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Insulation Clarity

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  • Insulation Clarity

    Hi all, first post although I've been reading and preparing for my first build for a few years. One question though, I can never seem to find a clear answer on - unless I've just been looking in the wrong places?

    I'm building a 32"X36" barrel vault oven and will be using (this is my plan anyway) 4" ceramic board under the floor and 2-3" of blanket over the dome.

    Now my question is, can I just secure the blanket over the vault with chicken wire or similar then just cover the whole thing ...'filling the box' around the baking chamber with loose vermiculite? I mean not using vcrete or any 'crete' at all above the firebrick...? I would be leaving the top accessible in order to add more vermiculite at a later date after settling occurs.

    any obvious problems with this approach? I'm not trying to waste money, but I will be using the oven 2-3 times a week in a small business so I don't mind spending what I absolutely must to get good heat retention. 90% used for bread.


  • #2
    I see no issues with your insulation proposal. It would be good it you posted a sketch of your design so we can comment on any fatal flaws. On a barrel oven, the end walls should be inside the barrel vs butting up against the end. The expansion of the barrel will push the end walls out if butted up to them. Since this is a commercial type oven for bread you may want to consider laying floor bricks on edge for more thermal mass.
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    • #3
      Welcome Myles! As Russell suggested, increasing your thermal mass by laying the cooking floor on edge is a worthwhile thought. You also might want to increase your oven size a bit. I have a 39" modified dome oven and bake 15-20 loaves each week for my friends and neighbors. I only fire it up on Thursday night for a single Friday bake. Do you have any thoughts on what your bake load will be for each firing? My oven has a cooking floor with full bricks laid horizontally and I've baked over 30 loaves in a single firing. With better insulation (I only have 4-5" perlcrete base and dome insulation), you should be able to put through more bread & other baked goods pretty easily. It definitely means you are going to have to develop some good temperature timelines to hit your target temps when the dough is ready.

      Prep room, proofing space, access from prep/proofing to oven, cooling space are all going to need to be considered. I'd definitely be looking a building a enclosure/structure so you can work throughout the year (in relative comfort ).

      Looking forward to your continued progress & business success!
      Mike Stansbury - The Traveling Loafer
      Roseburg, Oregon

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