Author Topic: pH Meter - Bulb Sponge Moistener Maintenance  (Read 841 times)

Offline patricium

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pH Meter - Bulb Sponge Moistener Maintenance
« on: July 08, 2012, 07:52:45 AM »
I just got a pen-type pH meter (the Thermoworks 8681).  It has a bulb electrode and a sponge that protects and moistens it, which leads to some questions about using and cleaning this.  If I'm measuring the pH of whey, can I just remove the sponge immediately before immersing the bulb in the whey?  That would mean I don't have to try to rinse it out after use.  The bulb has small wings of plastic that would protect it from being accidentally bonked against the side of the pan. 

If the sponge is meant to never be removed, I should probably thoroughly swish the meter around in lightly soapy water after each use?  Is it okay to press the sponge gently with my finger to help get the whey out and circulate some water into it? 

I found linuxboy's guide for cleaning, but does that also apply to bulb-type meters?  Any input on usage techniques for bulbs would be most welcome.

Thanks!

Offline linuxboy

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Re: pH Meter - Bulb Sponge Moistener Maintenance
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2012, 09:35:22 AM »
The sponge is these for storage to prevent the meter from drying out. Think of the glass as a semi-permeable membrane. If it dries out, it can't function.

typical process for use is:

- Remove from box
- remove the bit with the sponge
- rinse with water
- check calibration against standard
- rinse with water
- measure sample
- rinse with water
- if it looks like water is not enough to get rid of protein or fat deposits, use a touch of soap and then rinse
- Store back in protective bottle or container with sponge to keep bulb wet

I don't follow your other part... are you actually dipping the whole thing in whey? With the sponge? Best practice is as I wrote above. The sponge contains potassium chloride  and water, sometimes with a buffer, to keep the bulb wet.

Yes, my guide applies to almost all meter. Definitely to all of the ones used for food. There are some special meters we use in industry for chemical applications that work a bit differently.
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Offline patricium

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Re: pH Meter - Bulb Sponge Moistener Maintenance
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2012, 10:47:14 AM »
It's an immersible meter, so you could actually dip the whole end in the whey.  The manual is not very helpful in regards to the sponge - they just say keep it wet at all times.   But your comments clear things up.  I will treat the sponge as something that stays with the bulb cap, not as something that stays on the bulb.  That sure makes it a lot easier to use.  Thanks for the help!

Offline Tomer1

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Re: pH Meter - Bulb Sponge Moistener Maintenance
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2012, 11:20:36 AM »
Your sponge for some reason got detached from the cap.

I use pH 4+pottasium chloride as recommended by the manufacturer.
The pH meter was a brilient buy and totaly improved my cheeses and brought me control over the making process.

Pav, during the making I usually leave the meter in a glass of tap water to minimize protein\fat sticking to it and dip it in whey just to get a reading and put it back.  In your expirience, how often should I do a pepsin,alkeline and acid soak to clean the probe\glass?  Im not sure I can identify Misbehavior by the probe and I dont want to get it cloged.
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Offline linuxboy

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Re: pH Meter - Bulb Sponge Moistener Maintenance
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2012, 11:30:17 AM »
I usually do a maintenance soak/clean once a month as part of the overall cleaning checklist for my equipment. If you are using commercial soak, just takes a few minutes to set up and then soak overnight or forget about it during the day and finish up at night. If not making cheese that often, 1-2x/year should be enough. If you're soaking in between, and rinsing, and generally taking care of the meter, it might not ever be necessary. Good preventative measure, though.
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Offline patricium

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Re: pH Meter - Bulb Sponge Moistener Maintenance
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2012, 12:14:47 PM »
I think my sponge gets wedged into the plastic vanes that protect the bulb.  I'll try poking it down into the cap and see if it stays there.

I think measuring pH is going to help out a lot with consistency - I see distinct changes in the various stages of curd, but don't know what they mean yet.  I'm sure they are trying to tell me useful things. ;-)