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Jun 08, 2022 View:

Making Rum

It's hard to find info out there sometimes. So anyone want to throw around some thoughts?

What types of molasses work best for what styles?

What types of yeasts?

What brix should it be lowered to for fermentation?

What acidity?

How to sterilize the molasses wash before pitching the yeast?

Should it be filtered, fined, etc. before pitching to get rid of unfermentable solids?

What temperatures for fermentation?

How long should the fermented wash be stored for before distillation. Fresh vs. aged?

Pot still versus reflux?

Aging the final spirits? Types of barrels? used vs. new? barrel size?

How to speed up the aging processs and develop the best flavor profile?


Reply:

Jon,

Rum (or rather, sweet sorghum cane syrup spirits) is something I'm also interested in, and similarly ignorant about. But I'm going to toss in two bits from a mead makers perspective.

Sterilizing the must. I see two answers. A. The easiest way, mechanically, to reduce the brix of the molasses is by adding hot water. If you make the water hot enough, the must will be sterilized when you're done. B. Don't bother. Small mead makers (using similarly thick honey) are moving away from sterilizing (with heat) their must in the above fashion, since it likely does some damage to the aroma and wild flora (if any). Second reason not to bother. Distillers seem to like fast fermentations. Doug mentioned 72 hours in another thread. Contrast that with real minimalist/traditionalist cider makers who are likely to aim for 72 _days_, just for the primary ferment. I doubt there are many wild yeasts that can compete with that kind of activity.

Removing unfermentable solids. I might be wrong, but I doubt they are a type amenable to easy removal. I bet you don't worry about them (except for the mess they make of your pot)


Reply:It's hard to find info out there sometimes. So anyone want to throw around some thoughts?
Reply:It's hard to find info out there sometimes. So anyone want to throw around some thoughts?
Reply:

Rich- Thanks for the input, it's along the lines of what I gathered but good to hear from someone with experience. You are right I plan to make medium and dark aged rums, but have to make a light one as well to get onto the market right away. It's not what I want to do but is what I have to do. Just like making vodka. I have no interest, but if I don't, I won't make it through the first year.

The reason I had all the questions is that after reading the Alcohol Textbook (which is definitely NOT a textbook, just a collection of articles that seem to have picked almost randomly), and Rafael Arroyo's patent treatise of 1945 I had so much information that almost explained the details... but left me hanging there. I am having a similar problem after reading Inge Russell's Whiskey: Technology, Production, and Marketing.


Reply:... is that after reading the Alcohol Textbook (which is definitely NOT a textbook, just a collection of articles that seem to have picked almost randomly)
Reply:

I've found that reading the Arroyo patent treatise takes a few tries to absorb the concepts. I'll admit (a little embarrassingly) that I've used it for bathroom reading more than once to try to wrap my brain around it.

Another helpful hint is to boil the diluted blackstrap and then allow it to stand overnight and decant off of the solids that settle out. It really smooths out the rough edges of the final product. It's also argued that, in keeping with GIGO [1], using light table molasses over blackstrap makes for a yet finer product in the end.

[1] Garbage In = Garbage Out


Reply:

First off, I apologize for my ignorance. However, I wanted to ask if anyone knows what makes Martinique Rhum so special over the others making the island The Rum Capital of the World. I've read that Martinique is the only place that makes Rhum.


Reply:

Martinique Rhum is a Rum Agricole (agricultural rum)- made from sugar cane juice

Most rums worldwide are Rum Industriale (industrial rum) - made from molasses

First off, I apologize for my ignorance. However, I wanted to ask if anyone knows what makes Martinique Rhum so special over the others making the island The Rum Capital of the World. I've read that Martinique is the only place that makes Rhum.
Reply:Martinique Rhum is a Rum Agricole (agricultural rum)- made from sugar cane juice

Most rums worldwide are Rum Industriale (industrial rum) - made from molasses


Reply:

Some micro-distilleries are using C&H Yellow D (dark brown sugar), or raw sugar for making rum. Champagne yeast is generally used to produce a higher alcohol content and less off flavors. However, bread yeast can impart a fuller more complex flavor. This all depends on what you are using and how you distill. Used whiskey barrels are nice to use since they impart a slight oak flavor and are cheaper than new barrels. However, when using used whiskey barrels, be sure to rinse them thoroughly, or re-char them. I find this important to keep the rum from tasting more like whiskey and less like rum. Rogue dark rum is a good example of this. I'm not saying that it is a bad spirit, but it tastes more like a weak Jack Daniel's than it does a rum.

Just my two cents.

-Tyler


Reply:First off, I apologize for my ignorance. However, I wanted to ask if anyone knows what makes Martinique Rhum so special over the others making the island The Rum Capital of the World. I've read that Martinique is the only place that makes Rhum.
Reply:[*]How to speed up the aging processs and develop the best flavor profile?You don't. Good rum takes time in wood. Have a look at all the countries that are renowned for Rum (Australia, West Indies, Carribean etc) they all have minimum bond under wood reglations of between 3 and 5 years.