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Cinderblock Maple Sap Evaporator in a shed?

 
Posts: 146
Location: Eddington, Maine
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Question:
Does it make sense to put a home made cinder block maple sap evaporator in a shed? And would you have any safety concerns?

Details:
I have seen many variations of cinderblock maple syrup evaporators on youtube. Some claim to be "rocket stove powered", while others are just "simple cinderblock evaporators". I have pans and most of the cinderblocks already from trying it last year. However it was outside and too windy, and stripped the heat away too quickly. I have an old 10x10 shed in the back field that I am not using for anything, and I thought about making it into a "sap shack". This would get the evaporator out of the wind and weather, and hopefully make it faster and easier to boil the sap. The shed has a very low ceiling (maybe 5ft), so I plan to jack it up on a couple rows of cinderblocks to give better headroom. I would cut out the floor and leave the bottom dirt (maybe throw some gravel or crushed rocks in later). Given that, I'm not too worried about fire danger, but I am worried about smoking myself out or making the syrup taste smoky. I assume I will need some sort of real chimney to go through the roof with some sort of connection to the cinderblock chimney.

What do you think? Possible? A good idea? What could I get for a chimney?
 
Matt McSpadden
Posts: 146
Location: Eddington, Maine
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Just thought I would bump this in case anyone has any ideas. I was planning to start on this in December, in order to be ready by February.
 
gardener
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Location: Upstate NY, zone 5
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I built a rocket-fired evaporator in a shed a few years ago. It had a metal roof and a gable end that was open above the 8' wall, so I angled 10' of 8" galvanized duct out the opening at around 30 degrees off vertical. It worked fine. (The pan was 8 square feet, and the 8" wide x 9" high L-tube firebox was just barely enough to get a good boil. I would make a slightly bigger system if I were redoing it, though the 8" chimney would most likely be fine.)
 
Matt McSpadden
Posts: 146
Location: Eddington, Maine
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Thanks Glenn. Its good to know what size you had, and how it worked. I don't know that I will have time to build an actual "rocket stove" this year, since I still have to do quite a bit of other work to the shed, but I think I'm going to want to get a big sized chimney. At least 8", maybe 10" if I can find it.
 
Matt McSpadden
Posts: 146
Location: Eddington, Maine
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PS for anyone who comes across this later, I will add some pictures as I go.
 
Glenn Herbert
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My more recent evaporator, and the one we currently use, is 6 square feet with the same sized firebox, 8"w x 9"h x 30"long, and we can get a good rolling boil with dry wood.
IMG_2427.JPG
overview in operation
overview in operation
IMG_2399.JPG
fast temporary build, made permanent in same configuration next year
fast temporary build, made permanent in same configuration next year
IMG_2405.JPG
firebox feed
firebox feed
IMG_2400.JPG
side view
side view
IMG_2404.JPG
chimney connection
chimney connection
IMG_2414.JPG
boiling
boiling
IMG_2418.JPG
fire
fire
 
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