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Island Hearth - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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I'm Peter Reinhart! Ask Me Anything! Monday, February 15, 2016 7:00-8:00 pm EST

To kick off our AMA feature, we have invited author, chef and master bread maker and host of Pizza Quest, Peter Reinhart, to be our first host! Peter will be in the Forum on Monday, February 15th, from 7:00 - 8:00 pm EST. If you are unable to be online during the live session, you can post your questions in the sticky post. Peter will answer those questions during the live session on February 15th. You can view Peter's answers to your questions as well as what happened during the live session in the session thread.

Ask Me Anything New Forum Feature

You will notice a new forum at the top of the main page called, "Ask Me Anything". This forum will be used for live one hour "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) sessions hosted by people who are knowledgeable in different areas pertaining to wood fired ovens. How it works:
- Each AMA will have a "sticky" thread where the community can post questions they would like answered during the live session. This will allow everyone to participate even if you can't be online for the live session. These questions will not be answered by the host until the live AMA; if you need an answer quickly, you should post it in the appropriate Forum area for the community to respond.
- Another thread will be posted for the live AMA. Registered users who are logged in during the live session can interact with the host by asking questions and receiving responses.
- The live thread will remain in the AMA forum to view after the session.

We hope you enjoy this new feature! Please let us know if there is a topic that you'd like to have as an AMA and we'll look for a host!

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Island Hearth

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  • Island Hearth

    I am thinking of building an ISLAND HEARTH as described in the Pompei Oven Instructions.
    1) Can I use clay splits (1 1/4" clay bricks) instead of firebrick splits as described in the Instructions?
    2)What happens if I use the whole brick instead of the split brick?
    3)Will the ISLAND HEARTH effect the initial heat up time for pizza's?
    4)The instructions call for REFRACTORY CONCRETE and INSULATING CONCRETE.Are they one and the same?

  • #2
    Re: Island Hearth

    Originally posted by masuzzu View Post
    I am thinking of building an ISLAND HEARTH as described in the Pompei Oven Instructions.
    Is this still in the instructions? It was a transition between the discredited insulation layer below the support slab method, and our current cooking floor directly on the insulation method. Additional mass below the cooking floor is not needed for pizza: only consider it if you need additional thermal mass for repeat loads of bread or other retained heat baking.
    1) Can I use clay splits (1 1/4" clay bricks) instead of firebrick splits as described in the Instructions?
    No reason why not. Once you get beyond direct contact with fire, mass is mass.

    2)What happens if I use the whole brick instead of the split brick?
    Even more mass = Even more time and fuel to heat up.

    3)Will the ISLAND HEARTH effect the initial heat up time for pizza's?
    Absolutely yes.

    4)The instructions call for REFRACTORY CONCRETE and INSULATING CONCRETE.Are they one and the same?
    No. Refractory concrete, often referred to a castable, is a special non-portland refractory concrete that will withstand exposure to high heat. It is solid, and behaves like firebrick. There are a lot of different brands and blends, and some of them need to be cured at high heat to be effective.

    Insulating concrete can be as simple as vermiculite (or perlite) and portland mix, or a specialty refractory product. They are meant for insulation, not direct contact to high heat of flame.
    My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

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    • #3
      Re: Island Hearth

      Originally posted by masuzzu View Post
      1) Can I use clay splits (1 1/4" clay bricks) instead of firebrick splits as described in the Instructions?
      Yes, but eventually the clay brick will start to spall.. meaning they will start to break up and drop pieces of brick into your oven and food. (Best to stick with firebricks. The extra expense is small compared to the total cost of the build.)


      Originally posted by masuzzu View Post
      2)What happens if I use the whole brick instead of the split brick?
      I'm not sure if I get you here... but if you are talking about using whole bricks to build the dome....... it's hard enough to get a nice dome with half bricks. And by the time you reach the top you will probably be using thirds. I don't think whole bricks would work.



      Originally posted by masuzzu View Post
      3)Will the ISLAND HEARTH effect the initial heat up time for pizza's?
      It shouldn't, because on top of the cinder block base, you will pour a 3 1/2 inch layer of reinforced concrete - this is the hearth slab.
      On top of that you will pour about a 4 inch slab of insulating concrete (5 parts vermiculite or perlite mixed with 1 part cement -NOT QUICKRETE but portland cement.)

      Originally posted by masuzzu View Post
      4)The instructions call for REFRACTORY CONCRETE and INSULATING CONCRETE.Are they one and the same?
      No they are not the same.
      Refractory MORTAR is used for the brickwork. Insulating concrete is used over the hearth slab, and you will place your hearth bricks on top of it.
      Then when the oven is complete, more insulation over the dome.

      Remember - Insulate, Insulate, Insulate.


      I hope this clears things up a bit for you.

      Dave
      My thread:
      http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/d...ress-2476.html
      My costs:
      http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?k...Xr0fvgxuh4s7Hw
      My pics:
      http://picasaweb.google.com/dawatsonator

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