whiskeytango

Rhum Agricole

32 posts in this topic

I am working on a rum agricole wash and i am finding its very slow to ferment. I have tried a few different yeast strains (ec1118 and a lalamand distillamax SR) adding nutrients as well.  its just very slow like weeks to ferment out.  

 

I am obviously missing something here, any ideas? 

 

 

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Brix is around 14 

PH starts around 5.4 and then drops quickly to about 3.6

Temp I'm just going off the directions on the yeast to to re hydrate as specified then fermenting out at bout 78-82 degrees 

 

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have you tried the rm yeast. Might be a better choice?  Might want some calcium carbonate since I would guess 3.6 might be outside the recommended range of the yeast.    

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My EC-1118 rum ferments on molasses are 5 days max, I feel it's a pretty fast fermenter.  No different from RM in timing really.

What's your nutrient protocol and pitch rate?  It's getting cold up here too - what are your ferment temps looking like?

 

 

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Lallemand advices their normal sugar yeast for rum. They won't say it out aloud but I discussed our findings with them and they admitted to it.

EC 118 is better for more neutral ferments. For vodkas rather than rums.

For a bigger taste profile, don't hesitate to ferment, using granulated bakers yeast. It's grown on molasses and deals with pretty much any rum or grain ferment with good results. Its also a yeast that's habituated to higher fermentation temps. And with rum - sugar cane - being tropical that works well. Aim for fermentation temperatures of 32 to 34 degrees Celsius (sorry, I am not a Fahrenheit kinda guy).

Amounts of yeast: 1 gram per liter of ferment. Take 1/3rd of it and boil the crap out of it in some water. This will serve as yeast nutrients. The rest of the yeast you sprinkle on top. This works better than a yeast starter or by stirring the yeast in. Yeast starters: you never know the exact amount of yeast. Stirring it in: you force contact dried out yeast with water, resulting in higher yeast mortality.

Also, pH 3.6 may be too low for sugar cane ferments. It's on the edge for sure. Rum ferments in general have quite a high acidity, quite some residual sugars. Combine that with the higher temperatures, and a pH 3.6 may shortcut the fermentation process, stalling your ferment, while also creating more off tastes. I'd aim for a lowest pH thrash hold of pH 4.0. Add lime at the beginning of the ferment (start with 0.5 grams per liter of ferment), monitor and see if pH stays above pH 3.9 at least. If not, add 0.6 grams of lime per liter of ferment next time, etc.

Hope this info helps.

Regards, Odin.

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10 hours ago, Silk City Distillers said:

My EC-1118 rum ferments on molasses are 5 days max, I feel it's a pretty fast fermenter.  No different from RM in timing really.

What's your nutrient protocol and pitch rate?  It's getting cold up here too - what are your ferment temps looking like?

 

 

Would you share your temps,brix,yeast pitch rate and nutrients? :) thanks!

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On a 2000 liter batch - 18-20 Brix, 5% backset, 1000g yeast - rehydrated with Go-Ferm(1250gr), 1lb Fermaid-K, 1lb DAP, 2oz Distilavite VM.  I stagger nutrient additions, 0hr, 24hr, 48hr.  Usually 82-84f on the temp.  I also agitate once a day, maybe 5-10 minutes, just to keep the yeast in suspension and mix in nutrient additions.

This is on high test molasses.

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I agree with Odin's comments on pH.  Bring it up to between 4.0 and 5.2 (maybe shoot for 4.5). Yeast may re-start on it's own or you may need to re-pitch (for a faster finish).  Sugar ferments lack the buffering effects of grain and tend to drop into low pH ranges that are intolerable for yeast. Check pH daily and you'll see this trend, may require a second bump up in pH later.

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Ok here are some more info 

2 hours ago, Shindig said:

Would you share your temps,brix,yeast pitch rate and nutrients? :) thanks!

 

 

Brix is around 14 (max)

PH starts around 5.4 and then drops quickly to about 3.6

Temp I'm just going off the directions on the yeast to to re hydrate as specified then fermenting out at bout 78-82 degrees 

for nutrients in using the fermaid O or whatever its called in the amount specified on the bag, 

 

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@Shindig - Replied up above - honestly, it's just the White Labs recommended nutrient profile for rum.  

@whiskeytango - I'd add DAP at 1lb per 500 gal.  Fermaid O is great stuff, but if you are using the wine dosage on sugar, you might be coming up on the low end of YAN/Nitrogen.  Try adding the DAP/Inorganic Nitrogen at the start - it's going to be more cost effective.  

I believe Fermaid O has about half the nitrogen of Fermaid K - Check out page 28 in the PDF.

 

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@WhiskeyTango, - I get 3 day ferments that drop to 3.6pH every time (usually within a day).  For us, keeping it around 80F has been best.  I've used bakers (saf-instant is easier than ADY in my opinion) yeast many times and it's been great.  We go through a lot of different canes so we have unique problems due to that but sometimes I use Fermaid K at 16oz per 500 gallon - but only if a cane has proven problematic. 

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On 12/27/2016 at 3:59 PM, bluefish_dist said:

have you tried the rm yeast. Might be a better choice?  Might want some calcium carbonate since I would guess 3.6 might be outside the recommended range of the yeast.    

3.6pH shouldn't cause a problem and with unpasteurized cane juice, a lower pH helps to stave off the wild flora. 

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Do you guys cook off your wash?  Or do you just add hot enough water to the cain juice to get it to mix?   Im having a hell of a time getting fermentation to take place. 

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Technically... If you were making a true Agricole and I'm sure you are trying to, you wouldn't heat or dilute the cane juice at all. You use the natural starting SG and just wait. Personally I heat mine 120F to kill off the local yeast and not high enough to change the flavor. I agree with Odin, I have a bakers yeast sugar cane wash going right now the only thing is it's very slow.

 

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5 hours ago, Dsking416 said:

Technically... If you were making a true Agricole and I'm sure you are trying to, you wouldn't heat or dilute the cane juice at all. You use the natural starting SG and just wait. Personally I heat mine 120F to kill off the local yeast and not high enough to change the flavor. I agree with Odin, I have a bakers yeast sugar cane wash going right now the only thing is it's very slow.

 

The juice is diluted from the mill.  A typical (large) roller mill set up will step the cane in hot water bath on its way to the mill (removes dirty n rocks), then its crushed (high pressure = heat), then the bagasse is steeped in hot water before going through the second set of rollers, then steeped and press again.  This lowers the starting gravity down to 10 brix or so from as high as 24 brix.  Bakers should still give you a quick ferment though.  

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Oh, so we aren't talking about using fresh juice from the mill? But standard shelf-stable crystallized sugar?  I thought this was about "agricole" not "industrial". 

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Or are you starting from syrup?

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