Temperature Calibration/Validation of Equipment

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BuffaloJohn

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I've been brewing for 5+ years and recently graduated to all grain. One of the things I have learned brewing all grain is that everything is far more critical. Temperatures need to be accurate, volumes need to be accurate, weights are more critical, water quality is far more crucial, Etc...

Something I seldom see discussed is equipment accuracy. I recently purchased some cheap temp displays from Amazon to tape to my carboys so I can see the temperature without removing the towel. I also plan to use them for monitoring bottle temp during carbonation. What I found is they are not too accurate.

Highlighting my issue, I have found that some thermometers are able to be calibrated. Digital scales are also usually able to be calibrated. I have remarked most of my plastic buckets as I found they are off as well.

I would love to hear from others who also worry about these inaccuracies as I'm sure some of them are not as critical as others. In the back of my mind I have it that temperature is the most important one to get dead on and that some of the volume and weight issues are far less important.

What do you think?:drunk:
 

philjohnwilliams

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I'm sure there are some who will disagree, this is how I look at this. Accuracy is not as important as consistency. Provided your measuring instruments aren't way off, it doesn't matter as long as you always use the same tools every time and use them the same way every time. I know my thermometer is off by about 2deg f, but because I use the same one for every brew, I what target temps to aim for to get the results I want. I have never calibrated my scale, but because I use the same one every time, I know that I need X amount of grain to yet Y gravity points in my wort. It could very well be that my scale is off, but it doesn't matter to me because I know what numbers I need to get the results I want. I could go on, but my point simply is that absolute accuracy is not as important as consistency.
 

Singletrack

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I was surprised how difficult it is to get accurate volumes. The factory markings on the side of a bucket are just for decoration. I found that my weight scales are fairly accurate, so it was better to mark volumes using weight.
 
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BuffaloJohn

BuffaloJohn

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Thanks to both of you.
PhilJohn, I understand and agree with your observation that consistency and knowing your equipment is probably more important. I like to do clones and when reviewing recipes that others have had success with, it is somewhat important for us all to have an equal base.

Singletrack - mine was off quite a bit as well. I checked my SS Boiling Kettle and it was pretty close. It would benefit to have more graduation (0.5 gallon marks) though. There is a real nice article on here showing how to mark SS Kettles with a 9 volt battery.
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f257/how-add-permanent-volume-markings-kettle-illustrated-463099/
I think I will do this soon.

Anyone else?
 
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