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Rum - Best Way To Age - Barrel.

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adryargument

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I have a 100L French Oak barrel which is waiting to be used.
A mate of mine has just offered me either 25 or 50L of medical/food grade ethanol (96~99%) that he has spare. (Cane sugar based)

Currently i plan to dump 50L into the cask with 50L of water and let time do its thing until i dilute it to 38% in a few years (Similar to how Bourbon is aged- thank you discovery channel!).

However if i am only able to grab 25L would a 25/75 mix of eth/water be to low alc % to remain bug free over 2-3 years?
Is it possible to cask only 75L at once if its spirits, will this be affected by the cask breathing??

Anything else i may have missed?
 

seravitae

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Hi there,

Firstly, this forum is predominantly about beer, so watch for incoming flames. That is, until you've learned the secret handshake and get inducted into 'the club'. Or so I get told often...

Secondly, rum is not produced from cane sugar, it is produced from molasses, of which the components other than sugar contribute partially to the flavour (sample a white rum to see what i mean).

96%+ ethanol (or azeotropic ethanol), or anything stronger, has been refluxed so hard that it has been stripped of all flavor components from the molasses, and would be considered a neutral spirit, or even a vodka.

You cannot produce "rum" by aging a neutral spirit on oak.

I hope this helps somewhat.
 

poppa joe

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Try aussiedistiller.com.au or aussiedistiller.com
You can get answer there,
Sera is right .. B)
PJ
 

Malted

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I know of a commercial enterprise who makes rum from cane sugar, not molasses. http://hoochery.com.au/our-story
I tasted a number of their rums just a couple of weeks ago. It tastes like ethanol that has been aged on oak. They do use a massive pot still condensor. Credit to them though, it was smooth and a nice spirit, just not entirely like classical rum.
There used to be a sugar mill up there when they started up. The sugar mill closed down and molasses is to expensive to cart to Kununurra so they crush their own cane for the juice syrup. I don't blame them for not making molasses because it seems like quite a process.

For smoothness and flavour from the oak, you would probably need to fire the inside of the barrel. I believe getting the toast right is a bit of an artform and you have to have cooper skills to be able to open the barrell for toasting and then close it again for the liquids.

Your ethanol might be suitable for vodka or as a base for mixing the spirit essences with. There are any number of spirit essences available (see the rest of the range in the link below).

If you want to pursue the rum option, you might be able to get a rum essesnce (this just for example http://www.craftbrewer.com.au/shop/details.asp?PID=2289) to add and maybe even a bit of molasses (?) to throw in the barrel with the water and ethanol? Since you are not brewing you may not need unsulfured molasses.

Just my 1.5 cents that may or may not be accurate.

www.homedistiller.org forum is another good source of info.
 

adryargument

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Cheers guys - very helpful!
Will do some more research.
 

Phoney

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I've known a couple of guys over the years who have tried the buying the ethanol & mixing it with essences as you get from many LHBS. And from everything that I've tasted, it was pretty bloody rough. ie: There's no way I would give up buying good quality vodka, gin, scotch for that fire water unless I was a serious alcoholic. Was it just that those guys didnt know what they were doing (similar to kit brewers who brew at 30C with a kilo of sugar) or does it always taste that bad?

Inquiring minds want to know.
 

arty

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Do check out aussiedistiller.com.au as popa joe said a lot of info there or pm punkin.

Cheers 3draws
 

Muggus

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Gin base perhaps? :beer:
 

Parks

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Was it just that those guys didnt know what they were doing (similar to kit brewers who brew at 30C with a kilo of sugar) or does it always taste that bad?

Inquiring minds want to know.
The first thing to realise is, if you wanted to and cared not for pesky laws, you could make exactly the same spirit at home as they do in the distillery. There are plenty of online resources on the subject.

If someone wants to make the cheapest product with little to no wastage (read keeping too much non-ethanol alcohols) then your gonna have a bad time.
 

Phoney

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I realize that, I was specifically asking about the ethanol + essences that they legally sell in home brew shops.
 

seravitae

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At risk of copping flames from other retailers for poo-pooing products they stock, in my experience, the only essences for alcohol that are worth your time are the 'fruity girl ones' such as the schnapps. anything with loads of sugar and simple esters.

Rum, burbon, whisky flavouring, forget it. It is propylene glycol and vanilla essence, is rough, and horrible.

For the subtle, robust flavours, you need to go all grain, and age on retoasted oak. The difference is so huge that you can't compare it in your imagination.

So i'm told.
 

Malted

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I've known a couple of guys over the years who have tried the buying the ethanol & mixing it with essences as you get from many LHBS. And from everything that I've tasted, it was pretty bloody rough. ie: There's no way I would give up buying good quality vodka, gin, scotch for that fire water unless I was a serious alcoholic. Was it just that those guys didnt know what they were doing (similar to kit brewers who brew at 30C with a kilo of sugar) or does it always taste that bad?

Inquiring minds want to know.
I wonder if they bothered to carbon filter it? Did they dilute it down to 38% or did they think more alc/vol is better? Did they mix it according to the essence instructions? Some essences are better if some glucose is added to it and the alcohol to give it a thicker and sweeter mouthfeel (sort of like throwing away kit yeasts and brewing at lower temps, i.e. following instructions is not always best). For instance, would you want thin Sambuca? It would make you think worse of it if it were too thin wouldn't it? I have not used industrial ethanol for making food grade spirits, I'm just hazarding a few guesses.
 

brettprevans

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Last time i checked molassas comes from cane and beet sugar. Its unrefined siugar. Oh and have u seen how much cane is grown in cuba and US for rum?

And yup no disc making of spirits on ahb. Its in the t&c's
 

QldKev

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Hi there,

Firstly, this forum is predominantly about beer, so watch for incoming flames. That is, until you've learned the secret handshake and get inducted into 'the club'. Or so I get told often...

Secondly, rum is not produced from cane sugar, it is produced from molasses, of which the components other than sugar contribute partially to the flavour (sample a white rum to see what i mean).

96%+ ethanol (or azeotropic ethanol), or anything stronger, has been refluxed so hard that it has been stripped of all flavor components from the molasses, and would be considered a neutral spirit, or even a vodka.

You cannot produce "rum" by aging a neutral spirit on oak.

I hope this helps somewhat.

Bundy rum is molasses from 100% cane. The typical UP stuff you get is aged in barrels with bugger all flavors from the molasses left in it after the distilling process. Ask them what % abv it is stored at for the UP. Molasses is added after the ageing process to bring back the flavor.

Something to think about.


QldKev
 

Parks

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Bundy rum is molasses from 100% cane. The typical UP stuff you get is aged in barrels with bugger all flavors from the molasses left in it after the distilling process. Ask them what % abv it is stored at for the UP. Molasses is added after the ageing process to bring back the flavor.

Something to think about.


QldKev
I preface this by saying talking about spirits is not against T&C, only talking about illegal acts such as distilling. This is information based on what a commercial and legal operation does.

Molasses is the last unrefined stuff once the good stuff is gone. Think diesel to petrol or something even higher octane.

Molasses isn't added back to rum at all. Burnt caramel is which imparts zero flavour, only colour. They age their spirit at 70% in the barrel which is where roughly half the colour and a lot of the flavour come from.
 

seravitae

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I don't know the answer to that Parks/Kev. It seems on the large scale it could be done both ways. However I'm leaning more towards Parks simply because I'm pretty sure there's some stringent-ish laws on definitions of things like whisky, bourbon, etc, and there probably is for rum. I don't think they could legally call it rum if they were allowed to 'dope' it at the end with molasses... but who knows, I certainly don't.
 

Parks

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I don't know the answer to that Parks/Kev. It seems on the large scale it could be done both ways. However I'm leaning more towards Parks simply because I'm pretty sure there's some stringent-ish laws on definitions of things like whisky, bourbon, etc, and there probably is for rum. I don't think they could legally call it rum if they were allowed to 'dope' it at the end with molasses... but who knows, I certainly don't.
I've done the distillery tour twice now and they gave us the info I said earlier both times.

So, they're either throwing us off the scent or it's 100% the truth!
 

QldKev

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I preface this by saying talking about spirits is not against T&C, only talking about illegal acts such as distilling. This is information based on what a commercial and legal operation does.

Molasses is the last unrefined stuff once the good stuff is gone. Think diesel to petrol or something even higher octane.

Molasses isn't added back to rum at all. Burnt caramel is which imparts zero flavour, only colour. They age their spirit at 70% in the barrel which is where roughly half the colour and a lot of the flavour come from.

I've been on the tour too and my mate used to be a guide for a couple of years. All I can say is look where I live, and guess where I used to work.

Some is cut back and aged at 70% (all comes out from the second pass of the still a lot higher), but not the UP and caramel isn't the only thing added back.
 

seravitae

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Cool, that sounds infinitely dodgy. Learn something new every day!
 

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