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Old 11-07-2012, 10:36 PM   #21
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:39 AM   #22
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Sounds like it could possibly be protein build up on the electrodes junction. Check your manual for electrode maintenance. If memory serves me correctly a strong alkaline solution will remove protein build up. Do you have access to some sodium hydroxide? If so make a 1M solution and soak the probe for an hour. Rinse well and try again.

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Old 11-08-2012, 01:45 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ladd
If memory serves me correctly a strong alkaline solution will remove protein build up.
I was wrong, you need an acid not a base. Check out this link for general electrode care :

http://www.canadianwholesalehydroponics.com/electrodes.cfm
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:48 AM   #24
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No way. I've had the unit back for two weeks, and it NEVER worked when it was returned. If there is a build up (how could that possibly be, having never been used?) that is up to the manufacturer.

I'm a nice person, and very tolerant, but the fact is this unit came back from them after testing and a new electrode but still never worked. My storage was appropriate, and it was never used. I'm not buying that I need to do anything.

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Old 11-08-2012, 10:04 PM   #25
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I didn't realize that you hadn't used it since getting it back, if that is the case then it definitely is not the problem. I know though from personal experience that putting a pH probe into a solution that has a high organic or high protein content will foul the junction almost immediately, that is why I suggested trying to clean it. Also I just Googled your meter (I was posting from my phone the other night) and didn't realize it was a hand held. Our experience with handhelds at work has been all negative (sorry). We went through 4 or 5 of the Oakton's before we got frustrated and spent the money for a good meter (Corning 430). Hope you get it sorted out.

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Old 12-17-2012, 02:51 AM   #26
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I haven't been around for a while but stopped in to see about getting a recommendation on what meter to buy myself for Christmas. My search foo must be weak. I'm not turning up any dedicated threads. Anyone want to throw out some models they have had good luck with? I'd like to stay in the $100 range if possible. Thanks.

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Old 12-17-2012, 02:24 PM   #27
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I have 2 Hanna Checker meters that seem to drift endlessly. I am gonna try the Colorphast strips on the next brew day in comparison and then try the Milwaukee MW102 meter and if that fails I am gonna try liquid regents. If those options fail to produce a repeatable and useable result, then I will most likely give up on checking ph and rely on software to try to set the ph in recipe creation stage.

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Old 12-17-2012, 02:44 PM   #28
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I have finally figured out that what is being given up in low cost meters is stability. Poor stability can be overcome by frequent recalibration. I know that is a real PITA but it does allow people to get decent readings with low cost meters. See the pH Calibration Sticky for how to do a stability check.

Obviously this thread isn't much of an endorsement for Milwaukee but some people have reported success with them.

Liquids aren't likely to work very well for this application as the color of the wort/mash will overwhelm the color of the dye used in the indicator.

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Old 12-17-2012, 03:57 PM   #29
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It may not add much to help Yooper, but I'm actually very pleased with my SM101 from Milwaukee. It's a cheap ($80) meter with very basic functionality and it has been remarkably stable and reliable. After about 3 years I decided to change the electrode b/c readings took long to stabilize. Since the meter has a BNC connection for the probe I was able to buy a new one on Ebay. That one has been very stable as well. Just last night I checked the calibration and it was only off by 0.02 pH units. Last time I calibrated the unit was a few month ago (I'm getting lazy since I'm not doing many pH related experiments anymore).

A.J may disagree, but I think one can get decent brewing pH meters for under $100. I like the ones that don't have automatic calibration. I also used to have a PH56 and it was always a pain to get it to calibrate. I even went so far to forget about calibration and noted the pH readings for the 4.01 and the 7.01 buffers and had a little spreadsheet on my phone for correcting the reading.

Kai

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Old 12-17-2012, 04:21 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaiser View Post
After about 3 years I decided to change the electrode b/c readings took long to stabilize. Since the meter has a BNC connection for the probe I was able to buy a new one on Ebay. That one has been very stable as well.
I think this is the key. It's pretty hard to design electronics that are unstable unless you are going between a cold room and standing next to the kettle. It is, IMO, the inexpensive electrodes that drift. If the meter is equipped with a BNC (but fewer seem to be these days) one has the option of buying a decent electrode to go with a cheap meter and this should solve most of the problem.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaiser View Post
A.J may disagree, but I think one can get decent brewing pH meters for under $100. I like the ones that don't have automatic calibration. I also used to have a PH56 and it was always a pain to get it to calibrate. I even went so far to forget about calibration and noted the pH readings for the 4.01 and the 7.01 buffers and had a little spreadsheet on my phone for correcting the reading.
I agree that one should be able to get a decent meter for under $100 - just not as stable as one might like but as I noted in a previous post stability can be gotten around by frequent recalibration or calibration checks.

I don't, however, understand the aversion to automatic calibration. It just makes life easier IMO but each to his own in this regard. I'll note that if you are 'correcting' by using the readings in two buffers you are in fact calibrating. Either you do it or the meter does it but it needs to be done. I'll also note that I don't use automatic calibration with one of my electrodes because it has an iso-electric pH of well over 8. The meter can't calibrate such an electrode so I do it in software. The process is as automated as I can make it. I put the electrode in 4 buffer and let the meter collect until the pH vs time history is flat, repeat in 7 buffer (or vice versa), position cursors over the flat parts of the pH response and hit 'calibrate'. All future readings are calibrated for those buffers and corrected for temperature.
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