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pizza oven falling cement - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community



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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  • pizza oven falling cement

    i bake bread for a restaurant using a rosito-bisani modular pizza oven. to achieve certain qualities in the breads, i spray water into the oven at the beginning of baking using a garden mister. i have begun to notice that the spray seems to be causing chunks of the cement, which is plastered between the modular slabs which make up the dome, to crumble and fall. how concerned should i be about this? should i stop spraying? (the steam from the spray allows for a nice bloom in the loaf and a nice thick crust). can i put new cement between the dome slabs? what should i do?

  • #2
    Falling mortar

    The refractory mortar between the elements of your oven shouldn't react to the steam from misting: This is a pretty standard baker's technique. If it's the right kind of mortar, it should have plenty of resistance to temperature shock to remain intact. I suspect that someone used cheaper mortar to build your oven.

    You can point the oven from the inside: When it's cold, crawl in with the kind of carbide hook tool that they use for re-pointing tile in bathrooms, and scrape out any loose or crumbly mortar. Then mix a refractory mortar mix like "heat-stop 50" with water to a peanut butter consistancy, and squeeze it into the cracks. After a couple of hours, go in and sponge off any excess, and your ready to cure. A week to set, then small fires, and cool, progressively hotter, until you are back to baking temperatures.

    I know that the down time might be a problem for a commercial oven that's fired consistantly. In all likelyhood, you don't need to do any more than scrape out the pieces that are in danger of falling into your food. Those things are pretty self-supporting.
    My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2


    • #3
      I like David's advice. Get the mortar outta there, and repoint new mortar in. I have done some experimenting with cracked pieces and Refrax to see what would happen, and the results are good. In fact, we completely assembled a Forno Bravo oven that had been dropped by the shipper and destroyed. We put it together with a lot Refrax (inside and out) and it cooks great and is lasting well. Don't do this at home, but it was a good thing to know.

      Is it only the mortar that is calling in? Are the oven dome pieces themselves holding up and not cracking or starting to spall (flake)? If the dome is in good shape and it is just the mortar, I think it will work well.

      I would highly recommend Refrax over the U.S. made mortar. I know that it will stand up to the heat and thermal cycling.

      Pizza Ovens
      Outdoor Fireplaces


      • #4
        the oven dome seems to be in pretty good shape, although it is pitted a bit. it is more the mortar filling the cracks that seems to be falling out, although it's stopped or slowed down in the last couple of weeks.

        yeah, the oven is being used constantly. is it okay to patch the cracks without an extended curing time?