I recently built a heatstick a-la the ubiquitous instructions on the web. (http://www.cedarcreeknetworks.com/heatstick.htm)
I just boiled 6 gallons very successfully with the heatstick supplementing my electric stove. However I have some lingering concerns about materials safety.
All the drainpipes were chrome plated brass. Chrome I guess is A OK.
However, all of the drainpipe nuts were Zinc plated brass. Is that normal, or just the store I was at? I also see read that many of the elements have some Zinc coating, and in general zinc is a no-no.
But people are using these from what I gather. How concerned should I be about this amount of Zinc in my water or wort? Has anyone dreamed up a "better mousetrap" with regards to heatstick design and materials safety? Is it possible to test these... hmmmm
I was impressed by what a great solution the heatstick is from a problem-solving perspective, but it seems to have some unresolved problems of it's own.
the only other possibly relevant information I turned up was in this thread:
Originally Posted by Sawdustguy
These elements are for potable hot water heaters. I don't know if there is a zinc coating or not, but if there is, I doubt it would cause a health risk. The daily recommended dosage of Zinc is 15mg. It didn't take much more than that to plate that element and the coating will last for years.