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cleaning bricks - 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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- 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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cleaning bricks

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  • cleaning bricks

    Okay, so I'm in the process of building the dome and it seems that I forgot to clean a few bricks before the mortar was set. Now I'm worried it will 1) look unsightly, and more importantly 2) the mortar will fall off during a cooking session. Should I worry about this? I saw a thread about using muriatic acid to clean bricks, but I'm not very enthusiastic about using that stuff.

    Suggestions/advice most appreciated.

    Chris

  • #2
    Re: cleaning bricks

    If you're careful, you can use an angle grinder to remove just the mortar while allowing the diamond blade to barely contact the brick. The mortar should come off like butter and you'll easily feel the denser brick below. Remember to wear a mask!

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    • #3
      Re: cleaning bricks

      I agree with John...use the grinder very carefully and you'll be done in a few minutes. Muriatic acid is nasty stuff.

      gene

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      • #4
        Re: cleaning bricks

        If you use Muriatic acid, also known as Hydrochloric acid, it must be diluted, but don't go stronger than 10:1 A safer alternative is vinegar, but it will be less effective on mortar that is hard. Rinse off any acidic cleaners with water.
        Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.

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        • #5
          Re: cleaning bricks

          Originally posted by david s View Post
          If you use Muriatic acid, also known as Hydrochloric acid, it must be diluted, but don't go stronger than 10:1 A safer alternative is vinegar, but it will be less effective on mortar that is hard. Rinse off any acidic cleaners with water.
          I personally never go stonger than 20:1, usually between 15 & 20:1. The stronger the acid (depending on the masonry) the more likely it is to soak into the brick and stay within the structure. I've visited jobs that have gone so hard on the acid, you can actually smell it as you walk past, and that's after 6 months!

          I always use a sponge and fresh water on the day of laying after it's dried a little, to remove the most obvious bits of mortar that have found their way onto the face of the brick. This makes it a whole lot easier when using the acid, as I've found 20:1 sufficient to remove the light 'film' of mortar smudge which is left from the sponging.

          Make sure you wet down any bricks down BEFORE applying the diluted acid. This will also help the brick/masonry 'take up' moisture beforehand which reduces the likelihood of acid penetrating the brick. A good wash down with fresh water is also essential.
          Boom Shanker! (Neil - The Young Ones)


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