Making delicious rum at home is an undertaking well worth your time and effort. All you need to begin the process is a gallon of molasses (available at many animal feed stores), a package of dry distillers yeast, clean drinking water, either a pot or column still to distill your spirits, and a vessel to store your great new homemade rum.
Fermentation-Your rum will be distilled from a fermented molasses and water combination known as live wash. Your wash should contain around 15% sugar content. Since most molasses contains about 60% sugar you will need to dilute it to a proper concentration for fermentation. After introducing your yeast culture, the fermentation process will take approximately a day and a half to convert the sugars in the wash to alcohol.
Distillation-The dead wash that results from your fermentation will need to be distilled in order to concentrate the alcohol spirits and produce your rum. Pot still distillation is the traditional method of rum making, but choose the still that fits your budgetary and production needs.
Aging-Aging your rum is not necessary, but traditionally rums are allowed to mature in oak or stainless steel barrels which will mellow your rum if you choose to do so. Since rum is a clear liquor it gains its coloration and many of its nuances during the aging process. Oak barrels that have been charred on the inside are considered the most advantageous but are expensive for the home distiller. Rum should be aged at least one year to allow its flavors to marry.
Blending- Many of the finest spirits are obtained through blending and this is the final step in the journey of rum making. As you perfect your own recipes and techniques different styles and types of your homemade rum can be blended to satisfy your pallet.