pH Meter

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MJD

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Hello,

I am looking to get into a pH meter. I've previously used the test strips, but I'm really not convinced they work all that well and are even more difficult to use with red wine due to the tint left on the indicator tab.

I make a moderate amount of goods annually (say ~ 30-40 gallons of wine, 15 gallons of mead, 15 gallons of beer), spaced out over the course of a year. I have no cause to use a pH meter outside of making booze, so I'm approaching this as a newbie.

Obviously they run the price gamut from $15 -->....$seemingly infinity. I understand there are tradeoffs between accuracy, precision, and durability at the different price points.

I've searched through some past threads to get an idea of forum responses historically, but am curious if there is a consensus on a ~$50 or less solution that would serve my purposes as a hobbyist, amateur brewer/vinter/mazer?

Some of the units I've seen recommended in other threads look quite good and get good reviews, but I am loathe to spend > $100 unless that is really the floor for a good unit. So I suppose I'm asking for input on the best price to performance ratio for my needs. Thanks!
 
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ibglowin

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Unfortunately the price point for something that is reliable and trustworthy is about $100+. And its getting harder to find one thats decent for less than that it seems. You can certainly pay less but you get only 0.1 pH unit accuracy (which makes a difference) vs 0.01 in winemaking. What usually happens on the cheap units is that in short order they just start to drift and not hold a steady pH value. When that happens you don't know what your reading is and you start guessing. I have had good luck with my Hanna unit. Now going on 10 years old. Others have had good luck with Milwaukee branded units. These are name brands that have been around for years and have good customer service that you can call and talk with someone if your having problems. There are a zillion cheapo units for sale on eBay but you get what you pay for with pH meters. I would rather buy one that last than keep buying a new one every year. That assumes you think you will stay in the hobby for an extended period of time of course. YMMV.
 

MJD

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Thanks, that was the answer I was expecting I would probably get.
I've been in it 5 years and don't expect to stop any time soon - I don't have a problem paying the money, I was more looking to harness the knowledge of folks more experienced to me to gauge the actual entry-point for a reliable unit.
 

ibglowin

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The more expensive name brand meters also sell parts for their units. The probe tip is probably the number one part that needs replacing. Usually its cheaper to buy a new tip than an entire new replacement meter.
 
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