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Old 09-30-2007, 02:02 AM   #1
derogg
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Default Thermometer calibration help

I have an "beer and wine " mercury type thermometer, that came with a brewing kit. I checked the calibration and it seems off. I put it in a glass of ice water, from my fridge water dispenser, and it read 34 F, I checked the temp of some boiled tap water and it read 208 F.

Seems strange that at the bottom end it reads high and at the top it reads low. How can I compensate for this? Should I correct for the boil side, because I am using it to check mash temps? Any ideas. I kind of like this thermometer, but any recomendations on a new to buy would be helpful. Thanks - Dirk


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Old 09-30-2007, 03:26 AM   #2
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There are two things that could be affecting your calibration.

For the freezing point calibration, make sure you are using an ice slush bath (crushed ice with water), not just whole ice cubes in water. The ice slush will stabilize at 32 deg. , whereas the ice cubes and water will be slightly higher.

The boiling point calibration will be affected by your elevation-- water boils at lower temperatures at higher altitudes. I believe that for every 500 ft. above sea level, the boiling point is lowered by 0.9 deg. F.

Personally, for fine temperature control, I use a digital thermometer. It's much easier than trying to read the level of a mercury type thermometer.

Hope this helps.

-Steve



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Old 09-30-2007, 05:04 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by derogg
How can I compensate
Buy the fastest and the biggest and the best stuff you can get your hands on then get yourself a trophy wife thats what I did seems to be working out... for me anyway LOL
Cheers
JJ
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Old 09-30-2007, 02:21 PM   #4
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Get some cheap vodka. Put your thermometer in a pan with the vodka (or in a can sitting in a pan full of water). Heat until it starts to simmer. Since alcohol boils at 172F (sea level), it is a good reference point for mashing.
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Old 09-30-2007, 08:35 PM   #5
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I live about 300 ft above sea level. I will try some of the other techniques and see what happens. I placed the thermometer next to my weather station thermometer and the temps are pretty darn close.

When I was mashing yesterday, I had four different thermometers ( 1 digital roasting therm( which stopped working), a turkey deep fry , a instant read kitchen , and the beer and wine) The deep fry and the beer and wine where close to each other, but they were 10 degrees off of the other two. The instant read one seemed to be accurate wwhen I did my freezing and boiling test. What to believe is the question?? -Dirk


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