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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

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.
Great steps thanks. I've done this twice now, lovely rum, however my hydrometer has never read anywhere near 75%, the last batch started at around 60%. It bubbles perfect for 10 to 12 days and slowed to few bubbles. Why is the strength so low?<br>I'm using a 10 litre copper pot still. Careful to not allow any leaks.<br>Thanks for any help.
60% is ok coming out of the still, it just means you have more flavour, if you want a higher proof then reduce your heat a fraction. when it starts to coming out of the condenser, reduce the heat a little to reduce the flow and that should give you a higher proof. <br><br>but its a trade off, higher proof, lower taste. personally I would be very happy with 60%.<br><br>also you should ferment and until there is basically no bubbles. I think also if you are throwing in some of the heads from the previous batch then you are going to get more out as well.
Ahh that's great, It has been a great taste so not so worried now about strength, great idea about throwing heads in, I obviously can only distill 5 litres at a time so can through heads into next 5 litre batch. Wonderful instructable thank you so much.
<p>Can I use jack daniels wood chips to age my rum? I seen some at canadian tire in the grilling section.</p>
yes you can
<p>I have a 58 2/3 Liter keg, what is the maximum amount I can safely put in to distill the rum? without using a thumper or slobber knocker. In other words, What is the most YOU would run?</p>
well its going to foam up and you don't want it to puke in to the column, I would only half fill the keg just to be safe so about a 30L wash would be all I would do at one time.
if you added a thumper then filled it with coffee do you think you would get a coffee flavored rum.
probably, but what you would normally do is add coffee essence to the rum after you have distilled it.<br><br>and the flavour would be weak if you had it in the thumper, best to add it later ;-)
I've run my first batch. looks good. tastes strong. thanks for the good info and feed back. just got to add the chips and age it now.
nice good and strong, use the chips with caution, if you put too many in it can effect the flavour if you are using charred chips. for a good flavour leave it to age for as long as possible try to aim for a year or more, so you might want to make a few batches and stagger them so you always have a good supply of rum ;-)<br><br>also if you can use glass bottles to store the spirit in, you don't want to get plastic flavours in the rum. I use 4.5L glass demi Johns for wine making, you can get them from home brew shops or they are cheap at boot fairs.
<p>do you think its worth running a cleansing agent to separate the yeast from the wash. or will just letting it settle in a cool place do the job</p>
just let it settle in a cool place, it separates perfectly
Thanks for the advice
<p>by the way thankyou for producing such easy to read step by step guide to building stills, i have found them very helpfull</p>
<p>Reading this has inspired me to give this a go. I'm slowly building up everything i need to build my still, and i'm nearly ready to go. The one thing that's got me daunted is making cuts/ blending. I've read lots of forums on the subject and i just don't really know what to do. Would you say it's best to just collect the hearts and not bother trying to blend etc to begin with?<br><br>Any advice would be greatly appreciated :)</p>
if you have concerns as did I about this process, have a lot of jars to hand and collect 100ml in each at a time, keep them in order.<br><br>you can then smell and taste them and you will notice how they smell and taste differently as you move through from the start jars to the end jars. <br><br>at the beginning they will taste a bit off and smell slightly wrong, you will get what I mean when you do it.<br><br>I normally collect the heads after throwing away the first 50 - 100ml which is the methanol, and keep them to one side and throw them in with the next batch and keep the hearts. also do the same with the tails.<br><br>to be honest you could just keep the hearts and not bother with the heads as the process is cheap enough not to worry about the extra you would get from reprocessing the heads of the previous batch,<br><br>I also keep the methanol in a separate bottle, i use it for cleaning in my workshop, or as a BBQ and Fire lighter ;-) DO NOT DRINK IT. that stuff will make you go blind.
<p>Ok cool, that makes sense. </p><p>When people talk about reusing the feints, does that go into the still with the next batch of fermented wash, or does it go into the wash to be fermented with everything else? </p><p>Also do you reuse the sediment/ dunder? from the fermentation to reuse in subsequent washes? Or just start from scratch each time?</p><p>Sorry for the very noobish questions!</p>
<p>ok anything you take off the still goes back in the still when you run the next batch.</p><p>the dunder from the still, I throw it away, and clean the still right away as the dunder can stick to the inside and cause bad flavours on the next batch.</p><p>the sediment, now this is yeast and technically you could reuse it but you have to keep it alive, unless you run another batch right away, I would only use a portion of the sediment though and you would need to add it like you do the yeast, wait for it all to cool to the same temp as the sediment otherwise you will shock it.</p><p>I normally just start again from scratch each time using the same yeast as i normally leave a fair gap between batches</p>
<p>thanks for all your help :)</p>
<p>no problem, let me know how it turns out</p>
Cheers mate one of my favourite
no problem, hope you enjoy it, let me know how you get on<br>
<p>is there any way you could specify how much &quot; a couple of kettles &quot; of water is ????</p>
3 - 4 Litres
<p>I think you forget the still for distilation</p>
errrrm, no, the link is on the first page
I'll have to give it a try
are you trying to say something?
What would I need to make some Sailor Jerrys old recipe and new recipe
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. <br><br>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.<br>
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
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
<p>Silly question. What size keg? &frac14; barrel? </p>
standard euro size, 55L
<p>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. </p>
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
<p>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 </p>
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.
ever decide which oaked batch tasted the best?
<p>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.</p>
<p>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 </p>
<p>tried that , I put 6 in and it didn't work</p>
<p>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 ? </p>
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. <br><br>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.<br><br>unless you are running a slobber knocker or a thumper.<br><br>its best to run Rum with enough head room for the foam so that it doesnt puke.