Broken hydrometer - Home Brew Forums
Register Now For Free!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Broken hydrometer

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 09-26-2005, 05:40 PM   #1
DrewsBrews
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
DrewsBrews's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Sep 2005
Tacoma, WA
Posts: 303


I'm a new homebrewer and I cooked my first batch last night. I tried using a hydrometer in a "sample tube" (gadget that you dunk straight into the wort and then float the hydrometer for the reading) and wasn't having much luck getting the tube to fill, so I gave up and popped the lock into the top of the carboy. This morning, I attempted to rinse out the sample tube with the hydrometer still in it. I filled it full of water from a shower head and then noticed that the water wasn't draining from the valve tip. I turned it over and got about 15 little bb's in my hand. I realized the hydrometer had broken on the weighted end. My question is: are there any nasty chemicals inside the hydrometer? I don't know if it broke before or during the sampling, or when I was trying to clean it. I hate to toss the batch, but I don't want lead poisoning or any other toxic chemicals in my beer. Help!

 
Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2005, 06:18 PM   #2
Toilet Rocker
 
Toilet Rocker's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jul 2005
near Asbury Park, NJ
Posts: 846
Liked 12 Times on 12 Posts


Did you sanitize the sample tube before dipping it? Was the hydrometer in the tube when you dipped it?
__________________
I need to find time to brew more often.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2005, 06:21 PM   #3
homebrewer_99
 
homebrewer_99's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Feb 2005
Atkinson (near the Quad Cities), IL
Posts: 17,792
Liked 133 Times on 99 Posts


Check the bottom of your container for any lead or mercury looking stuff.

If anything's there then dump it. It's poisoned.

Always remember to place your hydrometer and thermometer back into their plastic cases when not in use.
__________________
HB Bill

 
Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2005, 06:23 PM   #4
DrewsBrews
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
DrewsBrews's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Sep 2005
Tacoma, WA
Posts: 303

Both the sample tube and the hydrometer were sanitized with Idophor. The hydrometer was in the sample tube when I dipped it into the wort. Everything was clean - I'm just concerned about the potential for chemicals or lead from the broken tip of the hydrometer getting into the beer. It might not have broken until I was cleaning it... but I'm not sure. I have no idea what they put in those hydrometers when they make them and I wouldn't want to make anyone sick.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2005, 06:24 PM   #5
Walker
I use secondaries. :p
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
Walker's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Sep 2005
Cary, NC
Posts: 10,987
Liked 101 Times on 89 Posts


or better yet... LEAVE the hydrometer in the plastic tube and never use it again. your beer will be beer regardless of whether you measure the gravity or not.

-walker
__________________
Ground Fault Brewing Co.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2005, 06:27 PM   #6
DrewsBrews
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
DrewsBrews's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Sep 2005
Tacoma, WA
Posts: 303

If there's mercury in that thing, I'm not even going to risk it. $30 for the recipe and a few hours isn't worth the potential injury to someone.

Thanks for your help, folks.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2005, 06:50 PM   #7
Toilet Rocker
 
Toilet Rocker's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jul 2005
near Asbury Park, NJ
Posts: 846
Liked 12 Times on 12 Posts


Is it possible that that stuff could be lodged in the trub and he wouldn't necessarily see it anyway? If the hydrometer was stored in the sample tube or if it was in the tube when he went for a sample, I think I'd rather play it safe...
__________________
I need to find time to brew more often.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2005, 10:21 PM   #8
El Pistolero
 
El Pistolero's Avatar
Recipes 
 
May 2005
Houston, Baja Oklahoma
Posts: 3,585
Liked 15 Times on 15 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyLong
If there's mercury in that thing, I'm not even going to risk it. $30 for the recipe and a few hours isn't worth the potential injury to someone.

Thanks for your help, folks.
There isn't any mercury in your hydrometer...do not dump that beer!
__________________
[/I] Up Next - Hobgoblin
After That - Czech Pilsner
Primary - Humboldt Hop Rod (4/24)
Primary - NOT Wheat AG SNCA (5/5)
Secondary -
Conditioning - SNCA Clone (3/3),

 
Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2005, 10:37 PM   #9
DesertBrew
Dirty blonde
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
DesertBrew's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jan 2005
Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 5,784
Liked 116 Times on 102 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by El Pistolero
There isn't any mercury in your hydrometer...do not dump that beer!
I'd agree with that; it's probably only lead weights that certainly would drop right into the trub. Got one handy still? Is it lead? If you don't have a carboy/secondary I would get one for the $20 and then rack/move it over right away. You get to keep your beer and get a carboy out of the bargain as opposed to blowing $30 for nothing. That little amount of lead isn't going to hurt nothing and you'd probably get more out of eating a fish out of Lake Erie. If your still paranoid, don't stick your racking cane all the way into the trub.

Mmm, old fashioned paint chips are tasty!


 
Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2005, 11:34 PM   #10
DrewsBrews
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
DrewsBrews's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Sep 2005
Tacoma, WA
Posts: 303

It appears that El P and desert are correct. I've recently visited the brew shop where I purchase the hydrometer and looked at another of the same item. The fellow helping me and I agreed that there is no mercury in my hydrometer, only lead pellets.

I have a second carboy that I can transfer the brew to. My quandry at this point is whether to let it sit for a few more days in the primary (getting the most out of the yeast), or moving it to the other to seperate it from any possible lead that may have made it into the primary. Decisions...
__________________
So long, and thanks for all the beer...

Tap 1:
Tap 2:
Tap 3:
Bottles:

 
Reply With Quote
Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Is my hydrometer broken? Psymon Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 4 08-13-2009 04:10 PM
Broken Hydrometer simcoe4life Equipment/Sanitation 7 06-09-2009 11:23 PM
Broken hydrometer.. BlackNotch Equipment/Sanitation 12 10-21-2008 10:09 PM
Broken Hydrometer DanS General Techniques 9 10-16-2007 04:17 PM
Broken Hydrometer cpbergie Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 5 03-22-2007 09:33 PM


Forum Jump