Time To Dump?

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by PA Brewer, Aug 28, 2016.

  1. PA Brewer

    PA Brewer New Member

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    So after a year hiatus from brewing (just too busy I guess) I decided to give it another go. Well I'm rusty for sure and managed to do a pretty major screw-up. While chilling my wort instead of going outside and grabbing my stainless steel dial thermometer (which I usually use), I grab my floating thermometer (which was handy) and threw it in to the wort.

    All was going well until the wort was about 120°F and I decided to give it a little stir (I bet you know where this is going). As I'm stirring I hear BB's rolling around in the bottom of the kettle. I pulled out the floating thermometer and sure enough the tip was broken and about half the BB's and maybe some of the wax was missing. Only the outer glass tip broke, the inner glass thermometer was intact. Well I bought the glass thermometer a few years back and I remember that it was "Non-toxic" and that the ballast was steel. So I guess my only real concern is getting pieces of the broken thermometer into the fermentor.

    So after calling myself an idiot and cursing for a few minutes, then waffling back and forth on whether to just dump the kettle, I ended up deciding to at least keep going and postpone the ultimate decision. So I sanitize my auto siphen and cut out two nylon mesh patches to cover the end. By this time the wort is down to around 85, so I rack it out of the brew kettle and into the fermenting bucket. I probably left 3/4 of a gallon of wort in the pot to avoid sucking up any of the thermometer debris. I added some extra make up water I had lying around and pitched the yeast.

    When cleaning the auto siphen although there was quite bit of hot break and hop gunk on the nylon filter I failed to find any BBs or Glass (so I'm hoping it stayed at the bottom of the kettle). So here is where I'm at, I think I did the best I could to ensure no pieces of the thermometer made it into the brew bucket. I'll probably be racking this brew two more times (primary to secondary, and secondary to keg) so while I think it is doubtful that any pieces are in the primary bucket, even if there are it seems really unlikely that they will make it into the final product.

    On the other hand I'm really thinking about turning this batch into drain cleaner.

    Anyone make the same mistake? Looking for thoughts and suggestions.
     
  2. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    There's no way I would drink anything that once had broken glass in it like that. I'd be a nervous wreck every time I drank it. Or shared it. Not worth the risk to me.
     
  3. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Any glass bits that made it into the fermenter would probably get buried at the bottom of the yeast cake. Seems unlikely that any would make it into a bottle or keg if you were careful to rack above the trub.
    I'd be more concerned about the wax or contaminants from the innards of the thermometer. Maybe nothing to worry about and I'm sure nothing would be toxic enough to cause any health problems (as long as you're confident about the mercury staying where it was supposed to).
    Might not make very good beer but you could let it run as long as you don't need the fermenter to start another batch.
     
  4. suffolk

    suffolk New Member

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    As long as it was not a mercury thermometer I would follow the above suggestion ;)
     
  5. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    With how many times your racking it, I wouldn't worry too much. I did a similar thing a while ago when first doing BIAB, stirred too vigorously with the thermometer during the mash.

    Assuming the inner thingie wasn't broken of course
     
  6. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Yup. Glad to have my own homebrew to drink!!
     
  7. PA Brewer

    PA Brewer New Member

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    Only the outer glass broke (the one that holds the BB's) the inner glass thermometer was intact and did not break. The only thing that could have dropped in were the BB's, glass, and maybe some of the wax that they use to keep the BB's in place. (Don't think much of the wax could have dropped in since it seals the top of the BB's and the top half of the BB's are still in the thermometer.

    This wouldn't even be a discussion if I was using a mercury thermometer (which it isn't) or if the actual thermometer broke and the liquid (I think it is red dyed alcohol) leaked out.
     
  8. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I guess nearly all thermometers use something other than mercury these days. Another level of risk removed from the scenario. ;)
     

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