How to make Dark Rum from Molasses
Are you new to distilling? Check our our Rum Distillery Kit. It has all the equipment and ingredients you need to make the below recipe.
You can also get all the ingredients for this recipe (minus the grain) with our Rum Distiller's Yeast Pack. We recommend using the Alembic Pot Still to make this rum.
Using 25 L (6.6 US Gal) 12% ABV Molasses
What you will need:
- 20g Distiller’s Yeast - Rum
- 12g Distiller’s Enzyme - Glucoamylase
- 50g Distiller’s Nutrient - Dark Spirits
- American Oak Carboy Spiral
- Still Spirits Turbo Clear
- 9.5kg – Black Strap Molasses
Note that OG, FG, and % ABV may vary depending upon the fermentability of your molasses.
Half fill your clean and sterile fermentation vessel (30 L capacity) with water at approximately 50°C (104°F), then add in 9.5kg blackstrap molasses while stirring vigorously to dissolve. (Note that the solution will become very viscous, so if it becomes too difficult to stir you should add more hot water, providing the total volume does not exceed 25 L).
Once the molasses is fully dissolved, top up the solution to a final volume of 25 L (if required), aiming for a liquid temperature of 30-35°C (86-95°F).
Take your Distiller’s Nutrient – Dark Spirits and shake it well. For up to 12% ABV, measure out 50 g (1.8 oz) or see the instructions on the label or the Distiller’s Nutrient – Dark Spirits page in the Distiller’s Range booklet for further measuring unit options.
Depending upon the sugar profile of your molasses, there may be a yield benefit in adding Distiller’s Enzyme – Glucoamylase during your fermentation, although any increase in yield will be offset by a reduction in the flavour quality of your rum. If you would like to try for a higher yield, you can add the Distiller’s Enzyme – Glucoamylase now along with your measured-out Distiller’s Nutrient – Dark Spirits, before stirring to dissolve thoroughly using your sterilised spoon.
Ensuring the temperature is below 35°C (95°F), take your Distiller’s Yeast – Rum and add directly to the fermentation vessel, fit your lid and airlock (half filled with sterile/boiled water) and leave to ferment at 20-34°C (68-93°F) ambient temperature for optimum performance and quality. (Note that warmer fermentation temperatures will yield fuller flavoured, fruitier rum spirit, whereas lower temperatures will yield a cleaner, lighter rum). If you chose to include Distiller’s Enzyme – Glucoamylase, best results will be achieved fermenting at 30-34°C (86-93°F).
Leave your molasses wash to ferment at the appropriate temperature. Note that there may be some foaming at the liquids surface – this is why a 30 L capacity vessel is recommended for a 25 L volume.
Once your airlock stops bubbling, this indicates fermentation is complete. This should happen within 1-2 weeks, depending upon the fermentation temperature. If using a hydrometer, the gravity reading should have stabilised.
Once fermentation is complete you should leave to stand for 2-3 days to allow the yeast and any other solids to settle out to the bottom of the vessel. Still Spirits Turbo Clear can be used here to speed up the clarification process.
You are now ready to distil your wash to make spirit. The wash should be siphoned into your still to leave behind the sediment. For best quality rum we recommend using a pot still such as the Pot Still Alembic Dome Top with Condenser. (Note that use of a Column Still such as Turbo 500 with Condenser Column can be used, but the saddles should be removed from the column to prevent the reflux action from rectifying your rum into a cleaner spirit and it should be set up as per the Water Distillation instructions, you do not maintain the temperature like you normally would). Please refer to the instruction manual for your distillation unit for detailed instructions on distilling your spirit.
After distillation you will be left with a richly flavoured but white coloured spirit. For best results you should age your rum on oak, either by filling into a 6-8 litre medium toast oak barrel (new, or used previously for rum), or by using the American Oak Medium Toast Spiral for a faster infusion. During ageing, you should taste your rum regularly until your desired level of oak flavour is achieved. If you wish, you can also add a spirit stable caramel colouring, to turn your golden coloured oak aged rum into a genuine-looking dark spirit.