Pizza Making Forum

General Topics => Pizza Ovens => Pizza Making Equipment => Hearth Ovens => Topic started by: breadstoneovens on November 04, 2012, 05:38:08 PM

Title: FGM Raised Dome long awaited Modified Throat
Post by: breadstoneovens on November 04, 2012, 05:38:08 PM
After much wait, I have finely put a prototype together and put it to the test.
To recap; the goal was to create a way to lower the throat opening of a FGM wood fired oven raised dome, to obtain the 63% dome to opening ratio.
The throat reducer is made of 2" thick vermiculite and Portland cement mix. The piece was cut right at a height of 7"3/4, for a dome at 12"1/2, I let you do the math. I tried on my 700 C raised which is the smallest oven from FGM.

The down sides:
- First issue, the throat being lower than the door opening, the smoke was escaping out through the door and not the chimney ... pretty nasty. I was kind of expecting it as the owner of FGM told me it would happen.
I hastily put together a system to lower the door opening. Not very eye pleasing but worked quite well.
- Second issue, the opening being reduced in width, it was harder to put the pizza in using my regular peel. I knocked the piece off a couple of time and it didn't miss to break it on one side. This issue will be alleviated when I get the throat reduce made out of metal on Tuesday.
- Third issue and the most impotent one, the opening was reduced in height. I couldn't see as well in the oven which was a problem from putting the wood in, controlling the fire and cooking the pizza. My oven floor is at 51" and a higher floor would make it tiring for the arm.

The oven took about the same time to heat up, about 2 hours, with the same amount of wood to get it where I wanted it to be, 900F.

The positive side:
- First good aspect, I only kept a smaller flame, similar to the regular height dome, to get a nice top on the pizza. Almost burned a couple and had to adjust my technique a little.
- Second, the oven was easier to keep at such high temperature, therefore resulting in using a little less wood. I cooked 6 pizza in less than 10 minutes, could have done better if my wife had kept the pace  :P
- Third the hot air pocket created helped a lot to color the pizza when I raised it to the top.

I should get the fabricated metal piece form the master welder on Tuesday and will be able to try it out by next weekend.
Then I will make it available to Reep so he can give his unbiased opinion while trying on a larger oven.

Conclusion after a first try, not much of a difference in heat-up time. Was easier to keep at temperature and nice pizza top.

Most importantly, the family loved the pizza as usual and I barely was able to take a picture of a pizza out of the 6 I cooked  :-D
Title: Re: FGM Raised Dome long awaited Modified Throat
Post by: Reep on November 04, 2012, 06:09:50 PM
Thanks Antoine.  It seems like you should be able to use thin metal strips (1" front to back, 1/4" thick side to side) below the 63% mark to widen the opening.  I'm not sure I will be able to provide enough expert testing.   I may need one of the gurus on this site to come over and give me a lesson and test at the same time.

could have done better if my wife had kept the pace  :P

I'm guessing you are going to pay for this comment.  :)

My guess is that if you really watch it, it could be a slight improvement (lower door), but will require a lot more babysitting to make sure you can get it out the lower door without dropping it.  I think the biggest test for me is to see if it is worth the hassle of working in the smaller door space.  If both produce the same looking pizzas, the bigger door would make things easier.
Title: Re: FGM Raised Dome long awaited Modified Throat
Post by: breadstoneovens on January 08, 2013, 05:21:09 PM
The final version of the throat reducer is finished painted and operational.
We will now put it to the test and see what comes out of it.
Reep, yours is packed and will ship tomorrow  :)
Title: Re: FGM Raised Dome long awaited Modified Throat
Post by: Reep on January 16, 2013, 03:08:22 PM
The final version of the throat reducer is finished painted and operational.
We will now put it to the test and see what comes out of it.
Reep, yours is packed and will ship tomorrow  :)


Looks great.  And congratulations on helping develop the most versatile oven on the market. 
Title: Re: FGM Raised Dome long awaited Modified Throat
Post by: scott123 on January 16, 2013, 06:21:15 PM
That is stunning.  I am incredibly impressed. You just made a lot of trees happy. Your throat reducer has me all choked up ;D

Less wood, faster pre-heats, faster bakes, better pizza. My hemming and hawing are officially over.  FGM has my unequivocal endorsement.  Feel free to use any of these statements in your promotional materials  ;D

One tiny nit :) The NY folks would probably like a little less protrusion near the floor, to allow larger peels/pizzas to clear. In a perfect world, the throat mods could be suspended with zero loss of lateral clearance near the floor, but that's not feasible.  A little less metal would be nice, though, if it's possible.

I can't quite tell how it sits in place. How permanent is it? No mortar, correct? Is the inner door relatively air tight?
Title: Re: FGM Raised Dome long awaited Modified Throat
Post by: breadstoneovens on January 16, 2013, 09:14:36 PM
Thank you Scott for the kind comments.
Wait, you said no more "hemming and hawing", just a couple of line and it is already over?  :-D

Well before we go too far, lets have it tested out first. I think the FGM are already very wood efficient but using less wood would be great.

Any thinner metal will tend to warp and no longer create the intended effect. I even looked at stainless but it couldn't take the heat.

It is actually just temporary and easy to remove. It is simply held into place by an extendable threaded hook.

Anything suspended would either need to be permanent or would create a hazard as it could be knocked off.

Antoine

Title: Re: FGM Raised Dome long awaited Modified Throat
Post by: scott123 on January 17, 2013, 01:05:19 AM
Thank you Scott for the kind comments.
Wait, you said no more "hemming and hawing", just a couple of line and it is already over?  :-D

Antoine, I can be Team FGM's biggest cheerleader and still make suggestions, right?  ;D

When I talk about less metal, it's not relating to a thinner gauge.  You're gauge selection is absolutely perfect for this temp- as you said, just thick enough not to warp.  It's hard to explain the mod I'm looking for.  I'm hoping for smaller legs- leaving the arc the same at the top, but cutting out a wider swath near the floor so the clearance towards the bottom increases for larger peels, and larger NY style pies.

But, as you said, let's not jump the gun.  Is Reep the official beta tester on this?

Btw, for everyone that participated in the previous thread, when this trims more than 25% off wood consumption and pre-heat times, expect plenty of gloating.  Look for me, in the end zone, doing a dance and spiking the ball  ;D
Title: Re: FGM Raised Dome long awaited Modified Throat
Post by: JConk007 on January 17, 2013, 08:16:09 AM
Antione,  That looks awesome!! will this option work out on the  new 1030 mobile?  Scott please send your deposit to Antione. ASAP before he sells out!  ;)
John
Title: Re: FGM Raised Dome long awaited Modified Throat
Post by: scott123 on January 18, 2013, 06:36:01 AM
Scott please send your deposit to Antione. ASAP before he sells out!  ;)

My deposit?  Wait a second. I have to pay for an oven?  I thought my endorsement would earn me a free one  :P
Title: Re: FGM Raised Dome long awaited Modified Throat
Post by: JConk007 on January 19, 2013, 12:17:01 AM
Um no steel plates , plugs , or gas on these babies 
Just kidding do value your thoughts and opinions  always
John
Title: Re: FGM Raised Dome long awaited Modified Throat
Post by: Chicago Bob on January 19, 2013, 12:33:41 AM
Well at least give the man a free t-shirt....sheeesh!  ;D
Title: Re: FGM Raised Dome long awaited Modified Throat
Post by: breadstoneovens on January 28, 2013, 09:15:26 PM
Alright everyone I have had  4 throat reducer prototypes made, kept one for my self and sent the 3 others to forum members who agreed to test them out. One of them is Reep, no news there, but the 2 others will have to introduce themselves  :P
Any how, let the experiment begin and I look forward to the results.

Antoine
Title: Re: FGM Raised Dome long awaited Modified Throat
Post by: mitchjg on January 30, 2013, 10:55:41 PM
Scott123 said:

“Fabricate an insert, and pre-heat the oven with and without it. If the insert doesn't trim off at least 1/4 of the pre-heat time (and use at least 1/4 less wood to reach the same temps), I'll eat my hat”

Well, it is way too early to set the table for a hat feast, but the kitchen staff may be cooking it up.

Given that Antoine invited us to report out, I will share my limited experience so far.

I have the FGM 700, with the higher dome, door.  I picked it for the versatility (not sure yet if that was necessary but I hope to have this for years to come) of fitting anything in there, regardless of height.

I have been a bit frustrated with achieving high temperatures, in terms of wood and time, as well as top heat.  Top heat, as an issue, seems to be real but minor.  A little bit of doming seems to take care of things.  And, in researching many threads, that does not seem at all unusual.

In terms of time/temperature to reach Neapolitan levels, it does take a long time and a lot of wood.  I know the oven is well insulated and the mass adds time.  Antoine and I have had an ongoing conversation about this and he has provided great coaching/feedback.  

He is convinced that I will get better results by using a different wood, e.g. well seasoned oak.  I am using almond wood and it is, supposedly, well seasoned.  I do get hissing in burning some logs and I do get significant smoke for perhaps 30 minutes or so when starting.  I get major amounts of coals as the wood burns.  But, it is what it is, I have at least 2 months to go with this wood.

In terms of comparison testing, I do not think it matters, since I am testing the oven with and without the insert.  Obviously, it is good to maintain consistency in all other conditions.

I have only one “paired sample”, so right now n=1.  That is why I am sure it is not hat meal time, at least yet.  

But, this initial result was not encouraging.

2 weekends ago, I decided to try to minimize heat up time and not worry at all about wood consumption.  So, I stuffed the oven with wood and kept stuffing it to keep a big fire going at all times.  I was actually not making pizza that day, I was making some eggplant parmesan.  So, I stopped a bit early before achieving very high neapolitan temperatures.

Last weekend, I tried to follow the same process with the insert (having just received it).  I did not duplicate everything exactly – I did not weigh and count sticks of wood and time when they were placed in the oven.  And the first time was a windier and cooler day than the second.  But, with those caveats and more, I followed the same approach and here is the comparison (temperature is degrees Celsius using the FGM thermometer)

      No Throat Reducer      Throat Reducer

1:00          140               150
1:15           205
1:30          220               250
1:45           280
2:00           295               310
2:15           335
2:30         355 stopped adding wood   360
2:45          380
3 :00          400               410 (one last log)
              stopped

3:15                          430

3:30                                   460 (raked out coals)

4:00                                   460 (bake)



Comparing my results after 2:30  (after that, the comparison cannot be made since I stopped adding one in one of the heat ups), the results are identical!  The heat up curves  do seem to be bit different.

I also can observe that the throat reducer gave a clear advantage in terms of smoke.  With it, all of the startup smoke went up the chimney.  Without it, I get a lot coming out the front for the first.

The pizza picture is from the session using the insert.  Baked in 1:28 including doming.  The cheese was whatever was sitting around in the house with some cut up tomatoes.    The oven picture is the coal bed when I stopped adding wood.

My hope is that Scott save his appetite for pizza since I really want the new gizmo to make a difference!  :-X

Comments and guidance welcome.  

- Mitch



Title: Re: FGM Raised Dome long awaited Modified Throat
Post by: tuckerdog99 on January 31, 2013, 11:05:58 AM
Mitch
As someone who is seriously considering a BreadStone Oven, I am following this thread closely
While I realize the "testing" is just starting. However I want to take a moment to thank you for the well thought out and obviously time consuming effort you put into your first comparison firing.
Obviously a rigid adherence to Scientific Method will be limited as you point out by uncontrollable variables. However a gestalt impressions hopefully will be obtainable
Gives me new faith in the value of messageboards
Michael
Title: Re: FGM Raised Dome long awaited Modified Throat
Post by: breadstoneovens on January 31, 2013, 01:01:56 PM
Hi Mitch,

Thank you very much for the detailed report card.

Just to clarify for everyone, the FGM thermometer measures the temperature 2" inside the thickness ( out if 3"1/4 ) of the dome wall. This results in accurately measuring the sustainable temperature of the oven rather than the cooking chamber or surface temp when using a door mounted or IR thermometer.

Looking forward to more results.

Antoine
Title: Re: FGM Raised Dome long awaited Modified Throat
Post by: Reep on January 31, 2013, 01:02:35 PM
I do have my throat reducer now, but unfortunately my dome assembly has been delayed.  I'm going to use my contractor's guys to do the heavy lifting and they are delayed.  Hopefully get assembly done in the next couple of weeks.
Title: Re: FGM Raised Dome long awaited Modified Throat
Post by: TXCraig1 on January 31, 2013, 04:37:18 PM
I stand by my math: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,21071.msg214160.html#msg214160 and my belief that it is the view factor provided by a low dome that is key - not extra "super-heated" air.

Title: Re: FGM Raised Dome long awaited Modified Throat
Post by: scott123 on January 31, 2013, 04:43:08 PM
I'm not eating my hat quite yet  ;D

Just to clarify for everyone, the FGM thermometer measures the temperature 2" inside the thickness ( out if 3"1/4 ) of the dome wall.

It can take a long time for heat to penetrate 2" of firebrick.  Because of the insulating nature of the brick, it may delay the impact of the reduced throat. I know I'm asking a lot, but I'd like to see some dome temps, and, if not dome, then the same spot on the back wall.
Title: Re: FGM Raised Dome long awaited Modified Throat
Post by: breadstoneovens on January 31, 2013, 05:07:53 PM
It can take a long time for heat to penetrate 2" of firebrick.  Because of the insulating nature of the brick, it may delay the impact of the reduced throat. I know I'm asking a lot, but I'd like to see some dome temps, and, if not dome, then the same spot on the back wall.

The bricks do not insulate, they actually absorb the heat about 20% faster that refractory concrete. Keep in mind those are not your average bricks like what you find in a fire place.

Mitch has a 700 concrete dome, Reep has a 1500 Short brick dome and the third one is a 950 bricked dome, testing will tell.

Throat reducer or not, I can get the surface temp to 800 or 900 F in 30 to 45 minutes and cook a couple of pizza. The problem is that it is only surface temp and after a couple of pizza the heat has dropped dramatically.
As John has experienced with the 950 B if you heat up the oven to core temperature then you can cook pizza endlessly.
Title: Re: FGM Raised Dome long awaited Modified Throat
Post by: scott123 on January 31, 2013, 05:20:42 PM
Antoine, is the 20% faster heat absorption on the bricks another way to call them 'high alumina?'  :)

With an average fire, about how long does it take the 950B to come up to core temperature?
Title: Re: FGM Raised Dome long awaited Modified Throat
Post by: mitchjg on January 31, 2013, 05:31:48 PM
I'm not eating my hat quite yet  ;D

It can take a long time for heat to penetrate 2" of firebrick.  Because of the insulating nature of the brick, it may delay the impact of the reduced throat. I know I'm asking a lot, but I'd like to see some dome temps, and, if not dome, then the same spot on the back wall.

I would much prefer you eat good pizza, hats are for head warmth!

Scott123.  I am not sure how to meet your request.  If you could tell me more, I will certainly give it a try.  

Aside from the fact that my particular laser gun maxes out at 932, I think it is hard to understand how that will help.  The dome and walls, during heat up, max out.  As I think Antoine described, I can get my floor and dome really hot, much faster than the times I posted.  They are not sustainable in that the temperature of the floor drops pretty fast after the coals are cleared and then even more when you put in a pizza.  I have not played around with that much to find out my minimum heat up times, etc for one or two pies.  I have been, for the sake of benchmarking, learning and also big parties, seeking the sustainable temperatures.  I have found that the FGM thermometer is a pretty good indicator.  For example the temperature of 460C / 860 F corresponded pretty nicely with my floor temperature.  The first pie was probably at 900 or thereabouts and the second at 875.  Of course, near the coals it was over 900 and at the furthest point it was probably 850.  I could tell it would probably be easy to maintain these temperatures just from the lack of drop off between pies and after.

One thing I can do is something like floor readings at the same exact spot(s), 30 minutes after clearing coals, after having tried  parallel heat ups with and without the insert.  Scott, does something along those lines sound like what you are thinking about?

I was thinking that, this weekend, I would not go all the way up to an interior temperature of 460C.  Insteady, I may heat up for a much shorter time, let the coals soak heat into the floor, clear them out and cook a pizza soon thereafter.  Since I will only be making one or two pies (which is what we do 80 or 90% of the time), then if I get all my needs met (fast heat up, less wood, high temperature) for one or two pies, then the longer heat ups only matter for parties.

Having said that, that does not add any insight into the performance with or without the insert...........This may end up taking many weeks of comparison testing since I only fire up once a week on the weekends.

- Mitch
Title: Re: FGM Raised Dome long awaited Modified Throat
Post by: shuboyje on January 31, 2013, 06:14:18 PM
I'm actually pretty surprised by your numbers, reducer or not Mitch.  My first oven was a 30" low dome brick oven with 3" of mass.  I could get that little oven to nuclear temps in under an hour.  By an hour and a half I could have it nuclear, saturated, and cook countless pizzas for huge groups no problem.  Thats the one thing I miss about that little oven, firing my 42" oven with 4.5" of mass is a totally different story.....

On paper your oven is very similar to my first oven, I wonder why it is taking so long to get up to temperature?
Title: Re: FGM Raised Dome long awaited Modified Throat
Post by: mitchjg on January 31, 2013, 06:29:24 PM
I'm actually pretty surprised by your numbers, reducer or not Mitch.  My first oven was a 30" low dome brick oven with 3" of mass.  I could get that little oven to nuclear temps in under an hour.  By an hour and a half I could have it nuclear, saturated, and cook countless pizzas for huge groups no problem.  Thats the one thing I miss about that little oven, firing my 42" oven with 4.5" of mass is a totally different story.....

On paper your oven is very similar to my first oven, I wonder why it is taking so long to get up to temperature?

Jeff:

I was hoping your guys would tell me!!!!!!!!  My specific hope, of course, has been that the insert would do the trick.  One concern Antoine has expressed is that my wood may not be fully seasoned and that almond may be a wood that produces an over abundance of coals rather than producing more flames.  I will not address that for a couple of months. 

But, there is no way mine would be that ready in 1 1/2 hours.

- Mitch
Title: Re: FGM Raised Dome long awaited Modified Throat
Post by: shuboyje on January 31, 2013, 06:50:17 PM
How are you firing?  In my opinion the reason I was able to get the little oven hot so fast was that I could completely fill it with wood.  My best results came from building a cabin in the middle AND a ring around the perimeter of splits stacked like fallen dominoes if that makes sense.  I could light it and walk away.  The perimeter wood would burn last and once it was done it was ballistic.
Title: Re: FGM Raised Dome long awaited Modified Throat
Post by: mitchjg on January 31, 2013, 07:12:55 PM
How are you firing?  In my opinion the reason I was able to get the little oven hot so fast was that I could completely fill it with wood.  My best results came from building a cabin in the middle AND a ring around the perimeter of splits stacked like fallen dominoes if that makes sense.  I could light it and walk away.  The perimeter wood would burn last and once it was done it was ballistic.

I have basically used three different approaches:

1. Start with a fire in the center.  I stack 4 logs in a square, each leaning on the next, so that one end of the log is raised up, and the other end is on the floor (like falling dominos).  Put some kindle on top of that, put 2 or 3 logs on top of that.
Once the fire is up and running well, say 20 minutes or so, start adding logs so that I build a large blazing fire.
2. The same as what you described.  Same as number 1 in the center, but also a semi-circle of logs around the perimeter.  Also, stacked end to end with one end resting on another log, the other end on the floor.
3. Same as 1 (or 2 - does not matter much) - stuff the heck out of the oven with logs and keep stuffing.  This is the way I did the last two the same as each other.  It did heat up the fastest, but left the most coals.

I have started all of the fires with one of those little Weber fire cubes.  They seem to work nicely.

So, when I followed number 2, it did all burn well and the like.  It was just that the oven, (as measured by the FGM thermometer) was no where close to "ballistic."  Roughly speaking, except for the last 2 firings where I really stuffed it, the oven would heat up by about 130 degrees C in the first hour and the 100 per hour thereafter.  Since I was striving for a minimum of 425 (about 800 F), this takes somewhere around 4 hours.  Then I need to get the coals out, bank it, throw a log or two on the banked coals, and let it stabilize.  Now it is 4 1/2 or so.  The last two times, where I cut it down to 4 was "fast".

After the last bake, I filled the oven to the brim with logs (the oven was over 200 C) and put the insulated door on.  So, they should be nice and dry when I fire the oven.  I also have a small load of oak (bought a bit to try it out instead of the almond).

Any ideas on an approach this weekend?
Title: Re: FGM Raised Dome long awaited Modified Throat
Post by: TXCraig1 on January 31, 2013, 07:23:30 PM
How are you firing?  In my opinion the reason I was able to get the little oven hot so fast was that I could completely fill it with wood.  My best results came from building a cabin in the middle AND a ring around the perimeter of splits stacked like fallen dominoes if that makes sense.  I could light it and walk away.  The perimeter wood would burn last and once it was done it was ballistic.

When I talk about it taking 10 hours to get mine ready, I'm starting with about 4 medium-small logs and then burning 1-2 medium-medium-large logs at a time for the balance of the 10 hours.

I need to try your way sometime and see how it goes.
Title: Re: FGM Raised Dome long awaited Modified Throat
Post by: TXCraig1 on January 31, 2013, 07:26:38 PM
3. Same as 1 (or 2 - does not matter much) - stuff the heck out of the oven with logs and keep stuffing.  This is the way I did the last two the same as each other.  It did heat up the fastest, but left the most coals.

I'm not surprised #3 left the most coals. You probably didn't have enough oxygen for that much wood.
Title: Re: FGM Raised Dome long awaited Modified Throat
Post by: mitchjg on January 31, 2013, 07:33:28 PM
I'm not surprised #3 left the most coals. You probably didn't have enough oxygen for that much wood.
I was guessing that was the cause.  My thinking was to try 2 again but not be as aggressive in feeding it as before. - M
Title: Re: FGM Raised Dome long awaited Modified Throat
Post by: JD on January 31, 2013, 07:36:38 PM
Jeff:

One concern Antoine has expressed is that my wood may not be fully seasoned and that almond may be a wood that produces an over abundance of coals rather than producing more flames.  I will not address that for a couple of months. 

Not sure where you are located but why not head to your local Lowes/HD/supermarket and buy a couple bags of seasoned firewood? Seems well worth the $10 to rule out under-seasoned wood.

Seasoned wood makes a tremendous difference in efficient firing as unseasoned wood wastes so much potential energy by changing water to steam.

My $0.02  :pizza:
Title: Re: FGM Raised Dome long awaited Modified Throat
Post by: mitchjg on January 31, 2013, 07:40:56 PM
Not sure where you are located but why not head to your local Lowes/HD/supermarket and buy a couple bags of seasoned firewood? Seems well worth the $10 to rule out under-seasoned wood.

Seasoned wood makes a tremendous difference in efficient firing as unseasoned wood wastes so much potential energy by changing water to steam.

My $0.02  :pizza:


I am in the SF Bay Area (Oakland).  I have no big allergy to trying that.  In theory, the place I purchased the wood is a reputable firewood dealer.  If I go to Lowes or someplace, I am not sure how I would know that their wood is seasoned any more or less?

Do I need to add some sort of moisture meter to my pizza oven arsenal?
Title: Re: FGM Raised Dome long awaited Modified Throat
Post by: mitchjg on January 31, 2013, 07:44:39 PM
Mitch- Do you remember which way you fired in reply 12 here? I don't have near the experience as others in this dept but that looks like a lot of coals which would corroborate the poorly seasoned wood theory.

Again I have cooked in a WFO about a dozen times, but have had a wood fire place etc so I'm making a guess.

Sure do.  Both firings, with and without the insert, were number 3 - basically started with a pile as described in number 1 but followed up pretty shortly by stuffing the heck out of it and keeping it that way.

- Mitch
Title: Re: FGM Raised Dome long awaited Modified Throat
Post by: JD on January 31, 2013, 07:48:52 PM
I am in the SF Bay Area (Oakland).  I have no big allergy to trying that.  In theory, the place I purchased the wood is a reputable firewood dealer.  If I go to Lowes or someplace, I am not sure how I would know that their wood is seasoned any more or less?

Do I need to add some sort of moisture meter to my pizza oven arsenal?

Last time I purchased a bag from Lowes it had right on it "Seasoned for a year" or something like that.... marketing or not, it was very dry and burned quickly.

My experience with burning wood is from using a wood-fired fireplace (stove), not really a WFO. The difference between firing seasoned wood and "nearly" seasoned wood is night and day.

Best part is if you find out your almond wood is a little wet, you know you'll have some great wood for next year. Absolutely nothing wasted.

I like to try simple solutions first... probably cause I'm cheap  ;D
Title: Re: FGM Raised Dome long awaited Modified Throat
Post by: shuboyje on January 31, 2013, 07:56:34 PM
When I talk about it taking 10 hours to get mine ready, I'm starting with about 4 medium-small logs and then burning 1-2 medium-medium-large logs at a time for the balance of the 10 hours.

I need to try your way sometime and see how it goes.


In my second oven I found it did not scale well...I had to totally relearn how to fire it.  I think the ratio of door size to oven volume makes oxygen the limiting factor.  Small ovens have proportionally larger doors, and because of that can burn a proportionally larger quantity of wood.  I had to think a lot more to learn to fire my large oven, and I implement ideals I learned from reading about wood fired kilns.  I personally start a small fire in the middle with the sole goal of producing a pile of coals.  The coals then go to the back of the oven where I begin slowly adding wood.  As the coal pile at the back of the oven builds I start racking it forward until eventually the entire oven floor is covered by a thin layer of coals.  As the cool air comes in the oven it is at the bottom where it is preheated by the coals on it's way to the back.  By adding the wood at the back it tends to pyrolyse and produce a lot of volatile gases.  The volatile gases then combust with the preheated air and make for an intense fire as the heat moves back towards the front of the oven and eventually out the vent.    With this method I can get the oven to Neapolitan temps and fairly well saturated in about 3 hours.  I haven't done any big parties with the new oven so I'm not sure how well saturated it is, but I have cooked Coal oven style pizza in it without a live fire and actually get frustrated having to wait for the oven to cool.  
Title: Re: FGM Raised Dome long awaited Modified Throat
Post by: mitchjg on January 31, 2013, 08:03:26 PM
Last time I purchased a bag from Lowes it had right on it "Seasoned for a year" or something like that.... marketing or not, it was very dry and burned quickly.

My experience with burning wood is from using a wood-fired fireplace (stove), not really a WFO. The difference between firing seasoned wood and "nearly" seasoned wood is night and day.

Best part is if you find out your almond wood is a little wet, you know you'll have some great wood for next year. Absolutely nothing wasted.

I like to try simple solutions first... probably cause I'm cheap  ;D

That makes sense, I may call around.  We have a Home Depot and Ace Hardware close by.  The Lowes is more of a trek.  I do love your point about the wood not being a waste - just needs to be rescheduled.

Given, I stuffed the oven to the brim with almond when the oven was at about 200 C / 400 F , put the insulated door on it, and left the damper open - wouldn't you think that load of wood is now dried out?  It probably took a full 24 hours to get down to under 70 degrees.

- M
Title: Re: FGM Raised Dome long awaited Modified Throat
Post by: JD on January 31, 2013, 08:20:16 PM
That makes sense, I may call around.  We have a Home Depot and Ace Hardware close by.  The Lowes is more of a trek.  I do love your point about the wood not being a waste - just needs to be rescheduled.

Given, I stuffed the oven to the brim with almond when the oven was at about 200 C / 400 F , put the insulated door on it, and left the damper open - wouldn't you think that load of wood is now dried out?  It probably took a full 24 hours to get down to under 70 degrees.

- M

I'm sure the surface of the wood is dried but I have no clue whether the core of the wood would be. Lots of factors involved and I'm certainly not an expert on kiln drying wood

If you find your almond wood is tough to get started, even with a lot of kindling, then I can almost guarantee its too wet. If it stays lit pretty easily then it's probably not the wood. The fact that you hear hissing is a huge red flag though.

Title: Re: FGM Raised Dome long awaited Modified Throat
Post by: breadstoneovens on October 25, 2013, 09:30:59 PM
After quite a few month of testing, and so on 3 different sizes ovens, we can safely say that the throat reducer doesn't improve the heat-up time.
Sorry Scott  :P

I guess we can say FGM knew what they were doing after all those years.

That said, with the help of some of my customers, we have developed a draft door.

The original idea was to create a spark arrestor door to help prevent any spark from jumping out of the oven. Pretty much just giving enough space to let the air in.
We noticed that this device served it purpose but also actually helped with eliminating the smoke when first firing the oven and improved the heat-up time.

I just got the first batch back from the welder today, let's paint them and  it is time to start a new thread.

Antoine



Title: Re: FGM Raised Dome long awaited Modified Throat
Post by: mitchjg on October 25, 2013, 11:16:27 PM
Sorry Scott, Antoine is right.  The throat reducer was very ineffective impacting heat up time.  I tried it several times.  It did have a small impact on more top heat, but not a lot.

On the new door, I will start a thread since I am one of the experimenters.

- Mitch
Title: Re: FGM Raised Dome long awaited Modified Throat
Post by: nickr on October 31, 2013, 01:01:43 PM
After quite a few month of testing, and so on 3 different sizes ovens, we can safely say that the throat reducer doesn't improve the heat-up time.
Sorry Scott  :P

I guess we can say FGM knew what they were doing after all those years.

That said, with the help of some of my customers, we have developed a draft door.

The original idea was to create a spark arrestor door to help prevent any spark from jumping out of the oven. Pretty much just giving enough space to let the air in.
We noticed that this device served it purpose but also actually helped with eliminating the smoke when first firing the oven and improved the heat-up time.

I just got the first batch back from the welder today, let's paint them and  it is time to start a new thread.

Antoine

Hello Everyone,

I've been following this thread closely as I have been looking at the 950BR but was concerned about the door to dome ratio and the possible inefficiencies there.

I am a bit surprised how quickly this device was deemed not to work. I only see one set of incomplete data. The fires were built for different reasons and it appears that a laser thermometer was not even used? There was also no mention of wood consumption (unless I missed it somewhere). Even in that test you can see a difference in temperature and it is stated that the smoke goes up the chimney.

I feel that if I bought this oven I would want the throat reducer. It's just a feeling but so much of it seems to make sense. Is there any actual full tests with data to support this as "not working".
Title: Re: FGM Raised Dome long awaited Modified Throat
Post by: mitchjg on October 31, 2013, 10:07:16 PM
Hello Everyone,

I've been following this thread closely as I have been looking at the 950BR but was concerned about the door to dome ratio and the possible inefficiencies there.

I am a bit surprised how quickly this device was deemed not to work. I only see one set of incomplete data. The fires were built for different reasons and it appears that a laser thermometer was not even used? There was also no mention of wood consumption (unless I missed it somewhere). Even in that test you can see a difference in temperature and it is stated that the smoke goes up the chimney.

I feel that if I bought this oven I would want the throat reducer. It's just a feeling but so much of it seems to make sense. Is there any actual full tests with data to support this as "not working".

Hi:

Antoine mentioned in his post that testing was done on 3 ovens.  One of them was mine.  I do not know who else was testing and on what ovens, so I cannot speak to that.  I can tell you that, although I only "published" data from one heat up, I have heated up several times with the door (perhaps a 1/2 dozen) and it did not make a meaningful difference.  I am pretty clear on how fast a heat up I will get under various conditions/approaches and I am confident that, for me and my oven, there was nothing about it that was particularly impactful.  No worthwhile difference in wood consumption nor in heat up time.  As I mentioned, I think I did get a little better top heat.  But, for me, it all seemed a bother.

Regarding the laser thermometer, I do not understand.  I have one and use it.  But, it is pretty useless while a fire is going.  With all the flames, the readings are off the scale.  And, for measuring heat up temperatures, I used the thermometer that is part of the oven - it measures the temperature in the core of the oven which is much more stable/objective than a surface reading.

Anyway, the whole matter was disappointing to me but I have moved on. I love trying new things like this and do not regret giving it a go.  But, no dice.

On the other hand, the use of the draft door has clearly made a difference to me.

You may want to ask Antoine about the other 2 folks if you think that will help you be convinced one way or the other.  In terms of the 950 BR, I have no experience or comment that would help you decide one way or the other.  There are many very knowledgeable experts on this forum and perhaps they can help guide or advise you.

best of luck,
Mitch

Title: Re: FGM Raised Dome long awaited Modified Throat
Post by: scott123 on November 01, 2013, 07:55:12 AM
Sorry Scott  :P

Sorry Scott

If by saying 'sorry', you're congratulating me on being right, then thank you, it does feel pretty great finally having my ideas on this subject being fully vindicated  :P

Seriously, though, Antoine/Mitch, you do know that the indisputable success of the draft door thoroughly proves everything I've been saying, right? What is the draft door other than an extremely low throat?  My calculations were obviously a bit off in terms of the necessary height of the throat opening required to reveal a tangible difference, and, for that, I might need to nibble on a corner of my fedora ;) but my theory that a lower door shortens pre-heat times and saves  wood is, thanks to the draft door, no longer a theory, but proven fact.

It's quite simple, the opening in the throat prototype was too large to produce a discernible difference.  The draft door proves that it needs to be smaller.  Now, the total size of the opening in the draft door, when visualized as a single hole, isn't viable to work through as a throat, obviously, but you can certainly split the difference between the prototype and the draft and end up with time/energy savings and an opening that will allow the necessary access.

A prototype throat opening reduction of half the size should be perfect.  I don't think it's a coincidence that what I'm describing is pretty close to the opening size of a Stefano Ferrara.  I hate to sound like a broken record here, but the Italian oven builders have been doing this thing for quite some time and seem, for the most part, to know what they're doing.  I think it also reveals that door sizing, as Jeff (shuboyje) and Tom have pointed out on more than one occasion, is about more than just arbitrarily picking a height of 63% and expecting it to be perfect. A particular oven might perform better with a higher or (in this case) lower door, and you can't avoid taking the shape of the opening into account as well.

Rather than looking at doors just from a perspective of the ratio of their height to the height of the dome, I think it might be prudent to look at doors the same way we look at chimneys by calculating the total surface area of the opening. This would take shape into account a bit better and give us a much better idea of proper door sizing than the, imo, far oversimplified 63% figure.
Title: Re: FGM Raised Dome long awaited Modified Throat
Post by: shuboyje on November 01, 2013, 09:40:30 AM
The draft door  is in a different location then the ovens throat and functions in a different way.  Being outside the vent opening it does not function like a smaller opening.  In my opinion a draft door does two things.  It eliminates turbulence between the incoming air and the outgoing air, therefore increasing airflow, and it causes the oven to pressurize from natural draft also increasing airflow
Title: Re: FGM Raised Dome long awaited Modified Throat
Post by: scott123 on November 01, 2013, 09:51:15 AM
Crud. That's a good point, Jeff.  I guess I shouldn't be grabbing the champagne yet :)  Still, though, a throat reduction is basically two smaller doors- a smaller inside (pre-vent) door and a smaller outside door.  The success of the draft door proves the effectiveness of a smaller outside door. I still think the jury's still out on the effectiveness of a smaller inside door- I believe it's just a matter of going with a smaller opening than the prototype.
Title: Re: FGM Raised Dome long awaited Modified Throat
Post by: mitchjg on November 01, 2013, 10:46:10 AM
If I may, admittedly as one with little expertise in WFO design, this seems to be in a very theoretical space. 

Pragmatically, having experienced the throat reducer, there is a point where it is simply too much of a pain in the butt to use it if the door height is too low.

It seems to me that you can probably design a throat reducer that will also take on the effectiveness of a draft door.  But, it could be so low that I would give my oven away to a neighbor.  Maybe not, since I could use little skinny sticks of wood to get in the oven and move them around and since I try to keep the thickness factor low, so I guess it is still possible I could get a pie in and out of the oven.   8)