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Need thermomenter recommendations

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Buford

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My old thermometer (a cheapo analog cooking thermometer) is really in need of replacement as it reads off and can't be calibrated. I'd like to get a digital that can be calibrated and has a fast readout. Basically, I'm looking for recommendations for a good thermometer that isn't a cheap piece of junk and has a hot-wort-proof probe up to at least sparge temps since catalog descriptions don't tell you nearly as much as actual experience with the product.
 
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Buford

Buford

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The Thermapen looks a little short for my needs and isn't waterproof, but the one they offer with interchangable probes looks like it may do the trick. I'm looking at this one:



The needle-pointed probes are faster, but I'm afraid I may stick myself with the thing or accidentally bend it.
 

Catt22

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Buford

Buford

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How fast is the read on that Cole-Parmer one? I like that it uses a regular 9V battery.
 

Revvy

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You want my honest truth about thermometers?

Forget going digital, or getting a dial, or another floating brew thermometer (I've killed them all) even the water proof digital ones, or the digital ones I've MADE waterproof from tutorials on here.

Just get yourself a couple long glass scientific ones (I think mine cost 10 bucks)

Like this


Seriously, many of us go through thermometers faster than we change our underwear...

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/they-all-lie-thermometers-evil-rant-83007/

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/thermometers-i-must-cursed-91147/

So far the most accurate, long enough to use, can be held in the brewpot with a wire coathanger, is the above mentioned glass one.

The second best I have found is those small dial therms in most grocery stores, like this;



Except at 6 inches long, they are pretty short....

I have found that the larger dial ones, and most digital, that even if the probe or probe wire is waterproof...the dial or readout is usually not steamproof....and steam gets in, condenses inside the dial, or the screen, and eventually ruins the thermometer.

Like I said, I've killed or broken just about every thermometer possible....and although the long one is glass, and therefore should be breakable, it is pretty rugged....

Good luck.
 

jspence1

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I have this one

Its been good for me, The temperature seems bang on and it still works after a few drops into the boil pot.
 
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Evan!

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The Thermapen looks a little short for my needs and isn't waterproof, but the one they offer with interchangable probes looks like it may do the trick. I'm looking at this one:



The needle-pointed probes are faster, but I'm afraid I may stick myself with the thing or accidentally bend it.
I have that exact one, from that same store, with the 30" wire probe so I can monitor mash temps. I recommend it very highly!!!!
 

springer

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To 1ºF, it is. :cross:
If you read the tech sheets most will say the same thing. Think they do that for liability mine came with a calibration certificate that was done by Control company in Texas the thermometer was dead on and in my unscientific test it was dead nuts on at 32° and 212° I am at 229 feet above sea level so no real correction is needed so I trust it





And mine has a 4 ft probe .. So There!!! :)
 
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Buford

Buford

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I have that exact one, from that same store, with the 30" wire probe so I can monitor mash temps. I recommend it very highly!!!!
Can you calibrate that one, if it's off for some reason?
 
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Buford

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Right now I'm torn between the Thermoworks one and the Cole-Parmer one that Catt22 mentioned. The C-P one is a lot cheaper.
 

Catt22

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How fast is the read on that Cole-Parmer one? I like that it uses a regular 9V battery.

The response time is very fast. I don' know exactly how fast, but it's way more than quick enough for our purposes. The response time for small temperature changes is nearly instantaneous. Inserting the cold (room temp) probe into boiling water as a check takes about 30 seconds. Probes are available with faster response times, but I haven't felt the need.
 

Evan!

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Right now I'm torn between the Thermoworks one and the Cole-Parmer one that Catt22 mentioned. The C-P one is a lot cheaper.
Yep, it is cheaper---though it's not water-resistant, so be careful. You'll also probably want to buy a new type-K probe if you want consistent wort readings (unless you have the ability to insert a probe into the side of your MLT via a bulkhead). That probe that it comes with is nice for spot-readings, but I got mine primarily for keeping in the mash, and the long probe that isn't spring-coiled is perfect for that.
 

Evan!

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If you read most will say the same thing. Think they do that for liability mine came with a calibration certificate that was done by Control company in Texas the thermometer was dead on and in my unscientific test it was dead nuts on at 32° and 212° I am at 229 feet above sea level so no real correction is needed so I trust it





And mine has a 4 ft probe .. So There!!! :)
Well, I mean, the thermoworks one displays to a tenth of a degree, rather than to one degree.
 

Catt22

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Right now I'm torn between the Thermoworks one and the Cole-Parmer one that Catt22 mentioned. The C-P one is a lot cheaper.

Yes, it's considerably less expensive than the Thermoworks unit which requires you to purchase the probe and carrying case separately. The battery life for the Cole-Parmer unit is considerably longer too and it uses a common 9v battery. All in all, a better a value IMO.

Here it is in use on my direct fired RIMS MT:

 

jldc

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Can you calibrate that one, if it's off for some reason?
I actually have two of the thermaworks thermometers. One of the thermapen and one with a hand-held unit and a probe on a cable. I always check at the beginning of a brew day and the readings are always within one degree of each other, usually the exact same reading, so I've never needed to calibrate.

It's this accuracy that makes me recommend them so strongly. A 3-4 degree difference in mash temp is pretty significant.
 

Catt22

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Yep, it is cheaper---though it's not water-resistant, so be careful. You'll also probably want to buy a new type-K probe if you want consistent wort readings (unless you have the ability to insert a probe into the side of your MLT via a bulkhead). That probe that it comes with is nice for spot-readings, but I got mine primarily for keeping in the mash, and the long probe that isn't spring-coiled is perfect for that.

Yes, it's an electronic thermometer, not a submarine! The Cole-Parmer unit is quite water resistant even though they don't state that in the specs. I just keep the meter part out of the mash.

I'm using the stock probe without problems and presently see no need to purchase a different probe. The pic above shows how I monitor my mash temp with it.

The Cole-Parmer unit has a resolution of 0.1 deg and it can be user calibrated if need be. This could be necessary if using a different probe than the one included with the unit.
 

Evan!

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Yes, it's an electronic thermometer, not a submarine! The Cole-Parmer unit is quite water resistant even though they don't state that in the specs. I just keep the meter part out of the mash.
It didn't say anything on the web page, that's why I mentioned it. I know it's not a submarine, but when you're working around a lot of liquid, it's nice to have something that's water-resistant.

I'm using the stock probe without problems and presently see no need to purchase a different probe. The pic above shows how I monitor my mash temp with it.
For those of us that don't recirculate their mash (I'm pretty sure Buford doesn't either), it's nice to instead have a probe that can sit in the middle of the mash. That's why I bought that particular probe. Of course, everyone's process is different---that probe that comes with that CP model wouldn't really work for me unless I modded my cooler MLT to have a bulkhead to mount the probe through.
 

Catt22

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So, a different probe, if required shouldn't be an issue. You would need to buy a separate probe with the Thermoworks model anyway as it does not come supplied with one. The extra long probes can be a little pricey. I would find a way to install a thermowell of some kind if I were not doing a recirc.
 
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Buford

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Here's what I'm thinking I may do since I haven't bought anything yet. I'm considering getting two probes like the one I posted above, one for the MLT and one for the HLT, so I can leave them in there and just plug the reader body to whichever one I need to check. I'd drill a small hole just big enough to snake the probe through the cooler just below the lid, and the probes can stay in there the whole time so I don't need to take the lids off. I don't want to drill the lids as I use an upside-down lid under my Therminator to catch any excess water/wort when I disconnect it when I'm done since I'm in the kitchen and don't want a (bigger) mess in the floor.

Either that or I just drill the lids and use something else as a makeshift catch basin.
 
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