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Florida Cracker

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  1. Florida Cracker

    Is it worth using sugarcane in rum production ?

    I will tell you this, if you are planning on planting sugar cane, make sure that wild hogs aren't in your area. Ask me how I know. FC
  2. Florida Cracker

    Lees - in or out?

    Diluting it won't hurt. I use 20% backset and haven't had a problem yet. Keep the wash relatively warm. If the ferment isn't raging after a few hours you might want to add more warm water (80-85F). I try to keep my brix under 20 but I admit I haven't checked it in years now that I have my system. Let us know how it does.
  3. Florida Cracker

    Anti-Foam Alternatives

    Olive oil.
  4. Florida Cracker

    Anyone running a Dragon Still?

    First class customer service and solid parts. Never had any problems with anything from them. Highly recommended.
  5. Florida Cracker

    Poll: Do you clarify your molasses

    Indy, My process isn't very technical or difficult. I thin the molasses with the hot backset from the previous run, usually at a 50/50 ratio. Mix well and then put in a conical 55 gallon tank. I have added a spigot at the 2 gallon level that I use for taking off the "clarified" mixture. I only fill the tank to the 25 gallon mark for my runs but it could be totally filled. If filled all the way I would put the spigot at the 4 gallon mark minimum. I still get a little thick liquid at the spigot but most is pretty thin. The stuff I drain through the bottom drain is like a very thick milkshake. Although it probably isn't what most would consider clarified, it will remove most of the solids. I will let it sit for 2-3 days then rack off via the spigot.
  6. Florida Cracker

    Poll: Do you clarify your molasses

    Blackstrap and I do clarify. Amazing the amount of muck and ash that is removed.
  7. Florida Cracker

    Lees - in or out?

    Yes. The result was a little more funky than I like. It might calm down after time in a barrel but since I really like my results with the strip/spirit process I haven't ever put any down for aging.
  8. Florida Cracker

    Topping off barrels

    Doesn't the spirit become "better" as the angels take their share, ie evaporation, oxygen contact, etc? I have always wondered if a half filled barrel would not produce a smoother spirit because of the increased contact with "air" and it's components. By refilling with water at some point, don't you limit the aging to some extent because of the lack of air in the barrel? Not sure of the regs but it would seem like the addition of anything would change the outcome.
  9. Florida Cracker

    Best still design for rum?

    Totally agree. I wonder why nobody has mentioned muck pit in this discussion so far? I use an "aged dunder" in my wash and it adds immense flavor. There is plenty of info on this subject as well. I strip my washes and then use a 4 plate StillDragon column still and get all of the rum flavor that I want. The benefit is that I have greater control over what goes into the barrel and it doesn't take 3 generations before it is very drinkable.
  10. Florida Cracker

    Dunder vs Backset vs Stillage

    I add mine right before it goes into the boiler to strip. If you keep your still in full reflux for an hour or two you should get plenty of esterfication
  11. Florida Cracker

    Rhum Agricole

    What temp are you pitching at? pH? Brix?
  12. Florida Cracker

    Lees - in or out?

    I have been doing a long reflux, ala Arroyo, which greatly increases esterfication as well as greatly compressing heads. Also, tails are VERY evident when they come on and I don't save any of them. I run on 4 plates of ProCaps and once the tails come on there isn't anything I have found worth keeping. For some reason the mysterious "rum oils" found late in the tails just don't come across with my distillation process. Also to reiterate, I do a stripping run first. The reflux is done on the spirit run. If done on the first run, the outcome would be way different and that is probably where the good tails show up.
  13. Florida Cracker

    Lees - in or out?

    Since I use live dunder in my ferment, I rack the wash off of the lees. Tried leaving them in and ended up with more of a funky taste than I could handle. The dunder adds all of the acids that you want and they are enhanced during the reflux phase. I keep my still in 100% reflux during the spirit run for at least an hour before letting anything through. I now end up with a very clean, very complex rum that is basically drinkable off of the still. Forgot to mention I add 20% backset back into the next wash. Done hot, it helps with the thick molasses. I'm now on my 12th generation and other than the pH dropping, each generation gets better and better. My live "dunder pit" is in a 55g drum that is sealed and is now 18 months old. I generally add 4% to my wash right about the time that the ferment is slowing. Here's the thread on my dunder experiments. https://www.stilldragon.org/discussion/1041/the-big-dunder-pit-thread/p1