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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > How do I know my thermometer's accuracy?
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Old 03-05-2010, 06:07 PM   #1
riromero
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Default How do I know my thermometer's accuracy?

I've been struggling with maintaining my mash temperatures. Unfortunately I'm a big fan of "cheap" (as in free) so I've been using the digital thermometer in my BBQ fork. That was my number one suspect. I've checked it with ice water (flutters between 32-33F) and with boiling water (rock solid at 212F). Then I did another crosscheck with my floating dairy mercury thermometer at 150F and they both agree. It's gotta be okay right? Right?

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Old 03-05-2010, 07:27 PM   #2
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Well, signs are pointing to 'it's ok'.

I don't think I would use it personally, but free is free eh?

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Old 03-05-2010, 08:13 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riromero View Post
I've been struggling with maintaining my mash temperatures.

While I think your thermometer is prolly OK that statement stopped me.

Why are you struggling with mash temp?
What is the process that's dis serving you so that you feel like it's a struggle?
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Old 03-05-2010, 08:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riromero View Post
I've been struggling with maintaining my mash temperatures.
Mashes have hot and cold spots, especially if you don't recirculate and if you recently stirred. Let it settle, and take a reading you feel is reasonable. If you can get a thermometer that stays in the mash, all the better.
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Old 03-05-2010, 08:37 PM   #5
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I am very often on the cheap as free bandwagon myself, but I just picked up a thermometer with a probe for $15 from Amazon and a digital scale to boot. I signed up for their premium membership trial and got free two day shipping. Worth looking into IMO.

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Old 03-05-2010, 11:12 PM   #6
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As dkershner correctly points out, after dough in, I get different temperatures depending upon where in my mash cooler I take the reading. So I stir vigorously and take more readings and things seem to stabilize so I close the lid and wait 20 minutes and check the temperature again. Now if the temperature has dropped, is it because I'm measuring a cold spot? Should I stir again? Is my thermometer crap? I don't want to keep opening the cooler to check the temperature in multiple places. Worst case is my cooler is crappy and has cold spots. Maybe I can beef it up with a water heater blanket.

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