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Thermometer discrepancies

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monomer77:
I have two floating thermometers one reads 75 degrees, the other 73 degrees. I have a long metal thermometer with the dial at the end that reads 84 degrees. The clock in the room has a built in temperature reader and it says 76 degrees.

So how on earth does anyone ever hit a proper mash temp? Go by taste? What’s the most reliable type of thermometer to have?

bluesman:
There are two methods that you could use to calibrate thermometers -

Ice Point Method - Fill a container with crushed ice and water. Ensure that the container have enough crushed ice to provide an environment of 32 degrees F, so you may need to add more ice into the container during the process. It will takes about 4 to 5 minutes for the mixture of water to stabilized. Then insert the thermometer which needs to be calibrated into the appropriate immersion depth. Hold the thermometer away from the bottom and sides of the container to avoid error. If your thermometer is not accurate at 32 degrees F, adjust the thermometer accordingly or provide for error correction.

Boiling Point Method - Fill a container with distilled water and heat it up. After the temperature in the water has reached the boiling point, insert the thermometer . Be sure to leave at least a two inch gap between the thermometer sensing element and the bottom and sides of the container to avoid error. If your thermometer is not accurate at 212 degrees F, adjust the thermometer accordingly.



tygo:
I had the same problem a while back and eventually ended up getting one of these:

http://www.amazon.com/Splash-Proof-Super-Fast-Thermapen-Thermometer-Professional/dp/B0041LOJNS/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1285032707&sr=8-2

Pricey, but effective.  I believe there are also cheaper lab grade NIST certified thermometers that will work well.

monomer77:
Sincere thanks for the quick reply. With all due respect, I dont think the boiling method works. I'm not trying to be one of those nit-picky knowy it alls. IE "You said zero and I add 1 gram without a problem" (nerd)

I tried it. I had two of them read 212 when put in boling water.

monomer77:
Do non-electrical thermometers ever go bad?

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