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Old 11-29-2011, 11:46 AM   #21
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Yooper, which ever one you get make sure its waterproof and temp compensation is nice to have.
Consider the Hanna pH turtle - gives your pH on the laptop :
pH Portable Meter for the PC, HI 9815 | HANNA Instruments USA

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Old 11-29-2011, 01:57 PM   #22
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[...]Consider the Hanna pH turtle - gives your pH on the laptop [...]
It uses an RS-232 port. Do laptops still come with serial ports these days?

Cheers!
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Old 11-29-2011, 02:05 PM   #23
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It uses an RS-232 port. Do laptops still come with serial ports these days?

Cheers!
Some do. Most do not.
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Old 11-29-2011, 02:06 PM   #24
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Well spotted.

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Old 11-29-2011, 02:36 PM   #25
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I don't need TDS and all that. But I suspect strongly that he bought me a Milwaukee 56 meter, based on something he said.
"So, I bought you your present. I wonder if they actually make these over in Wis... con.... sin. Crap, I've said too much."
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Old 11-29-2011, 03:06 PM   #26
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I like the idea of the Hanna Turtle, but it does not have sufficient resolution for brewing usage.

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Old 12-02-2011, 06:39 PM   #27
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You don't chase a pH value into the hundreths, but you do observe the overall pH with respect to its output at the tenths level. When you have a meter that can only report to the tenths of a standard unit, you won't know your result within a twentieth of a unit. For instance, if you're looking for a pH of about 5.4 and the meter reads 5.3, you don't know if you're off by 0.05 or 0.15 units. With a meter that reads hundreths, you can have a little more confidence in what the actual 'range' of the reading is.

As mentioned above, the pH of the wort will vary with time. This is especially true if the sample is cooling while you measure its pH. Its very helpful to see the pH reading when you have a resolution in the hundreths as it varies and settles into a relatively narrow range. Using a meter with a resolution of only a tenth is going to prematurely show you that the sample measurement has stabilized when it may not have.

By the way when I report my pH readings, its typically only to the tenth of a standard unit. The hundreths are just for extra surety in interpreting the reading.

Do yourself a favor and don't short change yourself by picking up a meter with insufficient resolution.

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Old 12-22-2011, 05:49 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by day_trippr View Post
It uses an RS-232 port. Do laptops still come with serial ports these days?
No but one can buy inexpensive serial to USB adapters:
http://www.amazon.com/Keyspan-USA-19...uct/B0000VYJRY

They also come in versions with more than one serial port. Given the number of instruments still made with serial as the only interface and the number of older instruments out there if you want to instrument anything you will need one of these,
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Old 12-22-2011, 06:22 PM   #29
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Have you ever used a pH meter?. Getting down to two decimal places is over kill.. and can change in five minutes.. you'll be chasing that number unless you load up on buffers.
No, it's definitely not. The desired range of mash pH is 5.3 - 5.5. At 0.1 resolution that's 3 bins. How are you going you going to make meaningful fine adjustments within that range? And what does loading up on buffers have to do with it? Anyone using a pH meter must "load up" on buffers and use them every day he uses the meter as a minimum.

As for "chasing" the readings - that's quite important as it takes time for the reactions which establish mash pH to go to completion and it is only at that time that one should read the meter. Watching the drift over time tells you when that time is. Some of the more expensive meters keep track of this for you automatically e.g. beep and freeze the display when the electrode voltage variation settles out. These are typically working with a resolution of about 0.0017 pH (0.1 mV).

Two decimal place resolution is much preferred to 1 as it puts the quantizing noise at 0.003 pH which is well below the fundamental accuracy limitation of ±0.02 pH attainable with spanning (4 and 7) ±0.02 pH technical buffers. This represents good system design i.e. the instrument resolution contribution to inaccuracy is insignificant. For 0.1 pH resolution the quantizing noise is 0.03 - greater than the buffer limitation. This represents poor system design.

But this would be moot if we didn't need more than 1 decimal place accuracy but we do or at least benefit from it. One decimal digit with a cheap pH meter is better than the 0.5 decimal digit available from test strips but not as good as the implied 1.3 digits available from a meter with 0.05 pH accuracy (the limit I would recommend for brewing) which is in turn not as good as the 1.7 digits implied by a meter with resolution of 0.01 but accuracy of 0.02 as detemined by the buffers.

Now if your comment about chasing pH readings means that you are finding reading unstable in situations where the true pH is known to be stable (i.e. in a buffer at constant temperture). Then there is a problem with the meter and or electrode. Most commonly the problem is a clogged junction but as meters age their response slows especially in brewing where protein deposition is a potential problem. In low ionic strength situations electrical noise from static buildup/discharge can be a problem. There are solutions to all of these.
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Old 12-22-2011, 08:02 PM   #30
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Hanna Temp/PH pen for $69.95 with free shipping is hard to beat!

Hanna HI 98127 pH Tester - Mitchell Instrument Company

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