Home distilling rum





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  1. #1
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    Default Home distilling rum

    So after a lifetime of favouring and following rum as my choice of drink, I made the decision to make some of my own by trying to construct a rudimentary pot still and learning more about the interesting liquor and it's story.

    Distilling is a fascinating subject for me, with so much technical information out there for it to be mind numbing and boggling. The actual process and what happens is straight forward but getting there has a lot of methods, roundabouts,challenges and pitfalls. I know nothing yet, having done only three batches of rum so far but thought it nevertheless perhaps useful for others that might be thinking of doing the same for your favourite drink.

    One of the first realisations is that all alcohol comes out of the still as a crystal clear liquid which was an eye opener for me, as one suddenly wonders why some rums are so dark which again, is a deep rabbit hole of information of the colouring of spirits.

    Anyway, I bought a 35L urn, some fittings, copper pipes.
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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Home distilling rum

    The lid was fitted with a fitting to accept the 22mm copper tube.
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  5. #3
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    Default Re: Home distilling rum

    The rest of the pipes assembled, culminating in a coiled condenser in a bucket. I again realised I have dumb hands for this type of thing, there are a lot of things I can do very well but spanners and drilling and cutting is not for me.
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  7. #4
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    Default Re: Home distilling rum

    Do you have a seal for the urn lid?
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    Default Re: Home distilling rum

    The first run ( as practice) was done with all the leftover cider/ pineapple beer brews which I refused to consume after getting gatvol of it. After cutting before dilution the 15L mix produced about 500ml.
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  10. #6
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    Default Re: Home distilling rum

    Quote Originally Posted by jelo View Post
    Do you have a seal for the urn lid?
    No Jelo, I used four bricks to weigh it down which works it seems.
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    Default Re: Home distilling rum

    Rum is made in two manners - either with fermented molasses/ sugar or with fermented sugar cane juice but predominantly with molasses and sugar. As everything with this process is new to me, I made two batches, one with the normal molasses/ sugar and one with mashed sugarcane with no sugar added, which flopped as there is very little sugar in the tiny amount of cane I used. But one needs to try things, if you don't you won't know.

    The molasses is heated up along with the sugar, cooled down and yeast added ( I will use proper yeast when I can get it) and left to ferment for about a week.
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    Default Re: Home distilling rum

    Quote Originally Posted by Riaan van Wyk View Post
    No Jelo, I used four bricks to weigh it down which works it seems.
    I strongly suggest you revisit this. If only for safety.
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    Default Re: Home distilling rum

    The sugarcane flop. No yeast was added either in the experiment but added a packet after a few days to get some more activity in the very slow fermenting brew.
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    Default Re: Home distilling rum

    Quote Originally Posted by jelo View Post
    I strongly suggest you revisit this. If only for safety.
    I will do so.
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    Default Re: Home distilling rum

    RvW

    Is there a formula or prescribed length, internal diameter and number of coils etc for the copper tubing?
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    Default Re: Home distilling rum

    Fashioned some type of airlock things for the containers. The idea I adapted from seeing a mate's setup, who has been distilling for way longer and was what prompted me to try making rum. He did a batch during lockdown which I got to taste and I got hooked.
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  20. #13
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    Default Re: Home distilling rum

    Quote Originally Posted by Riaan van Wyk View Post
    Fashioned some type of airlock things for the containers. The idea I adapted from seeing a mate's setup, who has been distilling for way longer and was what prompted me to try making rum. He did a batch during lockdown which I got to taste and I got hooked.
    Unlike beer, most fermentation for distilling doesn't really need a bubbler. I certainly don't bother when I do large sugar washes, I just cover the fermenter to stop the worst of the goggas and beasties falling in the wash.

    But I like your innovation.
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    Default Re: Home distilling rum

    Quote Originally Posted by Estee View Post
    RvW

    Is there a formula or prescribed length, internal diameter and number of coils etc for the copper tubing?
    Guess there is but I have no idea Estee, the coils need to be sufficient to cool the vapour but how many is sufficient I don't know. As I am going to upgrade the column some time I will research when in the process.
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    Default Re: Home distilling rum

    The first batch I added some of the leftover mix in the pot after the process, added way too much but The Blonde loves it and says it tastes like the black Wilson's toffees. Not even filtered yet but try we had to with some Coke.
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  25. #16
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    Default Re: Home distilling rum

    Looking good Riaan, Iíve been waiting for this thread of yours for a bit, thought I was being dof and somehow missed it.

  26. #17
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    Default Re: Home distilling rum

    I have a dark rum back-sweeten and spice recipe somewhere if you're keen..........
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    Default Re: Home distilling rum

    Quote Originally Posted by Riaan van Wyk View Post
    The first batch I added some of the leftover mix in the pot after the process, added way too much but The Blonde loves it and says it tastes like the black Wilson's toffees. Not even filtered yet but try we had to with some Coke.
    Jirrr and those black Wilsonís toffees are awesome. Havenít had one for many a year but remember looking for them in the cafes when we came to SA on holiday.

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    Default Re: Home distilling rum

    Quote Originally Posted by jelo View Post
    I have a dark rum back-sweeten and spice recipe somewhere if you're keen..........
    share please!
    still trying to figure out the right way to get flavours back into my distillate to make it more like "normal" rum.
    some people say add molasses into the distilled alcohol, some say put in some of the dunder.
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    Default Re: Home distilling rum

    The second batch I did three runs through the still to try. The mate's rum has much more "sugarcane" juice notes and taste but he has a reflux still and I suspect it is where the difference is ( reflux strips some flavours mos?) - and we did the same initial mixes so something is different. Now that I think of it, I need to find out if he used white sugar and not brown like I did.

    With each batch I am trying different ratios of sugar and molasses, the two fermenting now are different as I want to see how what effects what and why.

    A few things I already noted:

    The urn has not much control over heat ( actually it has none as it is all or nothing) and it is a sort of lucky draw with trying to get it not to heat too fast, fiddling with the knoppie on the side seems to be par for the course and I need to work around this.

    The bucket with condenser in doesn't work very efficiently as it gets hot very quickly and water needs to be removed and replenished which is time consuming. Modified it for now with another bucket and overflow to get the hose pipe in there. Got some drawings and tutorials today for making a copper reflux still and incorporated liebig which I will try and sort out some time, to go onto the existing urn. Patching the 25mm hole I made for the fitting can be sealed.

    My makeshift piping is unwieldy but this will be sorted with the upgrade when it happens.
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