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Old 06-20-2011, 07:39 PM   #1
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Default Can someone suggest a good, inexpensive pH meter?

The one at AHS (my usual store) says you can't test the mash directly. I can see it becoming frustrating having to cool portions of your mash, test, adjust, cool, test, adjust, repeat until you hit your pH. Is there a meter out there that can withstand high temps?

My last dark beer tastes like pennies and I'm guessing it's because I used too much calcium hydroxide in the mash. I'm tired of guessing with these mash additions and need something that will give me accurate results.

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Old 06-20-2011, 07:46 PM   #2
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There aren't many pH meters that CAN test the mash directly at teh upper limits of mash rest temps without having drastic effects on the head. IIRC, you have to delve into near Lab Grade bench meters to get that.

And ATC does NOT compensate for mash temperatures.

IIRC, the Milwaukee meter that Kaiser references in his Wiki can withstand the upper limits of mash rest temps but comes at a palateable premium when compared to the limitations of most pen type meters.

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Old 06-20-2011, 08:04 PM   #3
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Yeah, that's kind of what I was afraid of. Oh well.

Has anyone had any luck with the pH strips at AHS?

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Old 06-20-2011, 08:18 PM   #4
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That too was analyzed by teh renowned Kaiser. Turns out they seem to be less accurate across their range than even a cheap pen type pH meter.

At least the pH meter can be recalibrated.

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Old 06-20-2011, 08:29 PM   #5
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PH strips. Cheap, accurate, and readily available.

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Old 06-20-2011, 08:32 PM   #6
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PH strips. Cheap, accurate, and readily available.
They are cheap. But not accurate, and especially not at mash temperatures.

Why the reluctance to pull a small sample out of the mash and let it cool down a bit? I don't get that.
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Old 06-20-2011, 10:13 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by BrookdaleBrew View Post
The one at AHS (my usual store) says you can't test the mash directly. I can see it becoming frustrating having to cool portions of your mash, test, adjust, cool, test, adjust, repeat until you hit your pH. Is there a meter out there that can withstand high temps?

My last dark beer tastes like pennies and I'm guessing it's because I used too much calcium hydroxide in the mash. I'm tired of guessing with these mash additions and need something that will give me accurate results.
How are you figuring your initial additions to the strike water? IMHO measuring the ph is mostly just a way to verify that the water profile chosen and prepared was correct for the beer you're brewing. The cool, test, adjust, repeat process you describe shouldn't happen unless something went wrong to start with. You shouldn't have to guess on your brewing salt additions, even without a ph meter.
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Old 06-21-2011, 09:27 AM   #8
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I suggest get a water proof pH meter - the nature of brewing kills non-waterpoof versions.

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Old 06-22-2011, 10:24 PM   #9
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As an analytical chemist, or even more importantly, a biochemist, the pH of specific solutions is a huge concern. When dealing with biological concoctions and cocktails, a chemist needs to be sure that whatever he or she is working on will also work within the body. In order for this to occur, the solution needs to have the same pH-concentration of hydrogen ions- as the body does, which is approximately 7.3. The pH of a solution can be measured using a pH meter, and there are many different kinds of them out in the world. One reliable type of pH meter that I have used quite a bit in the past couple years is the Corning pH-25.

The Corning pH-25 has a few very unique features that make it a decent pH meter. It only needs a solution that is around a half-inch deep in order to detect the pH. This means that when a chemist, such as myself, has very small aliquots to examine, he or she will be able to use the Corning pH-25 and everything will be just fine. Another aspect of this device that makes it extremely easy to use is the hardware. While other pH meters have a huge stand that comes with it along with four cords that always get tangled up, this one does not. There is only one easily removed cord that is connected to the meter itself. The chemist doesn’t accidentally rip out cords from the ports or have the cables dragging across the bench top and possibly spilling over mixtures of dire concern. Simplicity is crucial to instruments that chemists use because if they cannot understand how the equipment functions, then they cannot use it and all their laborious work is for naught.

Calibration of the Corning pH-25 is extremely straightforward. Unlike other instruments that need a four or five-point calibration curve, the Corning pH-25 only needs two points at a minimum. A chemist simply needs to dip the pH meter in standards of 7, 10, and/or 4, depending on what solutions he or she is using. The chemist can clearly see that the internal calibration curve is set because on the meter’s simple display there is a 4, 7 and/or 10 in bold. There aren’t many different icons that can pop up on the display, which makes it very easy to use and perfect for testing pH of solutions and nothing more.

In comparison with other pH meters, the Corning pH-25 can compete in its own ways. One of the biggest perks about this pH meter is that one can buy it at a very reasonable price. For only $54.00, a chemist can purchase a fantastic pH meter. The competitors of the Corning pH-25, such as the Mettler Toledo Easy Seven, cost much more money. A chemist must empty $745.00 out of his or her wallet to pay for this instrument. The increase of price though is due to the fact that it has nice digital display and has an electrode holder of it’s own. Also, the Easy Seven most importantly, has a planar detection surface. This means that the aliquot that needs to be measured can be as shallow as possible because the detector on the Easy Seven is directly on the bottom. The half-inch that the Corning pH-25 requires is extremely large compared to the detection limit of the Easy Seven.

Analytical chemists need to be sure that their mixtures have a specific pH and that means that they heavily rely on pH meters. The Corning pH-25 is an extremely simplistic meter that can be used to determine the pH of solutions. The concentration of hydrogen ions is imperative, but so is the concentration of the chemist when it comes to purchasing a pH meter.

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