Vacuum Filter Applicator for 16x16 Steam Bottler
Vacuum Filter Applicator for 16x16 Steam Bottler Steam Bottler with Vacuum Applicator Expanded view of the Vacuum Applicator Assembly video

Vacuum Filter Applicator System

(5 customer reviews)


This system is an optional add-on for the 16″ x 16″ Smoky Lake Steam Bottler, allowing you to convert the traditional gravity filter into a vacuum filter for more efficient filtration of maple syrup.


  • Machined Vacuum Body (Designed to fit the 16″x16″ Smoky Lake Steam Bottler)
  • Main Pressure Frame
  • Tension Clasps
  • Valve w/Nipple (throttle)
  • Transparent Observation Tube
  • Vacuum Connection
  • 1/4″ Plug
    (This outlet is compatible with an optional vacuum gauge if so desired.
    Vacuum gauges are not supplied by Smoky Lake at this time. See video for details.)
  • O-Ring Gaskets — Qty 2
  • 14″ x 14″ Filter Set
  • Assembly Guide

(PLEASE NOTE: Some legacy models of our Steam Bottler may require a new Filter Tray for best fitment. For most perfect fitment, the outside dimensions of the bottom of your Filter Tray should be 14″ x 14″. [Tolerance give or take approximately 1/16″].)


Filter Tray Compatibility

The Vacuum Applicator System is designed for 16 x 16 Smoky Lake Steam Bottlers. Please note that some legacy models of our 16 x 16 Steam Bottlers may contain a Filter Tray that is slightly smaller than our current standard. For most best fitment, the outside dimension of the base of your Filter Tray should be 14″ square. [Tolerance give or take approx. 1/16″]. If you need a new Filter Tray for a legacy Steam Bottler, you can find them here: newer Filter Tray .


  1. Can I see a Demo?
    Absolutely. Check out THIS VIDEO which was recorded by one of our customers, or THIS VIDEO which was put together by our dealer, The Maple Dude.
  2. What Is the Benefit Of The Vacuum System?
    • This system accelerates filtration speed of the traditional, gravity-style Flat Filters in a 16 x 16 Smoky Lake Steam Bottler.
  3. Which Maple Producers Are The Best Candidates For This Type Of Filtration System?
    • This system is best for maple producers who are running under 300 taps. The system is modular and can be added to any 16 x 16 Smoky Lake Steam Bottlers at any time. This system allows folks who already have a gravity Steam Bottler system to increase their efficiency very economically, a great option for anyone who isn’t quite ready to upgrade to a Filter Press.
  4. Will You Be Releasing A Similar Vacuum System For the 12 x 12 Steam  Bottlers?
    • This system is designed specifically for the 16 x 16 Steam Bottler. There are many reasons behind this. For example, the amount of surface area in the 16 x 16 Steam Bottler offers the optimal performance. A 12’x12″ version of the vacuum applicator is not on the horizon.
  5. Why Is This Vacuum System’s PreCut Filter Set Smaller (14 x 14) Compared To This Same Steam Bottler’s Gravity Filters (18 x 18)?
    • For this Vacuum System, the Flat Filter Set needs to be able to lay flat on the bottom of the Filter Tray in order for all of the system’s components to fit together perfectly. In contrast, when you are filtering with gravity, the Flat Filter Set needs to be larger in order to create a bowl shape within the Filter tray. When the vacuum applicator is used, the pressure frame makes a positive seal, disallowing syrup from leaking around the filters.
  6. How Does The Syrup Clarity Compare When Using The Vacuum Applicator Versus A Stainless Steel Filter Press?
    • The Stainless Steel Filter Press is still king when it comes to clarity and filtering efficiency. This Vacuum Applicator will help to expedite the process of filtering with Flat Filters. Smoky Lake Steam Bottlers — regardless of being used with vacuum or simple gravity — continue to be a trusted, versatile tool for producing clean and beautiful maple syrup.
  7. What Size Vacuum Will I Need?
    • This system comes with an 1-1/4″ connection. It is the smaller of the two common vacuum sizes. You may also certainly use a larger, more powerful vacuum for faster filtration. To do this, you would simply need to use an adaptor to attach the larger vacuum to the Bottler connection.
    • Regardless the horsepower, the vacuum will be creating some degree of negative pressure beneath the filters. Every little bit helps. With that being said, we are hearing customers with 1.75 hp wish they had more umph. You may want to opt for something in the 3 hp range.
    • Remember that there is a valve on your system which can be used to throttle. So keep it wide open if you have a smaller vacuum. The observation tube will ensure that no syrup escapes.

5 reviews for Vacuum Filter Applicator System

  1. Adam Czech

    This is by far the worst thing I have ever used. If you have any amount of nitre in your syrup, it will clog up. We have a 4.5 hp vacuum on the filter and it does not suck through. We even tried prefiltering when drawing off to get a majority of the nitre and it still clogs up. Honestly the gravity cone filters move syrup faster than this product. The pan has been great, but the vacuum bottling setup was the biggest waste of a lot of money.

    • Angela

      Hi Adam. Sounds like you had a bad day. Sorry to hear that. Take a deep breath and remember that we are here to help you. There is likely a very simple solution to get you filtering efficiently.


    Jim & Angela, first time using Vacuum attachment I got the end of last after using a cone filter that was slow , made a mess and a pain in the backside . Steam bottler with vac worked as advertised . Only had five gallon of syrup but had it done in record time . 1.5 h.p Porter -Cable vacuum from Menards was plenty of suction . Electric heater kept it at about 190 degrees . Going to give it a go at least one more time before the season ends .Thank for a great product .
    Got to get my boil on ! George Downs
    Buffalo ,MN

    • Angela

      Thank you!

  3. Ryan M

    We use 3 hp. Woa. That really sped things up compared to the regular gravity filtering. Thanks, Smoky Lake!

    • Angela

      Thanks, Ryan.

  4. Steve

    Great addition.

  5. Brenda and Doug Haybarker

    Thanks so much! We LOVE the vacuum steam bottler we purchased from you several months ago. It’s only our second year and it was a game changer!

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