Author Topic: First bake in new wfo  (Read 807 times)

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Offline p.elkjaer

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First bake in new wfo
« on: April 14, 2013, 02:56:39 PM »
Hi guys - I have only been looking all winther - but now spring is starting to come together here in denmark.
Since last - I sold my iron cast oven and bought a brick wfo - tonight was the first bake after curing the oven. And it did'nt go as well as I expected  8)

I made the dough as of Craigs recipe - however I only fermented for a total of 30 hours due to lack of time...

My problem(s):
-I can't seem to get enough heat on the floor (or walls) - I turned it on 2-3 hours prior to bake. When I put in the first pizza the floor was around 690 and the walls 850.
This first pizza was the best. Then even if I put more wood on, the floor dropped to 500-550 and the walls only a little warmer. I even changed side inside the oven do get warmer floor under the pies - not much help.

-with this "cold" floor, my tops get finished way before the bottom, as the baketime is around 3-4 min.

-If I close the door, the flames are "burning out" - I can only get flames in the dome with an open door.... perhaps this is causing cold floor?

Enough talk - here are all the pictures I took. Please comment and come with advice. You guys were the reason I changed the oven  ;D


Offline p.elkjaer

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Re: First bake in new wfo
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2013, 02:57:46 PM »
More..

Offline p.elkjaer

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Re: First bake in new wfo
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2013, 02:58:24 PM »
Last  ;D

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: First bake in new wfo
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2013, 03:20:59 PM »
The dome is very high in relation to the diameter.  That will limit top heat.  I would suggest less sauce, remove 90% of the coals before cooking and just leave a few with the burning wood, and extensive doming at the end of each pies bake.

Edit-I actually read your post and see that you are lacking bottom heat.  Is the oven insulated under the floor?  Removing/scattering the coals will get more heat into the floor as ash is an excellent insulator.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2013, 03:23:13 PM by Tscarborough »

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: First bake in new wfo
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2013, 03:56:57 PM »
I think the first few pies look good. You can tell the floor temp was dropping as each pie seemed to have less left than the previous. Can you tell us more about the design of the oven? Floor and wall thickness, type of insulation and how much, etc. The floor issue could be two things: a) you're loosing heat out the bottom of the floor faster than you can heat it, or b) it's still saturating with heat. I wouldn't expect my oven floor to react much differently with only a 2-3 hour pre-heat due to the mass.

I've also wondered recently if the low Neapolitan dome is as much about heating the floor as about providing heat to the pie from above. I've been experimenting with just how fast I can increase the deck temperature with the fire size and flames rolling across the dome. Both convection and radiation are heating the floor (I'm convinced that conduction from the coals plays zero role in heating the deck). With a high dome and a large door, you are really reducing the heat getting to the floor. The high dome has a lower view factor which reduces radiant energy on the deck while the high dome and large door may prevent a meaningful amount of convection from reaching the floor.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline Morgan

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Re: First bake in new wfo
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2013, 10:11:12 AM »
What was the price of the oven ? Could you share more pictures.

I would eat those in minutes ;)
« Last Edit: April 15, 2013, 10:13:39 AM by Morgan »

Offline Ev

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Re: First bake in new wfo
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2013, 10:18:51 AM »
Are you sure the oven has cured properly? Even after a couple years, I re-cure my oven after it sits all winter. I believe the bricks absorb moisture from the air without actually getting wet. I once tried to fire my oven for the first bake of the season without re-curing and experienced the same thing you are.

Offline Serpentelli

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Re: First bake in new wfo
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2013, 12:21:31 PM »
From the people on this forum, and from watching videos of NP ovens from around the world I (finally) realized that you need two stacks of wood. One set of "big logs" to get your coal bed set up with. And a second set of much smaller diameter pieces of wood.

Think of one of those logs I see on your coal bed, but split (lengthwise) into three or four smaller pieces. I was using an axe for this, but now I use a hydraulic log splitter made for that purpose.

The smaller size wood catches fire much more quickly and creates flames that truly roll across the top of your dome. This radiant/convective heat will do the best possible job at heating up your oven floor in the quickest time possible. That's been my experience. You could also use woodchips, sawdust,  or twigs!

TxCraig (among others) has done a lot of thinking on this subject so he can maybe direct you further. Bottom line is you should try as many cheap solutions before you go looking to build a new oven!

And before we get too far along here --- I think you should be very happy with those pies! They are good looking pies!

John K
I'm not wearing hockey pads!

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: First bake in new wfo
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2013, 12:52:13 PM »
The smaller size wood catches fire much more quickly and creates flames that truly roll across the top of your dome. This radiant/convective heat will do the best possible job at heating up your oven floor in the quickest time possible. That's been my experience. You could also use woodchips, sawdust,  or twigs!

Yes, the smaller you split the wood, AOTBE, the faster it will convert fuel to heat as more oxygen can get to the fuel. The total BTU output may be the same, but it will produce the heat faster. Sawdust being the far end of the spectrum. I'm not sure twigs (which I would guess have a relatively high bark/wood ratio) have the same BTU/lb as hard wood. Maybe, but it wouldn't surprise me if the didn't.
Pizza is not bread.