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Old 07-10-2009, 02:57 AM   #1
jigidyjim
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Default how can i tell if hydrometer is lead or steel shot?

I have this hydrometer here:

Oak Barrel Winecraft > Beermaking > Triple-Scale Hydrometer

Any ideas on how I can tell if it is lead or steel shot?

I just broke it and spilled all over the floor. I vacuumed, swept, and wiped some up with paper towels, but I think there's still some shot lying around.

Just wondering if I just poisoned the house or not.

thanks.

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Old 07-10-2009, 03:17 AM   #2
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I gotta guess that the hydrometer is made with steel shot. It is unlikely that in this day and age, a consumer device to be used with food/beverage would be made with lead shot. Too much foreseeable liability there if you ask me. That said, if you want to be sure, the only way would be to call the company and ask. Start by calling up the dealer you bought it from, and if they are not absolutely sure, then ask them how to get in touch with the manufacturer. I probably wouldn't bother with this, but I don't have kids crawling around on my floor. If you do, I would look into it. Good luck.

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Old 07-10-2009, 03:24 AM   #3
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Take a magnet to it.

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Old 07-10-2009, 03:28 AM   #4
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Eat it and check for lead poisoning side effects..... jk. I think a magnet would work to but I'm not metallurgist.

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Old 07-10-2009, 03:33 AM   #5
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Just a thought, Lead is very pliable, if you try crushing one with pliers, and it smashes easily like clay, maybe lead, if it crumbles probably pot metal. Not very scientific, but they are probably not lead, as someone said, food safety issue.

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Old 07-10-2009, 03:37 AM   #6
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Umm...maybe it's just my LHBS, but the paper instruction sheets that were included with my hydrometers look like they have been copied and copied and copied ... since the '60s . Who knows.

Mine have all been lead. Most definitely.

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Old 07-10-2009, 03:37 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marubozo View Post
Take a magnet to it.
I took a fridge magnet to some of the pellets, and it didn't pick them up...

but then I looked around online and people say that lead is not magnetic and steel is not necessarily magnetic... but then there are a lot of devices out there that use magnets to pick up steel shot.

So who knows... it didn't fall in any beer so at least I'm not drinking it I guess.
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Old 07-10-2009, 03:58 AM   #8
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Got a torch?

Lead melts rather easily with a torch. Steel just gets really hot.

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Old 07-10-2009, 05:03 AM   #9
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I wouldnt worry about it you wont die from that little bit. been spitting out bird shot since I was a kid and im just fine. Well thats what the voices in my head tell me hehe

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Old 07-10-2009, 05:10 AM   #10
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all steel is magnetic to some degree, even stainless, it just all has varying degrees of it(i seriously doubt that they would use stainless in a hydrometer though). A fridge magnet might not be strong enough to show any definitive results about steel vs lead. I can tell by the weight of mine that it is lead, considering the volume vs the mass of the metal. but as sub-zero said, don't worry about it. I too have spit out plenty of bird shot and use my teeth to crush split shots onto my fishing lines for years....

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