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  1. #201
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    Default Re: Home distilling rum

    Is there a thread with links with nice steps and links for instructions on building a still and distilling for the less technically inclined?

    I would like to learn and some reading, but the majority of content goes a bit over my head.

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    Default Re: Home distilling rum

    Quote Originally Posted by FantomBadger View Post
    Is there a thread with links with nice steps and links for instructions on building a still and distilling for the less technically inclined?

    I would like to learn and some reading, but the majority of content goes a bit over my head.
    You can maybe start here - https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum...76#post4401576 - but Google is your friend as there is lots of info on the web.

    You basically need a vessel ( pot) to heat up whatever you are distilling, a column/ pipe for the vapour to travel up and then into a condenser where it drips out into a catchment vessel. You could start with a pressure cooker and a bit of tubing and then once you know what you want to do and if you want to carry on, get a bigger pot and column etc.
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  3. #203
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    Default Re: Home distilling rum

    Quote Originally Posted by FantomBadger View Post
    Is there a thread with links with nice steps and links for instructions on building a still and distilling for the less technically inclined?

    I would like to learn and some reading, but the majority of content goes a bit over my head.
    plenty on Youtube
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  4. #204
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    Default Re: Home distilling rum

    It also depends on a lot of things regarding what still- do you have lots of space, easy access to water, will the still be in a spare room or do you have to set up somewhere every time etc etc.

    Problem with this is you won't know till you know what to do.
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  5. #205
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    Default Re: Home distilling rum

    I have a few empty/open rooms. One in the garage or the outside washing room that should work fine.

    Iíll start reading through that thread and watch some YT videos.

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    Default Re: Home distilling rum

    Quote Originally Posted by FantomBadger View Post
    I have a few empty/open rooms. One in the garage or the outside washing room that should work fine.

    Iíll start reading through that thread and watch some YT videos.
    what volume?
    how pure?
    source and type of base alcohol?
    water source?
    do you prefer gas or electricity?
    how good are you at silver soldering and brazing?
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  7. #207
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    Default Re: Home distilling rum

    Quote Originally Posted by jelo View Post
    what volume?
    how pure?
    source and type of base alcohol?
    water source?
    do you prefer gas or electricity?
    how good are you at silver soldering and brazing?
    As per my initial post, Iím not technically inclined.

    Volume? Small amounts. Bottle or two at a time.

    How pure? Don't want to die, other than that I donít know.

    Water source? I assume tap is the wrong answer? Will use purified water in 20l containers.

    Heating? Either gas or electricity will be ok, I assume electric is easier to control.

    Soldering and brazing? Never done it, I can weld somewhat decently for an accountant.

  8. #208
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    Default Re: Home distilling rum

    Quote Originally Posted by FantomBadger View Post
    Is there a thread with links with nice steps and links for instructions on building a still and distilling for the less technically inclined?

    I would like to learn and some reading, but the majority of content goes a bit over my head.
    I'm a total pleb and noob. Want me to write up a thing next week sometime? I'll include some pics of my setup (and what I'm planning now).

  9. #209
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    Default Re: Home distilling rum

    Please start a new thread rather Phantom, there are a million questions you are still going to ask and it is going to clutter this thread.
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  11. #210
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    Default Re: Home distilling rum

    Quote Originally Posted by Riaan van Wyk View Post
    Please start a new thread rather Phantom, there are a million questions you are still going to ask and it is going to clutter this thread.
    My apologies. Was looking for info that Iíve found and will be sourcing through that. Thank you.

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  13. #211
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    Default Re: Home distilling rum

    An interesting study from 1959 on yeasts isolated from sugar cane and it's juice.
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  14. #212
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    Default Re: Home distilling rum

    "The effect of distillation conditions and molasses concentration on the volatile compounds of unaged rum" is contained in this study.

    https://openrepository.aut.ac.nz/bit...=3&isAllowed=y

    Very interesting and from my tests, the 13% of total volume for heads in a batch seems to be right.
    Last edited by Riaan van Wyk; 2020/10/30 at 03:53 PM.
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  15. #213
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    Default Re: Home distilling rum

    Quote Originally Posted by FantomBadger View Post
    As per my initial post, Iím not technically inclined.

    Volume? Small amounts. Bottle or two at a time.

    How pure? Don't want to die, other than that I donít know.

    Water source? I assume tap is the wrong answer? Will use purified water in 20l containers.

    Heating? Either gas or electricity will be ok, I assume electric is easier to control.

    Soldering and brazing? Never done it, I can weld somewhat decently for an accountant.
    Then I suggest a ready made 25L electric pot still.

    A 25L urn (R1,000)




    and an alembic dome and condenser (R5,000) will work 100%.



    Then you need a 25L plastic drum, preferably black plastic: R150.

    A fermentation bubbler: R35 (or make your own)



    Sorted.
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  16. #214
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    Default Re: Home distilling rum

    For what it's worth, having tried most of the brands of bottled water for the dilution to a predetermined alcohol percentage, Valprť has been the most consistent with minimal clouding/ foaming and then clears up perfectly in minutes.
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  18. #215
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    Default Re: Home distilling rum

    I have mentioned before that airing a rum distillate does wonders. When doing washes with added yeast I have found a certain "wildness" when it is still "green" which can be toned down a bit with charcoal filtering.

    The batches I have done over time with reused yeast has a much less "wild" note and one can consume it straight off the still.

    But anyway, I am sampling a batch that has been airing for two or three weeks and my word, does it make a difference. This can now be sipped neat. Rum just gets better and better with age, like me I guess
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  20. #216
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    Default Re: Home distilling rum

    Quote Originally Posted by Riaan van Wyk View Post
    "The effect of distillation conditions and molasses concentration on the volatile compounds of unaged rum" is contained in this study.

    https://openrepository.aut.ac.nz/bit...=3&isAllowed=y

    Very interesting and from my tests, the 13% of total volume for heads in a batch seems to be right.
    Quoting myself but I suggest anyone doing rum absorb this and apply as required. Or not.

    I have been using this a guideline for some time and find it to have value to more or less calculate the heads/ tails component in the spirit run. So for instance I would have 5L of low wines to cut and know that about 13% of that will be heads.

    When I get to sort of three quarters of the EDIT heads run I start tasting and will remove as soon as the hearts start coming through, then I do the same with the tails as I know how much theoretical tails should be in the whole batch. The percentages doesn't always work exactly but they are a fair indication.

    This means that the cuts are such that as much of only the hearts component is utilised and yes, I can probably err a bit in each side but the quest is for taste.

    This quest starts with the fermentation process which is 90% of the story. I have been reusing backset from the still for many generations and left the last 120L backset batch to rest in their containers for two weeks, to see if I can get some ester forming bacteria to develop ( an important thing)with flavourful rum) and I was pleasantly surprised when doing the new washes that big notes of banana was prominent, meaning a form of butyric acid has started developing.

    Highly confident of the result I bottled some white rum at 50% to sip as is done in the Caribbean and can say it is marvelous. No additves no colouring, just pure rum with no tricks and sideshows.
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    Last edited by Riaan van Wyk; 2020/11/23 at 08:02 PM.
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  22. #217
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    Default Re: Home distilling rum

    "Having done many ferments and runs on the still in the last two months ( how many I don't know- stopped counting some time ago) I have tallied up some of the yields of the different containers and what is obvious is the difference between the unpainted white sgubhus and the afterwards painted results, resulting in almost half as much more yield. So the opaque containers don't work so lekker.

    What is also obvious, looking at these numbers all together is that a variance in yield for similar containers is also evident and lastly, that on average the round buckets deliver consistently better yields.

    The yield numbers are:

    1) Voermol ( molasses one ) sgubhu - 1.39L
    2) Ex white sgubhu - 1.5L
    3) Bucket ( I use the Molatek one when empty) - 1.68L

    The bucket has a higher average as it can peak to 2L yields at times which the others don't do with consistency. So the next washes I am doing with buckets only. At least then there is consistency with that."
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  23. #218
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    Default Re: Home distilling rum

    The above refers and was posted on the "Fermenting Vessels" thread here.

    As I have been getting varying yields from exactly the same batches of each but different containers, I am going to be making the new ones with lidded buckets only for a reason or three. The large cavity with the lid off makes it easier to mix the wash when preparing it and also, it is easier to judge water quantities when filling up. The liquid levels will also be exactly the same so there should be some consistency with that and the bucket level is optimum for

    I have been using normal bakers yeast for some time now and think it is time to think a bit more about this- the big fluctuations in yield must be yeast, using conclusions and deductions. Instead of using yeast from the same batch, I maybe need to buy different batches and mix them all up.

    When preparing my bread mixes ( focaccia etc) I activate my yeasts before using it and last night realised that it happens that one of the yeast packets takes forever to activate. This is what might be happening, but for now, it is a suspicion.
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  24. #219
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    Default Re: Home distilling rum

    OFF topic I know - but help me here ...

    Although a MUCH simpler process -

    I am finding similar problems with brewing pineapple beer.

    Same everything each time, BUT:
    1. Batches vary widely in alcohol % - unpredictable.
    I need a (inexpensive !!) measurement device for alcohol per volume.
    2. To some degree it could be ambient temperature related.
    3. I use the same brand and quantity of yeast, sugar and sultanas in the same volume of liquid every time.
    4. A variable could be the size and degree of ripeness of the pineapple maybe ?
    5. I try to keep the brew temperature fairly constant.

    Any ideas ?
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  25. #220
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    Default Re: Home distilling rum

    Quote Originally Posted by Riaan van Wyk View Post
    When preparing my bread mixes ( focaccia etc) I activate my yeasts before using it and last night realised that it happens that one of the yeast packets takes forever to activate. This is what might be happening, but for now, it is a suspicion.
    I strongly suggest you hydrate and activate for your rum as well. Yeast propagation can fluctuate wildly based on yeast health.

    In fact, if I were you, I'd look at yeast washing and repitching.
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