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Old 01-25-2010, 04:25 AM   #1
Apr 2009
Posts: 50
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I was cooling my wort with an immersion chiller and taking readings occasionally with my thermometer, which is very similar to . It broke on the immersion chiller sometime in the processes, probably when I would occasionally stir the wort to ensure even cooling. Is there anyway to salvage the brew? The thermometer itself is still intact, but the outer casing, including some of the conducting elements fell into the wort. I'm more worried about either glass/plastic being in the wort and hurting somebody or the stuff on the inside being toxic. Any ideas?

Initial thoughts were maybe filtering through a coffee filter?


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Old 01-25-2010, 04:39 AM   #2
Jan 2009
Pflugerville, Texas
Posts: 41

Be safe and ditch it in my opinion. Why take a chance for a few bucks. Brew another batch and you have only lost a few hours of effort at this point.

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Old 01-25-2010, 06:19 AM   #3
Pivot's Avatar
Apr 2009
Fredericton New Brunswick
Posts: 501
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At one time, thermometers had mercury in them which was obviously poisonous, but these days I don't think they carry anything harmful anymore. Although, I still agree with the last poster and say toss it. Not worth the trouble. i personally would be too paranoid to even drink it
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Old 01-25-2010, 06:31 AM   #4
alcibiades's Avatar
Jun 2009
Stafford, Virginia
Posts: 719
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i would try filtering it, even though the glass presumably sank to the bottom. You could probably just rack, keeping a few inches of wort in the boil kettle, and be safe....but im not condoning, only suggesting it, and hereby relieve myself of all liability

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Old 01-25-2010, 01:53 PM   #5
Sep 2009
Posts: 530
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I don't think you have to worry about anything toxic inside the thermometer. Your concern would be glass. Theoretically, the glass should sink to the bottom of the wort/beer and if you siphon off and leave an inch behind, then you shouldn't get the glass. But the question is whether or not you really want to take the chance of glass getting into your final product.

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Old 01-25-2010, 02:14 PM   #6
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Nov 2009
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The coffee filter thing would take 3-4 hours. Therefore practically impossible.

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Old 01-25-2010, 03:18 PM   #7
Jan 2010
Athens, Ohio
Posts: 24

Dunno if it'd work but maybe.. when you go to siphon it out, affix a few layers of cheese cloth to your cane? Might be a little faster than coffee filters.

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Old 01-25-2010, 04:21 PM   #8
Nov 2009
Hammond, IN
Posts: 110

I'm with everyone else on this, I think even though you should be okay... it's just not worth the risk. Who knows what those things are treated with, even though it's not mercury, you still probably don't want to be drinking it. As for little shards of glass that may sneak their way in no matter what filtering process you try... definately not worth the risk.

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Old 01-25-2010, 05:33 PM   #9
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Oct 2005
Oak Grove, Oregon, USA
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A fine mesh strainer is a better bet, but I doubt the thermometer was sterile on the inside.
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Old 01-25-2010, 07:24 PM   #10
Jan 2010
Shenandoah Valley, VA
Posts: 402
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I'm a new brewer, so take this for what its worth.

there shouldn't be anything toxic in it and even though the inside wasn't cleaned or sanitized, it might not affect the brew.

the glass should settle to the bottom. if you transfer to the fermenter leaving a little extra in the bottom of the pot, you shouldn't have a problem with glass.

further, if you siphon to a secondary, leaving a bit more in the bottom of the fermenter, again, the glass should have surely settled out.

and repeat again when siphoning to bottling bucket, the chances of any glass making it into a bottle or very small. there's still a chance, but i don't think it would be likely

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