Author Topic: ph meter  (Read 687 times)

Offline KCguy

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ph meter
« on: March 18, 2019, 04:13:21 PM »
Anyone like a particular ph meter, suited to testing the wort at temps of 120-170F?  Looking on amazon but reviews are all over the place, hard to tell whats what.  How do you test your mash ph reliably? 
Michael B
Kansas City

Offline Brewtopalonian

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Re: ph meter
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2019, 04:25:06 PM »
The Milwaukee MW102 is what I use.  I love it.  Easy to calibrate and has temperature correction built in. 

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Offline MattyAHA

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Re: ph meter
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2019, 04:42:18 PM »
im also on the market for a new ph meter, i got my eye on the halo and the MW 102, calibrating before using is the way i test for reliability
Matty


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Online Robert

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Re: ph meter
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2019, 04:55:07 PM »
As has been often discussed here, you can't test mash at those temps.  The automatic temperature correction built into pH meters only accounts for the function of the probe.  But the chemistry of the mash itself, and its pH, is altered at temperatures higher than the standard reference temperature, and the ATC cannot account for this.   All references to mash pH in any literature are to pH as measured under standard reference conditions, that is, at room temperature.   Alleged "correction factors" are inaccurate.  And while there are some probes available which will have a slightly longer life when used at higher temperatures, the life of any probe will be radically shortened by such treatment.   So you'd do well to get a good, standard meter and probe and use it properly,  that is, measure mash samples at room temperature,  which is the only way to accurately obtain the information you're after anyway.

Some like the bench meters, but many of us prefer the pen type.  I've read a lot of trials where, in brewing use, they were found to be at least as good if not better.  I've long preferred the Hanna pHep5, HI98128.  Easy to use and maintain, accurate, has provided long, reliable service.
Rob Stein
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Offline Brewtopalonian

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Re: ph meter
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2019, 05:00:03 PM »
As has been often discussed here, you can't test mash at those temps.  The automatic temperature correction built into pH meters only accounts for the function of the probe.  But the chemistry of the mash itself, and its pH, is altered at temperatures higher than the standard reference temperature, and the ATC cannot account for this.   All references to mash pH in any literature are to pH as measured under standard reference conditions, that is, at room temperature.   Alleged "correction factors" are inaccurate.  And while there are some probes available which will have a slightly longer life when used at higher temperatures, the life of any probe will be radically shortened by such treatment.   So you'd do well to get a good, standard meter and probe and use it properly,  that is, measure mash samples at room temperature,  which is the only way to accurately obtain the information you're after anyway.

Some like the bench meters, but many of us prefer the pen type.  I've read a lot of trials where, in brewing use, they were found to be at least as good if not better.  I've long preferred the Hanna pHep5, HI98128.  Easy to use and maintain, accurate, has provided long, reliable service.
That's good to know Robert.  I didn't realize it drastically altered the life of my pH meter and the reading was still inaccurate.  This bit of info may improve my brewing significantly!

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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: ph meter
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2019, 06:41:38 PM »
I measure my mash pH at mash temperatures of about 150 F.  Just need to add 0.25 to the result to match room temperature pH.  I have the cheap Chinese pH meter.  It still works fine after about 3 years and about a dozen batches or so.  YMMV.
Dave

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Offline BrewBama

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Re: ph meter
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2019, 07:18:45 PM »
I have a Thermoworks 8689 and a Milwaukee MW 101. I never felt confident in the 8689 even after returning it once for service. The MW 101 was a little quirky out of the box but after soaking the probe in storage solution overnight I now have complete confidence in it.

However, I do take my sample at 20 min and let it cool to room temp before checking pH. By the time it’s cooled off I am well into the mash and any pH adjustment at that point would be shutting the gate after the cow has left the barn. I take the reading as a reference for documentation only.


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Offline KCguy

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Re: ph meter
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2019, 08:08:31 PM »
Appreciate the device recommends fellas.  I will check them out. 

dmtaylor - which chinese cheap meter are you talking about? 

[quote author=BrewBama link=topic=33253.msg424425#msg424425 date=1552936725
However, I do take my sample at 20 min and let it cool to room temp before checking pH. By the time it’s cooled off I am well into the mash and any pH adjustment at that point would be shutting the gate after the cow has left the barn.
[/quote]

I guess this is what confuses me.  I really dont see the point in spending $100+ for an instrument, for readings that are too late in teh process.  I mean, what am I learning by waiting to test a sample at room temp?  Am I missing something here? 
Michael B
Kansas City

Online Robert

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Re: ph meter
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2019, 08:24:09 PM »
You are learning how to correct things next time, and/or confirming that your process is solid.  If you take a sample before 15 minutes or so,  the buffer systems will not have set up and the reading will not be meaningful anyway.   Once the mash buffering has settled in, adjustments are difficult it's true.  But you will get useful data and make better beer over time.

You will also be able to learn to correlate mash and wort pH with effects in the finished beer, so you will know how you want to manipulate it in the future.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2019, 08:37:56 PM by Robert »
Rob Stein
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Offline Brewtopalonian

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Re: ph meter
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2019, 08:34:15 PM »
Appreciate the device recommends fellas.  I will check them out. 

dmtaylor - which chinese cheap meter are you talking about? 

[quote author=BrewBama link=topic=33253.msg424425#msg424425 date=1552936725
However, I do take my sample at 20 min and let it cool to room temp before checking pH. By the time it’s cooled off I am well into the mash and any pH adjustment at that point would be shutting the gate after the cow has left the barn.

I guess this is what confuses me.  I really dont see the point in spending $100+ for an instrument, for readings that are too late in teh process.  I mean, what am I learning by waiting to test a sample at room temp?  Am I missing something here?
[/quote]You can cool your sample quickly in an ice water bath.  You don't need much to test. 

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Offline RC

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Re: ph meter
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2019, 08:36:23 PM »
The cow doesn't have to leave the barn. There's plenty of time to correct for sub-optimal pH. Collect your mash sample at ~15 min into the mash, and cool quickly. You don't need much. All you need is an amount of liquid/mash that covers the bottom of the meter's glass bulb. Give the mash a stir, collect ~50-100 ml in a beaker, swirl it in an ice bath for ~30 sec, and it's good to go. If you need to add acid, there's still plenty of time to do so to get that optimal pH.

Back to meters: I too bought, with much regret, the Thermoworks 8689. It never worked out of the box. I contacted Thermoworks about it, worked with their support people to try to get it to work, but it never did. Whenever I tried to calibrate it, the pH would jump all over the place--literally it would span 2 or 3 pH units (not 0.2 or 0.3, but 2.0 or 3.0!) and never stop jumping. I followed the instructions to the letter, it never worked right. When I asked if I could return it, they said no, since I had opened the box and used it. Cool, thanks. I needed a paperweight anyway. So I ordered the Milwaukee pH56 pen and it works great. No complaints about this one. Highly recommend it. There may be more accurate meters out there, but for me, ballpark is fine, and for the price, this meter nails it.

Offline narcout

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Re: ph meter
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2019, 10:10:15 PM »
I would highly recommend getting a meter with automatic calibration.  It makes the whole process so much easier.

I've been very happy with my Extech 110:

https://www.amazon.com/Extech-PH110-Waterproof-ExStik-Meter/dp/B004WN9QUG/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1510247992&sr=8-4&keywords=extech+ph+meter
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Offline tommymorris

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ph meter
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2019, 11:57:00 PM »
I have a Thermoworks 8689 and a Milwaukee MW 101. I never felt confident in the 8689 even after returning it once for service. The MW 101 was a little quirky out of the box but after soaking the probe in storage solution overnight I now have complete confidence in it.

However, I do take my sample at 20 min and let it cool to room temp before checking pH. By the time it’s cooled off I am well into the mash and any pH adjustment at that point would be shutting the gate after the cow has left the barn. I take the reading as a reference for documentation only.


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I have the 8689. It is flaky. Immediately after I calibrate the meter it often reads several tenths off in the same calibration solutions. I regularly have to calibrate twice. I have now given up on pH. I just trust Brunwater. Not taking ph readings makes my brew day easier and I haven’t noticed any ill effects on my beer.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2019, 03:10:57 AM by tommymorris »

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: ph meter
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2019, 12:39:45 AM »
dmtaylor - which chinese cheap meter are you talking about? 

Looks just like this one:

https://www.amazon.com/Poit-Tester-Resolution-Function-Calibration/dp/B07MY28JPW/ref=sr_1_6?keywords=ph+meter+home+brewing&qid=1552955883&s=gateway&sr=8-6

I really dont see the point in spending $100+ for an instrument, for readings that are too late in teh process.  I mean, what am I learning by waiting to test a sample at room temp?  Am I missing something here?

I'm in the minority for sure... but I for one totally completely agree with you.  I want to measure in the first few minutes, get my pH, and not dork around.

And if the thing dies after a few years (mine has NOT yet), then it's so cheap that I'll just buy a new one.  Call me crazy.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2019, 12:41:16 AM by dmtaylor »
Dave

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Offline KCguy

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Re: ph meter
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2019, 01:14:45 AM »
dmtaylor - which chinese cheap meter are you talking about? 

Looks just like this one:

https://www.amazon.com/Poit-Tester-Resolution-Function-Calibration/dp/B07MY28JPW/ref=sr_1_6?keywords=ph+meter+home+brewing&qid=1552955883&s=gateway&sr=8-6

I really dont see the point in spending $100+ for an instrument, for readings that are too late in teh process.  I mean, what am I learning by waiting to test a sample at room temp?  Am I missing something here?

I'm in the minority for sure... but I for one totally completely agree with you.  I want to measure in the first few minutes, get my pH, and not dork around.

And if the thing dies after a few years (mine has NOT yet), then it's so cheap that I'll just buy a new one.  Call me crazy.

Agreed.  My initial feeling is that the ph process, while necessary, will be minimal for me I guess.  I dont think my water is that far off, but a seperate post will determine that...I just cant justify spending too much on a gadget.  I could be wrong, but I have to admit Im always inclined to see if the cheap option will work just as well for my needs.  Thanks brothers. 
Michael B
Kansas City