Picture of Making Rum From Scratch
Making rum from scratch using molasses and sugar.

I wanted to make some rum so that I could make my own Captain Morgans Spiced Rum

you will need

1 x 25L fermentation vessel

a long spoon, you can get these from homebrew shops

yeast nutrient, you can substitute tomato puree for this if you have trouble getting hold of yeast nutrient.

4kg of molasses (blackstrap for choice) you can get this from ebay, horse feed molasses is perfect provided it has no additives, cost me about £10 from eBay

4kg white sugar

2 x 5g packets of EC-1118 Yeast, you can buy this online by a company called lavlin

a thermometer, I got a cheap digital one from eBay for about £2

kitchen scales

a kitchen jug

some glass jars

and a big bucket or demi john to store the results.

and a pot still, I built my own here is the instructable http://www.instructables.com/id/Building-a-Keg-Still-Pot-still-design/

Step 1: Disolving the sugar

Picture of disolving the sugar
making sure you sterilize your equipment before you start, pour a couple of kettles full of boiling water in to your fermentor.

add a bag at a time of the sugar, stirring as you add it in, keep stirring until its all dissolved then add the next one and do the same, keep doing it until all the sugar is dissolved.

add in another kettle full of boiling water for good measure.

I think you forget the still for distilation

n1cod3mus (author)  albertcofish1 month ago
errrrm, no, the link is on the first page
Shadetree922 months ago
I'll have to give it a try
TateT12 months ago
n1cod3mus (author)  TateT12 months ago
are you trying to say something?
TateT12 months ago
Shadetree923 months ago
What would I need to make some Sailor Jerrys old recipe and new recipe
n1cod3mus (author)  Shadetree923 months ago
ah thats a spiced rum, make up the batch in the instructable, then when you put it in a demijohn with some oak chips put in a couple of allspice berrys (go easy on these they are powerful), half a cinnamon stick , and a few vanilla pods as many as 10 or more and leave to age.

I am still working on getting a decent spiced rum my self, I'm not keen on sailor Jerrys but I have produced something like it using the above. I prefer captain morgans but I have yet to get something close to this, I currently have a batch with 30 vanilla pods in it and some cassia bark, its been like that for nearly a year now.
jbaker664 months ago
I just throw a little oak chips , few drops of vanilla and pieces of orange peel in with mine. Once it is cut down to 70 proof you can drink it straight all night!
I've successfully made a gold spiced captain morgans recently. I take oak chips from whiskey and soak them in sherry.( Keep reusing the sherry for different batches) Lightly toast them and soak the rum in it. Then make an essence of 1/2 cup white sugar (found brown sugar made it too dark) 1 cup water, Orange peel, vanilla beans, nutmeg, clove, cinnamon quill. Cook on the stovetop to get the flavours in, then water down and filter. Back on the stovetop to reduce. Another ingredient I used was vanilla bean paste which did the job for vanilla flavour but it required lots of filtering
n1cod3mus (author)  richard.zivkovic.75 months ago
thats the issue with essences really you have to filter it loads and it clogs the filters. and i have never been able to get the flavour right from an essence
Trick is to water it down after you've infused the flavours. Run it through the filter then back onto the stovetop to reduce it back down. Cheesecloth as a pre filter works well too
Spin180Pro9 months ago

Silly question. What size keg? ¼ barrel?

n1cod3mus (author)  Spin180Pro9 months ago
standard euro size, 55L

Ah, thanks for the reply. Also, Is there a specific temperate you need when distilling the wash? We have an AGA, so it's very difficult to get it precise.

n1cod3mus (author)  joshuashack08.9 months ago
there is, but I don't recall what it is, most people just see how fast it is running out and turn down the heat
joshuashack08.10 months ago

Hey, initially when you dissolve the sugar in the warm water, what amount of water do you use. Also does the temperature matter? Thanks, Josh

n1cod3mus (author)  joshuashack08.10 months ago
I don't really measure the amount of water, i guess about 3-5 Liters, the water is normally hot, makes it easier to dissolve the sugar. you can dissolve sugar in cold water but it would take ages.
rmoyer1 year ago
ever decide which oaked batch tasted the best?
n1cod3mus (author)  rmoyer1 year ago

a light toasting was best, the darker toasting made it a little more spicy and less vanillins, the darker did make the spirit darker quicker. but neither imparted enough vanilla flavor for me.

yer I know what you mean, you could try putting your rum into a liter bottle put 2-3 vanilla pod`s into the bottle and leave it for 2=3 month`s if you can wait that long LOL, as the vanilla infuses into the rum it start`s to change color, it`s just the time factor. That`s what I did, just give the bottle a good shake couple times a week

n1cod3mus (author)  tricky-19481 year ago

tried that , I put 6 in and it didn't work

nice write up, so what if you were going to do a 50L batch would you just double up on the ingredients ? apart from the yeast ?

n1cod3mus (author)  tricky-19481 year ago
one thing i would say if you are running on a keg still like mine then even though the keg can hold that much I wouldnt put that much in it.

when the wash gets heated it expands and when it starts to bubble it can get foamy, that foam could then get carried up through the still. its called puking, and that will just fill your spirit with muck.

unless you are running a slobber knocker or a thumper.

its best to run Rum with enough head room for the foam so that it doesnt puke.

yer ok point taken, I run the same keg as you but my upright pipe with scrubbers is about 19" high, do you remove the scrubbers when running as a pot still or keep them in ?. I can still make the batch up as a 50L wash but only fill the keg 3/4 full. The one thing that I have been thinking of doing is to add a copper jug on top of the 54mm copper pipe which would be more like a pot still.as most jug`s are about 9"=12" tall and are tapered might look a bit odd but should work OK as most of the work has been done for you .

n1cod3mus (author)  tricky-19481 year ago

to run as a true pot still you would need to remove the scrubbers, and ideally if you head is detachable, then attach this directly to the keg so you have a shorter column.

I'm re building my boka to do just that because the column was too long for running well in pot still mode.

you can just put a pipe directly on the still and run off that as a pot still have a look at my pot still instructable it will show you my pot still column its really simple.

I would run half and half, otherwise you will have a small wash for the second run which will be hard to make cuts on.

yer ok you are running more or less the same as me, as I to break the boka down, what I was going to do was put one scrubber in with some vanilla pods to try and infuse that into the rum, As I also like the captain morgan,s spice, I am going to put into a Oak barrel which hold`s 5 gallon`s, the barrel is new and burnt out from Portugal, so will have to see how that goes, what do you think about the Vanillia pod`s ?

n1cod3mus (author)  tricky-19481 year ago
I have tried a few times to use vanilla pods, but I only ever put them in with oak chips and didnt get the flavor, I have tried just a few and i have tried loads and they didnt work. But now you mention it putting a scrubber in and the pods above it might work better. I use this same method to make bombay sapphire gin and that works well.

just so you know I have tried pods in the bottle, lots and a few, I have also tried putting vanilla essence in there too.

also with your barrel have they toasted it first? this is important as it brings out the vanillians out of the wood.

also in rum making they use old bourbon barrels, I was looking at getting a couple of JD barrels for this purpose... and to put some JD in when I finish it.

that instuctable will be release any day now, might be tonight or tomorrow. ;-)

ok will give that a try, as for the oak barrel yes it was burn out for me they do it as you want, they work out at £120 delivered I haggled over the price and that was delivered to my door, I filled the barrel with worm water, left that for 24 hrs then emptied it out, then I filled with 3 bottles of cheap sherry just to see what flavor it took on, after 3 weeks it had lost the very sweet taste and took on the burnt oak flavor. with a dry taste.

n1cod3mus (author)  tricky-19481 year ago
how many litres was it? 5L? I was thinking of a proper JD barrel 200L

only thing is with putting sherry in it, what ever you put in afterwards is likely to take on flavors from it.

hi the barrel was approx. 22.-23 liters 5 gallons the reason I put the sherry in was to stop it drying out, being sweet, I was hoping that when I put the rum in it will take on a more mellow flavor, as I have noticed that, after it being in the barrel for around 3 weeks now it has a very strong Oak taste .

the barrel came from


n1cod3mus (author)  tricky-19481 year ago

just finished my write up on how to do Tennesse Whiskey / Bourbon. went a bit ott on the detail and there is a shit load of pics and video


n1cod3mus (author)  tricky-19481 year ago
yeah i have seen these gusy before, thought they were very expensive, theres an italian company which is cheaper on ebay.

you should have put bourbon in it, rum is often aged in old bourbon barrels.
n1cod3mus (author)  tricky-19481 year ago
yeah near enough just double it up.
onrust2 years ago
Your my hero.
n1cod3mus (author)  onrust2 years ago
lol I don't know about that, but hey enjoy making it and enjoy the results, drink responsibly ;-) or if you cant do that don't steel traffic cones and put them on phone-booths, i know at the time its a great idea to give the phone-booth a hat but they don't need it.
klincecum2 years ago
Clear and easy. Good job.