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Old 08-06-2012, 06:48 PM   #1
toboredtosleep
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Default Broken Thermometer?

Hey All,

I recently had a thermometer break and drain itself into my wort just after I had finished cooling it. Unfortunately there isn't much information regarding this problem and I noticed many other people have had the same problem but no great solution.

All thermometers sold for use with foods are non-toxic and contain food grade ethanol with a alcohol based red dye in them. I called the manufacturer for the "Brewer's Best Kits" to figure out what exactly is in their thermometers and they confirmed its food grade ethanol. If your thermometer does break in your wort chances are its ok and really the only concern will be getting the broken glass out of the kettle / fermenter. Now if you purchased a thermometer outside of a kit its a little up in the air regarding its contents and toxicity.

Glass thermometers break too easily and are slow to equilibrate to temperatures and its probably a good idea to invest in an instant read thermometer or something a tad more robust. Some recommendations as to brands would be:

Big Daddy Dial - non-instant read, but a great thermometers
Thermapen - Instant read with a 3 second delay.

Difference being price point and the instant read feature.

Feel free to comment or add to the discussion.


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Old 08-06-2012, 08:09 PM   #2
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i had a cheap digital thermometer and it was 20 degrees off the mark. better to invest in a good one as its worth it in the long run


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Old 08-06-2012, 08:22 PM   #3
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I did the same thing this weekend. Luckily I only busted the very bottom, and did not shatter the glass thermometer inside. I only noticed when I was dumping the trub and cleaning my boil kettle, and I had a pile of the steel shot filling around in there. I figure steel and glass will settle out long before most of the yeast covers it, so I don't plan to do anything particularly different (I always rack very carefully for clarity anyway) aside from naming the beer "buckshot scotch"
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Old 08-06-2012, 08:24 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scrawbag View Post
i had a cheap digital thermometer and it was 20 degrees off the mark. better to invest in a good one as its worth it in the long run
I agree with you there. Although the big daddy dial can be calibrated as you like to ensure that its on the mark. I will probably end up purchasing the Thermapen to simply be done with the problem.

Quote:
I did the same thing this weekend. Luckily I only busted the very bottom, and did not shatter the glass thermometer inside. I only noticed when I was dumping the trub and cleaning my boil kettle, and I had a pile of the steel shot filling around in there. I figure steel and glass will settle out long before most of the yeast covers it, so I don't plan to do anything particularly different (I always rack very carefully for clarity anyway) aside from naming the beer "buckshot scotch"
Might be worth filtering it a little bit to ensure no small glass particles escape into the finished product? I'm contemplating this myself even though you're right that it will probably just settle out.
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Old 08-06-2012, 08:40 PM   #5
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Giving it a long primary and then a longer, cool, secondary. Between my whirlpool in the kettle, yeast floculating throughout the primary, racking to secondary , settling, and then to bottling bucket, I'm confident I will be good. If I get paranoid, I'll filter though. It'd be a great excuse to buy more gear, now that I think about it... For safety's sake


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