Author Topic: My FGM 800BR Has Arrived!  (Read 5378 times)

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Offline Paul_N

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My FGM 800BR Has Arrived!
« on: June 07, 2013, 05:09:47 PM »

I've been reading and re-reading all of the various "it's arrived!" threads and am happy to start my own today.  A few hours ago, a very large 18 wheeled semi pulled down our small street and we began the process of getting the oven off the truck.  For those curious, the oven comes safe and sound in a 5'x5'x5' crate.  The weight, all said and done is about 2000lbs (crate included).   Getting it off the truck was a pretty big hassle.  The crate was too big for the lift gate, and at one point, it almost came down on top of me.  I know that I'm going to have some aches & pains tomorrow, and probably shoulder issues for a few weeks.  The hassle stemmed from the shipping companies placement of a second pallet under the crate, which made it even more top heavy and unstable.  This second pallet got caught on the edge of the truck, and the oven slid half way off of it onto the lift gate.  Lots of cursing was involved.  We managed to get it down and off the pallet and lift gate.   After that it was smooth sailing up my driveway. 

As we are getting 2"-4" of rain today, we pushed the oven into the car port.  I've take a panel off the oven, and all looks well.  I'm really eager to get the oven moved to its final resting place so that I can start the curing process.  I'm not sure which is worse - knowing that the oven is on the truck and on its way, or having it be right outside but unmovable due to weather.

As you'll see in the pic below, a corner of the crate took some damage during the unloading process.  Thankfully, it was only the crate. 


Offline Paul_N

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Re: My FGM 800BR Has Arrived!
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2013, 05:31:14 PM »

Here is a pic of the oven all wrapped up.  With the oven, I ordered a set of tools including a metal & wooden peel.

Offline csafranek

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Re: My FGM 800BR Has Arrived!
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2013, 08:33:36 PM »
Congrats can't wait to see more!

Offline kevinbrown22

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Re: My FGM 800BR Has Arrived!
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2013, 11:46:55 PM »
Cool
Science, better than making stuff up since well forever.

Offline Paul_N

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Re: My FGM 800BR Has Arrived!
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2013, 09:57:28 PM »

Today was an awesome day - one neighbor helped me uncrate the oven and was in awe when she saw it.  A second neighbor swung by and mentioned that his tractor could probably gently pull it into place.   Met some new neighbors along the way.  Kids loved the oven and the tractor was an added bonus.


Offline Paul_N

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Re: My FGM 800BR Has Arrived!
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2013, 10:25:38 PM »

Antoine has been a blast to work with.  I had a couple of quick questions this afternoon and he helped me out over the phone.  Antoine has a great rep on the forum, and it is for a reason - he really is a great guy and stands up for his product.  I love the oven - pictures don't do it justice. 

I started the curing process late this afternoon.  I couldn't resist.   I got the fire up to 150F after about 2 hours and let the kindling die down.  I didn't realize how much heat would still be coming off the embers and the temp rose to about 155 or so, maybe a little higher.  I swept out the embers/ashes and let the temp drop back down to 150 before putting on the insulating door.   At 1am it will have been at 150 for the 8 hours required for day one.  I'm repeating the process tomorrow.

I'm pleased to have started the curing process, but am eager to have it wrapped up by next weekend so that I can cook something.

When I finally placed the order with Antoine, it was during a major east coast blizzard.   We had feet of snow on the ground and I never thought I'd get to this point in time.  I watched in delight as Antoine showed me his build progress when the oven was just starting out.  I was super excited when I got the tracking number from Antoine knowing that the oven was on its way.  I overcame the hurdle of getting it off the truck without it killing me, and we got it safely tucked away during the tropical storm.  The clouds parted today and with a lot of help, we got the oven in its final resting spot.   

Now comes the curing process.  It seems like this is going to be one long week...

Haha - I just hope that I can pull off forum worthy pies when the oven is ready.

 -Paul



Offline Jon in Albany

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Re: My FGM 800BR Has Arrived!
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2013, 11:09:19 PM »
The picture of the oven with the light streaming in from the right side.....it's just so damn pretty. Awesome.

Looking forward to seeing what comes out of the oven.

Jon

Offline mkevenson

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Re: My FGM 800BR Has Arrived!
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2013, 01:40:47 AM »
Proud Papa, your new one is beautiful. Thanks for sharing your story and great pics. Now we all wait for the pies :-D


Mark
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Offline Paul_N

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Re: My FGM 800BR Has Arrived!
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2013, 11:45:07 PM »

Day two of the curing process is complete.  I had it up to 150F by 8am and it had around that temp for almost 12 hours today.  I couldn't take it any more and through a couple of ears of corn onto the coals this evening, along with some garlic. 

Per Antoine, the next two days are at 158F.  So close, yet so far away...


Offline z-man

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Re: My FGM 800BR Has Arrived!
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2013, 05:13:20 PM »
She sure is purty! Makes me jealous as that install is basically plug and play ;D

Offline Paul_N

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Re: My FGM 800BR Has Arrived!
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2013, 09:41:43 PM »
She sure is purty! Makes me jealous as that install is basically plug and play ;D

Yeah - I don't have the first hand relationship that you have with your oven.  Maybe one day, if I ever decide to bump up to a 950 or 1030.  That will be at least 15+ years from now though.  Or at least until my three sons are old enough to help with the build.  Antoine said it should last generations - I'll pass it on to one son and have the other two help me build a larger one. 

I just need to get through this curing process.  I'm up to 60C today. 

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: My FGM 800BR Has Arrived!
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2013, 09:31:08 AM »
Great looking oven. I like the fact that it has a substantial chimney. I see so many portable ovens where the chimney appears to be too small.
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, commercial yeast when we must, but always great pizza."
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Offline derricktung

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Re: My FGM 800BR Has Arrived!
« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2013, 10:18:27 AM »
Congrats on the new addition to the family!  =)  Antoine has definitely been great to work with, and having a plug play makes life far easier...

Be patient with your curing process!  It'll be worth it in the end!


Offline Paul_N

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Re: My FGM 800BR Has Arrived!
« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2013, 10:19:00 PM »
Great looking oven. I like the fact that it has a substantial chimney. I see so many portable ovens where the chimney appears to be too small.

I was surprised by the difference in height between my chimney & Mitch's. 

I've gotten great draw out of the chimney, not surprisingly though.  Very little smoke comes out of the front, and the top of the arch shows very little soot.

I'm on day 4 of the curing process, unfortunately I made the fire a bit warmer than expected. I hit 190 after the fire died down. It takes so much "momentum" to get the needle to move and by the time I am 25 or so degrees away from the intended temp, and the fire dies down, I still over shoot.  I had a fire going this morning at had it at instructed 158 degrees however.

While I look forward to this weekend, the end of the curing process, I am starting to worry about my dough & sauce recipes.  I've been using Reinhart's NeoNeopolitan recipe in a normal oven and I love it.  Not sure how it will fair in the WFO. I also have 5lbs of caputo 00 that I haven't experimented with yet.  I'm not sure if I should go with what I know or try something different.  Not sure what to do about the sauce. I  normally go with Trader Joe's Basil & Mushroom.  I do have a 5lb can of D.O.P. san marzanos though. Just not sure what to do with them.
 


Offline Tscarborough

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Re: My FGM 800BR Has Arrived!
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2013, 10:05:51 PM »
Start with the dough you know.  It's pizza, the only way to screw it up is to drop it on the ground.

Offline breadstoneovens

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Re: My FGM 800BR Has Arrived!
« Reply #15 on: June 13, 2013, 10:45:16 PM »
Hi Paul,

My advice, just relax and cook what you can. You have plenty of time to improve and practice the dough, sauce, toppings and so on.

Antoine
WFO cooking is about passion.

Offline Paul_N

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Re: My FGM 800BR Has Arrived!
« Reply #16 on: June 14, 2013, 12:31:19 AM »

I have six dough balls in the fridge, and if all goes well, my first pie should be on the hearth tomorrow night!


Offline Paul_N

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Re: My FGM 800BR Has Arrived!
« Reply #17 on: June 14, 2013, 09:53:39 PM »

It is funny - I've read so many threads on this forum, I kinda felt like I knew what I was doing.  Until I started my first fire and felt clueless. 

At about 1.5 hours into it, I cleared the dome.  I thought perhaps I was making it too hot.  Three hours into it, I swept the coals to the side, dropped a log on, and decided to go for it.  The dome thermometer only read 300, but I assumed that was because I hadn't had a fire on that side of the dome until just now. 

First pizza was built lovingly by my three sons.  Got it on the peel.  Couldn't get it off the peel.  Complete disaster.

Second attempt.  Lots of semolina flour.  Got it on the peel.  Even better, got it off the peel and it still looked round.  Checked the temp on the floor.  500 degrees. wtf. It was 800 when I swept the ashes away.. Guess it didn't have much time to soak up the heat.  Pizza took about 4 minutes to cook and a little doming.

Holy crap.

That was one tasty pie.  The kids devoured it.  Nice puffy crust, nice crisp crunch.  No pics unfortunately.

I thought I knew what I was doing, so I tried for pie #3.   Not enough semolina - it got stuck on the peel.  I managed to get it off though.  Checked the floor temp - 400.  Yikes.   Took too much time between pies with no coals heating the hearth.

I accidentally charred it by moving it too close to the coals and took it out prematurely.   It still was tasty though.

The kids are in bed and I've been throwing logs on it ever since. The dome thermometer says that it is at 525F.  I have red hot coals all over the floor.  I'm going to try again in a few minutes.  I have three more dough balls that I can practice with tonight.  I'm hooked though - I can't believe that I made a pie this good at home. It immediately made every other pie from local pizza joints seem sub par.


Offline Paul_N

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Re: My FGM 800BR Has Arrived!
« Reply #18 on: June 14, 2013, 10:29:43 PM »

A couple of pics from my latest practice pie.  I didn't let the cheese dry out enough and I had problems stretching the dough.  It is undercooked as well, but still damn tasty.  The dome cleared, but when I added more wood to the fire, it blackened again. I used up all of my firewood tonight and am awaiting a delivery tomorrow (hopefully).


Offline RobynB

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Re: My FGM 800BR Has Arrived!
« Reply #19 on: June 15, 2013, 12:00:31 AM »
It's a steep learning curve, but one day soon it will all come together and everything will start working.  It definitely takes practice to get the hang of it.  Glad you are enjoying your results, even if they're not what you hope for yet. 

Offline jeffereynelson

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Re: My FGM 800BR Has Arrived!
« Reply #20 on: June 15, 2013, 12:20:19 AM »
Keep cooking and keep adding pics. Looks like fun. I'm jealous.

Offline mitchjg

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Re: My FGM 800BR Has Arrived!
« Reply #21 on: June 15, 2013, 10:02:23 AM »
Hi Paul:

This is just my personal experience and not that of all the experts on the forum.  But, I have a FGM!

1 The FGM will heat up more slowly than some ovens owned by other people on the forum.  The walls are insulated very well and that could make it take longer.  On the other hand, I think it retains heat into the next day and beyond very well.
2 The dome thermometer (that inserts into the oven) measures the temperature at the core.  Very different reading than the temperature on the floor or ceiling with an IR gun.  The surfaces will get hot faster and easier but will also cool down faster than what you see in the core.  That is why you saw the big drop off.  The core was not really hot yet - you thought the oven was ready but it wasn't.
3, That does not mean you "have to" wait until the core is up to temperature before cooking.  But, it means you have to manage it more carefully.  Catch the temperature on the way down before it goes too far down.  Spread coals back on the floor before cooking a second pizza in order to "recharge" the floor.  I do not do this normally but have done so from time to time.
4. I heat up the oven steadily with a significant fire and the coals spread around until it is about 50 degree F short of my target.  I then sweep the coals to the side for the side fire and sweep out the excess coals.  At this point, the core is a little low but the floors are very high.  If I wait about 20 or 30 minutes with a small fire on the side, the oven is ready to go.  The core has moved up a bit more and the floors have cooled down some.  So, it is all pretty evened out.
5.  I figure about 250 degrees F per hour of heating.  So, for a neapolitan with Caputo flour, 800 degree +++ pie, I will heat for about 3 1/2 + hours and then stabilize for 1/2 hour.  I can probably start faster, but this has become my habit.  If I "only" want to cook at 700 degrees, with a malted flour like KABF, then I will heat it up for around 2 - 2 1/2 hours and then stabilize.

If you heat up and stabilized as i described, you can pretty much make pie after pie after pie at around the same temperature by maintaining a nice fire on the side (that licks across the entire dome).

Others experiences may not be the same, but this is how I have learned to manage the heat up with my FGM.  I am still learning every time I use it.

Great start and good luck.  You will get better and better.

- Mitch
Mitch

Offline Paul_N

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Re: My FGM 800BR Has Arrived!
« Reply #22 on: June 15, 2013, 08:41:59 PM »

I tried again today.  I got the oven up to 625 after about 3 hours.  I was pretty pleased by that.  The more I use it, the better it performs I believe.  I have some kiln dried fire wood arriving tomorrow morning (happy father's day!). 

While I was happy about the performance of the oven at this early stage, I was not happy with my performance.  I lost an entire pie as I couldn't get the #$@#$ing thing off the peel.  I turned another one into a donut.  I charred another one due to too much semolina on the peel and too hot of a hearth.  I think my dough recipe (Reinhart's neo-neopolitan) has something to do with it.  Lots of oil in the recipe in addition to some sugar.  I think I need to bust out the caputo OO I bought and find a new recipe. 

I also have to figure out how to use the #@$@ing peel.  When the dough is insanely moist & sticky, how do you prevent it from sticking?  I dust the peel with semolina, make the pie (on the peel) and within 30 seconds, it is stuck again.  Stretch. Fold. Dust.  Get it to break free, only to have it stick again by the time I make it to the WFO.   Too much semolina and it burns and the pizza tastes blah.  Not enough and the pizza ends up being flung all over the place.

I've seen too many videos/pics - you guys make it look too easy.   

I'm super happy that I resisted my urge to invite folks over for pizza today.  The only thing they would have had was crazy bubbly, undercooked pizza with a charred bottom.

 -Paul

Offline jeffereynelson

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Re: My FGM 800BR Has Arrived!
« Reply #23 on: June 15, 2013, 09:24:43 PM »

I also have to figure out how to use the #@$@ing peel.  When the dough is insanely moist & sticky, how do you prevent it from sticking?  I dust the peel with semolina, make the pie (on the peel) and within 30 seconds, it is stuck again.  Stretch. Fold. Dust.  Get it to break free, only to have it stick again by the time I make it to the WFO.   
Just keep shaking the pizza on the way to the oven. Make sure it shakes easily before trying to launch it.

Offline norma427

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Re: My FGM 800BR Has Arrived!
« Reply #24 on: June 15, 2013, 10:10:42 PM »
Paul,

You are doing a great job and I really like your new WFO.   8)

I think you are right that if you are using Peter Reinhart's Neo-Neopolitan recipe that one is harder to get off of a peel.  You can see where I used that recipe and Peter Reinhart's Classic Pizza Dough in Steve's WFO at Reply 9 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,13037.msg127491.html#msg127491  I also used the same dough at market and although I really liked Peter Reinhart's recipes the dressed pizzas were harder to get off of the peel. 

Norma