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Old 09-15-2007, 05:28 PM   #1
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Default Help I broke my thermometer in my brew

I was brewing and my thermometer broke. It was a glass thermometer with the red liquid inside as well as some small metal balls. Does anyone know if the brew will be ok to drink or should I throw it out? I got all of the glass and metal balls out through the strainer. Please help!!!



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Old 09-15-2007, 05:45 PM   #2
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That's no good.

Others here have done the same thing, and IIRC, they dumped the batch because they simply were not willing to assume the risk of possibly ingesting glass shards and tearing their internal organs up. You said you strained out "all" of the glass, but I dunno how sure you can be. When you transfer to your carboy/bucket, did you strain it through a fine screen-funnel? IMHO, that would catch even the smallest shards of glass, and I'd feel confident then. What method did you use to strain? How fine was the screen? The red liquid shouldn't hurt it...but the glass is what you need to be concerned about.


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Old 09-15-2007, 05:46 PM   #3
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Yikes! You never know if there are tiny glass shards still in there. *Maybe* if you passed it through a .5 micron filter a couple times it might be safe to drink, but other than that I'd dump it out. The last thing you need is a shredded throat, or worse yet a guest with a shredded throat.
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Old 09-15-2007, 05:50 PM   #4
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Plus those things usually have mercury in them and that is very poisonous.
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Old 09-15-2007, 06:11 PM   #5
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This happened in my pot and then I used the screen that I use to strain my hops. The screen is pretty small. Wouldn't all the glass fall to the bottom of the fermenter and when I rack it off to the secondary and then to a keg all of the glass would be left behind? The thermometer didn't shatter, it broke at the bottom of the thermometer, is this still a concern? I would hate to dump it if it doesn't need to be.
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Old 09-15-2007, 06:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paranode
Plus those things usually have mercury in them and that is very poisonous.
However, a lot of thermometers also use colored alcohol in place of mercury.
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Old 09-15-2007, 06:30 PM   #7
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A mercury thermometer is hard to these days.
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Old 09-15-2007, 06:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IBENAK
This happened in my pot and then I used the screen that I use to strain my hops. The screen is pretty small. Wouldn't all the glass fall to the bottom of the fermenter and when I rack it off to the secondary and then to a keg all of the glass would be left behind? The thermometer didn't shatter, it broke at the bottom of the thermometer, is this still a concern? I would hate to dump it if it doesn't need to be.
But when you're racking, you're siphoning off the bottom. It would be easy for a glass shard that was sitting on the yeast cake to get sucked up into the siphon.

I suppose you might be able to rig up some sort of sponge to act as a physical filter on the output end of the siphon. But there's two issues with that: 1) you might be splashing the beer and aerating it again (which you generally don't want to do once fermentation has begun), and 2) sanitizing a sponge is notoriously difficult.
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Old 09-15-2007, 07:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paranode
Plus those things usually have mercury in them and that is very poisonous.
If the indicating fluid was red, it was likely a colored alcohol, and it was definitely not mercury. There probably isn't much risk in consuming the now diluted, tiny amount of fluid that made it into your batch. Like others have said, though, you probably ought to filter the beer with something finer than a strainer before bottling.
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Old 09-15-2007, 08:32 PM   #10
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If I were you, I'd leave it go for a while to make sure everything has settled out. When you rack to secondary or bottling bucket, hold the racking tip well up above the bottom the entire time and leave a good gallon in the bottom. I'd drink it.


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