Buccaneer Bobs Rums
Buccaneer Bob. May 2013 (HD)
I've been working on a rum recipe to suit my needs for quite awhile now. Some aspects of it are very similar to other folks's rum recipes, but other aspects of my process might be a bit on the heretical side.
For instance, I am fermenting to 14% ABV, which a lot of people frown on, but I am doing an incremental feeding to pull it off (à la R. Piggot, The Alcohol Textbook, 4th Edition) so I have managed to avoid the situation of having high osmotic pressure stress the yeast.
And call it inspiration or a wild hair in the distilling room, but I poured a little bit of fresh dunder into a tasting glass of rum, and I liked it ... a lot. So I started making a "dark rum essence" from a 50-50 mixture of dunder-and-rum that has become a substantial component of my gold and black rums.
To my knowledge, nobody has ever come out and said that this is what they do, but I am convinced that dunder is the secret ingredient in a lot of commercial rums. Not only are they are using dunder in their wash, but they are also putting dunder directly into their finished rum, as well. Some of them, anyway.
Other aspects of my rum process are not so controversial, just different, tailored to my own specific needs: using autolyzed/boiled yeast trub for yeast nutrients because that's about the best thing I can come up with in this part of the world; less emphasis on a super fast fermentation and more emphasis on maximizing my distilling output because propane is a valuable commodity in a Third World country and large kegs don't exactly grow on trees here; and so on.
I don't have access to "fancy" molasses here locally. Theoretically I could drive three hours to the nearest sugar refinery and get a better grade of molasses, but because of logistics, storage requirements, etc., it just doesn't make sense for me to do it. So instead I buy "feed grade" molasses from the local feed store.
That's why my rum process calls for clarifying the wash, prior to fermentation.
Also, I am getting what I believe to be molasses gums coming over in my distillate that would really screw up my rum, were it not for the fact that I catch these molasses gums by dripping my distillate through a patch of medium-weight cotton cloth.
Some of you may not need to do that with the molasses that you have in your part of the world, but chances are good if you're using feed grade molasses, you should be dripping your distillate though a patch of cotton cloth just to see what's coming through. You might be surprised.
In spite of the shortcomings of my feed grade blackstrap molasses, though, I am still able to coax what I consider to be some darn good rum out of it.
I have documented pretty much everything that I do in my rum process in great detail, so it's rather long-winded, at something like 2,800 words. It may seem terribly complicated at first-blush, but a simple list of ingredients probably wouldn't even get you into the ballpark on my rum.
However, if you know how I'm managing my dunder, how I'm managing bacteria in my fermentation, how I'm running my still, how I'm making my cuts, how I'm blending, and so on, you should be able to get really close to duplicating my rum with no trouble. I'm not guarding any trade secrets here, so everything is right there in black and white, for whoever's interested.
My original goal was a one-size-fits-all type of rum, but I have come to see the wisdom in having a range of rums from light to heavy to suit whatever drink my family, friends and I want to make. A heavy rum will overpower many drinks, and a light rum will get lost in others. But with three different grades of rum, I always have one that suits its mixer a little better than the others.
Let me know if you have any questions, see any typos, or have any suggestions or differing views on what I am doing.
I have tried to work out all of the bugs in my process and also in how I have documented it, but this has been a work-in-progress for quite awhile, now, and I'm sure there will be revisions as time goes along.
If I do make any changes to my process, I will update the pdf file and keep the most up-to-date copy in my signature.
I hope that at least one or two of you guys try this thing and like it. I am really curious to see how this recipe works for other people with their stills, their native microbes, the molasses that they have in their neck of the woods, and so on.
Here's the PDF
And here is the discussion http://www.nzhomedistiller.org.nz/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=15