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Old 05-03-2010, 05:30 PM   #1
Loudog
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Default Broken Thermometer in Beer??

So yesterday was a brew day, all went well. I got up this moring to see if my brew was fermenting, one was and the other was NOT..... but that's not the main problem. The main issue is that the bottom of my thermometer was broken and I can't find the glass. I don't know if it broke in the wort and I just did'ent notice it when I was checking the temp. so now I don't know what to do with the beer. Any suggestions....Also is there any chemical in the thermometer that can hert me or my beer?

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Old 05-03-2010, 06:18 PM   #2
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If it is a mercury thermometer you wouldn't want to ingest the mercury, but they haven't made those for many years. If the glass did break in the wort I would toss it all. Sure the glass will sink to the bottom and most likely not be an issue at all, but on the off chance you suck a sliver up into your bottling bucket and that somehow gets into a bottle that you swig down you could be in some bad shape with a sliver of glass in your throat. To me the safety issue is great enough that tossing a batch of beer would be my least concern. Now if you had a filter then who cares...

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Old 05-03-2010, 06:24 PM   #3
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Unless the liquid is silvery, it's an alcohol thermometer, which is a bit of a misnomer since it can be filled with ethanol, toluene, kerosene, or some other organic molecule. As far as I understand it, ethanol thermometers are only good to 70 degrees Celcius, which isn't good for brewing temperatures. I'd toss the batch, toluene is some nasty stuff, kerosene isn't much better, and glass slivers suck.

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Old 05-03-2010, 06:35 PM   #4
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buy a digital next time and youll never have worry about this happening again

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Old 05-03-2010, 06:37 PM   #5
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OMG! before reading this I was going to automatically say - do a search. but there are still people saying throw it out... DON'T!

I have answered about five of these in the last two months.
DO NOT TOSS OUT THE BEER!
thats rule #2 of home brewing!!!! #1 is RELAX!

a silver band is a mercury thermometer.
red is usually alcohol. but definitely food grade. the little balls in the tip are NOT LEAD. they are steel.
I broke the tip of mine, and it still worked as a thermo, just had some of the balls spill out and a few slivers of glass.
WHIRLPOOL it, and siphon the beer leaving that behind, no problem! RELAX.
RDWHAHB is rule #1

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Old 05-03-2010, 06:42 PM   #6
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oh, and dont buy another glass thermo. I spent about 15$ and got a long stick thermo (metal) and so far I'm really happy with it.

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Old 05-03-2010, 06:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steakandale View Post
OMG! before reading this I was going to automatically say - do a search. but there are still people saying throw it out... DON'T!

I have answered about five of these in the last two months.
DO NOT TOSS OUT THE BEER!
thats rule #2 of home brewing!!!! #1 is RELAX!

a silver band is a mercury thermometer.
red is usually alcohol. but definitely food grade. the little balls in the tip are NOT LEAD. they are steel.
I broke the tip of mine, and it still worked as a thermo, just had some of the balls spill out and a few slivers of glass.
WHIRLPOOL it, and siphon the beer leaving that behind, no problem! RELAX.
RDWHAHB is rule #1
Alcohol thermometers are usually used for measuring body and meteorological temps, since the boiling point of ethanol is 173 degF and is very inaccurate beyond that. A thermometer that has readings up to boiling at 212 degF is more likely a different molecule, and since toluene is a central nervous sytem toxin, as well as very terrible for your kidneys, liver, and blood system, I personally wouldn't chance it. Same for kerosene or any other organic molecule.

But that's just me, so do what you like.
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Old 05-03-2010, 07:08 PM   #8
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I think the big question here is, what kind of thermometer was it?

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Old 05-03-2010, 07:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dorklord View Post
I think the big question here is, what kind of thermometer was it?
I do all the supplies ordering for the chem lab I work in, and they all say "alcohol" unless they're mercury, even if it's toluene or something else, so it's impossible to say unless you run the liquid through a test.
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Old 05-03-2010, 07:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swankyswede View Post
I do all the supplies ordering for the chem lab I work in, and they all say "alcohol" unless they're mercury, even if it's toluene or something else, so it's impossible to say unless you run the liquid through a test.
Right, but is this one of those floating boil thermometers? A lab thermometer? An old glass oral thermometer?

We could be talking about a floating thermometer, and only the little 'ball' end is gone, and the thermometer inside is intact.
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