Author Topic: Looking for opinions on a new PH probe  (Read 204 times)

Offline Steve L

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Looking for opinions on a new PH probe
« on: March 11, 2019, 04:48:28 PM »
Greetings all,
I am in need of a new PH probe. I currently have a Milwaukee MW101 and was researching a probe by Apera, a LabSen 211. It claims to have faster read times, and longer life due to it's design. Kinda pricey as well. WOndering if anyone is using it and if anyone is using it with an MW101. I imagine it should be compatible, it's a BNC connector.
Thanks for any insight!
Corripe Cervisiam

Offline pfabsits

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Re: Looking for opinions on a new PH probe
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2019, 03:47:16 PM »
The Milwaukee meter uses a BNC connector for the probe. A BNC connector is a universal connector so any probe with a BNC can be used.

When deciding on a probe there are a few considerations that should be know before deciding
1) Temperature that you measure at. The rule of thumb is that a pH probe will last 1-2 years at 25 oC/78 oF. For every 25 oC increase the life is cut in half. So at 50 oC the probe wil last 6 months to 1 year, at 75 oC it will last 3 to 6 months and at 100 oC it will last less than 1 month.

To overcome there are different glass types. Most probes use general purpose (GP) glass. There is also high temperature (HT)  glass that is rated to 100 oC. The high temp is still brutal on the probe but the longevity will be increased. For a brewer that measures around 150 oF the HT glass is the best option to have.

2) Junction: Every pH electrode has a junction in which solution inside the probe leaks through to the sample being measured. This solution must be free flowing so there is continuity between the reference wire on the inside and the sample. Most probe use a small ceramic frit. This can become clogged is the sample has a high solids content. There are other junction types including PTFE, sleeve with ground glass and open junction. If it is for the wort then you should be okay with ceramic but if in the mash then a ground glass with sleeve would be a benefit.

3) Tip shape: The bulb can be round, flat, and bullet shaped. The round is a standard in the industry but can be a little more challenging to clean. A flat tip is easier.

4) Body type: The body of the electrode can be plastic, glass, or metal.  The plastic ones typically have plastic fins around the probe to guard from breakage. The challenge is then trying to clean since the fins get in the way. The metal body ones typically use a flat tip which allows for easy cleaning.

5) Refillable or gel filled: Refillable are nice since they can be periodically refilled with the reference solution. The fill cap has to be loosened when taking a measurement so the electrolyte will flow. The gel filled ones are maintenance free.

https://hannainst.com/beer-ph

The link above has an economy probe that is plastic body, polymer gel filled, GP glass, and single ceramic junction

After reviewing our electrodes I notice we do not have a HT glass version for plastic or titanium body. I will bring this up and hopefully will have that as an option for you in the furture.


One of the avid home brewers that work for Hanna Instruments

Offline pfabsits

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Re: Looking for opinions on a new PH probe
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2019, 04:10:12 PM »
I looked at the Apera website and read the instruction manual

I cannot tell the glass type. They are rating for 100 oC so it might have HT glass. It looks like they add dye to the buffer in the indicating probe and that is why it is blue.

It is a glass body refillable with a double junction and has a bullet shape sensing tip.

It has a single junction design.

https://hannainst.com/hi1131b-refillable-combination-ph-electrode.html

The link to the HI1131B has the following specs
glass body
refillable
double junction
HT glass
single ceramic

It is the electrode that is supplied with all of our benchtop meters.

I will say one thing, We actually manufacture all of our own probes. That include the glass blowing. There are not many companies in the world that actually make pH electrodes. It is a true art form.

One of the avid home brewers that work for Hanna Instruments

Offline mabrungard

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Re: Looking for opinions on a new PH probe
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2019, 02:59:26 PM »
My experience with probes for the MW-101 is good. For a budget-priced probe, the gel-filled, double-junction SE 220 probe that comes stock with that meter is pretty good and reasonably long-lasting. The thing that is imperative is that you use your pH probes only in room-temperature wort. There are far too many brewers that think that temperature-compensated meters give them leeway to use their equipment at mashing temperature. As Paul points out above, high temperature use shortens a probe's useful life.

One thing that certainly helps maintain probe longevity is to keep it immersed in a 'proper' storage solution. That means no tap water or distilled water. Storage solutions are typically potassium chloride solutions in the 1 to 3 molar range, but I wouldn't be surprised if there are other types of storage solution that are tailored for unique pH probe chemistry. I've kept my SE 220 probe in a 500 ml container of storage solution that has a hole cut in the cap so that its easy to insert the probe between brew days. I've found that the teeny condoms and caps that are often provided with probes are insufficient for keeping a probe in good condition when stored for months at a time. That SE 220 probe is now over 5 years old and it is still within its adjustment offset specification. That probe doesn't get much use now that I have one of those fantastic Hanna Halo pH probes (Thanks Paul).

The life span estimates that Paul quoted above, are probably more applicable for users that have daily or more frequent usage. That could certainly be the case for a professional brewer, but a homebrewer should easily get much more life out of their probe (as long as its properly stored and used). For those of you that insist on measuring pH at mashing temperatures, be prepared to replace your probe frequently. Those of you that buy a quality probe and use it properly, you should enjoy a longer probe life.
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Offline Steve L

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Re: Looking for opinions on a new PH probe
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2019, 08:36:39 PM »
Awesome, thanks to all for the info!!!

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Corripe Cervisiam