Blackstrap vs Fancy Molasses showdown

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Blackstrap vs Fancy Molasses showdown

Postby GingerBreadMan » Sun May 04, 2008 5:29 pm

I've started two washes, one made from Blackstrap Molasses and one made with Fancy Molasses. I've used Fancy Molasses for my rum making, although I do believe I made it once with Blackstrap, but I wasn't keeping good records back then. I'm really curious how the two rums will turn out, hopefully the information here is useful.

First the contenders -

Image

In the left corner we have Blackstrap Molasses, weighing in at 11g of sugar for every 20g of molasses, this is the lightweight contender compared to Fancy Molasses in the right corner, weighing in at 12g of sugar for every 20g of molasses.

Image Image

The recipe -

For both contenders, I've created the same recipe, as follows

7 x 675g molasses
1/4 cup of active dry yeast
2 Women's multi vitamins ground to a powder (for vitamin B)
2 tsp of citric acid
5 tsp of DAP
5 ounce of tomato paste
2 pkg of EC-1118
approx 17-18L of spring water

First I bring 1L of water to boil in a pot. Add active dry yeast, vitamins, citric acid, DAP, tomato paste. Stir until it looks like tomato soup (although I wouldn't want to eat it). This kills the yeast which along with the other ingredients provides all the necessary nutrition for fermentation.

Add molasses to a 23L carboy. Add above nutrients on top.

Image

Add about 10L of spring water. Mix vigorously. I use a mixer attached to a electric drill. This mixes and aerates the wash (adds oxygen to the wash) to get it ready for fermentation. I don't fill up the carboy right away to the top because the mixer is quite vigorous and I've had wash come out and had to mop before.

Image

Besides a taste difference between Blackstrap and Fancy molasses, the foam created by this vigorous mixing is different in color too, as you can see by the above picture.

Fill up the carboy. I leave some head room at the top - I always expect my washes to take off like a rocket :D (they don't, but I hate moping when they do). Quick measurement of SG -

Blackstrap Molasses - 1.084
Fancy Molasses - 1.080


Pitch two packets of EC-1118 right on top. Do not put an airlock on. Do not mix. Just let the yeast sit on top.

Image

Here it is, 3 hours later, starting fiss. I think it's working. I'll wait till the morning before putting the airlock on the carboys.

Image

Stay tuned...

My expectation (and hopes) is these will ferment in 4 days. I'll let them sit for another 10 days, then I'll distill. For both washes I'll do a stripping run down to about 30%ABV output. Then I'll do a spirit run. Since I won't be using feints from previous runs (I have no feints from blackstrap washes, just fancy molasses feints) my expected yield will be 3 x 750ml bottles of 40%.

Hopefully, I can find some good friends to do a blind taste test to see which, or if there is a difference between the two types of molasses.

Oh, one more thing. A brief description of the two molasses -

Fancy molasses -

Fancy molasses is the pure juice of sugar cane,
condensed, inverted and purified. There are no
additives or preservatives. It is a pure product.

Blackstrap molasses -

Blackstrap molasses is the residual liquid
food obtained in the manufacturing of raw
sugar. The cane juice, or mother liquor,
after having been purified, is concentrated
into a thick mass. As the sugar crystallizes,
this mass is passed through a centrifuge,
which allows the mother liquor to pass
through but retains the crystallized sugar.
The resulting molasses is very dark and has
a robust, somewhat bitter-tart flavour.
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Re: Blackstrap vs Fancy Molasses showdown

Postby jdonly1 » Sun May 04, 2008 5:35 pm

Wow looks good,love the pics and write up.
Looking forward to see what you end up with :wink:
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Re: Blackstrap vs Fancy Molasses showdown

Postby Husker » Sun May 04, 2008 5:51 pm

Nice test, but usually I invert some sugar to add to my BS molasses. Would be nice to hear about it, raw and str8 from the original source.

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Re: Blackstrap vs Fancy Molasses showdown

Postby HookLine » Sun May 04, 2008 5:52 pm

Yes, good experiment, and well reported.

2 Women's multi vitamins ground to a powder (for vitamin B)


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Re: Blackstrap vs Fancy Molasses showdown

Postby GingerBreadMan » Mon May 05, 2008 6:54 am

I stirred in the cap and put the airlocks in this morning. She's bubbling away. I'll probably have a good idea tonight how fast it will ferment as it usually picks up speed around this time.

Any multivitamin will do, I just use the Women's multivitamin because we have a big ole bottle of them that will expire if we don't use them up.
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Re: Blackstrap vs Fancy Molasses showdown

Postby GingerBreadMan » Mon May 05, 2008 1:48 pm

24 hours after start. The blackstrap molasses is fermenting faster then the fancy molasses. Here is a quick youtube video. Fancy molasses on the right, blackstrap on the left.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=0VHCRZzWd0k
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Re: Blackstrap vs Fancy Molasses showdown

Postby GingerBreadMan » Tue May 06, 2008 2:40 pm

Update on fermentation.

This morning (about 38 hours into fermentation). The Blackjack started slowing down, the cap is noticeably smaller. The fancy molasses is still going at the rate last night, still has a cap on it.

Blackstrap on the left:
Image

Currently, about 48 hours into fermentation the Blackjack is down to 1 bubble every 5 seconds. Fancy Molasses is still going at the rate it was before.

Image

Other observations: The foam on the fancy molasses is a yellow and the wash is turning a light brown. The Blackstrap molasses is still as dark as ever.

I've been swishing around the wash in the carboy (I haven't removed the air locks yet) by lightly shaking the carboy itself to stir in the cap and remove excess CO2 probably every 4 hours or so. The Blackstrap will probably be done in the morning, I suspect the Fancy molasses will be done in the original 4 days I thought it would be. I'll take SG readings then.

I'm thinking that a pinch of epsom salt in the Fancy molasses is the missing component. Had I put a pinch in they probably would have fermented in the same time.
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Re: Blackstrap vs Fancy Molasses showdown

Postby GingerBreadMan » Thu May 08, 2008 7:27 am

Here's a pic I took yesterday. In the foreground is the fancy molasses, background blackstrap molasses. The blackstrap was done fermenting - you can see the lees on the bottom of the carboy. The fancy molasses was started to slow down. There's barely a cap and the vegetable matter (tomato paste) is settling. One of the fascinating parts during this part of fermentation is the vegy matter going up and down and around in the wash. It will settle, then like a volcano eruption it will shoot back up to the top.

Image

A noticeable color difference between two washes.

This morning the fancy molasses was done. I took SG readings for both

Fancy Molasses - 1.0
Blackstrap Molasses - 1.012

A habit I picked up from wine making, I gave both washes a really good stir. Probably do it again in about 2 hours. This removes any excess CO2 from the wash and the solids should settle to the bottom nicely. This step is probably not necessary, I do it anyways.

---------------------------

I'm trying to come up with a good blind taste test. After distillation, I'll do one tasting as white unaged rum. I think I'll get a bottle of Barcardi White from the store. Three samples, blackstrap, fancy and barcardi. I'll also age some on oak, this will be my first real oaking experience, I'll read and have some noobie questions to ask soon :) The rum aged on oak will be blind taste tested with a store bought rum - like Appleton gold.

So there will be two taste tests, white and oaked.

I've been looking at rumuniversity.com for categories to describe the rum. I think I'll come up with several like - smoothness, smell, etc. Any input on this would be appreciated. I'm trying to come up with an good test, not necessarily from people that are rum lovers, but average people (well my friends at a bbq :) ). I suspect there will be some that will prefer the Barcardi White - yuk!
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Re: Blackstrap vs Fancy Molasses showdown

Postby Husker » Thu May 08, 2008 7:39 am

Before your raw test, let things air out (qt mason jar covered with a coffee filter), for AT LEAST 24 hours (36 would be better). This will help in the "quick" aging, and taking a lot of the bite out of what you just made.

Raw rum is good, but may not be what people are expecting.

Might be better to have 5 samples of raw. Fancy/BS with no aeration time, Fancy/BS with 24-36 hours air, and bacardi white. 5 is certainly a lot, for a bunch of novice testers.

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Re: Blackstrap vs Fancy Molasses showdown

Postby GingerBreadMan » Thu May 08, 2008 8:57 am

I guess I should clarify unaged. Mostly likely from the time of distillation to the sampling bbq will be about 7-14 days. So the unaged rum will be aerated. I will have one shot after I'm done distilling (maybe 2 :) ) - I always do - it's the reward for all the time spent fermenting, stripping and spirit runs :)

Also, I aerate right after the stripping run. I have a bunch of small carboys that I use for collection. I'll swish these around and keep it open to the air. I like the coffee filter idea. I've been putting an air lock on, the coffee filter seems more open to the air.
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Re: Blackstrap vs Fancy Molasses showdown

Postby Cardinal » Mon May 19, 2008 1:43 am

Ok, I never thought after all this time in the background just reading and watching that this would be my first post, but
please, TELL US SOMETHING. I´m dying to know how this is going.
By the way, I´m from Ontario too. Sarnia/ Grand Bend area. I live in Spain now though.
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Re: Blackstrap vs Fancy Molasses showdown

Postby GingerBreadMan » Mon May 19, 2008 8:12 am

Here is an update: :)

After letting the washes settle, I racked and started the stripping runs. On Friday, I did the stripping runs on the blackstrap wash. My boiler holds only 2.5 gallons so I need to do two stripping runs to distill the wash into low wines, to be ready for the spirit run. The stripping runs went well, except on the second stripping run the wash puked through the still at the beginning - there was a bit a color to the distillate. The rest of the run was clear.

I stripped the blackstrap wash until the distillate output was around 10% ABV. I ended up with 3.8L of 32%ABV low wines.

Unfortunately, the puke did create a mess inside the still head and I spent the time I had on the weekend cleaning out the still with water/vinegar - to get it all nice and clean for the next runs. Long weekend here, so the rest of the weekend was spent socializing with friends. Which proved to be useful, in the sense we have a tentative poker/rum tasting night planned in the near future.

-------------------

I'll be doing the stripping run on the fancy molasses wash today and have some more observations. Time permitting I'll end the day doing the spirit run on the low wines of the blackstrap wash. Should have it all distilled over the next couple of days.
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Re: Blackstrap vs Fancy Molasses showdown

Postby GingerBreadMan » Mon May 19, 2008 5:08 pm

Finished the stripping run on the fancy molasses. Stripped the wash until the output ABV was about 10%. Total collection was 4.8L @ 32%ABV. This is significantly more yield than the blackstrap molasses wash. I'll prep some figures and calculations in a later post to try to make sense of the data. I'm going to squeeze in the spirit run for the blackstrap tonight, so I'll have time to do some math.

Wanted to share some pics of the wash, after fermentation and sitting for a week.

Blackstrap wash. Very dark. Final SG after sitting for a week was 1.02. So there are quite a significant amount of unfermentables in this wash. Here's the pic:

Image

Fancy Molasses wash. Light in color. You can see the hydrometer floating in the test cylinder. Final SG after sitting for a week was 1.0. Here's the pic:

Image

Will post more observations shortly.
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Re: Blackstrap vs Fancy Molasses showdown

Postby HookLine » Mon May 19, 2008 6:04 pm

This is significantly more yield than the blackstrap molasses wash.


Presumably they had different sugar levels to start with.
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Re: Blackstrap vs Fancy Molasses showdown

Postby GingerBreadMan » Mon May 19, 2008 7:52 pm

I'm going to be posting some observations that can't be photographed or measured. These are taste/smell observations. I find describing this difficult, so it's purely my guess words at describing. I'll post these types of subjective observations in blue italics.

Here are some observations I made last Friday when I racked the rum to get it ready for the stripping runs. The fancy molasses smell is sweet and has a floral type bouquet to it. The blackstrap molasses is a whole lot less sweet, almost sour smell. While I was dumping the carboys and cleaning them out, the fancy molasses had a singular, molasses beer type smell to it. The blackstrap had a complex number of ordors ranging from the molasses beer smell, to sour milk, to rotten eggs. Not too much of the bad smells, the smell was mostly the beer type smell, but there was a hint every now and then that was, well, a little unpleasant.

After the stripping runs were done, the blackstrap molasses backset (what was left in the pot) had a really foul smell to it. My wife was in the other room and it wafted all the way there. We couldn't pin point what exactly it smelled like, but it was not pleasant. Comparitively, the fancy molasses backset was not anywhere nearly as strong.


Now that is not to say the blackstrap molasses rum will be bad. Not at all. I've tasted and smelled the spirit run and I think it's going to be quite good. Definitely not as smooth as the fancy molasses rum right off the still, but a little time on oak/airing out will smooth it out.

So I completed the spirit run for the blackstrap molasses. Not being familiar at all with it, I used the technique of collecting in small containers through out the run. I've numbered them 1 through 12 and will let them air out overnight before picking out the hearts I want to keep.

Image

This is the best $5 I've spent for learning how to make cuts. These are standard canning jars. I put a paper towel sheet on top so it's open to the air.

That's it for now. I'll be doing the spirit run on the fancy molasses either tomorrow or the next night. Since the yield of the blackstrap molasses wash was lower then expected, I think I'm going to forget doing the white rum taste test and age on oak and do the taste test with both fancy & blackstrap aged on oak vs Appleton gold.
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Re: Blackstrap vs Fancy Molasses showdown

Postby GingerBreadMan » Tue May 20, 2008 5:41 pm

Hello and welcome to my blog :) - I sort of feel like this thread is becoming one :)

After letting the blackstrap mollases distillate air out, I sniffed and tasted the collection. To get an accurate smell, I like to swirl the distillate in the jar and then empty it into another container. There's enough vapors left in the jar and when you wave your hand over the opening you can get a good wiff. Whoowee, these heads are strong. Jar #1 almost knocked me off my feet.

I picked the best of group in the middle - mostly hearts and I put about 50ml of heads/tails (the jars on either side of the hearts). I ended up with 730ml of 65% ABV. I'm really disappointed with the yield. I thought the yield would be much higher.

Normally I would keep the heads/tails as feints for future runs, but I don't have plans on doing another blackstrap molasses run so I discarded them.

Aging on oak

The oak products I've chosen are the medium & heavy toasted oak chips - available at the brewhaus or home-disttilling. Here's some tips I got from Ian Smiley on using the product (I also asked about the balanced toasted wood stick product he carry's as well, but decided to go for the chips only) -

Commercial rum distilleries age their rums in used bourbon barrels for 6 months to a year. The oak chips will not emulate used oak since they are new oak, so medium toasted oak tends to contribute a lot of lignins and vanillins, which gives the spirit a nice caramel and butterscotch flaovur. The heavy toasted oak contributes the same, but it takes on more of a charred or burnt flavour that favours the chemical changes that take place between the spirit and the wood, which produces a very mild and smooth flavour. The balanced toasted oak gives a little of both.

I would say with rum, you should start out with the balanced, and then experiment with combinations of the others. These oaks will contribute very well to rum, but it'll be a little different (probably better) than the
what's done in the commercial rum distilleries.

Now, keep in mind that these oak sticks will age the spirit much faster, and you rarely need to go beyond about 6 weeks. You should taste it frequently while it's aging, and you should take it off the wood as soon as you sense
any bitterness or astringency in the flavour. This is caused by the tannins, and you should take the spirit off the wood right away when you taste it.


So, looks like I'm the chef and I'm going by taste. After tasting the blackstrap molasses rum, my gut feeling is to go half and half with the medium & heavy toasted chips. I didn't get a recipe booklet that tells me exactly how much to add, so I thought this amount seemed just right -

Image

Using some advice given here, in another thread, I brought some water in a pot to a boil. Put the chips in for 30 seconds, drained and then added the oak chips immediately to the rum.

Image

She's looking pretty, all dressed up in oak. Hopefully she ages gracefully. :)

----------------------------------

Will be doing the spirit run on the fancy molasses tomorrow night (time permitting).
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Re: Blackstrap vs Fancy Molasses showdown

Postby Tater » Tue May 20, 2008 5:54 pm

Looking good there GBM when I add char to my rum weather using used charred sticks or fresh ones {I only use 1/2 as many sticks when fresh}to get a good tint to my rum and go from there with caramelized sugar sherry and other stuff to finish it out.For my taste unless I'm going for a gold rum or such where the char is only added flavor a hint of char goes a long way.
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Re: Blackstrap vs Fancy Molasses showdown

Postby blanikdog » Tue May 20, 2008 6:21 pm

One has to admire blokes like GBM. What a humdinger of a report :!: Makes me feel like a bit of a bludger. Keep it up GBM, I always read your posts. :)

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Re: Blackstrap vs Fancy Molasses showdown

Postby punkin » Wed May 21, 2008 11:21 am

blanikdog wrote:One has to admire blokes like GBM. What a humdinger of a report :!: Makes me feel like a bit of a bludger. Keep it up GBM, I always read your posts. :)

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Here, here.
Even though i may not reply to reports that i either have no expertise to offer or they make statements rather than questions...i still follow this stuff with interest, even if it's just to compare to my own thoughts on a subject i'm conversant in.


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Re: Blackstrap vs Fancy Molasses showdown

Postby vajravarahi » Wed May 21, 2008 2:51 pm

I don't even drink rum, let alone make it, and this is a great thread.

I have a (probably dumb) question. Could you put the oak chips in sherry first for a while, then add those to the rum? Maybe you'd have to dry them out first, or maybe not. Or rinse them off first, or maybe not. I guess what I'm saying is could you make your own used oak chips?
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Re: Blackstrap vs Fancy Molasses showdown

Postby McGyver » Wed May 21, 2008 4:05 pm

You prob could, but why not just put sherry in your mash! I don't see an advantage unless you're asking about chips from a barrel that was used to age the sherry. If you're using chips to age and flavor, why not just mash with the sherry if that's the flavor you're lookin' for? Seems to me that the chips would have to be soaked in sherry for a few years to equal the flavor or essence you might expect?
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Re: Blackstrap vs Fancy Molasses showdown

Postby HookLine » Wed May 21, 2008 5:41 pm

Yup, add me to the list of people following this thread closely, and I always read your stuff, GBM.
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Re: Blackstrap vs Fancy Molasses showdown

Postby GingerBreadMan » Wed May 21, 2008 9:25 pm

I'm glad this thread is interesting - I always worry I'm going on and on :)

I've tried sherry as a flavor to some rum I made once. Was pleased with the results. I've also tried vanilla with pleasant results as well. I'm not sure I would soak the oak chips in sherry first and then oak it. I sort of would prefer to see the results of oaking, sample and taste and then make a judgement call on whether I would add a bit of sherry.

Anyways, the blackstrap rum has colored up quite nicely within just 24 hours. At first I was ready to push the panic button and remove the oak right away, and then I remember I just put it on oak. I'll taste test frequently to see how the flavor develops. So far there has been some mellowing out - either that or I'm getting used to the taste of the blackstrap rum. My wife doesn't like the smell and won't taste it.

--------

Finished the spirit run on the fancy molasses. I'm very familiar with the cuts, as I've done fancy molasses quite a bit. But I decided to capture the samples in 12 jars again. I want to let this sit overnight. I'm thinking I want to re-visit the tail end of the hearts and taste test to see if I want to add just a bit of it to the rum. Will decide tomorrow.

Fancy molasses is quite different from blackstrap molasses. Unless I royally pooched the blackstrap wash, there is a very noticeable difference between fancy and blackstrap right off the still, no aging no oaking. The spirit run went as expected. At about 77%ABV (give or take 2%) there is a magical moment in the hearts - I can smell it - it doesn't last very long on my still (2.5 gallon), but I'm sure on a bigger still it would last almost an eternity :). I grabbed a shot glass worth, dilluted with distilled water down 40%ABV, this stuff is so smooth it's magical - if I found a genie bottle on a beach and had one wish... it would be this magical bottom less shot. I know drinking while driving a still is a big no no, but I couldn't stop myself from having just one shot.

Unless I royally pooched the blackstrap wash...

I'm gonna say this often, because I can't help thinking it. At this stage in the rum making - making the wash, stripping, then doing a spirit run, but before aging on oak or other flavoring - unless I royally pooched the blackstrap wash, I'm going to declare a winner with the fancy molasses hands down. For the following reasons:

- more yield from the wash
- really smooth hearts right off the still
- low wines had a nice rum/molasses smell to it

Hopefully the messenger won't get killed :)

However, the blackstrap molasses had a lot more character when smelling the wash (good and bad, but mostly good), while the fancy molasses had a singularity (not much depth) to the smell. I really encourage anyone that's interested in making rum to do these two washes side by side to experience the difference between the two molasses - there is quite the difference.

This is my first time aging on oak, so I'm really interested to see what develops from this point on. Hopefully, I don't pooch the oaking. Taste testing with these two rums and Appleton gold will be the next major observation.

Last note on spirit run of fancy molasses. Tails started to appear at about 65%ABV as expected. I collect down to 60% to see if I want a bit a tails in the rum. After that I collected down to 40%ABV and put 500ml in the feints collection.

Picture for tonight -

Image

Left to right: the 12 jars collected from the fancy molasses spirit run. The blackstrap on oak with the nice color already. And my feints collection of previous fancy molasses sprit runs.
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Re: Blackstrap vs Fancy Molasses showdown

Postby blanikdog » Wed May 21, 2008 9:33 pm

I always add a desertspoon of sherry to two litres of finished rum. It sorta gives the rum a smoothness. I forget where I first read about it, probably from Harry.

I'm currently aging some using vanilla bean as well as my usual pineapple, lemon zest, raisins, cardomom and oak sticks.

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Re: Blackstrap vs Fancy Molasses showdown

Postby HookLine » Wed May 21, 2008 10:08 pm

However, the blackstrap molasses had a lot more character when smelling the wash (good and bad, but mostly good), while the fancy molasses had a singularity (not much depth) to the smell.


Maybe using a mix of fancy and blackstrap (say at 3:1) would give the best of both worlds?

Fancy molasses seems to be impossible to get around here in large quantities, the biggest container I can find is 550 gm for $4. But I can get 20 litres of blackstrap (as stockfeed) for $50. Currently finishing up a ferment using that blackstrap. The blackstrap ferments pretty vigourously.
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Re: Blackstrap vs Fancy Molasses showdown

Postby Husker » Thu May 22, 2008 1:23 am

I really have enjoyed following this post GBM. Thank you.

I come from a totally different bias, in that I have used BS molasses exclusively, but have done so using a recipe that is more "tuned" to BS molasses (i.e. I add sugar back into the mix, and reduce the quantity of molasses since it is "stronger" in flavor). I think one of the limiting things in your experiment is your prior experience only with fancy, and using the same recipe (amounts), of BS vs Fancy in both recipes.

I think, one big thing you have found out, is even though sugar content of the BS was listed at 11/20 and the fancy at 12/20, you will find that the actual USABLE fermentable sugar content of the BS is much less than this. The fermentable sugar content of the fancy will be much closer to the 12/20, since it is just water reduced cane syrup (I think??), but I bet the actual usable sugar content of your BS is closer to 8:20 or so, and here is why I see that. From your starting and ending hydro readings, you can see that at least 23% of the sugars were not fermentable in the BS, but it appeared that most were in the fancy. You have a 64 of 84 SG drop in the BS, but 80 of 80 SG drop in the fancy. That is about 2.5% ABV less in the finished blackstrap wash, vs the fancy. The fancy appears to have about 8.5-9% ABV, and your blackstrap appears to have been about 6.5% (using some guesses trying to extrapolate backwards from your 3.8L@32% with no tails left to collect and 4.8L@32% with what appears to be 2L of tails in the jug). Using 2.88kg sugar for fancy, and 2.03kg sugar for BS (2.88 == 4.8*(12/20) and 2.03 == 4.8*(11/20)*.77 since we are seeing 23% non fermentable sugar), we get 8.5% and 6%, so both methods I have of "reverse" computing ABV are pretty close to each other. I would bet you have 6% wash, and 8.5% wash (finished ABV). Also, one additional observation of the molasses's is each 675g fancy gives you 405g of sugar equivalent and each 675g of BS gives you 286g (I use this later, in changing the "recipe")

I would propose this, as a final comparative "test". I know this is outside of the realm of your testing window, but I bet a recipe like this (which is more in tuned with the properties of BS), would equate to a better (closer) test. I think what you are seeing, is that the BS simply has too much molasses character, in equal quantities when compared to fancy, thus you have "over - molasses'd" qualities, which would be similar to over oaking in aging.

I would suggest this change in recipe:

Fancy
molasses: 7 @ 675g (4.8 kg)
Other ingredients kept the same
(sugar equivalent of 2.88kg)

Black Strap
molasses: 5 @ 675g (3.4kg)
Invert white cane sugar: 1.4kg
Other ingredients kept the same
(sugar equivalent of 2.84kg)
(BS molasses percentage of the original recipe: ~70%)

Your original BS
molasses: 7 @ 675g (4.8 kg)
Other ingredients kept the same
(sugar equivalent of 2.03kg)

I think you will find that the above recipes are much closer to each other. The amount of molasses-ness (hmm, a new word??) in the black strap recipe is probably pretty close to that found in fancy. NOTE they will never be the same. The blackstrap will always have a different smell / taste (stronger, and even a little bitter). However, the final amount of product between these 2 recipes would be very very close, and that the final flavor profile would be closer (if distillation was performed the same for both runs).

H.
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Re: Blackstrap vs Fancy Molasses showdown

Postby GingerBreadMan » Thu May 22, 2008 6:44 am

Husker - I'll agree with everything you've said.

Thanks for the analysis, I've tried to wrap my brain around it myself, but couldn't and your numbers make perfect sense to me. Adding some invert sugar would definitely make the two recipes closer. I was surprised how strong the blackstrap molasses was. Coming from making rum from fancy molasses I started with a molasses/invert sugar mix and slowly increased the molasses component until I ended just with straight molasses.

I tasted the blackstrap rum on oak and it's coming along nicely. I believe it's going to turn out to be a really nice rum despite the initial strong flavors/smells. I'm going to keep a close eye, err, I mean taste bud on it, and hope my chef skills are good enough so I don't accidentally over oak it.

----------------------

After this test is over - when both rums have aged on oak and the taste testing is done at the great rum/poker party - I just might revisit the test again and do it with your suggest recipes which make perfect sense.
I started out with nothing, and I still have most of it left.
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Re: Blackstrap vs Fancy Molasses showdown

Postby PUGIDOGS » Thu May 22, 2008 7:18 am

GBM,

I use backstrap just because its cheaper, but like you have found out it is a very strong tasting fermentable. I ended up adding some brown sugar and water to my backstrap to thin the taste out a little. It comes down to an all molasses wash is very molasses tasting, an all brown sugar wash is very buttery tasting, just the right mix of them is heaven....Pugi
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Re: Blackstrap vs Fancy Molasses showdown

Postby Husker » Thu May 22, 2008 7:20 am

GBM,

again, thank you GREATLY for doing and documenting this, and sharing your findings with the world. I simply interjected my personal experience. I have not used fancy, so I am coming at it from the opposite bias from you.

I simply wanted to put out there a good working technique of getting the BS, which is HELLA cheaper in feed grade, to behave more like the fancy. I think a lot of people will have better access to blackstrap (or feed grade), and everyone has access to cane sugar. I find it to be the frugal mans way to get something as good as fancy molasses . For me, ~5kg of the fancy stuff, would run $25, while ~3.5kg feed costs me less than a dollar, and the sugar would add about another dollar. Quite a big difference.

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Re: Blackstrap vs Fancy Molasses showdown

Postby Dnderhead » Thu May 22, 2008 8:29 am

Question , I'm not much into rum but would it help to add glucoamylase to blackstrap molasses ?
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