Talk me into buying a Thermapen

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Burgs

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So on my last brew day, my good buddy had the burner up a little too high and the hermetically-sealed glass face on my dial thermometer basically exploded. Luckily no one was hurt and it didn't really cause any brew day issues, but it does need replaced.

Before this incident, I used my dial thermometer for two reasons:

1. Temp readings for heating strike/sparge water
2. Temp readings during the chilling process

I also had a glass lab thermometer for taking mash temperature readings.

I really never checked until this last brew day to see how close the dial and the glass thermometers were to each other. They ended up being like 3-4° off, but I'm not sure I can really trust the readings from a broken dial thermometer.

Long story short - I don't really want to have to worry about inconsistencies between multiple thermometers. I have a stainless steel plug that I can put in my kettle where the dial thermometer was. I'm thinking about getting a Thermapen for taking readings from both the kettle and the mash tun.

My main concern with the Thermapen is the length of the probe. I've done some research here on HBT and it seems like there are some people who don't see it as an issue, and some who recommend a submersible probe or thermocouple type solution.

Then I started to think... the probe on my dial thermometer was only 3" & only barely extended into the kettle. I might actually be able to take readings further into the volume of the liquid with the Thermapen. And if i stir everything really well to try and get a uniform temperature w/ no hot spots, I should be alright, right?

Same thing with mash temps - if I stir enough and take readings from different areas in the mash (right in the center, along the edges, etc.) - I should be ok with the length of the probe on the Thermapen, right? I currently do 5 gallon batches and I mash in a 10 gallon Rubbermaid beverage cooler.

So yeah. It's a decent chunk of change to spend on a thermometer - but I also see a thermometer as a really valuable kitchen tool. I like that I'd be able to use it on meat & other stuff too. Will it work for me?
 

scinerd3000

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northern brewer has a cdl digital thermometer that is waterproof and served me quite well....its only 20 something bucks....that would be my recomendation. The submersible thermocouple type thermometers are highly expensive and for homebrewing, i believe they're overkill
 
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Burgs

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To clarify my question - I'm basically asking for opinions from current Thermapen owners on whether you have issues getting temperature readings from either a kettle or a mash tun (that's similar to what I'm using) because of the length of the temp probe.

Thanks for the heads up on the NB one though.
 

SporkD2

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Because I went through 4 20$ thermometers and brewed a few batches before I realized they were broke. Been using my thermapen for 2 years now so I figure im close to saving money.
 
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I love my Thermapen. I use it both for brewing and for grilling. When brewing, I use it to measure my strike liquor and mash temps. It works better than any other digital thermometer I've ever used (about 3-4 different brands, all in the $20-$40 price range).
 

ceejengine

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I use my Thermapen for both brewing and grilling without problem (including mash/boil temps), and I run into much hotter temperatures grilling. It always gets a read before I'm complaining about the heat (and to be honest, burning the hair off my knuckles is part of the charm of grilling!).
 
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Burgs

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I love my Thermapen. I use it both for brewing and for grilling. When brewing, I use it to measure my strike liquor and mash temps. It works better than any other digital thermometer I've ever used (about 3-4 different brands, all in the $20-$40 price range).
I use my Thermapen for both brewing and grilling without problem (including mash/boil temps), and I run into much hotter temperatures grilling. It always gets a read before I'm complaining about the heat (and to be honest, burning the hair off my knuckles is part of the charm of grilling!).
You guys find that the length of the probe is sufficient to get into your mash liquid?

(that's what she said)
 

jetmac

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To clarify my question - I'm basically asking for opinions from current Thermapen owners on whether you have issues getting temperature readings from either a kettle or a mash tun (that's similar to what I'm using) because of the length of the temp probe.

Thanks for the heads up on the NB one though.
Never had a problem. The probe is long enough to get to the center of my mashes and boils. The only "problem" I see is, I can now detect the smallest change in temperature throughout the mash. There is always a variation from one end of my MLT to the other and being as though the Thermapen reads so quickly, I can detect the variations.
 

DCPiet

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+1 to thermapen, fantastic product.

just make sure you order the bright pink one :p
 
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Burgs

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The hot pink is nice... I can appreciate the wide variety of hues they're offering this product in, haha.
 

orangehero

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If you're going to spend $100, look into other handheld k-type thermocouple thermometers. Then you will have options for sensors and probes.
 

samc

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Waiting on my $15 CDN to break and I will buy a Thermapen.

Still waiting, it's been almost 2 years. Sure it takes 5 seconds longer to read the temp, but until it dies I'm stuck.
 

BrewThruYou

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Thermapen is sick for grilling too. Since I got it a month ago, I've used it a lot.
 

Hugh_Jass

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Here's a Fluke for $59 + 5.95 shipping

bought one and it was at my doorstep in 3 days
 
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Burgs

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So on that Omega, for example - you're buying the thermometer and then the probe separately, right?

Not bitching, just asking if I'm correct. Would come out slightly higher in $ if that's the case... but I'm considering all options.
 

rico567

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I spent a while deciding on the Thermapen- and am glad I did. It's also quite useful if you cook, bake, etc. The great thing on brewday is that I can carry the thing around like a big pocketknife until I need it, stick it in the mash or wort, and have an accurate reading in a few seconds. It's another one of those cases where you get what you pay for.
 
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Burgs

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I think I'm gonna pull the trigger on the Thermapen. It looks like it will suit my needs nicely. Thanks all for the replies!
 

jetmac

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Any comment on this vs the thermapen? have some credit at amazon.com and they are about the same price, but this one adds an infrared thermometer.

Taylor 9306
Hmm..interesting. That could be another step to aid in not contaminating your beer. Could be useful when I'm checking the temperature of my yeast starters.

I might be interested in that myself.
 
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Nova5

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From the reviews, you'd be better off using your fingers.


_
I've had no problems with any of my maverick gear. several different themo's from them. use one in the firebox and one in the meat for remote transmitting the temp (can't use the same one for both when running the rotisserie). all read the same.
 

mcaple1

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Indeed it is. Pen = Crap. Fork = Awesome.
Wow...seriously...I have a thermapen and love it. Had to whore myself out for a night to afford it, but I'd say it was worth it...minus the itching.
 

bschoenb

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My wife loves her new Therma-Pen for the Kitchen (which I now borrow on brewday)..... he-he-he.....
 
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Burgs

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No need to talk me in/out of it anymore - I ordered one the other day.

I don't have anything nice to say about that RediFork item, so I'll just keep my mouth shut.
 
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