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Old 05-08-2012, 06:31 AM   #1
KuntzBrewing
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Default pH Tester

Been contemplating on getting a pH Meter for my all grain brewing. Its the last part of my brewing parameters that I don't have control over. (Judging by the dull look of my wort chiller after pulling out of the wort and low effeciency, I think my ph was too high on this batch)

What's the cheapest, yet best, ph meter for brewing, nothing too fancy but just right for homebrewing

Also say my mash ph is too high how do I adjust it quick enough

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Old 05-08-2012, 10:32 AM   #2
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I am new to the pH game so take my info for what it's worth. I just bought the Hannah checker from amazon. I try to limit my equipment purchases with a new baby and more important things but this was only $36 on amazon. It came with a light cheap case and calibration and cleaning solutions. I ordered extra as well. This unit is cheaper and prob not as acurate as some but it is manually calibrated and has replaceable electrodes which was recommended. I calibrated it and measured some home brew and a commercial brew a few times and got consistsnt results. I am yet to use it while brewing. I also ordered lactic acid which will be added to lower my pH.

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Old 05-08-2012, 10:40 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdongsr94 View Post
I am new to the pH game so take my info for what it's worth. I just bought the Hannah checker from amazon. I try to limit my equipment purchases with a new baby and more important things but this was only $36 on amazon. It came with a light cheap case and calibration and cleaning solutions. I ordered extra as well. This unit is cheaper and prob not as acurate as some but it is manually calibrated and has replaceable electrodes which was recommended. I calibrated it and measured some home brew and a commercial brew a few times and got consistsnt results. I am yet to use it while brewing. I also ordered lactic acid which will be added to lower my pH.
Hey bigdong (), could you provide a link to that specific pH tester? I'm in the same boat as the OP.
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Old 05-08-2012, 11:10 PM   #4
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Something you should all be aware of on pH testers is they don't last, especially if the tip dries out. Also, you need to get calibration solution, which also can dry out. The more expensive ones use replaceable tips, but the less expensive ones are now cheaper than the tips.

For beer the resolution and accuracy does not need to be as good as for wine. A pH of 5.2, 5.4, or 5.6 are all fine for beer, where as in wine, you need to be sub 0.1 resolution and accuracy to do the best job. So do an ebay search for Hanna (one good brand) and see what comes up. Also consider test strips. You can probably get away with test strips with beer, and once you know you are in the range, you don't need to test every time.

Also, consider getting your water tested, then use th's spreadsheet "EZ_water_calculator" over in the brew science forum section. It works amazingly well at predicting the right water additions to get your mash pH to work. It's one of the final tools needed to make great beer and have reliable mash efficiency. I haven't even bothered testing my pH since using this tool.

You do need a reliable water source that doesn't change chemistry much. (I only mention this as one municipal source blended water from different aquifers at different times of the year to meet EPA regulations)

Rich

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Old 05-08-2012, 11:12 PM   #5
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Here too. When I look at froogle.com I see a ton of testers under $15. Anyone know why they wouldn't work?

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Old 05-09-2012, 12:05 AM   #6
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I picked up a milwaukee ph56 on ebay for $60 the resolution and accuracy are just good enough for measuring mash ph. The cheaper meters have an accuracy of +/- .1 or worse. In my research +/- .1 isnt enough accuracy for checking mash ph. The ph65 has an accuracy of +/- .05. The main reason i went with this one was +/- .01 accuracy wasnt worth the extra $50 to me.

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Old 05-09-2012, 12:17 AM   #7
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A little aside...

What's better than Bigdong answering Kuntz's questions?

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Old 05-09-2012, 12:19 AM   #8
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great article on what to look for

http://www.braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=PH_Meter_Buying_Guide

OP - wort pH will be different from mash pH so i wouldn't use color of your wort chiller to make assumptions about your mash pH

good article here for simple water adjustments:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f128/brewing-water-chemistry-primer-198460/

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Old 05-09-2012, 12:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingfinbar
A little aside...

What's better than Bigdong answering Kuntz's questions?
Common mispronunciation of my name lmao classic! Lol
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Old 05-09-2012, 01:19 AM   #10
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Haha! Common mispronunciation for me too! Big - Don- GSR - 94. That was an old screen name and GSR was my first car.
Hanna 98103B. It's for beer so it's designed to be cheap yet good enough. I bought storage solution and it has a lid to hold the solution in the tip. It comes with two packets of 4 and 7 solutions for two calibrations. Just buy more on the same order so you can keep it caled.

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