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Old 06-28-2011, 05:38 PM   #1
boilmeimirish
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Default Leaded Beer, a Horror Story

First off, I'll say that this board has helped me immensely, and that while this is my first post, I'm a long-time lurker.

So onto the horror story:

A friend and I recently brewed an extract 5 gal red ale, in which, through no fault of our own, 8 lead pellets (.177 cal., airgun pellets) were added sometime during the first 60 min. boil, into 3 gals of wort.

We didn't notice that they had entered the boil until we were tall-pouring from the BK into the primary bucket, as we watched and heard several pellets 'clink!' into the bottom of the bucket.

You can only imagine the horrified look that was shared at this point in time.

After nearly 3 hours of carefully sanitizing the kitchen and all supplies, carefully measuring every AAU of hops and ounce of DME, after setting timers and thermometers and steeping grains to perfection, we had learned that something, somehow, had gone very, very f*cking wrong.

I know what you're thinking--how the hell did they get in there in the first place? I'll tell you! My next door neighbor's 10-year old daughter stuck them in as I was taking a quick toilet break. She was playing with my kid in the living room, and had only moments to act, but she found a way. This kid is like something straight out of a Stephen King novel, or Dante's Inferno-- She's Rosemary's Baby itself!

But let's not focus on my pure and unbridled hatred for a poorly parented kid or her pill-popping, Darwin-defying predecessors.

Never mind how the pellets got into the BK, the question is now this: Do I drink this stuff?

The pellets came out looking more copper-colored than 'lead silver', and the US dept. of health says that anything over 18ppb, yes, that's parts per BILLION of lead in a regular diet can be toxic in the long run.

What do YOU think?

~Mike

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Old 06-28-2011, 05:46 PM   #2
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I wouldn't chance it. It probably wouldn't taste very good anyway. Get the girl's parents to reimburse you and start over from scratch, that's what I would do.

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Old 06-28-2011, 05:47 PM   #3
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Verify exactly what the pellets were. In my opinion, if they truly are lead, dump it. I don't believe they use lead anymore for this application though, you might be in the clear. Bottom line, find out what they were. When in doubt (for this) dump.

*EDIT* Could very well be lead, I was wrong. Dump it.

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Old 06-28-2011, 05:54 PM   #4
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What a kind gesture of neighborly affection for you to bottle and give the entire batch to the girls parents. Oh what a sweet guy you are.

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Old 06-28-2011, 06:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boilmeimirish View Post
The pellets came out looking more copper-colored than 'lead silver', and the US dept. of health says that anything over 18ppb, yes, that's parts per BILLION of lead in a regular diet can be toxic in the long run.
"in the long run" is the key phrase there. Particularly if you are not going to be giving this beer to young children -- which you shouldn't anyway, yeesh! -- I would not really be concerned about lead poisoning.

What I would be worried about is the taste. Taste it (I promise you a taste will not hurt you) and if it tastes bad from the metal, well then, there's your answer. If it tastes fine, I'd be inclined to drink it... especially, as others said, it very well might not be actual lead but rather a substitute.
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Old 06-28-2011, 06:04 PM   #6
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Yeah, I wouldn't be worried either. Most of the concern regarding lead poisoning is about young children or pregnant women where development would be adversely affected by lead. Since you're brewing your own beer, I'm guessing this won't be a problem. Plus it's one batch. Bottoms up I say.

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Old 06-28-2011, 06:07 PM   #7
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You say they look more copper color than lead.... are they soft like lead or hard like copper? I sure wouldn't worry if they're copper....

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Old 06-28-2011, 06:50 PM   #8
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Thanks for the responses so far!

They are, unfortunately, lead. (http://amj-gadgets.com/Crosman+Benja...821404855.html)

Soft like lead, they were taken from a case of pellets I had in the living room. As far as getting reimbursed goes, forget about it. This girl's parents are so drugged out they wouldn't recognize justice if it slapped them in the face.

Lead poisoning is one thing, but what about all that 'birth defects' crap? http://www.onlinelawyersource.com/birth-defects/lead/

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Old 06-28-2011, 07:10 PM   #9
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Either way, I wouldn't worry. Depending on how old the plumbing in your house (and/or town) is, you probably get a lot more daily lead exposure than eight tiny pellets can give out.

Relax, don't worry and all that. :-)

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Old 06-28-2011, 07:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluemoose View Post
What a kind gesture of neighborly affection for you to bottle and give the entire batch to the girls parents. Oh what a sweet guy you are.
Do this. This guy here is a genius! haha
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