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Thread: Yet another barrel evaporator build!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    North Grenville
    Posts
    1,249

    Default Yet another barrel evaporator build!

    Hey all, I am getting a friend to make me a barrel evaporator. Wondering what will happen to the paint lining the barrel and on the outside when a fire is lit in it. Will the paint burn off in one go or will it be toxic crap? Barrel was used for honey storage. Any advice or hints I should pass on?
    Been tapping since 2008, but mostly unexceptional til recent years.
    2015 - 18 taps/6 trees, 424l sap and 20.75l syrup
    2016 - 18 taps/6 trees..701l sap, 24l syrup
    2017 - 17 taps/6 trees...474l sap, 15.75l syrup
    2018 - 17 taps/7 trees...819l sap, approx 28l syrup
    2019 - 18 taps/8 trees...585l sap, 28l syrup...21:1 ratio
    2020 - 18 taps/8 trees...890.04l sap...gave some away, some snafu'd....23l total for me from more like 690l all told

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Lancaster NH
    Posts
    107

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    Hi Galena, I made one years ago. Used it for about 5 years before moving up. I only remember the paint smell burning on the first run. What I do remember is the heat it put out as i did not insulate it. When it was ripping I could only stand next to it for a short while.
    44 27'08/71 27'56
    300 totalish taps 250 on tube and bosworth sap sucker
    50 bucket and bags about 40-50 gallons a season
    on a 2 by 7 home made evaporator and sugar shack
    1st gen circa 1966 still learning stuff

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
    Location
    Corbeil, ON
    Posts
    4

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    I will be building one this fall for my first season in the spring. I plan to boil water on the first run to test it out and also burn off the paint and fumes. I might paint it with high temp paint afterwards. I think I will place roxul insulation on the sides of the barrel in an attempt to keep the heat inside the barrel letting me get close to without burning my legs.

    I am only tapping 12 trees so i will be using full size steam pans for the first year to test things out before spending the big bucks on a fabricated pan.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Middleburgh NY
    Posts
    76

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    Light a fire in it before you cut the opening for the pans. The paint will take a while to burn off and you wont want to breath it in or boil on it until the paint is burned off.
    2014 6 Taps Block Arch and momas canning pot, 3 gallons YIKES

    2019 100 taps and a new adventure with a home built arch.

    2020 90 taps, my wife and I and a Bucket RO...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
    Location
    Corbeil, ON
    Posts
    4

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    Quote Originally Posted by red/one View Post
    Light a fire in it before you cut the opening for the pans. The paint will take a while to burn off and you wont want to breath it in or boil on it until the paint is burned off.
    Thanks for the tip.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    North Grenville
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    Quote Originally Posted by red/one View Post
    Light a fire in it before you cut the opening for the pans. The paint will take a while to burn off and you wont want to breath it in or boil on it until the paint is burned off.
    Thanks very much for that caution, I will notify my welder.

    I have black stove paint for my cast iron stove, I assume that will be hi-temp enough to paint my evaporator with? And I will be putting it in my sugar shack, whish as a heat shield, so don't know if it needs anything more to help retain heat.
    Been tapping since 2008, but mostly unexceptional til recent years.
    2015 - 18 taps/6 trees, 424l sap and 20.75l syrup
    2016 - 18 taps/6 trees..701l sap, 24l syrup
    2017 - 17 taps/6 trees...474l sap, 15.75l syrup
    2018 - 17 taps/7 trees...819l sap, approx 28l syrup
    2019 - 18 taps/8 trees...585l sap, 28l syrup...21:1 ratio
    2020 - 18 taps/8 trees...890.04l sap...gave some away, some snafu'd....23l total for me from more like 690l all told

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    northwest CT
    Posts
    12

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    brick the inside to keep more heat in

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    chester, ma
    Posts
    402

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    Quote Originally Posted by CTguy923 View Post
    brick the inside to keep more heat in
    Definitely do this ^^^.

    For my first homemade evaporator, made out of an old wood-burning stove, I did not insulate the inside. After three years of use it was so warped that the pans no longer fit into the spaces I'd cut for them. Then the door wouldn't close. And it kept getting worse.

    If your arch is running hot like it should be, uninsulated metal just can't handle it long-term.

    Cheers,

    GO
    2016: Homemade arch from old woodburning stove. 2 steam tray pans. 6 taps on buckets. 1.1 gall syrup
    2017: Same homemade evaporator, but souped up. Still 2 steam tray pans. 15 taps on buckets. 4.5 galls syrup.
    2018: Same setup. Limited time (New baby!) 12 taps and short season. 2.2 gallons syrup.
    2019: Still very limited time. Downsized to 7 taps and a short season. 1.8 gallons syrup
    2020: 9 taps, new Mason 2x3 XL halfway through season, 2 gallons syrup
    2021: Planning on 15-16 taps

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    North Grenville
    Posts
    1,249

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    Quote Originally Posted by berkshires View Post
    Definitely do this ^^^.

    For my first homemade evaporator, made out of an old wood-burning stove, I did not insulate the inside. After three years of use it was so warped that the pans no longer fit into the spaces I'd cut for them. Then the door wouldn't close. And it kept getting worse.

    If your arch is running hot like it should be, uninsulated metal just can't handle it long-term.

    Cheers,

    GO
    I did use a cast-iron woodstove and used refractory cement on the various doors and welds. Can I use it in place of firebrick?
    Last edited by Galena; 10-24-2020 at 09:52 AM.
    Been tapping since 2008, but mostly unexceptional til recent years.
    2015 - 18 taps/6 trees, 424l sap and 20.75l syrup
    2016 - 18 taps/6 trees..701l sap, 24l syrup
    2017 - 17 taps/6 trees...474l sap, 15.75l syrup
    2018 - 17 taps/7 trees...819l sap, approx 28l syrup
    2019 - 18 taps/8 trees...585l sap, 28l syrup...21:1 ratio
    2020 - 18 taps/8 trees...890.04l sap...gave some away, some snafu'd....23l total for me from more like 690l all told

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