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Thread: Woodstove as evaporator

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
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    South Central PA (Fayetteville)
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    Default Woodstove as evaporator

    Im a few years in now and am moving from our gas grill, to my wifes delight, to another heat source. I like the convenience of propane and just purchased a 367K btu (advertised) 18 propane cooker ($87 from Big Orange). Im considering using it in a firebrick lined woodstove with a large-enough flat top to hold the pan. If I can elevate the cooker inside the woodstove so it nearly touches the inside top of the stove would the heat transfer be enough for a decent boil? I realize the best case is for the bottom of the pan to directly contact the heat source but thinking this setup might be good enough. Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    Apr 2019
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    Nashville, MI
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    You are correct in your one statement that the heat source should be in direct contact with the pan. You will get a much better evaporation rate that way. If there is any way to make this happen I would do it.
    2004 - 2012 2x3 flat pan 25 to 60 taps
    2012 2x3 new divided pan w/draw off 55 taps
    2018 - didn't boil surgery - bought new evaporator
    2019 new SML 2x4 raised flue high output evap. 65 taps
    made 17 gal syrup
    2020 - only put out 53 taps - made 16.25 gal syrup
    2021 - going for 50 bags and 50 on tubing

  3. #3
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    South Central PA (Fayetteville)
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    Thank you pdiamond! I found a video of a guy on YouTube who tried this with less than good results. Then another who used a woodstove and cut out the top so the pan was in direct contact with the heat. I think I know what I’m going to do!

  4. #4
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    Mar 2016
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    chester, ma
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    Quote Originally Posted by PHSINV View Post
    Thank you pdiamond! I found a video of a guy on YouTube who tried this with less than good results. Then another who used a woodstove and cut out the top so the pan was in direct contact with the heat. I think I know what I’m going to do!
    My first arch was a wood stove with the top cut out. Worked fine for a while, but I didn't insulate it, and after a few years it warped beyond the point of usability.

    GO
    2016: Homemade arch from old woodburning stove; 2 steam tray pans; 6 taps; 1.1 galls
    2017: Same setup. 15 taps; 4.5 galls
    2018: Same setup. Limited time. 12 taps and short season; 2.2 galls
    2019: Very limited time. 7 taps and a short season; 1.8 galls
    2020: New Mason 2x3 XL halfway through season; 9 taps 2 galls
    2021: Same 2x3, 18 taps, 4.5 galls
    2022: 24 taps planned
    All taps on buckets

  5. #5
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    South Central PA (Fayetteville)
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    Thank you! It occurred to me in the last few days I should insulate it - planning on using ceramic insulation or fire bricks or both.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    Barnet, VT
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    Bricks don’t insulate.
    William
    950 taps
    3 X 12 Thor pans on a Brian Arch
    CDL 600 expandable

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
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    Youll see that those large BTU propane cookers are very inefficient and the output varies considerably. As they release gas at a high rate the orifice freezes up, slowing down the heat. Itll then thaw and speed up again, which causes another freeze-up. Dialing it down a bit helps prevent this cycling. Putting up even a modest windscreen will also help the heat transfer efficiency quite a lot. Regardless, be prepared to go through a good bit of propane.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    https://mapleresearch.org
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  8. #8
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    Thanks Dr. Tim! Im going to have it in the woodstove inside my sugar shack, which is in the woods so wind shouldve an issue. Since Im not relying on a wood fire Im going to presume I wont need a stack for draft.

  9. #9
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    Feb 2013
    Location
    Volney, NY
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    Quote Originally Posted by wiam View Post
    Bricks dont insulate.
    The insulating properties of firebricks are:
    Thermal Conductivity 300C : 0.2 W/m.K
    Thermal Conductivity 750C : 0.28 W/m.K
    Thermal Conductivity 1000C : 0.32 W/m.K

    You could place your hand on the unheated side of one that is 3 thick even if the heated side were 500C

  10. #10
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    Nov 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daveg View Post
    The insulating properties of firebricks are:
    Thermal Conductivity 300C : 0.2 W/m.K
    Thermal Conductivity 750C : 0.28 W/m.K
    Thermal Conductivity 1000C : 0.32 W/m.K

    You could place your hand on the unheated side of one that is 3” thick even if the heated side were 500C
    Sounds like someone that has not got burned on the outside of an arch with just firebricks that has been running for several hours.
    William
    950 taps
    3 X 12 Thor pans on a Brian Arch
    CDL 600 expandable

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