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Insulation alternatives - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community



New Forno Bravo Forum Feature

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.
- 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.

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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Insulation alternatives

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  • Insulation alternatives

    I guess the world is getting smaller. Yesterday I rec'd photos of a Pompeii oven in Sweden, and today I heard from a gentleman building a Pompeii oven in Tailand. It sounds like you can't find vermiculite there, so I wanted to ask if anyone has had experience using old-world insulators. I have heard that ash, or an ash and sand mix makes a good insulator for around the dome.

    Any thoughts on that?

    As an experiment, I covered my first precast oven in San Gimignano with sand, then an inexpensive insulation blanket -- with mixed results. Sand has a lot of thermal mass and it really heats up, so the oven was so-so at holding heat inside the chamber, and the stucco shell got hot.

    What are the properties of wood ash?

    Alf, you use sand in the large commercial bread ovens...right?

    Pizza Ovens
    Outdoor Fireplaces

  • #2
    Yep we use sand in the large commercial ovens we build for several reasons, 1) It is a good heat sink, is easy to come by and place on top of the ovens arch 2) Sand allows the oven arch to flex during odd commercial firings 3) We often have flues and water heating on top of these ovens and sand allows for movement and transfer heat efficiently.

    I wouldn’t say sand is a good insulator, however, that’s what folks used in the past. I have read that charcoal is a good insulating material along with crushed glass. One of the best insulating materials is still air of vacuum, so wool, straw, hay, bracken (one would have to check about combustion) shells from shellfish etc, or any natural material that will trap and hold air would be good

    One other good material if available would be polystyrene from packaging.