• Welcome to the new forum! We upgraded our forum software with a host of new boards, capabilities and features. It is also more secure.
    Jump in and join the conversation! You can learn more about the upgrade and new features here.

Can Anyone Reccomend an Economical pH Meter?



Greetings All,

I hope I'm in the right forum to ask this question and offer the following information.

I began all grain brewing two years ago this coming march (2016).  I fully understand the importance of the proper pH level in the mash.  So, I spent about $100 for a Hanna 98128 pH & Temperature Meter.  Roughly 30 days after I began using the meter, it stopped working.  The temperature indicated 150+ degrees at room temperature.  So, the vendor gladly replaced it with another.  Now, after roughly 18 months of use, the pH function of the meter has stopped working.  When measuring the pH of my mash, it steadily drops to around 5.6 (as it should), then, before I get my true final reading, it rapidly begins to rise completely off the charts.  So I tried to calibrate the meter and it does not recognize the proven buffers that are still well within their expiration dates.  I have taken great care of this instrument.  I calibrated it several times, I always kept it in its neutral solution, I thoroughly rinsed it after each use and it has now stopped working all together.  A replacement probe will cost about $50.  However, I don't know if I trust this instrument that has failed twice in such a short time period and only after about 16 uses.

Now for the question: Can anyone recommend an economical pH meter in the $50 range?  Does not need to measure temperature.  There are many on the market to choose from, but I would rather go with a recommend product. I'm tired of experimenting, if you know what I mean.

Thanks in advance for any information.
I haven't made this leap yet, but am thinking about just going with the strips.  I'll just be looking to get in the ballpark.  In any case, bumping to keep an eye on the input of others.
Thanks jtoots for the input.

I have read many articles indicating that the test strips are a good tool for measuring pH in a swimming pool, but not accurate enough for making beer.  So I did some research and found a pH meter that I hope fits the bill for what I'm looking for:

Oakton makes a series of hand-held pH/Temp meters that are often used in chemistry/aquatic ecosystems courses as well as used by aquarium people in monitoring their marine chemistry. I think they make a really nice unit for about $75. As with any pH meter, one has to care for these units. pH is measured by the charge created by ion movement across a membrane, so not only are buffer solutions and calibration frequently necessary, but this part of the unit has a shelf life and eventually needs replacing. That's why labs often buy the modular type meters, when the membrane unit can frequently be swapped out.