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Old 01-19-2011, 06:46 AM   #1
TheCrowsNest
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Default floating thermometer broken

we were cooling off a fresh new ipa and using a floating thermometer to check our status. we must've dropped the thermometer in a little too aggressively, as when we went to measure temp for a gravity reading the bottom was cracked open.

as you know, the bottom of these things is filled with little ( metal i'm guessing?) balls at the bottom to keep it upright. those little weights took a nice swim in our wort.

anyone know what those weights are made of or how it might affect our final product?

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Old 01-19-2011, 06:59 AM   #2
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That is lead shot. Or at least all those I have seen are lead.

I'm not sure how dangerous is would actually be to drink the beer. I would think it would be minimal but I'm certainly no expert. I think lead poisoning happens from long term chronic exposure and is most harmful to young kids. There has been lead in water pipes and solder in food cans and a lot of other sources, so it's not something that you have probably not experienced before.

There's probably some chemistry involved and maybe the acidity of the wort might make the potential problems worse? Possibly a few variations of lead some worse than others.

I think if possible I'd get the beer and the lead separated ASAP if you have not already done so. I was not sure if it broke in your boil kettle or your fermenter.

I have hunted all my life and certainly bit into, and I am positive ingested a goodly number of lead pellets in ducks, geese, quail, rabbits etc. I've never lost sleep over that, just as I don't lose sleep over eating processed food which is chock full of unpronouncable chemicals.

Party line answer is to pitch it for sure. 100% safe doing that.

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Old 01-19-2011, 07:00 AM   #3
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Do you know what brand it is?


I would check with the manufacturer just to make sure there's no toxic chemicals in it.

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Old 01-19-2011, 07:00 AM   #4
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If it's like mine, I think they're made of lead. I'd probably toss the batch if that's the case.

Hate to be the bearer of bad news, and let's hope that they're not lead.

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Old 01-19-2011, 07:19 AM   #5
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uhhh lead and possibly mercury? DO NOT DRINK THAT BEER!

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Old 01-19-2011, 07:54 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Righlander View Post
uhhh lead and possibly mercury? DO NOT DRINK THAT BEER!
It's really unlikely that there is any mercury in the thermometer unless it's an antique. Galinstan looks identical, but mercury thermometers went away a long time ago except in meteorology.

We ain't always the brightest bunch, but we did figure out a couple decades ago we shouldn't be sticking delicate glass objects with mercury in them in our food and body orifices.
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Old 01-19-2011, 02:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SKMO View Post
It's really unlikely that there is any mercury in the thermometer unless it's an antique. Galinstan looks identical, but mercury thermometers went away a long time ago except in meteorology.

We ain't always the brightest bunch, but we did figure out a couple decades ago we shouldn't be sticking delicate glass objects with mercury in them in our food and body orifices.
hmm good to know. i'd still be paranoid though
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Old 01-19-2011, 03:10 PM   #8
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lead and broken glass... i'd toss it, but that's just me.

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Old 01-19-2011, 03:11 PM   #9
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oh and right after that i'd get a thermometer not made of glass

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Old 01-19-2011, 03:45 PM   #10
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The lead itself spending a little while in some drinking water might not be dangerous, but in an acidic mash I'd bet enough of it dissolved to make drinking it officially a Bad Idea.

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