Maple Syrup

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winter clove inn
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Post Sun. May. 04, 2014 7:51 pm

I am looking for a coal fired maple syrup evaporator.Any help would be appreciated.Thanks.Bud

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Rob R.
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Post Sun. May. 04, 2014 8:02 pm

I have never seen or heard of one. The closest thing I have seen is some guys in Vermont that made a custom wood-chip stoker to fire their evaporator. I supposed you could use a conversion stoker with the existing firebox, but I would worry about the long term effects on the evaporator.

Could you pipe steam from a boiler to the evaporator?

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Post Sun. May. 04, 2014 9:52 pm

For a small scale operation, I can't imagine that a coal fired evaporator would
be practical. The wood fired unit we use is like hell with the lid off. It eats wood
like mad, but makes an enormous amount of heat with a natural draft. When we
are getting close to the end of the days run, we rake the fire out into buckets.
Coal would need a blower to get the intensity needed and the ash would need to
handled somehow. I also think the coal gases would eat the evaporator and chimney
at a pretty good rate.
If you find one, post it. Would be fun to look at.

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Post Mon. May. 05, 2014 7:25 am

We do a small amount of maple syrup and use wood, but like you I've been thinking about how to use coal.
I thought what was pictured in this thread Just for Fun. would make a good start to a coal fired evaporator

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Post Mon. May. 05, 2014 9:29 am

How big? If your just boiling sap for yourself a kitchen range works very well. I know a few folks locally that use large pans or pots on top of their coal/wood kitchen ranges.

Carole has pictures of her set up on page 42 of the Cookin' with coal thread in the Hand Fired section. Cookin' With Coal The range can boil the sap while heating the house and adding moisture to the cold weather dry indoors.

Some of the small "laundry coal stoves" are sized to hold the oblong water boiler tanks that are still available on eBay. Those tanks hold about 10 gallons.

Coal laundry stove, ... 2a3bfe8570

Water boiler, ... 3f3405d5e6


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Post Mon. May. 05, 2014 9:51 am

I've been around Maple Production for over 60 years and have seen many 'creative evaporators', however coal was not a fuel of choice. Saw 3 new pellet evaporators this spring, and have worked with oil and propane since the late 50's. Biomass on a small scale, but coal just doesn't seem as 'authentic' as wood fired arches. Commercially no one would care, but mom, pop and the kids want to see the steam, roaring fire, and smell the wood smoke. By the way, the Sap House with pellet fire uses covered arches, steam is ducted to one exhaust, no residual heat, no cool smells.....too much like a Connecticut Landscape: tooooooooo perfect. No horse drawn wagon or get the idea. Everything is all stainless steel.....nice, but no character. Like the fella says: It takes 'Rural Characters to MAKE Rural Character!'

Best of luck, because I would love to hear how it works out. After this dismal season, many will be headed off to other projects I think. :idea:

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Post Mon. May. 05, 2014 5:21 pm

A big underfeed bit stoker could be slammed under one of those and it would probably work swimmingly. Could push a common residential will-bert s-30 in that situation to 6-800,000 BTU's without a problem. I've been thinking about this for years, people burn a LOT of fuel oil to make maple syrup; in this situation, bit coal would be much cheaper, and, since it's steady fire, it avoids many of the difficulties with bit coal stokers. If you want to make one, pm me, we can talk.

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