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28" homebrew cast oven in walled enclosure Belgium

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  • Kris S
    replied
    Nobody any idea whether I'm overworrying or not?

    Leave a comment:


  • Kris S
    replied
    Originally posted by DaveNZ View Post
    Hi Kris, thanks for sharing your build, I’m just in the planning phase and has been super useful!

    Could you post some pictures of the final build? Particularly interested to see how you finished the front of the enclosure to protect from heat around the door, and how you sealed the flue. Looks like you boxed around it? Any issues with the wooden enclosure getting warm? I’m looking at doing the same as I have lots of experience building with wood, but not metal framing! Thanks
    Hi DaveNZ,

    I'll try and take some pics of the finished front side, can you do something with the pics in post #86?

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  • Kris S
    replied
    Last weekend we had 2 pizza parties in 2 days, now, a week later I looked inside and was horified to see numerous new, big cracks all around my dome.
    These must have formed during the long cool down because 5 days ago I did not spot any new cracks.

    I'm getting really anxious right now.

    I've attached some pics with comments, in short, I now have one big circular crack all the way around the apex, and numerous horizontal cracks, who seem to be following the contours of the rows and lumps of homebrew while I was casting the dome. after casting I did seem to notice through various other peoples builds that my homebrew was a bit on the dry side, so it seems like the cracks are forming around where my homebrew lumps were.

    It looks really nasty, does anyone have any advice on what to do? David S maybe? I'm afraid to fire the oven again.

    when it says 'first cracks noted' in the pics, I mean these were the first cracks I noted a few month ago.

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  • DaveNZ
    replied
    Hi Kris, thanks for sharing your build, I’m just in the planning phase and has been super useful!

    Could you post some pictures of the final build? Particularly interested to see how you finished the front of the enclosure to protect from heat around the door, and how you sealed the flue. Looks like you boxed around it? Any issues with the wooden enclosure getting warm? I’m looking at doing the same as I have lots of experience building with wood, but not metal framing! Thanks

    Leave a comment:


  • Petter
    replied
    I got small pieces comming loose in the dome where there were casting defects. Most likeky during cooling since no pieces were found when cooking. It occured during full-fire #3-5 and I have not noticed any further degradation.

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  • Kvanbael
    replied
    Originally posted by Kris S View Post
    Good tip kvanbael! Where are you located?
    Sint-Laureins, between Brughes and Ghent.

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  • Kris S
    replied
    Originally posted by Kvanbael View Post

    keep very thin timber at hand. The fire responds so much quicker to it. Even more if you preheat it in the entrance.
    Good tip kvanbael! Where are you located?

    Leave a comment:


  • Kris S
    replied
    Originally posted by Johannes View Post
    mmn, thats bad news indeed....., can you tel if your cracks form during heating or during cooling down afterwards?

    but even so as long as its only a small chip here or there (and they dont fal in the food) i don't think the structural integrity of your dome is in any danger.... is there smoke leaking?
    The cracks were there already from one of the last curing fires. They don't bother me, but after the pizza party I saw the missing chunk and the loose one. The oven floor did reach temps over 500 C though, so maybe that's a factor...

    Can't see any smoke leaking because the dome is enclosed in a house.

    Nobody else had small chips coming loose on the inside of a homebrew cast???

    Leave a comment:


  • Kvanbael
    replied
    Yesterday it was indeed pizza-party-weather (we had 15 ppl over). Your pictures look great! I hope the dome holds up.

    my 2c on pizza baking:
    Excess of flour will indeed burn black. Wipe and-or blow it to the side every few pizzas.
    Btw: a wooden peel slides with less flour.

    keep very thin timber at hand. The fire responds so much quicker to it. Even more if you preheat it in the entrance.

    Leave a comment:


  • Johannes
    replied
    mmn, thats bad news indeed....., can you tel if your cracks form during heating or during cooling down afterwards?

    but even so as long as its only a small chip here or there (and they dont fal in the food) i don't think the structural integrity of your dome is in any danger.... is there smoke leaking?

    Leave a comment:


  • Kris S
    replied
    Now here’s a less pleasant thing to report: I noticed a small chunk of the dome is coming loose, and a bit higher up it appears a small piece has already fallen out!

    Should I panic? I do remember after my casting that other users posts of their casting process looked more wet, my homebrew was a bit on the dry side.

    Patching up is futile I think, I probably wont even be able to reach as well.

    Any input greatly appreciated!

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  • Kris S
    replied
    Hello again! So we had another pizza party, this time we cooked 24.
    Overall all went well, still learning to get better at Neapolitan style pizza making . (couldn’t get semolina flour this time)


    I’m getting better at judging the ideal floor temp (and position for the pizza), I find anywhere between +/- 375 -450 C (+/- 700 – 840 F). higher and the dough/flour immediately burns black which tastes horribly bitter.
    Fire management also getting a little better, learning the importance of having lots of flames going to cook the toppings in the same time it takes the floor to cook the dough. Having and maintaining this good floor / flame equilibrium is still somewhat difficult for me to keep going for a long time, in the end my floor was a little too hot and I had a little too few flames so the tomato sauce and toppings were not quite 100% cooked, but the dough was ready, so I take the pizzas out.

    I had prepared 33 dough balls with a 24hr proof, there were 9 left, so without thinking too much I put the balls in plastic bags and straight to the freezer. The morning after we decided to invite some other friends for pizza again at noon because we still had some toppings and stuff left, so I took them out of the fridge in the morning to quickly thaw at room temp. not ideal because it’s better to let them slowly defrost overnight in the fridge I guess). Once thawed I did a little experiment and re balled 5 and let the other 4 flat and irregular. Should not have re balled them because it took a good 2 hours for them to flatten enough in order to stretch a good bottom. The ones id didn’t ball again were actually good enough to shape the moment they were at room temp.

    These are some pics of the pizzas with the reballed dough from day 2 with left over toppings, they were still somewhat difficult to stretch, so a little smaller and floor / flame balance was not quite right, but they were delicious!

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  • david s
    replied
    While on semolina, you can also use it to test floor temp. A good party trick that I don’t bother with these days. You cast a small amount (about 1/3 tsp) onto the centre of the clean floor. It should suddenly turn black after 3 seconds. 2 secs = too hot, 4 secs= not hot enough. The floor is always too hot for the first pizza, so I simply cook the first one or two pizzas half in the entry where it’s cooler.
    Last edited by david s; 08-03-2021, 01:15 PM.

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  • UtahBeehiver
    replied
    Sometimes the floor just needs a little recharging after a number of pizzas. Rake the coals back over the cooking area, have a beer, then move coals back to side. Blow off ash and on your way again. plus the recharge burns off any spillage. I also use a length of 3/8" SS tubing for my blowpipe. Tape or foam the mouth end since it is really easy to chip a tooth. Some repurposers have use an old golf club shaft.
    Last edited by UtahBeehiver; 08-03-2021, 07:11 AM.

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  • Kris S
    replied
    I'll try the semolina next time! happy to learn and improve.

    After shoving the fire aside, I clean the floor by first brushing the ashes away, and then mopping with a well wrung wet cloth on my turning peel.

    So, yes, I think we use too much flour (it's not ashes on the floor).

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