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Discussions > Coffee > Home Roast > Food-safe mesh...  
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TeddyMac
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Posted Thu Jan 9, 2014, 11:29am
Subject: Food-safe mesh for homemade drum?
 

I was recently intrigued by the idea of using a rotisserie to roast. I found one for $25 that had a drum intended for vegetable roasting, so I took a chance on it. The mesh was too big so I grabbed a smaller weave mesh at the local hardware store and lined the drum with it. My expectations werenít super high, but I was surprised at how well the roast came out; the only small glitch was that the mesh I lined the drum with was also just a little too wide, and about 10 percent of the beans came out during the roast. Given how well the roast went, I'd like to make the rotisserie part of my regular arsenal and would like the re-line the drum.

When I went to a closer hardware store to buy a finer weave mesh, I was asked what it was for. The gentleman strongly cautioned me against using what he had, which was galvanized steel, on the grounds that at high temperatures, it would flake and end up being consumed. He suggested I investigate what metal was food-safe for coffee roasting temperatures. Lord knows what I used the first time, and hope I didnít grind and consume steel, but it sure was tasty anyway.

So do people have suggestions about what metal I should use instead? I donít know my metals well enough to make a knowledgeable guess of my own. I've seen plenty of references both to aluminum and stainless steel so I would guess those are safe (not sure how "galvanized" would be different), but the gentleman at the hardware store has me spooked enough to want to double check.
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RandomTask
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Posted Thu Jan 9, 2014, 1:34pm
Subject: Re: Food-safe mesh for homemade drum?
 

Your hardware guy is right, you don't want to use Galvanized Steel in any sort of food aplication. Galvanization is done by coating the steel (or iron) in Zinc which is toxic in higher quantities. It is possilbe that some could flake off and mix in with your beans. Excessive Zinc has a few very serious side effects, so it would be best to avoid it.

Stainless steel on the other hand is an alloy containing Chromium, which has no known biological side effects. Alumimium is non-toxic and has no effect on us other than it prevents the absortion of calcium in high quantites. There is some studies showing that Aluminium might have a relation with Alzheimer's but there hasn't been anything other than a causal relation found. Considering it's everywhere and people are exposed to large amounts of aluminium in the environment, it's also a good option, thought stainless steel would be best.
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TeddyMac
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Posted Thu Jan 9, 2014, 1:39pm
Subject: Re: Food-safe mesh for homemade drum?
 

Thanks, Random, that was exactly what I needed. So one batch of beans roasted in galvanized steel probably won't kill me, but I sure won't do it again. Right, now I'm off in search of stainless steel mesh! (Or aluminum, if I can't find it.) Thanks again for helping educate such a newbie.
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kboom1
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kboom1
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Posted Thu Jan 9, 2014, 3:48pm
Subject: Re: Food-safe mesh for homemade drum?
 

TeddyMac Said:

Thanks, Random, that was exactly what I needed. So one batch of beans roasted in galvanized steel probably won't kill me, but I sure won't do it again. Right, now I'm off in search of stainless steel mesh! (Or aluminum, if I can't find it.) Thanks again for helping educate such a newbie.

Posted January 9, 2014 link

I'd stick with food grade stainless if you can find it. It's not cheap either. Aluminum is also toxic. Heres some clips from a simple search.

Toxins

Aluminum is cheap and easy to clean, but traces of aluminum release into any food cooked in an aluminum container. Acidic foods like tomatoes can break down aluminum even faster and expose toxic chemicals such as arsenic and lead, depending on the composition of the aluminum.


Health Concerns



Aluminum is an irritant to the human respiratory tract. It has also been implicated in neurological and skeletal disorders. The National Cancer Institute hasn't recommended getting rid of antiperspirants, but can't rule out a link between breast cancer and the aluminum found in antiperspirants. While the aluminum in cooking pots isn't to blame for most exposure to aluminum, some people have chosen to eliminate aluminum from their kitchens in order to reduce the amount to which they are exposed.





Alzheimer's and Aluminum



Alzheimer's disease is a progressive neurological disorder that attacks the brain, destroying cells by leaving plaques and tangles. Impaired memory is one of the first signs of the disease. Concerns have risen that aluminum accumulation contributes to the formation of the plaques that characterize Alzheimer's, but there is no definitive proof available as of July 2009.
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kboom1
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kboom1
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Posted Thu Jan 9, 2014, 3:56pm
Subject: Re: Food-safe mesh for homemade drum?
 

Here is some info on what you're going to be looking for as far as stainless.

18/8 and 18/10: These are the two most common grades of stainless steel used for food preparation and dining, also known as Type 304 (304 Grade) and are part of the 300 series. The first number,18, refers to the amount of chromium present and the second represents the amount of nickel.  For example, 18/8 stainless steel is comprised of 18% chromium and 8% nickel.  

304 grade stainless steel is also comprised of no more than 0.8% carbon and at least 50% iron. The chromium binds oxygen to the surface of the product to protect the iron from oxidation (rust). Nickel also enhances the corrosion resistance of stainless steel.  Therefore, the higher the nickel content, the more resistant the stainless steel is to corrosion.

18/0 - Contains a negligible amount of nickel (0.75%) and therefore has a reduced corrosion resistance (is more likely to rust than 18/8 or 18/10 but still high quality) 18/0 is also referred to as Type 430, is part  of the 400 series and, unlike 300 series stainless steel, is magnetic.

200 series: You may often find stainless steel food containers made from 200 series stainless steel.  These are typically less expensive than 304 grade as manufacturers essentially substitute manganese for nickel.  Although food safe, they are not as resistant to corrosion and not as high quality as 304 grade.

Good Luck on your search....... you could always ask len about a drum, he might make one to your specs for you.
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TeddyMac
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Joined: 28 Nov 2013
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Location: Boston MA
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Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Sun Jan 12, 2014, 2:42pm
Subject: Re: Food-safe mesh for homemade drum?
 

Wow, thank you both. You've officially inspired (worried!) me into looking for the stainless, regardless of the cost. I'll start a search for grade 304 mesh.

The machine is one of the Forman rotisseries. I haven't posted anything since it looks like a while since anyone's shown much interest in the topic, but my experience has been good. I didn't know until 'net searching that for every line for his machines (Baby Forman, etc), there are different versions made to spec on who carries them. Target's Baby Forman might be different from Bed, Bath, and Beyond's. Mine is 1100 watts, and my only mod was putting some foil on the door. First crack was a little slow to come at 12 minutes, but it ran for a long time; I stopped it a minute or two past that and had an excellent City+. Oh, and of course I insufficiently lined the drum with smaller mesh. Figuring out the fins to keep things moving at slow rpm's was fun.

Sorry, off topic. Maybe I'll post something about it later. But for all I know at this point, Len's drum for the Foreman may be cheaper than the food grade stainless steel. Since this is an inner lining for an existent drum, I'll have to do a price comparison, though Len's has the advantage of being already made...

Thank you both, not only for the advice, but for the info on what to search for.
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kboom1
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kboom1
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Posts: 310
Location: Northeastern Pennsylvania
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Posted Sun Jan 12, 2014, 3:47pm
Subject: Re: Food-safe mesh for homemade drum?
 

Here are 2 places to check for stainless mesh.

Click Here (www.amazon.com)

http://www.twpinc.com/wire-mesh/TWPCAT_12
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