Rum from a Reflux Still

See the different recipes etc in the sugar based washes page.

Make the wash from diluted molasses. Arroyo recommends to split up the fractions out of a reflux still, and then recombine them. The fractions are collected as per ..
  • First fraction - collect between 69-72 °C at 91% - approx. 5% total distillate, unpleasant aldehydes, organic acids and esters. Discard.
  • Second fraction, 72-77 °C at 93-94% - 10% total distillate, contains ethanol with appreciable amounts of aldehydes and esters.
  • Third fraction, at 78 °C, 95.5%, largest in volume at 55-60% ,mostly ethanol with very small amounts of congeners
  • Fourth fraction at 78.5-85 °C , 90%, most of the higher alcohol's
  • Fifth and final fraction at of 85-90 °C at 25-30% - highest boiling point esters and aldehydes
Mix the fractions together as ...
  • Light rum = 25% of the second fraction, 50% of the third, 40% of the fourth & 15% of the fifth fraction
  • Dark rum = whats left (except the first fraction - that was all thrown away)

I don't get that fancy with my rum. I first equilibriate the column, and remove approx 50 mL of foreshots, one drip per second. Then I open it up, so that I'm collecting quite fast, and at around 82-84C (rather than my neutral spirits temp of 78C). I'll collect it all together, until the temp rises to about 90C. Anything after that is relegated to tails. I'm after a big hearty flavoured rum, so if you prefer it lighter, don't take it quite as high in final temperature.

Just like whisky, you can keep the feints, and add them to following batches, to improve the flavour you get. Tom explains ...
    As for returning feints in rum, I do it all the time. I pretty much follow the same process as is outlined in Ian Smiley's corn whiskey book. I have found it makes a lot of difference. I was fortunate enough to trade the use of the brewery's forklift for 120 x 50# bags of raw sugar (sugar with a high molasses content). I use this with a Wyeast 2112 yeast (our house yeast at the brewery) and ferment it out at about 13%. This is about the limit of the yeast and I use more sugar then will ferment so as to leave a sweet wash. If I don't use the feints I end up with a pedestrian rum, but with the feints I create a deep and complex rum. If aged in oak I find it to be much like a dark, dry Cuban rum, without it is a tasty white.
Jack disagrees ...
    It doesn't seem to help the flavor any. It also makes the "middle cut" (if that's what you are trying for) a lot smaller. A no-feints added run gives 2 liters of 95% middle run spirit. With feints added- it becomes one liter of 95%. A better choice is to save the feints in a labeled container and run them on their own. The feints only run does tend have a slightly richer flavor (at least in malt whiskey and peach brandy). Best to save them to re-run on their own than mix them in to an otherwise normal (mash only) run.


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