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Old 01-15-2011, 08:41 PM   #1
jescholler
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Default Hanna vs Milwaukee or Other

I'm looking to get a pH meter in the range of $60-$120 and I would like some advice on the manufacturers. I have a couple meters in mind, and the pros and cons are close enough that I may base my decision on the reputation of the manufacturer (reliability, product life, service, etc).

Does anyone have input on the various manufacturers? Right now, I'm considering Milwaukee, Hanna, and HM but would be open to others.

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Old 01-22-2011, 02:55 AM   #2
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Alright, maybe this will get the thread going. I'm down to the Milwaukee pH56, the Hanna Phep 5, or the HM Digital PH-200.

I was doing some reading on the 420 forums and people mention the Hanna as not being reliable. I have no idea how they treated the probes though. That's about all I found on all of the internets.

Any thoughts on the above models?

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Old 01-22-2011, 05:23 AM   #3
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I do have one of the Hanna units which I bought just to see if it is possible to make an accurate meter and sell it at its price point. As such I have checked it out a couple of times to see how it compares to more expensive instruments and it compares well but then if you calibrate a pH meter so that it reads 4 in the 4 buffer and 7 in the 7 buffer it is going to measure the pH of anything in between accurately unless it has a really lousy A/D converter and less than accurate thermometer. I have not subjected it to the rigors of regular brewing practice.

I note that the Milwaukee unit is specified as having accuracy of 0.05 whereas the other 2 are at 0.02. Given that the only way I know to degrade a measurement based on ± 0.02 buffers to 0.05 is to have lots of measurement and/or quantizing noise I must assume that the Milwaukee is, relative to the other 2, deficient in these areas (and give them huge credit for being honest about it). 0.05 in probably more uncertainty than one wants in brewing so I would eliminate the Milwaukee unit on that basis.[/QUOTE]

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Old 01-22-2011, 05:15 PM   #4
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Thanks AJ. That helps a lot. I figured +/-0.05 would be sufficient for mash pH, but I didn't plan on doing other things with it that require more accuracy (e.g. detecting autolysis). That said, I might as well just spring for a more expensive meter with better accuracy and maybe in the future I'll want to do that stuff.

Looking at the Hanna website, the Phep 5 is also accurate to 0.05, so I guess that one is out.

Down in the 0.01-0.02 range there is the Milwaukee MW102 , HM Digital PH-200, and the Hanna HI 98111.

My thoughts on these are:
Hanna HI98111:
This one has a pre-amplifier in the electrode to reduce noise. Therefore, when you replace the electrode, you also need to replace the other electronics as well. I'm not a big fan of that (since you have to throw away perfectly good electronics). It also makes a replacement probe ~$50, which pretty much eliminates it for me (unless someone feels strongly about it).

HM Digital PH-200:
At $80, this is the cheapest one in the 0.01-0.02 range that I was able to find. It almost seems to be too good to be true. This brand is also the one that I've heard the least about. With all that in mind, I'm not leaning towards this one.

Milwaukee MW-102:
This one comes with a separate temperature and pH probe, which I like. It allows me to take temperature measurements of my mash and other things without degrading the electrode. The temperature readings are probably more accurate than my floating thermometer. The pH electrode is also a BNC type, which is a good thing for replacement. From what I've read, I think Milwaukee seems like a reliable brand, but I'm not 100% sure. The meter is also accurate to 0.01 or 0.02 (I see conflicting information on their website). I'm leaning towards this one.

Any thoughts?

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Old 01-29-2011, 06:25 PM   #5
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Just pulled the trigger on the MW102.

I'll be brewing with it next weekend, a pretty straightforward APA. Shouldn't have too much trouble hitting the right pH, but we'll see.

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Old 02-04-2011, 08:41 PM   #6
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+1 Hanna Phep 5

This is an awesome meter.

I had the milwaukee and I had all kinds of issues:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/buyi...-meter-127062/

Hope your luck with the milwaukee is better than mine was.

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Old 02-07-2011, 03:06 AM   #7
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Here is a write-up that you may want to consider before setting on a pH meter: http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php...r_Buying_Guide

I myself are very happy with the Milwaukee SM101 which I bought over a year ago and have been using for many experiments and batches of beer.

Kai

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Old 02-07-2011, 02:29 PM   #8
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And I should mention - as I did in the other thread I posted - it could be I had a dud/lemon meter from milwaukee. But based on my experience I couldn't rec. them. I just personally had a really bad experience with one, and have owned the PHep 5 for over a year and it has been a steady performer.

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Old 02-13-2011, 03:02 AM   #9
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Thanks to everyone for the help. I brewed the APA last weekend with the MW102 and so far I'm really happy with it. We'll see how it stands up over time.

I was also really happy with the pH I measured, thanks to all the people here including Kai for his research and papers, TH for his spreadsheet, and AJ for his knowledge. Based on the EZ 2.0 calculator, the pH was supposed to be 5.46 and I measured 5.39. Pretty damn close if you ask me. No acidulated malt needed.

I'm so happy now that I can actually close the loop on my water adjustments. Before I was just adjusting and hoping it came out alright. Now I can actually know if it did.

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Old 02-13-2011, 01:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jescholler View Post
I'm so happy now that I can actually close the loop on my water adjustments. Before I was just adjusting and hoping it came out alright. Now I can actually know if it did.
That's the whole idea. It's a bit of extra work on brew day (most of which is the calibration exercise) but you will soon come to appreciate that your pH meter is as important a tool as your thermometer and hydrometer.

So now that we know you got a pH of 5.39 we'd love to know what got you there IOW what your water is like, what, if any, salts you added and what your grain bill looks like.
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