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Anyone ever tried adding citric acid to refactory cement? - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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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.

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Anyone ever tried adding citric acid to refactory cement?

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  • Anyone ever tried adding citric acid to refactory cement?

    Apparently it gives you more time to work with the mix... interesting article:

    https://www.elkem.com/Global/ESM/sup...0Castables.pdf
    My oven on a pallet build thread

  • #2
    Re: Anyone ever tried adding citric acid to refactory cement?

    Interesting. If the refractory manufacturers reckon it works - it works.
    The other interesting bit is the difference in flow times depending on temperatures.
    It appears the easiest and cheapest thing to do would be to use ice water to formulate the castable, as Davids recommends.
    I imagine if you had a tub of water with big blocks of ice in it to use for your mix water, and picked a nice cool day to cast your refractory, you should not have any difficulty with rapid set.
    Last edited by wotavidone; 05-14-2014, 05:00 PM.

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    • #3
      Re: Anyone ever tried adding citric acid to refactory cement?

      Old timers used sugar as a retardant for mortar. I've never tried it though.
      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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      • #4
        Re: Anyone ever tried adding citric acid to refactory cement?

        Yes, I've heard that citric acid can be used, but you have to be extremely accurate with additions, also I have no idea how it might affect resulting strength so haven't tried it. I prefer to use chilled water. Sugar can work for retarding portland going off, but I'm not sure if it applies to calcium aluminate cements as well. Here in Australia I'm told the cement mixer drivers always carry a couple of kilos of sugar to dump in the load if they get stuck and can't unload it. Apparently it's enough to stop the reaction completely. Otherwise once it's gone hard you need jackhammers and dynamite to get it out
        Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.

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