Help: broken thermometer in sanitizing bucket

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by Prbrew3, Oct 9, 2018.

  1. Prbrew3

    Prbrew3 Initiate (15) Oct 9, 2018 New Hampshire

    Hi all, I had two thermometers with red liquid in a sanitizing bucket and My brewing partner stuck the wort chiller in the bucket and swished it around breaking the thermometers. The red liquid was in the sanitizing bucket (very little of it that it was barely noticeable until we emptied the bucket) and after sanatizing the wort chiller, we used it to cool our batch. We didnt notice the broken thermometers or red hue to the sanitizer until we already put the batch into a fermenter. Is my beer safe to drink? The thermometers didnt break directly in the kettle or in the wort
  2. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,243) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado

    Mercury thermometers or dyed alcohol? Why risk it? Dump it
    dennis3951 and GormBrewhouse like this.
  3. riptorn

    riptorn Initiate (95) Apr 26, 2018 North Carolina

    According to our friend Wiki, the red liquid is probably ethanol and the small amount probably boiled off. Less likely, it could be toluene, kerosene or isoamyl acetate.
    Isoamyl acetate has banana/pear esters but I wouldn’t source it from a thermometer, yeast can make that. I don’t know the potential for issues of the others when in boiling wort.

    My hesitancy would stem from tiny chips or chards of glass that might have been carried to the kettle on the chiller and then to the fermentor....even though they’d probably settle out quickly and get covered by the flocculating yeast.
    Lots of ways for tiny glass to not make it all the way to packaging, but it only takes one....:grimacing:
    Your call, but again.....:grimacing:

    Food for thought going forward if you use an immersion chiller; you can sanitize it by putting it in the boil for the last fifteen minutes or so.
    #3 riptorn, Oct 9, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2018
  4. Bryan12345

    Bryan12345 Devotee (494) Mar 17, 2016 Texas

    No biggie. Unless it’s mercury, then VERY big biggie. I’d be more worried about pieces of glass than the thermometer liquid itself, which is probably alcohol. If you’re sure there’s no glass in the liquid I say rock on!
    Mothergoose03 likes this.
  5. Prep8611

    Prep8611 Aspirant (250) Aug 22, 2014 New Jersey

    I’d be more worried about glass and this would therefore be a dumper for me.
    riptorn and GormBrewhouse like this.
  6. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Champion (834) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey

  7. GormBrewhouse

    GormBrewhouse Disciple (393) Jun 24, 2015 Vermont

    Dump it for sure, why gamble???
  8. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,243) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado

    Star San sure cleans it well.... and then eats the copper.
    riptorn likes this.