Rum is produced by fermenting and distilling sugarcane molasses or sugarcane juice and is usually aged in oak barrels. Rum can be produced using a variety of different styles of stills from small batch pot stills to large production column stills.
Traditional rum distilleries use a pot still with two "thumpers" or retorts. The vapor leaving the thumper has a higher ABV as thumpers are used to refine the spirit much the same as a plate in a rectification column.
*The color configuration of our stills constitutes proprietary trade dress, and is a trademark of Revival Stillworks Ltd.
SPIRIT RUN FREQUENCY
RUM STILL - 2 THUMPERS
-SUITED FOR TRADITIONAL RUM DISTILLERIES
-SPIRIT RUN EVERY DAY
-SUITED FOR DISTILLERIES WHERE RUM IS JUST ONE OF MANY SPIRITS TO BE MADE ON THE SAME STILL
-SPIRIT RUN EVERY DAY
-STRIPPING RUN EVERY DAY
-SPIRIT RUN EVERY DAY
-LOW CAPITAL COST
-STRIPPING RUN DAYS 1-3
-SPIRIT RUN EVERY 4th DAY
A thumper or retort is a copper vessel that sits beside the pot still and is used to increase ABV and define the character of the spirit. Two thumpers are typically used in traditional rum pot stills. The thumper is pre-filled with the tails of previous runs or with a combination of tails and rum wash. Vapor from the pot still is directed down into the thumper and allowed to bubble up through the liquid in the thumper. This action causes condensation and evaporation which rectifies the spirit creating rums unique character.
Dunder is the liquid left in the pot still after distilling a batch of rum. Adding dunder to the next fermentation helps to lower pH, provides yeast nutrient, and provides critical esters to ensure good rum flavor. Traditionally 20-35% of new wash is dunder from one or more previous distillations. The addition of dunder is an important step in achieving an authentic Caribbean rum flavor.
Internal or External Steam Heating
External steam jackets are an ideal heating method. They provide excellent heat transfer and make cleaning easier. Internal steam coils, or steam plates, are used when the shape and size of the still is not suitable for external steam jackets.
Electric steam boilers can be used for pot stills up to 1000L. They are efficient and a good choice for distilleries that don't have natural gas service. The size of pot still allowable will be determined by the amount of electrical service in your distillery.
Pot Still Shape
Pot stills can be made to suit the requirement of the customer. Choose from one of our standard designs or come to us with your ideas.
Spirit Head Shape
The shape of your spirit head can influence the character of your rum. A tall head will produce a lighter flavor and a short head will carry over more flavor. Elements such as expansion balls will cause velocity and pressure differences of the vapor which create varying amounts of reflux. A traditional wash head is common on many rum pot stills.
Clean In Place (CIP)
Pot stills, like other tanks, allow you to take advantage of CIP systems for cleaning. Remember that copper vessels may require copper inhibitors in the cleaning agents. It is best to consult your chemical supply company when designing a cleaning routine for your still.
Mixers are necessary for pot stills that distill on the grain. They not only help the heating rate but they help prevent scorching of the grain on the heating surfaces of the still. For clear spirits or lautered wort, it is not necessary to have a mixer but the choice is typically left to the discretion of the distiller. For rum, a mixer is suggested to prevent un-fermented sugars from burning on the heating surfaces of the still.
Condensers can be made in either copper or stainless steel. The preference for one or the other will depend on the spirit being produced. For rum, a copper condenser is usually preferred but this topic can be controversial among distillers.
Columns are sometimes used for making rum. A column on your still will strip some of the flavor from your final spirit while creating a lighter bodied rum, but you will attain a higher proof spirit more quickly. Many modern rums are made in hybrid pot stills with columns or in continuous column stills.
A variety of methods can be used to produce rum. Traditional pot stills lend themselves to producing traditional Caribbean style full bodied spirits. Column stills have been used extensively throughout history to produce rum, with some of the more famous rums being produced in large quantities using continuous column stills.
The collection and use of dunder for use in fermentation is also a traditional rum technique. Dunder helps to lower pH, provides yeast nutrient, and provides critical esters to ensure good rum flavor.