HBT 2014 Big Giveaway - 4/10 Re-Draw Winners Posted!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Thermometer calibration




Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-11-2007, 12:58 PM   #1
Foreigner
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 260
Default Thermometer calibration

Anyone else really distrust their thermometer?

Here's an easy way to gauge (I know precision is what we seek, but lets get serious shall we? ) the reasonable accuracy of your thermometer.

I read this info off of a "How not to kill your baby" pamplet - you know what I mean.

Household hot water is (In toronto at least, I imagine it's pretty typical) ~60C.

I have an analog thermometer that tells me it's 50C. It will soon be run through my new corona mill out of spite Seriously though, I have a radio shack digi therm and it read right out at 59.7C

That one is a keeper.

Anyone have any input? Anyone want to flame me for poor scientific method ?

Just a little test if you have some concern about not hitting your temps right...



__________________

I try not to drink anything harder than Gin before breakfast - W.C. Fields

Primaries: Ed's Haus + Munich, Ed's Haus + medium crystal

Secondaries: suck :)

Bottles: Chili Stout, Dry Irish Stout, Bitter Ass IPA, Headstrong Munich Lager clone, Lawnmower ale with chocolate and munich malt

Bulk Aging: Wildberry Sweet Mead - Orange Vanilla Dry Mead

Up Next: Orfy's Old Speckled Hen and an IPA of some kind

Foreigner is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-11-2007, 01:07 PM   #2
abracadabra
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
abracadabra's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Newnan, Georgia
Posts: 1,925
Liked 6 Times on 6 Posts

Default

My Local homebrew store sells calibration thermometers. Seems like I paid about $6. It's fragile but I only used it to test the accuracy of my digital unit then wrote down what the indicated readings actually are. I also used it to calibrate the thermometer in my Hot Liquid Tank to the most frequently used temp.

IMHO it was money well spend.



__________________
Do what you like!
Brew what you like!
abracadabra is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-11-2007, 01:53 PM   #3
FlyGuy
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
FlyGuy's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Posts: 3,618
Liked 122 Times on 40 Posts
Likes Given: 7

Default

Yes, look for something called a lab thermometer (same thing as a calibration thermometer). They are usually alcohol thermometers that are accurate to within a degree.

The other option is to use a glass of ice water and a pot of boiling water to calibrate your thermometer. Since you are a Foreigner we can use those easy metric numbers: thermometer should read 0 in the ice water (ice cubes made from distilled or RO water is best), and 100 in the boiling water (may need to adjust for elevation).

Just be sure to check that your thermometer is safe at this range of temp (e.g., most glass alcohol lab thermometers will burst at 100 degrees C).

FlyGuy is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-11-2007, 02:04 PM   #4
cubbies
Tastes like butterdirt
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
cubbies's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: St Louis MO
Posts: 1,922
Liked 7 Times on 5 Posts

Default

I have a dial and a digi that I use on my brews and every so often I will put them both in a glass of water...if they both read the same...I call that calibrated. I think the odds of them both being exactly the same amount of would be pretty low.

__________________
cubbies is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-11-2007, 02:25 PM   #5
pjj2ba
Look under the recliner
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
pjj2ba's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: State College, Pennsylvania
Posts: 3,402
Liked 186 Times on 154 Posts
Likes Given: 20

Default

Most of the mechanical dial type thermometers (like those that come with turkey fryers) have a nut on the back of the dial where the probe attaches. You can use a wrench on the nut to adjust the calibration. I did an ice bath (let it sit for a couple minutes) and adjusted it to 32 F and then tested it in boiling water boiling water.

__________________
pjj2ba is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-11-2007, 02:55 PM   #6
Ryan_PA
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: South Philly, Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,913
Liked 7 Times on 5 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

If you have a digital thermometer for checking your temperature, like the one that goes under your tongue, you could test it (assuming you are healthy) on yourself 98.6*. Then prepare a bowl of luke warm water, and use it to calibrate your brewing thermometer.

__________________
Ryan_PA is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-11-2007, 03:52 PM   #7
Bobby_M
Vendor and Brewer
Vendor Ads 
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
 
Bobby_M's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Piscataway, NJ
Posts: 21,725
Liked 851 Times on 571 Posts
Likes Given: 26

Default

No, you can't use your tap hot water as a gauge. I can adjust my hot water temp across a wide range. I currently have it set to 135F but can change it to 110 or 145 anytime I want.

I know you can also take other liquids with known boiling points to calibrate at a temp closer to your desired range such as mash temps. For example, Bromine boils at about 59C or 138F at sea level. Not sure if it's safe or not. Pure Isopropyl alcohol boils at 82C.

You could also calibrate your thermo to 72C by boiling water on top of Mt Everest.

__________________
BrewHardware.com
Sightglass, Refractometer, Ball Valve, Weldless bulkhead, Thermometer, Decals, Stainless Steel Fittings, Compression Fittings, Camlock Quick Disconnects, Scale, RIMS tube, Plate Chiller, Chugger Pump, Super Clear Silicone Tubing, and more!
Bobby_M is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-11-2007, 04:00 PM   #8
Foreigner
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 260
Default

Wow, lots of interest.

I wasn't claiming that this is an excellent way to do it, just a little fun test

It is of course based on the same theory as most of the other posts, which is a known temp against which to compare.

so, IF (note big IF) I know the temp of my hottest possible tap water, why worry about it?

I understand the desire for precision, but I'm happy + or - 2 to 3 C

__________________

I try not to drink anything harder than Gin before breakfast - W.C. Fields

Primaries: Ed's Haus + Munich, Ed's Haus + medium crystal

Secondaries: suck :)

Bottles: Chili Stout, Dry Irish Stout, Bitter Ass IPA, Headstrong Munich Lager clone, Lawnmower ale with chocolate and munich malt

Bulk Aging: Wildberry Sweet Mead - Orange Vanilla Dry Mead

Up Next: Orfy's Old Speckled Hen and an IPA of some kind

Foreigner is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-11-2007, 04:03 PM   #9
olllllo
[]-O-[]
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
olllllo's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Posts: 13,518
Liked 119 Times on 101 Posts
Likes Given: 13

Default

http://www.professionalequipment.com/traceable-mini-thermometer-with-nist-certificate-4039/digital-thermometers/

Problem solved.
Comes with a NIST cert. Samples 1/sec and displays in .1° F increments.
__________________
Rabbit And Coyote Schwag
Rob - Phoenix Ambassador to Milwaukee
Where did your avatar go?
Ginger Beer for Moscow Mules Bacon Vodka
Twitter
olllllo is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-11-2007, 04:07 PM   #10
Foreigner
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 260
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by olllllo
Samples 1/sec and displays in .1° F increments.
Very cool! But hey, my all-grain equip is coming along nicely. Sometimes you just need to be a cheap ass, you know :P


__________________

I try not to drink anything harder than Gin before breakfast - W.C. Fields

Primaries: Ed's Haus + Munich, Ed's Haus + medium crystal

Secondaries: suck :)

Bottles: Chili Stout, Dry Irish Stout, Bitter Ass IPA, Headstrong Munich Lager clone, Lawnmower ale with chocolate and munich malt

Bulk Aging: Wildberry Sweet Mead - Orange Vanilla Dry Mead

Up Next: Orfy's Old Speckled Hen and an IPA of some kind

Foreigner is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
ProAccurate Thermometer Calibration Error Stevorino Equipment/Sanitation 21 01-28-2013 06:43 PM
Thermometer calibration? Beavdowg General Techniques 15 08-20-2009 09:25 PM
Digital calibration thermometer Hammy71 All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 2 05-24-2009 09:01 PM
thermometer calibration killian General Techniques 28 08-14-2008 08:52 PM
Thermometer calibration help derogg Equipment/Sanitation 4 09-30-2007 08:35 PM