Author Topic: Super cheap pH meter  (Read 3937 times)

Offline erockrph

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Super cheap pH meter
« on: August 16, 2014, 11:55:03 AM »
I just ordered one of these and thought I'd share. Right now this pH meter is selling for $7.42 with free shipping. The reviews seem decent as well.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0087LOWIA/

A pH meter has always been one of those things that I've wanted, but the price point has been too high for me to justify pulling the trigger on one. I've never had any major issues that I would attribute to my water. I've always used either Brun'water or Kai's calculator on Brewer's Friend and spot-checks with colorpHast strips have always been what I was expecting to see.

Even if it's a throwaway meter after a handful of uses, that's perfectly fine with me. I'm just looking to spot-check a few of my usual recipes to verify that the water calculators are accurate enough for me.
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Offline Steve L

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Re: Super cheap pH meter
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2014, 01:45:36 PM »
Wow, that's cheap enough. I would imaging it would be more accurate than strips at the very least. I bought the MW101 and its great but the replacement probe is about $30. You could just buy a whole new meter for 1/4th the price. Let us know how it works.
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Super cheap pH meter
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2014, 03:41:58 PM »
I go back and forth about buying a ph meter. I would like to have it for checking my mash and the ph on my sour beers. I've also checked the mash with the strips I bought a while back and find the results on the strip sufficiently close to what Bru'n Water says, so I'm not sure whether the ph meter is a meaningful investment. Along with the meter comes buying calibration solutions and it seems the probes have to be replaced periodically no matter how careful you are with it.

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Offline erockrph

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Re: Super cheap pH meter
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2014, 05:40:39 PM »
I go back and forth about buying a ph meter. I would like to have it for checking my mash and the ph on my sour beers. I've also checked the mash with the strips I bought a while back and find the results on the strip sufficiently close to what Bru'n Water says, so I'm not sure whether the ph meter is a meaningful investment. Along with the meter comes buying calibration solutions and it seems the probes have to be replaced periodically no matter how careful you are with it.

Those were all my reasons not to get one, too. At this price, it's essentially disposable. I have a very deep well, so I'm pretty confident that my water supply is rock stable (pun intended). If I get the numbers I'm expecting on a Saison, an IPA and a Porter, then I'll be OK never using it again. Whatever additional use I get from it would be for things like sour wort berliners and so on.
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Offline kramerog

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Re: Super cheap pH meter
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2014, 08:34:32 PM »
Going to buy 1 of these suckers.  Having used pH meters for work, I never wanted to go through the hassle of calibrating them to take occasional readings plus the lost money when they go bad.  I have more interest in taking readings at least until I verify how well Bru'n water and pH strips work with my water, my mashes, and my sour beers and the price is too good to pass up.

Thanks for posting this.

Online BrewBama

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Re: Super cheap pH meter
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2014, 09:13:29 PM »
Thanks for the link. I just ordered one as well. Like you, at that price if it quits it's disposable.
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Offline kramerog

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Re: Super cheap pH meter
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2014, 03:35:59 AM »
Mine just arrived.  Here are my impressions out of the box.   The pH meter came with two pH solutions for calibration but only instructions on using one of them and adjusting a single calibration screw.  Normally, pH meters are calibrated with two solutions and by adjustment of two calibration screws. 

The instructions say not to use distilled water or deionized water for storage purposes, but doesn't say what be used for keeping the sensor in proper condition.  Any idea what I should put in the cap to store the sensor in?

The short of this is that for $7.5 I can't complain but I wonder how well this will really work.

Offline majorvices

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Re: Super cheap pH meter
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2014, 01:35:03 PM »
Mine just arrived.  Here are my impressions out of the box.   The pH meter came with two pH solutions for calibration but only instructions on using one of them and adjusting a single calibration screw.  Normally, pH meters are calibrated with two solutions and by adjustment of two calibration screws. 

The instructions say not to use distilled water or deionized water for storage purposes, but doesn't say what be used for keeping the sensor in proper condition.  Any idea what I should put in the cap to store the sensor in?

The short of this is that for $7.5 I can't complain but I wonder how well this will really work.

Store it in the 7.01 solution if you don't have a storage solution.

Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Super cheap pH meter
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2014, 02:17:25 PM »
Even if it's a throwaway meter after a handful of uses, that's perfectly fine with me. I'm just looking to spot-check a few of my usual recipes to verify that the water calculators are accurate enough for me.

Why not use pH strips to spot check?
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Online BrewBama

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Super cheap pH meter
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2014, 11:00:03 AM »
I also received my el cheapo pH meter and calibrated it in the buffering solution. I tested my water at 7.2. I think I should brew with 5.2 strike and sparge water. So, I'll add lactic acid.

I'm thinking the grain bill will change the pH so... Do I add the lactic acid to the strike water itself or wait to dough in and check the mash pH and adjust then?  Same with the sparge (batch sparge)?
« Last Edit: September 05, 2014, 11:03:09 AM by BrewBama »
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Offline leejoreilly

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Re: Super cheap pH meter
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2014, 01:39:03 PM »
I also received my el cheapo pH meter and calibrated it in the buffering solution. I tested my water at 7.2. I think I should brew with 5.2 strike and sparge water. So, I'll add lactic acid.

I'm thinking the grain bill will change the pH so... Do I add the lactic acid to the strike water itself or wait to dough in and check the mash pH and adjust then?  Same with the sparge (batch sparge)?

I strongly recommend that you get and use some sort of brewing water calculator; Brun Water is one of the best available and can be downloaded free (https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/). The first tab (it's an Excel spreadsheet, so the format should be familiar) has some fairly in-depth water chemistry info and instructions.

As an aside, my personal opinion is that lactic acid can add some "sour" flavor elements at fairly low addition amounts. As a rule of thumb I avoid adding more than 3ml total (mash and sparge) for a 5 gal batch.

Online BrewBama

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Super cheap pH meter
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2014, 09:50:15 PM »
Thanks!

Edit: I just started my Aletoberfest mash. The pH is 5.6 so I'm not going to do anything.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2014, 04:04:52 PM by BrewBama »
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Offline wobdee

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Re: Super cheap pH meter
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2015, 06:00:28 PM »
How did this meter work out for you?

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: Super cheap pH meter
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2015, 06:37:49 PM »
Mine just arrived.  Here are my impressions out of the box.   The pH meter came with two pH solutions for calibration but only instructions on using one of them and adjusting a single calibration screw.  Normally, pH meters are calibrated with two solutions and by adjustment of two calibration screws. 

The instructions say not to use distilled water or deionized water for storage purposes, but doesn't say what be used for keeping the sensor in proper condition.  Any idea what I should put in the cap to store the sensor in?

The short of this is that for $7.5 I can't complain but I wonder how well this will really work.

Store it in the 7.01 solution if you don't have a storage solution.

FWIW, most manufactures recommend more acidic solution for storage. if you don't have storage solution, 4.0 calibration solution works well.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Super cheap pH meter
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2015, 02:35:03 PM »
That's odd. I have always heard (and every pH Meter I have ever owned) has recommended to store in distilled wAter or 7.01 solution....