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Fire won't stay lit - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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Forno Bravo Forum Community,

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.
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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.

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Fire won't stay lit

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  • Fire won't stay lit

    Hi everyone, I just finished my first oven and I'm having trouble keeping the fire lit. I built it to the instructions, but I think I'm having an airflow issue. Any ideas?

  • #2
    Re: Fire won't stay lit

    Lifeofpie,

    Here are a couple of possible answers: You say just finished the WFO, so is the oven dry? If the oven is still wet/water in bricks/not dried out it won't act properly. Another possibility is the wood: how dry is the wood you are using? The problem could be a combination of the two.

    You might try a draft door to improve draw. I use such a door and it causes my WFO to draw like there was a fan blowing air into the WFO. Shortens time from match to first pizza significantly as well as lessening any smoke that may want to escape out the front. Lots of postings about draft doors, check the archives.

    Hope these ideas help. I'm sure others will chime in with other possibilities.

    Wiley

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    • #3
      Re: Fire won't stay lit

      Are you using kindling? Make a nice kindling pile before adding more substantial wood.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Fire won't stay lit

        can you post pictures? Are you starting your fire near the front and only pushing it back once you have a strong fire and draw going? It is very difficult to start the fire in the center of the oven. In my oven, the fire needs to be strong and the chimney hot before I can push everything into the middle and stoke it up!

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        • #5
          Re: Fire won't stay lit

          Likely a wet oven as mentioned by the others. If smoke is choking out the fire, then the chimney opening is probably undersized. A small fire built close to the oven opening or a twist of newspaper to heat the flue is going to help get your draw going.
          Old World Stone & Garden

          Current WFO build - Dry Stone Base & Gothic Vault

          When we build, let us think that we build for ever.
          John Ruskin

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          • #6
            Re: Fire won't stay lit

            I think I was doing a bunch of things wrong. I didn't have enough kindling, too big of a log to start with plus it had about 9.5% moisture according to the meter. Pretty dry, but could be drier. I'll look up a draft door and try everyone's suggestions in the meantime. Also, I'll get a few pics up. Thanks for the help.

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            • #7
              Re: Fire won't stay lit

              Oh I forgot to mention that I put in an 8" x 24" chimney so I hope that's not too small.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Fire won't stay lit

                Here's a pic of it basically done. I also rigged up an automatic door of sorts that uses an RTD in the middle of the floor to sense the temp and then will open or close to maintain the temp. I couldn't find any info on the forums and obviously I'm not sure if it works yet. Has anyone tried this? If so, results?

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                • #9
                  Re: Fire won't stay lit

                  My 2 cents is your wood has to be wet. If your useing kindling and get that started in the front of the oven with bigger chunks and get those going you should never have a problem. Once its going well under your chimney push it into the center of the oven it will roar as long as your woods not wet. Seasoned wood is easy to identify by looking for cracks/checking in the grain at the end of the logs. If no cracks it's not dry. It takes at least 6 months stored indoors dry to season wood in NW Pennsylvania.
                  Chris

                  Link to my photo album:
                  https://www.flickr.com/photos/hodgey...7646087819291/

                  Link to my build: http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f21/...nia-19366.html

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                  • #10
                    Re: Fire won't stay lit

                    Makes sense, I'll try starting the fire under the chimney and go from there.

                    Not sure why my picture didn't show up? Did I do something wrong?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Fire won't stay lit

                      Use a torch to start it up and put a draft door, my draft door quickly and I mean instantly lights the wood into flames.
                      Matthew 19:26. With God all things are possible.

                      My Build: http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f21/...les-18741.html

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                      • #12
                        Re: Fire won't stay lit

                        Originally posted by lifeofpie View Post
                        I also rigged up an automatic door of sorts that uses an RTD in the middle of the floor to sense the temp and then will open or close to maintain the temp.
                        Really? Did you wonder why you couldnt find anything related on the internet?
                        The English language was invented by people who couldnt spell.

                        My Build.

                        Books.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Fire won't stay lit

                          Originally posted by V-wiz View Post
                          my draft door quickly and I mean instantly lights the wood into flames.
                          Same here, and little if any smoke.
                          The English language was invented by people who couldnt spell.

                          My Build.

                          Books.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Fire won't stay lit

                            Originally posted by lifeofpie View Post
                            Hi everyone, I just finished my first oven and I'm having trouble keeping the fire lit. I built it to the instructions, but I think I'm having an airflow issue. Any ideas?
                            Almost certainly believe your problem is a new and wet oven. They are always a bitch to keep the early fires alight. Beware that as soon as the oven interior dries a little and the fire stays alight ok, the rest of it is still wet and in danger of damage if you boost the fire up too soon. Take it slow and follow the guide on the curing thread.
                            Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Fire won't stay lit

                              Hi

                              Use Doug's method of using heat beads to begin drying process.
                              Cheers Colin

                              My Build - Index to Major Build Stages

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