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Thread: Propane Hobby Evaporator

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2021
    Location
    Ma
    Posts
    3

    Default Propane Hobby Evaporator

    Hello and welcome to 2022 maple season.
    I searched this topic and found something posted back on 2017 with little information. My apologies if its out there and I missed it. I bought a 2' x 4' divided pan propane evaporator to be used as my main hobby evaporator. While the system looks to be well made this will be my first time using it. I have had a 125 gallon propane tank installed so I am confident I have enough pressure to supply the evaporator the question is how quickly will I go through the propane. Eventually if I enjoy this enough I may buy a standard wood fired arch. Does anyone have experience with this type of set up? I would like to hear your thoughts both pros and cons. Last year I boiled on a turkey fryer and it was just so inefficient this seemed like a reasonable price to pay for a hobby to do with my grandson exposing him to the outdoors and the responsibility and safety aspects of making maple syrup.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Northern Michigan
    Posts
    455

    Default

    I have no idea of how much propane you are going to use, but it is really great that you are doing that with your grandson. Who cares how much propane you go through, the time together is priceless!!! If you have to have the tank refilled to finish out the season, it is still worth it.
    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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2020
    Location
    Lake George, NY
    Posts
    4

    Default

    I had a Smoky Lake finisher/evaporator as my hobby evaporator last year. The pan was 16" x 30" (smaller) and I went through 5-6 lbs. of propane per hour. It was a really nice, really well-made unit but I ran into issues with the propane line freezing up after about 90 minutes. The recommended fix was to go with a 100 lb. tank, so I am glad to see your tank is more than large enough. The major upsides with propane (for me) were the ability to start and stop as I needed to, very short times from start to boil, and the relative cleanliness of the whole operation. Downside was the propane consumption (cost) and my reluctance to get involved with a larger tank. I've moved to a wood-fired arch this year.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2021
    Location
    Ma
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Mr. Bucketsworth, you are correct, you can't put a price on these special times, thanks for the feedback.

    MIsugardaddy, I too have a Smokey Lake evaporator they appear to be of high quality, I am eager to use it. I suspect we will be tapping soon enough. Were you able to go from sap to syrup in the unit you had or did you finish it inside?

    I like the ability to shut it down as you mention, being my first time on a real evaporator and all I need to gain some experience. How many gallons did yours take to keep it at the 2" level?

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