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junglejimmy

Removing color from natural oak aged white rum

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Hey guys,

I'm in a bit of a pickle. A few months back my boss approached me and said he wanted me to make a white rum that could be a substitute to Bacardi, which could compete in house rum market. I've never made rum before,but i told him I could do it. Couldn't be that difficult......right?

So fast forward a few months later, countless hours of research and a few failed attempts, I am now the stage where i am happy with the taste. I am using a half molasses half sugar wash with ec-1118. Striping it and then running through our 4 plate column still. After that i filter it and age it on natural oak chips. After a week on the chips it tastes amazing. Smooth and creamy with a hint of vanilla.

Its at this point i am a little bit stuck. I have tried few methods of carbon filtering, but so far the color still remains. I ran it through our system we use for vodka, which is just a water filtering machine with a carbon filter housing. No luck with this method as the color was still there. I'm thinking there might not be enough contact time, so then I used pulverized carbon and added it to the rum. I filtered out the carbon, however the color still remains.

Is there a special method to remove the color? Maybe even a special type of carbon that I need to be using? Any input would be greatly appreciated as i would love to get my boss and the sales team off my back.

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NORIT makes a powder carbon...maybe better than pulverized. Follow with a sterile filtration but both together will most likely strip some of the flavor too.

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also, just another thought....

It is not "white rum" anymore because you used oak. Also, since you use oak chips you will have to put that on the label.

Please see TTB reg on using oak chips.

If you strip the color out, you will strip out all the flavor too.

There are ways to get the profile you want with out a formula, and not using oak chips. I won't say everything but here are a couple.

1. add flavoring to the mash right before you distill it. Let the flavor carry over in the distilling process. Example the vanilla flavor you talk about.

2. add flavoring in the gin type basket to make extracts you can use when it comes time to blend your rum.

3. a little bit of carbon goes a long ways. to make a great flavorful rum, just kiss it with carbon.

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If you are trying to make a white rum to match bacardi, you need to go back to the drawing board. You are going to need somewhere in the neighborhood of 70%+ Neutral Sugar Spirits. With your 4 plate still it''s going to take you many runs to obtain a smooth product without additives like wood chips and after the fact sugars.

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Thanks for the imput guys. Those are some things that I haven't thought about.

After reading a lot about Bacardi they say their process is to ferment on molasses (no mention of sugar), distill using a reflux column (no mention of the number of plates), carbon filter, age in natural oak barrels for a year, then carbon filter to remove the color, then blend.

I sounds like a complicated process, and I know i wont be able to get it exactly the same. I will be happy if its in the ballpark. I feel like the taste at the moment, with the oak chips, is in the ballpark. Its the color that is the problem.

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Talk to Norit. They have carbon designed to remove color and not affect flavor.

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So i plugged "Norit" and "Activated Carbon" into google and it came up with cobotcorp. They specialize in activated carbon for the food and beverage industry, so i'm guessing that's the one. I'll give them a buzz and hopefully we can come up with a solution. Thanks.

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Ah, I see that Norit Corp was purchased by Cabot Corp a few years ago. Yes, that is the company that I was referring to. They have a broad line of activated carbons for almost any purpose.

I personally prefer working with granulated carbon as opposed to powdered. The powdered is extremely messy.

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From their infosheet they have 4 activated carbons suitable for rum. Two in powdered form (Norit sx plus & Norit DX10) and two in Granular form (Norit pk 1-3 & Norit gcn 830 plus). DO you know which would be most suitable for removing color but still retaining the taste?

Also, does the granular carbon you use remove the color? I'm still wondering whether its the phsical form of the carbon that removes color or maybe its the treatment (acid wash) that is the main factor.

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I can help you with the color removal if it is still a problem.

I do this all the time.

Just let me know.

Thanks,

Alex

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On 12/1/2015 at 4:01 AM, Dehner Distillery said:

also, just another thought....

It is not "white rum" anymore because you used oak. Also, since you use oak chips you will have to put that on the label.

Please see TTB reg on using oak chips.

If you strip the color out, you will strip out all the flavor too.

There are ways to get the profile you want with out a formula, and not using oak chips. I won't say everything but here are a couple.

1. add flavoring to the mash right before you distill it. Let the flavor carry over in the distilling process. Example the vanilla flavor you talk about.

2. add flavoring in the gin type basket to make extracts you can use when it comes time to blend your rum.

3. a little bit of carbon goes a long ways. to make a great flavorful rum, just kiss it with carbon.

I've seen the references for oak chips but I haven't found them for rum yet.  Am I not searching hard enough?

"Treatment with wood. The words "colored and flavored with wood (insert chips, slabs, etc., as appropriate)" shall be stated as a part of the class and type designation for whisky and brandy treated, in whole or in part, with wood through percolations, or otherwise, during distillation or storage, other than through contact with the oak container." 

 

In reference to the OP - it's my understanding (note: not gospel, I don't work for them) that Bacardi uses neutral barrels (barrels originally used for whiskey but no longer have significant flavor contributions) for aging their white spirits and then carbon filters the color out.  

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