ph meter or thermapen? - Home Brew Forums
Register Now For Free!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > ph meter or thermapen?

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 10-24-2013, 01:08 PM   #1
1fast4door
Recipes 
 
Oct 2010
Posts: 47
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts



Which one would you rather have?
So I counted my jar of spare change. Decided to spend it on brewing stuff. I've been thinking about a ph meter for some time now because of off flavors and low efficiency in some of my lighter beers. I have been using bottled RO from the grocery store thinking my tap water is inconsistent (not likely, but w/out a Ward labs water report I'm kind of blind. City report is incomplete).
On the other hand, if I just start using a water calculator/spreadsheet with the RO then that should get me at least in the right ballpark right?
I use 2 different thermometers, one Taylor digital, one old school mercury that came with my original brewing equipment 8yrs ago. They are never the same even in icewater and boiling (digital reads 208-210 @ boiling, 30-32 in icewater)
Anyways, I'm gonna buy one or the other, just wondering what smarter people than me think.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2013, 01:11 PM   #2
mcbaumannerb
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
mcbaumannerb's Avatar
Recipes 
 
May 2012
Phoenixville, Pennsylvania
Posts: 11,078
Liked 6139 Times on 3533 Posts


I'd vote thermapen since you can use pH strips to help dial in on your mash pH in the interim (but trying to adjust for two thermometers that are off by different amounts is a bit harder.)
__________________
Untappd: mcbaumannerb BEEr

Facebook: BEEr

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2013, 01:15 PM   #3
motobrewer
I'm no atheist scientist, but...
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Recipes 
 
Oct 2009
Thiensville, Wisconsin
Posts: 8,308
Liked 498 Times on 386 Posts


it would depend on what problems you're trying to solve.

if you are consistent and happy with fermentability then I would go with pH meter. wort temp can obviously effect efficiency but if its only lighter beers then it could be a pH issue.
__________________
Quote:
The man who intoxicates himself on bad whisky is sometimes moved to kill his wife and set his house on fire, but the victim of applejack is capable of blowing up a whole town with dynamite and of reciting original poetry to every surviving inhabitant.

"A Wicked Beverage," New York Times, April 10, 1894

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2013, 01:19 PM   #4
Xpertskir
Recipes 
 
May 2012
Morgantown, Wv
Posts: 2,224
Liked 455 Times on 293 Posts


thermapen is one of the more useful(not just in brewing) and important brewing tools I own.

PH meter is practically worthless. Using a spreadsheet like bru'n water with RO water will get you as close as you need to be.

Also, room temp PH does not equal mash temp PH, and using a PH meter at mash temps is bad for it's longevity.

NervousDad Likes This 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2013, 01:22 PM   #5
JonM
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
 
JonM's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Aug 2010
Milwaukee
Posts: 8,033
Liked 2984 Times on 1730 Posts


Are you a big cook/griller? If so, I'd say Thermapen because you'll get a ton of use out of it in the kitchen and on the grill. If not, then go for the pH meter and one of thermoworks' less expensive, but perfectly suitable thermometers.
__________________
Who is this Rorschach guy? And why did he paint so many pictures of my parents fighting?

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2013, 01:24 PM   #6
motobrewer
I'm no atheist scientist, but...
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Recipes 
 
Oct 2009
Thiensville, Wisconsin
Posts: 8,308
Liked 498 Times on 386 Posts


as i understand it, mash pH is always taken at room temperature. and any ranges you see should be given at room temperature as well.

saying a pH meter is worthless is pretty shortsighted in my opinion. Especially since the OP is using tap water with an incomplete report.
__________________
Quote:
The man who intoxicates himself on bad whisky is sometimes moved to kill his wife and set his house on fire, but the victim of applejack is capable of blowing up a whole town with dynamite and of reciting original poetry to every surviving inhabitant.

"A Wicked Beverage," New York Times, April 10, 1894

Wynne-R Likes This 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2013, 01:39 PM   #7
Xpertskir
Recipes 
 
May 2012
Morgantown, Wv
Posts: 2,224
Liked 455 Times on 293 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by motobrewer View Post
as i understand it, mash pH is always taken at room temperature. and any ranges you see should be given at room temperature as well.

saying a pH meter is worthless is pretty shortsighted in my opinion. Especially since the OP is using tap water with an incomplete report.
The OP has been using RO water.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2013, 01:44 PM   #8
outside92129
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
outside92129's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Apr 2011
Carlsbad, CA
Posts: 1,224
Liked 63 Times on 51 Posts


thermapen!

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2013, 01:49 PM   #9
IslandLizard
Progressive Brewing
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
IslandLizard's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jan 2013
Pasadena, MD
Posts: 6,748
Liked 1172 Times on 998 Posts


pH meter!

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2013, 01:54 PM   #10
grathan
Recipes 
 
Jul 2010
Albany, NY
Posts: 2,250
Liked 146 Times on 115 Posts


Thermapen is handy. You could also pick up some lactic acid and experiment if you think you have ph issues.


Though honestly, if your main concern is efficiency, then your grain crush and mash equipment/process should be looked at thoroughly.

B2Barleywine Likes This 
Reply With Quote
Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Thermapen mcaple1 Equipment/Sanitation 37 07-20-2013 03:05 PM
Thermapen. Get one. NuclearRich Equipment/Sanitation 12 06-18-2013 07:46 PM
Thermapen, Refractometer, or pH Meter? BreezyBrew Equipment/Sanitation 36 01-08-2013 04:07 PM
Thermapen... Cazamodo Equipment/Sanitation 64 01-03-2011 10:18 PM


Forum Jump