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Rum fermentation


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I have just started distilling rum in a 250 gallon Vendome Column still out on Cape Cod. We plan to bottle a blend of Rum from molasses as well as rum from Evaporated Cane Sugar Juice. The molasses has been quite easy to ferment (our 3rd batch was dry in 3-4 days) while The ECJ has been VERY sluggish. I have a batch of ECJ that was pitched almost 2 weeks ago and still has nearly half the sugar left. We are an existing winery, so I have been using wine yeast (EC 1118) and nutrients (Fermaid K) both at twice the rate we would use for wine. This works out to 500 grams of EC1118 & one pound of Fermaid per 250 gallon fermentation. We have also added DAP (although Fermaid has enough DAP to give an adequate N supply). I have 3 tanks of ECJ that are all fermenting, but doing so very slowly. Temperatures of the wash are conducive to these tanks fermenting out quickly. What am I missing? Does anyone have a secret for fermenting ECJ? Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. Dave

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I know what you mean brother, having the same problem. Haven't tried yeast nutrient yet, that was my next step. Kinda weird. I mean I've been making wine for 22 years as well and dam there's enough sugar in there to keep my brother, the dentist, in business. But no pop, pop, pop of the air lock. Maybe it's depressed and needs some lithium.

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I start our cane sugar washes with a PH of 5 and then they crash to 2.9 during the fermentation and slow the heck down. I'm not inverting my cane. Agreed with Pete, it would be a PITA to invert. I'm using calcium carbonate and potassium carbonate to bring the PH back up to around 4. The fermentation picks back up and finishes out. Takes about 7-9 days for 125 gallons. My next sugar wash I won't mess with the PH and start it at 7 and I'll see if it levels out at 5. Sugar washes crash ph hard.

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Have any of you tried this?

A pure culture of bacteria such as Clostridium

saccharobutyricum may be added after 6-12 hrs

of the yeast fermentation. Usually the bacterial

inoculum amounts to about 2% of the fermenter

capacity; and the pH of the fermenting mash is

adjusted upwards to about pH 5.5 before addition

to give more suitable conditions for the bacterial

propagation. The bacteria produce a mixture of

acids, predominantly butyric, together with others

such as acetic, propionic, and caproic acids.

These acids in turn react with the alcohol to

produce desirable esters.

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The pH did crash hard (all 3 tanks below 3.00). I used Potassium Bicabonate to bring them all back up to the 4.5 - 5.0 range but they are STILL taking their sweet time. Next time, definitely no acidification and I'll watch the pH carefully during fermentation. Thanks for the input so far, anyone else got any more info?... Again, thanks. Dave

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