Homemade Maple Sap Evaporator is Coming Along

We’re just a few weeks away from the likely start of sugaring season. I need a way to boil all the sap I’ll be collecting.

55 gallon maple sap evaporator

A standard steel 55 gallon drum, ready to be transformed to a sap evaporator.

I’ve been researching cheap and easy homemade sap evaporators (also called an “arch”). Some are very elaborate contraptions made from welded sheet metal. And some are as simple as a lasagna pan sitting on top of cinder block walls over an open fire. I opted for something in the middle. Keep in mind that one of my big goals is to spend as little money as possible on my new hobby.

A friend had an old 55 gallon steel drum rusting in his backyard. I grabbed it and spent about $25 at the hardware store on stovepipe, some hinges and self tapping screws. I’ll include some before and after photos of the progress. I took photos and video during the process, so I’ll be posting a how-to soon. Up next: I’ll be cutting a rectangular hole in the top in which the evaporator pan will sit.

steel drum wood stove maple sap conversion

After: a door has been cut into the front of the barrel and a chimney added to the rear.