Author Topic: Newbie WFO questions and answers  (Read 37191 times)

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Offline ponzu

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Re: Newbie WFO questions and answers
« Reply #520 on: May 31, 2011, 01:34:55 PM »
Thank you Larry, Peter, and Bill.  


I already have ideas for the next one should I ever have to move.  

Such as?

Did you not fire up that beauty over the weekend?  Show us the pizzas!

AZ
« Last Edit: May 31, 2011, 01:38:35 PM by ponzu »


Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Newbie WFO questions and answers
« Reply #521 on: May 31, 2011, 09:52:55 PM »
Thank you very much guys!   And a big thanks to all the experts and experienced members who joined in to discuss various aspects of the build.  It all helped a lot and made the build process go smoother.

Alexi, unfortunately I wasn't able to fire her up this pass weekend.  I was oncall the whole weekend and we already had a BBQ planned.  

I'm going to plan on having different ppl show up every other weekend or so, so I have an excuse to fire the oven.   I can't justify firing her up for just 2 pizzas.   In the meantime, I'll continue with the dough experiments in the LBE.  

As far as doing things different:

-I would spend the extra for real stone and not brick veneer.  I would also make sure the stone matches what I ordered before installing it.  
-As far as an oven goes.  Hopefully by then there will be many more choices to choose from.  Robyn's FGM oven looks like a really nice contender.
-I would maybe install an ash dump towards the front of the vent landing.  
-hopefully I will grow into the 40" oven.  As of now, I think the 36" would have been plenty for me.
-Plan for more time for the project to absorb unexpected delays.  

Not too much else.  I would say overall, the project was hugely successful and the guys we picked for this project did an outstanding job.  I couldn't have picked better guys for the project.  

Chau
 


Offline RobynB

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Re: Newbie WFO questions and answers
« Reply #522 on: May 31, 2011, 10:13:34 PM »
Funny!  My FGM came with an ash dump that I am refusing to install as I think it's ugly - it looks like a mailbox!  You want it?   :P

Here's a crummy photo of the display model with it's ash dump installed.  Blech.

Offline JConk007

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Re: Newbie WFO questions and answers
« Reply #523 on: May 31, 2011, 10:34:37 PM »
Chau,
Excellent   points on the build. Natural stone turned out much cheaper for me but time was not an issue.  Also I really like my home size Earthstone 90 now that I have some experience, if I do 2 at a time its a lot, and often do parties for 20+ people. My new oven is 40" and planning on 3- 12's in there no problem! after that it becomes a serious dance of the turning peel anyway. Some people I spoke to said they never did an event where the 40" was not enough If its offeed yes gotta have it. I am hoping I need a 48" sooner than later  ;)
ps- I used the excuse of one more break in fire and use the leftover dough balls to make just 6 pies today

Robyn,
Rain sleet snow or shine the ashes must go in! I agree kinda silly but if you can just stick it on when you clean out it makes sense? I used to vacuum out ever single ash after each burn. No whatever I get with the shovel is fine. The little leftover ashes I cant scoop  stay on board.  No matter how long I burn sometines 8 hrs! I only end up with about 3 shovels full if that. Just close the door and let her go
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Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Newbie WFO questions and answers
« Reply #524 on: May 31, 2011, 10:42:17 PM »
Robyn, I just thought it would be a good idea, but if you say it's ugly I'll take your word for it.    ;)
Ash removal is easy as John says and it's not absolutely necessary to have the inside spotless before the bake. 

John, I meant to ask why you are experimenting with 100% 00 and a lower hydration?  Are you bored or is something missing from your pies?   Me - I'm bored and always looking to learn new things. 

I am mixing dough tonight for Wednesday night's pizza.......in the LBE.  wah - wah.  :-\ :-D

Offline JConk007

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Re: Newbie WFO questions and answers
« Reply #525 on: May 31, 2011, 10:50:11 PM »
Chau,
yes, Looking for something I can use in Fast  production mode  for my WFO that a less experienced person can handle without putting a finger thru each one. Today I re-balled those same pillows from sunday in the Matt thread and set them out for 2 hrs in the dough box and Magic ! perfect ! very easy and fast to spread I would estimate 30 seconds to spread and top with the slap stretch technique it was effortless!
still going to try a  80-20 and %62 just to experiment next time.
I Love to Flirt with Fire! www.flirtingwithfirepizza.com

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Newbie WFO questions and answers
« Reply #526 on: June 06, 2011, 09:43:06 PM »
I was asked in PM if I was still happy with the floor height of 42", so I thought I would answer here so that others considering building might benefit.

Before building I had read/been told that 44" from ground to oven floor is pretty typical.  I am 5'4" and measure both a 42" and 44" hearth height in my kitchen several times as can be seen in reply #75 on page 4.   I tried to simulate turning a pizza using a tape measure extended and a wooden handle.  I did this on several occassions and 42" just seem more comfortable despite others telling me that 44" "looked" better from the pictures I provided. 

I had the base built to 42".  It ended up being 42.5" and there is a 2-3" grading difference from the left side to the right side of the oven.  The oven floor is level but the ground slopes a bit.   As it is, I can see all the way to the back of the oven BUT I do feel it's an inch on the low side.  In hindsight, 44" would have been better I think as that would allow me to look straight back into the oven and not have to lower my line of sight by an inch or 2". 

When I watch videos of WFO's on youtube, often times I see the oven guy have to lower his line of sight by 3-4" inches to see into the oven.  I would think that would be bad on your back if you had to do that multiple times everynight.   

When I took those measurements in my kitchen I had not consider my view into the oven, but only my posture and arm position.   In hindsight, the 44" would have provided a better oven view standing in front of the oven without making any head adjustments.

Robyn, I hope that answers your question.  At 5'2", I think a 42" hearth height would be just right for you. 

Chau

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: Newbie WFO questions and answers
« Reply #527 on: June 06, 2011, 10:18:50 PM »
I also built mine to tool working height, and must bend over to look or back up 3 or 4 feet.  No strain either way, and my kitchen design knowledge says it should be at elbow crook height(42-44 inches), not eye level (50-60 inches).

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Newbie WFO questions and answers
« Reply #528 on: June 06, 2011, 10:26:08 PM »
I agree Tom.  I'm not saying people should place the hearth at eye level at all.  What I am saying is that in hindsight, I thought the few extra inches would have helped rather than harm.    At 42" as can be seen in the pictures my peel would slightly dip down to meet the floor where as the 44", the peel is inline and level with the forearm and hearth.  That's not the same as having the floor at eye level.   I would just prefer to have a little more of the oven in my line of sight while turning a pizza.   Having a hearth at eye level would require a small step ladder to work the pizza.  :-D

Chau
« Last Edit: June 06, 2011, 10:38:55 PM by Jackie Tran »

Offline JConk007

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Re: Newbie WFO questions and answers
« Reply #529 on: June 07, 2011, 07:59:18 AM »
Chau,
I ended up a good 6" above where I planned to be between the grout between the block and the slope of the ground which I also did not consider.Also as it was my first time build  and no one to answer all theses important questions on the build, so I kinda wung it. This forum has come a very long way in the WFO department as you can see by this thread and the various other build threads coming on. (BTW 1st burnt NY style pic is like 5-6 years old!)  I don't know about the shoulder bend that was mentioned but I must say I am Very Happy my hearth is where it is for me its around 52" but keep in mind I am 6'2" tall and I still scooch over a bit to see under the pie but in and out is a snap! To me its more important for your back to have the prep area at the right height as well. Alot more time is spent making pizza after pizza compared to the launch and spin. I say this as a newbie mobile operator ( yes pics are coming) conditions are not allways ideal. (last weekend) working on a portable table thats too low for 3 hours does mess with you back. That monster  oven hearth is way to high as well for the normal person but he wanted to make it mobile (forklift) with the bluestone slab. Also the consider landing area for spinning etc.. is important the monster has none! just another defect of the big guy barrel. 2nd pic shows sky high hearth and low prep table but hey the pizza can still come out OK! Choose your heights wisely Robyn. don't worry about selling If you ever did the buyer would say "thats so cool" but probably wont have a clew whats what as far as where or even what a hearth is :)
John
« Last Edit: June 07, 2011, 08:07:48 AM by JConk007 »
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Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Newbie WFO questions and answers
« Reply #530 on: June 26, 2011, 12:28:31 AM »
Just got done with bake #5 and have to say that the last 2 bakes, I've notice the oven hitting temps of 850 hearth and 1000F+ in the dome in 1.5 hours, about 30m sooner than before.

Not sure if the oven has even itself out as John had previously mentioned or if it is due to the weather being hotter around here (high today of 105), or if the wood is truely seasoned now.  

Either way it is a welcome change.   I think the oven is actually reaching temps shortly after 1 hour as the dome becomes white.   At this point, I push all the coals to one side, clean the baking floor, and throw on a couple more pieces of wood to allow the temps to even out a bit.   While I do this I go inside to gather the final things I need to make NP pies.  

I come out 20-30 minutes later and ready to bake about 1.5 hours from when I first started the fire.  That's pretty darn good in my book.

Having people over and baking pizza for them in the wfo is a real joy, especially when the pies come out good.  
« Last Edit: June 26, 2011, 10:21:53 PM by Jackie Tran »

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Newbie WFO questions and answers
« Reply #531 on: June 26, 2011, 09:35:31 AM »
or if it is due to the weather being hotter around here (high today of 105), or if the wood is truely seasoned now. 

Chau,

It's all about ambient temps and the fuel. In the winter my cold oven can take twice as long to get up to baking temps. 

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Newbie WFO questions and answers
« Reply #532 on: June 26, 2011, 10:14:11 AM »
Thank you Bill, good to know.  I'm sort of learning some of this for the first time as I go along.

chau

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Newbie WFO questions and answers
« Reply #533 on: June 26, 2011, 02:44:13 PM »
Chau,

It's all about ambient temps and the fuel. In the winter my cold oven can take twice as long to get up to baking temps. 

What's winter for you people in the southwest, 60 degrees?  ;)

Chau - it takes my oven one full hour to come up to temps, so 1.5 seems really efficient for the larger size.

John

Offline JConk007

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Re: Newbie WFO questions and answers
« Reply #534 on: June 26, 2011, 09:50:05 PM »
Chau,
 My Earthstone take a solid 2 hrs but my mobile hits  temp in 1 1/2 hrs time good for a 40" hearth at least 800  on the floor and ? off the chart on the dome. Gives me Just enough time to get all the goodies ready! I need to put up some pics of the Mobile this week I promise. NOTE -  I also notice a similar effect with the heat up time, seems to be taking less time after about 4 really strong fires. Any new cracks ? just curious  I have a few in the new mobile ? but still nothing in the earthstone after 6+ years!
Your bake # 5 looks great as usual chef  :chef:
John
« Last Edit: June 26, 2011, 09:51:57 PM by JConk007 »
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Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Newbie WFO questions and answers
« Reply #535 on: June 26, 2011, 09:57:57 PM »
What's winter for you people in the southwest, 60 degrees?  ;)

Chau's a few thousand feet lower than where I am, but we hit 15F below zero last winter.

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Newbie WFO questions and answers
« Reply #536 on: June 26, 2011, 10:36:50 PM »
John, the winters aren't usually terrible around here but it does get pretty cold at times with the wind chill factor.   Because it is high dessert, the temps can plumment at night during the winters.   I recall hearing about temps of 12 below this past winter.

I have also been up in Saskatchewan in the dead of winter, and Albuquerque doesn't get quite that cold.  ;D

John thanks for the compliment of my latest pizza efforts and for posting your heat up times.  I know each oven is different but I'm always curious to know none the less.  Looking forward to seeing the pics of the new mobile.  I'm also curious to know how the heat up times in the mobile compare to that of your Earthstone oven.    

No new cracks.  Hurray!  There are 4 dome pieces plus 1 dome cap.  Each piece has a crack in it.   Some twice the length of the others.   A few are barely visible and can only be seen when the oven is HOT.  After it cools, only a couple are barely noticeable.

Earthstone probably has a superior refractory mix compared to Forno Bravo, who is fairly new at it.  Both your oven and Bill's cement looks strong and durable.    

Also I keep forgetting to mention that the last 2 bakes, I have been putting the door on several hours after the bake with red coals going.  In the morning, there are still live coals in the oven and the temp is above 600F.  

Chau
« Last Edit: June 26, 2011, 10:47:04 PM by Jackie Tran »

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Newbie WFO questions and answers
« Reply #537 on: June 27, 2011, 06:36:24 AM »
Chau's a few thousand feet lower than where I am, but we hit 15F below zero last winter.

I had no idea.

John

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Newbie WFO questions and answers
« Reply #538 on: June 27, 2011, 10:23:58 PM »
Just for curiosity sake, I took the temp of my WFO tonight, which is the 3rd day post bake or roughly 72 hours later and the temp is 275F.   :o

I had a pizza party last Friday night around 6pm and closed the oven with the insulating door at 9pm.  Saturday morning I cracked the door a bit to lower the temp to bake 2 loaves of bread then shut the oven again.  It is typically 600F+ the next morning and I need 450-500F for bread.  The oven stayed closed the rest of Saturday, all day Sunday, and all day Monday today.  It is now 8pm when I took the last reading.  I would say this oven is pretty well insulated.  

Too bad I don't have dough ready tonight as it probably wouldn't take too long to fire it up to temps again. 

Next time I'll have to do some ribs or something on the 3rd day.  

Chau

Offline Tman1

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Re: Newbie WFO questions and answers
« Reply #539 on: June 27, 2011, 11:27:31 PM »
I think learning how to use the residual heat that is still there after the initial firing is a huge benefit.  Ribs on the third day, chicken or turkey on the second.... and of course, bread! Good luck!!!  :chef: