Lifespan of Apera PH60S pH meter?

ronbo
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Lifespan of Apera PH60S pH meter?

Post by ronbo » Sun Oct 11, 2020 01:19

Hi,
Ronbo here. Intermediate sausage maker, novice salami & whole cured muscle maker.
Thank you to everyone who shares their knowledge and wisdom on this forum.

Ive made various salami three different times using Umai casings and Marianski's Art of Fermented Sausages and wisdom from this site. So far Ive just flown somewhat blind using just time, temp, RH, and luck since I havent had a pH meter. Everything has worked out fine.....so far. Im ready to spring for a pH meter so I can quit playing roulette.

The Apera pH60S looks like a good unit. Ive seen some words somewhere suggesting that the Swiss Spear tip only lasts about 2 years. Is that calendar years or could I expect a longer lifespan since I probably only use it 3 times per year, exclusively for fermented sausage. The replacement tip was about $130 US. Ouch! Can anyone share their experience with the longevity of the tip and/or what pH meter you would recommend?

Thx!
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Re: Lifespan of Apera PH60S pH meter?

Post by bluc » Sun Oct 11, 2020 01:47

Hanna make a unit for about $100USD think tip is replaceable and it has auto temp correct. I will likely only be using it 6 times a year so I thought it was better suited for me then the apera. APera is a nice looking unit. Stefan s has used the meter I am looking at and said it works fine. Model is HI981036. https://intl.hannainst.com/meat-ph-tester-2914.html Hope to grab it in next week or so..
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Re: Lifespan of Apera PH60S pH meter?

Post by jcflorida » Sun Oct 11, 2020 03:05

I've had my Apera PH60S for a little over 3 years. Maybe used it 60 times or so usually in clusters during fermentation. Just got done fermenting some salami last week, calibrated the meter using fresh pH buffer solutions and it was pretty much OK. So, I can't give any credence to the 2 year life span with infrequent use.
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Re: Lifespan of Apera PH60S pH meter?

Post by Butterbean » Sun Oct 11, 2020 13:45

I've found and storage is the key and keeping the tip submerged in the storage solution is key. If you forget or neglect to do this - as I have done - they don't last very long. Another thing to remember is to replace the batteries every year. I neglected to do this on my favorite meter and found a battery had gone bad and leaked gunk all over everything and destroyed the unit.

That said, do as I say, not as I do because I don't have much luck keeping these things going. :lol: :lol:
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Re: Lifespan of Apera PH60S pH meter?

Post by jcflorida » Mon Oct 12, 2020 04:58

I agree with what Butterbean posted about the storage solution. I also found that the little bottle of KCl storage solution that came with my Apera meter was pretty inadequate. Also, the crappy gasket on the tip cover leaks, so I store the kit vertically on a bookshelf so that the tip is pointed down and always entirely submerged in the KCl. If you get an Apera, get the buffer solution and KCl kit and change out the little bottles of buffer and KCl fairly frequently.
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Re: Lifespan of Apera PH60S pH meter?

Post by ronbo » Wed Oct 14, 2020 21:48

Thank you to each of you for your advice on a pH meter. VERY helpful. Ive decided to proceed with the Hanna HI981036. I spoke with the Hanna support folks about the lifespan of the the calibration solutions once theyre opened. The told me 6 months once opened. 5 years unopened from date of manufacture which is listed on each bottle. Fortunately they make a calibration bundle which has 25 individual single use sachets of solution rather than a 500ml bottle. This will work out better for me.

One hurdle I ran into was that the calibration bundle with the sachets (the Calibration Bundle for Food) includes a probe cleaner thats meant for "food" rather than "meat & grease". The Calibration Bundle for Meat only comes with 500ml bottles, no sachets. No bundle had the sachets AND the "meat" cleaner. While the individual bundle components are available ala carte, the price is significantly more than a bundle. Fortunately Hanna sales rep was very helpful on the phone. He happily sold me the desired components of the bundle ala carte but repriced everything so that the price equated to that of a bundle. Except I got the solutions that i needed. Basically he created a custom bundle of calibration sachets along with the "meat" cleaner and the storage solutions. I was impressed and happy.

Next stop is some fermented sausages! Thx again to everyone for their shared wisdom and continued support of us newbies!
Ronbo
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Re: Lifespan of Apera PH60S pH meter?

Post by bluc » Wed Oct 14, 2020 22:54

Glad you got it sorted. Hope to get mine before next batch. My pepperoni is already at 28% better
Get cracking..
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Re: Lifespan of Apera PH60S pH meter?

Post by redzed » Thu Oct 15, 2020 07:33

Looks like I am replying a little late, but my Apera will be 3 years old in December. No problems to date and I have been quite happy with it. Three years is quite good run for pH electrodes. I bought the Apera before the Mini Hanna came on the market. The first generation had a accuracy rate of 0.2 which really turned me off on it. The current model has been greatly improved with an accuracy rate of 0.05 (Apera's much lower at 0.01). However, the price is right and the whole unit costs less than the replacement electrode for the Apera. And if you want to make better salami, you can't do it without a pH meter.
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Re: Lifespan of Apera PH60S pH meter?

Post by ronbo » Fri Oct 16, 2020 20:43

Thanks for the input, Redzed! Yes, I had seen your mention of the old Hanna HI98103 in a previous post and the subsequent retraction. I wasnt aware of the new Hanna model when I initiated this post. Once bluc mentioned the new Hanna "6" model I checked it out and was pleasantly surprised at the improved accuracy. For me, I needed to balance cost with expected usage and I chose the Hanna over the Apera primarily due to initial cost outlay.

I purchased directly from Hanna and for a total of $200 US I received:
- the Hanna Foodcare Meat pH Tester meter and starter kit (HI981036),
- 500ml Electrode storage solution (HI70300L),
- 500ml Electrode Acid Cleaning Solution for Meat Grease & Fat (HI70630L),
- 1 box of 25 single use 20ml sachet of 4.01 Cal Solution,
- 1 box of 25 single use 20ml sachet of 7.01 Cal Solution,
- 13ml bottle of Gelled Bridge Electrolyte (HI9071)

Without the the 13ml bottle of Gelled Bridge Electrolyte my total was about $183 and didnt reach the $200 minimum for free shipping ($17). So I ordered the extra 13ml bottle for $14 to get me to the free shipping threshold (the starter kit had some but I figured I might sas well get something extra rather than pay for shipping). I ordered Monday at the end of business and it arrived in North Carolina on Thursday.

I hope this info helps someone else navigate the waters of buying this meter and supplies. "Come on in. The pH feels great!"
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Re: Lifespan of Apera PH60S pH meter?

Post by cajuneric » Sat Oct 17, 2020 13:53

Looks like i'm a little late here. Glad to hear to found a pH meter that works for you. A critical tool in making great salami.. The lifespan of a meter comes down to several things. First and foremost is how it's used and maintained. Keeping the tip hydrated with fresh solution and maintaining the level of the gelled electrolyte is critical. This is often the most neglected part of routine maintenance. The second is cleaning. Cleaning your pH meter properly will allow you to get the most out of your unit. Using things like lent free cloths and proper cleaning solutions will keep your unit in good working order. Try not to touch the probe or the spear with your fingers or rub too hard as that part is super sensitive and can affect the way it reads samples.

The general consensus from the major pH meter companies is that the life span of a meter is 8 months to 18 months. Everyone's results will vary depending on usage and for the home salumist who uses this very infrequently I have seen it last longer. There are some indicators that tell you when it's time to replace the meter.
1. The calibration takes longer that normal. A calibration in each sample should only take a few seconds and the result should be very close to the actual sample. If your results are too far off before calibration it could mean that your pH meter's slope is off and the unit is past it's prime.
2. The slope percentage is less than 80%. To understand the slope take a fresh reading of your 7.01 solution and record the answer. Then take a fresh reading of the 4.01 solution and record that answer. Make sure your solutions are at 77F. Subtract the first answer by the second and divide by 3. That will give you a slope %. If it's 80% or higher you are good to go.....

Here's the example:

take the reading in solution 7.00 = 6.94
take the reading in solution 4.00 = 4.12

To calculate the slope: (6.94 - 4.12) / 3 = .94 (or 94%) GOOD TO GO!!!

Hope that makes sense
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Re: Lifespan of Apera PH60S pH meter?

Post by ronbo » Sat Oct 17, 2020 16:01

Thanks Cajuneric! Thats great info that I dont think anyone could find anywhere other than from you masters in this forum. Ill be sure to adhere to all your guidelines for proper care. Thanks!
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Re: Lifespan of Apera PH60S pH meter?

Post by bluc » Thu Dec 03, 2020 09:45

ronbo wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 20:43
Thanks for the input, Redzed! Yes, I had seen your mention of the old Hanna HI98103 in a previous post and the subsequent retraction. I wasnt aware of the new Hanna model when I initiated this post. Once bluc mentioned the new Hanna "6" model I checked it out and was pleasantly surprised at the improved accuracy. For me, I needed to balance cost with expected usage and I chose the Hanna over the Apera primarily due to initial cost outlay.

I purchased directly from Hanna and for a total of $200 US I received:
- the Hanna Foodcare Meat pH Tester meter and starter kit (HI981036),
- 500ml Electrode storage solution (HI70300L),
- 500ml Electrode Acid Cleaning Solution for Meat Grease & Fat (HI70630L),
- 1 box of 25 single use 20ml sachet of 4.01 Cal Solution,
- 1 box of 25 single use 20ml sachet of 7.01 Cal Solution,
- 13ml bottle of Gelled Bridge Electrolyte (HI9071)

Without the the 13ml bottle of Gelled Bridge Electrolyte my total was about $183 and didnt reach the $200 minimum for free shipping ($17). So I ordered the extra 13ml bottle for $14 to get me to the free shipping threshold (the starter kit had some but I figured I might sas well get something extra rather than pay for shipping). I ordered Monday at the end of business and it arrived in North Carolina on Thursday.

I hope this info helps someone else navigate the waters of buying this meter and supplies. "Come on in. The pH feels great!"
What is the gelled bridged electrolyte for?
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Re: Lifespan of Apera PH60S pH meter?

Post by Indaswamp » Fri Dec 04, 2020 08:09

Very good info Eric, thanks for posting!
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Re: Lifespan of Apera PH60S pH meter?

Post by redzed » Sat Dec 05, 2020 16:30

bluc wrote:
Thu Dec 03, 2020 09:45
What is the gelled bridged electrolyte for?
Good question. I think that solution is for refilling the electrode, but that particular electrode is not the refillable type. Maybe it has another purpose. If you are considering buying the Hanna tester, call them and ask. A while ago I made a telephone enquiry and they were helpful and knowledgeable.
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Re: Lifespan of Apera PH60S pH meter?

Post by bcboy » Sun Jan 03, 2021 18:20

ronbo wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 20:43
Thanks for the input, Redzed! Yes, I had seen your mention of the old Hanna HI98103 in a previous post and the subsequent retraction. I wasnt aware of the new Hanna model when I initiated this post. Once bluc mentioned the new Hanna "6" model I checked it out and was pleasantly surprised at the improved accuracy. For me, I needed to balance cost with expected usage and I chose the Hanna over the Apera primarily due to initial cost outlay.

I purchased directly from Hanna and for a total of $200 US I received:
- the Hanna Foodcare Meat pH Tester meter and starter kit (HI981036),
- 500ml Electrode storage solution (HI70300L),
- 500ml Electrode Acid Cleaning Solution for Meat Grease & Fat (HI70630L),
- 1 box of 25 single use 20ml sachet of 4.01 Cal Solution,
- 1 box of 25 single use 20ml sachet of 7.01 Cal Solution,
- 13ml bottle of Gelled Bridge Electrolyte (HI9071)

Without the the 13ml bottle of Gelled Bridge Electrolyte my total was about $183 and didnt reach the $200 minimum for free shipping ($17). So I ordered the extra 13ml bottle for $14 to get me to the free shipping threshold (the starter kit had some but I figured I might sas well get something extra rather than pay for shipping). I ordered Monday at the end of business and it arrived in North Carolina on Thursday.

I hope this info helps someone else navigate the waters of buying this meter and supplies. "Come on in. The pH feels great!"

Thanks for posting the Items and the numbers that go with them!!!
Have you received your pH tester and if so what is the expiry date on the pH calibration packets?
Do you know so someone else can chime in at what intervals to calibrate the pH tester?
Thanks again!!!

redzed wrote:
Thu Aug 23, 2018 21:59
Since I use my meter infrequently, I calibrate before each fermentation session. That means that I calirate once and then don't over the next 72 hours. It is also a good idea to use fresh calibration solutions each time. No need for make a slurry if you have the "S" Apera.
Thanks Redzed!!!
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