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Thread: Does anyone use a tent for a sugar shack?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    4

    Default Does anyone use a tent for a sugar shack?

    Hey Everyone, I've been making maple syrup on my families land in the Upper Peninsula for the past two years. Last year had 120 taps going. I use a CDL old fashioned wood burning evaporator with a 4' x 2' pan. This year I wanted to have some sort of shelter to put over my evaporator in order to keep rain and snow from falling in while I'm boiling, and also possibly to keep myself warm but I lack the funds currently to build any sort of wood shack. I'm just wondering if anyone uses some sort of tent for their sugar shack, and if so what kind? I was looking at tents from Montana Canvas that have the hole to put a stove pipe through and those seemed nice, but really expensive. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Candia NH
    Posts
    89

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    I've seen pictures of plenty of pop up shacks, from store purchased to pallet frame and a tarp. Don't forget if you go this route you will also have to make some kind of opening in the roof to let the steam out. I was going to put one up this year but decided not to as I'm pouring my pad as soon as I can this spring and then building my shack.
    2018 - ?? 2x5 lapierre raised flue evaporator

    2017 - 150 taps mixed 2.5 x 4 evaporator

    2016 - 230 taps taps mixed 2.5 x 4 evaporator

    2015 - 115 taps mixed buckets, bags and, water jugs. 2.5 x 4 evaporator.

    2014 - 55 taps mixed buckets, bags and, drop lines. 4 steam trays and a block arch. 3 gallons made tapped prematurely (lesson learned)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Potsdam in far northern New York
    Posts
    739

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    I made syrup a few years with my uncle in a blue tarp shelter. It worked well enough, but it was a pain to build it and have to take it down every year. It was noisy in the wind, and would frost up and snow on us if it was cold. So yes, it will work as a temporary measure.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Colrain, MA
    Posts
    40

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    I'm using a tent this year only. I used to sell yarn at craft shows so I already had an extremely sturdy (expensive) tent. The steam is no problem as long as you open up a side or two. However, the wind is another issue. It's likely you can't get any stakes into the ground. I anchored mine to my barn and to a huge wooden box where I keep my firewood for the evaporator. We're getting 18" of snow tomorrow. I'll let you know if it isn't standing on Thursday morning. Maybe I'll boil during the storm, just to melt the snow as it falls.
    Penfrydd Farm
    21 taps
    maybe 35 next year
    Half-pint
    Boiling in a tent...maybe in a shack next year.
    Hoping to do natural gravity vacuum next year.
    First time boiling since 1972

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Sugar Camp, Wisconsin
    Posts
    259

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    This is what I did 2016 because of the on / off rain. Sat just inside the barn but smoke and steam went outside. The barn blocked the wind Jay

    Boiling 2016 (3).jpg Boiling 2016 (4).jpg
    Zucker Lager

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Alcona County, Michigan
    Posts
    1,134

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    I used a tarp angled down from the roof of my house to the hand rail of my deck during my first year of sugaring. Just that little amount of cover was great. If you get the slope right, the condensate will run down the slope instead of dripping. I would say a steep wall tent style would be good if you could open the gable ends to let the steam out. You have to keep the snow from building up.
    CE
    44° 41′ 3″ N

    2019 -- 44 Red Maples - My home and sugarbush are for sale.
    2018 -- 48 Red Maples, 7 gallons
    2017 -- 84 Red Maples, 1 Sugar Maple, and 1 Silver Maple , 13 gallons
    2016 -- 55 Red Maples, 8 gallons
    2015 -- 15 Red Maples, 6 Birches - 3+ gallons maple syrup
    An awning over my deck is my sugar shack.
    An electrified kitchen sink and an electrified steam table pan are my evaporators.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Lancaster, NH
    Posts
    26

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    Yeah, this is my first year sugaring and I am using a 10' x 20' carport from Home Depot. I fit my barrel stove evaporator, work table, picnic table and grill under it. I have 9' of stove pipe to get the stack above the top of the tarp. The tarp is only a few inches from the stove pipe so for the section of pipe that attached to the carport frame I wrapped a layer of leftover ceramic blanket then sheet metal and used metal strapping to hold it to the carport frame.

    I'll try and get some pics up tomorrow....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Chicago
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    4

    Default

    Thanks for the suggestions everyone.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    10,341

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    My first year I used a 10x10 peak roof type vendor's tent. The sides were left open but it was between my house and a shed, with 3' clear on the shed side and 3' on the house side. The evaporator (a Leader Half Pint) sat near the back of the tent and the stack went up at about a 50-55 degree angle. I screwed the sections together and braced it with EMT off the railing on my deck that was about 6-7' behind it. Just do what you must, but be safe. I've seen lots of pictures of 3 sided shelters made out of pallets and then a peaked or sloped roof over it. There are lots of places to find free pallets.
    Dave Klish about 1320 taps in '15, doing fewer each year, about 450 planned for 2020 (and after?)
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    3x8 raised flue evaporator
    250 GPH converted to electric, RO by Ray Gingerich
    6.32 KW solar system, 1.48KW is battery backed up, all net metered
    http://s1041.photobucket.com/albums/...anssugarhouse/
    website: www.cnymaple.com

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