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Thread: Propane Evaporator Build

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2022
    Location
    Scotland Ontario Canada
    Posts
    21

    Default Propane Evaporator Build

    Hi all,thought I would post a bit about my DIY propane evaporator build (be nice now because I am not a fabricator by any means).
    SS Propane Evap 1.jpg
    Found this SS cart of sorts at a local auction during the summer and brought it home. I don't have a clue as to what it was used for. It's about 2'6" wide 5'6" long each of the squares you see are 2'x2'.
    SS Propane Evap 2.jpg SS Propane Evap 3.jpg
    I put a couple of wheels on one end and a couple of rubber adjustable feet on the other for levelling the monster. The I cut one end open and stuck 3 propane weed burners in (each burner is advertised as going to 250,000 BTU) that's a total of 0 to 750,000 of adjustable BTU (insert Tim the Tool Man grunt here). Also built a gas manifold assembly everything hooks up to. While doing this work I found a couple of boxes of 24" W x 2" thick Ceramic Fibre insulation so I bought them and installed some into the interior.
    SS Propane Evap Proof of Concept 2.jpg SS Propane Evap Proof of Concept 1.jpg
    Using a 2'x2' pan and a 1'xx2' pan (also auction finds) I did a proof of concept boil to see if it even would work. Low and behold we boiled water.

    More to show but enough typing for the night
    Last edited by Trends; 01-18-2023 at 08:11 PM.
    New to Black Walnut tapping
    2021 - 3 trees 5 taps enough to boil a sample.
    Love this syrup.
    ~ 2 acres, 35+ mature Black Walnut
    2022 - 30 Southern Ontario Walnuts tapped, 69 spouts.
    650 litres (143 Imp gals) on sap bags, 14 litres (3 Imp gals) walnut syrup on turkey fryer.
    2023 - Plan 34+ trees on 5/16" vacuum system (completed) with propane fired custom evaporator, 2'x2' divided pan, 2'x1' preheat pan (work in progress)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Southern Ohio
    Posts
    1,293

    Default

    Is thw insulation covering the burners? I would think you'd want that open to get the most heat and flame on the pans.
    125-150 taps
    Smokey Lakes Full pint Hybrid pan
    Modified half pint arch
    Air over fire
    All 3/16 tubing
    Southern Ohio

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2022
    Location
    Scotland Ontario Canada
    Posts
    21

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by buckeye gold View Post
    Is thw insulation covering the burners? I would think you'd want that open to get the most heat and flame on the pans.
    No, the burners are just above the insulation

    SS Propane Evap 4.jpg

    I may however reduce the 2" down to 1" but the ceramic is nasty stuff to work with and not so good for you're health.
    New to Black Walnut tapping
    2021 - 3 trees 5 taps enough to boil a sample.
    Love this syrup.
    ~ 2 acres, 35+ mature Black Walnut
    2022 - 30 Southern Ontario Walnuts tapped, 69 spouts.
    650 litres (143 Imp gals) on sap bags, 14 litres (3 Imp gals) walnut syrup on turkey fryer.
    2023 - Plan 34+ trees on 5/16" vacuum system (completed) with propane fired custom evaporator, 2'x2' divided pan, 2'x1' preheat pan (work in progress)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2022
    Location
    Scotland Ontario Canada
    Posts
    21

    Default

    Continuing the build,

    SS Propane Evap 6.jpg

    In the above picture I've built a bench of sorts to raise the pre-heat pan to be above the boil pan. Didn't take any pictures of the assembly it was an old SS restaurant shelf that I cut up and tack welded together (only have a stick welder and the SS is only 18ga or so so I wasn't able to run a bead).
    I insulated the inside again with the 2" ceramic blanket insulation.

    SS Propane Evap 7.jpg

    In this picture you see the bench rough set with the exhaust vent (4"x16" w/internal damper) at the back. I don't have any steel left so I'm just going to put a rain cap over it to set my coffee on to keep it hot.

    SS Propane Evap 8.jpg SS Propane Evap 9.jpg SS Propane Evap 10.jpg

    Above are just a few different views of the unit. Spent a couple of hours yesterday levelling the bench and fitting the cap. Those pic's will follow as well as another timed test boil.

    That's it for now.
    Last edited by Trends; 01-22-2023 at 08:58 AM.
    New to Black Walnut tapping
    2021 - 3 trees 5 taps enough to boil a sample.
    Love this syrup.
    ~ 2 acres, 35+ mature Black Walnut
    2022 - 30 Southern Ontario Walnuts tapped, 69 spouts.
    650 litres (143 Imp gals) on sap bags, 14 litres (3 Imp gals) walnut syrup on turkey fryer.
    2023 - Plan 34+ trees on 5/16" vacuum system (completed) with propane fired custom evaporator, 2'x2' divided pan, 2'x1' preheat pan (work in progress)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    chester, ma
    Posts
    749

    Default

    Looks great! When you test, I'd suggest you see if you can get and maintain a boil in your pre-heat pan if you only add just enough water to cover the outlet. If so, I'd suggest you treat it like a "raised flue pan" (though obviously without the flues). You'll get much more boost in gallons per hour from a second small pan, even if it's only simmering, than you will from a pre-heating pan that's only adding hot sap to the main pan.

    You could also add what folks here call "drop tubes" to that back pan, if you want to get even more of a boil. There's a bunch of info here: http://mapletrader.com/community/sho...f-flat-pan-(-)

    GO
    2016: Homemade arch from old wood stove; 2 steam tray pans; 6 taps; 1.1 gal
    2017: Same setup. 15 taps; 4.5 gal
    2018: Same setup. Limited time. 12 taps and short season; 2.2 gal
    2019: Very limited time. 7 taps and a short season; 1.8 gal
    2020: New Mason 2x3 XL halfway through season; 9 taps 2 gal
    2021: Same 2x3, 18 taps, 4.5 gal
    2022: 23 taps, 5.9 gal
    2023: 23 taps. Added AUF
    All taps on buckets

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2022
    Location
    Scotland Ontario Canada
    Posts
    21

    Default

    Great information to know, thanks for sharing.
    The thought of "drop tubes" never even crossed my mind. I'll need to keep that in bank for future consideration
    Cheers
    New to Black Walnut tapping
    2021 - 3 trees 5 taps enough to boil a sample.
    Love this syrup.
    ~ 2 acres, 35+ mature Black Walnut
    2022 - 30 Southern Ontario Walnuts tapped, 69 spouts.
    650 litres (143 Imp gals) on sap bags, 14 litres (3 Imp gals) walnut syrup on turkey fryer.
    2023 - Plan 34+ trees on 5/16" vacuum system (completed) with propane fired custom evaporator, 2'x2' divided pan, 2'x1' preheat pan (work in progress)

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