Author Topic: My first sourdough Nearlypolitan in my homemade WFO  (Read 25900 times)

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Offline Michael130207

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New pizza topping in my mortarless WFO
« Reply #25 on: June 06, 2012, 01:27:27 PM »
I don't have a materials list but if you scroll back through the thread you probably can easily reproduce it from the pictures. Also check this thread out http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,18213.0.html

Made some pies last weekend. Used Caputo OO flour but I think I underworked it and let it over rise. Had difficulty getting the dough balls out of proofing box. Pies weren't too bad though.

I'm not sure if others have done this topping combination.  It occured to me after I read some posts with Lemon pizzas to do a Piccata style pie with capers, fresh mozz, lemons, and parsley. Definetly one of my new favorites!
Michael


Offline Michael130207

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Re: Last nights pies in my homemade WFO
« Reply #26 on: June 30, 2012, 11:00:27 AM »
These are likely the final pies from my first generation mortarless oven. I am planning on taking it apart tomorrow and starting work on an improved design. The new design will incorporate some of the helpful advice from forum members. A chimney will be added as well as more insulation and a slightly larger floor area. It will reuse almost all of the original materials. I am excited to start work as the flaws of the original design are starting to irritate me. I will post photos of my progress and list of materials for anyone interested. Anyway the following pies are as follows:
1) Margherita
2) Salted capers, fresh mozz, lemon zest and juice, arugula
3) Peking duck, hoisin sauce, green onions
4) Mushroom

Mike
« Last Edit: June 30, 2012, 11:02:42 AM by Michael130207 »
Michael

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Re: My first sourdough Nearlypolitan in my homemade WFO
« Reply #27 on: June 30, 2012, 11:05:22 AM »
They all look great, and that Margherita is spectacular. It is without a doubt one of the finest looking pies I've ever seen from a mortarless WFO - or any oven for that matter. Bravo!
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, commercial yeast when we must, but always great pizza."
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Offline Michael130207

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Re: My first sourdough Nearlypolitan in my homemade WFO
« Reply #28 on: June 30, 2012, 12:23:15 PM »
Thanks for your kind words Craig. I still have a ways to go but I feel like I am getting there. You and others on this forum are a constant source of inspiration and knowledge.
Michael

scott123

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Re: My first sourdough Nearlypolitan in my homemade WFO
« Reply #29 on: June 30, 2012, 11:44:31 PM »
Michael, I kind of prefer the look of the better lit Margherita from your earlier bake, but that could just be down to lighting.  These are all great looking pizzas.

I look forward to the next generation oven.

Are you going with an offset door this time?  I've been pondering this a bit and I think an offset chimney might be a good idea also (opposite corner from the fire) so the hot smoke travels across the entire ceiling before venting. Ideally, if you could find a chimney that could fill the spot of two bricks, then you could move the chimney to any point on the ceiling and test how it works. You might get better draw with the chimney closer to the fire, but you also might get better fuel efficiency and a hotter overall dome if the chimney is further from the fire.

What's your current dome height?

Are you going with perlcrete again for the insulation? Have you considered insulating firebrick?  It'll cost more, but insulating firebrick should be free standing so you won't have to strap it like perlcrete. You can get a lot of blanket insulation for less than $100 and that should be able to be draped over the oven, but my concern is that the firebricks might have gaps that let some of the glass fiber through. You probably don't want to eat those fibers and you definitely don't want to breath them in.

You're going with a platform this time, right? Cinderblock?

What's your projected budget for mortarless 2.0?

When you take this oven apart, could you take a long hard look at all the angle iron?  I'd like to get a better idea of how well the angle iron is holding up in this high heat environment.

Offline Michael130207

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Re: My first sourdough Nearlypolitan in my homemade WFO
« Reply #30 on: July 01, 2012, 09:11:17 AM »
Scott you are definitely a keen observer. One of my biggest frustrations is that the oven likes to live at about 700 on the floor without constant fire management. As a result the bakes often deteriorate over time as the oven cools, especially if I am eating and entertaining while baking. These pies were about a half hour apart in the order you see them. It was 100F out as I was baking them so I wasn't as motivated to keep the fire blazing. I much prefer the first one as well which was baked with an 800F floor. They are KABF as I ran out of Caputo.

I plan on fiddling with a couple of the issues you raised after I build the oven. I am going to start with a dome height of 9 inches, down from the current 11.5 inches by removing a row of wall brick. I will add it back if it is too low. There are three rows of brick from front to back, 9 inches per row for 27 inches, the front row will be lowered to 7.5 inches creating a downward sloping roof.

I widened the oven to 31.5 inches so I plan on initially having the door and chimney centered but I can easily shift both to the side opposite the fire to see which works best. I plan on using a diamond blade on my chop saw to nibble away a 2 inch by 4 inch notch on two bricks over which I will place a six inch round clay chimney pipe. That will give me a 4 by 4 inch chimney opening that I can move around. I hope the bricks will stay intact, if not I will try your suggestion but I was concerned a 9 by 9 chimney would be too big.

It appears so far the angle iron is intact but I will post some photos of it. This issue has concerned me the most. It has kept me from making the design more permanent which would allow me to better insulate it. The risk of ceramic fiber getting into my food, as you point out, has prevented me from using the blankets. Thus I had a local metal shop cut me 1/4 inch thick angle iron for my new project. They are beefy and beautiful. The new irons are 1/4 inch thick, 1 1/4 by 1 1/4 by 36 inches. Total cost for 10 of them was $80, well worth it as they are the achilles heel of the oven. After I am satisfied with the oven configuration I plan on building a form around it and encasing it in perlcrete, covering it in bonding cement and possibly tiling it.

The platform was a tough decision. I really like using it as a outdoor fireplace after bakes. It needs to be high enough to be comfortable but low enough to sit in front of and enjoy the heat on cold nights. Unlike the other design parameters I had to commit to the height without the ability to easily adjust it. I decided to make the floor 28 inches off the ground. I plan on sitting on a stool as I launch pizzas, We'll see how it works out. The base will be made out of pressure treated lumber. Nine 6 by 6 inch posts with 2 by 8 inch joists spaced every 6 inches, over which 16 inch by 2 inch thick concrete pavers will be placed, over which 4 inches of perlcrete will be poured. I was concerned it wouldn't be strong and stiff enough so I believe I probably overbuilt it. I haven't finished it but 3 base components are pictured below.

The additional cost for the platform was $200. The Angle Iron cost $80. I plan on an additional $70-100 of perlcrete. Excluding tile work and other decorative touches I believe the whole project will be under $800. Thanks for your suggestions. I am excited to get started!
Michael

Offline shuboyje

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Re: My first sourdough Nearlypolitan in my homemade WFO
« Reply #31 on: July 01, 2012, 11:17:42 AM »
Be sure to put an expansion gasket in if you Plan to tile.  It's an issue in dealing with right now on my oven.
-Jeff

Offline Michael130207

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Re: My first sourdough Nearlypolitan in my homemade WFO
« Reply #32 on: July 01, 2012, 10:34:19 PM »
Thanks, Where do you mean exactly?
Michael

Offline Michael130207

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Re: My first sourdough Nearlypolitan in my homemade WFO
« Reply #33 on: July 01, 2012, 10:50:29 PM »
Got started on my build today. ;D.

Broke down the original oven. Everything seems pretty well intact. I am attaching a photo of the angle iron that has been in use in my oven for the last 2-3 months, for maybe 15 firings or so. To my eye there is no change in the integrity of the iron. Regardless,  I feel better with the new iron which I have also attached a picture of.

I am sorry this thread probably now belongs in the hearth oven equipment section but I don't know how to switch it.
Michael


scott123

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Re: My first sourdough Nearlypolitan in my homemade WFO
« Reply #34 on: July 02, 2012, 01:50:29 AM »
Michael, I think the 9" dome is a good choice.  That's what I would go with. There's been copious discussions about hearth to dome ratios, but, at the end of the day, I think, for Neapolitan pizza, it's better to err a bit on the low dome side than on the high.

I'm not sure about the downward sloping roof.  Are you using this as a way to remove the throat?  The way you had the throat before- that was excellent, imo.  The throat just needed insulation. If it's a sloped roof + similar throat, I guess that might be okay- when you say 'sloped' you really mean 'stepped' roof, correct?

If you're taking the chimney route, which, imo, along with the increase in size, are the primary goals of this revamp, you really need to do the chimney right.  Chimneys are all about laminar flow.  No lips or protrusions. The 4 x 4 opening leading to the 6" pipe? That's not so good. If you've got a 6" pipe, you pretty much need a 6" opening so the gasses vent smoothly.

I did some research on this last night and think I came up with a possible solution.  Basically, you can buy rectangular clay chimney liner that matches the dimension of firebrick (4.5" x 8.5"):

http://superiorclay.com/flue-liners.php

This way, your chimney replaces one brick.  The 1.25" lip on the angle iron gives you an opening of 6.5". If the liner is .5" thick, that means that the opening for the liner is 7.5". The 1/2" overlap (on both sides) of iron isn't ideal, but, I think, once, you get the position of chimney you want, you can take a hacksaw to the angle iron, and, for the section where the chimney sits, you can cut the lip to be .75" rather than 1.25".  That will ensure proper laminar flow.

One other nice thing about the 4.5 x 8.5 liner is that it vents a tiny bit less than 6" pipe, but not dramatically less (23 sq. inch vs. 28- the equivalent of 5.5" pipe). It should work well for this size oven.

The extra thick angle iron is pretty sexy, but... if the angle iron is rusting out because of the heat, the extra thickness is only buying you time. From the photos of the old iron, though, it looks pretty good. If you really want some extra piece of mind, try lathering the old angle with some naval jelly.  That will eat away at the rust and show how much of the metal you lost.  This has been exposed to the elements as well, correct? Are you planning on weatherproofing mortarless 2.0?

If you ever do major entertaining, sitting at the oven can be a bit of a drag.  It sounds like a little late for this, but if you want to watch a fire burn, you can get fire pits for very little.  Instead of looking in a slit, you can watch the glory of the whole flame in a pit. With a fire pit serving fireplace duties, you can raise the height of the oven and use it at shoulder level. Just an idea ;)

If this oven can do what I expect it to, under $800 will be a steal. I think, thanks to the pioneering work that you've done, that the people that follow in your footsteps might be able to trim off a bit of that expense, considering that they won't be going through the different iterations.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2012, 04:27:50 PM by scott123 »

Offline Michael130207

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Re: My first sourdough Nearlypolitan in my homemade WFO
« Reply #35 on: July 02, 2012, 09:10:08 AM »
Scott, I think your chimney solution is definitely the way to go. After you pointed it out it seems obvious. Funny how you get blinders on once you start heading down a road. I tried to cut the 1/8 inch angle iron with a hack saw when I first started this project and after 5 minutes got almost nowhere. Amazing how tough that stuff is. Broke out the angle grinder. I don't think the extra half inch will matter though.

As far as the angle iron goes there is only minimal surface patina/rust can almost remove it by rubbing with my finger. Corrosion is definitely the question. While the strength is probably about halved at 1200F even the 1/8 inch is plenty strong fully intact. Time is definitely the issue with the thickness. I figured for the extra money, I will hopefully be doubling the lifetime. The question is, am I going from 6 to 12 months or more like 5 to 10 years. Im guessing and hoping for the later.

I did mean stepped roof, but upon further reflection I think I will keep it simple and just leave the roof a flat 9 inches all around. I suppose if the simple solution worked why complicate it. I think you are right, it is more about insulation.

I kept the oven covered when not in use so it was somewhat protected. I plan on covering the perlcrete in surface bonding cement once all experimenting is complete. If that holds for a while without much cracking may tile over it. Still plan on throwing a cover over it when not in use.
Michael

Offline RobynB

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Re: My first sourdough Nearlypolitan in my homemade WFO
« Reply #36 on: July 02, 2012, 12:29:51 PM »
Scott123 said:
Quote
Michael, I think the 9" dome is a good choice.  That's what I would go with. There's been copious discussions about hearth to dome ratios, but, at the end of the day, I think, for Neapolitan pizza, it's better to err a bit on the low dome side than on the high.

I agree.  Everyone was kind of shocked that our oven dome is only 9.5" high at the highest point, but I'm very very happy with it.  If your main goal is Neapolitan pizza, the low dome will be good.  Just don't plan on doing a lot of grilling or roasting in there, it's a little tight.  But I've baked bread and we cut the legs down on a Tuscan grill and we can still do steaks, etc. 

Offline Michael130207

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Re: My first sourdough Nearlypolitan in my homemade WFO
« Reply #37 on: July 03, 2012, 03:34:07 PM »
Man is it hot out today!  Got the platform in place. Leveled some left over 8 by 8 pavers on compacted sand/clay. Place 6 by 6 vertical members on them and married everything up with 2 by 8s and coated 4 inch lag bolts. Placed 2 inch by 16 inch by 16 inch pavers on top of the platform. We don't get a very deep freeze in Maryland and the sandy soil drains well, so I'm hoping that I won't get significant shifting of the feet of the platform. If I were to do this in a colder climate it wouldn't be hard to decrease the number of vertical members to four and pour concrete piers below the frost line. Hope I'm not boring everybody but wanted to give enough details so that anyone that wants to can recreate it.
Michael

scott123

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Re: My first sourdough Nearlypolitan in my homemade WFO
« Reply #38 on: July 03, 2012, 07:14:47 PM »
Michael, a platformed WFO without a foundation is a little scary, imo, but it sounds like you know what you're doing.

I like the use of the pavers.

Offline JConk007

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Re: My first sourdough Nearlypolitan in my homemade WFO
« Reply #39 on: July 03, 2012, 09:26:15 PM »
wow! you could land a helicopter on that base ! well done
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Offline Michael130207

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Re: My first sourdough Nearlypolitan in my homemade WFO
« Reply #40 on: July 03, 2012, 09:46:33 PM »
Thanks I couldn't help but do a little dance on top of it when I finished. Hope the neighbors weren't watching.

Regarding the foundation, Fair point, It did occur to me too. I wouldn't pass on a foundation for a critical structure. I agree there is a risk of settling. No mortar to crack though, only the enclosure would suffer. I have thought it odd when I see advertisements for metal stands for turnkey ovens that there aren't warnings or specs for the patio or foundation. The oven is not very heavy, probably 1500lbs at most including the platform. That's only 170 lbs per 8 by 8 paver which are sitting on top of a small amount of gravel and landscaping cloth above the compacted sandy soil.  However in the unlikely event that it does settle I will either jack it up and add gravel or take it apart and start again. I think I will be fine though.

Not wanting to put in a permanent foundation was one of the main reasons I went this route. Between septic tanks and rain water runoff paths I haven't found a good spot for one. Otherwise I would have probably gone the traditional route with slab, block, and cast oven.
Michael

Offline Michael130207

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Re: My first sourdough Nearlypolitan in my homemade WFO
« Reply #41 on: July 10, 2012, 12:22:10 PM »
Added some cross bracing and supports for the wood storage area over the weekend. I poured the insulating slab today. I had to go with vermiculite as my supplier was out of perlite and I didn't want to wait another week. From what I could find on the forum it doesn't seem to matter much. Hope I don't regret it. I went with a slightly thicker slab than last time. I will place the old slab on the roof of the new oven.  Did a mix of 6:1. It was convenient to measure out the proportions using 5 gallon and 2.5 gallon pails. I premixed all the dry components ahead of time and put in garbage pails so I could mix them and pour it quickly. Mixed them in a 6 cu ft wheelbarrow. It took four batches. I used 55 gallons of vermiculite and 9 gallons of portland cement for the 4ft X 4ft by 5.75 inch slab. Framed in the slab with 2X6's that I will reuse for the wood storage area beneath the platform.

For anyone who is keeping track of the cost the vermiculite was $27 per bag and I used almost 3 bags and one bag of portland cement $15, will use the rest when insulating the top of the oven. Beyond the health implications I wonder how the cost for R value compares with the fiberboard. I think my total insulation costs are going to reach about $150-$200 for the total project

Any thoughts on how long I should let it dry before assembling the oven?
Michael


Offline moose13

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Re: My first sourdough Nearlypolitan in my homemade WFO
« Reply #42 on: July 11, 2012, 10:17:57 PM »
Sweet, curious to watch this build.

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Re: My first sourdough Nearlypolitan in my homemade WFO
« Reply #43 on: July 12, 2012, 03:09:21 AM »
looking good so far. Can't wait to see the pies
Jon
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Offline Michael130207

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Re: My first sourdough Nearlypolitan in my homemade WFO
« Reply #44 on: July 14, 2012, 02:29:12 PM »
Watching concrete dry sure is painfully slow but I didn't want to ruin it at this point. Has been 4.5 days of drying and I had to start playing with it. Feels pretty dry and solid. Spread out a layer of sand by nailing 1/8 inch scrap wood to concrete form and dragging a straight edge across it. Laid out brick floor and called it a day, didn't want to push my luck. Seems to fit pretty flat and tight. I can see why people use large cast floor tiles. Will give it a few more days before I put up the rest of the structure.
Michael


Offline Michael130207

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Re: My first sourdough Nearlypolitan in my homemade WFO
« Reply #46 on: July 17, 2012, 02:12:39 PM »
It has been a week and I couldn't wait any longer to get started. I know there is still moisture in the slab but it has been baking in the sun, 98F today, for a while now and since there are plenty of joints in the floor it can escape there as I fire it.

I tried to get a 4.5 by 8.5 chimney from my local brick guy but struck out. I did end up exchanging my 5 inch interior diameter 9 inch long chimney for a 4 inch diameter 12 inch long one. I was able to cut some cross members out of angle iron and fit it into the ceiling at the front end opposite the fire side. I got some fireclay and mixed it 1:1 with sand. The gaps around the chimney and the gaps at the end of each row of ceiling brick, created by the thickness of the angle iron, where patched with it. Curious if that will stay in place.

To form the ceiling I laid rows of the brick and then laid another layer of half thickness brick to cover all the seams. I hope this will keep any debris from the perlcrete from falling through and add to the mass of the ceiling. Total ceiling thickness is 3.75 inches. Another approach that occurred to me would be to get some copper flashing on the thicker side and use that instead of the second layer of brick. I believe copper is good up to 2000F but is rather expensive and hard to find on the thicker side and without adhesive backing.

The door is 7 inches by 17 inches.

Used all my old insulating pads with fencing to insulate all the sides.

Burned some newspaper and cardboard to observe the draft, seems pretty good. Will have to wait for a real fire to see for sure.

After I test it out and tweak it, I will cover it all in perlcrete and try to smooth out the appearance of the out shell.
Michael

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Re: My first sourdough Nearlypolitan in my homemade WFO
« Reply #47 on: July 17, 2012, 02:20:35 PM »
Why not get some sort of metal HVAC pipe for the chimney? If you could get a couple feet, I think it might really help draw with that small diameter.

CL
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, commercial yeast when we must, but always great pizza."
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Offline Michael130207

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Re: My first sourdough Nearlypolitan in my homemade WFO
« Reply #48 on: July 17, 2012, 02:30:45 PM »
I might try that if this doesn't create enough draw. Or I can grab another foot length of this pipe for $10 and just add them together with clay or mortar. With no other surrounding structures to affect the plume and good insulation on the oven, I am not sure a longer chimney will get me much more draw. The draw is a function of the buoyancy of gases created by the temperature difference between the chimney exit gas temp and the temp of the surrounding air. Additional draw can be created with air flow past the top of the chimney creating low pressure. Without another structure interfering with the flow of air over the chimney or something causing negative pressure at the oven door I don't think a longer chimney gets you anything. I could be wrong though, I don't have a lot of experience with chimneys.
Michael

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Re: My first sourdough Nearlypolitan in my homemade WFO
« Reply #49 on: July 17, 2012, 02:53:59 PM »
Chimney height can make a pretty big difference.

At 70F outside and 900F inside, with a 4" diameter chimney, going from 1' to 3' would almost double your ideal flow rate.

Here is a calculator someone at FB put together:
http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/attachments/28/13735d1250904623-chimney-flow-rate-calculator-chimney-flow-rate-calculator-082109.zip

"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, commercial yeast when we must, but always great pizza."
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