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home brew mix - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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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:
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  • home brew mix

    I am wondering what kind of range for joint thickness you can get a way with when using the home brew mix of Portland, Sand, Lime and Fireclay.

    Does one worry about using coarser sand in the mix for thicker mortar joints?

    I have not used the home brew before but leaning in this direction for my next oven. Back to the mesh of sand, is there a recommended mesh to go with for gaps ranging from 1/16Ē to say one inch for some of the tapered joints in the dome?

    Also when I am shopping for the lime, is there anything specific I should be asking for, or is all lime the same.

    Thanks Wayne
    Step by Step of Oven #2 Build... I have built this one in partnership with a friend for a customer that took a liking to my first oven https://picasaweb.google.com/waynebe...42PompeiiOven#

  • #2
    Re: home brew mix

    I would buy the refactory mortar.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: home brew mix

      Get Hydrated Lime - it should be widely available.

      Regarding the mortar - any time I had a large gap (1/8" or more) I used brick shavings / wedges as fill between bricks - with the mortar.

      Two reasons . . .

      It's a great way to get rid of the hundreds of brick "shims" left from cutting bricks and it helps reduce the size of all the mortar joints.

      Take a look at my oven in this post:

      http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/8/ch...tml#post113880

      You can see the brick shims sticking out in the mortar joints. Let it dry a couple of days and tap them with a mason's hammer - they break off clean at the dome.

      I've completed my dome, cured it and made pizzas and don't have any cracks at all.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: home brew mix

        I just finished the dome for my 42 inch WFO. I never have used the store bought mortar, but really liked the homebrew. I used "hydrated lime" and "fine sand". Don't use the playground or all purpose sand. The nice thing about the homebrew was the ability of adding water as you go to keep the consistancy the way you like. For my dome I used about 50 lbs of portland, half a bag of lime, about 50 lbs of fireclay and about 150 lbs of sand.
        Leigh

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: home brew mix

          Originally posted by waynespizzaworld View Post
          or is all lime the same.
          No, some is a white powder used in mortar mix and some are green that are used in Corona's.

          I think I filled gaps around 5/8 inch wide. I would go w/ cheesesteak's recommendation of using the brick as shims. In hindsight, I would have done the same
          Check out my pictures here:
          http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/les-build-4207.html

          If at first you don't succeed... Skydiving isn't for you.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: home brew mix

            Leigh, so it sounds like its OK to rehydrate the mix as you go if it starts to dry out, which sounds good. This brings to mind another question I forgot to ask, how long is your work time with a mix? The store bought product I used on my last build had a very short work time and you were not supposed to rehydrate it so it meant making lots and lots of small batches.

            And Les, its a good thing I know what a Corona is or may have been shopping for the green stuff........haha. Are you saying Les, that about 5/8th of an inch is about the max joint gap to be working with?

            Thanks guys.
            Step by Step of Oven #2 Build... I have built this one in partnership with a friend for a customer that took a liking to my first oven https://picasaweb.google.com/waynebe...42PompeiiOven#

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: home brew mix

              Wayne, I usually mixed a batch which would be enough for about 10 bricks. That mix was about 6 cups sand and 2 cups others. That typically would last me for a couple of hours. I did rehydrate as needed, which was nice considering the 95 degree days. Also depending how long the bricks soak would determine how wet the mortar was. After the many courses, I was able to figure the wetness such that even the 75 degree course would stick after holding it for just a minute. I never needed props to hold the bricks as I went. Like I say, I love that homebrew stuff.
              Leigh

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: home brew mix

                Best practice for portland cement mortars is ONE retempering. I would not exceed that.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: home brew mix

                  My practice was to mix the mortar fairly loose, keep what I wasn't using in a covered bucket in the shade, then mist the mortar in the tray with a spray bottle when needed. Hope that wasn't overdoing it, seemed to set up real well so far.
                  Leigh

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: home brew mix

                    Where can I see the exact ingredients and rations for this "home brew" mortar?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: home brew mix

                      Originally posted by waynespizzaworld View Post
                      about 5/8th of an inch is about the max joint gap to be working with?
                      I really can't answer that. But building a 42 inch oven, using 1/2 bricks, that's about the max size of gap you will see. As mentioned earlier, I would use the brick as shims. If the mortar does get compromised, they will stay in place. So far my oven is standing like the day of the first fire. The home brew works.
                      Check out my pictures here:
                      http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/les-build-4207.html

                      If at first you don't succeed... Skydiving isn't for you.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: home brew mix

                        As far as the ratios, 3:1:1:1 sand, lime, portland, fireclay. I used about 1.8 parts water depending on temps. Mixed the dry stuff together with gloved hand and dust mask, then add water and used a drill with mixing attachment. My gaps were around 5/8 inch as well on the outside of the dome, some slightly more, some less.
                        Leigh

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: home brew mix

                          I mixed my first home brew in a mixer which did over half the dome, next morning I cut in the hearth bricks and mixed my second brew which completed the dome.
                          I would never remix the mortar, (get it to the workable consistency with added water) more than once as the portland cement is chemically setting and excess water will reduce the strength. Always wet the bricks and mortar them in place when drained for a few minutes. You will get the best bond this way.


                          Cheers

                          Neill
                          Prevention is better than cure, - do it right the first time!

                          The more I learn, the more I realise how little I know


                          Neillís Pompeiii #1
                          http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/n...-1-a-2005.html
                          Neillís kitchen underway
                          http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f35/...rway-4591.html

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: home brew mix

                            the forno bravo search box ...............Go to, high heat morter primer

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