Home made Maple sap evaporator

Discussion in 'Self-made Gear' started by 3fires, Feb 27, 2011.

  1. 3fires

    3fires Guide

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    Fired it up today for a test run, works good, but still could use a little tweeking. I ran out of money halfway into it, but she'll boil sap. :14:

    I'm going out tomorrow to tap trees, rain or shine.

    YouTube - Maple Syrup Evaporator Home Made
     
  2. akabu

    akabu Supporter Supporter

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    Well thought out! let's see after the season.
    Did not see any embers coming off the stove top but you may want to do a "T"with the grate in the inside center,less chance of rain rolling in and sparks getting out.There is one made on bearings so the wind will make it shift.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2011
  3. John, the baptist

    John, the baptist Guest

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    Any chance at some pics? I don't have any chance of seeing that video (dial-up). I'm in KY...so our season is just about over. I can't upload any pics at the moment, but this is my first season boiling...

    I made my setup out of a 55 gallon drum, a barrel stove kit, and 2 buffet line trays (fairly large). My first boil I started at 11 am, and didn't wrap it up until 5 am...yep, you read that right. I boiled over 60 gallons of sap (i know this probably took wayyyyyyy too long, but hey, it was my first ride on this pony). Took a bit of time to get the damper/door/sap level/fire level to the point of constant and HOT boiling. Man that sure is some sweet syrup. I only had 24 spiles this year, but I'll probably run about 150 next year based on the number of Sugar Maples I've got. One thing is certain. I need a better setup, and bigger pans...:dblthumb:

    I've still got taps dripping, 60 gallons of sap, and more coming...not looking forward to all that boiling...but I am looking forward to all that syrup :4:.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 1, 2011
  4. John, the baptist

    John, the baptist Guest

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    Now I see that video face atleast. Three pans are def better than two, but it looks like I'm using the same pans...love to see the rest of that setup.
     
  5. sotramk

    sotramk Guide

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    Would bringing the steel plate forward over the firebox more give you better heat distribution?
    Maybe a baffle in the stack to slow the heat down...hmmm, just thinking outloud here.
    Can't wait to see your results.
    Do you gather your sap in bags or buckets? Hope to see some video of you tappin'
     
  6. mobasha

    mobasha Tracker

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    totally agree...if you slide the steel plate back in the direction of the feed door and put it directly under you pans it will work like a heat exchanger. just make sure the pan is sitting directly on top of the plate, u can use brick or furnace mortor to level the steel.... it would draft a bit better as there would be a clear direction for the heat to travel and you would use far less wood and have to feed it less.... just a thought, i have used similar set ups while building smokers and it made the world of difference.... looks great though looking forward to seeing you pour some syrup on the waffles....
    anthony
     
  7. 3fires

    3fires Guide

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    I'm doing buckets with tubing going directly into the bucket from a tree saver spile.

    Thanks for all the tips on the design, it does need a bit of tweeking, but near the end i had two pans rolling and the third was steaming pretty good. I think I'm getting around 6 gallons an hour, but I want to get that third pan boiling. I ran short on funds, as I planned on welding some sheet inside and framing the pans out with angle.

    Akabu, what you're talking about sounds interesting, but I'm not exactly sure what you mean regarding the location of the T.

    John, the baptist, it took me 10 hours to boil 10 gallons of sap last year on a little Coleman stove, so I guess you're doing OK. My setup will hold 4 pans as is, or coud hold one large 3X5 pan or something in between. Here's a couple pics or you can look at my photobucket page here.

    http://s101.photobucket.com/albums/m50/shroomer69/Wild edible plants/Maple Syrup/

    All of my maple syrup pics will be there.

    I tapped 12 trees today before my drill died, and am uploading a vid and a few pics now to PB and YouTube. The sap is flowing, should be boiling by the weekend.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. 3fires

    3fires Guide

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    Ya, me too! :)
     
  9. John, the baptist

    John, the baptist Guest

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    Thanks for the pics! I happen to have a fuel tank just like that sitting empty right now. I was planning on filling it with diesel, and probably still will, but that looks excellent.
     
  10. 3fires

    3fires Guide

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    You're welcome! The guy I bought that tank from fills them with cooking oil and uses it in the summer to run his vw's, diesels.

    I got 2 face cords of wood today, so I'm all set to make syrup now.
     
  11. 3fires

    3fires Guide

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    According to the experts, 3 to 4 taps will make a gallon of syrup. But, there's lots of variables that go into that. I put in 30 just to be safe.:D

    I'm tempted to put in 20 more, but it would mean a lot of walking through swamp, mud, hills, snow to get to them, or more importantly, back from them with 40 pound buckets in hand.
     
  12. 3fires

    3fires Guide

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    It works!

    Ok, this time it's real sap in the pans. I moved the firebox a bit deeper and added a few more bricks inside to help maintain the heat. If I keep the fire stoked all three pans will boil. I made a gallon of syrup on it Saturday.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Here's a vid and there's lots of pics in my PB album as well.

    YouTube - Maple Syrup First Boil Of The Season
     
  13. johndeereharvester2

    johndeereharvester2 Tinder Gatherer

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    nice boiler we map one with the same tank but set normal an we cut the top off till about a foot left in the back then welded a flat top on with hole in it fer are pans an also made side walls in it that will filled with sand an gravel to keep heat in an so its not so hot on the sides we have boiled down one gallon so far an workin on more its alot of fun
     

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