“If you keep on drinking rum, the world will soon be quit of a very dirty scoundrel.” – R.L.Stevenson. Rum is not just an alcoholic drink but a way of life which continues to influence the entire world in much the same way reggae music has.The making of rum involved the ancient art of distillation and distillation apparatus. Rum is produced throughout the world and each region and countries have different laws and traditions that are used in its production, while the Caribbean is best known for their rum.Lets get deep into How is Rum Made.
What is Rum?
“Rum” is an alcoholic distillate made from sugar cane, or its derivatives like sugar cane juice, molasses or other sugar cane by-products. The base is combined with water & yeast and after fermentation if is distilled. Majority of rums are produced from molasses. Molasses-based rum is distilled via a column still; sugarcane-based rum is often distilled via a pot still.
Raw material | What is Rum made from
Without sugar, there wouldn’t be rum and for that reason cane sugar is important raw material for producing rum. Sugar cane juice or syrup or molasses can be used as raw material.
Molasses is by-product produced during the conversion from raw sugar cane to the crystallized sugar. Molasses produced by the first process of sugar conversion should be used as it has the highest percentage of fermentable sugar left. These are known as A- grade molasses and should have sugar content at least 52%.
How is Rum Made | Rum Production Process
There are two production methods – Traditional Rums and Agricultural Rums.
Traditional Rums made from a molasses base, a by-product from the production of sugar cane.
Agricultural Rums made from sugar cane juice then fermented and distilled.
How is Rum Made involves following steps:
- Fermentation – sugar cane juice or other derivative are allowed to rest, yeast in the air is attracted to the natural sweetness of the liquid, or yeast and water are added to vats. Fermentation occurs as sugars are converted by yeast into alcohols. It can be as short as 24 hours or as long as three weeks, depending on the strain of yeast used and the style of rum being produced.
- Distillation – Fermented liquid is heated in sealed vessel (pot or continuous still) to get concentrated alcohol.
- Aging & Blending – Distilled liquor is poured in wood cask to age. It requires to be aged for at least one year. Aging process determines the color of the rum. After aging different distillates are blended for consistent flavor.
- Bottling – The majority of rum is bottled at 40% alcohol by volume, though there are some exceptions, including overproof rums which can reach higher volume.
Types of Rum
1. Light Rum – also called as white or silver rum. Rums are generally aged in stainless steel tanks for up to a year and filtered before bottling.
2.Dark Rum – made from caramelized sugar or molasses and aged for longer, in heavily charred barrels, giving them much stronger flavors.
3.Gold Rum – also referred as amber rum and is rich and smooth. Aged in wooden barrels usually the charred, white oak barrels that give dark color.
4.Overproof Rum –very high alcohol content. Always diluted and used in mixed drinks.
5.Flavored Rum – Natural and artificial ingredients added for desired flavor. Flavors are infused after the fermentation & distillation.
6.Spiced Rum – Various spices like cinnamon, rosemary, aniseed, pepper, cloves, cardamom are added for flavor.
Quality of Rum
Significant factors that affect the taste, quality, color and viscosity of rum include:
- Raw fermenting materials – should have enough sugar content for yeast activity
- Method of fermentation – Natural and Controlled fermentation
- Types of yeast used – wild yeast, Dunder as it affects the final taste & aroma.
- Method of distillation – Pot still and column still methods
- Blending of various barrels of rum – It gives rum consistent flavor
- Quality of water used to dilute the final product – pH, TSS of water affects final product
Bacardi, Havana club, Captain Morgan, Hercules, Mc Dowell’s, Jolly Roger are some of the famous Rum brands in India with an alcohol content from 40-46%.
Despite its use as popular liquor, rum is used in many sweet & savory dishes and may drinks like cocktails and also have health benefits.
How Is Rum Made Video
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