Author Topic: Ph issue/meter advice  (Read 906 times)

Offline Andor

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Ph issue/meter advice
« on: January 28, 2017, 03:00:43 PM »
I've been using bru'n water and colorphast strip for years. I never know exactly what my mash ph is but bru'n water and strips with +0.2-0.3 correction give me a similar result which has always been good enough.

That is until my last batch, #65 oatmeal stout, the ph with guesstimate from strips ph was 5 or less. I was predicted 5.4 in bru'n water. I didn't trust the strips enough to try to fix it so I left it. The gravity sample of the beer was terrible, still at 1.018 but somehow came off not sweet and thin.

So after almost buying a ph meter 10 times I'm about to pull the trigger. Besides this issue I have more use than I did in the past, kettle sour, kombucha, and having not much else to dial in. I've did a lot of form searches and the mw102 w/atc seems the top of the bunch but I alot of people frustrated with it. Any advice on what meter to get, I know some of you have probably tried more than one.

Anyone try this one, it's by the makers of the Theromen thermometer
http://www.thermoworks.com/High-Accuracy-pH-Meter-8689

On sale for $70, 30$ replacement probes but is only 0.05 accurate. Not sure If 0.01 is necessary

Offline natebrews

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Re: Ph issue/meter advice
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2017, 03:09:43 PM »
Hi Andor,

I recently got a cheap meter, and it seems to work pretty well.  Check out this thread that I started about it and other have added their experience with similar things.

https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=28462.msg372962#msg372962
Risk of failure should be no deterrent to trying.

Offline natebrews

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Re: Ph issue/meter advice
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2017, 03:17:40 PM »
Additionally, on the subject of the ColorpHast strips, I have used those for years and I ran into a problem recently where they were reading low (0.4-0.5) and I think it was due to them being old and some humidity getting to them.  That was part of the motivation for me to get the meter, but I also get some fresh strips and the new ones were fine. 
Risk of failure should be no deterrent to trying.

Offline Stevie

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Re: Ph issue/meter advice
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2017, 03:18:01 PM »
I nearly went with the thermoworks but ended up getting the Extech 110. More accurate and better resolution.  The 110 has a refillable probe, which should get a little extra life out of it, but the 100 is cheaper.

Offline JT

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Re: Ph issue/meter advice
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2017, 03:18:06 PM »
I just bought the MW102 and must say I'm really happy with it (used it for the first time yesterday).  It replaced my Martini pH56, which I just never cared for.  I did a lot of research before ordering this time and I'm happy with the choice so far. 

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Offline stevedorau

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Re: Ph issue/meter advice
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2017, 03:47:46 PM »
I have had a Hanna Instruments HI 99104 3.5 years. I check the calibration about twice a year and every time it is very close. I put storage solution in the cap over the end between uses. It dries out of course but this method seems to keep it operating smoothly.  It is only accurate 0.2 pH, putting all reality I'm not sure it's necessary to be more accurate than that. Overall I'm happy with it and would get it again. It's in the $30 range on Amazon.

Offline stevedorau

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Re: Ph issue/meter advice
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2017, 03:50:16 PM »
One thing good about this model is the probe is very small in diameter so you can take a very small sample in something like a test tube to measure the pH.

Offline braufessor

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Re: Ph issue/meter advice
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2017, 03:54:24 PM »
I also have the MW 102 and have been very happy with it - been using it for 1.5-2 years.

Offline Stevie

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Re: Ph issue/meter advice
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2017, 03:55:24 PM »
I came across tiny 1oz plastic cups at the dollar store. 24 packs. They work perfectly. For buffer I fill them about 1/4 full, test I fill a bit higher but only because I can

Offline narcout

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Re: Ph issue/meter advice
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2017, 04:29:47 PM »
I nearly went with the thermoworks but ended up getting the Extech 110. More accurate and better resolution.  The 110 has a refillable probe, which should get a little extra life out of it, but the 100 is cheaper.

How long have you owned it, and are you happy with it?

I'm looking to replace my MW101.
It's too close to home
And it's too near the bone

Offline Stevie

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Ph issue/meter advice
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2017, 04:32:56 PM »
Just a few weeks. So far so good. I bought it on Bryan's advice.

I like that it is self contained, but proprietary probes are scary.

I want to build a stand of some sort so I can rest it in the buffers/test jar and walk away.

Offline mabrungard

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Re: Ph issue/meter advice
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2017, 05:45:18 PM »
I'm looking to replace my MW101.

The meter should be fine. Its the probe that has to be occasionally replaced. Its a fact of pH meter ownership.
Martin B
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Offline Stevie

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Re: Ph issue/meter advice
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2017, 05:52:45 PM »
I'm looking to replace my MW101.

The meter should be fine. Its the probe that has to be occasionally replaced. Its a fact of pH meter ownership.
This is why I was hesitant to go for a pen type meter. We will see how it goes.

Offline Andor

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Re: Ph issue/meter advice
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2017, 05:55:29 PM »
I'm looking to replace my MW101.

The meter should be fine. Its the probe that has to be occasionally replaced. Its a fact of pH meter ownership.

What is your recommended meter for basic home brew use? What's the life of a probe on something like the 101 if it's taken care of. The cost of a new probe is what turns me away from meters. Have you any experience or opinion on this http://www.thermoworks.com/High-Accuracy-pH-Meter-8689 I have to admit I'm attached due to price and $30 replacement electrodes

Offline mabrungard

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Re: Ph issue/meter advice
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2017, 06:10:42 PM »
What is your recommended meter for basic home brew use? What's the life of a probe on something like the 101 if it's taken care of.

Let's see, I've had my MW-101 for about 5 years and the original probe is still calibrating and performing well. I do store the probe submerged in KCl storage solution and I never put it in hot liquids. I can recommend this meter. I do like the fact that it is an analog meter and it is not subject to the whims of the software or hardware of a digital version. But its probably not quite as precise. That probably means that the reading could be a hundredth or two off. I'm not concerned with being that precise in brewing. 

What's interesting about the probe on the MW-101 and 102 is that it is a double-junction probe that is therefore a little less prone to fouling. In addition, it uses a gel electrolyte that seems to be fairly stable in my occasional hobbyist usage. When it finally fails, it looks like it will be about $40 shipped to have another.

You can read more about my thoughts on pH meters on the Bru'n Water Facebook page. You'll have to scroll back a ways since there are a lot of articles on there.
Martin B
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Foam Blowers of Indiana (FBI)

Brewing Water Information at:
https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/

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