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Old 07-03-2012, 03:50 PM   #1
timmah84
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Default Opinion/Reviews Needed on: Mini Handheld Thermocouple Meter

I am looking for reviews/opinions on the ThermoWorks Mini Handheld Thermocouple Meter (http://www.thermoworks.com/products/handheld/mtc.html) -- I plan on getting it after a couple failed digital probes.

I plan on picking up the waterproof wire probe they sell also. I like to monitor my mash temperature constantly (bit OCD) and thought that it would be a good thermometer. Down the road, I could also get the same metal probe that is used on the Thermapen for spot checking the HLT, etc.

Does anyone know if you can close the lid with the wire (much like the failed ss braid probes of the oven variety?) or does it require being fed into a small drill hole on the lid? I am worried if I drill a hole, that potential heat could escape, and I'd ruin the lid.

Any opinions and thoughts would be great.



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Old 07-03-2012, 08:38 PM   #2
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I cannot find what standards it complies with, i.e. iso 60601, astm 1114, etc.
But it does say it comes with a certificate. Place it in ice water, it should be 32 on the nose, then place it in boiling water, should be 212 on the nose, if it is not send it back.
I bet it is a good one though, thermometers have come a very long way, I specialize in thermometers for medical device manufacturing companies. If you know an electrical engineer, the best thermocouples are made by a company called alpha, they're in china, but they have an onshore company in california.
Long story I know, but I'd put my money in it.



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Old 07-03-2012, 10:01 PM   #3
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Ice water will read 32 regardless, but only at sea level will your boiling point be 212. Boiling point is dependant upon your elevation and barometric pressure. My elevation is 4354 ft above sea level and boiling point is 204.5 deg F. There are calculators online to determine your boiling point.

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Old 07-03-2012, 11:03 PM   #4
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http://www.thermoworks.com/learning/thermapen101_creating_an_icebath.html

Not ice water, ice bath. You need a bunch of ice in there to reach freezing.

Thermoworks rocks. I have never heard anything bad about them.
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Old 07-03-2012, 11:46 PM   #5
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Cool. Yeah, hear awesome stuff about the thermapen, but not much can be googled on the thermocouple.

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Old 07-04-2012, 05:34 AM   #6
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I have the same setup you are talking about. But, I haven't used it in a mash yet. I can tell you that it does read 32 in an ice bath and 212 in boiling water. (I'm practically at sea level for all the nit pickers out there). We already have a lid with a hole drilled in it so it's not a worry for me. I bought the wire probe with the 6' lead so that I could run it through the hole into the mash, put a cover on the cooler, and have enough wire to run down the cover and out to the meter. That wire probe is the one that thermoworks recommends for brewers so I felt pretty safe going with that one.

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Old 07-04-2012, 04:14 PM   #7
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I have the larger handheld and it is great for brewing and cooking. I have just been using the probe that came with it because it is so fast, but will eventually pick up a thermocouple for my mash tun. It is expensive, but well worth the price, considering how many cheaper, digital thermometers I have gone through.

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Old 07-04-2012, 08:02 PM   #8
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The only Thing I'd be worries about is if the wire connecting the probe is waterproof itself. I ran into many instances that the probe/wiring interface does not contain a good seal, and the entrance of moisture can ruin the wiring/probe accuracy.

I would call to confirm this with thermoworks, but I have the thermopen that I use for cooking at it has worked perfectly. Thermoworks is the place to go for these type of things.

Let me know what you heard about the thermocouple wire... I'm interested. The $100 price tag (including probe) is pretty steep, but the 30-40 dollar crappy digital thermometers you find around general stores just don't cut it.

On a side note, you could always look into getting a thermowell. They can be welded into your lid, and the probe inserted. This would avoid the possibility of heat loss. I haven't heard of anyone doing a weldless fitting, but I'm sure its doable.

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Old 07-04-2012, 08:11 PM   #9
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Yeah, it is completely waterproof according to a few posts I saw regarding it, as well as the post on their site. I'll call to confirm though.

I use a 10 gallon rubbermaid cooler, so no welding for me :P Guess I could just make sure to put a towel on top to trap any potential heat loss from a hole being drilled.

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Old 07-05-2012, 02:28 AM   #10
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If you were REALLY worried about heat loss, you could drill through the top of the MT, and feed the wired through. From there, it would be very easy to fill in the hole with styrofoam and place reflective tape on the inside.

If you don't want to make any adjustments to your MT, you're going to have to keep the lid unscrewed and cover with towels as you said above.

I'm wondering though, those lids are hollow, correct? A hole in the side of the lid (they are pretty thick) and then a hole on the downward facing side would make it very easy to feed the wire through. The most important part about doing this modification, would be the minimize the hole size on the insize of the lid.

That's all I got! send me a PM when you find out how this works for you and what you did with it!

Thanks, happy brewing.
Jay



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