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3439Rum - was Re: Which Still to build

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  • matthewo_brien
    Mar 31, 2002
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      --- In new_distillers@y..., "Robert N" <dinks_c@y...> wrote:
      > I believe Matt did this very thing, about a month ago with his
      molasses run.


      Not quite. But close!

      For the mollasses run to make rum, I used the nixon stone still, but
      reduced the packing. (I didn't remove it completley!). Then I used
      the basic principles of the "Corn Whiskey book" as to making the cut -
      basically letting flavour come through at the end by letting the
      head temp rise. Anyway, it worked well, and I agree that a pot still
      may not be neccisary to produce flavoured spirits such as rum,
      whiskey etc.

      I posted a better description of what I did on the Distillers email
      group - but it would seem that I neglected to post it here - so here
      it is!


      Hi all,

      Well, I finished distilling my new rum wash, and it all worked well!

      A reminder of the wash: 6.4 kg mollasses, made up to 26L with water,
      champagne yeast pitched, fermented for 14 days at 20 degrees C,
      settled two days at 4 degrees C, transferred to another fermenter,
      settled a further 2 days 4 degrees C, and then distilled. I also
      added 902 mL of 90% vodka head/tails as an adjunct, to increase the
      total rum yield.

      I distilled the wash in my Nixon Stone still, but 'de-tuned' it. My
      column is 1.2m x 50mm, and I usually fill it all the way up to the
      top with scrubbers - 18 large ones. For this run, I only put in 12,
      the same as when I did my citrus run. The other part of the 'de-
      tuning' is the running at constant collection speed. For a vodka
      run, I reduce the speed towards the end to ensure the head temp
      doesn't rise, and I get pure vodka. Obviously thats not what I
      wanted here! So by collecting at a constant speed throughout
      distillation, towards the end the head temp increased slowly, and as
      I said, the flavour came accross nicely!

      The actual process was as follows:
      When the head reached temperature, it settled at 78.1 degrees C.
      After 120 mL of foreshots, the temp increased to 78.4. I then
      collected 820mL of 'heads' at 1 drop/sec, which I have kept to add to
      the next run. I then increased the flow rate to 250mL/15 minutes,
      which I kept constant for the remander of the run. I then collected a
      little over 1750mL of 95% alcohol. The tmperature at the start of the
      middle run was 78.5 and stayed constant for the first 1000mL or so.
      The temp then slowly started creeping up, and the flavour also. I
      stopped collecting when I felt the flavour was too 'acrid', which
      equated to around 79-80 degrees C. I then collected a further 162mL
      of tails up to 90 degrees C. As far as making the 'cut' goes, I
      basically followed the description Ian Smiley has in the corn whiskey
      book - and it worked well!

      After washing out the still, I was pleased to find the internal
      elements had no burnt muck on them - in fact, they were cleaner than
      when I started! So waiting until the ferment had finished
      completley, and then the settling time and ferment vessel change
      seems to have done the trick! I was also pleased to see that
      the 'scum line' up the side of the boiler was only at about the 45L
      mark, so the froth didn't fill the headspace of my 60L boiler - thats
      good. It also lets me know not to distill more than 25-30L of 'high
      foam potential' wash in my boiler!

      The flavour is very noticable, quite comparable to bought white rum
      (but I would say a little smoother) and my wife says 'yummy' - so I
      guess thats a winner. I have cut it to 50%, and now have a bit over
      half soaking on toasted and untoasted american oak chips. The other
      portion I am keeping as white rum.

      Whilst toasting the oak, I had a fun little episode - I wrapped the
      oak chips in foil, and put them in the oven at 240 degrees C - the
      same as I have in the past. However, in the midway turn, I somehow
      ripped the foil with the tongs I was using. I didn't notice at the
      time, but noticed abour 4 minutes later when they burst into flames!
      A quick fold up with the tongs stopped the flames, and into the sink
      with some water finished it off. It did smell good though..... ;-)

      After 2 weeks on toasted oak, the rum went a beautiful golden brown,
      and testing it on friends who drink rum, the comments were all good,
      and everyone agreed that it is better than "bundy" rum. Personally,
      I don't really like rum, so can't be completly objective about it -
      I'd much rather my bourban!

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