Author Topic: The power of coal  (Read 1080 times)

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Offline shuboyje

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Re: The power of coal
« Reply #20 on: April 05, 2014, 03:09:45 PM »
It hasn't been an issue thus far, certainly not like it would be if there was a blower.  There is a lot of air flow but it is very low velocity.  Based on the amount of ash that ends up on the hearth while firing I would say the amount that would end up on a pizza on a few minutes would be undetectable. 
-Jeff


Offline stonecutter

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Re: The power of coal
« Reply #21 on: April 05, 2014, 03:47:27 PM »
So do you gave a fresh air intake somewhere in the coal chamber or some kind of  slide damper on the door? Hard to tell from the video, but I'm assuming the only masonry on the oven is the chamber linings.  Makes sense if you are trying for lighter weight.
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Look at a stone cutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred-and-first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not the last blow that did it, but all that had gone before.
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Offline shuboyje

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Re: The power of coal
« Reply #22 on: April 05, 2014, 09:05:20 PM »
The  cooking hearth is WG  firebrick.  The  oven and firebox are castable refractory.  The air tight doors are insulated and gasketed stainless steel.

The bottom of the fire box is a coal grate with lots of free area.  The only dampers I plan to use are in the flue stacks, but I have designed it to allow them in the ash box below the coal grate if I need to. 
-Jeff

Offline stonecutter

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Re: The power of coal
« Reply #23 on: April 05, 2014, 10:05:40 PM »
A shaker grate is what is for coal burning stoves and furnaces...I remember hearing that growing up when we burned coal for heat when we didn't have enough wood to last the winter.   Did you use one or make your own?
http://oldworldstoneandgarden.com/

Look at a stone cutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred-and-first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not the last blow that did it, but all that had gone before.
Jacob August Riis

Offline shuboyje

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Re: The power of coal
« Reply #24 on: April 05, 2014, 11:45:27 PM »
I made my own.  Cheap and simple so it is easy to replace when the coal destroys it.  It's simply 3/8 rebar welded together.  I formed a small lip on the bottom edge of the walls of the fire box, the rebar grate sits on these and is slightly under sized so I can shake it.  There are some pretty fancy coal grates on the market now that rotate, but nothing remotely close to the size I needed.
-Jeff

Online scott123

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Re: The power of coal
« Reply #25 on: April 05, 2014, 11:57:48 PM »
The  oven and firebox are castable refractory.

Is this the same refractory you used for your Neapolitan oven doorway?
« Last Edit: April 05, 2014, 11:59:39 PM by scott123 »

Offline shuboyje

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Re: The power of coal
« Reply #26 on: April 06, 2014, 08:36:20 AM »
Yes KS4V-Plus.
-Jeff

Offline scott r

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Re: The power of coal
« Reply #27 on: April 06, 2014, 10:27:06 AM »
Jeff, I know we have talked about this before when I wanted one for my home, but count me in for your first full size pizzeria production oven.   Your the man I want building my oven for sure!   

Offline shuboyje

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Re: The power of coal
« Reply #28 on: April 06, 2014, 03:51:51 PM »
Well after two days of tinkering with it, I figured this oven out, and can now say it works pretty much exactly as I had hoped when I designed it.

To ge the coal really going was counterintuitive.  I have to damper down the flues a bit.  What must have happened the other day(the day I took the video) was that I left the fire unattended for a while, and the ash built up therefore decreasing the airflow, and leading to a similar condition to a closed damper.  Once I dampened down the flue the oven jumped to temperature VERY fast with a surprisingly small amount of coal.  I was able to adjust the damper to get the temperature right where I wanted, and I was able to adjust the flue height(this oven has an adjustable height flue opening) to get the heat balance right where I wanted.  This is when my wife informed me she had put an extra dough ball in the fridge a few days ago.  The resulting pizza was great even with all the limitations including old dough that I made with OLD caputo because I had it in the house, and nearly no cheese.  The results is night and day from when I do this style in a wood oven.  The drying effect of the coal and convection is VERY real.  I can't wait to do this oven justice with a properly prepared pie.

That begs the next question, East coast Scott's(and anyone else who wants to chime in), if this oven was in your back yard what would you dough and workflow be?  Sliced cheese, or shredded, cheese on top or bottom, etc?
-Jeff

Online scott123

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Re: The power of coal
« Reply #29 on: April 08, 2014, 02:08:39 AM »
Jeff, that's a really tough question.  My thoughts on coal fired pizza are not that straightforward. There's modern NY coal, of which I have been very critical for quite some time, and there's New Haven. From people that I've spoken to that have tasted places like Totonno's twenty years ago, if I had a time machine, vintage NY coal might be a pizza worth going back and reverse engineering, but, for me, I'd rather focus on a pizza I can vividly remember (old school NY) rather than spending time recreating what someone else remembers.

There's a very small chance that Patsy Grimaldi is doing an old school coal pie at Juliana's, but I'm going to need more feedback from trusted sources to know for certain.

What I'm basically saying is that modern NY coal pizza isn't worth replicating and vintage NY coal, if it is worth replicating, the information available, especially my own recollection, is too scant to be of much help.

This forum does happen to be blessed with a member who was part owner of Lombardi's when they re-opened in the 90s.

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=30548.0

He probably knows a thing or two about vintage coal pizza  ;D He's smack dab in the middle of opening a new place, but perhaps when things slow down a bit, he might be willing to share something- at least, whatever he's comfortable sharing, as I'm sure there's a proprietary component to a great deal of his knowledge.

My recommendation for a coal oven would be New Haven. I've spent a great many hours researching New Haven pizza, and, while I'm pretty proud of my recipe, and happy to see the caliber of pies that my recipe has produced, I don't consider myself an expert- especially since I've only eaten it twice.  Scott R is the man when it comes to New Haven. As you know, Scott's a pretty busy guy these days. Hopefully he'll chime in, but, just in case he doesn't, you could do a lot worse than my Pepe's recipe.

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=26010.msg262301#msg262301

Now, this recipe has been engineered for a wetter home oven environment by lowering the water to promote crispiness.  Since you'll be making it in a dry coal environment, I would push the hydration back up to what I think, based on videos I've seen, is a more Pepe-ish hydration of 63-65%.  If it were me, I'd probably start high, maybe 66%, and then reduce it by 2% until I hit a crust that was rigid/had no flop when held by the end.

I'd also, based upon the discussion in that thread and my own experience at Pepe's, bump the salt to 2%, or maybe even 2.25.

Also, if you're going to stay true to Pepe's, flatten the rim with your hands.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2014, 05:17:31 AM by scott123 »


 

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