HOMEBREW Digest #6062 Wed 20 November 2013

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  Re: pH Meters ("David Houseman")
  pH Meters ("A. J. deLange")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 19 Nov 2013 22:02:38 -0500 From: "David Houseman" <david.houseman at verizon.net> Subject: Re: pH Meters Pete observes astutely: "I guess the pH meter makers are like printer companies. Don't make much on the unit but make up for that on the extras. $19.00 for the storage solution." Not sure if AJ would agree, but IMHO good pH strips (ColorpHast for example) are perfectly adequate for the brewing that we do (well most of us) and at about $35/100 strips, or $.35 each, are pretty cost effective. No storage solution. No calibrating solutions. No replacing the probes. In fact you can make great beer without any pH measurements; brewers did it for centuries. But pH meters are cool gadgets..... Dave Houseman Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 20 Nov 2013 00:59:28 -0500 From: "A. J. deLange" <ajdel at verizon.net> Subject: pH Meters A saturated or near saturated solution of potassium chloride is the usual storage solution but one sometimes sees the recommendation that the electrode be stored in buffer. The buffers have plenty of ionic strength with respect to the bulb itself but low concentration of KCl in the storage solution sets up chemical potential gradients across the junction so that water tends to migrate in and potassium chloride out. This can exhaust/dilute the electrolyte in the reference half cell. You could probably save money by making up storage solution yourself but the one's you buy may contain mold inhibitors (as the buffers often do) and/or buffer. For brewing applications the enzymatic cleaner Zymit is very good. A little goes a long way (i.e. a liter should last a good long time) and is great for cleaning anything else in your brewery that gets gummed up by beer/wort. The more usual cleaning regimens involve going back and forth between stong acid and base solutions and some recommend hydrofluoric acid which actually etches away the surface of the bulb to some extent (and is also very nasty stuff). Can't remember whether I touched on this in the last post or not but erratic readings in distilled water are to be expected and, with inexpensive meters, drift is commonplace. A.J. Return to table of contents
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