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Old 05-15-2011, 05:53 PM   #1
Mar 2011
Lacombe, Alberta
Posts: 199
Liked 11 Times on 9 Posts

I am getting very frustrated trying to find a reliable,accurate thermometer.I noticed some infra-red no contact thermometers being used in restuarant kitchens and wondered if anyone has tried or is using them.It looks like a perfect tool for us if it is accurate.

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Old 05-15-2011, 06:02 PM   #2
Bensiff's Avatar
Mar 2008
, Washington, the state
Posts: 4,944
Liked 402 Times on 319 Posts

I have a couple Ranco digitals I use, but have heard of folks using infrared ones. I don't know how accurate they are or if they tell you the whole picture. If you want to know the temp of your mash you really are going to want to have an internal temp. If its for something like knowing your wort temp the infrared should work fine...keeping in mind that it is only going to be the surfact temp so if you are using something like an IC chiller and aren't circulating the wort in some fashion you will have discrepencies in the heat of the surface compared to the bottom.

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Old 05-15-2011, 10:05 PM   #3
Feb 2010
Gaithersburg, MD
Posts: 373
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Mine tends to measure the temperature of the steam, rather than the wort itself. Either that or Wort boils at 180 degrees at my house.

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Old 05-15-2011, 11:02 PM   #4
Jul 2010
south of hardwick
Posts: 425
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I seem to really like my $15 Taylor digital waterproof. It's the kind chefs carry in their shirt pocket. The probe is only 6" long so you need to stir while measuring.

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Old 05-15-2011, 11:10 PM   #5
Jan 2009
Posts: 4,998
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The remote reading infrared thermometers read surface temperature only. Reflective surfaces and steam can interfere with the reading. They are handy for checking fermenters or the temp of your runoff when chilling and such. They are not exceptionally accurate with typically something like +/- 2* or so. I would guess that some are better than others. Good tool to have, but you'll still need a thermometer more well suited to the mashing process. Thermocouple digital is my choice. They are not really expensive and worth every penny.

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Old 05-16-2011, 12:02 AM   #6
Aug 2008
Portland OR
Posts: 5,387
Liked 63 Times on 59 Posts

I use the infrared to tell me my pizza stone is 850F, but for brewing it's pretty limited in use. It gives me an approx read on my boiled water for rehydrating yeast before pitching but I can accomplish the same by just touching the jar.

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Old 05-16-2011, 02:34 AM   #7
atoyot's Avatar
Apr 2008
Whidbey Island, WA
Posts: 154
Liked 23 Times on 9 Posts

I picked up a thermoworks IR thermometer on ebay, it doesn't seem to give very accurate readings of liquid.

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Old 05-18-2011, 01:56 AM   #8
Jul 2010
Bay City MI
Posts: 208
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

We use infrared thermometers at work to get approximate temps during some of our chem cleaning jobs. There's a lotta down time during these jobs and I was kind of bored and spend a lot of time playing around with the thermometer. Reflective surfaces really mess up the readings. I was getting almost 80 degree differences when I was shooting a section of stainless pipe vs some carbon steel sections. The less reflective the better but since most of us are using aluminum or stainless pots I don't think it'd work that great for brewing. Too bad though it sure would be nice with how quick they work.
"Once, during Prohibition, I was forced to live for days on nothing but food and water."-W. C. Fields

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Old 05-18-2011, 02:25 AM   #9
Dec 2010
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Posts: 322
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I use an accurate Fluke Infrared model ($50), from my workshop. What I like to use it for is not for Mash temp, Boil Kettle.... But, for temperature checking of things like my starter on my stir plate, or the wort once in my BB prior to pitching.... It makes a good simple check to see whether things are 95 degrees or 75 degrees...
~ BIAB : All Grain Made Easy ; Mash, Sparge, Boil all in the same Kettle ~ all you need is a bag and a hook!

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