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Vent/Opening and Heat Conductivity - 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.

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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Vent/Opening and Heat Conductivity

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  • Vent/Opening and Heat Conductivity

    I'm thinking about how to build the vent and opening for my oven, and most of the pictures I've seen so far show the corridor leading into the opening to be constructed out of fire brick. Wouldn't using a conductive material like fire brick or terracotta pull heat out of your oven? Wouldn't clay brick or something more insular help hold in the heat?

    So, has anyone had problems with heat bleeding out the opening structure? And has anyone done anything creative to prevent this? Or is it not that big of a problem? Any advice is much appreciated!

    Ethan

  • #2
    Re: Vent/Opening and Heat Conductivity

    Welcome Ethan,

    How did you come to be in Japan? It will be fun to see photos of your oven going up in the context of a Japanese neighborhood.

    Good question on the vent material. Both firebrick and clay bricks are thermal, in that they absorb and hold heat -- as opposed to insulators such as Infulfrax, SuperIsol, vermiculite, perlite, insulating firebricks, etc. which are pumped full of air holes and block heat. It is OK building your vent and vent walls from either firebrick or clay brick, as it doesn't get too hot in the vent area and it does not see direct exposure to flame.

    There isn't a problem with the vent being made from a thermal or refractroy material, as it is good for the vent to get hot and draw hot air from the oven, and promote convection. It is far enough away from the serious heat so that it does not wick heat from the oven.

    In fact, the vent walls and vent pieces for othe Casa oven are all made from the same material as the rest of the oven. The vent walls are built into the pre-cast dome pieces.

    Hope this helps -- I am looking forward to seeing some local photos.
    James
    Pizza Ovens
    Outdoor Fireplaces

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    • #3
      Re: Vent/Opening and Heat Conductivity

      James,

      What you say makes perfect sense for direct pizza cooking. I plan to have firebrick out to and including the oven door opening, then make a transition to red clay brick on the sides and front of the vent chamber, as well as above the oven for the chimney. The MTA oven (see pic) shows how I plan to do it, except that the sides of my vent chamber will be straight rather than angled, and be of clay brick.

      I have to have clay brick anyway on the sides of the vent chamber, as these will be situated in the middle of my bench top, and only one brick thickness thick. So done for appearance more than practicality.

      I’m also wondering if it would be a good idea, in the transition from firebrick to clay brick, to have a small gap (having regard to structural considerations) and stuff the gap with insulation blanket. Above the vent chamber, I was thinking of isolating the flue/chimney (which may simply be a single leaf of clay brick) with either some insulating firebricks, or like Drake, with some sort of cast insulating refractory material.

      The only reason I'm considering going to this trouble is for bread baking – I thought with these insulating ‘barriers’ there might be less heat drain from the oven after the fire is removed.

      Comments?

      Paul.

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