OK so I have been using a Milwaukee pH56 meter for a couple years now and I think the probe finally pooped out - I started getting irregular readings on the same sample, even after changing the batteries. I have ordered a new probe for the unit, and this time around I have some questions on the general use of pH meters.
First, how often should I be calibrating? Internet searches range from every time you turn it on to once every 6 months. Traditionally I have been calibrating on brew day, but then I'm wondering if just once is appropriate. The unit turns off after a few minutes. Does the calibration become inaccurate after this? Also, after I calibrate and use the meter to adjust the water in the HLT, what should I place the probe in to keep it hydrated for additional readings such as the mash, etc for the rest of the brew?
I follow the instructions included for the probe and calibrate with 7.01 and 4.01 solutions.
Joined: 12 Dec 2010 Posts: 10846 Location: Ottawa, Canada
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Link Posted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 3:59 am Post subject:
While I'm not familiar with that unit, I would expect that once you calibrate it that it keeps it's calibration settings between power on/off cycles. Having to calibrate every time before use doesn't make much sense as these units may be in use continuously throughout the day. To expect someone to calibrate 10-20 times/day is not reasonable. To confirm, I'd suggest asking the manufacturer, but I would be fairly sure it keeps the calibration settings between power cycles.
How often is a good question. I use this pH meter here: http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/parts-list-using?page=5
If I remember correctly they also seemed to recommend calibration fairly often, far more often than I was willing to do to be honest.
I try and calibrate mine a couple of times a year. I think for our application (or at least for my recommended meter) that that is plenty.
Keep in mind however that possibly more meters may drift faster than others. I haven't found that my model is 'off' when I calibrate but that doesn't mean all meters will behave the same way.
As for what to keep the meter in between readings over a few hours, I wouldn't be too concerned. I rinse mine off with distilled water and just leave it on the counter until the next reading. Once the brew day is done I'll rinse it again with distilled water, give it a good shake and then use storage solution as outlined here: http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/parts-list-using?page=5
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