Author Topic: ALFA Pizza Oven and Other Lower Budget WFOs  (Read 25146 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline shuboyje

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1062
  • Location: Detroit
Re: ALFA Pizza Oven and Other Lower Budget WFOs
« Reply #40 on: July 10, 2012, 05:47:33 PM »
Sorry, I thought you meant flue connector by "throat", and I get your point for the 63% opening. There is an opportunity on the US market for the WFO to be with a lower opening and I will be addressing that with FGM next week as I will be there.
I'll let you what comes out of it.

Antoine

In my humble opinion the oven FGM needs to make, and an oven that could be huge is the US market would have a dome height in the 12" range and a door height in the 8" range.  Round in shape and about 40" in diameter. I would also put an 18" wide door on it so those who want to can launch an 18" New york style pie into that bad boy on rare occasions.   A brick lined version of this oven would take what is already a top notch product to the next level in my book.

I for one really love your presence here.  You seem to have a direct line to FGM, and with your input they could produce the next generation of kit oven that is truly on par with a Neapolitan oven for home use.  From what I've seen they are already very close.
-Jeff


Offline shuboyje

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1062
  • Location: Detroit
Re: ALFA Pizza Oven and Other Lower Budget WFOs
« Reply #41 on: July 10, 2012, 08:49:02 PM »
Hey Jeff,

You built a beautiful oven and your "so it begins' thread is great in so many ways. Thank you for that.
Would you mind explaining why you prefer a 12 1/4 in. dome height(or 12 3/4 as in yours) rather than the 20% lower variety....thanks!

Bob

Thanks Bob.

A 12 3/4" dome height is plenty low enough to produce a 40 second pizza if you desire while still allowing a door height of 8".  I can tell you from experience building a fire inside a 42" oven through a 8 inch door is a challenge.  Building one through a door that is less then 6 inches would be near impossible.  That is what would be required to have the thermal characteristics I am after with a 9" dome height.  I'm not saying that the dimensions of the FGM make it unsuitable, but if you are going to the trouble of custom building you might as well build the oven within ratio.

I should note that my oven dimensions were not based on the door height, they were instead based on my interpretation of the dimensions used to build classic neapolitan ovens.  My dome height was derived by laying out a three centered arch with a 42" base.  The 8" door height was based off the standard door height used on Neapolitan ovens.  It just so turns out that those two numbers work out perfectly with the 63% ratio.  I do not think this is a coincidence.  I did deviate from the classic neapolitan hemispherical door shape slightly to make an 18" wide door so I could launch 18" pizzas.

Hope this helps a bit
   
-Jeff

Offline shuboyje

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1062
  • Location: Detroit
Re: ALFA Pizza Oven and Other Lower Budget WFOs
« Reply #42 on: July 10, 2012, 09:17:57 PM »
Thanks, Jeff, I was hoping you'd chime in because of your background in these matters.

I'm not sure we're on exactly the same page, but I think it's very similar. When I talk about 'throat' I think it's along the same lines as your 'inner door,'  although my 'throat' encompasses the whole entryway. If, for instance, FGM went with a 63% inner door and 63% outer door, but left the rest of the throat the way it is, that would miss the mark as well, imo. The chimney area should be elevated, but I don't think it should be 90% (or higher) either.  Ideally, the entire entryway would be less than 70%- and a bit deeper.

So, if I'm hearing you correctly, a reduction in the inner door height is more critical to the FGM design than the outer door.  Is that correct?  Would an outer door insert, while not being as combustion friendly as an inner door reduction, at least prevent some heat from 'pouring out of the oven?'  Would an outdoor insert be a bit more feasible, since it would involve modifying the inserts they have now?

I'm picturing a cast iron door with a second door within it- two sets of hinges.  When the larger door is opened, you have the full width (for fire tending and larger pizzas) and the smaller door gives you Neapolitan access. It would be nice if the door could be insulated, but that may not be practical.

Finally the last of my many replies, lol.  I've added an image to help explain my terms.  The image should explain why the outer door dimension has little bearing on the ovens function.  It is only the inner door that controls the flow of air in an out of the oven, and it's height that creates a chamber of super heated air in the top of the oven above the door.  This space above the door helps keep the hot air inside the oven a bit longer allowing it to give off more of it's heat before it finally drops low enough to flow out the door and then up the stack.  That should explain why the door insert would need to go on the inner door to reduce it's height and in turn increase the space above the door for better thermal efficiency. 

-Jeff

Online Chicago Bob

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 9814
  • Location: North Carolina
  • Easy peazzy
Re: ALFA Pizza Oven and Other Lower Budget WFOs
« Reply #43 on: July 10, 2012, 10:15:14 PM »
Finally the last of my many replies, lol.  I've added an image to help explain my terms.  The image should explain why the outer door dimension has little bearing on the ovens function.  It is only the inner door that controls the flow of air in an out of the oven, and it's height that creates a chamber of super heated air in the top of the oven above the door.  This space above the door helps keep the hot air inside the oven a bit longer allowing it to give off more of it's heat before it finally drops low enough to flow out the door and then up the stack.  That should explain why the door insert would need to go on the inner door to reduce it's height and in turn increase the space above the door for better thermal efficiency. 


Nice call on adding an insert...wonder how long it would/will take now for FGM to be adding this new accessory to their catalog. Any thoughts on that Scott...would it be easier for them to just incorporate that design into a whole new build or is that crazy mans talk? Also,if a guy wanted to add this insert you talked about am I correct in assuming that one would want to fashion it in a way that when it's butted up to the oven just inside the U piece you would want to bypass/minimize some of that vent channel...will this give you more heat? And, depending on the depth of the insert you can get the more advantageous throat you mentioned? Sorta two birds with one insert..



shuboyje,

Does it look like I am understanding this correctly?  Thanks.

Bob
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline italdream

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 231
Re: ALFA Pizza Oven and Other Lower Budget WFOs
« Reply #44 on: July 11, 2012, 04:25:28 PM »
I wanted to give an update about my quest for a lower budget "neapolitan-style" oven. Having ruled out stand-alone pre-assembled WFOs, I turned my attention to oven kits. Based on my understanding and people's opinion on this forum, FGM seems the closest to what I'd like to get.

However, it turns out that I would likely need a building permit to install a kit in an outdoor setting, even if it is set up on a metal stand. In fact, the cement slab would be seen as construction, regardless if the stand is metal or cement. This changes things from a budget stand-point and makes any DYI option harder (plans, drawing, BP application etc.). In other words, the oven kit becomes a little, albeit very important tile, in a more complicated puzzle.

I have a call out to the building inspector in my town to confirm my preliminary findings about need for a permit. But if this turns out to be true, sub-$4K ovens become unattainable, at least in areas like mine where a building permit is required. The DIY route becomes much harder.

Offline Michael130207

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 138
  • Location: Maryland
Re: ALFA Pizza Oven and Other Lower Budget WFOs
« Reply #45 on: July 11, 2012, 04:45:27 PM »
Depending on where you live the requirement for a building permit will certainly change. Your building inspector will be able to give you details, however some are more helpful than others. Make sure to ask what it is about your design that triggers the need for a permit. In many areas if the total height is below a certain height (often 6 feet) or a certain square footage (64 square feet where I live). If you are going the metal stand route and want to avoid a concrete slab, you could put it on a patio with a base of compacted crushed stone covered in pavers.
Michael

Online Chicago Bob

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 9814
  • Location: North Carolina
  • Easy peazzy
Re: ALFA Pizza Oven and Other Lower Budget WFOs
« Reply #46 on: July 11, 2012, 05:23:56 PM »
Not trying to be a wise guy but why in the world would you want to have to deal with a building inspector just to put a 'lil 'ol oven in your back yard?
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline italdream

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 231
Re: ALFA Pizza Oven and Other Lower Budget WFOs
« Reply #47 on: July 11, 2012, 06:54:30 PM »
Not a problem. But do you mean i should just go ahead and do it without a permit  8), or forget about the whole thing until i am ready to fork out at least $7K to 10K?
« Last Edit: July 11, 2012, 07:59:25 PM by italdream »

Offline JConk007

  • Vendor
  • *
  • Posts: 3644
  • Location: New Jersey
  • Lovin my Oven!
    • Flirting with Fire
Re: ALFA Pizza Oven and Other Lower Budget WFOs
« Reply #48 on: July 11, 2012, 11:22:54 PM »
 spend $5K  and get a Permit (i did ) if your house burns down (very extreme case be hey you never know ) do you  think your insurance might frown upon your uninspected oven.?
I like the finish of the FGM but I believe its a finish Scott, not actual brick full size bindividual brick ? as with the forno picola ? Those doors are too big also !! same with Pavesi its a " brick finish"  I  really like the 950 B and highly recommend  it . I think if FGM can get that on some type of a stand ready to cook (with a slighlty smaller door)  for under 5K they have a real hit !
John
I Love to Flirt with Fire! www.flirtingwithfirepizza.com

Offline BrickStoneOven

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1586
  • Location: Boston
Re: ALFA Pizza Oven and Other Lower Budget WFOs
« Reply #49 on: July 11, 2012, 11:22:59 PM »
Not a problem. But do you mean i should just go ahead and do it without a permit  8), or forget about the whole thing until i am ready to fork out at least $7K to 10K?

If you need a permit get it, because if you spend the money and you have to pay a fine or take it down after you spent money is going to suck. FWIW I didn't have to get one and I'm in MA. The only thing I did was call DigSafe.


Online Chicago Bob

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 9814
  • Location: North Carolina
  • Easy peazzy
Re: ALFA Pizza Oven and Other Lower Budget WFOs
« Reply #50 on: July 12, 2012, 09:51:00 AM »
Not a problem. But do you mean i should just go ahead and do it without a permit  8),
That is exactly what I mean. And stop talking to that inspector...you didn't give him your address yet I hope.

How is a 'lil WFO sitting quietly behind your house ever going to draw the type of attention that would cause someone from the city to come to you and say it's got to go? If your relationship with your neighbors is that bad then you prolly aren't doing this anyway. Permits serve a good purpose and they have their place...jus not here.You're not planning some out of the ordinary, wierd eyesore are you?

Insurance company? Burn barrels, fire rings, outdoor fireplaces, tiki torches, a nice roaring bbq grill.....waaay more dangerous,an how many of those come U.L. approved. 'Cmon, a door and a chimmny
cap is your "insurance".

A building permit around here is not expensive (for the things I've done anyway).Your kit should have plans and a drawing...not sure what the big deal is? But I still wouldn't mess with "the Man" on this 'lil DIY...the slab "maybe".


Bob
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline italdream

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 231
Re: ALFA Pizza Oven and Other Lower Budget WFOs
« Reply #51 on: July 12, 2012, 04:24:33 PM »
Hey Bob. Your advice is tempting and well taken  ;D but I might pass. The neighbors are not a problem and they know better not to mess with the Italian (except they are Italians as well).

Anyway, this is all new for me. I thought: OK I am going to finally get a WFO, as my passion outpaced past cooking experiences including my LBE, Pizza Bella and tampered residential oven. Then all of a sudden, I get hit with paperwork and stuff, worth of building a swimming pool.

I have never personally applied for a permit but I guess it is doable. One final (rhetorical) question: what happens if I obtain a permit but then my DIY artifact does not pass inspection because skilled as I am, my creation is non compliant? Time will tell.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2012, 06:11:54 PM by italdream »

Online Chicago Bob

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 9814
  • Location: North Carolina
  • Easy peazzy
Re: ALFA Pizza Oven and Other Lower Budget WFOs
« Reply #52 on: July 12, 2012, 06:42:18 PM »
. One final (rhetorical) question: what happens if I obtain a permit but then my DIY artifact does not pass inspection because skilled as I am, my creation is non compliant? Time will tell.
"The Man" is going to tell/show you what you need when you go to pull the permit...might need to schedule an appoint. with him. Also , depending on your build/install, there may be "stages" of inspections(ie.inspect grade, reinforcement, and forms on a patio install before the pour)...this is your opportunity to ask any questions you may have concerning the next phase.
  btw, my advice is just that and I prolly wouldn't follow it either ...'cept I got no choice!  ;)     :-D    You gotta do it the way you'll feel comfortable.....all inspectors are not the big bad wolf and ,belive me, that route really is not all that difficult and it jus might help keep you from screw'in sum'in up.
 Any other questions just ask away...this should NOT be a deal breaker!

"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline chef-marty

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 13
Re: ALFA Pizza Oven and Other Lower Budget WFOs
« Reply #53 on: July 30, 2012, 09:46:36 PM »
I have seen many videos of the Alfa pre-fab ovens and I have seen properly charred crusts and many white under fired crusts. I believe that the skill of the pizza maker is far more important than the oven. I took a 2000 Euro gamble and bought a "Forno 4 Pizze." I know that I will use it more often since it takes only a few minutes to heat and we'll see how it makes pizza. I have seen videos of a 90 second pie that looked just great! I know about the mass problem but for me, a little coals left inside along with the bread will not disturb me.

Offline Bigfoot21075

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 108
  • Location: Elkridge, MD
Re: ALFA Pizza Oven and Other Lower Budget WFOs
« Reply #54 on: July 31, 2012, 08:30:25 AM »
Italdream,

If all you are looking for is a good WFO that will get high heat to make a great Neo pizza and be able to roast or cook for a few hours on residual heat, give Roundboy a look for less than $2,000 delivered - No building permit required, assembles in a half day with one helper.

http://www.roundboyovens.com/


Offline italdream

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 231
Re: ALFA Pizza Oven and Other Lower Budget WFOs
« Reply #55 on: July 31, 2012, 10:11:18 AM »
Hi Bigfoot, it appears that the dome height is 14". I think that many people here would tell me that it might be too high for Neapolitan style. Anybody here having experience with Neapolitan pies in the roundboy? Once I go with a WFO I'd like to get as close as possible to Neapolitan style as opposed to my LBE elite-NY outcome.

Offline italdream

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 231
Re: ALFA Pizza Oven and Other Lower Budget WFOs
« Reply #56 on: July 31, 2012, 10:18:09 AM »
Sorry. Actually I see that you have one. A few questions:

Are you also shooting for Neapolitan style? How difficult is it to control temperature and are you satisfied with the actual outcome? Do you think it would fit two pizzas at once or just one?

Offline Bigfoot21075

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 108
  • Location: Elkridge, MD
Re: ALFA Pizza Oven and Other Lower Budget WFOs
« Reply #57 on: August 02, 2012, 07:33:50 AM »
Sorry. Actually I see that you have one. A few questions:

Are you also shooting for Neapolitan style? How difficult is it to control temperature and are you satisfied with the actual outcome? Do you think it would fit two pizzas at once or just one?

Neapolitan style is the main reason I went with this oven. That was the only thing on my MUST HAVE list. Everything else was secondary. The cieling gets hot enough to easily cook the top of the pie without having to dome it.

IT took me a few tries to get it down, but now I start off with a big enough fire where the roof turns white (4 pieces of really small kindling, and 5 to 6 medium logs - then I light it and that seems to do it).

You could fit 2 pies, but the would not be side by side, that seems too tight to have enough room to easily maneuver the pies. Instead they would have to be one in front of the other. I just do one at a time, they cook really fast so keeping up with two is too much work.

The most I have done are 15 pies, duering one event. I made 10, there was a lull in the action so I raked the coals back over the floor, when we were ready I made 5 more back to back and feel I could have done several more.

The down side of this oven and any smaller oven is the inability to do several pies at once. At first I thought that might be a deal breaker until I talked to a guy who uses this oven to do events, he sells between 70 and 100 pies per event with no terrible lines.

The other thing is when I see a true work of art oven (Like Robyn B) I really wish I could swing one of those and cook from the comfort of my air conditioned kitchen - but then I would have to tear my whole house down if I followed that logic   :-D

If you are in my area feel free to stop by we can take it on a test drive. I am ALWAYS looking for an excuse to make Pizzas during the week now.

Online Chicago Bob

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 9814
  • Location: North Carolina
  • Easy peazzy
Re: ALFA Pizza Oven and Other Lower Budget WFOs
« Reply #58 on: August 02, 2012, 08:12:45 AM »
Thanks Bigfoot...this is very helpful information you're providing. Are there pics of your NP pies already up here somewhere? Thanks.
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline Bigfoot21075

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 108
  • Location: Elkridge, MD
Re: ALFA Pizza Oven and Other Lower Budget WFOs
« Reply #59 on: August 02, 2012, 10:07:25 AM »
I will get more online when I get home from work. Somewhere I have a nice one of both bottom and top.
Thanks Bigfoot...this is very helpful information you're providing. Are there pics of your NP pies already up here somewhere? Thanks.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2012, 10:10:20 AM by Bigfoot21075 »