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Old 10-11-2011, 05:06 PM   #1
ShakyD
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Default Is It Drinkable or Should I Pitch It?

While whirlpooling an all-grain IPA after the boil I inadvertently left the floating thermometer in. Once everything settled I noticed that the thermometer was floating on its side and that I had broken it. Looking closer I realized that I only broke the outside glass and did not actually rupture the thermometer inside (i.e. hopefully no mercury escaped). Thinking that all I needed to do was strain out any glass as well as the little BBs (weights?) from the thermometer I continued on and strained everything out before putting it into the fermenter.

The beer has fermented and been kegged for several weeks but will not clear. I am now wondering what the BBs are made of and whether I should just pitch the whole batch? It doesn't taste bad, but I don't want to lead poison myself and others unnecessarily. Your thoughts?

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Old 10-11-2011, 05:20 PM   #2
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Poison, bird sh*t, and broken glass are the three things that would cause me to dump a batch.

There are a few threads here about broken hydrometers in the wort and how it's near impossible to strain all the broken bits out. Some might be more gutsy than me, but it it were mine, I wouldn't risk it. Bummer.

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Old 10-11-2011, 05:35 PM   #3
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Yeah well that's a real b1tch. I don't think I'd risk it either. The thermometer is most likely made in China so it could be anything. I'd probably at least try to check with the manufacturer though.

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Old 10-11-2011, 05:37 PM   #4
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Prison movies show crushing glass to powder and putting it in food to kill people from the inside, made me decide that I don't want to consume anything with broken glass in it. Even if it doesn't have a lot of glass, I think anything that can cause micro-cuts on your intestines can cause infections.

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Old 10-11-2011, 06:14 PM   #5
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I had a shard of glass pierce the soft pallet of my mouth because of a bottle that was opened improperly at a restaurant... had that made its way down my throat any further it would have been a hospital visit. Had it found its way to my intestines, it would have been pure hell.

I would think it's possible to use sub-micron filters to remove anything that could harm you, but I have no idea how small you'd have to go to eliminate the risk.

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Old 10-11-2011, 08:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShakyD
Looking closer I realized that I only broke the outside glass and did not actually rupture the thermometer inside (i.e. hopefully no mercury escaped).
I doubt it was mercury as those are hard to come by anymore. Unless the liquid was silver it was likely dyed mineral spirits out alcohol. At least you can rule that out as a poisonous contaminant. Although, I probably wouldn't want to ingest mineral spirits either...
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Old 10-11-2011, 11:06 PM   #7
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Would filtering before kegging/bottling remove the glass?

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Old 10-11-2011, 11:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beezer94 View Post
Prison movies show crushing glass to powder and putting it in food to kill people from the inside, made me decide that I don't want to consume anything with broken glass in it. Even if it doesn't have a lot of glass, I think anything that can cause micro-cuts on your intestines can cause infections.
And here I was mainly concerned with lead or some other kind of poisoning. I assumed that I had strained all of the glass out of it, but the images of some of these scenarios is a little scary. I think I am going to dump it and brew a new batch this weekend.

This is going to hurt
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Old 10-12-2011, 12:30 AM   #9
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If you left an inch or two in the primary fermenter when you siphon, I'd not be too worried about the glass, use a cap on your racking cane too, so it's sucking from above and not below. It's going to settle out real quickly after fermentation is over.

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Old 10-12-2011, 03:45 AM   #10
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Agreed don't dump the whole thing...leave a gallon or even two if you're feeling real nervous, glass is pretty heavy compared to beer, keep your racking cane a few inches from the trub and enjoy your beer a few weeks later.

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...stupid people don't need to be given special rights, if they can't figure out that putting their hand in something labeled "crusher" is a bad idea then let them do it. by all means give them a stool so they can reach.
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