Sorghum Molasses

Sugar, and all about sugar washes. Where the primary ingredient is sugar, and other things are just used as nutrients.

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shadylane
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Sorghum Molasses

Post by shadylane » Fri Dec 18, 2020 7:25 pm

Back in the good old days, when times were hard
Folks around here, grew and made a lot of sorghum molasses.
I'm sure some of it was fermented :wink:

https://hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/afcm/syrup.html

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Re: Sorghum Molasses

Post by SassyFrass » Fri Dec 18, 2020 9:57 pm

Shady, ain't been much made in my part of the world anymore. When I left for the military I knew 3 or 4 places to pick up fresh made in the county, and a bunch more in neighbor counties.
We mostly traded for it back then.
Me and a buddy was talking about it yesterday and all them folks are gone now. Old folks passed on and the ones my age moved out of the hills. Not too many folks running family farms anymore.
SF
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Re: Sorghum Molasses

Post by shadylane » Fri Dec 18, 2020 11:02 pm

There was two different types of sorghum grown in my area
One we called sweet sorghum, it was taller and didn't make as much seed.
The stalks were crushed to extract the juice and boiled down for molasses.

The other is shorter and grown for grain, we call it milo and it's still often grown.
Even though it's only grown for the seed, there's alot of sugar in the stalks.
Enough to sometimes gum up the insides of a combine. :lol:
Or maybe make a 5 - 6% sorghum "Rhum agricol" wash from the fresh squeezed juice. :wink:

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Re: Sorghum Molasses

Post by SassyFrass » Sat Dec 19, 2020 4:28 am

Both kinds may have been grown here, but I dont remember the shorter kind. What I always seen was the taller sorghum. My family didnt grow any. We mainly stuck with tobacco, corn, hay, and a truck garden.
I knew folks that grew a little "milo"but it was just mixed in with Timothy, fescue and orchard grass for hay. I didnt know that was a form of sorghum. And that's if it was the same thing you're talking about. Different regions sometimes give the same name to different items. I dont know. This is all interesting though. Thanks.
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Corsaire
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Re: Sorghum Molasses

Post by Corsaire » Sat Dec 19, 2020 5:18 am

What's a truck garden?

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Re: Sorghum Molasses

Post by still_stirrin » Sat Dec 19, 2020 6:25 am

Both sorghum crops are grown for cattle feed around here. The tall variety is called, “Atlas” because it grows so tall, up to 8 feet. It is harvested with a foraging cutter, chopped up and blown into the silo. It is harvested in the late summer when the crop is green before going to seed when the stalks will dry. It is a juicy stalk, similar to sugar cane and the juice is delicious. We would chew on a piece of the stalk when filling silo.

The other crop, milo is grown for the seed which is high in protein. It is cut (with a combine) in the fall after the stalk has dried. It is a major cash crop here and common to the farms here. In fact, my family farm grows milo although our dairy was sold 45 years ago. But my cousins still operate a dairy and they feed milo supplemented with silage and alfalfa. They also grow corn for grain while some farmers raise corn for silage too.

Anyway, the milo seed is slightly bitter when harvested. I received a couple of bushels when we cut this fall. I use it in my 5 grain bourbon, Special K, named for my dad who passed from Alzheimers 4 years ago. The milo imparts a spicy flavor, very similar to rye but slightly different. When combined with family produced wheat and corn, it makes a complex and well balanced tasting bourbon. In fact I just ran 10 gallons of Special K low wines yesterday and it’s getting ready for making cuts today.

Atlas was common around here when I was young and we had the dairy, but now farmers prefer to grow cash crops in lieu of feed crops because the costs to produce are so expensive. And feeds are so specifically formulated with high energy grains and roughage that Atlas has been phased out. I guess corn silage is its replacement on dairy farms around here now.

Growing up in the “bread basket” has its advantages, although we still have to work long days to make a living at it. But my freezers are full of the benefits of the labor. And my liquor cabinet too.
ss
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Re: Sorghum Molasses

Post by SassyFrass » Sat Dec 19, 2020 6:51 am

Corsaire wrote:What's a truck garden?
A truck garden is just a regular family garden. After canning, freezing, or drying everything we needed for winter, we'd take it and sell it off the bed of the truck. The town folk would pay good money for fresh farm produce at the markets. So folks started calling it a truck garden because of that.
Quite a bit of it was traded for sorghum molasses and other staples that we didnt raise ourselves.
Our family garden was probably 4 to 5 acres, not counting sweet corn or taters.
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Re: Sorghum Molasses

Post by SassyFrass » Sat Dec 19, 2020 7:00 am

still_stirrin wrote:Both sorghum crops are grown for cattle feed around here. The tall variety is called, “Atlas” because it grows so tall, up to 8 feet. It is harvested with a foraging cutter, chopped up and blown into the silo. It is harvested in the late summer when the crop is green before going to seed when the stalks will dry. It is a juicy stalk, similar to sugar cane and the juice is delicious. We would chew on a piece of the stalk when filling silo.

The other crop, milo is grown for the seed which is high in protein. It is cut (with a combine) in the fall after the stalk has dried. It is a major cash crop here and common to the farms here. In fact, my family farm grows milo although our dairy was sold 45 years ago. But my cousins still operate a dairy and they feed milo supplemented with silage and alfalfa. They also grow corn for grain while some farmers raise corn for silage too.

Anyway, the milo seed is slightly bitter when harvested. I received a couple of bushels when we cut this fall. I use it in my 5 grain bourbon, Special K, named for my dad who passed from Alzheimers 4 years ago. The milo imparts a spicy flavor, very similar to rye but slightly different. When combined with family produced wheat and corn, it makes a complex and well balanced tasting bourbon. In fact I just ran 10 gallons of Special K low wines yesterday and it’s getting ready for making cuts today.

Atlas was common around here when I was young and we had the dairy, but now farmers prefer to grow cash crops in lieu of feed crops because the costs to produce are so expensive. And feeds are so specifically formulated with high energy grains and roughage that Atlas has been phased out. I guess corn silage is its replacement on dairy farms around here now.

Growing up in the “bread basket” has its advantages, although we still have to work long days to make a living at it. But my freezers are full of the benefits of the labor. And my liquor cabinet too.
ss
SS,
We werent a big operation like that. Just a little side hill tobacco farm. Always had a few cows for beef, pigs, chickens, etc...and a dairy cow just for milk, cheese and butter we made at home.
You couldn't have gotten a combine into most of our fields, so most everything had to be done on a smaller scale.
Most everything was grown on the ridgelines and in tiny little fields in the creek and river bottoms. Just a few acres each.
Most everything we ate or drank was grown or raised by us.
That farm is now under water with the reservoir they built about 30 years ago.
SF
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Bee
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Re: Sorghum Molasses

Post by Bee » Wed Jan 13, 2021 2:25 pm

Here's a craft distiller that makes sorghum rum - https://athenswestend.com/blog/sorghum-rum/

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Re: Sorghum Molasses

Post by Zeotropic » Wed Jan 13, 2021 6:18 pm

My in-laws made sorghum syrup the last couple years.

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Re: Sorghum Molasses

Post by SmokyMtn » Thu Jan 28, 2021 6:22 pm

SassyFrass wrote: SS,
That farm is now under water with the reservoir they built about 30 years ago.
SF
That's a crying shame. Breaks my heart to see farms sold to be subdivided. Even worse when the government takes it.
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Re: Sorghum Molasses

Post by SmokyMtn » Thu Jan 28, 2021 6:26 pm

These folks are local to me. Nothing better on hot catheads.

If you want to order https://www.muddypondsorghum.com/
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Re: Sorghum Molasses

Post by subbrew » Sun Feb 21, 2021 7:46 pm

I hope to try a run this fall. I have been raising just a little sorghum in the garden the last couple of year. I boiled it down and canned it. I should have a gallon and a half to two gallons total this fall. Funny but I started doing this long before I thought of distilling. I saw a cane press for sale and thought it would be fun to belt up to my hit and miss engine so bought it and then had to grow some sorghum to use it.

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Re: Sorghum Molasses

Post by shadylane » Sun Feb 21, 2021 9:43 pm

:thumbup:
What variety of sorghum are you thinking about planting?

https://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/afcm/syrup.html

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