Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Maple Syrup Evaporator

Its been a very long time since I have guest posted on here.  Alicia has been very busy working on trying to start her own postpartum doula business as well as helping to plan the Midwest Women's Herbal Conference.  We have also been cross country skiing a lot and this winter has been the best in my memory for it.  The snow is still here on the ground but we are beginning to think about Maple Syrupping season.  I recently got an old oil tank previously used for heating oil but it had a small hole and so our friend Dale had it sitting at his farm waiting for a great use for it.  He helped me look-up some great ideas on YouTube and this is a modification of one of the ideas.

Here I am decked out in my PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) after I cut the top off for the placement of the pans.

Oil drum tank with the top cut off.  The fastest way to cut it was with the angle grinder which is sitting to the right of the tank.
The inside is lined with bricks to insulate it and raise up the location of the fire.  I am cutting a door opening in the front.  In the picture you can kind of see the orange glow of the sparks flying from me cutting the metal.  That is my favourite part of using the angle grinder.  Thanks to Mike Kelly from High Meadow Farm who came over and helped me load it up with bricks, level it and figure out the logistics of where the door should be.
The tank is in its final home next to the corn crib and somewhat sheltered from the wind.  

This is just the first stages of making our big evaporator.  I will also be trying out making a smaller one using a rocket stove from Greg David.  Check back soon to see the progress. - Neal

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