Author Topic: pH Meter on a Budget  (Read 971 times)

Offline Robert

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Re: pH Meter on a Budget
« Reply #15 on: May 21, 2019, 05:31:34 PM »
I'll definitely pick one up and hope its legit.  My only fear is that, just like at the big box home improvement centers, anything that seems to be a great bargain has only been cheapened to get it there.

To get the free shipping, I'll have to add a bag of bottle caps!
Don't for get cleaning, storage, and calibration solutions.   If they sell those from the same vendor, that'll get your free shipping for sure.
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Online Megary

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Re: pH Meter on a Budget
« Reply #16 on: May 21, 2019, 06:26:46 PM »
Stupid question:  The temp range for this meter says 23-140F.  Assuming a mash around 150, do you take a mash sample and allow it to cool before taking a reading?

Offline denny

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Re: pH Meter on a Budget
« Reply #17 on: May 21, 2019, 06:44:48 PM »
Stupid question:  The temp range for this meter says 23-140F.  Assuming a mash around 150, do you take a mash sample and allow it to cool before taking a reading?

Yes.  Readings should always be taken at room temp, both to pro,not the ligge of the meter and to get a more accurate reading.
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Offline Robert

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Re: pH Meter on a Budget
« Reply #18 on: May 21, 2019, 07:57:25 PM »


Stupid question:  The temp range for this meter says 23-140F.  Assuming a mash around 150, do you take a mash sample and allow it to cool before taking a reading?

Yes.  Readings should always be taken at room temp, both to pro,not the ligge of the meter and to get a more accurate reading.

Pro,not the ligge means prolong the life.  I'm learning to speak Dennyese.
Rob Stein
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Offline denny

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Re: pH Meter on a Budget
« Reply #19 on: May 21, 2019, 08:39:22 PM »


Stupid question:  The temp range for this meter says 23-140F.  Assuming a mash around 150, do you take a mash sample and allow it to cool before taking a reading?

Yes.  Readings should always be taken at room temp, both to pro,not the ligge of the meter and to get a more accurate reading.

One of these days I'll learn to read what I type...or maybe not.

Pro,not the ligge means prolong the life.  I'm learning to speak Dennyese.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline a10t2

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Re: pH Meter on a Budget
« Reply #20 on: May 22, 2019, 03:50:29 AM »
So, after doing some more research, I decided that a meter is more money and effort than I want to deal with at home, and just ordered a pack of the 2.5-4.5 ColorpHast strips.

Thanks for all the suggestions and insights!
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Offline KellerBrauer

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Re: pH Meter on a Budget
« Reply #21 on: May 22, 2019, 11:19:04 AM »
Same pH meter on-line at 2 places.
It has an Oatey/Hercules name (a plumbing/heating/chemical equipment company), but if you zoom in you can see that the meter is made by Hanna.  Unfortunately, I know very little about pH meters so I can't say if this one is any good.  But maybe someone has experience with either Hanna or this pH meter in particular to say whether or not it would be worth the $25. That price from Amazon seems like a mistake.

On Amazon for either $25 or $181 (??)
https://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B00DZV47NM/ref=dp_olp_new_mbc?ie=UTF8&condition=new

Being sold at AFR Supply for $195.00
https://www.afsupply.com/oatey-35272-hercules-ph-test-meter.html

This looks like the same meter I bought in 2014 for $125.  I would be highly skeptical of this meter being sold for $25.  But, I’m a skeptic by nature.  ;)
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Offline Robert

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Re: pH Meter on a Budget
« Reply #22 on: May 22, 2019, 11:28:10 AM »
Same pH meter on-line at 2 places.
It has an Oatey/Hercules name (a plumbing/heating/chemical equipment company), but if you zoom in you can see that the meter is made by Hanna.  Unfortunately, I know very little about pH meters so I can't say if this one is any good.  But maybe someone has experience with either Hanna or this pH meter in particular to say whether or not it would be worth the $25. That price from Amazon seems like a mistake.

On Amazon for either $25 or $181 (??)
https://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B00DZV47NM/ref=dp_olp_new_mbc?ie=UTF8&condition=new

Being sold at AFR Supply for $195.00
https://www.afsupply.com/oatey-35272-hercules-ph-test-meter.html

This looks like the same meter I bought in 2014 for $125.  I would be highly skeptical of this meter being sold for $25.  But, I’m a skeptic by nature.  ;)
The question is, will you get what's pictured or described, or is a different item coming for the price?  My LHBS has fulfilled for Amazon, with some frustration, and explained to me that the vendor who fulfills orders has no direct control over the pictures and descriptions.   So if they change the product lines they carry, they can't just automatically update the postings to reflect this.  They may once have offered the Hanna meter, but now offer a cheaper one, and only the price has been updated, no fault of their own.  Yes, I too am a skeptic (cynic?) by nature.
Rob Stein
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Offline KellerBrauer

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Re: pH Meter on a Budget
« Reply #23 on: May 22, 2019, 11:38:05 AM »
+1 to that ^^^^^^^
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Offline tommymorris

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Re: pH Meter on a Budget
« Reply #24 on: May 22, 2019, 12:02:46 PM »
Is this the topic for pH meter therapy?

I too hate my meter. It’s a Thermworks pen style.

The last 10 or so batches I have just trusted Brunwater. So much less stress. I look at the Ph meter hanging on the wall and don’t miss the extra work and especially the doubt and frustration.

I just bought some fresh batteries to try it again. The last time I used it  the batteries died. I guess I am a glutton for punishment.

Did we cover pH meters in college chemistry? Jeez I took two chemistry classes you would think this would be easy.

PS. Is it pH or PH or Ph?


Online Megary

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Re: pH Meter on a Budget
« Reply #25 on: May 22, 2019, 01:22:08 PM »
For those taking pH readings:
How long does it take you to mash in, draw a mash sample, wait for it to cool, get your pH, make the necessary adjustments?
If I understand mashing, the first 20-30 minutes are the most important.  Maybe the whole pH adjustment takes a matter of only a few minutes, but I'd be concerned about wasting too much time fumbling with cooling and worrying about whether or not the meter is giving an accurate reading.  By the time I got comfortable with knowing how much lactic acid to add, it would all be academic.

Maybe that's why Tommy says he just trusts Bru'nwater.

Offline goose

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Re: pH Meter on a Budget
« Reply #26 on: May 22, 2019, 01:53:00 PM »
For those taking pH readings:
How long does it take you to mash in, draw a mash sample, wait for it to cool, get your pH, make the necessary adjustments?
If I understand mashing, the first 20-30 minutes are the most important.  Maybe the whole pH adjustment takes a matter of only a few minutes, but I'd be concerned about wasting too much time fumbling with cooling and worrying about whether or not the meter is giving an accurate reading.  By the time I got comfortable with knowing how much lactic acid to add, it would all be academic.

Maybe that's why Tommy says he just trusts Bru'nwater.

I put a small sample of the mash liquid into a shot glass (just enough to cover the electrodes) and cool it in a cold water bath.  I can get the temp down to room temperature in a few minutes.  if you swirl the sample in the water bath you can cool it a bit more quickly.
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Offline Robert

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Re: pH Meter on a Budget
« Reply #27 on: May 22, 2019, 02:05:17 PM »
I don't make adjustments after mashing in.  I plan a water treatment that should get me close, take a pH sample to check it, and make adjustments the next time. Taking good notes and building on experience is a key part of good brewing.  I take the sample at about 15 minutes into the mash, when pH should be well settled in.  At this point the buffer systems that have set up will make it keep pulling back to where it is, so as long as it's in the ballpark it's a little futile IME to try to make adjustments at that point. But you surely could.  Anyway,  I just use a little tea strainer to scoop enough liquid into a small glass to immerse the probe, then set it in the freezer for a few minutes until cool enough.   But that puts you at around 25 minutes in, when most of the conversion has taken place.  So again, it's as much about improving in the future as confirming the present.   And I don't bkindly trust Bru'n Water.   It, or other calculators, will give you a guide to getting in the ballpark.  It will put you probably +/- 0.02 pH units from the predicted value most of the time.  But they estimate based on a lot of assumptions, and cannot know all the real world conditions involved.  So checking actual pH  against the prediction, and learning how it varies, will allow you to dial in the application of the guidance you get from the software to fit your actual situation.  (My longstanding practice didn't involve software at all.  Just a mini test mash in a saucepan to plan treatment for the full scale batch.  More realistic,  but messier.  I still sometimes do this, and sometimes do all my own calculations by hand... but I'm probably nuts.)
Rob Stein
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Offline blatz

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Re: pH Meter on a Budget
« Reply #28 on: May 22, 2019, 05:46:09 PM »
Disclaimer: I don't like it.  I seem to be in the minority, but I want to be up front about it because I'd feel bad if you spent money on a new probe and weren't happy with the meter.

I appreciate the offer, but I feel like I should ask: what don't you like about it?

I found the manual calibration to be virtually impossible due to the inevitable drift.  It also takes forever.

Compare that to a meter with automatic calibration where all you have to do is press a button and wait 15 seconds.  I much prefer the latter.

My advice to anyone in the market for a pH meter is that manual calibration sucks.

There are, however, a number of people that are happy with the MW101.  Maybe I'm just an idiot.

100% agree.  I bought a Hanna and enjoy keeping track of pH again.  my MW101 is collecting dust.
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Offline pfabsits

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Re: pH Meter on a Budget
« Reply #29 on: May 28, 2019, 11:01:45 PM »
After a not-so-good experience with a really cheap pH meter years ago, I went back to the ColorpHast strips and have to say I haven't had any regrets, but I'm starting to do some kettle sours and the 4-7 range doesn't cut it for that. Looking through some old threads it seems like the recommended models run about $120, which is hard to justify for home use.

Anyone have any experience with the Beverage Doctor? From what I've seen it's pretty new on the market: https://www.morebeer.com/view_product/43778

At $50 for ±0.01 readout and a replaceable electrode, it seems like a bargain.

There are many options available from Hanna Instruments. I would recommend getting a meter with ATC since the influence of temperature on pH increases as the pH goes down or up from 7. That is pH 7 is the isopotential point with regards to temp (changing temp does not change value).  If you are using for mash then I would still recommend some cooling. There are probes rated for high temperature but I would still stay under 170 oF.

https://hannainst.com/hi98107-phep-ph-tester.html

$39.95
Has ATC
Automatic 1 or 2 point calibration
pH/Temp readout
Waterproof

Cons:
ATC to 122 oF. It looks like the temperature reading will only read and compensate to 122 oF. I will have to confirm since we use 122 oF for meter environment which is nto the same as what a probe can be used for.

The HI98107 would be equivalent to our HI98127 with 0.1 resolution and replaceable probe. The meters with 0.01 resolution would include HI98108 and HI98128 (with replaceable probe). I like 0.01 pH resolution but realize most people are looking at 0.2- 0.3 pH unit accuracy since best practices are not used.

Our meters are made in our factory. We do not contract manufacture. That means design, electronics, injection molding, glass blowing, chemicals, etc are all done in house. The main factory is in Romania with our most expensive products (titrators, spectrophotmeters) made in Woonsocket, RI.

The testers that you see on Amazon are typically Chinese knock offs. Ours and our competitors designs have been copied and sold through various channels. In India someone would import then pad print our name with instruction manual. The testers that I have purchased from the local market did not work.

Bottom line: If you buy from us we are here for warranty and service support. If you have questions tyou can talk to an Applications Engineer. Most problems that we find are on the user error side. It is important to keep probe hydrated by using storage solution. It is important to periodically clean the electrode. It is important to calibrate with fresh buffer (Use sachets for the infrequent user).

I have posted a lot of information on pH. If you have any questions I am more than happy to help.
One of the avid home brewers that work for Hanna Instruments