Need a lesson on making rum

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    Need a lesson on making rum

    My in-laws (they’re kinda cool) mentioned they wanted to take a stab at making rum. Of course, I am always interested in making stuff That would turn a good day into a blur.
    so does anyone make alcohol? I’ve made beer before but never alcohol.
    doing some research I know we need a still, any recommendations? We were thinking of doing 6.5 gal batches.
    do you need a boil pot like brewing beer or does the still do that?
    many good websites to learn from?

    #2
    This guy is a wealth of information. Start to finish, lots of recipes and still reviews.

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCat...mVMQ/playlists

    He really makes me want to start making my own, maybe someday.

    Comment


      #3
      I've made brandy before from apple wine that turned out alright. Whiskey, rum, brandy, etc. is all a similar process at the distillation level. Make the mash, put it in the still. I made the still from a 1-gallon glass sangria bottle and some copper tubing running through a pot with water and snow in it. Used a drilled cork to adapt it. Set it in a pot of boiling water on my wood stove with spacers off the bottom. The double boiling setup helps to reduce how much water can come off at the end before you figure it out. Temperature measurement of the mash is critical, I put a thermocouple through the cork logged in excel using an arduino and it was easy to see when the temperature started to hook up and the alcohol was gone. A bigger pot would have been nice, I did 5 gallons or so of mash at a time this way in multiple batches and then ran that through a 2nd time. Ran the final product through a britta filter and stored in a mason jar with a small chunk of sugar maple charcoal. Stored in the freezer and wouldn't even hint at freezing at 0F. Tasted like rubbing alcohol/vodka with a subtle apple taste.

      Never made rum, but I always felt like the point of homemade wine and distilled spirits was to make it from whatever you have laying around. In our case we make wine from what we pick from abandoned apple orchards, choke cherry trees, wild cranberries, wild black berries, strawberries, dandylions, wild blackberries, beets, onions, etc. If we have an exceptionally large amount of wine, we'll distill it down to brandy. Favorite was some blackberry brandy (not the fortified blackberry juice swill sold in stores). Apple makes the most sense for us due to the massive amounts of free apples around here but I haven't made any brandy in awhile due a massive stockpile of wines/brandy we already have and a lack of time to drink it. Mostly just do a few carboys of wine a year anymore.

      "Rum" I believe is from sugarcane which unless you've got it local, I'd think you'd want to consider something else for your base. I think it also has to be aged in barrels to be palatable.


      The big thing to realize is the first stuff that comes out of the tube is potentially the nasty stuff (methanol and other toxins) and is the reason this is illegal except for making perfume. It's easy for some duhard to make poison and hand it out at a party. It's subtle, but if you are watching what's coming out of the tube closely you'll be able to see the difference. Have three jars for collection the first time so you can collect each to learn what they look like. Everything's clear, but the surface tensions are noticeably different. You can also practice with cheap wine instead of mash till you get the hang of it.



      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by larboc View Post
        I've made brandy before from apple wine that turned out alright. Whiskey, rum, brandy, etc. is all a similar process at the distillation level. Make the mash, put it in the still. I made the still from a 1-gallon glass sangria bottle and some copper tubing running through a pot with water and snow in it. Used a drilled cork to adapt it. Set it in a pot of boiling water on my wood stove with spacers off the bottom. The double boiling setup helps to reduce how much water can come off at the end before you figure it out. Temperature measurement of the mash is critical, I put a thermocouple through the cork logged in excel using an arduino and it was easy to see when the temperature started to hook up and the alcohol was gone. A bigger pot would have been nice, I did 5 gallons or so of mash at a time this way in multiple batches and then ran that through a 2nd time. Ran the final product through a britta filter and stored in a mason jar with a small chunk of sugar maple charcoal. Stored in the freezer and wouldn't even hint at freezing at 0F. Tasted like rubbing alcohol/vodka with a subtle apple taste.

        Never made rum, but I always felt like the point of homemade wine and distilled spirits was to make it from whatever you have laying around. In our case we make wine from what we pick from abandoned apple orchards, choke cherry trees, wild cranberries, wild black berries, strawberries, dandylions, wild blackberries, beets, onions, etc. If we have an exceptionally large amount of wine, we'll distill it down to brandy. Favorite was some blackberry brandy (not the fortified blackberry juice swill sold in stores). Apple makes the most sense for us due to the massive amounts of free apples around here but I haven't made any brandy in awhile due a massive stockpile of wines/brandy we already have and a lack of time to drink it. Mostly just do a few carboys of wine a year anymore.

        "Rum" I believe is from sugarcane which unless you've got it local, I'd think you'd want to consider something else for your base. I think it also has to be aged in barrels to be palatable.


        The big thing to realize is the first stuff that comes out of the tube is potentially the nasty stuff (methanol and other toxins) and is the reason this is illegal except for making perfume. It's easy for some duhard to make poison and hand it out at a party. It's subtle, but if you are watching what's coming out of the tube closely you'll be able to see the difference. Have three jars for collection the first time so you can collect each to learn what they look like. Everything's clear, but the surface tensions are noticeably different. You can also practice with cheap wine instead of mash till you get the hang of it.


        Stills are legal now, it's like 10gal a month or something. Dunno about States.

        I've made wine of course but I was thinking about getting a still.

        https://milehidistilling.com/product...ills-for-sale/

        Comment


          #5
          One sign that the US is sick with 'Temperance': There is absolutely no need to have 'de-natured' alcohol. They add shit to it to make it poisonous.

          The Feds did that during Prohibition and killed like 10,000 people, and blinded thousands more.

          That's how sick Temperance people are. Puritanism, it's a mental illness, a vicious and cruel one.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by evernoob View Post
            One sign that the US is sick with 'Temperance': There is absolutely no need to have 'de-natured' alcohol. They add shit to it to make it poisonous.

            The Feds did that during Prohibition and killed like 10,000 people, and blinded thousands more.

            That's how sick Temperance people are. Puritanism, it's a mental illness, a vicious and cruel one.
            It seems like if industrial/fuel ethanol wasn't denatured then people would in fact drink it. Being industrial there is currently no need to make sure it is food quality (no lead/metals/toxins/etc.) so might as well make sure that nobody is tempted to drink it? The temperatures and concentrations of alcohol seen in a still can extract lead from things normally considered safe for drinking water so I'm not sure what you're proposing is a good idea.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by evernoob View Post

              Stills are legal now, it's like 10gal a month or something. Dunno about States.

              I've made wine of course but I was thinking about getting a still.

              https://milehidistilling.com/product...ills-for-sale/
              In many (maybe most?) states it is legal to own a still, but not to distill anything except making distilled water or essential oils unless you have a permit. That generally includes distilling for fuel, there is a different permit for making fuel as compared to distilling spirit. I understand somewhere recently the law changed that companies that produce distilling equipment no longer need to report purchases to the govt. They still need to retain the files in case the govt wants to go through them.

              Comment


                #8
                I recommend a different hobby. To distill alcohol you either need to know what you're doing to begin with, have a decent understanding of chemistry, or have a lot of coin on hand to purchase a still (instead of building a DIY still). Given your lack of knowledge and experience, there's nothing you're going to make in terms of rum that will taste as good as the cheapest shit you can buy at a liquor store--and rum is pretty fucking cheap.

                Btw, it would take approximately 25 gallons of fermentable mash of molasses or sugar cane to make 6 gallons of rum.
                Last edited by Emiller22207; 07-08-2020, 11:55 AM.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by clodhopper View Post

                  In many (maybe most?) states it is legal to own a still, but not to distill anything except making distilled water or essential oils unless you have a permit. That generally includes distilling for fuel, there is a different permit for making fuel as compared to distilling spirit. I understand somewhere recently the law changed that companies that produce distilling equipment no longer need to report purchases to the govt. They still need to retain the files in case the govt wants to go through them.
                  You're right. Distilling spirits for personal consumption is a federal offense:

                  https://www.ttb.gov/distilled-spirit...gal-distilling
                  https://boozemakers.com/home-distilling-laws-by-state/

                  Distilling should be federally allowed. The proliferation of technical hobbies and the internet has vastly increased the quality of those hobbies, I submit 4x4ing as an example. When I first started looking online in the 1990s, jalopies with dangerous suspension and body lifts were the norm. Now they've all but disappeared.

                  It's easy to get away with it apparently, since the industry is flowering. Maybe we're where beer was in the 1990s.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Goddammit, yer gonna make me say it …...

                    I agree with noob.





                    Dammit.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I'm pretty experienced in building and running stills. The smaller the still, the more difficult to make a decent product. It's more of an art than a science to make it taste good. Yes any reasonably abled chemist can make hooch. Convert sugar to CO2 and alchohol and boil off the alchohol and leave the water, condense the alc once they are seperated;not a hard process.

                      If you are dead set on giving it a try, Here are some rules of thumb I like to follow: Smaller batch stills seem to work better if they are what I think of as more exotic types like a refractory still. You want the condensation volume to be around a third of your head-space above the mash in the boil pot. I like to see about an equal amount of boil space above the fill line as mash below it. If you get the mash too hot, just stop the batch and dump the mash. If you caught it quick, you can save the alch until your next run and put it in the mash of the same recipe and re-run it. If you were slow, just dump it too, you will ruin two batches. Never operate inside. have to have some copper in the still, in my opinion, the more the better. In a refractory, I even use copper brillo type pads in the stack. Here's the thing, you can follow all that and still have a shit still.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Check out claw hammer stills...https://www.amazon.com/Clawhammer-Su...91812054244-20

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by evernoob View Post

                          Distilling should be federally allowed.
                          Yep. Problem is, hooch is taxed heavily. Uncle Sam ain't going to miss out on that income letting you make your own. It's the same reason MJ is still federally illegal. They can't figure out how to account for all of it and get their piece.

                          I brewed beer for a while, and read something about home distilling laws have laxed some. IIRC, home stills aren't 100% illegal, but the size cap is small enough that you're not going to do much with it.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I figured doing the rum thing would a lot of trial and error, but would it really taste like hell? I was thinking the first few batches would be crap but then we would start to figure it out and it would get better.

                            also, I was talking of doing a 6.5 gallon mash, any idea what that might give me for drinkable (hopefully) stuff at the end?

                            I love brewing beer but I want to try something different, and thought why the hell not rum?

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Ive been collecting parts to start this project, planning on converting a keg. I was looking to do a coconut rum.
                              I have been reading alot from https://homedistiller.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page . They have a forum and alot of good information all over that site.

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