{photo diary} A Temporary Fireplace for Making Maple Syrup

My last post about syruping included a few photos of the cinder block fireplace we built in 2011 for boiling down the sap that we collect from maple trees in our neighborhood.  When we built our current fireplace a week later, I took more extensive photos.  We changed our fireplace a little this year; we change it every year because we innovate, substitute, forget.  The biggest change this year was that we swapped out our chimney bricks because our old ones were too broken to use anymore.  Bricks crack in the heat sometimes so it is good to have extra cinder blocks lying around.  Anyway, do not think of this as a blueprint for fireplace building, but guidelines, or a source of inspiration.  Read the last post for a more complete description of syruping.

The driveway, empty as a blank canvas
The pile of bricks and the evaporator, awaiting assembly
The crew with 90 gallons of sap in garbage pails
first base bricks
the base is laid
full base, starting the back wall
first layer, with grate inserted to make sure it fits
two layers of wall, with gap in the back in second layer
base of chimney
building up chimney with smaller bricks
creating a hole for the hot air to go up the chimney
the hole with the evaporator in place, view from the back of the evaporator
new kind of chimney brick, two holes
Finished chimney, three bricks high
wiping down the evaporator before adding sap
teaching the next generation, aka Katie, how to split wood
relaxing by the fire all day long as the sap boils down
10 1/2 quarts of syrup, final count for the day's boil

6 Comments Add yours

  1. I found this so interesting. Thank you! Also, what a fun way to have an outdoor party in winter!

  2. bikinghome says:

    I so enjoyed this series on DIY maple-syruping! Just read through it this morning. How precious that maple syrup is! I really love the part of tapping trees in your local community and boiling it out in your driveway! Thank-you.

  3. Kelly says:

    Awesome! We spent the past two weekends boiling sap in our driveway on the west side of Saratoga Springs. Your fireplace is amazing!

    1. Dianna says:

      Well come over and see it, 160 spring street

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