Author Topic: Oven fire due to alcohol from yeast fermentation  (Read 1950 times)

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Offline aeb

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Oven fire due to alcohol from yeast fermentation
« on: July 01, 2012, 06:16:21 PM »
Anybody ever have a fire like this?  I had one today. 500F electric oven.


Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Oven fire due to alcohol from yeast fermentation
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2012, 08:04:29 PM »
In a dough? No possible way. It was something else. Grease maybe.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline aeb

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Re: Oven fire due to alcohol from yeast fermentation
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2012, 08:26:18 PM »
No grease. Was pre-baking crust on ungreased aluminum pan, no toppings on pizza. Opened oven, blue flame on top of crust, strong smell of alcohol.

Offline scott123

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Re: Oven fire due to alcohol from yeast fermentation
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2012, 12:04:53 AM »
The alcohol content of dough is way too low to burn.  It's lower than beer and we all know that beer can't be ignited.  It's got to be something else.

Offline David Deas

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Re: Oven fire due to alcohol from yeast fermentation
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2012, 12:29:52 AM »
I've done that before with heavily fermented doughs.

When I launch a heavily fermented skin sometimes I can get a good size bubble that goes on to pop (or I pop it, which is usually the case when I detect a runaway bubble).  It can result in a cool little fire breathing volcano at that spot.

Keep in mind that it is not very difficult to ignite dilute solutions of ethanol on the stove.  Sometimes, in fact, a particular recipe will call for it.

Admittedly, I've never had this happen at 500 degrees.  Anytime I have ever gotten an alcohol flame from a skin it's been at around 1000 degrees give or take.

Overall it's harmless.  It's never been any sort of safety issue whether baking inside or outside.  But it sounds like you might need to ramp down your fermentation routine a bit.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2012, 12:51:32 AM by David Deas »

Offline dmcavanagh

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Re: Oven fire due to alcohol from yeast fermentation
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2012, 08:09:41 AM »
Wow. your dough must be developing hooch, how the hell long are you letting it ferment? ???

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Oven fire due to alcohol from yeast fermentation
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2012, 09:49:44 AM »
I'm really surprised there is enough ethanol to make a flame. I'm surprised you can even see the flame. If there is any yellow in the flame, I bet it's oil not ethanol or both maybe. Sometimes I see little jets of flame jump off my pies when I dome them, but they are caused my water boiling on the surface and spitting up oil which spontaneously ignites.

I really have a hard time believing that you would get an ethanol flame at 500F. The autoignition temperature is 684F. For ethanol to burn at 500F, you would need an external source of ignition - a spark or something.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: Oven fire due to alcohol from yeast fermentation
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2012, 10:18:23 AM »
I thought it was nearly impossible to see an alcohol flame. I remember this from watching dragsters running on alcohol.
I've never heard of this either, when you get a bubble to form on the dough it will contain some alcohol, but it will also contain a good portion of vaporized water too.
I've seen this happen when someone didn't set their oven to a temperature below the flash point of oil (about 435F) when seasoning pans, what happens then is the oven fills with smoke, lots of it, and when the door is opened, POOF! Your share of excitement for the week all in just a second or two. Before the days of fail safe pilot light gas valves, I once had an oven go out on me, I opened the door to vent the gas and hit the ignition switch, The oven was not fully ventilated, the spark ignited the gas, and the following explosion, resulting in a large yellow fire ball, blew the door off of the oven and removed my eyebrows as well as ignited the paper cap I was wearing. Shortly after that the oven was fitted with the latest gas safety devices.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline aeb

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Re: Oven fire due to alcohol from yeast fermentation
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2012, 12:05:29 PM »
Yes, I looked up the autoignition temperature this morning & got the same thing. Maybe something in the bottom of the oven flared up and ignited ethanol on top of the untopped unoiled skin. The flame was not 100% blue, it had some yellow to it, was hovering above the skin and pretty wide (10-12"). Actually browned that side of the skin pretty evenly.

I fermented at room temperature for about 2 days. Used this recipe except cut the salt in half (which I know salt slows down fermentation):  http://www.pizzamaking.com/thincrust.php.

Is it normal to have strong alcohol smell when you open the oven?

Thanks for all the feedback.

Offline pizzaneer

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Re: Oven fire due to alcohol from yeast fermentation
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2012, 12:11:49 PM »
I thought it was nearly impossible to see an alcohol flame. I remember this from watching dragsters running on alcohol.
I've never heard of this either, when you get a bubble to form on the dough it will contain some alcohol, but it will also contain a good portion of vaporized water too.
I've seen this happen when someone didn't set their oven to a temperature below the flash point of oil (about 435F) when seasoning pans, what happens then is the oven fills with smoke, lots of it, and when the door is opened, POOF! Your share of excitement for the week all in just a second or two. Before the days of fail safe pilot light gas valves, I once had an oven go out on me, I opened the door to vent the gas and hit the ignition switch, The oven was not fully ventilated, the spark ignited the gas, and the following explosion, resulting in a large yellow fire ball, blew the door off of the oven and removed my eyebrows as well as ignited the paper cap I was wearing. Shortly after that the oven was fitted with the latest gas safety devices.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Dude, that made me ROFL.  Please, please post some video!

I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.


Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: Oven fire due to alcohol from yeast fermentation
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2012, 03:57:28 PM »
Aeb;
I've never identified a strong alcohol aroma when opening the oven door during baking. I've detected a strong fermentation aroma (a mix of alcohol, carbon dioxide, and acids) but never specifically alcohol. Weird!
That's what makes life so interesting...new things happening all the time.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline aeb

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Re: Oven fire due to alcohol from yeast fermentation
« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2012, 11:28:43 PM »
OK, well I appreciate all the replies everyone!

Offline Don K

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Re: Oven fire due to alcohol from yeast fermentation
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2012, 01:24:01 AM »
Is it normal to have strong alcohol smell when you open the oven?
That depends on how much you've had to drink and also whether you spilled any on yourself.
The member formerly known as Colonel_Klink

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Oven fire due to alcohol from yeast fermentation
« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2012, 11:33:43 AM »
That depends on how much you've had to drink and also whether you spilled any on yourself.

Now my monitor has a strong alcohol smell  :-D
Pizza is not bread.

Offline atom

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Re: Oven fire due to alcohol from yeast fermentation
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2012, 11:55:30 AM »
Well... I can see this being quite possible actually. A lower concentration of a flammable that is heated up becomes more flammable. Think of a charcoal grill, pour that fluid on the charcoal and light it and you get a very slow but steady flame. Now when that flame goes out douse the HOT charcoal again with fluid and then light it... POOOOOOF no eyebrows!


 

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