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Introduction and a question for discussion...

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  • ACKERFORGE
    Greetings, As a bit of background, my name is Dana, and I am a commercial distiller, as in the US it is illegal to distill at one s home. That said, I am only
    Message 1 of 22 , Jul 16, 2009
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      Greetings,

      As a bit of background, my name is Dana, and I am a commercial distiller, as in the US it is illegal to distill at one's home. That said, I am only into this art for one year, so technically I am a new distiller. I am the winemaker at a commercial winery located in the foothills of North Carolina. For centuries some of the best fruit brandies on the planet have come out of the hills and hollows of this region. Unfortunately these beverages have been catagorized under the heading of "Moonshine" because of their non-tax paid status. And while some moonshine liquors could be certainly catagorized as rot gut or even poisonous because of careless, unscrupulous, or ignorant distillers, still there were artists out there who made fine liquors, worthy of a king's liquor cabinet, and in particular, apple and peach brandies.

      These brandies were made from the fermentation of fruit and sugar into a "mash" then distilled and often double and triple distilled into quite palatable drinks. As this was most often done without the aid of known science, the moonshine label was often applied because more often than not, the resulting liquor was of higher proof which gave this flavorful beverage a powerful kick. And, as the liquor was not legal and the luxury of proper aging wasn't an option, these brandies were still quite good for just what they were, new, white liquors. But the apple brandy smelled and tasted like apple and the peach brandy smelled and tasted of peach, even when the most primitive of techniques were employed.
      Unfortunately many of the old masters have died or aged out of the ability to continue their clandestine work, and so far, the younger folk have not taken up the mantles or their forefathers, probably due to the fact that legal liquor is so readily available at commecial sales outlets. The owner of the winery for whom I work and I feeling that our heritage was on the wane, agreed that we should get into distilling fruit brandies before they disappeared from the region altogether.

      We received our Federal and State licenses about a year and a half ago, and since we've been making grape brandy for the purposes of making fortified wines like "port" in our winery, and we've been making apple brandy which we hope to have ready for sale in our state liquor stores within the year. We've also experimented with rum to some success. We are using a 30 gallon copper pot still made by Col. Wilson, one of this group's sponsered links at http://www.coppermoonshinestills.com In fact, if you visit his site, the 30 gallon brandy still pictured is our still. Though we are at the place in our development where we feel we need a larger still, his work is impeccable and the quality of the product after only one run is pretty remarkable, as to its flavor, aroma and clarity. We are getting a 15 to 20% return at an average of about 120 proof, depending on a myriad of factors.

      That said, I am not a distiller by past experience, and have had to learn by a combination or trying things to see if they work, avid reading, picking the brains of "alleged" old masters, and occasionally just flying blind.

      To make our apple brandy, we are fermenting apple cider into wine, then after filtering the wine to remove any yeast solids, distilling the wine, basically modeled after the French Calvados model.

      My question for discussion has to do with what percentage of alcohol in the mash is optimum for a high quality, flavorful beverage. It can generally assumed that the higher the alcohol in the mash the higher the proof of the resulting distillation. But I've generally found that the higher the proof of the distillate, even when cut to drinking proof, the less the fruit flavor. For those of you making brandy or other flavorful distilled beverages, what alcohol percentage in your mash do you find the best for obtaining the most aroma and flavor in the finished product. We've tried a 10% ABV wine which went very well, but using the same raw materials fermented to 12.5% resulted in less noticeable apple aroma and taste. What are your opinions on this? Anybody know what the large producers are doing? It can generally be assumed that the old moonshiners were using a lower alcohol mash, due to the fact that they had no scientifically developed beverage yeasts with which to work, and fermentations were often fast and hot, which probably resulted in a lower alcohol mash, requiring multiple distillations to get get the proof for which their brandies were so famous. I welcome any and all thoughts on this subject.
    • Harry
      ... , ACKERFORGE ... distiller, as in the US it is illegal to distill at one s home. ...
      Message 2 of 22 , Jul 16, 2009
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        --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "ACKERFORGE" <ackerforge@...> wrote:

        >
        >      Greetings,
        >
        >      As a bit of background, my name is Dana, and I am a commercial distiller, as in the US it is illegal to distill at one's home.

        <snip>

        >
        >      My question for discussion has to do with what percentage of alcohol in the mash is optimum for a high quality, flavorful beverage.  It can generally assumed that the higher the alcohol in the mash the higher the proof of the resulting distillation.  But I've generally found that the higher the proof of the distillate, even when cut to drinking proof, the less the fruit flavor. For those of you making brandy or other flavorful distilled beverages, what alcohol percentage in your mash do you find the best for obtaining the most aroma and flavor in the finished product.  We've tried a 10% ABV wine which went very well, but using the same raw materials fermented to 12.5% resulted in less noticeable apple aroma and taste.  What are your opinions on this? Anybody know what the large producers are doing?  It can generally be assumed that the old moonshiners were using a lower alcohol mash, due to the fact that they had no scientifically developed beverage yeasts with which to work, and fermentations were often fast and hot, which probably resulted in a lower alcohol mash, requiring multiple distillations to get get the proof for which their brandies were so famous.  I welcome any and all thoughts on this subject.
        >


        Hi Dana & welcome to the groups.

        I'm sure you are aware these groups are mainly aimed at the home hobbyist level.  Therefore some of our methods are very different from the commercial operations because we are not fettered by Govt. regs & rules.  We do however, practice self-regulation with safety being the number one rule.

        But having said that, commercial distillers are most welcome to participate.  Some in the past have learned more that a few tricks that have helped them produce better product.

        Reading over your post I gather you are doing a single run of a fruit-based wine, yes?

        It is true that the higher the alcohol content of the finished product the more it masks the (sometimes) delicate fruit flavours.  Double distillation (as in a 'strip' run then a second distillation) will always lead to loss of available flavinoids.  So your single run is the way to go for what you are trying to achieve.

        The oldtimers (as you rightly guessed) used fermentations of around the 5% a/v mark.  You know the reasons for this...available yeasts, poor bacteria control etc.  Funnily enough it was a happy circumstance because low percentage alcohol, high fruit essential oils fermentations are the start of a really good brandy or spirit.

        May I suggest as a starting point, the book "Artisan Distilling" by Prof. Kris A Berglund.  It is aimed at just what you are trying to achieve, fruit wine preparation and distillation.  Kris is a very well-known practitioner in this field.  He gave me permission years ago to display his book for public reading.  It's available for free viewing at my Library site here...
        http://distillers.tastylime.net/library/Listings2.htm

        There are other books there which you will find are a useful resource.
        There are also several competent winemakers turned distillers in these groups who I'm sure will chime in with some practical 'hands-on' observations and advice.

         

        Slainte!
        regards Harry 
        Groups Owner : 

        Tonys How to Distil   Y! new distillers</>  Y! Distillers</>
        Harrys Alcohol Library</>

        F.A.Q.  Membership Policy</>   Groups Setup Info
        </>
        Groups Website Features  Trading Post

      • jamesonbeam1
        Hello Dana, And again, as Harry mentioned - Welcome Aboard. We have many very knowlegable members here who are more then willing to share their expierence.
        Message 3 of 22 , Jul 17, 2009
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          Hello Dana,

          And again, as Harry mentioned -  Welcome Aboard.  We have many very knowlegable members here who are more then willing to share their expierence.  Matter of fact, we have a member who knows quite a bit about the Ol' Time distillers and even speaks in their lingo - "So im Tole"...  Might want to look him up - name is Gooseeyes (after the big bubbles in shaking a distillate to measure the ABV in the old fashioned way - without a proof hydrometer). 

          Your background is very interesting - its always fun to meet a fellow wine maker turned distiller.  You might also consider joining our sister forum - Advanced Distillers - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Distillers/  A member there is talking about going commercial - Rumrunner (see thread on Going Commercial.. . ).  Also Wal just posted a very interesting article on Calvados makers recently - http://www.andrewjefford.com/node/97 in there.

          Yes, im very familar with Colonel Wilson's stills - his is stills and copper work are beautiful and excellent quality (as the prices reflect) lol. You all made a good choice.  However, your probably going to need some larger capacity ones when you get off the ground.  Harry's suggestion on reading - Artisan Distilling is really a good read - http://distillers.tastylime.net/library/artisan_distilling/index.htm

          Regarding your questions, yes - the higher the ABV of your fermentation, the more alcohol and less flavors will come through in the distillation.  If i may talk in whiskey making terms,  the commercial distillers around here, Bourbon and Tennessee Whiskey, are not allowed to use anything but grains and malted barley to "mash" them which converts the starches into sugars for fermentation.  (BTW, a "mash" is made using grains - I still perfer to use the term  "must" when working with fruits.)  This mashing process will only produce about a 7% ABV fermentation.  I have found that by adding extra sugar (ie. the UJSSM method), you can increase the alcoholic content, but again, at the cost of losing the corn flavors in distilling it.

          While Harry mentioned the "Ol' Timers" did only around a 5% ABV or so fermentation, thats a bit too low in my book.  After distilling some of my apple, peach and blackberry wines (not true wines due to the short fermentation cycle), I too have found the lower the ABV content of the fermentation - the more flavors will come through.  I would suggest no less then about a 7% ABV and no more then a 10% ABV.  Theres some good information in Tony's site - http://homedistiller.org/  on sugar conversions to alcohol, etc, if you havent already read it.  I also use the USDA database for a rough determination of sugar levels in fruits - http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search/  then take from there.

          Regarding a second distillation, again as Harry mentioned, while this will increase smoothness, it is at the cost of flavors.  However, a couple of tricks ive learned along the way might help.  If you look at the "sour mash" method used in our whiskey method, or how "Dunder" is used in making rum, these methods can also be applied to making brandies.  You can make a stipping run first, then if you look at the chart on diluting the distillate at: http://www.artisan-distiller.net/photoalbum/photos/pint_o_shine/Potstill_Dilute.GIF  you can dilute it down between 20% to 25% and re-distill.  (also see Harry's article - Dilution of the Still Charge ) - http://distillers.tastylime.net/library/Diluting_the_still_charge/

          Now instead of using water to dilute the still charge, you can incorporate the sour mash and dunder methods by diluting it with the backset from your first distillation.  This will help maintain the fruit flavors.  Another trick would be to dilute it with some new fermentation or even just the fruit juice itself or some already made wine.

          Anyways you might try playing with these ideas.  Please feel free to ask away, and again - Welcome Aboard.

          Vino es Veritas,

          Jim aka Waldo.

           


          --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "ACKERFORGE" <ackerforge@...> wrote:
          >
          > Greetings,
          >
          > As a bit of background, my name is Dana, and I am a commercial distiller, as in the US it is illegal to distill at one's home. That said, I am only into this art for one year, so technically I am a new distiller. I am the winemaker at a commercial winery located in the foothills of North Carolina. For centuries some of the best fruit brandies on the planet have come out of the hills and hollows of this region. Unfortunately these beverages have been catagorized under the heading of "Moonshine" because of their non-tax paid status. And while some moonshine liquors could be certainly catagorized as rot gut or even poisonous because of careless, unscrupulous, or ignorant distillers, still there were artists out there who made fine liquors, worthy of a king's liquor cabinet, and in particular, apple and peach brandies.
          >
          > These brandies were made from the fermentation of fruit and sugar into a "mash" then distilled and often double and triple distilled into quite palatable drinks. As this was most often done without the aid of known science, the moonshine label was often applied because more often than not, the resulting liquor was of higher proof which gave this flavorful beverage a powerful kick. And, as the liquor was not legal and the luxury of proper aging wasn't an option, these brandies were still quite good for just what they were, new, white liquors. But the apple brandy smelled and tasted like apple and the peach brandy smelled and tasted of peach, even when the most primitive of techniques were employed.
          > Unfortunately many of the old masters have died or aged out of the ability to continue their clandestine work, and so far, the younger folk have not taken up the mantles or their forefathers, probably due to the fact that legal liquor is so readily available at commecial sales outlets. The owner of the winery for whom I work and I feeling that our heritage was on the wane, agreed that we should get into distilling fruit brandies before they disappeared from the region altogether.
          >
          > We received our Federal and State licenses about a year and a half ago, and since we've been making grape brandy for the purposes of making fortified wines like "port" in our winery, and we've been making apple brandy which we hope to have ready for sale in our state liquor stores within the year. We've also experimented with rum to some success. We are using a 30 gallon copper pot still made by Col. Wilson, one of this group's sponsered links at http://www.coppermoonshinestills.com In fact, if you visit his site, the 30 gallon brandy still pictured is our still. Though we are at the place in our development where we feel we need a larger still, his work is impeccable and the quality of the product after only one run is pretty remarkable, as to its flavor, aroma and clarity. We are getting a 15 to 20% return at an average of about 120 proof, depending on a myriad of factors.
          >
          > That said, I am not a distiller by past experience, and have had to learn by a combination or trying things to see if they work, avid reading, picking the brains of "alleged" old masters, and occasionally just flying blind.
          >
          > To make our apple brandy, we are fermenting apple cider into wine, then after filtering the wine to remove any yeast solids, distilling the wine, basically modeled after the French Calvados model.
          >
          > My question for discussion has to do with what percentage of alcohol in the mash is optimum for a high quality, flavorful beverage. It can generally assumed that the higher the alcohol in the mash the higher the proof of the resulting distillation. But I've generally found that the higher the proof of the distillate, even when cut to drinking proof, the less the fruit flavor. For those of you making brandy or other flavorful distilled beverages, what alcohol percentage in your mash do you find the best for obtaining the most aroma and flavor in the finished product. We've tried a 10% ABV wine which went very well, but using the same raw materials fermented to 12.5% resulted in less noticeable apple aroma and taste. What are your opinions on this? Anybody know what the large producers are doing? It can generally be assumed that the old moonshiners were using a lower alcohol mash, due to the fact that they had no scientifically developed beverage yeasts with which to work, and fermentations were often fast and hot, which probably resulted in a lower alcohol mash, requiring multiple distillations to get get the proof for which their brandies were so famous. I welcome any and all thoughts on this subject.
          >

        • castillo.alex2008
          Hello and Welcome After that intro of those two knowledgable ones and my mentors little can be added, but since you also mentioned rum let me take a minute of
          Message 4 of 22 , Jul 17, 2009
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            Hello and Welcome

            After that intro of those two knowledgable ones and my mentors little can be added, but since you also mentioned rum let me take a minute of your time to share something of what I´ve learn after about some one hundred distillations I already have, most of them in making rum. To begin with molasses must be your way to go for rum; stick to the rule of 1 gallon molasses, four gallons of water; do use some extra nutrients, DAP at a rate of about 1/4 cup per those 5 gallons of wash and add a rum design yeast; Danstil EDV 493 (by whitelabs) is the best one I´ve found in the market, it simple produces a myriad of desirable esters for rum, floculates excellently so you may reuse it many times. Since you are in US you won´t get the benefits of permanet hot weather that for example I have in the caribbean so age for lets say some two years in chared oak. Aroun here everybody seems to agree that 65% ABV is the way to go for aging rum. Finally an extra touch will be given by adding small quantities of "botanicals" which you will macerate an add in very minute amounts. For rum the most common are: cinnamon, clove, coriander, nutmeg, vanilla, lemongrass, pepper and also honey and raisins since high quality rums have some brandy finishing. Take a look at my message # 30068 for an idea of how to prepare those macerations. Colonel Wilson´s stills may be fine but his recipes for rum are not. As Jim once said to a post addressed to me, (probably the funniest post ever published) Wilson does not have relatives in Jamaica so following his rum recipes is not a good idea for going commercial.

            ¡Buena Suerte y que te diviertas!

            Drinking rum gives more fun!

            Alex Castillo

            Dominican (rum land) Republic
          • jamesonbeam1
            LOL Alex, Yes, im still chuckling over that one. It was: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/new_distillers/message/31286
            Message 5 of 22 , Jul 17, 2009
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              LOL Alex,

              Yes, im still chuckling over that one.  It was: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/new_distillers/message/31286.

              And Yes Dana, listen to Alex - he is very skilled at making rums now and has taught myself and many others great tricks and techniques in the art of making fine Rum...

              See Below :).

              Vino es Veritas,

              Jim aka Waldo.

              DSCF0001colonelVW.JPG

              WELCOME TO COLONEL WILSONS COPPER MOONSHINE STILLS

              (A southern US redneck distiller  who has no experience in rum making and no relatives in Jamaica)  J.B.

               


              --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "castillo.alex2008" <castillo.alex2008@...> wrote:
              >
              >
              > Hello and Welcome
              >
              > After that intro of those two knowledgable ones and my mentors little can be added, but since you also mentioned rum let me take a minute of your time to share something of what I´ve learn after about some one hundred distillations I already have, most of them in making rum. To begin with molasses must be your way to go for rum;

              __snip__

              Take a look at my message # 30068 for an idea of how to prepare those macerations. Colonel Wilson´s stills may be fine but his recipes for rum are not.

              As Jim once said to a post addressed to me, (probably the funniest post ever published) Wilson does not have relatives in Jamaica so following his rum recipes is not a good idea for going commercial.
              >
              > ¡Buena Suerte y que te diviertas!
              >
              > Drinking rum gives more fun!
              >
              > Alex Castillo
              >
              > Dominican (rum land) Republic
              >

            • gff_stwrt
              Hi,folks,and welcome to you,Dana. I m sure you will be successful in your new venture but I will be really interested to hear more about it. Thanks, Jim, for
              Message 6 of 22 , Jul 17, 2009
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                Hi,folks,and welcome to you,Dana.
                I'm sure you will be successful in your new venture but I will be really interested to hear more about it.

                Thanks, Jim, for your insights into fruit brandies, just at the right time.
                I have finished distilling all my apricot 'wine' (must) (pot still, of course) and have been thinking about the best way to re-distill the feints.
                I have about 35 litres of around 35 to 40 percent alcohol feints and I want to keep the really nice flavour I got in the single distilled apricot brandy (and which can be smelt in the feints).
                So I will buy some 'apricot nectar' (fruit juice with maybe some sugar and some water, not sure) and use it, perhaps with some water, to lower the alcohol content for distilling; and hopefully to end up with a nice apricot aroma in the brandy.

                Regards,

                The Baker


                --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "jamesonbeam1" <jamesonbeam1@...> wrote:
                >
                >
                > Hello Dana,
                >
                > And again, as Harry mentioned - Welcome Aboard.

                snip

                After distilling some of
                > my apple, peach and blackberry wines (not true wines due to the short
                > fermentation cycle), I too have found the lower the ABV content of the
                > fermentation - the more flavors will come through. I would suggest no
                > less then about a 7% ABV and no more then a 10% ABV.
                snip>
                Regarding a second distillation, again as Harry mentioned, while this
                > will increase smoothness, it is at the cost of flavors. However, a
                > couple of tricks ive learned along the way might help. If you look at
                > the "sour mash" method used in our whiskey method, or how "Dunder" is
                > used in making rum, these methods can also be applied to making
                > brandies. You can make a stipping run first, then if you look at the
                > chart on diluting the distillate at:
                > http://www.artisan-distiller.net/photoalbum/photos/pint_o_shine/Potstill\
                > _Dilute.GIF
                > <http://www.artisan-distiller.net/photoalbum/photos/pint_o_shine/Potstil\
                > l_Dilute.GIF> you can dilute it down between 20% to 25% and
                > re-distill. (also see Harry's article - Dilution of the Still Charge )
                > - http://distillers.tastylime.net/library/Diluting_the_still_charge/
                > <http://distillers.tastylime.net/library/Diluting_the_still_charge/>
                >
                > Now instead of using water to dilute the still charge, you can
                > incorporate the sour mash and dunder methods by diluting it with the
                > backset from your first distillation. This will help maintain the fruit
                > flavors. Another trick would be to dilute it with some new fermentation
                > or even just the fruit juice itself or some already made wine.
                >
                > Anyways you might try playing with these ideas. Please feel free to ask
                > away, and again - Welcome Aboard.
                >
                > Vino es Veritas,
                >
                > Jim aka Waldo.
                >
              • gff_stwrt
                Hello, again, Bought some apricot nectar . Three cans. Each can cost $3 and was less than 900 ml, a third fruit with some added sugar (which I hope won t
                Message 7 of 22 , Jul 17, 2009
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                  Hello, again,
                  Bought some 'apricot nectar'. Three cans.
                  Each can cost $3 and was less than 900 ml, a third fruit with some added sugar (which I hope won't matter, it's a very small percentage of the still charge.)

                  I will need to do three runs, so will do (in my 20 litre pot, filled to 18 litres maximum).

                  First run, around 13 litres feints, one can 'apricot nectar' (= 300 ml apricot, total around 1 litre) and around 4 litres water.

                  Second run, around 11 1/2 litres feints, half can 'apricot nectar (=150 ml apricot, total around 1/2 litre) and 6 litres backset from the first distillation.

                  Third run, similar to the second.

                  Because I will be adding back the feints from the three runs that will not use up all of the feints, so in the second and third run I will decrease the feints a bit, put in a bit more backset, and then do a fourth run.
                  If I steal another can of 'apricot nectar' from the pantry I can put a bit extra in the second and third runs and have some to put in the fourth.

                  Some pretty advanced math here, eh?!!

                  Hope it works!

                  Regards,

                  The Baker




                  --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "gff_stwrt" <gff_stwrt@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Hi,folks,and welcome to you,Dana.
                  > I'm sure you will be successful in your new venture but I will be really interested to hear more about it.
                  >
                  > Thanks, Jim, for your insights into fruit brandies, just at the right time.
                  > I have finished distilling all my apricot 'wine' (must) (pot still, of course) and have been thinking about the best way to re-distill the feints.
                  > I have about 35 litres of around 35 to 40 percent alcohol feints and I want to keep the really nice flavour I got in the single distilled apricot brandy (and which can be smelt in the feints).
                  > So I will buy some 'apricot nectar' (fruit juice with maybe some sugar and some water, not sure) and use it, perhaps with some water, to lower the alcohol content for distilling; and hopefully to end up with a nice apricot aroma in the brandy.
                  >
                  > Regards,
                  >
                  > The Baker
                  >
                  >
                  > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "jamesonbeam1" <jamesonbeam1@> wrote:
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > Hello Dana,
                  > >
                  > > And again, as Harry mentioned - Welcome Aboard.
                  >
                  > snip
                  >
                  > After distilling some of
                  > > my apple, peach and blackberry wines (not true wines due to the short
                  > > fermentation cycle), I too have found the lower the ABV content of the
                  > > fermentation - the more flavors will come through. I would suggest no
                  > > less then about a 7% ABV and no more then a 10% ABV.
                  > snip>
                  > Regarding a second distillation, again as Harry mentioned, while this
                  > > will increase smoothness, it is at the cost of flavors. However, a
                  > > couple of tricks ive learned along the way might help. If you look at
                  > > the "sour mash" method used in our whiskey method, or how "Dunder" is
                  > > used in making rum, these methods can also be applied to making
                  > > brandies. You can make a stipping run first, then if you look at the
                  > > chart on diluting the distillate at:
                  > > http://www.artisan-distiller.net/photoalbum/photos/pint_o_shine/Potstill\
                  > > _Dilute.GIF
                  > > <http://www.artisan-distiller.net/photoalbum/photos/pint_o_shine/Potstil\
                  > > l_Dilute.GIF> you can dilute it down between 20% to 25% and
                  > > re-distill. (also see Harry's article - Dilution of the Still Charge )
                  > > - http://distillers.tastylime.net/library/Diluting_the_still_charge/
                  > > <http://distillers.tastylime.net/library/Diluting_the_still_charge/>
                  > >
                  > > Now instead of using water to dilute the still charge, you can
                  > > incorporate the sour mash and dunder methods by diluting it with the
                  > > backset from your first distillation. This will help maintain the fruit
                  > > flavors. Another trick would be to dilute it with some new fermentation
                  > > or even just the fruit juice itself or some already made wine.
                  > >
                  > > Anyways you might try playing with these ideas. Please feel free to ask
                  > > away, and again - Welcome Aboard.
                  > >
                  > > Vino es Veritas,
                  > >
                  > > Jim aka Waldo.
                  > >
                  >
                • jamesonbeam1
                  Welp Baker, As they say around this parts - Go fur it or as Larry the Cable Guy says Lets GITERDONE... Good Luck. Vino es Veritas, Jim aka Waldo. ... added
                  Message 8 of 22 , Jul 18, 2009
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                    Welp Baker,

                    As they say around this parts - "Go fur it" or as Larry the Cable Guy
                    says "Lets GITERDONE..."

                    Good Luck.

                    Vino es Veritas,

                    Jim aka Waldo.


                    --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "gff_stwrt" <gff_stwrt@...>
                    wrote:
                    >
                    > Hello, again,
                    > Bought some 'apricot nectar'. Three cans.
                    > Each can cost $3 and was less than 900 ml, a third fruit with some
                    added sugar (which I hope won't matter, it's a very small percentage of
                    the still charge.)
                    >
                    > I will need to do three runs, so will do (in my 20 litre pot, filled
                    to 18 litres maximum).
                    >
                    > First run, around 13 litres feints, one can 'apricot nectar' (= 300 ml
                    apricot, total around 1 litre) and around 4 litres water.
                    >
                    > Second run, around 11 1/2 litres feints, half can 'apricot nectar
                    (=150 ml apricot, total around 1/2 litre) and 6 litres backset from the
                    first distillation.
                    >
                    > Third run, similar to the second.
                    >
                    > Because I will be adding back the feints from the three runs that will
                    not use up all of the feints, so in the second and third run I will
                    decrease the feints a bit, put in a bit more backset, and then do a
                    fourth run.
                    > If I steal another can of 'apricot nectar' from the pantry I can put a
                    bit extra in the second and third runs and have some to put in the
                    fourth.
                    >
                    > Some pretty advanced math here, eh?!!
                    >
                    > Hope it works!
                    >
                    > Regards,
                    >
                    > The Baker
                  • ACKERFORGE
                    ... Hello All, Thanks for the warm welcome and the advice. Haven t tried any of the Colonel s recipies. His stills are a good product and reasonable in
                    Message 9 of 22 , Jul 20, 2009
                    • 0 Attachment
                      --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "jamesonbeam1" <jamesonbeam1@...> wrote:
                      >
                      >
                      > LOL Alex,
                      >
                      > Yes, im still chuckling over that one. It was:
                      > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/new_distillers/message/31286
                      > <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/new_distillers/message/31286> .
                      >
                      > And Yes Dana, listen to Alex - he is very skilled at making rums now and
                      > has taught myself and many others great tricks and techniques in the art
                      > of making fine Rum...
                      >
                      > See Below [:)] .
                      >
                      > Vino es Veritas,
                      >
                      > Jim aka Waldo.
                      >
                      > [DSCF0001colonelVW.JPG]
                      >
                      > WELCOME TO COLONEL WILSONS COPPER MOONSHINE STILLS
                      >
                      > (A southern US redneck distiller who has no experience in rum making
                      > and no relatives in Jamaica) J.B.
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "castillo.alex2008"
                      > <castillo.alex2008@> wrote:
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > Hello and Welcome
                      > >
                      > > After that intro of those two knowledgable ones and my mentors little
                      > can be added, but since you also mentioned rum let me take a minute of
                      > your time to share something of what I´ve learn after about some one
                      > hundred distillations I already have, most of them in making rum. To
                      > begin with molasses must be your way to go for rum;
                      >
                      > __snip__
                      >
                      > Take a look at my message # 30068 for an idea of how to prepare those
                      > macerations. Colonel Wilson´s stills may be fine but his recipes for
                      > rum are not.
                      >
                      > As Jim once said to a post addressed to me, (probably the funniest post
                      > ever published) Wilson does not have relatives in Jamaica so following
                      > his rum recipes is not a good idea for going commercial.
                      > >
                      > > ¡Buena Suerte y que te diviertas!
                      > >
                      > > Drinking rum gives more fun!
                      > >
                      > > Alex Castillo
                      > >
                      > > Dominican (rum land) Republic
                      > >
                      >
                      Hello All,

                      Thanks for the warm welcome and the advice. Haven't tried any of the "Colonel's" recipies. His stills are a good product and reasonable in price compared to the level of workmanship employed.

                      As to rum, we have only experimented, as we are trying to get into production on the apple brandy and our grape brandies for fortification. All advice on rum will be greatly appreciated, and put to good use when the time is right. My son works in the US Virgin Islands, and worked for a time in Honduras, so I have had exposure to good rums. For consultation, I got in touch with Clayton Cone with Lallemand, who is a consultant to the rum industry. His advice was very helpful.

                      A rum question: Cruzan/St. Croix USVI makes a blackstrap rum which is very dark. My experience with blackstrap molasses is that not all of the soluble solids are sugar, but also sulfated ash, making it difficult to ferment and to predict final alcohol content. Knowing that most anything distilled will come out as white liquor, how do they (Cruzan) achieve the color, viscosity and flavor? Are they adding blackstrap molasses back to the distillate? Just cruious.

                      Another question: One of the responses to my initial post mentioned barrel aging liquor being optimum at 130 proof or so. It is my understanding that USA federal law says that Kentucky Bourbon cannot go into barrel over 125 proof or 62.5%. Anybody know the reasoning for this?
                    • waljaco
                      Dark rum? To my knowledge, caramel (burnt sugar) is used. wal
                      Message 10 of 22 , Jul 20, 2009
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Dark rum?
                        To my knowledge, caramel (burnt sugar) is used.
                        wal
                        --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "ACKERFORGE" <ackerforge@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "jamesonbeam1" <jamesonbeam1@> wrote:
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > LOL Alex,
                        > >
                        > > Yes, im still chuckling over that one. It was:
                        > > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/new_distillers/message/31286
                        > > <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/new_distillers/message/31286> .
                        > >
                        > > And Yes Dana, listen to Alex - he is very skilled at making rums now and
                        > > has taught myself and many others great tricks and techniques in the art
                        > > of making fine Rum...
                        > >
                        > > See Below [:)] .
                        > >
                        > > Vino es Veritas,
                        > >
                        > > Jim aka Waldo.
                        > >
                        > > [DSCF0001colonelVW.JPG]
                        > >
                        > > WELCOME TO COLONEL WILSONS COPPER MOONSHINE STILLS
                        > >
                        > > (A southern US redneck distiller who has no experience in rum making
                        > > and no relatives in Jamaica) J.B.
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "castillo.alex2008"
                        > > <castillo.alex2008@> wrote:
                        > > >
                        > > >
                        > > > Hello and Welcome
                        > > >
                        > > > After that intro of those two knowledgable ones and my mentors little
                        > > can be added, but since you also mentioned rum let me take a minute of
                        > > your time to share something of what I´ve learn after about some one
                        > > hundred distillations I already have, most of them in making rum. To
                        > > begin with molasses must be your way to go for rum;
                        > >
                        > > __snip__
                        > >
                        > > Take a look at my message # 30068 for an idea of how to prepare those
                        > > macerations. Colonel Wilson´s stills may be fine but his recipes for
                        > > rum are not.
                        > >
                        > > As Jim once said to a post addressed to me, (probably the funniest post
                        > > ever published) Wilson does not have relatives in Jamaica so following
                        > > his rum recipes is not a good idea for going commercial.
                        > > >
                        > > > ¡Buena Suerte y que te diviertas!
                        > > >
                        > > > Drinking rum gives more fun!
                        > > >
                        > > > Alex Castillo
                        > > >
                        > > > Dominican (rum land) Republic
                        > > >
                        > >
                        > Hello All,
                        >
                        > Thanks for the warm welcome and the advice. Haven't tried any of the "Colonel's" recipies. His stills are a good product and reasonable in price compared to the level of workmanship employed.
                        >
                        > As to rum, we have only experimented, as we are trying to get into production on the apple brandy and our grape brandies for fortification. All advice on rum will be greatly appreciated, and put to good use when the time is right. My son works in the US Virgin Islands, and worked for a time in Honduras, so I have had exposure to good rums. For consultation, I got in touch with Clayton Cone with Lallemand, who is a consultant to the rum industry. His advice was very helpful.
                        >
                        > A rum question: Cruzan/St. Croix USVI makes a blackstrap rum which is very dark. My experience with blackstrap molasses is that not all of the soluble solids are sugar, but also sulfated ash, making it difficult to ferment and to predict final alcohol content. Knowing that most anything distilled will come out as white liquor, how do they (Cruzan) achieve the color, viscosity and flavor? Are they adding blackstrap molasses back to the distillate? Just cruious.
                        >
                        > Another question: One of the responses to my initial post mentioned barrel aging liquor being optimum at 130 proof or so. It is my understanding that USA federal law says that Kentucky Bourbon cannot go into barrel over 125 proof or 62.5%. Anybody know the reasoning for this?
                        >
                      • Tampagamer
                        Your incorrect all rum comes out clear from the distiller Color is simply aging on oak barrels of various char or cheaply by food color Dark rum is made by
                        Message 11 of 22 , Jul 20, 2009
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                          Your incorrect all rum comes out clear from the distiller

                          Color is simply aging on oak barrels of various char or cheaply by food color

                          Dark rum is made by aging in alligator charred barrel

                            Magnus

                          Dark rum?
                          To my knowledge, caramel (burnt sugar) is used.
                          wal

                        • Tampagamer
                          Most likely for safely as all oak barrels give angel shares and low humidify give off more water and high humidity give off more alcohol so mist cool most
                          Message 12 of 22 , Jul 20, 2009
                          • 0 Attachment

                            Most likely for safely as all oak barrels give angel shares and low humidify give off more water and high humidity give off more alcohol so mist cool most cellars might be a bit to flammable topping off a few hundred kegs made of wood and fuel as alcohol become somewhat flammable  around 80 proof all the way up explosive at pure levels which is why it recommended to always go electric with small stills

                            Magnus


                            > Another question: One of the responses to my initial post mentioned barrel
                            aging liquor being optimum at 130 proof or so. It is my understanding that USA federal law says that Kentucky Bourbon cannot go into barrel over 125 proof or 62.5%. Anybody know the reasoning for this?
                            >

                          • tgfoitwoods
                            I m working on an ersatz Zaya that is *both* oaked (toasted only) and colored/flavored/sweetened with homemade caramel. Initial tasting suggest I may have
                            Message 13 of 22 , Jul 20, 2009
                            • 0 Attachment
                              I'm working on an ersatz Zaya that is *both* oaked (toasted only) and colored/flavored/sweetened with homemade caramel. Initial tasting suggest I may have "broke the code".

                              Damn, I love this hobby.

                              Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller

                              --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Tampagamer" <tampagamer@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Your incorrect all rum comes out clear from the distiller
                              >
                              > Color is simply aging on oak barrels of various char or cheaply by food
                              > color
                              >
                              > Dark rum is made by aging in alligator charred barrel
                              >
                              > Magnus
                              >
                              > Dark rum?
                              > To my knowledge, caramel (burnt sugar) is used.
                              > wal
                              >
                            • burrows206
                              Hi ZBob, What code would that be, is it from that famous guy Einstein the one beer mug guy who could have been really good at distilling if he applied himself
                              Message 14 of 22 , Jul 21, 2009
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                                Hi ZBob,
                                What code would that be, is it from that famous guy Einstein the one beer mug guy who could have been really good at distilling if he applied himself and paid more attention in the classroom when he wus a young feller didn't he write this jumble of letters as a code/equation for us stillers:-

                                E=mc² simplified for our hobby is:-

                                E -----being------- Ethanol
                                M ----being the ----Mash
                                c² ----being the (constant) Column vapour speed squared

                                YES NO?

                                Geoff


                                --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "tgfoitwoods" <zymurgybob@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > I'm working on an ersatz Zaya that is *both* oaked (toasted only) and colored/flavored/sweetened with homemade caramel. Initial tasting suggest I may have "broke the code".
                                >
                                > Damn, I love this hobby.
                                >
                                > Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller
                                >
                                > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Tampagamer" <tampagamer@> wrote:
                                > >
                                > > Your incorrect all rum comes out clear from the distiller
                                > >
                                > > Color is simply aging on oak barrels of various char or cheaply by food
                                > > color
                                > >
                                > > Dark rum is made by aging in alligator charred barrel
                                > >
                                > > Magnus
                                > >
                                > > Dark rum?
                                > > To my knowledge, caramel (burnt sugar) is used.
                                > > wal
                                > >
                                >
                              • waljaco
                                Your incorrect - I gather you mean you re, short for you are. Food color? Alligator charred barrels? Hmmm... The younger rums, those with the lightest taste
                                Message 15 of 22 , Jul 21, 2009
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                                  "Your incorrect" - I gather you mean you're, short for you are.

                                  Food color? Alligator charred barrels? Hmmm...

                                  "The younger rums, those with the lightest taste and body, are marked as white or silver. Rums which are deeper colored and more highly flavored are aged a minimum of three years and are termed gold or amber. Caramel is used to adjust the color and to make it uniform."

                                  "Full-Bodied Rums. - The best known examples of this style would be the Jamaican rums. They are fermented from molasses which has been augmented by the addition of dunder and natural yeast spores are used. The fermented liquor is double distilled in pot stills at a proof of 140-160. Maturation is done in large oak casks called puncheons. These rums require more aging than do the light styles because of their full body and greater congener content. The typical dark color however is not due to wood, but is controlled by the amount of caramel added."
                                  (From University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Food-Beverage course notes.)

                                  Look up how to make caramel colouring in 'Cordial Waters'.
                                  wal

                                  --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Tampagamer" <tampagamer@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > Your incorrect all rum comes out clear from the distiller
                                  >
                                  > Color is simply aging on oak barrels of various char or cheaply by food
                                  > color
                                  >
                                  > Dark rum is made by aging in alligator charred barrel
                                  >
                                  > Magnus
                                  >
                                  > Dark rum?
                                  > To my knowledge, caramel (burnt sugar) is used.
                                  > wal
                                  >
                                • ACKERFORGE
                                  ... Thanks for the responses. On liquor barrel topping, in the USA, we who endeavor to do it legal are restricted from opening barrels once filled, until we
                                  Message 16 of 22 , Jul 21, 2009
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Tampagamer" <tampagamer@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > Most likely for safely as all oak barrels give angel shares and low humidify
                                    > give off more water and high humidity give off more alcohol so mist cool
                                    > most cellars might be a bit to flammable topping off a few hundred kegs made
                                    > of wood and fuel as alcohol become somewhat flammable around 80 proof all
                                    > the way up explosive at pure levels which is why it recommended to always go
                                    > electric with small stills
                                    >
                                    > Magnus
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > > Another question: One of the responses to my initial post mentioned barrel
                                    > aging liquor being optimum at 130 proof or so. It is my understanding that
                                    > USA federal law says that Kentucky Bourbon cannot go into barrel over 125
                                    > proof or 62.5%. Anybody know the reasoning for this?
                                    > >
                                    >
                                    Thanks for the responses. On liquor barrel topping, in the USA, we who endeavor to do it legal are restricted from opening barrels once filled, until we get the liquor our for processing or bottling. Once the bung is driven in it cannot be taken out (legally). This is because an accurate measurement must be taken both when barrelling and after removing from barrel in order to report loss...tax stuff.

                                    It is my understanding, which may not be correct, that there will be a considerable amount of evaporation while the liquor is in barrel, both alcohol and other fluid components. It the liquor were put in barrel at final drinking proof, there is a chance it would come out of the barrel with less proof. So better put in at 125-130 proof and then cut to drinking proof once the liquor is out of barrel to insure absolute proof in the final product? Does this seem reasonable?

                                    Also anybody out there ever had Cruzan Blackstrap Rum? Don't know for sure, but I'm guessing there's more to it than just the barrel or caramel--have experimented with both and I have not been able to come up with anything that dark and thick. Thoughts?
                                  • waljaco
                                    Experiments show that around 55%abv is best for oak extraction. wal (Ron Zacapa uses various types of barrels,a solera system of aging but no caramel coloring.
                                    Message 17 of 22 , Jul 21, 2009
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                                      Experiments show that around 55%abv is best for oak extraction.
                                      wal
                                      (Ron Zacapa uses various types of barrels,a solera system of aging but no caramel coloring. But many types of dark rums attain their deep color from the addition of caramel and apparently even molasses syrup.)

                                      --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "ACKERFORGE" <ackerforge@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Tampagamer" <tampagamer@> wrote:
                                      > >
                                      > > Most likely for safely as all oak barrels give angel shares and low humidify
                                      > > give off more water and high humidity give off more alcohol so mist cool
                                      > > most cellars might be a bit to flammable topping off a few hundred kegs made
                                      > > of wood and fuel as alcohol become somewhat flammable around 80 proof all
                                      > > the way up explosive at pure levels which is why it recommended to always go
                                      > > electric with small stills
                                      > >
                                      > > Magnus
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > > > Another question: One of the responses to my initial post mentioned barrel
                                      > > aging liquor being optimum at 130 proof or so. It is my understanding that
                                      > > USA federal law says that Kentucky Bourbon cannot go into barrel over 125
                                      > > proof or 62.5%. Anybody know the reasoning for this?
                                      > > >
                                      > >
                                      > Thanks for the responses. On liquor barrel topping, in the USA, we who endeavor to do it legal are restricted from opening barrels once filled, until we get the liquor our for processing or bottling. Once the bung is driven in it cannot be taken out (legally). This is because an accurate measurement must be taken both when barrelling and after removing from barrel in order to report loss...tax stuff.
                                      >
                                      > It is my understanding, which may not be correct, that there will be a considerable amount of evaporation while the liquor is in barrel, both alcohol and other fluid components. It the liquor were put in barrel at final drinking proof, there is a chance it would come out of the barrel with less proof. So better put in at 125-130 proof and then cut to drinking proof once the liquor is out of barrel to insure absolute proof in the final product? Does this seem reasonable?
                                      >
                                      > Also anybody out there ever had Cruzan Blackstrap Rum? Don't know for sure, but I'm guessing there's more to it than just the barrel or caramel--have experimented with both and I have not been able to come up with anything that dark and thick. Thoughts?
                                      >
                                    • castillo.alex2008
                                      Dana, As I said before, around here, as I´ve seen it myself, rum is aged in used ex bourbon barrels, and according to Dominican Laws they must be aged during
                                      Message 18 of 22 , Jul 21, 2009
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                                        Dana,

                                        As I said before, around here, as I´ve seen it myself, rum is aged in used ex bourbon barrels, and according to Dominican Laws they must be aged during at least one year. So the majority of the color due to the oak was given to the bourbon, not to the rum. So around here people age at 65% then mix (dilute) with water, "formulate" the rum and bottle. "Formulate" means to add color, botanicals, essences, etc. As wal mentioned (some) golden or dark rums do get their color due to the addition of caramel (this may be prepared naturally using sugar or adding a water soluble caramel color). The case may be different for bourbon since american laws specify they must be aged in new oak barrels, which is not the case for rum, so most of the tannins from oak, including color, are transfered to the aging bourbon. As for a thickening aging I can only speculate, since I don´t know the rum you´re taking about, but for sure there are some food grade thickening agents around. Take a look at Xanthan gum or Carboxymethyl cellulose and maybe mannitol to see if they are food grade in US. Another issue to consider is time versus temperature. Higher temperatures speed maturation of all distilled beverages (and also promotes faster evaporation). Around here most of the year is hot at around 30C (We don´t have snowy winters) so that´s why with at least one year rums are mature enough versus cold weathers in places like Scotland or the North of US.

                                        HTH

                                        Alex

                                        From rumland (Dominican Republic)

                                        P.D. Barcardi Rum is made with Dominican Molasses from Ingenio Central Romana.
                                      • jamesonbeam1
                                        Hi again Dana, Yes, for some reason our regulations are pretty strict on opening barrels - something about aging or bottling in Bond (got to pay them taxes
                                        Message 19 of 22 , Jul 21, 2009
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                                          Hi again Dana,

                                          Yes, for some reason our regulations are pretty strict on opening barrels - something about aging or bottling in "Bond" (got to pay them taxes ya know).  The barrels do breath, so depending on the aging time, anywhere from 5 to 10% or more may be lost to "the angel's share".  Have to make sure no humans got a hold of it, dont cha know ;).

                                          As far as your question on the 125 proof requirement, as you know, Bourbon is the USA national liquor and was first classified as a unique liquor on May, 4th, 1964 and hence became regulated to insure uniformity.  This includes a minimum of 51% corn with other grains and no other additives, a maximum distilling ABV of 160 proof, and aging in new American oak barrels for a minimum of 2 years at no more the 125 proof. 

                                          After that it is bottles with de-ionized water, again with no additives - this is what seperates Bourbon from Tennessee Whisk(e)y that goes through the Lincoln County Process with charred maple chips.

                                          125 proof is pretty much standard, but some Bourbon distillers boast on aging theirs at a lower ABV for even more flavors.  Again, its related to the higher the ABV content, the less flavors will come through.  (also more alcohol will be lost to the angels).  As people around here have said - 120 proof to 130 proof is ususally the best for aging on wood.

                                          Regarding you question on dark rums, since your son is working in the Virgin Islands, your best bet is have him visit the Cruzan/St. Croix USVI  distillery, (one of the biggest tourist spots there) and have him ask them those questions.

                                          Cruzan does buy their barrels from US Bourbon makes which do have an "alligator" char - the heaviest of the 5 char levels.  They also only ferment it to 10% ABV before distilling and age it anywhere from 2 to 12 years.  See: http://www.gotostcroix.com/cruzanrum/index.php

                                          And yes, as Wal and Alex have stated, rum may be further darkened by many methods such as caramelized sugars, adding dark molassas, vanilla beans and even cinnamon and other spices, for spiced rums, like I have made.  Glycerin also works well to add body to rums..

                                          Since you have talked wih Dr. Clayton Cone, we have been talking about him recently in Advanced Distillers along with Dr. MB Raines.  It would be nice if you could tell us about his thoughts and ideas on the rum issues now.  For example, did he mention a suggest pH level, and what about Dunder?

                                          After all this is a 2 way street on information sharing :).

                                          Vino es Veritas,

                                          Jim aka Waldo.

                                           


                                          --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "ACKERFORGE" <ackerforge@...> wrote:
                                          > Thanks for the responses. On liquor barrel topping, in the USA, we who endeavor to do it legal are restricted from opening barrels once filled, until we get the liquor our for processing or bottling. Once the bung is driven in it cannot be taken out (legally). This is because an accurate measurement must be taken both when barrelling and after removing from barrel in order to report loss...tax stuff.
                                          >
                                          > It is my understanding, which may not be correct, that there will be a considerable amount of evaporation while the liquor is in barrel, both alcohol and other fluid components. It the liquor were put in barrel at final drinking proof, there is a chance it would come out of the barrel with less proof. So better put in at 125-130 proof and then cut to drinking proof once the liquor is out of barrel to insure absolute proof in the final product? Does this seem reasonable?
                                          >
                                          > Also anybody out there ever had Cruzan Blackstrap Rum? Don't know for sure, but I'm guessing there's more to it than just the barrel or caramel--have experimented with both and I have not been able to come up with anything that dark and thick. Thoughts?
                                          >

                                        • ACKERFORGE
                                          ... Once again, I really do apreciate all of the input I have received. Yes, when I first toyed with the idea of making rum, I called Lallemand to inquire
                                          Message 20 of 22 , Jul 21, 2009
                                          • 0 Attachment
                                            --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "jamesonbeam1" <jamesonbeam1@...> wrote:
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > Hi again Dana,
                                            >
                                            > Yes, for some reason our regulations are pretty strict on opening
                                            > barrels - something about aging or bottling in "Bond" (got to pay them
                                            > taxes ya know). The barrels do breath, so depending on the aging time,
                                            > anywhere from 5 to 10% or more may be lost to "the angel's share". Have
                                            > to make sure no humans got a hold of it, dont cha know [;)] .
                                            >
                                            > As far as your question on the 125 proof requirement, as you know,
                                            > Bourbon is the USA national liquor and was first classified as a unique
                                            > liquor on May, 4th, 1964 and hence became regulated to insure
                                            > uniformity. This includes a minimum of 51% corn with other grains and
                                            > no other additives, a maximum distilling ABV of 160 proof, and aging in
                                            > new American oak barrels for a minimum of 2 years at no more the 125
                                            > proof.
                                            >
                                            > After that it is bottles with de-ionized water, again with no additives
                                            > - this is what seperates Bourbon from Tennessee Whisk(e)y that goes
                                            > through the Lincoln County Process with charred maple chips.
                                            >
                                            > 125 proof is pretty much standard, but some Bourbon distillers boast on
                                            > aging theirs at a lower ABV for even more flavors. Again, its related
                                            > to the higher the ABV content, the less flavors will come through.
                                            > (also more alcohol will be lost to the angels). As people around here
                                            > have said - 120 proof to 130 proof is ususally the best for aging on
                                            > wood.
                                            >
                                            > Regarding you question on dark rums, since your son is working in the
                                            > Virgin Islands, your best bet is have him visit the Cruzan/St. Croix
                                            > USVI distillery, (one of the biggest tourist spots there) and have him
                                            > ask them those questions.
                                            >
                                            > Cruzan does buy their barrels from US Bourbon makes which do have an
                                            > "alligator" char - the heaviest of the 5 char levels. They also only
                                            > ferment it to 10% ABV before distilling and age it anywhere from 2 to 12
                                            > years. See: http://www.gotostcroix.com/cruzanrum/index.php
                                            > <http://www.gotostcroix.com/cruzanrum/index.php>
                                            >
                                            > And yes, as Wal and Alex have stated, rum may be further darkened by
                                            > many methods such as caramelized sugars, adding dark molassas, vanilla
                                            > beans and even cinnamon and other spices, for spiced rums, like I have
                                            > made. Glycerin also works well to add body to rums..
                                            >
                                            > Since you have talked wih Dr. Clayton Cone, we have been talking about
                                            > him recently in Advanced Distillers along with Dr. MB Raines. It would
                                            > be nice if you could tell us about his thoughts and ideas on the rum
                                            > issues now. For example, did he mention a suggest pH level, and what
                                            > about Dunder?
                                            >
                                            > After all this is a 2 way street on information sharing :).
                                            >
                                            > Vino es Veritas,
                                            >
                                            > Jim aka Waldo.
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "ACKERFORGE" <ackerforge@>
                                            > wrote:
                                            > > Thanks for the responses. On liquor barrel topping, in the USA, we who
                                            > endeavor to do it legal are restricted from opening barrels once filled,
                                            > until we get the liquor our for processing or bottling. Once the bung is
                                            > driven in it cannot be taken out (legally). This is because an accurate
                                            > measurement must be taken both when barrelling and after removing from
                                            > barrel in order to report loss...tax stuff.
                                            > >
                                            > > It is my understanding, which may not be correct, that there will be a
                                            > considerable amount of evaporation while the liquor is in barrel, both
                                            > alcohol and other fluid components. It the liquor were put in barrel at
                                            > final drinking proof, there is a chance it would come out of the barrel
                                            > with less proof. So better put in at 125-130 proof and then cut to
                                            > drinking proof once the liquor is out of barrel to insure absolute proof
                                            > in the final product? Does this seem reasonable?
                                            > >
                                            > > Also anybody out there ever had Cruzan Blackstrap Rum? Don't know for
                                            > sure, but I'm guessing there's more to it than just the barrel or
                                            > caramel--have experimented with both and I have not been able to come up
                                            > with anything that dark and thick. Thoughts?
                                            > >
                                            >
                                            Once again, I really do apreciate all of the input I have received. Yes, when I first toyed with the idea of making rum, I called Lallemand to inquire about yeasts specifically tailored for the fermentation of molasses. They told me that their Danstil 493-EDV yeast was a choice rum making yeast, used by many establiched commercial rum makers. Unfortunately it is not sold in the USA as there is so little market for it.

                                            The Lallemand contact to whom I spoke was the one who directed me to Dr. Cone. Below is the text of an e-mail he sent with me, which I'm sure he would not mind my sharing, as he seems to be about good product as a concept that is not to be equated with protecting one's government's nuclear weapons technology. He gives good advice and provides answers to some basic questions. Below is the e-mail. Hope it is helpful.

                                            Dana

                                            Dr. Cone's e-mail:

                                            "There is no wrong type of cane molasses to use for Rum production. Each will lend a distinct character to the Rum. You should try each to determine which produces the Rum character that satisfies you. Also the economics of each has to be taken into consideration.


                                            There are three types of Cane molasses on the market:

                                            Blackstrap - by product of sugar production from sugar cane.
                                            This has been evaporated several times to remove as much sugar as possible leaving lots of non fermentables and ash. Most of the yeast available proteins are bound and not available for the yeast.
                                            The more modern the sugar refinery the more sugar is removed and the higher the non fermentables and ash. The older the refinery the less
                                            efficient in removing the sugar leaving higher fermentable sugar and lower ash. New refineries will leave about 45% fermentable sugars. Old refineries will leave up to 60%
                                            fermentable sugars.

                                            The non fermentables and ash are stressful to the yeast. They exert a very high osmotic effect. That is why most distilleries
                                            start their molasses fermentation at about 16 - 18 brix.

                                            High test cane - Primary product from sugar cane. This molasses is from a one time evaporation, concentrating all the sugar. Thus an 80 brix molasses will contain about 76 brix fermentable sugar and 2-3% ash. This molasses will contain very little available nitrogen for the yeast.

                                            Refiner's cane - By-product of refining raw brown sugar to produce white sugar. This molasses is produced from washing the brown
                                            sugar crystals to make white sugar. The analysis will be slightly higher in sugar than High test cane molasses.

                                            Brown sugar - This will contain about 99+% fermentable sugar.

                                            For your interest in calculating sugar to alcohol yield, 100 pounds of sucrose will produce 105 pounds of fermentable sugar
                                            (glucose).


                                            My suggestion is that you start your trial fermentations using K1-V1116 yeast [Lallemand product.] It is a strong fermenter and produces nice esters that should compliment your Rum. If you are not satisfied with this strain I have a couple more strains for you to evaluate.


                                            Start the blackstrap fermentations at 16 - 18 brix.*

                                            Start the High test and Refiner's cane fermentations at 22 - 24 brix.*

                                            Add 2# Fermaid K and 2 # Diammonium phosphate.

                                            Add 2# K1-V1116 properly rehydrated (Go ferm)

                                            Stir constantly if possible through out the fermentation.
                                            Ferment under 90F.

                                            Add 2# Diammonium phosphate after 24 hours fermentation.

                                            Do not put airlock on. Allow the yeast to breath. They need the oxygen to grow and to produce fatty acids to protect the cell wall from alcohol toxicity later in the fermentation.

                                            The fermentation should take less than 72 hours. If you wish to speed up fermentation add 4# yeast at the beginning.

                                            * Blackstrap fermentation should finish at 5 - 7 Brix.

                                            *Hightest and Refiners cane fermentation should finish below 1 brix.

                                            Do not adjust pH at the beginning. Monitor the pH carefully during the first 12 - 24 hours. Hightest and Refiner's cane fermentations can drop dramatically to below 3.0 pH. If it does add 1/2 # potassium carbonate / 1000 gallons of mash.


                                            You can also speed up the rate of fermentation by adding all of the rehydrated yeast to about 5 % of the volume of the total mash and allow to acclimate or condition for about 12 hours, then add this to the entire mash. Add proportional amount of Fermaid K and Diammonium
                                            phosphate to the 5% volume. Stir and aerate. Use open top container
                                            (fermenter).

                                            Expect heavy foaming with blackstrap fermentation.

                                            Let me know if you have any questions.


                                            Clayton"
                                          • jamesonbeam1
                                            Dana, Thanks so much for Dr. Cone s inputs. Very interesting indeed. But first, Danstil 493 is indeed available in the US through White Labs. See:
                                            Message 21 of 22 , Jul 21, 2009
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                                              Dana,

                                              Thanks so much for Dr. Cone's inputs.  Very interesting indeed.  But first, Danstil 493 is indeed available in the US through White Labs.  See: http://www.whitelabs.com/distilling/yeast.html  it is recommended for making rums since it was first cultivated off of sugar cane and is more temperature tolerant than other strains.  Please contact them.

                                              Will have more comments to follow.

                                              Vino es Veritas,

                                              Jim aka Waldo.


                                              --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "ACKERFORGE" <ackerforge@...> wrote:
                                              > Once again, I really do apreciate all of the input I have received. Yes, when I first toyed with the idea of making rum, I called Lallemand to inquire about yeasts specifically tailored for the fermentation of molasses. They told me that their Danstil 493-EDV yeast was a choice rum making yeast, used by many establiched commercial rum makers. Unfortunately it is not sold in the USA as there is so little market for it.

                                              > The Lallemand contact to whom I spoke was the one who directed me to Dr. Cone. Below is the text of an e-mail he sent with me, which I'm sure he would not mind my sharing, as he seems to be about good product as a concept that is not to be equated with protecting one's government's nuclear weapons technology. He gives good advice and provides answers to some basic questions. Below is the e-mail. Hope it is helpful.
                                              >
                                              > Dana

                                              __snip

                                            • castillo.alex2008
                                              Hi Dana Thanks for publishing Dr. Cone´s mail, as he´s a pundit in the area that mail is a must read, must keep one so it already went to my library. In
                                              Message 22 of 22 , Jul 22, 2009
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                                                Hi Dana

                                                Thanks for publishing Dr. Cone´s mail, as he´s a pundit in the area that mail is a "must read, must keep one" so it already went to my library. In the other hand, as Jim pointed you can get the yeast via whitelabs in US. I got a package of 400 grams for US$ 51.90 (California- Miami). Probably you´ll need larger quantities for industrial making of rum but with those 400 grams, and using a starter (some guide is printed in the pack)you´ll be able to run several trials. I´ve reharvested that yeast more than 10 times (at fermentation 13 or 14 it went "funky" lol giving an off flavor) and also has good floculation (goes to the botton of the fermenter nicely) so collecting it is quite easy. As this yeast comes from a hot climate (isolated by INRA at Guadaloupe in the french caribbean) its prefered fermentation temperature is rather high (some 40C) which you very probably won´t get there North US, but according to my tasters is the best white dog they´ve ever had, so not to mentioned the aged product. You must know however that K1-V1116 is a slow fermenter, I´ve used it myself and I´m not very happy with it (what a difference with EC-1118!) I haven´t notice the fragrant esters they (Lallemand and Dr. Cone) claim you can get, probably because they say these esters develop if the yeast is acting in cool to cold temperatures which may suit you but unlikely to rum makers which are generally in tropical (hot) areas.

                                                In the other hand, as for color goes, if you are going to use new oak you don´t have to worry for getting a nice to dark amber color as the wood will release it, but if on the contrary you are going to use second hand ex-bourbon barrels as is a tradition for rum making some of your color can be obtained, as Jim mentioned, by the use of the botanicals (i.e. in my experience raisins, cinnammon, clove and black pepper extracts darkens the color) just go easy with those last three, little amount of them will give you lot of "hot".

                                                Finally if getting molasses in large quantities is an issue (as it would be around here since big rum makers as Bacardi or Brugal buy them a year in advance) you may consider using Brown sugar with some molasses, in my practice for 10 pounds of brown sugar between 1 to 4 cups of molasses. It works.

                                                HTH

                                                Alex
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