I'm new to this forum and not a distiller. I wasn't able to find the answer I'm looking for, although I suspect that may have to do with some of the lingo on this side of the industry. I am a beer brewer by trade, and have recently been hired by a non-brewery/non-distillery company to do all cane sugar ferments. I'm not overly familiar with the process, but I assume most of fermentation rules apply. I've been finding that our ferments with cane sugar are very slow, and will stall out at 25% attenuation. We are currently using white wine yeast, which I know in some cases can be pH intolerant at lower levels. Our yeast pitch rate is at 1.25 mil/mL/plato, I've been doing staggered nutrient additions with Fermaid, leaning towards the high end of recommended grams/bbl, but our ferments are still very slow, and producing a lot of acetaldehyde. We've been aerating, which levels I've tried to increase, but that hasn't seemed to help. I've been trying to find info on making rum, since that seems to be closest to the kind of fermentation we need to be doing, minus the molasses.
I guess I'm wondering what I can do to speed this fermentation up and clean up off flavors. I'd like to target no more than 10 days to end of fermentation. I also need to find a way to buffer the pH so the yeast doesn't stall out. I don't know if molasses provides that, I've considered using calcium carbonate or baking soda. Any guidance would be appreciated. In trouble shooting the production process here, I think we need to mimic rum or vodka fermentation, assuming you can get a clean ferment that way.