Author Topic: Thermometers  (Read 7454 times)

Offline Beer_Tigger

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Thermometers
« on: November 12, 2012, 06:48:11 AM »
Let's talk about thermometers.  What do you use, and how?  Here's my problem.  Is use a probe thermometer similar to: http://www.kohls.com/product/prd-630717/food-network-digital-thermometer.jsp

I put the probe in my kettle while heating up water for my mash with the temp alarm set so I know when its ready.  I use the timer for timing the mash.  I then put the probe in the kettle of wort to alert me to when the temp of the wort is approaching boiling so I don't get boil overs.  And finally I use it as the wort is cooled so I know when to pitch the yeast.

This process, for some unknown reason kills these thermometers.  In the past 2 years, I've gone thru about 8 of them, a couple different "brands" but you can tell they are manufactured the same way.

Does anyone have better luck or a better thermometer w/ alarms / timer?
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Offline texasdan

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Re: Thermometers
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2012, 09:15:36 AM »
I have the same thermometer from TruTemp..  It seems it DOES NOT like moisture..  Mine worked fine for dry heat oven roasting but as soon as I started using it to control temps where water/steam was involved, it goes wacky....  You definitely can't let the probe slip down into the liquid.  A couple of times after non-use 2-3 months it started working again, but this last time I think it's a goner..   
I think the steam/liquid gets up under the silicone protective sleeve into the probe.  I've called them a couple of time telling them they need to make a better seal.  They thanked me but I'm not holding my breath. 

I guess I will switch to a standard insta-read digital without the timer/alarm.
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Offline Wingeezer

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Re: Thermometers
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2012, 03:52:32 PM »
After getting frustrated with low quality thermometers, I decided I might as well get me a decent one and I bought a
"Therma K Plus " thermocouple type unit.

http://www.thermoworks.com/products/handheld/therma_k-plus.html


Not cheap, but I think it is a case of getting what you pay for.   It is a very rugged unit meant for commercial use - I also bought a silicon boot to protect it further

It is supposed to be accurate to about a half a degree and can use a wide variety of plug in probes - hand held ones and wires.

Each unit is individually calibrated and is provided with a calibration certificate.   I think they are made in the UK.

I have had it about since last Spring and am extremely happy with it - I have a couple of hand held probes and two 10' long wire sensors that I drop into my mash tun and hot liquor tank.  They just plug into the unit.   I would certainly buy it again


Brian


PS - it has also turned out to be the best BBQ thermometer I have ever owned (Used that to justify the purchase to SWMBO).


 

   

Offline KEKO482

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Re: Thermometers
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2012, 05:45:43 PM »
I use a ThermoWorks Thermapen best move I made in buying equipment. I had a cheaper Probe style with 3' lead and had suspected issues with it when I got the thermapen I was right four degrees difference between them.

Offline Beer_Tigger

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Re: Thermometers
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2012, 06:17:36 AM »
It seems it DOES NOT like moisture.. 

That must be the problem.  Many times its accidentally fallen into liquid.  I guess I'll be a lot more careful.
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Offline mbg-bs

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Re: Thermometers
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2012, 06:53:29 AM »
I have had the same problem with moisture getting in the probe type devices. I did a google search and found this one General MDP300PP. Don't know what the accuracy is but it's submersible and good to 300 F.

Offline grathan

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Re: Thermometers
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2012, 08:10:14 AM »
you could time how long it takes to reach those temperatures.

 If it takes 20 minutes to go from 50.0F to 175.0F for 5 gallons then how much longer does 7 gallons take? This time should remain fairly consistent from batch to batch as well as cool down times.

and then set a separate timer nearby, not necessarily part of a temperature probe.  Beersmith could probably guess your heating/cooling times after a few calibrations and put that into the timer if the feature were added.


I also use the ThermaPen. It is about as fast as you can get.

 I also just got THIS one in the mail for $3 shipped from China, as a backup.

Offline tom_hampton

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Offline mbg-bs

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Re: Thermometers
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2012, 03:04:23 PM »
What I like about the kitchen ones that don't like too much moisture is that they have a timer as well as a temperature alarm to let you know when your mash/strike water is getting close.

Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: Thermometers
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2012, 05:28:16 PM »
I've got a metal analog number that came with a turkey fryer that I've never used.
Like the insta-read I keep in the kitchen, but twelve inches long.
I can poke it around the mash to see if there are hot or cold spots that deserve a good stir.

Works great.
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