The StarCat Maple Syrup Evaporator packs a surprising punch. This feisty, high-efficiency wood-fired evaporator is capable of 8 gallons per hour evaporation rate. The StarCat is a breakthrough solution for the backyard hobby maple syrup producer who wants an affordable, yet highly effective, machine to process maple sap into maple syrup. As with all of our Evaporators, the StarCat features an air-tight front and air-tight loading door to maximize firewood efficiency and evaporation rate. A precision draft control allows you to throttle combustion air and shut down completely if necessary. The Arch (firebox) of the StarCat will come to you in a series of cardboard crates. You will need to assemble the arch and paint it, all hardware and special spray paint is included. All Ceramic Fiber Insulation for inside the arch and door will be included in this package. The only thing you’ll need to add will be exactly 20 firebricks. No brick cutting will be necessary. The pan is as professional as the arch. It is built out of 22 gauge, mirror finish stainless steel and is fully TIG welded with lifetime limited warranty on the welds. Smoky Lake has built the best maple syrup pans in the world for the past 10 years. A valve and dial thermometer are included. Other than the 20 firebricks which you can buy from your local home store, this is a turn-key evaporator.Assembly Instructions Product Support
- Weight of complete Arch with all bricks and grates in place, 182 lbs
- Weight of empty arch, 92 lbs
- Weight of bricks, 75 lbs
- Evaporation rate, 5 – 8+ gph
(Initial testing of this evaporator was done on a day with -16ºF temps. Even with this bitter cold intake air, we achieved 6.5 gph)
- Stack pipe, 6″ diameter, 6 feet included
- Optimal size of firewood: 16″ long, about the diameter of your wrist
Premium, Stainless Steel Divided Pan
The handcrafted, mirror finish stainless steel pan is the same premium quality that we are known for. We use high grade 22ga stainless steel which enables more efficient heat transfer from the fire to the sap compared to our competitor’s thicker stainless steel. Two continuous flow dividers are formed into the structure of the pan, NOT tacked into place as an afterthought. The pan profile includes full-length handles which offers easy maneuverability and increased strength. A thermometer port with 3″ dial thermometer and a stainless steel draw-off valve are also included.
Divided Flat Pan Benefits/Considerations
- Generally speaking, Divided Pans can make lighter, more delicate-flavored syrup than Standard Flat Pans because the sap does not sit in the pan as long of a period of time. Note: Regardless the style of pan you use, the sap collected toward the end of the maple season will produce darker syrup.
- Adding colder raw sap to the back corner of a Divided Pan will not kill the boil of the entire pan. In that regard, a Divided Flat Pan is slightly more efficient than a Standard Flat Pan.
- A Divided Pan allows you to boil for as long as you have sap. If you run out of sap, just shut ‘er down and pick up where you left off when more sap is available. You do not drain the pan until the end of your season.
- The Divided Flat Pan is reversible. Reversing the flow of your sap through the channels will help deter sugar sand buildup on the bottom of the pans.
- Continuous Flow Boiling allows you to filter and bottle your syrup as you go rather than needing to wait and do everything at the end.
- Some beginner maple syrup producers are intimidated by the dividers or find them to be initially confusing. However, after you use a divided pan the first season, you won’t think twice about it. Plus, we’ll send you an instruction guide to help you get started. No sweat.
Further Explanation Of How A Divided Pan Works…
Similar to a Standard Flat Pan, you will start out by filling the pan 2″ deep with raw sap. Then, while you are boiling, you will continuously add additional raw sap to the pan to maintain the 2″ depth.
When you add raw sap to a Divided Flat Pan, you will always add it in the back left corner, at the beginning of the channel system. As this raw sap is added, it pushes the existing sap further and further through the channel system, toward the draw-off valve. Eventually, you will notice a “density gradient” forming. The sap by the inlet will be very light-colored/clear whereas the sap near the draw-off port will be much darker and higher sugar density.
The Divided Flat Pan comes standard with Thermometer ports. Using a thermometer will tell you when to open and close the draw-off valve. As soon as the syrup is drawn off, you can double check its density, filter and bottle.