The Best pH Meter For Home Brewers
Measuring the pH level of the wort is a must when beer brewing. While you can’t determine the pH level with your naked eyes, a pH Meter can do the trick. Anyway, when you choose a pH Meter for this purpose; make sure you buy the right type. A waterproof device that floats is a good choice. As you already know, some pH Meters can’t survive too much moisture. Buying such meters isn’t a good idea for home brewers. Mistakes can happen from anyone, so the money you spend on the device would just be a waste. So, having a waterproof meter is a must (in my opinion.) When you buy a waterproof meter, you don’t have to worry about moisture, also; cleaning the device is simple too.
The price of a pH Meter ranges from $50-$500 (a wide range of meters available in the market.) So, as a brewer; justify the budget and choose the meter. Choose a meter that includes 2-point calibration. These meters give more accurate readings. Modern pH Meters have an inbuilt thermometer with automatic temperature compensation (up to 60 Celsius.) Buy a meter with replaceable electrodes. For beer brewing, you don’t have the take the readings often (once or twice a month is sufficient.) Then you can use a meter for up to seven years without a headache.
Well, you can buy a cheaper device, but they are not waterproof. You can use cheaper ones for beer brewing, but many downsides are there:
* Cheaper ones are not waterproof.
* They do not float.
* They include just 1-point calibration.
* They are less accurate and less durable/reliable.
* They are not temperature compensated.
* Comes with fixed electrodes.
So, you can see the downsides of the cheaper once, but still; you will buy the meter depending on your budget.
Other items you will need with a pH Meter:
* 4.00 pH calibration solution.
* 7.00 pH Calibration Solution.
* pH Meter storage buffer solution.
* Distilled water.
* Laboratory wash bottle.
Calibrating the meter is a must for accurate readings. Well, it’s a part of the device maintenance. Even though the instructions say, “once a month,” I recommend “every time” when you use it. Then you can obtain more accurate readings from your device. Never re-use the calibration solution (people often make this mistake.) Use distilled water to rinse off the meter probe. Read the instructions on calibration, storing, and maintenance by the manufacturer. Touching the ball probe or drying with a cloth can damage the probe. The best way to dry the probe is a good hard shake.
Rinse the meter before taking readings to wash off calibration/storing solutions. Well, you don’t have to store the pH Meter in the storing solution, but once the reading is done; rinse the meter, dry it, then store in the solution.
Some final words: A pH Meter is a device every home brewer should have. Buy a meter depending on your budget, but the cheaper ones come with many downsides. Well, pH strips also available for beer brewing uses but has many downsides. The strips are not accurate enough to rely on. A digital meter is more accurate than manual methods, and you know it. In summary, buying a digital pH Meter will save you more money in the long run than other manual methods.