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pH need a good cheap pH meter and other questions

I would like to get a good cheap pH meter for when I make hot sauce. I don't make hot sauce on a regular basis so I don't want to spend a lot. I usually make a large batch in the fall that's enough to last me till next summer. All the PH meters I see listed on Amazon say they are for testing water quality. I'm embarrassed to ask this question but are there different types of PH meters depending on what you want to test or will one meter test anything? Can anyone recommend me something that's $20 or less and reliable.

also I have a bunch of leftover bottles from last years hot sauce but I was thinking about just putting my sauce in mason jars this year and then spooning it out onto my food when I use it. Does anybody else do their hot sauce this way? it seems like an easy way to do it and more convenient as it will only be me eating the stuff. but I do get concerned about the quantity of sauce in a jar in my frigerator as it could be next summer before I use it all.
 
cmwr said:
I would like to get a good cheap pH meter for when I make hot sauce. I don't make hot sauce on a regular basis so I don't want to spend a lot. I usually make a large batch in the fall that's enough to last me till next summer. All the PH meters I see listed on Amazon say they are for testing water quality. I'm embarrassed to ask this question but are there different types of PH meters depending on what you want to test or will one meter test anything? Can anyone recommend me something that's $20 or less and reliable.

also I have a bunch of leftover bottles from last years hot sauce but I was thinking about just putting my sauce in mason jars this year and then spooning it out onto my food when I use it. Does anybody else do their hot sauce this way? it seems like an easy way to do it and more convenient as it will only be me eating the stuff. but I do get concerned about the quantity of sauce in a jar in my frigerator as it could be next summer before I use it all.
 
I have a cheap meter but wouldn't want to recommend it.  I've heard good things about the Hanna brand meters and they have some that aren't too expensive.
 
I have put most of my hot sauce in small mason jars this year.  Mostly pint jars.  I do have 2 flip top bottles I use also and use those up first.  The pint jars get a water bath so I don't have to worry about killing myself from any bacteria!!!!!
 
I have two. A Vantakool, which is junk and a Jellas. The Jellas has only a 0.1 resolution, but that is all I need. I think it came with calibration powders, but just to be sure I would recommend purchasing additional powders. The Jellas was less than $15.00 and Amazon has several at that price or less. Just read the reviews.
 
KidShelleen said:
I have two. A Vantakool, which is junk and a Jellas. The Jellas has only a 0.1 resolution, but that is all I need. I think it came with calibration powders, but just to be sure I would recommend purchasing additional powders. The Jellas was less than $15.00 and Amazon has several at that price or less. Just read the reviews.
yeah I found some but Amazon says they're currently unavailable. I looked on another website and it told me to click here for price and it forwarded me to Amazon where it still says currently unavailable LOL. I will keep looking for one
 

CaneDog

Extreme Member
All the "water testing" units should work fine. 
 
My take on things to consider is:
 
- 0.1 resolution is plenty - as per KidShelleen. Heck, 0.2 would probably be fine.
- Automatic temperature compensation is really handy, especially when working with sauces. Most units are set for temps around 68F, and hotter/cooler temps will skew the readings.
- Keeping calibration takes some effort, as does proper care of the probe if you want reliable results and for the unit/probe to last.
 
Because I like Hanna and temperature-compensated readings, I plan to get this one soon to replace my current model with an expired probe - https://hannainst.com/hi98107-phep-ph-tester.html  I use pH testing regularly for multiple purposes, which justifies a few extra bucks IMO.
 
In your shoes, using only a couple times a year for sauces, I'd go with one of the cheap ones like DF recommends so you can simply buy a new unit if/when the probe deteriorates. There's a couple others people get off eBay with good results in the $10 range.
 
 
CaneDog said:
All the "water testing" units should work fine. 
 
My take on things to consider is:
 
- 0.1 resolution is plenty - as per KidShelleen. Heck, 0.2 would probably be fine.
- Automatic temperature compensation is really handy, especially when working with sauces. Most units are set for temps around 68F, and hotter/cooler temps will skew the readings.
- Keeping calibration takes some effort, as does proper care of the probe if you want reliable results and for the unit/probe to last.
 
Because I like Hanna and temperature-compensated readings, I plan to get this one soon to replace my current model with an expired probe - https://hannainst.com/hi98107-phep-ph-tester.html  I use pH testing regularly for multiple purposes, which justifies a few extra bucks IMO.
 
In your shoes, using only a couple times a year for sauces, I'd go with one of the cheap ones like DF recommends so you can simply buy a new unit if/when the probe deteriorates. There's a couple others people get off eBay with good results in the $10 range.
 
when you say deteriorate are you saying that the probes on all pH testers have a shelf life? Does it visually deteriorate or do you just start noticing that you can't get calibration and then you know the probe needs replaced?
 
CaneDog said:
All the "water testing" units should work fine. 
 
My take on things to consider is:
 
- 0.1 resolution is plenty - as per KidShelleen. Heck, 0.2 would probably be fine.
- Automatic temperature compensation is really handy, especially when working with sauces. Most units are set for temps around 68F, and hotter/cooler temps will skew the readings.
- Keeping calibration takes some effort, as does proper care of the probe if you want reliable results and for the unit/probe to last.
 
Because I like Hanna and temperature-compensated readings, I plan to get this one soon to replace my current model with an expired probe - https://hannainst.com/hi98107-phep-ph-tester.html  I use pH testing regularly for multiple purposes, which justifies a few extra bucks IMO.
 
In your shoes, using only a couple times a year for sauces, I'd go with one of the cheap ones like DF recommends so you can simply buy a new unit if/when the probe deteriorates. There's a couple others people get off eBay with good results in the $10 range.
 
 
Nice that it also does auto-calibration. Cool Beans. I also very much like the temperature compensation. I might get one to also use when working on my distilling processes. Thanks.
 
 
dragonsfire said:
Yup, the probes have a shelf life. Have to keep them moist.
Pardon me for asking so many questions. Does this mean that somebody like myself who only uses it once or maybe twice a year is going to get far fewer uses out of the tester before the tip needs replaced? are you supposed to store them in water to keep the tip moist or what are you referring to? I just assumed when you were done using it you washed it and clean the tip real good and put it in your drawer next to your thermometers. I am just showing you how little I know about this stuff.
 
Theirs a Buffer solution that I place in the cap, unfortunately if you use it seldom one forgets to check if its dried out. I had a pricey one I used for making cheese, but I haven't used it for a couple years and haven't checked it.
 
 

CaneDog

Extreme Member
cmwr said:
when you say deteriorate are you saying that the probes on all pH testers have a shelf life? Does it visually deteriorate or do you just start noticing that you can't get calibration and then you know the probe needs replaced?
 
dragonsfire said:
Yup, the probes have a shelf life. Have to keep them moist.
 
Exactly.  The less you use it, the more easy it is to forget to keep it moist.  Some hold up better to maintenance oversights than others. In my experience, when the probes wear out you it will be harder or not possible to calibrate and/or readings will do things like creep (continue to move in a direction rather than stopping at an accurate measure) or they'll jump around a lot and not settle on an accurate reading.  No way to tell visually that I know of.
 
Mine (https://hannainst.com/hi98128-phep-ph-tester.html) has a little piece of sponge and the cap that goes over the measuring tip has a place to put the sponge piece. You rinse the probe with distilled water then dip the sponge in storage solution or distilled water and cap it back up. I'm not suggesting these things won't take some mistreatment, many do, but unfortunately it's not as simple as buying it and just testing, rinsing, and forgetting about it until you test again.  Would sure make thinks easier if it were.
 
CaneDog said:
 
 
Exactly.  The less you use it, the more easy it is to forget to keep it moist.  Some hold up better to maintenance oversights than others. In my experience, when the probes wear out you it will be harder or not possible to calibrate and/or readings will do things like creep (continue to move in a direction rather than stopping at an accurate measure) or they'll jump around a lot and not settle on an accurate reading.  No way to tell visually that I know of.
 
Mine (https://hannainst.com/hi98128-phep-ph-tester.html) has a little piece of sponge and the cap that goes over the measuring tip has a place to put the sponge piece. You rinse the probe with distilled water then dip the sponge in storage solution or distilled water and cap it back up. I'm not suggesting these things won't take some mistreatment, many do, but unfortunately it's not as simple as buying it and just testing, rinsing, and forgetting about it until you test again.  Would sure make thinks easier if it were.
is there a better way for some casual sauce maker like myself that makes sauce one time per year? I guess I could buy a $12 tester once per year LOL
 
I got a meter from Amazon. Couple questions.

What is a required accuracy for hot sauce, .1ph or . 01ph?

It says to first rinse electrode with distilled water and dry with filter paper. What would happen if you used tap water and what is filter paper?

And instructions say if tip dries out to immerse in distilled water for 2 hours. I was told in this thread that when the tip dries out replacement is required?
 

CaneDog

Extreme Member
cmwr said:
I got a meter from Amazon. Couple questions.

What is a required accuracy for hot sauce, .1ph or . 01ph?

It says to first rinse electrode with distilled water and dry with filter paper. What would happen if you used tap water and what is filter paper?

And instructions say if tip dries out to immerse in distilled water for 2 hours. I was told in this thread that when the tip dries out replacement is required?
 
0.1 is fine.  Also, just because the LED reads to 0.01 doesn't mean the unit hardware supports that level of accuracy.
 
Tap water won't break it, but distilled is better and just a buck a gallon at the store.
 
By "filter paper" I assume they use the filter paper that is a common lab supply.
 
I don't see where it was said that letting it dry out meant replacement was required.  Letting it dry is hard on the probe. Just like regular versus distilled water, better care typically = longer life. Some hold up better to maintenance oversights than others. You may treat it poorly and have it last years; you may let it dry out once and have issues.  Usually they'll stand up reasonable well.  But there's no guarantee.
 

CaneDog

Extreme Member
Walchit said:
I have a hanna, and a Dr. Meter. I should probably make sure they arent dried out. I think the Dr meter was around 30. And the hanna was 40 plus 20 for shipping iirc.
 
How do you like your hanna? It's this one, right? https://hannainst.com/hi98107-phep-ph-tester.html
 
That's the one I've been intending to get next since seeing a post you made some time ago.  The temperature compensation is a very useful feature.
 
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