For some reason I decided to fire up the LBE last night, without making any further modifications, early in the afternoon yesterday. I'm glad I did.
I threw together what I would consider to be an emergency dough (32% starter, 1.5hrs bulk, 4 hrs balled), the quickest dough I have ever made and didn't have my usual ingredients. For the first time I used a can of crushed tomatoes (Whole Foods) and it was not as bad as I thought it would be. The point was to be able to throw some pizzas together for cooking tests, not for the quality of the actual pies themselves.
I fired up the propane tank and it fizzled within one minute...I got 31 pizzas out of that inaugural tank. I rushed to Safeway and got a new tank.
There must have been something wrong with that first actual propane tank itself, because there was a noticeable difference in the sound level of the LBE when turned to full steam tonight. I thought it was loud before, but it was a little louder tonight....roaring.
The impact on the bake was noticeable. I finally got some good top heat going and knocked out all of the pies in a cook time of 3:30 to 3:45 at a launch temperature of 640°F. So, all of the previous roof experiments may have been in vain due to what appears to be a somehow faulty tank. Next step is to add an airflow director in addition to the 14" carbon steel wok I have in the lid now and try some test pizzas launched between 675°F and 750°F to see if I can get a 2:00ish pie done.
Still not where I want to be, but definitely a big difference in how the tops were cooking last night. I'm look forward to future tinkering and my frustration level has subsided.
A simple, thrown together marinara from last night straight from the cell phone. Need better browning on the inner lip of the rim. Blah, blah. --K