Buccaneer Bob's Silver, Gold, and Black Rum Recipe

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Re: Buccaneer Bob's Silver, Gold, and Black Rum Recipe

Post by nerdybrewer » Wed Mar 07, 2018 6:15 pm

zapata wrote:Maybe not the best thread, but it would be interesting to see how many people are using panela in the classic molasses rum recipes vs one of the panela specific ones or just winging it.
Winging is good when you have done something over and over dozens of times and you get ideas to improve.
It's not usually good when starting out.
Cranky's spoonfeeding:
http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=52975

Time and Oak will sort it out.

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Re: Buccaneer Bob's Silver, Gold, and Black Rum Recipe

Post by Buccaneer Bob » Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:37 am

CatCrap wrote:Also, word of warning folks.. be careful how much dunder you're adding to your ferment if doing successive generations (sour mash/UJSM style). The acidity can get pretty off the charts, and i was loving the flavors in the Panela dunder so much, i tried a 50% backset mash. Well.. serious PH crash.. and nothing i added would bring it up. I think i added almost a cup of Calcium carbonate, to no avail. Then tried calcium hydroxide (which should work better, as Carbonate is more of a buffer) but it took an awful lot to raise the Ph even half a point.
Remember... the Ph scale is in measures of 10.(can't remember the actual word for this). That means that 6 is 10 times as acidic as 7, and 5 is 100 times as acidic as 7, and 4 is 1000 times as acidic, and well.. my wash was around 3.0... that is 10000 TIMES as acidic as neutral (water) at 7. Also, molasses, etc, has very strong buffering powers of it's own from what ive read. So, it's not going to want to change Ph much at all.
Thanks for bringing this up, CatCrap. This is something that has been weighing on my mind for quite some time, but since nobody brought this up before, I figured everybody was doing okay with the acid deal.

So anyway, when I was developing this recipe, I was living in the mountains, using well-water from various sources (my own well, other peoples' wells, locally bottled water, etc.).

All of the water I sourced had a pH up around 8-ish, and that's why I was recommending backset plus the addition of lemon/lime juice to get the pH down into a range where the yeast thrived and the bacteria faltered and/or died.

Since that time, I have moved back down to sea level, and lacking a quality aquifer, I have had to resort to bottled (reverse osmosis) water that comes out of the jug at around a 4-ish pH.

So I started off having stalled ferments when I moved down here because the wash pH was dropping too low during the course of the ferment.

Well, after a bit of experimenting, I realized that I needed to stop adding lemon/lime juice to my ferments and start adding calcium carbonate. After that, my ferments started going like gangbusters again.

But how is a guy new to this recipe supposed to know how to tweak things so that his wash pH stays in a range where the yeast will thrive? Should I invest in an electronic pH meter to test the wash itself and then expect others to do the same?

No, much better if I address initial water pH, which we can all test quite easily and cheaply with pH test strips available at local pharmacies and whatnot. So I developed this table here for somebody just trying this recipe for the first time.
WaterPH.jpg
How this works is: you test the pH of the water you start with; then you either add calcium carbonate (TUMS, etc.) if your starting water pH is down below 5.0, nothing if your starting water pH is around 6.0, or lemon/lime juice if your starting water pH is up over 7.0.

Does that make sense?

That said, my plan is to revise the recipe and incorporate this change permanently, but I would really appreciate some feedback from people to see if my recommendation for tweaking the recipe based on the initial water pH actually works the way that I think it will.

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Re: Buccaneer Bob's Silver, Gold, and Black Rum Recipe

Post by MtRainier » Mon Oct 29, 2018 3:29 pm

Just pulled off my 4th generation of this rum made with blackstrap molasses.

Up until now the backset left in the still afterwards was not really great as a "rum essence" so I had stopped saving as much as you recommend. I just kept some of this batch to experiment and now regret not saving more.

Thanks for making the recipe so clear. For me, at least, it takes a while to pay off in part because I'm a slow learner, but now this stuff is really great.

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Re: Buccaneer Bob's Silver, Gold, and Black Rum Recipe

Post by Buccaneer Bob » Tue Oct 30, 2018 12:44 am

Sure thing, MtRainier, I'm glad to hear you're enjoying it. :thumbup:

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Re: Buccaneer Bob's Silver, Gold, and Black Rum Recipe

Post by tjans » Sun Nov 25, 2018 3:18 pm

My apologies if this has been stated here before, but there are a lot of damn replies to this topic!! I've just started to follow this and I plan to read as much of this as I can. I'm fairly new so I won't be making this for a while, but regarding dunder, if I don't have any to start with, is the idea to do a run, saving the low wines and throwing the dunder in a "pit" to let microbes grow, and then use that? I suppose I could also just run the first generation without the funk from the dunder, but I'm just curious how people get started from ground zero.

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Re: Buccaneer Bob's Silver, Gold, and Black Rum Recipe

Post by Buccaneer Bob » Mon Nov 26, 2018 3:28 am

tjans wrote:My apologies if this has been stated here before, but there are a lot of damn replies to this topic!! I've just started to follow this and I plan to read as much of this as I can. I'm fairly new so I won't be making this for a while, but regarding dunder, if I don't have any to start with, is the idea to do a run, saving the low wines and throwing the dunder in a "pit" to let microbes grow, and then use that? I suppose I could also just run the first generation without the funk from the dunder, but I'm just curious how people get started from ground zero.
Yeah, that's pretty much the gist of it.

You would use water instead of dunder on your first run ... that, and you would boil fresh yeast instead of yeast trub for nutrients.

Then save your dunder in a bucket, let it get funky, and use that to add character to your subsequent runs.

That's about it.

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Re: Buccaneer Bob's Silver, Gold, and Black Rum Recipe

Post by tjans » Mon Nov 26, 2018 4:46 am

Very nice, thank you for your reply. I'm sure I will do this in the near future!

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Re: Buccaneer Bob's Silver, Gold, and Black Rum Recipe

Post by tjans » Mon Nov 26, 2018 6:14 am

Buccaneer Bob wrote: You would use water instead of dunder on your first run ... that, and you would boil fresh yeast instead of yeast trub for nutrients.

Then save your dunder in a bucket, let it get funky, and use that to add character to your subsequent runs.

That's about it.
Any tips on how to "bring the funk" into a new dunder pit? Basically just let it sit someplace warm for ~21 days making sure mold doesn't grow on it?

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Re: Buccaneer Bob's Silver, Gold, and Black Rum Recipe

Post by LukeDuke » Mon Nov 26, 2018 7:10 am

My funk smelled like sewage. Is that normal or bad? I was to afraid to use it.

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Re: Buccaneer Bob's Silver, Gold, and Black Rum Recipe

Post by tjans » Mon Nov 26, 2018 7:11 am

LukeDuke wrote:My funk smelled like sewage. Is that normal or bad? I was to afraid to use it.

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I just started this hobby so I'm no expert, but I believe that no matter what is in there, as long as there's not mold in it, that stuff should be left behind and you'll only get the funky esters...will wait for some expert to confirm. Seems weird, doesn't it? Fascinating stuff.

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Re: Buccaneer Bob's Silver, Gold, and Black Rum Recipe

Post by Buccaneer Bob » Tue Nov 27, 2018 5:55 am

tjans wrote:Any tips on how to "bring the funk" into a new dunder pit? Basically just let it sit someplace warm for ~21 days making sure mold doesn't grow on it?
The nature of microbes is such that it only takes a few minutes in open air for them to find their way into dunder, provided said dunder isn't too hot or too cold for the microbes to survive in it.

So by the time you transfer dunder from your still into a less-than-clean bucket, you should have plenty of microbes to do the trick.

However, it doesn't hurt to leave the lid on loosely and even open the bucket periodically to let some more microbes in.

Some guys leave the lid off completely, and that's another way to go, but I think you're going to invite a lot more critters into your dunder that way.

Heck, I get enough critters into my dunder with the lid on it. I can't even imagine a dunder pit that has been left completely open.
LukeDuke wrote:My funk smelled like sewage. Is that normal or bad? I was to afraid to use it.

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That is definitely not normal.

My dunder always smells like a mixture of Guinness stout, coffee, red wine and fruit (cherries and such).

And eventually it will get moldy on top, but the dunder down below still smells like Guinness stout, coffee, red wine and fruit.

So I am guessing you must have had some really bad bacteria get into your dunder pit, or perhaps a mouse fell in and drowned or something.

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Re: Buccaneer Bob's Silver, Gold, and Black Rum Recipe

Post by Bombo80 » Thu Oct 17, 2019 12:53 pm

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. :oops:

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. :oops:

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.
Rum Muck Pit.jpg

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Re: Buccaneer Bob's Silver, Gold, and Black Rum Recipe

Post by Buccaneer Bob » Sat Oct 19, 2019 6:54 pm

Sounds like somebody's gonna have a mess of rum. Cooool.
Bombo80 wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 12:53 pm
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 ?
I usually leave my fresh dunder in a separate bucket to cool before adding it to my dunder pit. But if you were to throw hot dunder into your dunder pit and kill your microbes, I'm sure that a new batch of microbes will be more than happy to take their place.
Bombo80 wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 12:53 pm
Should I remove the thick pellicle off the top before adding to the muck pit bucket ?
If my pellicle has greenish mold growing on it, my own personal preference is to ladle/pour/etc. that off if I can. But if I don't see green mold spores on top, I just pour the fresh dunder on top of everything and let the microbes work it all out.

Other than that, thanks for sharing, and let us know how it all works out.

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Re: Buccaneer Bob's Silver, Gold, and Black Rum Recipe

Post by Bombo80 » Tue Oct 22, 2019 7:46 am

Thanks BB !!

I checked the gravity this morning. It is strange, but there is a current in the fermenting wash. When you put the hydrometer in, it migrated across the wash until it hits the other side of the barrel.

Anyway, it started out around 1.074, and as of this morning it is down to 1.022, in 9 days, out in the cool temps (50F) of the garage. I still would like to get an aquarium heater.

More to come.

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Re: Buccaneer Bob's Silver, Gold, and Black Rum Recipe

Post by NZChris » Tue Oct 22, 2019 12:11 pm

Bombo80 wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 7:46 am
Thanks BB !!

I checked the gravity this morning. It is strange, but there is a current in the fermenting wash. When you put the hydrometer in, it migrated across the wash until it hits the other side of the barrel.

Anyway, it started out around 1.074, and as of this morning it is down to 1.022, in 9 days, out in the cool temps (50F) of the garage. I still would like to get an aquarium heater.

More to come.
While it's rolling like that, it's creating more than enough heat to heat itself. All you have to do is stop the heat escaping by wrapping it up.

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Re: Buccaneer Bob's Silver, Gold, and Black Rum Recipe

Post by Buccaneer Bob » Thu Oct 24, 2019 2:54 pm

Bombo80 wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 7:46 am
I checked the gravity this morning. It is strange, but there is a current in the fermenting wash. When you put the hydrometer in, it migrated across the wash until it hits the other side of the barrel.
Image
I don't know why this image of the Loch Ness Monster comes to mind. :D

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Re: Buccaneer Bob's Silver, Gold, and Black Rum Recipe

Post by bastardbrewer » Wed Mar 25, 2020 11:06 am

Got 2x 6gallon fermenters on, added the sugar this morning and they are both bubbling away again. Got a really good feeling about this. Great idea to keep the dunder for flavoring and colouring. Did a hook rum before which i aged on oak and got a beautiful gold colour on it, but kept a bit too many tails. Looking forward to stripping and spirit run next week, working from home due to Corona has got it's upsides.

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Re: Buccaneer Bob's Silver, Gold, and Black Rum Recipe

Post by bastardbrewer » Sun Mar 29, 2020 7:21 am

So both fermenters read 0.998 on day 8 (5 days after adding the sugar) so suggests its ready to strip, however it still got that milky shine through it from the yeast and or yeast trub. There is also a layer of yeast at the bottom of course.

Should i run it as the esters will be nice and high now, or should i wait till it all settles and is clearer but risk lesser esters and flavor?

Also, how long and where do you guys store the dunder for essence? Do you clear and re-rack the essence? or first leave the dunder to settle before making the essence?

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Re: Buccaneer Bob's Silver, Gold, and Black Rum Recipe

Post by Buccaneer Bob » Wed Apr 01, 2020 4:50 am

Hi bastardbrewer, sorry I didn't get back with you sooner. I've been a little off-line with the coronavirus thing going around.
bastardbrewer wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 7:21 am
So both fermenters read 0.998 on day 8 (5 days after adding the sugar) so suggests its ready to strip, however it still got that milky shine through it from the yeast and or yeast trub. There is also a layer of yeast at the bottom of course.

Should i run it as the esters will be nice and high now, or should i wait till it all settles and is clearer but risk lesser esters and flavor?
I'm surprised you got it down to 0.998. With all the unfermentables in my molasses, I usually end up around 1.050. You must be using some really, really good molasses.

Anyway, yeah, go ahead and run it if you haven't already.
bastardbrewer wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 7:21 am
Also, how long and where do you guys store the dunder for essence?
I, personally, take the dunder straight from the still to make my essence.

I experimented with using dunder from the dunder pit to make essence, but after more than a month sitting, that batch of essence never wanted to settle.

My theory is that all the microbes/yeast get exploded during the distilling process, so they settle down really easy. But if you let new microbes form in the dunder, during the funkyfying process, those microbes don't settle because they have neutral-buoyancy: they don't settle and they don't float; they just drift around aimlessly in the essence.

Of course, a person might try boiling the dunder from the dunder pit to explode the microbes and then use that dunder for essence. That might work.
bastardbrewer wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 7:21 am
Do you clear and re-rack the essence? or first leave the dunder to settle before making the essence?
I usually rack after a week, and sometimes I need to re-rack after week two. But after that, my essence is pretty clear.

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Re: Buccaneer Bob's Silver, Gold, and Black Rum Recipe

Post by ryno1234 » Sun Jul 19, 2020 5:42 am

I inadvertently skipped over the step of adding the lemon... The ferment kicked off 2 days ago and *seems* to be going fine. I've yet to pitch the added sugar, I'm just on the pure molasses part. Can I add the lemon now or is it too late? I also added DAP if that has any bearing on the lemon part. Thanks Buccaneer Bob!

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Re: Buccaneer Bob's Silver, Gold, and Black Rum Recipe

Post by silverbean » Sun Jul 19, 2020 7:00 am

I haven't done rum so no real idea but lemon is usually for PH. If you have a meter check if in range or maybe just put half in just in case. Or if everything seems to be going well, leave it.

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Re: Buccaneer Bob's Silver, Gold, and Black Rum Recipe

Post by Buccaneer Bob » Thu Jul 23, 2020 8:03 am

ryno1234 wrote:
Sun Jul 19, 2020 5:42 am
I inadvertently skipped over the step of adding the lemon... The ferment kicked off 2 days ago and *seems* to be going fine. I've yet to pitch the added sugar, I'm just on the pure molasses part. Can I add the lemon now or is it too late? I also added DAP if that has any bearing on the lemon part. Thanks Buccaneer Bob!
Either way. I've figured out that a lot of people who start with more acidic water don't even need the lemon. It doesn't really add much, flavor wise, so if your ferment is going okay, just keep on going.

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Re: Buccaneer Bob's Silver, Gold, and Black Rum Recipe

Post by fisics67 » Wed Nov 11, 2020 8:28 am

Hi there, I am sorry if this has been asked before, but I could not find it. I have yet to distill anything, but have been doing lots of reading and research, so forgive me if this question doesn't make much sense.

I read in a post under the Rum section of the forum about running a rum wash through a reflux condenser. The poster seemed to find that a surprising amount of the rum flavor carried over. I have also been given advice to start off making neutral spirits and flavor with commercially available essences. So, this has me wondering about running this recipe through a reflux condenser, since you are using the essence to bring the flavor over to the product anyhow. Maybe just have to add more?? Does this make sense?

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Re: Buccaneer Bob's Silver, Gold, and Black Rum Recipe

Post by still_stirrin » Wed Nov 11, 2020 8:59 am

fisics67 wrote:
Wed Nov 11, 2020 8:28 am
… I have also been given advice to start off making neutral spirits and flavor with commercially available essences …
Where’d you get that advice? Certainly not from this website. Perhaps from George on youtube? He’s got quite the reputation....leading new distillers astray. So, you have to be wary of “free information”.
fisics67 wrote:
Wed Nov 11, 2020 8:28 am
… So, this has me wondering about running this recipe through a reflux condenser, since you are using the essence to bring the flavor over to the product anyhow. Maybe just have to add more??
Well, if your target is a “silver rum”, then the reflux column running the purity higher and tempering back to aging and bottling strength may be appropriate.

But, the flavor in rums originates from the ferment and the fermentable materials, namely molasses. Stronger molasses (think “deer lick” or farm feed molly here) and you’ll get all the flavor you can tolerate. And rums are best made, or at least stripped through a potstill, preserving as much flavor through the distilling process.

As for essence, Buccaneer Bob’s dark essence (for making a Navy-style dark rum) uses dunder, or aged backset (the sour “syrupy” liquid left in the boiler after a rum strip), which will bring a whole new universe of flavors to your rums. So, I recommend caution and a very light touch with it, especially if you’re new to the hobby. Dunder will add unique and complex flavors, so it is quite an experience to behold.

In summary, commercial store-bought essences are very disappointing, so I wouldn’t recommend them. Buccaneer Bob’s dark essence is one way to spice up a homemade rum spirit. But, choosing the right fermentation materials (recipe) is key, and you should spend time reading the multitude of recipes and other distillers’ comments to get closer to your desired target. No need to fear or freak out as rum is a very diverse realm and the possibilities are many.

Good luck. Have fun. And be safe, responsible, and discrete.
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Re: Buccaneer Bob's Silver, Gold, and Black Rum Recipe

Post by Saltbush Bill » Wed Nov 11, 2020 12:11 pm

As above essences are a rubbish way to go....a poor shortcut.
Also agree that you didnt get that advice here.
SS is right that you will battle to remove all of the flavour from a molasses wash with one run through a reflux still imo.

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Re: Buccaneer Bob's Silver, Gold, and Black Rum Recipe

Post by fisics67 » Wed Nov 11, 2020 3:30 pm

You are right that the advice to use commercial essence did not come from this forum. It came from a Facebook group.

Thanks for the replies!

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Re: Buccaneer Bob's Silver, Gold, and Black Rum Recipe

Post by zapata » Wed Nov 11, 2020 6:46 pm

Just drop out of that facebook group man. By nature the only people talking distillation on facebook are the ones who don't care enough to leave a general interest platform for a specific one.

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Re: Buccaneer Bob's Silver, Gold, and Black Rum Recipe

Post by Buccaneer Bob » Mon Nov 16, 2020 12:20 am

Hi Fisics67, welcome to the Home Distiller forum.

And it looks like Still_Stirrin, Saltbush Bill, and Zapata have you pretty well taken care of. I couldn't have said it any better, myself. Good job, guys. :thumbup:

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