So i have been doing rum washes for the past month. Its my first time at home distilation.
so far i have had good results on the distilation side, but on the fermentation side it seems to be hit or miss.
The first washes i done were 25 litres split bewteen 5x 5 litre fermenters.
The first fermented out perfect lower than expected. 1.006.
the next 3 seemed to ferment slowly and after 2 weeks only went to 1.04 (starting at around 1.09 and 1.01)
the last 5 litre wash i done, i had added tomatoe paiste and that fermented out in 5 days from 1.01 (cant remeber finish gravity but it worked out at just under 13%)
So i started a large batch all in 1 go 28 litres (my main fermenter is 30 litre) and after 5 days it went from 1.09 to 1.08, pretty slow this is the same thing that happened to the 3 5 litre fermenters that only made it to 1.04. There was not much activity on the surface. I added more yeast thinking maybe bad yeast or not enough oxygen in the water. still not much change.
after a couple days, i ended up adding a half pack of turbo yeast i had left from a previous fermentation (which smelled terrible) and within half a day it sprung to life. It fermented to 1.002 in 1 day.
My rum washes have varied from batch to batch but all contain the same ingredients.
tate & lyle black treac
Unrefined cane sugar
beer and winemakers yeast (came in a 100g tube, no strain number info etc)
The 28 litres was made with 5 cans of treacle (454g per tin)
4kg unrefined cane sugar
white sugar (to bring sg upto 1.09)
Boilled water from the kettle was added to the fermenter to bring it up to about 10 litres, to disolve the treacle and sugar, then cold water added with addtions of hot water to keep it at pitching temps, sg was a little low so white sugar added, and stired well, tried to aearate the liquid as best i could with my mixing spoon, then yeast was added directly to the wash and the lid with air lock put on.
this wash isnt much different from the ones i did in the 5 litre fermenters, except that a couple of them had more treacle in them. but not by much. 2 cans instead of 1 and a half i used for the others.
The end product from the fermentation of all the 5 litre washes i done came out the same, standard white rum, quite tasty.
Ive yet to finish my large wash yet (needs to go through a 2nd distillation) but despite the turbo yeast it tastes just like the last distilation i did.
So , im trying to workout why ive had inconsistant fermentation. Maybe i should use a yeast starter next time?
Oh i also tried 2 different types of yeast, the fermentation was started with the beer wine making yeast, but when it was hardlyu fermenting i added bakers yeast (all i had and it was a fresh tin) same thing slow fermentation.
I thought maybe lack of neuitrent, but why would my first test wash ferment fantasticly,.
Oh i also used tomatoe puree in my large batch about 3 tablespoons