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Burnt Sugar Smell on Stripping Run


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Hi All,

I just distilled distilled my first batch of rum. I was doing the stripping run and noticed a smell (not so much taste) of burnt sugar. Wasn't the sweet smell of caramelization. My molasses based batch fermented to 1.016 and I and wondering if there were too many sugars left over from the ferment which caused this. Another possibility is that I heated the still too fast and the sugars burnt. I wondering if anyone else has dealt with this before and any suggestions people might have. Thanks in advance.

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  • Otto Distilling changed the title to Burnt Sugar Smell on Stripping Run

The ferment could definitely finish drier, though I don't think that's the issue. Sometimes the culprit, if it's your first time running the equipment, may be that the prop for your agitator is upside down and therefore not accomplishing good agitation. I've seen that more than once. 

Just to add to this - the prop spinning the wrong direction can also create the same problem. Regardless, you want to be sure it is pushing down vs. pulling up. There's an old thread on here somewhere where this was the issue - though I can't find it at the moment. 

Edited by kleclerc77
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I've seen this happen with a ferment that has a lot of yeast solids in the wash. avoid pulling off the bottom of your fermenter, to leave the yeast bed intact, this should help if thats your issue.

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Thanks for the tips. Adjusting my recipe with the aim to get a dryer fermentation.

After ferment I cracked the bottom valve of the fermenter to let out some cloudy sediment. Was slightly more viscous than the rest of the wash. I'd say that the molasses is generally still in suspension. Perhaps I next time I need to let out more and give the finished ferment more time to "rack". 

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Just curious, did you heat your wash up to help dissolve the molasses?

I have encountered many people who add their molasses into their wash thinking it will all dissolve. However it typically takes a bit of heat or at least warm water plus thorough agitation to ensure complete mixing.

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