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The first step towards making perfect homebrew is balancing the pH of your mash. A pH meter will help you determine the alkalinity and the acidity of your brew. Although there are many options in the market, this review will help you identify the best pH meter for brewing.
Our Top Brewing pH Meter Reviews
The right pH meter for brewing should be reliable, accurate, and fast. While there are several options available, these 3 pH meters provide the best accuracy, calibration settings and allow you to manage the temperature of the brewing process so effectively, they rank as the best in the market.
Best Overall pH Meter for Brewing: Milwaukee Instruments MW102 pH and Temperature Meter
If you are looking for a practical and accurate pH meter, you can’t go wrong by choosing the Milwaukee Instruments MW102 pH and Temperature Meter. The MW102 comes with an SE220 pH electrode capable of withstanding high-temperature samples, making it ideal for brewing.
When it comes to accuracy, the MW102 features automatic calibration in 2 points, ± 0.02 pH and an extended range of (-2.00pH to 16.00pH). Unlike the Oakton AO-35423-01 EcoTestr, this pH meter comes with an hourglass indicator that alerts you when it completes taking the reading.
Additionally, it comes with a 3 feet probe offering extra flexibility when brewing. Unlike the Oakton AO-35423-01 EcoTestr pH Meter, it comes with a large digital LCD screen that ensures you get a fast reading of results when brewing.
Although taking the reading can be pretty quick when the liquid is standing, it can be a bit challenging if the liquid is moving. Also, you have to set a timer before taking any calibration values during brewing.
- The LCD screen ensures a faster and accurate reading
- Like the Apera Instruments A1311 pH Meter, it features an ATC system that facilitates fast and accurate temperature reading.
- Unlike the Apera Instruments A1311 pH Meter, its readings are not stable.
- With a weight of 1.1 pounds, it is the heaviest on our list, making it cumbersome when taking the readings.
- Ideal for anyone working on a low budget but still requiring fast and reliable measurements
- Includes ph 4.01 and ph 7.01 20 ml sachet of calibration solution
- Supplied complete with a ma911b/1 ph electrode
Best Brewing pH Meter for the Money: Apera Instruments A1311 pH Meter
If you are in search of a wider gauge pH meter, the Apera instruments A1311 is the best option.
The wide-gauge featured by this meter allows recognition of five varying calibration solutions including 1.68, 4.7, 7.00, 10.001, and 12.46 when brewing your beer.
It features an Automatic Temperature Compensation system and a ± 0.01 pH over a temperature range of 32-122 degrees Fahrenheit, ensuring accuracy when measuring your beer’s temperature across this range.
Unlike the Oakton AO-35423-01 EcoTestr, this pH meter features a large LCD screen and 3 backlit colors indicating different modes, allowing you to read the pH and temperature at the same time.
Besides, the pH meter allows you to know the right moment of recording your measurements, thanks to the smiley face emoji that indicate stable readings.
Unlike the Milwaukee Instruments MW102 pH and Temperature Meter, the Apera meter features a rugged design of IP67 water-resistant rating, making it the ideal option to use in harsh brewing situations. However, it has pressure pad buttons which are challenging to use compared to real buttons.
- It features a water-resistant rating making it suitable for adverse conditions.
- Like the Milwaukee Instruments MW102 pH and Temperature Meter, it comes with an LCD screen for easy reading.
- Unlike the others on our list, the meter has to be recalibrated after changing the batteries.
- It is the second heaviest on our list, making it inconvenient for carrying around.
- NOTE: A few drops of water are added to the electrode cap before the product leaves the factory....
- Accuracy: 0.01 pH; range: -2.00 to 16.00 pH, 32 to 122˚F (0 to 50˚C); Auto. Power-Off: 8 minutes...
- Easy 1-3 points auto. calibration, recognizes 5 types of solutions (1.68, 4.00, 7.00, 10.01, 12.46);...
Best Cheap pH Meter for Brewing: Oakton AO-35423-01 EcoTestr pH Meter
The Oakton AO-35423-01 EcoTestr aims at making brewing easier and straightforward. It features a leak-proof cap that allows attachment at the top of the meter when not using it.
The cap will help prevent your beer from dripping, leaking, or spilling. With this pH meter, there is no more loss of caps, and your pH meter’s integrity will be safe.
Unlike the Milwaukee Instruments MW102 pH and Temperature Meter, this pH meter features a fill line allowing you to know the exact level you should fill your brew instead of using guesswork.
The Oakton AO-35424-01 offers a wider base, which helps to maintain the uprightness of the meter when measuring your brew hand-free. This pH meter can float, giving you the convenience of dropping it without the fear of sinking in your beer.
It comes with four A76 1.5 voltage miniature alkaline batteries, which allow you to use it for more than 100 hours in your homebrewing. However, when using it at night, you may be required to have an additional light for an accurate reading.
- Like the Apera Instruments A1311 pH Meter, its calibration ensures an easy reading.
- The batteries will last you a whopping 100 hours before replacement.
- Unlike the Apera Instruments A1311 pH Meter, it lacks a backlit screen.
- Unlike the Milwaukee Instruments MW102 pH and Temperature Meter, it lacks an ATC system which might cause inaccurate readings.
- Batteries: 4 A76 1.5V miniature alkaline batteries (included)
- Buffer recognition: nist and usa
- Calibration: up to 3 points
Features to Consider for the Best pH Meter for Brewing
pH meters from different manufacturers come with varying accuracy, speed of reading, and ease of use. Here are some of the features you should look for in a pH meter when buying one.
|Product||Calibration||Weight (Pounds)||Dimensions (Inches)|
|Apera instruments A1311||3||0.29||7 x 1.6 x 1.6|
|Milwaukee Instruments MW102 pH and Temperature Meter||2||1.1||5 x 10 x 10|
|Oakton AO-35423-01 EcoTestr||3||0.35||8.6 x 5 x 1.4|
The first thing that you should consider when choosing a pH meter for brewing is how accurate it is. In most cases, the pH meter accuracy ranges from ± 0.1 pH to ± 0.001 pH. The best pH meters for brewing have an accuracy of around ± 0.01 pH, which is good enough to detect an increase in pH when brewing.
Typically, an increase in pH when brewing signals autolysis, and you will want a pH meter that will help you detect early enough. A pH meter such as the Apera instruments A1311 has an accuracy of ± 0.01 pH, allowing you to precisely measure the pH of your mash.
Apart from the accuracy of the pH meter, you will want a pH meter that is well-calibrated to allow you to read the results accurately. There are two types of calibration concepts, automatic and manual calibration.
For the manual calibration, you will need to adjust 2 knobs, one for the slope pH of 4 or 10 and the other one for the offset pH of 7 after placing the pH meter probe into the necessary calculation buffer. On the other hand, the automatic calibration will do this for you and it will automatically recognize the buffer and tell you where to place the probe.
That means if you want a hands-on pH meter that you have full control over calibration, then go for the manual calibration such as the Oakton AO-35423-01 EcoTestr. However, if you are new to brewing or you have minimal knowledge of how calibration works, it is advisable to go for an automatic calibration pH meter such as the Apera instruments A1311.
Some pH meters come with an automatic temperature correction, some with a manual temperature correction and some don’t have a temperature correction. Keeping in mind that the temperature of the sample also affects the pH probe, the temperature of the sample is required before determining the pH of the sample.
If the pH meter doesn’t have a temperature correction, you can consider measuring the pH of the sample at the same temperature all the time. The pH meters that come with a manual temperature compensation will have a mode that you can use to enter the temperature of the sample when you are measuring the pH of the sample.
On the other hand, the pH meters that come with an automatic temperature compensation such as the Milwaukee Instruments MW102 pH and Temperature Meter come with an additional probe that helps to measure the temperature of the sample.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Can I Use the pH Meter When Brewing?
Draw a sample wort and then deep the probes of the pH meter into the sample to get a pH reading. However, it is advisable to measure the pH at room temperature to enhance accuracy even when you are using a pH meter with automatic temperature compensation.
Why Should I Measure the pH When Brewing?
Measuring the pH will help you balance the pH of the mash. A high pH can result in off-flavors, while a lower pH can be a sign of an infection by bacterias that produce acids that can make the beer sour. A normal beer pH inhibits the growth of this spoilage bacteria.
In Which pH Value Does Fermentation Stop?
Although the last two enzymes work in acidic conditions created by pyruvic acid, fermentation generally stops when the pH gets below 4.2.
The quality of your pH meter can break or make your home-brewed beer. A good pH meter should make fast and accurate readings. Although the above pH meters have varying features, they have accurate readings and you can’t go wrong with any of them.