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Old 05-20-2011, 01:44 PM   #1
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Default Talk me into buying a Thermapen

So on my last brew day, my good buddy had the burner up a little too high and the hermetically-sealed glass face on my dial thermometer basically exploded. Luckily no one was hurt and it didn't really cause any brew day issues, but it does need replaced.

Before this incident, I used my dial thermometer for two reasons:

1. Temp readings for heating strike/sparge water
2. Temp readings during the chilling process

I also had a glass lab thermometer for taking mash temperature readings.

I really never checked until this last brew day to see how close the dial and the glass thermometers were to each other. They ended up being like 3-4° off, but I'm not sure I can really trust the readings from a broken dial thermometer.

Long story short - I don't really want to have to worry about inconsistencies between multiple thermometers. I have a stainless steel plug that I can put in my kettle where the dial thermometer was. I'm thinking about getting a Thermapen for taking readings from both the kettle and the mash tun.

My main concern with the Thermapen is the length of the probe. I've done some research here on HBT and it seems like there are some people who don't see it as an issue, and some who recommend a submersible probe or thermocouple type solution.

Then I started to think... the probe on my dial thermometer was only 3" & only barely extended into the kettle. I might actually be able to take readings further into the volume of the liquid with the Thermapen. And if i stir everything really well to try and get a uniform temperature w/ no hot spots, I should be alright, right?

Same thing with mash temps - if I stir enough and take readings from different areas in the mash (right in the center, along the edges, etc.) - I should be ok with the length of the probe on the Thermapen, right? I currently do 5 gallon batches and I mash in a 10 gallon Rubbermaid beverage cooler.

So yeah. It's a decent chunk of change to spend on a thermometer - but I also see a thermometer as a really valuable kitchen tool. I like that I'd be able to use it on meat & other stuff too. Will it work for me?

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Old 05-20-2011, 01:47 PM   #2
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northern brewer has a cdl digital thermometer that is waterproof and served me quite well....its only 20 something bucks....that would be my recomendation. The submersible thermocouple type thermometers are highly expensive and for homebrewing, i believe they're overkill

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Old 05-20-2011, 01:49 PM   #3
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Buy a Thermapen, you already know you want one.

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Old 05-20-2011, 01:51 PM   #4
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To clarify my question - I'm basically asking for opinions from current Thermapen owners on whether you have issues getting temperature readings from either a kettle or a mash tun (that's similar to what I'm using) because of the length of the temp probe.

Thanks for the heads up on the NB one though.

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Old 05-20-2011, 01:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IrregularPulse View Post
Buy a Thermapen, you already know you want one.
I know. I know you know I already know I want one. Damnit.
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Old 05-20-2011, 01:52 PM   #6
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woops...

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Old 05-20-2011, 02:24 PM   #7
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Because I went through 4 20$ thermometers and brewed a few batches before I realized they were broke. Been using my thermapen for 2 years now so I figure im close to saving money.

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Old 05-20-2011, 02:30 PM   #8
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I love my Thermapen. I use it both for brewing and for grilling. When brewing, I use it to measure my strike liquor and mash temps. It works better than any other digital thermometer I've ever used (about 3-4 different brands, all in the $20-$40 price range).

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Old 05-20-2011, 02:47 PM   #9
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I use my Thermapen for both brewing and grilling without problem (including mash/boil temps), and I run into much hotter temperatures grilling. It always gets a read before I'm complaining about the heat (and to be honest, burning the hair off my knuckles is part of the charm of grilling!).

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Old 05-20-2011, 02:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri_Rage View Post
I love my Thermapen. I use it both for brewing and for grilling. When brewing, I use it to measure my strike liquor and mash temps. It works better than any other digital thermometer I've ever used (about 3-4 different brands, all in the $20-$40 price range).
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Originally Posted by ceejengine View Post
I use my Thermapen for both brewing and grilling without problem (including mash/boil temps), and I run into much hotter temperatures grilling. It always gets a read before I'm complaining about the heat (and to be honest, burning the hair off my knuckles is part of the charm of grilling!).
You guys find that the length of the probe is sufficient to get into your mash liquid?

(that's what she said)
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