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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Broken hydrometer, insult to injury
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Old 04-03-2014, 03:32 PM   #1
lthendricks8
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Default Broken hydrometer, insult to injury

So, I'm living in a third world country with minimal access to brewing equipment and ingredients. Recently, a friend flying in from the west was able to bring me a few kilos worth of equipment so that I could begin to try to brew my own batches - obviously, a hydrometer was at the top of my wish list, so I ordered a nice one, had it mailed to him prior to departure, and it miraculously survived the cross-oceanic voyage in his checked luggage.

It lasted precisely one sample. Ensuring that my yeast starter solution was a solid 1.040 prior to pitching, the hydrometer slipped through the sample tube when the bottom stopper unexpectedly decided it no longer cared to perform its function. Tile floor - 1; Hydrometer - 0.

The worst part isn't even that I won't be able to get another one for weeks/months. The worst part is that - on the way down - it decided to strike squarely on the top of my (bare) left foot, shattering and leaving a piece of glass embedded right in my foot. So maybe it should be Hydrometer - 1; Left Foot - 0. Either way, I was so upset I didn't even notice I was bleeding for about ten minutes.

So now I have a yeast starter that I guess should be around 1.040 and some already crushed grain that my buddy brought with him that I have to use this weekend (or it'll be bad by the time a new hydrometer gets here) and no way to measure the resulting wort/beer.

Had to rant - thanks for listening.

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Old 04-03-2014, 03:50 PM   #2
IslandLizard
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Sorry to hear. My condolences to you. Brew life in the 3rd world is tough enough and then some stupid stopper fails its duty. Lesson learned too late.

Use a real hydrometer jar, which has a foot, or a tall (glass) graduate or (ungraduated) cylinder, as used in chem labs to store pipettes under sanitizer, etc.

You still got to be careful. When dropping a hydrometer into any vessel it will torpedo down to the bottom and if it strikes, self destruct. Drying with thick towels or clumsy hands snaps it. Shaking it, to remove clinging water will break it too. Laying it on a countertop or towel is a certain invitation for another early demise. Anyone else touching it, kills it. List goes on.

Order 3 of them next time.

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