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How Do I Decide How Big an Evaporator I Need?

How Do I Decide How Big an Evaporator I Need?

Posted by FAQ Squad on Feb 17th 2023

Sizing the Maple Syrup Evaporator

There are a few key factors that help you determine what size maple syrup evaporator you need. Here's a quick list to get you started: 

1) How much time do you plan to devote each day to working in your sugarhouse? This includes boiling sap, cleaning the sugarhouse, taking care of your maple syrup equipment, and various other jobs in the sugarhouse. 

2) How many hours of actual boiling time do you plan to put in each day? 

3) What kind of fuel are you using for boiling? For example, wood will boil sap less efficiently than oil or propane. 

4) How many taps do you currently have? 

5) Are you planning to expand your maple syrup operation in the future by adding more taps?

Calculating Maple Syrup Evaporator Size

Now, you're ready to calculate the size evaporator you need. The size of your maple syrup evaporator is based on the number of hours you plan to boil every day and the number of taps you have. 

For our purposes, let's say that you plan to put in 4 hours of sap boiling time every day, and you have 25 taps in your sugarbush. On average, each tap in your sugarbush will average about a gallon a tree, on a good run.

Here's how to calculate the evaporator size you need: 

Number of gallons of sap / Number of available boiling hours = Evaporator Capacity 

Here's a sample evaporator capacity calculation: 

25 taps x 1 gallon/tap = 25 gallons

4 hours available to boil sap for each run (daily) 

Evaporating capacity needed = 25 gallons / 4 hours = 6.25 gallons/hour 

So, for your maple sugaring operation with 25 taps and 4 hours of boiling time, you would need a Half-Pint Evaporator (estimated evaporation of 4-6 gallons/hour). 

Comparing Maple Syrup Evaporator Capacities

Evaporator Size

Evaporation (Gal/Hour)

16'' x 34''3-4
Leader Half-Pint Evaporator 4-6 
2' x 4'8-15
2' x 5'15-20
2 ' x 6' 20-25

Now you know how to calculate how big your maple syrup evaporator should be. If you have more or less time, just plug the number of hours you have and the number of taps you have into the equation above. 

Try to avoid overestimating the amount of time you can spend boiling each day. If you assume that you'll be boiling for over eight or nine hours a day, you might end up with an evaporator that's far too small for your operation, or you might end up having to spend far more time than you planned. 

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to our experts anytime for a free consultation. 

Check out our FAQ video series on YouTube!