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Thread: sugar house size........

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Location
    SE Ohio
    Posts
    19

    Default sugar house size........

    Hi yall what size of sugar house would you build? I have a 2x6 evaporator currently at 250 taps with the potential to grow probably to 500-600 in the next 5-10 years... also I use a old dozer with a tank on the front to gather with that I would like to have real close or inside..... Also what are your thoughts on a carport and enclosing it? Thanks!!!!!!
    2021 250 taps with a Leader 2x6 evaporator!
    2020 185 taps
    2019 200 taps
    2018 200 taps
    2017 100 taps......

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Northeast Vermont
    Posts
    553

    Default

    i have a similar set up so i'll throw my .02 in. I have a 2.5x8 evaporator, run vacuum, have all my wood and all my sap storage inside. I run about 400 taps with max out at 550. my sugarhouse is 26' deep by 32' wide. the building was an old horse barn i gutted, cleaned up and converted into a sugarhouse. The room where my arch is (middle of sugarhouse), is 12' wide by 26' deep. my sap storage and vacuum pump room take up aprox 8' by 18' and my wood storage the remainder(plus a few emergency cords stacked outside). when it's just my wife and i boiling, the evaporator room is plenty big. if we have a few people stop by and hang out, it's not quite big enough. So, this summer we're blowing out the ext wall for my sap storage and adding another 4-5 feet. however that 4-5 feet is really just being added to the width of the evap room, making it 16ish feet by 26 feet. we do all our canning in our house kitchen so that isn't needed in the sugarhouse. I also have a second floor where all my supplies are kept.

    hope that helps some. i feel like, whatever you come up with for size, add a few more feet. i dont' think you can be to "big" but can certainly be to small.
    Awfully thankful for an understanding wife!

    “The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.”
    - Vincent “Vince” Lombardi

    Good luck to all!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Location
    SE Ohio
    Posts
    19

    Default

    That Sounds like about what I need! I do want to be able to upgrade to a 2x8 if i need to. Thanks!
    2021 250 taps with a Leader 2x6 evaporator!
    2020 185 taps
    2019 200 taps
    2018 200 taps
    2017 100 taps......

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland, Vermont
    Posts
    285

    Default

    Our sugarhouse is 16*20 which we built for a 2*6. Plenty big enough, if I had to do it again I would run it off center with the hoods to save space.
    Leader 2x6 Raised flue with preheater and hood. Patriot pans
    Leader Clear 5 bank filter press
    Memprotec 350H RO
    450ish taps

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Lanark, ON
    Posts
    2,300

    Default

    Whatever size you pick will be too small in 5 years! Sugarmakers are like goldfish - we grow to the size of the bowl.

    I highly recommend you visit a number of producers that have similar setups to what you may build and see what you like and what you don't like.

    When I build our next sugar camp there are a few must haves - floor drains on both sides of the evaporator for washup, a separate bottling room, an RO room larger than a walk-in closet (ours is maybe 7x7 and houses 3x 8" membranes) and a separate tool room with slide up door for chainsaws, fuel, atv's etc... Also on my list are external silo tanks for sap and for permeate plus a working milk tank to refrigerate several days' worth of concentrate. We currently have a 3000 gallon (raw sap), 2x800 gallon (permeate) and a 500 gallon (concentrate) tank inside our camp and they take up a LOT of space that would be better used for other things.

    I also recommend you design to allow for it to be expanded in the future when you realize it was built too small.
    4,600 Taps on vacuum
    9,400 gallons storage
    3 tower CDL RO
    3.5'x14' Lapierre Force 5
    Twitter & Instagram: @ennismaple
    www.ennismaple.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Northern Michigan
    Posts
    449

    Default

    We have a 2'x6' evaporator and and a 16'x24' sugarhouse and it definitely is not large enough when you factor in space for a filter press, bottling area, etc.. We store our sap and our RO in a separate 14'x20' building. I would recommend a minimum of 24'x32' for your sugarhouse.
    Gary
    16' X 24' Sugarhouse
    2' X 6' Leader Inferno Arch with Revolution Raised-Flue Pans, Smoky Lake preheater and hood
    Deer Run Maple gas-powered 250 RO
    WesFab 7" filter press
    Kubota 1100 RTV with tracks and 125 gallon tank for transporting sap
    600+ taps on gravity and vacuum
    Very supportive wife who is the best coworker
    http://mapletrader.com/community/sho...ing-Sugarhouse

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    New Hartford, N.Y.
    Posts
    2,040

    Default

    Our sugarhouse is 24'x40' and we had a 2.5x6 when it was started. Mid-build an opportunity to purchase a 2.5x10' came about and I got it. I know, your thinking 24x40 is cavernous! Well, as stated above by others, it really isn't once you start bringing in all the "support" stuff. Equipment, tanks, wood, wheelers, tools, displays, tractors, visitors, tables, chairs, etc., etc., etc.,- all take up more space than you can plan for! Make the building as big as you can the first time. I know, easier said than done sometimes, but you will be thankful for going bigger now. Good luck with it!

    Steve
    2014 Upgrades!: 24x40 sugarhouse & 30"x10' Lapierre welded pans, wood fired w/ forced draft, homemade hood & preheater
    400 taps- half on gravity 5/16, half on gravity 3/16
    Airablo R.O. machine - in the house basement!
    Ford F-350 4x4 sap gatherer
    An assortment of barrels, cage tanks & bulk tanks- with one operational for cooling/holding concentrate
    And a few puzzled neighbors...

    http://s606.photobucket.com/albums/t...uckethead1920/

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Wakefield,New Hampshire
    Posts
    395

    Default

    Very envious of these gigantic sounding sugar houses. I'm hoping my next one will be something similar. I can tell you that a 12x16 building is not large enough for a 2x6 evaporator or many visitors at all. Especially after cramming in all the other stuff that accumulated after 5 or 6 years of sugaring. I can also tell you that any building spacious or crowded, beats boiling outside!

    I like the idea of floor drains, worth every penny.
    6th season solo sugar maker in a young sugar bush of mostly red maples
    320 taps
    2x6 self built arch, Flat pans w/ dividers
    New 12x16 sugar house
    CDL hobby 250 RO

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    East Concord NY
    Posts
    101

    Default

    Im at 24x30 with a 2.5x10... BUT no extra equipment is stored in this space and i am eyeing up expanding into adjacent space to make it it 44x30. The common thread here is don't build a 15x15 sugarhouse... and no matter what you build its never big enough, build what you can afford + 20%!
    At least 5th Gen Sugarmaker
    A wonderful family that is committed to the cause.
    Lots of taps, little time.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Thetford, VT
    Posts
    416

    Default

    Our old sugarhouse housed a 2x6...that was it. Enough room to walk on either side and just enough to open the door and add wood....Then we expanded into and added on a couple sheds...like a shanty town. Functional until the 2x6 became too small.

    We did a bit of calculating then some more and came up with a 28'x32' with footings which extended beyond the building to add to. I did NOT want shanty town coming back. Instead of footings we went with an Alaskan slab using 2" foam under and 24"x18" foam forms. We decided on 28'X60'. We are three years into it and 32' X 68' would have been better. Not much bigger, but the tractor and a SxS would fit better. the SxS is now in a small shed of it's own.

    We stepped up to a 3x10 evaporator and have 1 4'x16' sap tank and 1 4'x12' permeant tank in the room with the evaporator. We have 12' x 12' RO room which also houses our well pump controller and hot water tank. We have a kitchen outside the RO room and open to the evaporator area. We went with 12' walls and have a floor with 3' knee walls above the kitchen and RO room. We also added a cat walk/platform above the garage space which houses the fuel tank for the evaporator (we ran the fuel line in conduit under the concrete along with power to the evaporator) and a tractor and excavator.

    It is a large building and does work very well for us. The size difference of what I kind of wish we went with is just a little more space around the equipment so we don't have to move it out in the winter for a quick project.

    They say double what you think is good for now and you should be okay. Plan on a RO room (we have a direct vent heater which uses very little propane to heat our 12x12 RO room) and kitchen. Plan on having hot water. Plan on a 3x10 or evaporator if you are happy with a 2x6 (we now have room for a 5x14).

    Enjoy building it.

    Mike
    Tapping since 1985 (four generations back to early to mid 1900s). 200-250 taps on buckets and then tubing in the mid 90s. 2013- 275 taps w/sap puller 25 gal. 2014-295 taps w/sap puller 55 ga. (re-tapped to vacuum theory) 2015-330 taps full vac. 65 gal, 2016-400 taps 105 gal, 2017-400 taps 95 gal. 2018-additional 800' mainline and maybe 400 new taps for a total near 800 taps. 2x6 Leader WSE (last year on it) supported by a 250 gph RO.

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