It has been almost a year on this thread, so here we go ....
Is it possible to have too much rum wash ???
I started a large batch that I based the recipe on Buccaneer Bobs.
4.5 gallons blackstrap molasses (some food grade, some feed grade)
35 pounds organics cane sugar
3 gallons 10 month old, funky dunder
~36 gallons of 50/50 mix of house filtered water and RO water
I heated up a bunch of water to get the molasses thinned out, and poured out of the plastic jugs. By the time I had all the molasses dumped into my fermenter, I had about 25 gallons nicely thinned out and mixed very nicely.
I then added the organic cane sugar, 10 pounds at a time. I mixed this with a large power drill with a paint stirrer for 5 gallon buckets. This works very well to mix up anything, and get the sugar to dissolve very easily, and aerate the wash too. When I got all the sugar added, that was when I remembered funky dunder.
I cleaned and sanitized a stainless racking cane that I never use anymore. I didn’t want to just punch through the pellicle on top, so I grabbed a small oak stick that was left over from cutting down boards for toasting and charring. I used this stick to poke at the pellicle and found that it was super thick and heavy, like a piece of leather floating on top of the dunder. I then just used it to push the edge of it away from the bucket and put the racking cane in the goodness below. I pulled out 3 gallons and added 2 gallons of water to it, and started heating it up. I got it up to a rapid boil and kept it there for 15 minutes. I did skim off a small amount of solids that were floating on the foam.
I didn’t bother cooling the dunder, and just dumped it into the fermenter with the molasses and sugar. I mixed this all together for a couple minutes, then started adding the remainder of my cold water. After adding all my water, the temp was still at 108°. Just a bit too high to add the yeast. So I just left it covered until I was ready to go to bed. Then I added ~1.5 cups of baker’s yeast, along with some DAP and yeast nutrients. I had completely forgot about the gallon jug of old rum yeast sediment that I collected from a previous batch. Oh well, next time.
At this point my 55 gallon fermenter has ~45 gallons of rum wash in it. The next evening, I added my segmented oyster shell bag for pH control. This bag is like a long tube of grain bag material. I put a handful of glass beads in the bottom, along with a ½ cup of oyster shells. Then about 6 inches up place a zip tie, then put another ½ cup oyster shells in the bag. Put another zip tie about 6 inches above that and another ½ cup of oyster shells and another zip tie above that just to keep everything in place. I suspend this bag with a zip tie, to another that is through a small hole in the lip of the 55 gallon blue barrel.
I check it daily. There isn’t any head forming on the wash, but I can tell by the smell that the yeast are doing their job. I also placed a hydrometer into the barrel on day 4, and it has come down 10 points. It is kind of cool in the garage. It was 34° outside this morning. I need to get an aquarium heater.
I am planning a couple different runs for all this rum wash. First run is going to be 10 gallons, one and done, slow spirit run. With the rest of the wash, I am planning on three 9 gallon strips. Then split what I collect there into two batches, and also split the remainder of the rum wash, and add that to the two stripped batches, for two 1.5 spirit runs. This is similar to what I did on my last rum, and it turned out very nice. After making the cuts, I made some gold and black rum with the essence from Bob’s instructions. I have quite a bit left. I also put these on toasted oak and some on charred oak.
I have a few questions now ……
After running the rum, adding the dunder back into my muck pit (bucket), should I put it into another bucket to cool first ?
Should I remove the thick pellicle off the top before adding to the muck pit bucket ?
This was my first dunder muck pit, so any advice will be greatly appreciated.