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Old 10-18-2009, 04:28 AM   #1
nate0075
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Default HELP! I broke a thermometer in my beer pot!

OK here's the scoop. Im an idiot and put a cold thermometer (the red floating ones you can find at any LHBS) into a still too hot pot of just boiled wort. I had my copper wort chiller running at the time. The pot's aluminum and if the thermometer uses mercury, which Im sure it does, its now in the pot. Aluminum is porous and would absorb the mercury making it dangerous for future batches, and of course the current one. But what about my wort chiller, should I toss it too? I dont want to make my friends and family crazy from the mercury poisoning. What should I do?

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Old 10-18-2009, 04:30 AM   #2
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Holy ****, this has to be the brewers worst nightmare. I feel for you man.

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Old 10-18-2009, 04:40 AM   #3
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I'm not sure its mercury in your thermometer some use alcohol so you might wanna check be for you toss the pot. It was discussed at one time a few months ago on here ya might wanna search it. And i just looked it at the bootem under similar threads.

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Old 10-18-2009, 06:57 AM   #4
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Yea I saw that too. I'm just very cautious since if I'm wrong, I get to drink some Mercury.

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Old 10-18-2009, 09:41 PM   #5
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If you purchased that thermometer within the last 10 years it is most likely an alcohol thermometer. They dont really sell the mercury ones anymore, can you remember what color the fluid inside it was? For future runs I recommend getting a $10 digital thermometer from the grocery store in the kitchen ware dept, they are amazing and give instant results.

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Old 10-18-2009, 09:47 PM   #6
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Yeah, I haven't seen a mercury thermometer in many years. Since mercury is so dangerous, they were taken off the market years ago. My floating thermometer has a red fluid in it, and it's alcohol and red dye.

The worst thing would be some glass shards in the wort. So, dump the wort and clean everything else up and you'll be fine.

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Old 10-18-2009, 11:03 PM   #7
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im sure you could possibly filter the shards out but i would risk it for just possibly 40 bucks on a new batch

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Old 10-22-2009, 12:35 AM   #8
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Thanks ladies and gents, I did look at those previous articles and I feel better about not being the only shmo to do this!

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Old 10-22-2009, 12:44 AM   #9
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If you suck up everything but the bottom inch, no mercury or glass will get into it. Toss it if you want to, but it seems pretty wasteful...

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Old 10-22-2009, 02:16 AM   #10
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I second this, was it mercury or alcohol??

On mercury thermometers, the "level", that moves up and down, is silver.

On alcohol ones, it's red.

Was your line silver or red?

Also, a little mercury WON'T kill you, as much as you've been led to believe. My parents used to handle the stuff in high school.....literally passing a pool of it from person to person, unprotected. I'd pitch the beer, but I don't know if I'd stress over the pot.....heat the pot up without water in it maybe, (if it's mercury), which should vaporize all the mercury in it?

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