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Thermometer

As an update, last night I put the prob in a glass of ice water and stuck the glass in the freezer. The thermometer read 41 degrees after the water froze. I will check the temp at boiling this weekend.

one reason I made the move to the thermapen. I am confident that I won’t have to worry each brew session if my thermometer is off and needs to be recalibrated, etc.

one reason I made the move to the thermapen. I am confident that I won’t have to worry each brew session if my thermometer is off and needs to be recalibrated, etc.[/quote]

What gives you this confidence in the product? Because it costs so much more? Because it has a good reputation? Is there any hard data like failure rates to back up this confidence? I’m not trying to be flippant, I’m curious. I don’t mind paying $90 for a good quality thermometer that will last a very long time, but I don’t want to pay that much for one that has the same failure rate as others on the market that cost much less.

Every calibration technique I’ve seen for temperature probes has directed to use a slushy mix of icewater. I believe the idea is that solid ice can be lower than the freezing point of water, while the slurry of crushed ice in water should be very close to it.

I bought the $17 ProAccurate thermometer from NB. If it ships too far out of spec, the accidental recalibration protection can actually prevent you from calibrating at all (rant here
http://forum.northernbrewer.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=103547&p=918662&hilit=proaccurate#p919371
), but it’s been dead-on since I got past that. I check it, now and then, but haven’t had to adjust.

I’ve had mine for over 2yrs and it still checks spot on at freezing and boiling (taking altitude and current barometric preesure into account). My wife liked it so much that I had to buy her one for the kitchen(call it a backup) :wink: . Both check out spot on. Read the reviews on the Thermapen, its a great reliable product.

[quote=“Gruneun”]

I bought the $17 ProAccurate thermometer from NB. If it ships too far out of spec, the accidental recalibration protection can actually prevent you from calibrating at all (rant here
http://forum.northernbrewer.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=103547&p=918662&hilit=proaccurate#p919371
), but it’s been dead-on since I got past that. I check it, now and then, but haven’t had to adjust.[/quote]

Used that ProAccurate for about 5 years. I checked it a few times and it was always spot on. I took the battery cover off so I could take the battery with me to the store to get a new one. A couple days later I couldn’t find the cover. During the investigation I learned that upon finding a small plastic piece that she couldn’t identify, she decided it belonged in the trash. :evil: Trying to decide whether to just get another or spend more on the thermopen thing.

My Thermapen showed up in time for today’s brew day. Its really nice to drop in the thermometer and have an accurate temp. in a couple seconds. I just hope it holds up over time. My two remaining cheap thermometers where spot on (but waayyy slower) when I tested them again the Thermapen…go figure.

I check the tempature at boiling last night and it was 221. With the temp being 41 at freezing and 221 at boiling, would you say that it is 9 degrees higher? Could I take that into consideration in the future and adjust accordingly?

Any thoughts?

Personally, I think I will only calibrate around my mash temp for cheaper thermometers. I was 8 degrees off at 32 when ~150 was spot on with my cheaper models. Yours might be more accurate, its hard to say. That’s why I just spent 90 bucks on a stupid thermometer.

Thanks for the response. I know it just sounds like I’m being cheap (which I am) but the reason I like the probe is that it can go into anything with the lid on and it has an alarm when it reaches temp. Not having to check the tempature every 5 minutes allows me to sit down and hang out with friends. Standing for hours on a brew day takes its toll on my feet (whine)

I’m with you on this, I wouldn’t even consider giving up my remote temp probe. It’s one my most valuable pieces of brewing hardware in terms of functionality. Maybe the answer is to have a reasonably priced fairly accurate thermometer like the pro-accurate that NB sells and use that to check against yours from time to time at mash temps and just do the correction in your head.

I’m going to get that thermopen myself here pretty soon but I’ll still be using my remote for the most part. Most of the time when I’m using it, the accuracy isn’t important (waiting for strike water to warm up, waiting for wort to come to a boil, chilling my wort) it just needs to be close enough to tell me when I need to get back to the brewery.

What you are asking about is a resonable way to do corrections for some types of thermometers - specifically very simple mechanical models like colored-liquid in glass capillary or wound bimetal element types. Unfortunately, electronic thermometers aren’t so predictable and it is possible for one to be off by exactly 9 degrees at both 32 and 212 but have a completely offset at 150. It is more likely that the offset will be constant, but you can’t know for certain without checking it at the temperatures you are most interested in.

I used a pro-accurate (the NB one) for about 3 years and I was really happy with it. Suddenly one brew session I wasn’t happy with the readings I was getting at tested it in boiling water: read 173°! Looks like my thermistor went bad. I wanted something that was faster for checking meat for cooking so I got a thermapen, have been very happy with it. Either of these are great thermometers, they just need to be verified every now and then to make sure they are giving you accurate readings.

Hi all,
I’ll be doing my first AG this Saturday using a 5gal. cylinder cooler/screw top. While reading all the posts in this thread, I’m trying to figure out if anyone is using a thermometer that “floats” on the grain bed? Is this possible? Or will I remove the lid and take temp and add hot water? I’m a little confused at the best method here.
Thanks, Mike

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