Author Topic: Cement mixer to mix pizza dough  (Read 1499 times)

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Offline Petitroche

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Cement mixer to mix pizza dough
« on: May 13, 2013, 10:34:08 AM »
Haha.  Ok, I guess that sounds crazy but I'd really like to know if anyone has ever tried it.  I'm thinking about a cement mixer with a polyurethane barrel without obstructions inside like this:  http://www.marshalltown.com/Mixers.aspx#wheelbarro

It looks like it would mix a 20 or 30 lb batch of dough quite easily, and be easy to clean up. 

Maybe someone in another country that doesn't have such strict rules about what they can use?

I'm actually thinking of ordering one and trying it out, but I'd rather read about someone else doing it.  If it failed,
I could always use it for home improvements  :-D
« Last Edit: May 13, 2013, 02:38:28 PM by Pete-zza »
Pizza is to food what bacon is to meat.


Offline Petitroche

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Re: Cement mixer to mix pizza dough
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2013, 10:36:21 AM »
It looks like my link didn't work, but I'm talking about their wheelbarrow style mixer with a polyurethane barrel and 1/2 hp motor.
Pizza is to food what bacon is to meat.

Online TXCraig1

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Re: Cement mixer to mix pizza dough
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2013, 10:58:48 AM »
I don't think it would work as well as you might expect. 0.5hp = 375W. That's like a home kitchen mixer. You're talking about wanting the equivalent of a 20-30qt mixer. I think you need at least 1hp. My guess is that once the gluten starts to develop, the cement mixer won't even be able to turn. Cement is not elastic. I bet dough would bind it up tight. It also might be hard to clean it well enough. I doubt it's designed to be easily taken apart for cleaning. Wet cement rinses right out. Dough really doesn't.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline Petitroche

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Re: Cement mixer to mix pizza dough
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2013, 11:15:31 AM »
I don't think it would work as well as you might expect. 0.5hp = 375W. That's like a home kitchen mixer. You're talking about wanting the equivalent of a 20-30qt mixer. I think you need at least 1hp. My guess is that once the gluten starts to develop, the cement mixer won't even be able to turn. Cement is not elastic. I bet dough would bind it up tight. It also might be hard to clean it well enough. I doubt it's designed to be easily taken apart for cleaning. Wet cement rinses right out. Dough really doesn't.

Thanks for your reply. It says it will work 1.5  80lb bags Plus the water, so it must be adequate for at least 100 lbs or more of batch.  There are no internal vanes to clog, it's the indentations on the side of the barrel that catch the batch, pulls it up and gravity pulls it back down at some point.  It might take some diligence to keep the batch moving.  Maybe start with the water and slowly add flour.
Pizza is to food what bacon is to meat.

Online TXCraig1

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Re: Cement mixer to mix pizza dough
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2013, 11:59:42 AM »
Thanks for your reply. It says it will work 1.5  80lb bags Plus the water, so it must be adequate for at least 100 lbs or more of batch.  There are no internal vanes to clog, it's the indentations on the side of the barrel that catch the batch, pulls it up and gravity pulls it back down at some point.  It might take some diligence to keep the batch moving.  Maybe start with the water and slowly add flour.

The fluid properties of dough and concrete are so different, I can't think of any reason why would expect a concrete mixer to work for dough. Mixing concrete is simply a matter of wetting, and concrete doesn't get elastic. It has zero shear strength. Because of this, as it turns in the mixer, gravity can break it up because it doesn't hold itself together.  Mixing dough is wetting and developing gluten which requires more mechanical action than simply rolling around in a barrel. It will mix for a while, but once the gluten starts to develop, the dough will gain shear strength and simply falling about in the barrel won't accomplish anything else. I don't see how it would ever get homogeneous.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline Petitroche

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Re: Cement mixer to mix pizza dough
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2013, 12:19:54 PM »
The fluid properties of dough and concrete are so different, I can't think of any reason why would expect a concrete mixer to work for dough. Mixing concrete is simply a matter of wetting, and concrete doesn't get elastic. It has zero shear strength. Because of this, as it turns in the mixer, gravity can break it up because it doesn't hold itself together.  Mixing dough is wetting and developing gluten which requires more mechanical action than simply rolling around in a barrel. It will mix for a while, but once the gluten starts to develop, the dough will gain shear strength and simply falling about in the barrel won't accomplish anything else. I don't see how it would ever get homogeneous.

I might have to buy one to find out.  I need one anyway.  It wouldn't be the first time I tried something that really didn't work.  LOL, or the most expensive.
Pizza is to food what bacon is to meat.

Online TXCraig1

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Re: Cement mixer to mix pizza dough
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2013, 12:45:50 PM »
I might have to buy one to find out.  I need one anyway.  It wouldn't be the first time I tried something that really didn't work.  LOL, or the most expensive.

Please take pictures if you do. I'm curious to see exactly what happens.
Pizza is not bread.