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Old 05-19-2008, 12:44 PM   #1
njnear76
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Default Broken Hydrometer Blues

While cleaning and sanitizing my equipment, my combination hydrometer thermometer broke. I didn't realize it was broken until I started pouring the sanitizer solution into my carboy.

I never saw any glass shards, and I caught it before the steel balls went into the carboy. I'm assuming that there is nothing really harmful in that thing since they usually use red dye and alcohol. I also used a strainer before pouring the beer in the fermenter so I assume that I will be safe from glass shards.

Should I just relax and have a home brew?



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Old 05-19-2008, 02:01 PM   #2
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Should be fine.



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Old 05-19-2008, 05:03 PM   #3
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Should be fine.
Cool. Thanks.
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Old 05-19-2008, 07:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njnear76 View Post
While cleaning and sanitizing my equipment, my combination hydrometer thermometer broke. I didn't realize it was broken until I started pouring the sanitizer solution into my carboy.

I never saw any glass shards, and I caught it before the steel balls went into the carboy. I'm assuming that there is nothing really harmful in that thing since they usually use red dye and alcohol. I also used a strainer before pouring the beer in the fermenter so I assume that I will be safe from glass shards.

Should I just relax and have a home brew?
Some hydros have all steel shot for weight, others may have lead shot. Have a look at the document that came with it.
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Old 05-19-2008, 07:33 PM   #5
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i've broken like 4 or 5 of those damn things. Blues indeed.

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Old 05-19-2008, 08:22 PM   #6
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Some hydros have all steel shot for weight, others may have lead shot. Have a look at the document that came with it.
Good call. It doesn't specify in the literature. It appears to be lead shot. But, I know for a fact that none of the balls made it into the fermenter. Even if it did, They would roll out as soon as I dumped it upside down.

It's a Alla Instruments Hydrothermometer.

Should I be concerned about excess lead?
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Old 05-20-2008, 02:41 AM   #7
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Does anyone have information on the 12 inch Alla Thermohydrometer?

I contacted the manufacturer and the place where I purchased the thing: Brewers Apprentice in Freehold NJ.

I don't think I will be going back to that homebrew store. The manager who worked there refused to look at the literature that came with and told me point blank that there is mercury and lead in the product.

I went to allafrance.com and they claim that they do not use mercury in their thermometers. Instead they use an oil based solution with food coloring. I'm not so concerned about that liquid since none of it escaped.

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Old 05-20-2008, 02:18 PM   #8
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Update:
Alla France told me that they use lead balls in their hydrometer and that in this instance they shouldn't pose a significant risk.

I figure what the hell I'll drink it. You only live once.

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Old 05-20-2008, 02:22 PM   #9
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I always have a spare tucked away. Fortunately I still have my original Hydrometer

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Old 05-20-2008, 02:33 PM   #10
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I always have a spare tucked away. Fortunately I still have my original Hydrometer
That is the way the universe works, if you always have two combs you'll never lose one, but if you only have one it will most assuredly become lost. Hydrometer breakage generally follows the same sort of pattern.


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