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For those who measure their water, what TDS and pH meters do you use?
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UserNameGoesHere
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Posted Thu Jun 7, 2012, 9:21pm
Subject: For those who measure their water, what TDS and pH meters do you use?
 

I am looking at the HM brand TDS meters on Amazon, but wondering what the difference between them is.  There's the TDS-3, TDS-4, and TDS-EZ.  They all seem the same to me.  Also, I have no idea about pH meters.
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Netphilosopher
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Posted Fri Jun 8, 2012, 6:24am
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UserNameGoesHere
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Posted Fri Jun 8, 2012, 10:31pm
Subject: Re: For those who measure their water, what TDS and pH meters do you use?
 

So there's no difference between the TDS-EZ and slightly more expensive ones?  Also, what pH meter are you getting?  What storage solution?
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SteveRhinehart
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Posted Sat Jun 9, 2012, 6:49pm
Subject: Re: For those who measure their water, what TDS and pH meters do you use?
 

Netphilosopher Said:

Just got a TDS-EZ

Posted June 8, 2012 link

Is that the same one you use for coffee samples? I'd be significantly more interested in TDS-ing my brews if I knew it was cheaper.
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andys
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Posted Sat Jun 9, 2012, 7:54pm
Subject: Re: For those who measure their water, what TDS and pH meters do you use?
 

Netphilosopher Said:

pH meters - they're about as fragile as wet toilet paper.  I've broken two, getting another cheap one to replace it (again, borrowed).  One was cheap.  One was expensive.  Seemed like both were fragile.  My strategy is to treat them like a pen, get a cheap one that seems to work.  My plan is to cal with the solution, and check a kept sample of vinegar - or eventually get some lo and hi pH solutions.


Also, pH meters need to be stored in neutral liquid, so factor in a bottle of 7.0pH solution (also required for calibration).  If you get a more expensive one, make sure you get one that you can replace the sensor, and understand the sensor replacement cost.

Posted June 8, 2012 link

I'm not sure how useful or necessary pH meters are for the average coffeegeek. But for the record, this pH meter has lasted me for six or seven years and is still going strong.

If you want it to be accurate and to last, I believe you need to buy four liquids and always have them on hand:
  1. distilled water for rinsing
  2. pH 4.0 calibration solution
  3. pH 7.0 calibration solution
  4. sensor storage solution (for my probe the manufacturer's recommended solution is ~ pH 5.8, not 7.0)

If you handle it with reasonable care and always keep the probe wet with storage solution, I think a decent meter and sensor will last a long time. If the sensor dries out, you may need to buy a new one.

 
-AndyS
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AndyPanda
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Posted Sat Jun 9, 2012, 10:26pm
Subject: Re: For those who measure their water, what TDS and pH meters do you use?
 

How much better (for our purposes) is a pH meter as opposed to the test strips?

I was just experimenting with my ohm meter set to a really high range and with the two probes set a specific distance apart.  I can easily see a different resistance (measuring conductivity of the water) between distilled, RO and filtered tap water.  The actual numbers don't mean much to me but being able to see the difference is kind of useful.  But I suppose a real TDS meter would be a lot cooler (?) or is that the same principle it uses?  (sorry in advance if that's a really dumb question - I have zero experience with TDS meters - really just experimenting with taste differences between different types of water so far)
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andys
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andys
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Posted Sun Jun 10, 2012, 7:24am
Subject: Re: For those who measure their water, what TDS and pH meters do you use?
 

AndyPanda Said:

How much better (for our purposes) is a pH meter as opposed to the test strips?

Posted June 9, 2012 link

These various test methods do not necessarily measure the same variables. My personal opinions:

  1.  Water hardness test strips are dirt cheap and good for monitoring your water hardness.

  2. An inexpensive TDS meter ($50-$100) is accurate enough to be worthwhile for monitoring your water dissolved solids.

  3. Decent pH meters are fairly expensive ($200+), require care and feeding, and are unlikely to improve your coffee.

  4. A coffee refractometer is relatively expensive ($400-$800) but will quickly give you information on coffee TDS and extraction yield that would be difficult and/or tedious to gather by other means.

 
-AndyS
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Netphilosopher
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Posted Sun Jun 10, 2012, 8:43am
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UserNameGoesHere
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Posted Sun Jun 10, 2012, 11:57pm
Subject: Re: For those who measure their water, what TDS and pH meters do you use?
 

I might skip the pH stuff since there is nothing I can do about it.  But is there a quality difference in the budget TDS meters I mentioned?  I'm guessing no.

BTW, if you have an extra coffee refractometer on hand, I'll PM you my address.
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Netphilosopher
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Posted Mon Jun 11, 2012, 3:58am
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