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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2005 * Archive through February 06, 2005 * Lies! All Lies! < Previous Next >

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Peter Roman
Intermediate Member
Username: Lilbordr

Post Number: 495
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Monday, January 31, 2005 - 01:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Greetings,
This weekend I made an american brown ale and ran into some thermometer issues. Firstly, let me explain what thermometers I own. I have a fermatap screw in thermometer in my HLT. I use a ranco probe and thermowell in my MT. Finally, I bought a glass lab thermometer from my LHBS to check my other thermometers. What I found was disturbing. The Lab thermometer showed that my HLT thermometer was off low by as much as 10F and my ranco was reporting low by about 9F. Now normally I would compensate to meet the reading of the lab thermometer. But when I went to test the lab thermometer it told me that boiling water was ~116F and snow was ~28F. WTF? Where can I get a dead accurate thermometer? Which should I trust? I heard of Northern Brewer selling a self calibrating digital thermometer but I remember it being ~$40. Anything cheaper?

Thanks,
Peter 'the confused' Roman
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 2049
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Monday, January 31, 2005 - 02:27 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

A man with two clocks never knows what time it is.

Seriously, buy a certified mercury lab thermometer (about $ 12 - $15) from a scientific supplier and use it to check the others.
 

Paul Hayslett
Advanced Member
Username: Paulhayslett

Post Number: 622
Registered: 02-2002
Posted on Monday, January 31, 2005 - 02:31 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have had the same troubles recently. In fact, I've sworn off electronic thermometers for good. But I don't know what to use for a replacement.

I've had two of those remote-probe digital jobs die, plus a couple more probes. Shrink-tube on the cable helps but only a little. And cold ambient temps seem to kill off the main part pretty quick (condensation in the innards?).

So I splashed out $30+ on a hand-held, instant-read jobbie designed for the food service industry. Supposedly designed to be run through industrial dishwashers and impervious to sanitizing solutions. That worked for 2 weeks. Now it reads ~10F low. I'm still waiting to hear back from the mfgr about a refund.

The old spirit thermometer I got with my first equipment kit 3+ yrs ago is still accurate. But it is also fragile and I'm sure I'm going to break it in the mash.

I guess that's the long way of saying that I can't help you but I understand your problem.

One point: snow may well be 28F. Your cold-end reference point should be a well-mixed slush of water and crushed ice. Once it is all ice, your temp could be anyting under 32F.
 

Peter Roman
Intermediate Member
Username: Lilbordr

Post Number: 497
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Monday, January 31, 2005 - 02:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bill,
I googled and froogled but the majority of the results were in the $90 range. Am I missing something?

Thanks,
Peter Roman
 

J. Steinhauer
Intermediate Member
Username: Jstein6870

Post Number: 420
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Monday, January 31, 2005 - 02:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

As Paul says, you need to measure boiling and freezing the appropriate way. Freezing point should be determined in distilled water mixed with ice. Snow can be colder than 32F, but water in equilibrium with ice is always 32F. Water with stuff dissolved in it will have a lower freezing point.

Boiling point is determined by measuring the vapor temperature above the boiling water, and the system must be closed enough to retain the heat, but not closed enough to pressurize. The water temperature may be superheated above 212F, especially in the deeper parts of the vessel.

Once you have done this, you can interpolate between the two points and have a reasonably calibrated thermometer.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 2053
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Monday, January 31, 2005 - 03:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Peter, this isn't a mercury thermometer, but it does include a traceable certificate of accuracy, and at $11.75 it's relatively inexpensive:

http://www.cynmar.com/product_info.php?products_id=692
 

Bob Boufford
Member
Username: Bobb

Post Number: 204
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Monday, January 31, 2005 - 05:30 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Peter,

Even mercury thermometers can be inaccurate if not manufactured correctly. Due to health hazards and environmental contamination from breakage, I would recommend against a mercury thermometer. (Mercury is one of those materials that will get EPA and OHSA on your back very quick if there is even a small spill.) Stick with a good lab grade spirit thermometer that includes a certificate of accuracy. Besides Cynmar, VWR (http://www.vwr.com) is another good source.

Use your certified spirit thermometer to calibrate your other dial and digital thermometers, then put it away. Don't use it for general brewing.

Bob
 

Denny Conn
Senior Member
Username: Denny

Post Number: 4150
Registered: 01-2001
Posted on Monday, January 31, 2005 - 05:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I made the mistake of comparing my 2 "certified" lab thermometers last weekend...they were 10 degrees apart! However, one has a much narrower range than the other, so I decided it's the correct one! ;)
LIfe begins at 60...1.060, that is.
 

Richard Nye
Advanced Member
Username: Yeasty_boy

Post Number: 553
Registered: 01-2004
Posted on Monday, January 31, 2005 - 05:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I've spent too many years in the pharmaceutical and medical device industry to take instrument calibration lightly. I check calibration on thermometers, hydrometers, refractometers, scales, and volumes (HLT, BK, etc.). I believe better calibration would clear up a lot of questions posted on this forum.
 

Merle Zeller
New Member
Username: Merle

Post Number: 12
Registered: 05-2002
Posted on Monday, January 31, 2005 - 06:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Try an oral thermometer.

Very narrow temperature range and usually quite accurate.
 

Belly Buster Bob
Senior Member
Username: Canman

Post Number: 2073
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Monday, January 31, 2005 - 06:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I placed the probe of my 3 PID's all gotten for around $30 FOR ALL OF'EM into the same source and they all read exactly the same temp....good enough for me, I don't use any other thermometers
Bellybuster Bob
www.bellybuster.netfirms.com
 

Joseph Listan
Intermediate Member
Username: Poonstab

Post Number: 468
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Monday, January 31, 2005 - 06:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

You guys are scaring the out of me. What if my temps aren't right? Does that mean that the excellent beers I've been making for two years are actually crap?

I can't take this! Oh, the humanity!
 

Peter Roman
Intermediate Member
Username: Lilbordr

Post Number: 498
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Monday, January 31, 2005 - 07:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm not trying to raise pulses here people, but I have had many people, some who have posted above, tell me how my beers will be much different based on whether or not my mash temp is high/low by a few degrees F. Also, it's not like there is a small margin of error present in my system. In reality I could be mashing at 146 or 162! Until I can get an accurate reading, I cannot be sure. I mean hell, what is the point of having a digitally controlled HERMS if it is reading false temperatures!

Thanks,
Peter Roman
 

Peter Roman
Intermediate Member
Username: Lilbordr

Post Number: 499
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Monday, January 31, 2005 - 07:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

What about somthing like this? This seems pretty promissing. As in I could use it to accuratly measure mash temps at various points in the tun. It would seem that if I just bought a certified lab thermometer I would not be able to use it for general purposes.

Thanks,
Peter Roman
 

J. Steinhauer
Intermediate Member
Username: Jstein6870

Post Number: 430
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Monday, January 31, 2005 - 07:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Joseph has a point Peter.

What if you get some perfect thermometers, and your beers start turning out like sheet?

Will you switch back to the old ones?

What's the point of having a digitally controlled HERMS, if you are making crappy beer?

 

Peter Roman
Intermediate Member
Username: Lilbordr

Post Number: 500
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Monday, January 31, 2005 - 08:00 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

J,
Tell me the probability of my beer getting worse if my mash temps are accurate and stable?

Thanks,
Peter Roman
 

Peter Roman
Advanced Member
Username: Lilbordr

Post Number: 501
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Monday, January 31, 2005 - 08:16 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I found this FAQ while looking around on google. In retrospect, I wonder if the thermometer i bought from my LHBS shop was only a partial immersion thermometer. That would explain why my temperatures were getting so much hotter as I went deeper into the mash, despite the fact that the hotter mash liquid was being pumped from the top down. I'll have to check when i go home. This whole thing is giving me a headache!

Thanks,
Peter Roman
 

Denny Conn
Senior Member
Username: Denny

Post Number: 4152
Registered: 01-2001
Posted on Monday, January 31, 2005 - 08:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"That would explain why my temperatures were getting so much hotter as I went deeper into the mash"...not impossible, but inadequate stirring is more likely. I find the same thing with my mash until I've stirred it for 5 min. or so.
LIfe begins at 60...1.060, that is.
 

Peter Roman
Advanced Member
Username: Lilbordr

Post Number: 502
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Monday, January 31, 2005 - 09:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Denny,
Is it safe to stir the mash while recirculating or will that give way to a stuck sparge?

Thanks,
Peter Roman
 

Joseph Listan
Intermediate Member
Username: Poonstab

Post Number: 470
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Monday, January 31, 2005 - 09:08 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Peter,

You miss the point. Have you been making good beer? If so, then stick with whatever temps your inaccurate thremos say. If they say -114F and your beer is good, just calibrate the HERMS controller to maintain -114F.

But I won't disagree that having an accurate thermometer is desirable. To say otherwise would be, well, stupid.

(Message edited by poonstab on January 31, 2005)
 

Denny Conn
Senior Member
Username: Denny

Post Number: 4155
Registered: 01-2001
Posted on Monday, January 31, 2005 - 09:09 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Since I don't have a system like yours, Peter, I couldn't say..sorry!
LIfe begins at 60...1.060, that is.
 

Walt Fischer
Senior Member
Username: Walt

Post Number: 1993
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Monday, January 31, 2005 - 09:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Im not Denny, but i play him on tv...:-)

If you are referring to recirculating at the end of the mash to get a clear running just before sparging, id say dont do that..
You dont wanna disturb the grain bed at the end point.... its now going to serve as your filter while you sparge... and stirring it up will only mess with your 'filter'.
I usually stir a few times during the mash, but once i start recircing while bringing it up to 168 n get ready to sparge out, its hands offa the stirring stick..)

Walt

(Message edited by walt on January 31, 2005)

(Message edited by walt on January 31, 2005)
Lama Brewery
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 2062
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Monday, January 31, 2005 - 09:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Where can I audition for the role of Denny on TV?
 

Denny Conn
Senior Member
Username: Denny

Post Number: 4156
Registered: 01-2001
Posted on Monday, January 31, 2005 - 09:29 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

If you guys wanna play me, you'll have to get some safety glasses! And Walt, you'll have grow some hair!
LIfe begins at 60...1.060, that is.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 2064
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Monday, January 31, 2005 - 09:35 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Denny, if it worked for Siskel and Ebert (or for Bob and Doug McKenzie), we ought to try a homebrewing TV show. There must be a spot somewhere at 4:00 AM on satellite or digital cable. Oops, I almost forgot that your TV stays off for weeks at a time.

(Message edited by BillPierce on January 31, 2005)
 

Denny Conn
Senior Member
Username: Denny

Post Number: 4158
Registered: 01-2001
Posted on Monday, January 31, 2005 - 09:41 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Nah, I watch quite a bit of TV...my cable system just doesn't carry much! My studio is in an audio/video production building. Tell ya what..you find somebody to buy the show and I'll produce it! I think I got the easy part!
LIfe begins at 60...1.060, that is.
 

Geoff Buschur
Advanced Member
Username: Avmech

Post Number: 523
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Monday, January 31, 2005 - 09:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My wife works for Scripps Networks (HGTV, Food Network, DIY, Fine Living) You make the show; she has a direct line to the president of the network.
 

Peter Roman
Advanced Member
Username: Lilbordr

Post Number: 503
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Monday, January 31, 2005 - 10:00 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Damn you thread-jackers!
Will this thermometer work?!?
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=50974&item=3870587678&rd= 1&ssPageName=WDVW


Thanks,
Peter Roman
 

Denny Conn
Senior Member
Username: Denny

Post Number: 4161
Registered: 01-2001
Posted on Monday, January 31, 2005 - 10:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hey, Peter, you've been here long enough to know that's how it works! That thermometer looks good, but how are you gonna know if it goes out of calibration? Is it guaranteed to always hold its calibration?

Geoff, I've been in the production business too many years to take a chance on putting together a show without having it pre-sold!
LIfe begins at 60...1.060, that is.
 

Peter Roman
Advanced Member
Username: Lilbordr

Post Number: 505
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Monday, January 31, 2005 - 10:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Sometimes Denny I have trouble determining if your questions like the one above are scientific or more philosophical. If it falls out by a degree or two...fine. I just don't want a repeat of saturday where I was double and triple guessing myself.

Thanks,
Peter Roman
 

Marlon Lang
Intermediate Member
Username: Marlonlang

Post Number: 434
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Monday, January 31, 2005 - 10:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Peter,
Put all your various temperature probes into an crushed ice-water mixture, stir, and see what they settle out at. The ice-water mixture will be about 33F (sea level). Calibrate those that can be calibrated. Trash the others. I've found that mercury "lab" thermometers are usually off 3-4 degrees.
 

J. Steinhauer
Intermediate Member
Username: Jstein6870

Post Number: 432
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Monday, January 31, 2005 - 10:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

When you can see your reflection, it's ready for doughing in, then triple decoct the rest. Who needs a stinking thermometer.
 

Paul Hayslett
Advanced Member
Username: Paulhayslett

Post Number: 627
Registered: 02-2002
Posted on Tuesday, February 01, 2005 - 01:34 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

> I just don't want a repeat of saturday where
> I was double and triple guessing myself.

I hear you.

I told you I had several remote probe digitals go bad. One went south, not while I was brewing, but while I was cooking the Christmas roast. All of a sudden it's reading 25F higher than I expect. I'm freaking out, my wife is glaring at me, and 15 people are in the next room expecting rare, not well done. And no backup thermometer in the house. Luckily, I had the common sense to notice that it was still way too "squishy" to really be as hot as the thermometer read. But I still had a bad scare.

In better news, the mfgr of my new, but inaccurate, instant read thermometer has just sent me an RMA number. It looks like I'll get some satisfaction on that deal.
 

Joe Alf
Member
Username: Joea

Post Number: 246
Registered: 08-2003
Posted on Tuesday, February 01, 2005 - 01:36 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Peter,I have a Ranco in a probe and have played with
lots of thermometers. Huge temp variations exist in the mash tun,even more disturbing than the variations in thermometers. The ranco in a probe is always behind when raising temps.
I think that's why alot of brewers use a step mash and recirculation to produce better and more consistant beers.
 

ELK
Senior Member
Username: Elkski

Post Number: 1051
Registered: 01-2003
Posted on Tuesday, February 01, 2005 - 03:34 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

What ever happend to Peters house/homebrew/maid gustapo problems?
I have had the same temp worries Peter so you are not alone. You would think it would be easy to find a good temp probe to monitor mash temps in a cooler but I have failed. Which reminds me to check my Visa bill because the one I ordered from mycosupply.com 2 months ago has never shown up.
ELK
PS. I just called mycosupply.com to check on my Dec 8th order status of the lillipop thermomter for 45$ that I thought would be good. I guess the manufacturer has changed the design. I don't know why I haven't heard from these guys. It looks to me that this is a similar unit to the VMR thermometer that many here use. I tried one and it only lasted for about 8 batches and died.
ELK

(Message edited by elkski on February 01, 2005)

(Message edited by elkski on February 01, 2005)
 

Peter Roman
Advanced Member
Username: Lilbordr

Post Number: 506
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Tuesday, February 01, 2005 - 03:51 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Another system I thought was neat was the combination of a TI graphic calculator, a CBL and a Temp probe. These are handy because you can log data and anylize it. Im not sure how accurate they are without the optional temp amplifier.

Cheers,
Peter Roman
 

Milan Bartolec
Junior Member
Username: Littlebro

Post Number: 86
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Tuesday, February 01, 2005 - 07:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

After recommendations on this board about the VMR thermometers. I bought one. Loved it, but then it went bad on me after 4 brews. Checked the battery, replaced the battery and it did not help. I emailed their support and told them exactly how I used it (immersed in mash, and probe put in fridge during lagering and other brew activities) I asked them if I was doing something wrong. They did send a replacement, but never answered my question about misuse of the thermometer. A couple of batches later, the new thermometer went bad, sent them another email, no response, but they sent out a new thermometer and charged me. I loved it, I just wished it would work.

I'm glad to see others are having trust issues with their thermometers. My psychiatrist can't explain my mistrust of temperature measuring devices, but now I know I am not alone.
 

J. Steinhauer
Intermediate Member
Username: Jstein6870

Post Number: 435
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Tuesday, February 01, 2005 - 09:24 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hey!

See my post above about reflections and such.

A good brewer, like a good baker, should have a scaling eye. I also don't want to here about thermometer love. That's sick! Hope your shrink got you over that.

 

Martin Stutz
Junior Member
Username: Stillbrewing

Post Number: 48
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Tuesday, February 01, 2005 - 10:08 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hey Milan, I got a VWR digital thermometer for Christmas, and by the second batch it went off. (it was reading 47 F at room temp). I called their Customer Service & they sent me a free replacement. However, the guy explained that while the thermometer & probe is waterproof & shockproof, the probe handle (the plastic part- not the ss probe itself, of course) & cable can only take up to 120F !!

That really sucks, especially since there is NO mention of it in the instructions. So now I'm careful not to completely immerse the probe into my mash & HLT...

Martin
 

Peter Roman
Advanced Member
Username: Lilbordr

Post Number: 512
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Tuesday, February 01, 2005 - 11:07 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hmmm.
I heard about the cable problems so i went with this unit instead. This one is also traceable but has a longer probe and no wire.

Cheers,
Peter Roman
 

Ken Anderson
Advanced Member
Username: Ken75

Post Number: 660
Registered: 11-2002
Posted on Tuesday, February 01, 2005 - 11:18 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

That thermometer actually goes down to -58F, not 58F like in his post. So I guess that's a good thing.
 

Busted Still Brewery
Advanced Member
Username: Brewlabs

Post Number: 657
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Wednesday, February 02, 2005 - 12:43 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

brew geeks ;)
 

Milan Bartolec
Junior Member
Username: Littlebro

Post Number: 87
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Wednesday, February 02, 2005 - 01:28 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks Martin!
I'm glad to finally have an answer as to why mine quite working. Since both went bad, and others on the board loved them, I was thinking I was doing something wrong. And apparently I was. I just wish they would have answered one of my emails and let me know.

One of reasons I really like this thermometer, over the one Peter posted a link to, is that I can put the probe in my lager fridge, or the beer itself as it ferments and lagers. The long cable allows me to stick to the outside of my lager fridge and I can get the actual temp of the beer instead of just the fridge temp. With the min/max feature, I can also determine the temp swings of the beer when I'm cooling to lager temps. I think I'll give them another try.

The cable itself is still waterproof right? Its just the temps over 120 that it doesn't like?
:0)
 

JimTanguay
Intermediate Member
Username: Pizzaman

Post Number: 380
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Wednesday, February 02, 2005 - 02:01 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I've had really good luck with my vwr lollipop thermometer but it too started reading about 25 degrees high after mondays brew session. I had started throwing it in the BK at flameout to moniter cooling progress so I think the 120+ tempature's do kill them. I had done this the last two batches and now it's toast. I just ordered another one. I had my old one for 2 years with no problems. Thanks for the heads up!
I also have a 12 in stem dail thermometer as a back up but I like the waterproof probe so I don't have to open the top of my cooler.
 

Peter Roman
Advanced Member
Username: Lilbordr

Post Number: 513
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Wednesday, February 02, 2005 - 03:37 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I find it funny that so many people have temperature issues but only now has it become this apparent. I'll let everyone know how things go when I get this new toy. I will expect that it can at least get me within a few degrees of the actual temperature. I plan on adding about 4-5 gal in my mt, and screwing in my ranco thermowell as well as my other dial thermometer. I'll heat the water to ~160F and then flameout. I'll calibrate the dial therm and record the difference in temp for the ranco probe vs the VWR.

Thanks,
Peter Roman
 

Colby Enck
Member
Username: Thecheese

Post Number: 143
Registered: 06-2003
Posted on Wednesday, February 02, 2005 - 11:11 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"When you can see your reflection, it's ready for doughing in"

Steinhauer, what does this mean, exactly? Reflection in what? And what does it indicate?
 

Ken Anderson
Advanced Member
Username: Ken75

Post Number: 662
Registered: 11-2002
Posted on Wednesday, February 02, 2005 - 02:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I don't know if it's true or not, but as far as the mash is concerned, I've been told that one or two degrees can make a difference in your finished beer.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 2094
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Wednesday, February 02, 2005 - 02:14 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Ken's right; the mash temperature can make a difference. What's most important is that you know your system and the effect of the readings you achieve. It doesn't matter so much what the thermometer says as what it means for your system and your beer.

Commercial brewers have an advantage because their brewing system doesn't change very often, they generally brew a limited number of recipes and they brew frequently enough to become familiar with the results. Homebrewers are constantly tweaking, which makes consistency much more difficult.
 

Ken Anderson
Advanced Member
Username: Ken75

Post Number: 664
Registered: 11-2002
Posted on Wednesday, February 02, 2005 - 02:24 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm talking literally of the claim that one or two degrees will make a difference. For us homebrewers, I can't imagine that it would be noticeable. Peter is expecting an accuracy of "a few degrees." My guess would be that that's good enough.
 

Wayne Faris
Junior Member
Username: Bugeaterbrewing

Post Number: 39
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Wednesday, February 02, 2005 - 02:51 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Being a cook for a living, I have at least a half a dozen bi-metal pocket thermometers at home. I keep them all sitting in a glass. When I need to use one, I take a visual poll of what the room temp is. I pick one that agrees with most of the rest of them. If one or more seems more than 2 off from the rest, I put them aside to be recalibrated. I generally recalibrate every 3 or 4 weeks. When I recalibrate, I check all of them, not just the ones that seem to be off.

My callibration may not be the exact correct temperature, but I do it exactly the same way each time and when brewing I go for the same indicated temp each time. So what if I am a degree or two off as long as the results are good and repeatable.

Wayne