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Gundog48

Small-Scale Rum Trial

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This is my first time posting here, so I'll briefly introduce myself. I'm an imposter from the UK, very keen on the practice and study of distilling, this is my first year working in the industry.

I work for a gin distillery, they've always been keen on producing other spirits (we did a single barrel single malt collaboration project before I started), and I've done a lot of research on rum. As it stands, they've given me the green light to start my own rum project, which I'm incredibly excited about.

I'm trying to balance working on a small scale with trying to replicate the results that will be obtained by ongoing production, as well as producing a spirit that we can trial in different ways.

I intend to do 3x150L fermentation and distillations, using blackstrap molasses diluted to provide a potential ABV of 10%, with initial additions of DAP at 0.6g/L, and pH adjustment with acid addition. Fermentations will be pumped off the lees, leaving some behind in the fermentor, distilled, then sufficient backset (roughly 30% to begin with), molasses and water added back to the fermentor once cooled (perhaps with the addition of fresh yeast?). For yeast, I intend to use either a Belgian abbey or saison yeast, or potentially a hefeweizen yeast pitched alongside a more alcohol tolerant strain. The aim is to increase ester production. 

After three fermentations and distillations, the combined low wines will be distilled, using a rectification column configured to collect the heart cut at around 85% ABV. 

With the resultant spirit, I intend to try some variations such as plain white rum, oaking experiments, blending with clarified dunder, macerating with spices, and redistilling with botanicals.

I'd like to know your thoughts on my plan- as you can probably gather, I'm very new to commercial distilling, I'm very enthusiastic with my study, but have little practical experience at product development. The still I'm working with is a nominally 300L still (can take over 450L of wash if needed), with a 7-plate rectification column. It's not the setup that's going to launch us into large scale rum production, but we're not adverse to the idea of small batch production and one-offs! 

 

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Gundog,

First off go for it. 

Is your molasses clarified? This makes a big difference. On the yeast i would stick to a rum yeast first like rm or sr then move on to experimenting with yeasts. Youll want to remove the variables when starting out. I would also open up the plates on that still unless your looking for a light rum. 85 is the higher end for rum . 60-70 for fuller bodied rum. Best of luck

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