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Molasses Wash - Yield Questions

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I am working out the calculations for a Blackstrap Molasses rum  and I was hoping to check my numbers. I am most concerned with getting my molasses to water ratio right to get my Brix to 20. Could I get some feedback on my numbers?

 

My molasses comes in 55 gallon drums at 45% sugars TSAI

That means 287.1 lbs of fermentable sugars  per drum, or 5.22 lbs per gallon.

 

I ran a Sugar Wash Calculator that gave my molasses a starting SG of 1.236

Water added would be 67 gallons

Wash produced: 36.8% alcohol

 

 

Do these numbers look right?  My end goal is to calculate a rough yield of 80 proof end product per barrel of molasses. Any help would be appreciated.

 

 

 

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not sure what calculator you used but these numbers are way off. 

a 55 gal drum of molasses will need to be mixed with closer to 200 gallons of water to achieve a starting brix of 20

 

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Gotta agree with @captnKB here, that seems way off. There's nothing to it but adding say, 50 gallons at a time, and checking it yourself. No need to take anyone else's word for it but your own.

PS I've found it a lot easier to add molasses to water than the other way around.

PPS You're not going to achieve 36.8% with fermentation alone. Aim for somewhere in the 8%-12% range.

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Thank you both for the info I had a suspicion these numbers  weren't right based on other forums... Is there a public resource available for making these calculations? I'm finding molasses has a much more variation than corn and rye which is what I am used to working with.

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Depending on your yeast, Brix seems very high. We have found much above 15 Brix you will be dumping unfermented sugar. There are others on here much more versed than I, but I would experiment with your Brix much lower first. 

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Even using the same molasses, Ive noticed a slight variance between orders. Sometimes I will correct with sugar.

Also maybe I misinterpreted what you were saying, but if your blackstrap is only about 50% sugar and you start at 20 Brix your best possible finishing gravity will be around 10 Brix, and your wash alcohol% will only be around 5%. It will also be a very slow fermentation starting that high.

Your low wines after a stripping run might be around 36%.

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@Naked Spirits Disitillery -  starting with a lower Brix and working my way up sounds like a good way to approach it, I will take that into consideration thank you. I am working towards calculating how much end product I would have with these numbers. Do you know of any online resources I can use to make these calculations?

 

@adam - I have also read that between orders there may be some variance. My thought is to measure brix first and add molasses to the water to keep a constant brix level

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I’m not molasses guy but aren’t there something like 20+% of the sugars unfermentable?

 

seems to me like most guys are at around 1.090 start gravity and ferment down to 1.020. 

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It has a lot of unfermentable solids like ash. They still create isotropic stress on the yeast though. Blackstrap has a lot more than the table grade molasses most people typically use, and the percentage varies. 

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I don't have a calculator. I was struggling with my ferment and got help from guys on this forum. I took their advice and started experimenting. There are a couple good threads already in Rum section you should ready up on. I also contacted my yeast manufacturer and spoke to them about my issues. I was starting where you are and my ferment would stall. I got much better results with less sugar. more nutrient and feeding the ferment. I have found my best results under 1.07SG to start and it is finishing around 1.015. 

Again, I'm a new guy that got a lot of help in the rum section as I was starting. Look at the threads there. All the best. 

 

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On 8/30/2019 at 10:00 PM, FijiSpirits said:

I’m not molasses guy but aren’t there something like 20+% of the sugars unfermentable?

 

seems to me like most guys are at around 1.090 start gravity and ferment down to 1.020. 

We started with a 1.095 start and finished just under 1.040, but are considering diluting a bit more. That includes 20% of wash as dunder. We are using a high-sugar content (baking) molasses. I don't think you could use blackstrap effectively at the same concentration because of the ash content, unless you plan to add sugar.

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