I figured out how to build a homemade maple syrup evaporator because I was burning through a lot of propane when making maple syrup. I don't make enough syrup to warrant buying one, but a DIY maple syrup evaporator was just what I needed. Watch the 2 videos below and step through the photos of the evpaorator build.
The Making Of time lapse video:
How to use the Homemade Maple Syrup Evaporator
This is made out of a metal 4 drawer file cabinet and a few steam table pans, plus some stuff you may already have or can get cheaply or for free. If you can find a 5 drawer file cabinet, even better, it will allow you space to have another pan for boiling.
This is not an original idea of mine, I learned about it through Annie Corrigan of Earth Eats, a WFIU radio program and podcast. She produced a story about Mike Bell of the Hinkle Garton Farmstead, who made this great homemade maple syrup evaporator. You can see photos of his rig here.
We have two videos of this evaporator. One is a fun time lapse of me building the rig, the second is a walk through of how to use make maple syrup with it. Below the videos are photos of building the evaporator and more videos on how to make maple syrup
Before I built this evaporator, I was using a lot of propane to boil down sap into syrup, you can watch a video of how we use a propane turkey deep fryer to make maple syrup here. The turkey fryer method works, but you burn through the propane, and make a bunch of trips to the hardware store buying refills.
I did not keep close track of how many gallons of sap I boiled down in a day, but if you keep on top of it, I imagine you can boil down about 50-70 gallons a day, depending on the sugar ratio of your sap and how hot your fire burns. Pallets and scrap lumber burn hotter than firewood, I found.
Click Here to go to the next page for photos and instructions on how to build the homemade maple syrup evaporator.
After reading through photos for the homemade maple syrup evaporator, check out how I improved the original design in this video: