Measuring instruments sold in department stores and home brew shops are usually made in the far east, have lower quality and are cheaper. Thermometers can be made calibrated during production or after you purchase them. After purchase, if used or not, the thermometer's calibration may be off by 5-15 degrees. The reason is poor (cheap) material and workmanship in those thermometers. Hydrometers and alcohol meters break very easy as they have to thin glass walls in some sections (It is already difficult enough not break quality items). Scale is not always fixed correctly and slides downwards or falls down to the bottom. Inaccurate readings of upwards of 10% occurs. Poor material and bad workmansships is common. But it can be difficult to see the difference. You have to buy in a real laboratory shop or demand quality from your supplier. Always buy well known name brands as Widder, Germany.
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