What Is Rum?
Rum is a specie of brandy, also known as Pirate’s drink, Barbados water, and Nelson’s blood. Rum is called various names by different people based on their perception of the spirit drink. The history of rum began with the Caribbean.
The Caribbean early rums were mostly produced with skimming and molasses, which are products of sugar cane. The process of making rum could be location and culture-dependent. Regardless of the different making processes, sugarcane remains the most important of all rum ingredients.
This article will be exploring the rum definition, alongside the basic and the deepest sides of rum.
How Is Rum Made?
Below are the steps followed in making rum:
- Harvesting and extracting the juice from the cane: The sugar cane is first harvested manually or mechanically before the cane flower. From there, the canes are crushed into fiber, after which hot water is added to extract the cane juice. The sugar cane juice can then be fermented directly or converted to molasses before fermentation.
- The fermentation stage: Whether the cane juice was converted to molasses or left like that, the next step is to ferment the mash (molasses or juice). This is done by adding some yeast to the mash, then keeping it in storage for 3 to 14 days, depending on the method of fermentation chosen.
Fermentation can be done in three ways:
- Spontaneous fermentation: uses the yeast and micro-organism present in the mash. The process is suitable for small rum distilleries and it is done in 7 to 14 days.
- Controlled batch fermentation: is achieved by adding laboratory-grown yeast to the juice. Because it’s fermentation by batch, the process is done in two to three days. This fermentation process allows distilleries to make their rum flavors and also achieve a consistent rum alcohol content.
- The last type of fermentation is also controlled, but the process involves continually filling the vats by adding more molasses.
- Straining: After the fermentation process, the next thing to do is to strain the products to remove any solid particles in them. This will help ensure the smoothness of the next process. If left alone, the solid particles can cause your product to be flawed during the distillation process.
- Rum distilling stage: To achieve a purer and more concentrated outcome, the fermented sugar goes through the distillation process. The distillation is done by heating the wash (fermented sugar) to collect the vaporized result. Like the distillation process in gin making, the vaporized contents change as the process continues. The first 35 percent of the processed rum is called the foreshots, which is considered extremely volatile and toxic. Do not keep the foreshot after collecting. The next 30 percent is called the heart, which is the part of the rum you keep. The remaining 35 percent of the rum is called the tails. At this point, you would start to notice an oily film on top of the distillate. You should not use this part in your rum as it will cause a flaw in your final product.
- Aging the rum: The decision to age your rum depends on the goal of your final product. It would most likely be a light rum vs dark rum decision-making process for you.
If you decide on light or white rum, you might not need to age the rum at all unless you want a different flavor derived. The result of aging would vary because of the type of barrel, the amount of time, and the climate condition of the rum location. However, using a charred rum would most likely deliver a darker and richer rum flavor, while the newer barrel will deliver a lighter shade and flavor of rum. The tropical climate can also affect the final product. For instance, a tropical climate will deliver a darker shade and richer rum flavor due to the reduction in the volume of rum caused by evaporation.
Different Types of Rum
You may have been wondering why the rum color you just had is lighter or darker than the one you took earlier. This is because of the condition in which the rum is stored. That said, the rum color is a unique feature of the different types of rum that we have.
White or light rum?
What is white rum? Just as the name implies, the white rum picked up its name from the light color it is characterized by. Often, people always think the white rum is less flavored and unaged. That’s not true; rum can remain white even when aged. To achieve its light color; after aging the rum in white oak barrels for some time, a charcoal filtration process is then used to remove the color from the liquor.
Gold or amber rum
Gold rums are characterized by their amber color. This color is often a result of the maturation period in wood barrels and the addition of caramel. The rum taste becomes sweeter and richer after the time spent in the wooden barrels.
Dark or black rum
Dark rum is aged longer than the other kinds of rum, and this is the major difference between white and dark rum. The agedness is evident in its dark and deep color and the sweet smoky flavor it carries.
This is the rum that has been blended with fruits and spices. With the additives, the rum flavor changes into a sweeter taste, and the color of the spiced alcohol changes.
Just because rum is made of sugar cane does not imply that the final products contain sugar. Ordinarily, no spirit drink should possess sugar after going through the alcohol distillation process. So, if you have been avoiding rum because of the major element used in making it, you have nothing to fear. Don’t forget to drink responsibly while at it.
We hope that you found this article delightfully enlightening.
Does rum have sugar?
Rum is a 100 percent sugar cane product. It is made from sugar cane products like juice, molasses, or pure cane sugar. However, after the distillation process, the final product contains no sugar.
What color is rum?
Rum color could be light, golden, or dark. The color would depend mostly on the aging period of the rum. This simply implies that rum does not have a single color.
How strong is rum?
Normal rum ABV is 40 percent, while the overproof rum may contain from 57.5 to 84.5 percent alcohol by volume. So, yes, rum can be very strong to the extent of even knocking out whoever drinks a huge neat volume.