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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Is there anyway to salvage this mess?
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Old 01-26-2010, 10:30 PM   #21
Mikethepoolguy
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I have been looking for a post like this before I admited my own mistakes. My first batch, the directions said 'disolve DME in warm water', I heated some water and wanting to document everything I measured temp. While I was writing, I forgot to remove the themometer and it broke on the first stir. I didnt know what to do, but ended up continuing disolving then straining the uncooked mixture. Later, on the same batch I dropped and broke my hydrometer (on the floor).
My second batch I broke the thermometer again. This time in just water, which I dumped. Neither time did the actual thermometer break, just the outer glass, dropping broken glass and lead pellets into the pot.
My theory is i: both lead and glass are heavier than water and should settle to the bottom of the kettle, fermenter, secondary if used, and finally the bottle or keg. ii: lead is quite toxic for children, but not so much for adults. No kids will be drinking my beer. iii: A Whopper with cheese probably has more toxins.
If the thermometer was silver (mercury) I would have dumped it.

Needless to say,I will never buy another glass floating thermometer.

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Old 01-26-2010, 11:10 PM   #22
Synovia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikethepoolguy View Post
I have been looking for a post like this before I admited my own mistakes. My first batch, the directions said 'disolve DME in warm water', I heated some water and wanting to document everything I measured temp. While I was writing, I forgot to remove the themometer and it broke on the first stir. I didnt know what to do, but ended up continuing disolving then straining the uncooked mixture. Later, on the same batch I dropped and broke my hydrometer (on the floor).
My second batch I broke the thermometer again. This time in just water, which I dumped. Neither time did the actual thermometer break, just the outer glass, dropping broken glass and lead pellets into the pot.
My theory is i: both lead and glass are heavier than water and should settle to the bottom of the kettle, fermenter, secondary if used, and finally the bottle or keg. ii: lead is quite toxic for children, but not so much for adults. No kids will be drinking my beer. iii: A Whopper with cheese probably has more toxins.
If the thermometer was silver (mercury) I would have dumped it.

Needless to say,I will never buy another glass floating thermometer.
There hasn't been lead in thermometers for years. They're most likely just steel balls.
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Old 01-28-2010, 05:07 AM   #23
celts
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in the thermometer I used they seemed to be ceramic. They cracked with a pliers. Very satisfying sound when your frustrated. haha.

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Old 01-28-2010, 05:51 AM   #24
jdp
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it doesn't matter the size, density of glass is the same regardless of the size of the glass (density compared to water is what makes things sink or float in water). if the glass has a higher specific gravity than your wort it will sink regardless of its size (in theory).
Thats really only half true. surface tension and impurities can cause objects with higher densities to float on top. I go prospecting quite a bit and it is pretty easy for fine gold to float out of the pan when processing the concentrates. The solution is to add fabric softener to the pan to reduce the surface tension, but I don't think that would work too well in this case.

Even though the glass that would make it into your body would be small, It would be tough for me to knowingly drink something that I knew might contain glass. It might even be impossible to get any since the carbonation would do a good job of breaking surface tension, but I think it would just creep me out.
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Old 01-28-2010, 05:54 AM   #25
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This EXACT thing just happened to me and it is my first brew. My local supplier I purchased everything from told me that (in my kit anyway) the thermometer does not contain mercury and the weight ballast they put in the bottom of the tube is not made of lead. I assume you have a similar thermometer. Also as to consuming tiny tiny shards of glass (which you shouldn't if you leave a few inches while racking), shouldn't hurt you. I mean... has anyone seen that guy who eats full pieces of glass? God only knows what kinds of crap little kids eat and it doesn't kill them. I am going through with my batch. The wort tasted ... well like it smelled, however I am a day or so away from bottling all my beer and tasting it now ... it tastes much more like beer. So if it is not ruined, then I would follow through with it if I were you. Just drink your beer out of a glass, or filter it out into a glass everytime you crack a brew if you are that paranoid.

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