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Big or small vermiculite? - 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.

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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Big or small vermiculite?

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  • Big or small vermiculite?

    I went to HD to see what they had in vermiculite. They had big bags of a small type or fine grade of vermiculite. It looked different than what I expected. I tried looking around the threads, but didn't see anything about the size of vermiculite. Am I looking for the larger size (to get that oatmeal mix) or will this finer grade work the same.

    Mike

  • #2
    Re: Big or small vermiculite?

    HD had 4 cu ft bags of vermiculite? This is news.

    The small stuff will work as well as the large particles. The only thing we've been warned off from is the silicone treated vermiculite, and at least one user has used this successfully.
    My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

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    • #3
      Re: Big or small vermiculite?

      Thanks dmun-

      I think they were 2 cu ft (at $17), They had perlite as well, in the garden center. Is there a difference in using perlite or vermiculite. Any advantages of one over the other (ease of mixing, insulation value)?
      Thanks-
      Mike

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      • #4
        Re: Big or small vermiculite?

        Perlite is a marginally better insulator but probably marginally more expensive. I prefer vermiculite because it does not break down on mixing as much as perlite so you don't lose volume. I found perlite also contains a proporttion of dust that is irritating when inhaled. The perlite, that I've used also tends to float in the mix making it more difficult to get a constant mix. I'm sure that both materials vary depending on their source, but these are the characteristics I've encountered.
        Dave
        Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.

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        • #5
          Re: Big or small vermiculite?

          I used standard vermiculite from the garden store. I have had my oven up to full operating temp several times and have never felt the slightest bit of warmth. After 3 months there are no visible cracks or weak spots. I used around a 70/30 mix concrete/vermiculite (give or take). So far so good.

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