pH Meter/Whirlpool IC/Accessories or Whirlpool IC/March Pump/Kettle Valve
I can't do both, which do you feel would be the more valuable upfront investment - I plan to make the purchase from MoreBeer.
Hanna pHep 5 pH Meter w/ calibration supplies/storage supplies and a Whirlpool IC chiller without kettle valve/march pump to run the whirlpool (will get down the road) - I would just run it like you would a normal IC chiller without the whirlpool aspect of the chiller
Whirlpool IC Chiller w/ kettle valve and march pump to run it (and get the pH meter down the road)
Note: I'm leaning towards the pH meter, as I'm just getting into AG and want to get my pH dialed in, however am curious to see how big a difference the Whirlpool Chiller might make, and see if that difference is large enough to move the pH meter onto the back burner - my plan for an alternative to the Whirlpool chiller (until I can get the pump/valve) is going to be stirring my wort prior to chilling to establish a whirlpool and get the break material in the center of my pot before racking it to my fermenter.
First, you need to consider your water. You can do this without a meter. If you buy a water report from wards, you can find out how badly you need to mess with your water. A meter is nice, but I think you can get "close enough" with your water without one.
A whirlpool chiller is great, but the big thing is getting a pump. Gravity works ok, but a pump makes it almost hand's free, instead of having to rig up a gravity stand and you just run it until it's done, as opposed to getting what you get when it's done draining.
Both have their advantages, but I'd probably go with pump and whirlpool chiller first, since I think water can be worked with to a certain degree without a meter. Nice addition either way, though.
Thanks for the input!
The plan for the Whirlpool chiller without pump would be to just use it without the whirlpool feature, as a regular IC chiller, until I could get a pump to run the whirlpool part.
In that case, I think the pH meter and the IC for sure. Add the Whirlpool later. It's a nice feature, but you can do a manual whirlpool until then and get close to the same results.
Caution: Playing with water chemistry can be frustrating and addictive!
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