/Taylor-Digital-Kitchen-Thermometer-Probe-Alarm-/270413365211?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3ef5e47fdb)  

I use them for brewing, and absolutely depend on them for another hobby where monitoring temperatures is very inportant.  I have three of them and have been using them for over two years now. Their performance is flawless.  Haven't even had to change batteries.

Accurate and precise, with a 0.1° F resolution.  I've checked them side by side with lab grade mercury thermometers and they are dead nuts.

Can be switched to centigade readout.  Has high and low memory and a programable temperature alarm.

An excellent value.  
Title: Re: You know you're a (serious) home brewer when........
Post by: tygo on February 11, 2011, 04:19:23 am
How do those do if the probe is submerged?  I've been thinking about picking up something like that to monitor mash temperature without opening the tun but most of the food thermometers like that don't do well (at least they say they don't) with being under water.
Title: Re: You know you're a (serious) home brewer when........
Post by: euge on February 11, 2011, 06:07:56 am
My experience is the probe cannot be submerged past where the wire begins. Otherwise the liquid gets inside and then kaput.
Title: Re: You know you're a (serious) home brewer when........
Post by: tschmidlin on February 11, 2011, 07:14:48 am
Here is the thermometer that I use. (http://cgi.ebay.com/Taylor-Digital-Kitchen-Thermometer-Probe-Alarm-/270413365211?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3ef5e47fdb) 
Is that the exact model you use?  The price seemed high to me, especially for ebay.  They are $15.48 on amazon.
http://www.amazon.com/Tru-Temp-Digital-Thermometer-3518/dp/B000VK98UM

I have one of these in the kitchen, should be the same accuracy right?
http://www.amazon.com/Taylor-1470-Digital-Cooking-Thermometer/dp/B00004XSC5/

I think I'll order one for the garage, keep my wife happy.
Title: Re: You know you're a (serious) home brewer when........
Post by: punatic on February 11, 2011, 01:11:54 pm
I have had no problems with water or any other harsh environments damaging the probes or the cables on my thermometers. - submerged in boiling water, submerged in mashing grains, frozen into a block of ice, used to monitor the temp in a 350 degree oven...

I use that exact model, bought in July of 2008.  It was recommended to me by a fellow member of a forum for that other hobby.  Several of us on that forum use that model of thermometer and are very happy with them.  The forum member who recommended it lives in Canada and left his thermometer out in his unheated shed all winter where it was exposed to subzero (F) temps for several months with no ill effects.

Price-wise they are 1/3 the cost of a Thermapen and seem to be of comparible value.  I have no experience with the models you linked to above Tom, but I am guessing that they are probably not as robust as the Taylor model I am recommending.
Title: Re: You know you're a (serious) home brewer when........
Post by: tschmidlin on February 11, 2011, 05:05:57 pm
The 3518 model I linked to on amazon is the same model as the one for sale on ebay.  It doesn't appear to match the picture shown on ebay, but the text there states it is a 3518 that is for sale.  Can you verify the model number of the one you recommend?  I can't find anything that matches the ebay picture on the Taylor website.

http://www.taylorusa.com/catalogsearch/result/index/?q=digital+Thermometer&limit=all
Title: Re: You know you're a (serious) home brewer when........
Post by: bluesman on February 11, 2011, 05:07:55 pm
...you utter profanities at the mention of the word BMC.  ;D
Title: Re: You know you're a (serious) home brewer when........
Post by: glastctbrew on February 11, 2011, 05:16:36 pm
Amazon does have that exact model for a comparable price to ebay.  You can get it on e-bay for 15.98 with free shipping.

http://www.amazon.com/Tru-Temp-Digital-Thermometer-3518/dp/B000VK98UM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1297444260&sr=1-1

http://compare.ebay.com/like/380226206544?ltyp=AllFixedPriceItemTypes&var=sbar&rvr_id=209381594656&crlp=1_263602_304662&UA=%3F

I'm of the same mindset as Tygo, would love to monitor mash temps without having to lift the cooler lid.  $16 isn't a lot to spend for that luxury
Title: Re: You know you're a (serious) home brewer when........
Post by: tschmidlin on February 11, 2011, 05:27:53 pm
I'm not surprised ebay has a good price, I thought it was strange the other link was so high.  I think I can get it at the store for $30 today.  I'll save the $.50 though, and order from amazon, plus returns are no problem with amazon as opposed to a 7 day limit (or no returns allowed like the first ebay link).

But my question is, is the one punatic recommends based on the picture or the model number?  Has Taylor changed the way the 3518 looks, or is the picture from the first ebay listing wrong?
Title: Re: You know you're a (serious) home brewer when........
Post by: dano14041 on February 11, 2011, 05:52:59 pm
I think there are two versions with the same model number. I found the following links

3518 TruTemp
http://www.partshelf.com/taylor3518.html (http://www.partshelf.com/taylor3518.html)

3518N TruTemp
http://www.partshelf.com/taylor-3518n.html (http://www.partshelf.com/taylor-3518n.html)
Title: Re: You know you're a (serious) home brewer when........
Post by: tschmidlin on February 11, 2011, 05:59:16 pm
I think there are two versions with the same model number. I found the following links

3518 TruTemp
http://www.partshelf.com/taylor3518.html (http://www.partshelf.com/taylor3518.html)

3518N TruTemp
http://www.partshelf.com/taylor-3518n.html (http://www.partshelf.com/taylor-3518n.html)
Ahhhhh, that explains it.  From the specs it looks like they have different probes.  Thanks dano.
Title: Re: You know you're a (serious) home brewer when........
Post by: dano14041 on February 11, 2011, 06:01:10 pm
No problem! The tax returns on my desk are boring today.  ;D
Title: Re: You know you're a (serious) home brewer when........
Post by: tschmidlin on February 11, 2011, 06:01:58 pm
No problem! The tax returns on my desk are boring today.  ;D
Just today? ;D
Title: Re: You know you're a (serious) home brewer when........
Post by: punatic on February 11, 2011, 06:21:06 pm
I think there are two versions with the same model number. I found the following links

3518 TruTemp
http://www.partshelf.com/taylor3518.html (http://www.partshelf.com/taylor3518.html)


That's the one.  That's a good price too.  I looked at my receipt for the three back in 08.  $18.95 each.
Title: Re: You know you're a (serious) home brewer when........
Post by: tschmidlin on February 11, 2011, 06:39:26 pm
I think there are two versions with the same model number. I found the following links

3518 TruTemp
http://www.partshelf.com/taylor3518.html (http://www.partshelf.com/taylor3518.html)


That's the one.  That's a good price too.  I looked at my receipt for the three back in 08.  $18.95 each.
Yeah, unfortunately they don't have any at the good price :(

"If there is no order button, most likely there are availability problems. We expect to be out of stock for more than a few days."
Title: Re: You know you're a (serious) home brewer when........
Post by: glastctbrew on February 11, 2011, 06:48:48 pm
Yep.  Looks like the $30 ebay buy is the only option left.  I can only find the 3518N version from other online vendors. :(
Title: Re: You know you're a (serious) home brewer when........
Post by: tschmidlin on February 11, 2011, 06:50:05 pm
You know, based on the Taylor website it looks like they no longer make the 3518.  And the ones they currently have available don't have the same range as the 3518 did.

Oh well.  Same as you glastctbrew, the only place I see them available is the ebay auction punatic linked to (http://cgi.ebay.com/Taylor-Digital-Kitchen-Thermometer-Probe-Alarm-/270413365211?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3ef5e47fdb), and I'm not comfortable with a "no returns" policy.

I might try a 3518N, but I'm less excited about it than I was.
Title: Re: You know you're a (serious) home brewer when........
Post by: hornets nectar on February 11, 2011, 08:49:57 pm
I got one of those ! Its grest!!!
Harbor Freight 49.00$
Title: Re: You know you're a (serious) home brewer when........
Post by: punatic on February 12, 2011, 06:58:18 am
You know, based on the Taylor website it looks like they no longer make the 3518.  And the ones they currently have available don't have the same range as the 3518 did.

Oh well.  Same as you glastctbrew, the only place I see them available is the ebay auction punatic linked to (http://cgi.ebay.com/Taylor-Digital-Kitchen-Thermometer-Probe-Alarm-/270413365211?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3ef5e47fdb), and I'm not comfortable with a "no returns" policy.

I might try a 3518N, but I'm less excited about it than I was.

I wouldn't buy the 3518N.  It's not the same instrument. 

No return-wise, lionbiz is a good eBay seller.  Don't let all of his biker s*** scare you off.  I think it's just a phase...

I'm tempted to buy a couple more if they have been discontinued.
Title: Re: You know you're a (serious) home brewer when........
Post by: oscarvan on February 16, 2011, 07:54:02 pm
Thermopen arrived today..... it sayz that a mixture of ice and water is 32.1ºF this is very encouraging. I will now proceed to calibrate the Toysareus dial thermometers to 150º....... 8)
Title: Re: You know you're a (serious) home brewer when........
Post by: Hokerer on February 16, 2011, 08:48:26 pm
Thermopen arrived today..... it sayz that a mixture of ice and water is 32.1ºF this is very encouraging. I will now proceed to calibrate the Toysareus dial thermometers to 150º....... 8)

Just because it seems accurate at freezing says nothing about whether or not it's accurate at mash temps though, right?
Title: Re: You know you're a (serious) home brewer when........
Post by: bluesman on February 16, 2011, 08:51:48 pm
Thermopen arrived today..... it sayz that a mixture of ice and water is 32.1ºF this is very encouraging. I will now proceed to calibrate the Toysareus dial thermometers to 150º....... 8)

Yea...got mine yesterday.  :)

I was surprised to see that it was calibrated to a NIST standard and came with a cert. It is just like they say...very fast. I get about a 2-3 second reading.
Title: Re: You know you're a (serious) home brewer when........
Post by: oscarvan on February 16, 2011, 09:13:29 pm
Thermopen arrived today..... it sayz that a mixture of ice and water is 32.1ºF this is very encouraging. I will now proceed to calibrate the Toysareus dial thermometers to 150º....... 8)

Just because it seems accurate at freezing says nothing about whether or not it's accurate at mash temps though, right?

True, but it's at least a start.....
Title: Re: You know you're a (serious) home brewer when........
Post by: Boston Brewer on February 19, 2011, 01:01:39 am
I had a 2 K-Type Digital Thermometer

(http://i.suntekstore.com/office_cache/260/14000086/i1284625766_image.jpg)

until it got too close to my brew pot and seriously melted. I used it for about about a  year and it was pretty reliable and not expensive on ebay.  I am considering  options for a replacement.

Would like one where I can set a target temp and have it beep when I hit the target.

Dave