Thermometer question

How accurate are the weldless thermometers. I am going to add a valve to my brew pot to make it easier to do a full boil and since I was going to be drilling I thought I might also add a thermometer. Is it worth it? Or should I spent the money on a good digital like the thermapen or similar. The thermometer I have now is a long stem dial and I have found out its not accurate at all. I have tried to calibrate it using both the ice bath and boil with no success. If I calibrate it to the ice bath it will not read over 190 in a boil and if I calibrate to boil it will not read less than around 40 in an ice bath. So who the hell knows where it reads in between. I was wondering if I would have the same problem with the no weld thermometers or if generally they are more accurate. The thermometer I have was supposed to be decent and did get good reviews. Oh by the way I am going to be using the hell out of this forum for advice so I hope you don’t get tired of me with my newbie questions.

Hello Braque and you ask all the questions you need to help you brew a better brew! I put a 1/2" X1-1/2" long nipple into my keggle and onto that I put a 1/2" TEE. From there I put my thermometer with 1/2" threads straight into the kettle and the side port, I point down that is where I pull my liquid for recirc.,draining, or what ever else you need…. This way, I know what the temp of the liquid I’m moving…. Blichmann thermometer too. Sneezles61

The best way to calibrate the dial thermometers is at mid range with a lab thermometer. They are not very accurate when calibrated at that wide of a range.

I will check mine about 4 times a year, with boiling water to calibrate. Sneezles61

I will calibrate mine then to mid range with a lab thermometer. Would you say 170 degrees sufficient as that would be the max steeping temp?

I have a Blichmann dial thermometer on my boil pot, I calibrated it using a digital thermometer and haven’t had any issues. I usually end up checking my water with a digital as it gets close to the correct temperature anyways, just cause I tend to worry too much.

Calibrating around 170 is good idea since that’s the band of temp you care about the most.

Thanks for the reply. I calibrated it with a lab thermometer at 170 and feel better about it. I think I need to invest in a good digital though and add a thermometer to my brew pot. I sure wish I had known how inaccurate these were before I did my first two batches. I think I may have steeped too high a temp on each for a few minutes. Anyone want to buy a used inaccurate long stem dial thermometer? LOL

My mash tun has a dial FermTemp thermometer (welded) and PID controller probe in a thermowell. They never agreed so I used a traceable lab thermometer to check them and found the Fermtemp to be closer than the PID reading. This may be due to the thermowell but at least now I know which one is closest.

I also have one in my brew kettle only because it came with the welded fitting and I had a spare. The only thing I use it for is to keep track of how close to boiling the wort is getting to prevent a boil over. Is this the reason you plan on putting one in your brew pot?

The main reason would be to keep track of steeping temps. I am brand new to this addiction and all I have done so far are extract brews and those have been partial boils. Moving to do full boils next, adding a valve to my brew pot and thought I might as well add a thermometer as well.

I put the temp sensor of an STC-1000 in a 1/4" ID copper tube in my boil kettle so I can monitor cooling.

The copper tube is sealed by crimping the bottom, dropping in a one-inch piece of NO LEAD solder, then heating it with a torch until I see a line of liquid solder along the crimp. I could have bought a copper cap, but they want 50 cents for those things!

I used to use a digital and I constantly had to check against my long stem dial which I know to be correct all the time. How do I know? I have three or four and if I take a temp and they both read the same you can be pretty sure they are accurate. As far as mounting one in a kettle, it looks cool but something else to wash. It’s not a lab expieriment if your mash temp is 149 150 or 151 it’s not going to make a difference.

For steeping grain the temp should not be too hot, over 170° but anything ballpark under that will work to simply get color and flavor from almost always unfermentable grains.The thermometer will be be a cool addition to the kettle and one more way to monitor the process so why not?

When you get into all grain, and by your enthusiasm it is obvious you will, the thermometer will be very important in your mash tun. Still like brew_cat said close does count. Ten degrees off, maybe not, a couple, no one will ever know.

Awesome. Thanks for sharing the knowledge. Maybe someday I will be able to do the same but right now there is so much to learn, a lot of little things that really make a difference. Wife and I took a beginners brew class and plan on taking the next one that will do all grain brewing in a coupe of months. In the meantime I should be able to get at least a couple more brew days in with extracts. It has quickly turned from a hobby to an obsession, and I only have 2 brews under my belt!

I don’t know about anyone else but I had to get a bigger belt after starting this hobby.

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I quit smoking over 10 years ago, and I never knew how much flavor a beer had…. the diet brews are… well…. boring, skip the belt, git suspenders! Sneezles61 :laughing: