Author Topic: Digital Moisture Meters  (Read 1233 times)

Offline Mike Richards

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Digital Moisture Meters
« on: July 17, 2012, 06:49:57 PM »
This forum has been fantastic as I've searched for information on cheese making.  I've made a few cheeses that have not turned out like I had hoped, but after doing some research on this site (as well as reading number of books), I'm ready to try again this weekend.  I purchased a pH meter, and I now understand why I'm taking each step in the cheese making process, so, my fingers are crossed.  I'm not very confident, however, in my ability to ensure the right water content.  I read about taking a core sample, grinding it up, drying it out, and using the difference in weight between wet and dry to determine the water content.  Does anyone know if I could just use the digital moisture meters that are used for wood and other construction materials?  I did a search for "moisture meter" and didn't find anything.

Thanks!

Mike
If only I could make cheese as well as I grow a mustache...


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Offline Mike Richards

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Re: Digital Moisture Meters
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2012, 09:26:22 PM »
Okay--I did some more research and it appears that the answer is no.  The wood moisture meters measure the electrical resistance in the wood, which is a function of the moisture present.  So, unless cheese's electrical resistance has the same response to moisture as wood does, it won't work.  However, it seems to me that someone should be able to design a cheese moisture meter that works essentially the same as a wood moisture meter.  I pulled out my multi-meter--a low-quality analog one--and poked some of the cheeses I have in my fridge: mild cheddar, edam, manchego, a blue cheese (not sure what it is, exactly...), havarti, jarlsberg, brunost, and one of the cheeses that I made that is sour and crumbly.  They were all pretty close to one another except the brunost, and it doesn't really count because it's not really a cheese.  I'm guessing either they all have the same moisture content (unlikely, right?), my meter doesn't have sufficient resolution, or this just won't work.  I'm going to suppose I don't have enough resolution.  I'll try to borrow a good digital multi-meter from work tomorrow, rig up a device (a piece of wood with holes in it) to keep a constant distance between the probes, and retest these cheeses.  If I find anything interesting, I'll report.

Mike
If only I could make cheese as well as I grow a mustache...

Offline linuxboy

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Re: Digital Moisture Meters
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2012, 09:41:15 PM »
You might be able to calibrate one of the pinless ones that use radio waves to read properly. Not sure it would work by measuring resistance... cheese is not wood.

Also, there's no need for exact measurement. You can do trial and error for a single cheese style, varying the cook/stir schedule, floc, and, curd cut size until you understand how the variables affect final moisture. It won't take long to be able to dial it in if you take notes and repeat a single style to reinforce your sensory learning.
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Offline Mike Richards

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Re: Digital Moisture Meters
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2012, 09:54:01 PM »
Thanks for the reply--I'll have to look into the radio waves type.  The more I think about the resistance, the more reasons I can think of why it won't work.  The salt content would affect the conductivity/resistance as well...so would the calcium ions, and any other ions in there.  I'll just have to do the trial and error approach.

Mike
If only I could make cheese as well as I grow a mustache...

Offline Michael2013

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Re: Digital Moisture Meters
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2013, 04:42:58 AM »
Hi Mike, I have never tried my meter for cheese, but you can try this Microwave Moisture Sensor. It's somehow related to food production, so I hope you'll find it useful. If not - they have a lot of other moisture meters, you can contact them concerning your question. Good luck and tasty cheese to you!


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Offline jwalker

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Re: Digital Moisture Meters
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2013, 10:06:55 AM »
Or one of these , a Food/Cheese moisture tester....ZX-550 NEAR-INFRARED PORTABLE FOOD/CHEESE ANALYZER.

http://www.zeltex.com/portable/zx-550.html

They're probably quite expensive , but who knows , maybe worth a look.
No..........I'm not a professional CheeseMaker , but I play one on TV.