Author Topic: Thermapen or MW101 PH meter?  (Read 1209 times)

Offline swlusk

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Thermapen or MW101 PH meter?
« on: April 28, 2014, 03:13:21 PM »
I want both but my budget says.. no way pal. So what am I doing now. I have a traceable lollipop thermometer from the control company that is slow but it's accuracy is OK @+/- 1C. Of course the thermapen is faster and a bit more accurate.

I use colorphast test strips for PH but I have a very good water report and use Martin's Bru'n water spreadsheet to set my additions and find my target PH which is seemingly in the ballpark according to the Strips, but it's not an accurate modality and I have to assume my numbers are right according to the spread sheet.

So which purchase seemingly makes more sense. I'm not having any glaring issues with my beers, just small tweaks according to all the mid 30 scores I'm getting in comps so where to bump my process...
 A friendly poll is in order. :D

Thanks
Corripe Cervisiam

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Offline Alewyfe

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Re: Thermapen or MW101 PH meter?
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2014, 03:36:48 PM »
Thermapens are nice, but not nearly $100 nice. I really like the CDN digital. $16 and gives a reading in about 6-8 sec. Very reliable and easy to calibrate....though I have never needed to re-do after the inital set.

pH meter? There's just no cheap way around that, so that's where I'd put (have put) my money. If you're re-brewing the same recipes, you won't need it that often, but it's nice to know for certain exactly where you are while you're nailing down that recipe. Martin's worksheet will definately get you in the ballpark most of the time, but that pH meter gives you complete accuracy. Be prepared for the ongoing costs of calibration solutions. Unlike the thermometer, there's a little maintenance with the meter too.
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Re: Thermapen or MW101 PH meter?
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2014, 03:57:08 PM »
+1.  Thermopens are $100 and have an acuracy of + or - .7dF.    Thermoworks (the manufacturer) also sells a thermometer ( the RT600C) that is accurate to + or -  .9dF  for  $19.  Yes, the same company, basically the same accuracy for $19.  It's a steal. My digital lollipop thermo stopped working, so I bought one of these. It's cheaper and more accurate than my old one. You could buy one of these AND a pH meter :

http://www.thermoworks.com/products/low_cost/rt600c.html

There you go !
Jon H.

Offline swlusk

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Re: Thermapen or MW101 PH meter?
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2014, 04:17:14 PM »
+1.  Thermopens are $100 and have an acuracy of + or - .7dF.    Thermoworks (the manufacturer) also sells a thermometer ( the RT600C) that is accurate to + or -  .9dF  for  $19.  Yes, the same company, basically the same accuracy for $19.  It's a steal. My digital lollipop thermo stopped working, so I bought one of these. It's cheaper and more accurate than my old one. You could buy one of these AND a pH meter :

http://www.thermoworks.com/products/low_cost/rt600c.html

There you go !

Awesome... bookmarked and on the shopping list.
Corripe Cervisiam

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Offline Jeff M

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Re: Thermapen or MW101 PH meter?
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2014, 06:27:15 PM »
I love my Thermapen and have yet to regret it. i bought it in an open box sale for about 80 bucks.  PH meters are kinda scary because if you dont keep proper care of them when NOT in use, then you have to replace the whole meter, or just the electrode which is almost as much money.

The thermapen is probably the safer purchase, but like people have said, you can buy something almost as fast and accurate for 1/4th the price.
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Offline euge

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Re: Thermapen or MW101 PH meter?
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2014, 07:10:43 PM »
I highly recommend a Thermopen, but +/- a degree isn't that big of a deal. You can get a pH meter for $30. Just look up a Hannah and don't get too fancy. Bear in mind you'll need the 7.0 storage and calibration fluid.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Thermapen or MW101 PH meter?
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2014, 05:49:45 AM »
There is no way I would spend the $$ on a Therapen when they make the RT600c. I have two of the RTs and they are nice. Now I need an extra one for other duties.

I agree that a pH meter is a PITA and that there are programs that help get your mash pH pretty close, but I do want to check that stuff.

Temperature and pH are important factors. Get the very worthwhile RT600 and when your funds permit, get the MW-101 along with all the other stuff like storage and calibration solutions. My MW has been rock solid. I can't say the same for other compact pH meters. I think it has something to do with the MW-101 using an industry standard probe.
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Offline AmandaK

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Re: Thermapen or MW101 PH meter?
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2014, 06:18:26 AM »
There is no way I would spend the $$ on a Therapen when they make the RT600c. I have two of the RTs and they are nice. Now I need an extra one for other duties.


Same here. RT600C is excellent.

Also, I have a Hanna pHep5 and it's such a pain to maintain that I barely use it. Strips work fine for my level of curiosity.
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Offline swlusk

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Re: Thermapen or MW101 PH meter?
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2014, 11:04:09 AM »
I found the MW-101 on amazon bundled with an 8oz bottle of 4.01, 7.01 and an 8oz storage solution for $100.55  with free shipping. This is the best price i've found with the solutions too. I think I'm going to go with this and the RT600. I like my little lollipop thermometer but it just takes too long to stabilize. Thanks for all the info!

http://www.amazon.com/Milwaukee-MW101-PH-Meter/dp/B0009YH06Y/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1398794265&sr=8-1&keywords=mw101
Corripe Cervisiam

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Offline Jeff M

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Re: Thermapen or MW101 PH meter?
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2014, 11:15:31 AM »
I believe morebeer has very very competitive prices on the solutions.  Might wanna check it out.

Jeff
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Offline swlusk

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Re: Thermapen or MW101 PH meter?
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2014, 03:13:55 AM »
I believe morebeer has very very competitive prices on the solutions.  Might wanna check it out.

Jeff
Looks like a good deal. Thanks for the heads up!
Corripe Cervisiam

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Offline blatz

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Re: Thermapen or MW101 PH meter?
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2014, 12:47:58 PM »
thermometer first.  to be honest, I really only spot check pH every now and then - Bru'n Water is deadly accurate...
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Thermapen or MW101 PH meter?
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2014, 05:54:14 AM »
thermometer first.  to be honest, I really only spot check pH every now and then - Bru'n Water is deadly accurate...

Assuming your water is consistent. At the brewery I can dough in batch #1 at 8 am and with my normal acid and salt additions nail 5.4. Then dough in batch 2 at 2pm and same acid/salt additions and pH is 5.5.
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Offline blatz

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Re: Thermapen or MW101 PH meter?
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2014, 06:02:32 AM »
thermometer first.  to be honest, I really only spot check pH every now and then - Bru'n Water is deadly accurate...

Assuming your water is consistent. At the brewery I can dough in batch #1 at 8 am and with my normal acid and salt additions nail 5.4. Then dough in batch 2 at 2pm and same acid/salt additions and pH is 5.5.

I use RO  ;) ;D
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Thermapen or MW101 PH meter?
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2014, 06:04:18 AM »
Keith, are you rounding those values or do you have a meter that only reports to the nearest tenth? That is a curious result. The only thing I can assume is that the 'room-temp' that you are cooling too, is higher in the afternoon.
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