- I work with metals a lot. "Brass" is a term used to describe a very wide range of alloys. Many, if not most of them contain metals I would not allow anywhere near anything I would drink. Lead is at the top of the list, but there are others as well.
I wonder if your refluxing is at a rate that is a little low. I shoot for very clean distillate, which has almost no taste. If you are really trying for a "rum" or "brandy" flavor, why not just remove the packing altogether? run your wash a couple of times to increase the proof and enjoy the flavor without the added lead.