Hobbyists : Tips for Choosing your CDL Wood-fired Evaporator

By Lionel Turmel, Sales Assistant and Jonathan Côté, Marketing Project Manager - Product and Customer Service

At CDL, our experts are here to guide all types of maple syrup producers, from the smallest to the largest, from the beginner to the most experienced. To help new hobbyist maple syrup enthusiasts who want to produce maple syrup for fun, here are some details to get you started in your thinking about buying a small CDL evaporator. Please feel free to contact your local CDL sales representative or store for personalized advice. Our team is here to help you!

Before you start shopping, here are the questions to ask yourself:

How many taps do I have, but more importantly, how many do I want to have in a few years? Project yourself five years into the future if you want to increase your number of taps in the next few years.

How much boiling time do I have? How many liters / gallons should I boil? Most importantly, will I be boiling each day as I go, or if I am going to accumulate sap to boil more. This notion is important in determining the size of the evaporator you need; if you boil as you go, an evaporator  with a smaller capacity will work fine for you. If you choose to boil a few days a week instead, you will need equipment with greater evaporation capacity or you can purchase a small reverse osmosis concentrator, like our Nano RO. The same logic applies to your maple sap tank.

How much space do I have? Think about the dimensions of your boiling point and the good circulation around the appliance, to make your daily life easier.

And finally, what is my budget?

Let’s do a little practical case to better understand. Consider a customer who has 200 taps with a 2 gallon (10 liter) bucket.

Scenario A: If you are collecting each day and the buckets are half full, then you have 100 gallons to boil. If you take a Hobby 18 “x 48” evaporator with flue pan (6700102WP), you will evaporate between 10 and 12 gallons per hour. So for 100 gallons you will need to boil for 8-10 hours.

Scenario B: If you are collecting only on weekends and the buckets are full, you have 200 gallons to boil. You will need to double your boiling time with the same Hobby evaporator.

Therefore two solutions available for you if you want to optimize and above all reduce your boiling time.

  1. You buy a more efficient evaporator if your budget allows it
  2. You keep your evaporator and purchase a reverse osmosis concentrator like the Nano RO to remove 13 gallons of water per hour of operation, thus halving your boiling time at a fraction of the cost.


To wash the evaporator at the end of the season, simply soak the pans with a product such as Sani-Clean or acetic acid 99% glacial according to the recommended dosage depending on the size of the evaporator, rinse well and store pannes in a dry place.

All of our evaporators are engineered with premium argon welded stainless steel, fully compliant with the California Standard for Lead. The pan connections are also made of stainless steel, which ensures that the evaporator will pass through the generations. They are powerful and robust evaporators, designed with the same precision as the larger ones.

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