Greg Harvey wrote:Maybe a means to controlling the amount of heat would be having three small rockets side by side, like 4" units and only light up as many as you need. ... I think having a self-feeder would help since these evaporators run for many hours and I don't want to baby sitting it that constantly.
Dale Hodgins wrote:I've boiled down about 2 gallons of sap in my life, and all of it was when I was about 12 years old. Then we moved to the city.
I could see this process becoming more efficient if instead of boiling massive amounts of water away, the sap were placed in stacked trays inside a dehydrator as is done with fruit and vegetables. Hot, dry air from the RMH could flow through the evaporator. A heater room could be set up where a cold, dry air inlet is placed near the base of a wall and hot air would flow up through the evaporator and out a chimney.
The RMH could be built in a standard fashion. The RMH would have it's own exhaust that has nothing to do with the chimney on the evaporator. The whole room would work as an evaporator for trays that are set on the bench or on racks. Air leaving the chimney would be quite moist, and it could run in the 100 - 150F range. There would be no chance of burning the syrup, so it could be left unattended. If plenty of thermal mass were included, the unit could be left to work all night on it's own. It's possible that sugar could be made overnight, when syrup is desired, but that can be fixed with the addition of some fresh sap.
It may still be desirable to finish the process over flame in order to achieve a desired color or flavor, but most of the water could be removed by this much less labor intensive method.