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Pompeii Oven in Switzerland: the Saga Continues... - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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Pompeii Oven in Switzerland: the Saga Continues...

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  • Pompeii Oven in Switzerland: the Saga Continues...

    The weather cleared up a bit the last couple of days, so my insulation and outer structure finally got off the ground.

    I'm using rebar for the basic shape, which fits into holes in the vermiculite layer, covered by wire mesh and lined with some kind of floor underlay stuff I found. My reasoning is that the heat will be kept inside by the insulation, and the underlay stuff only serves the purpose of keeping the vermiculite in and the cement out, so it doesn't have to be specially strong or heat resistant.

    Its so nice to be out there again! ...the only grumble I have is that somehow insulation just doesn't seem to lend itself to singing.

    Oh wait, I do have one:

    Stop, stop, stop the heat
    leaking from the dome,
    Merrily, merily, merrily, merrily,
    pizzas for my home.
    Attached Files
    "Building a Brick oven is the most fun anyone can have by themselves." (Terry Pratchett... slightly amended)

    http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/p...pics-2610.html
    http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f9/p...nues-2991.html

  • #2
    Re: Pompeii Oven in Switzerland: the Saga Continues...

    Looks good Frances.

    I think you did the same thing as me. The difference is I used screen and a different framing.

    How many inches of vermiculite did you end up with?
    I think I ended up with about 5-6 on average. 17cm if I converted correctly.

    I'll tell ya .. mine sure holds the heat in. Amazing... I like to cook brisket at
    300 f or so... And after firing mine on Saturday night for pizza... Sunday morning my WFO was at 475 f +!!

    TOO HOT! So I didn't quite get the brisket I was looking for. But it was still quite tasty.

    I may have to wait 2 days before cooking a large chunk of meat next time!

    Cheers

    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

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Pompeii Oven in Switzerland: the Saga Continues...

      Dave, you really seem to be getting that hang of cooking in your WFO! I still have a lot of learning to do there - I end up putting things in a too hot oven, getting them prepared too late so the heat is too low... but I'll get there! (...ok, so maybe I DO need a thermometer...)

      The other thing is, its too cold outside to do much cooking, especially in the evening. I'm so looking forward to next summer!

      I ended up with between 10 and15 cm of insulation (I think). Hey, did you post any pics of your insulation? I was waiting for them to use some of your ideas!
      "Building a Brick oven is the most fun anyone can have by themselves." (Terry Pratchett... slightly amended)

      http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/p...pics-2610.html
      http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f9/p...nues-2991.html

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Pompeii Oven in Switzerland: the Saga Continues...

        Originally posted by Frances View Post
        I was waiting for them to use some of your ideas!
        You know... I forgot to do that.

        Ill snap some pics at home tonight and get them posted tomorrow!
        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

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Pompeii Oven in Switzerland: the Saga Continues...

          Hi Frances,

          Glad to see you're making progress! I can't quite tell from the photos though - is there 'vermiculcrete' under the silver cover (is that an insulating blanket?), or is the silver thing directly on the dome, with something to be added on top of it?

          I'm stalled out - too cold, wet and dark too by the time I finish work, and too many other things intruding on weekends - so I am stuck envying the progress of others ...

          Have you decided on the final finish yet?

          Sarah

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Pompeii Oven in Switzerland: the Saga Continues...

            Hi Sarah,

            The first layer of insulation is a double layer of 2" rockwool with a silvery backing - mainly because that was all I could find. Then I coverd it with a layer of loose vermiculite, because the rockwool should not be compressed...

            I'm a bit puzzled about the insulation properties of my oven at the moment though: I cooked 11 pizzas over lunch today and had a ball. I have no problem getting the heat up and each one cooks in about a minute. I'm astounded at how well it all works and how good they taste...

            But the bread I baked this afternoon didn't brown on the bottom properly. Well, I did some yesterday leaving the coals in the oven and it got a bit too brown - so I took the coals out today. And by this evening the oven isn't really hot enough to cook in. I don't know, is the heat leaking out the oven floor? Is the rockwool not a good enough insulator? Should I keep the big fire going for longer if I want to cook again in the evening?

            On the other hand the oven was warm inside two days after firing... I dunno. Maybe I just shouldn't compare my oven with Dave's . After all, I am cooking some great meals in there...

            Any tips anyone?
            "Building a Brick oven is the most fun anyone can have by themselves." (Terry Pratchett... slightly amended)

            http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/p...pics-2610.html
            http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f9/p...nues-2991.html

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Pompeii Oven in Switzerland: the Saga Continues...

              Oh, I forgot: the final finish will definately be mosaics, with swirling colours and patterns which are currently changing on a daily basis.

              And todays insulation song is "I can't get no insulation" by the Stones.

              Don't worry Sarah, Springtime will come round again sooner or later...
              "Building a Brick oven is the most fun anyone can have by themselves." (Terry Pratchett... slightly amended)

              http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/p...pics-2610.html
              http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f9/p...nues-2991.html

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Pompeii Oven in Switzerland: the Saga Continues...

                Originally posted by Frances View Post
                And by this evening the oven isn't really hot enough to cook in. I don't know, is the heat leaking out the oven floor? Is the rockwool not a good enough insulator? Should I keep the big fire going for longer if I want to cook again in the evening?
                Any tips anyone?
                How big, how hot, and how long was your last fire?
                My last firing.. the oven was TOO hot to cook pizza in. It could be that you might need to fire it longer.

                Let me know about your last fire. We can compare notes!

                and what are those fabulous meals that you have been cooking?

                I wanna know that too!

                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

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Pompeii Oven in Switzerland: the Saga Continues...

                  Frances
                  When you finished the pizzas did you spread coals out on the oven floor? Usually when baking bread it is a good idea to spread the coals out across the floor to allow the heat to soak into the floor bricks. Then after 30 minutes to an hour or even longer clean the floor and close the door...that will allow the temperature to stabilize throughout the dome. When your floor surface is 550F you should steam the oven briefly, load the oven, and then steam briefly again. Vent the steam about halfway through baking to set the crust! I think that method should serve you quite well!
                  Best
                  Dutch
                  "Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity. " Charles Mingus
                  "Build at least two brick ovens...one to make all the mistakes on and the other to be just like you dreamed of!" Dutch

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Pompeii Oven in Switzerland: the Saga Continues...

                    Ooops, no I didn't spread the coals over the floor.
                    Thank you Dutch!

                    Dave, I started my fire at 11:30, started cooking pizza around 12:30 when the dome had gone clear, still with quite a big fire going. I finished with the pizzas about an hour later. I took out the coals half an hour after that and closed the oven doors. Spreading the coals and leaving them in longer will probably solve my bread issues, but by evening, hmmm...

                    The meals I've cooked haven't been "fabulous" so far - mostly (and I'm really, really embarassed admitting this ) warming up leftovers: chopping up cooked potatoes and sprinkling them with cheese, that kind of thing. Its like using a Ferrari to do the grocery shopping! And it takes over an hour to get anything warm by then

                    How does this differ from your routine Dave? You know what, I'm going onto ebay right away to get myself a thermometer!

                    Frances
                    "Building a Brick oven is the most fun anyone can have by themselves." (Terry Pratchett... slightly amended)

                    http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/p...pics-2610.html
                    http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f9/p...nues-2991.html

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Pompeii Oven in Switzerland: the Saga Continues...

                      I usually start with a small fire.. increasing it to the "plasma" state over a period of 45 minutes or so. Then I keep it at that state .. probably another 45 minutes. Until the entire dome is clean. From the very top all the way down to the floor. Now my last burn I accidentally loaded a few too many large pieces of wood toward the end. Thinking my dome was never going to go white.They were large pieces about 5 - 6 inches in diameter. So I still had a raging fire when the dome turned completely white. It probably burned for another 30 minutes. I think this may be why I had so much retained heat the following day. That sucker was HOT! Too hot, at first, for pizza!

                      So you may try firing an additional 30 minutes and leaving the coals in. Then blocking the door. (I've been using bricks.) And try baking your bread the next day.

                      I can't wait to try bread with the steam method this weekend.
                      My last loaf was good. But the crust was hard and very thick. Maybe the steam will solve that problem.

                      Have fun Frances!

                      And try those mushrooms this weekend if you enjoy things like that.!

                      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

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Pompeii Oven in Switzerland: the Saga Continues...

                        Eleven pizzas - cool! And bread ... still just a dream for me. I bet Dutch's suggestion about spreading the coals will help. The mosaic finish sounds great, as well as lots of fun to do too! As for heating leftovers, at least you're using your oven, which is more than I can say right now. I hope to ... no, make that WILL ... get back out there this weekend!!

                        Sarah

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Pompeii Oven in Switzerland: the Saga Continues...

                          Yeah Sarah, go for it! What's next for you? Insulation?

                          I hope to get a bit more done over the weekend too, maybe. The weather has turned a bit warmer again and wet... everyone else is hating it while I'm going: Hooray, ideal cement curing conditions!

                          Dave, I've been waiting for a chance to try those mushrooms ever since I read about them. Thanks for the advice, I'll try heating for longer before the next lot of pizzas and see what happens. (...watch this space... )
                          "Building a Brick oven is the most fun anyone can have by themselves." (Terry Pratchett... slightly amended)

                          http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/p...pics-2610.html
                          http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f9/p...nues-2991.html

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Pompeii Oven in Switzerland: the Saga Continues...

                            Originally posted by Frances View Post
                            I'll try heating for longer before the next lot of pizzas and see what happens. (...watch this space... )
                            I'll be watching!
                            As usual~!

                            I'm a junky......
                            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

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Pompeii Oven in Switzerland: the Saga Continues...

                              Reading through other people's posts, it sounds like I've been really lucky with the weather this weekend . Started covering the insulated dome with mortar... and I came up with a couple of questions:

                              - Should I have prepared the vermiculcrete in some way before covering it with mortar? I didn't want to make it wet, because it really seems damp enough already.

                              - How thick does the mortar have to be over the vermiculcrete?

                              - How thick should the layer of mortar be over the dome? The insulation underneath is really quite squishy, so the outside has to be like a self supporting shell. I'll be adding more chicken wire with a second (and third if necessary) layer of mortar, but I'd be really happy if I didn't have to put in more rebar...

                              Any advice would be very welcome.

                              On a lighter note, I'll add some "before" and "after" pictures of my pizza accessories. So far I've been turning the pizzas with our garden rake ... of course now I'll have to wait for the mortar to cure before I can try my beautiful new peel set.
                              Attached Files
                              "Building a Brick oven is the most fun anyone can have by themselves." (Terry Pratchett... slightly amended)

                              http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/p...pics-2610.html
                              http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f9/p...nues-2991.html

                              Comment

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