Molasses in the UK

Hi all

Does anyone have a ballpark figure for the sugar content in the cane molasses from UK Bako South East, priced £17.94 per 25kg. I have mailed them and their suppliers RAGUS with no reply


  • edited May 2015

    Hi @Ethan_Olic

    You should be able to work it out from the nutritional label, it should state how much carbohydrate from sugars per 100grams.

    The cane molasses from Holland and Barret is about 56gr per 100gr, so 56% by weight, have you got a link for their website?

    56% will be backstrap molasses, if it's into the 70's it will be the better first grade stuff

    I know a few guys, including myself who would be interested at that price.

  • Bit late on the scene here I'm afraid. I can offer the following however, which may be of some use.

    I bought 25kg of cane molasses from 'Bako South Eastern' back in May 2014, £17.94 plus £9.99 shipping. The label on the container it came in did indeed confirm the supplier as 'Ragus', but had no nutritional information of any kind on it. If you want to get some idea of the sugar content however, I can tell you that the first 23l wash I did, with 5kg of molasses and 2kg of white sugar, started at sg=1.100 and finished a few days later at sg=1.000. With that information, I believe you should be able to make some sort of estimate.

    Incidentally, when I went back to Bako recently to order some more cane molasses, shock horror, 'this product currently unavailable' it says on their website.

  • Just for comparison purposes.

    Lyle Golden Syrup is 80.5g per 100g (it is inverted sugar) and
    Lyle Treacle is 64g per 100g

    Both of the above are available in 7.25 kg jugs.

  • Wow, you got a molasses wash down to 1.00
    I haven't been able to do that. I assumed because of dissolved salts etc.

  • Indeed. For information, I did five batches of wash in total from the 25kg of molasses, each one the same. The starting SGs ranged from 1.090 to 1.110 and the finishing SGs ranged from 1.000 to 1.020. Like you JB, I've never managed to get this level of attenuation in any of my earlier episodes with bread or ale yeast. This time though I used 'Still Spirits' rum yeast, it's easy to get off the internet, because I'd heard it was in fact none other than the EDV493 variety that I've heard recommended time and time again elsewhere. The blurb says :

    "Our Rum Distillery Yeast is an Osmophilic Saccharomyces Cerevisiae strain especially suited to 50:50 blend of molasses and sucrose fermentations to 15%ABV. Contains complete nutrition for rapid fermentation. Producing full, rich fruity aromatics, it also includes amyloglucosidase enzyme for breaking longer-chain sugars for optimum yield."

    I think sentences two and three probably explain the attenuation levels that were achieved. The bit about 'complete nutrition' obviously hints at 'Turbo', the dreaded T-word. All went well though, no funny smells or tastes. All the same, I'll probably go back to bread yeast next, purely on cost grounds.

  • you should have just saved the trub and reused it in the next wash...

  • edited April 2016

    Surprisingly, there isn't a lot of data about using glucoamylase to improve the fermentability of molasses. I've attached a paper here that shows there is some merit. I've used it myself, but really haven't done a solid side-by-side comparison to understand what the real-world improvement is, or if it is even worth adding enzyme.

    I imagine, in most areas, the fermentation feedstock is low cost, so going through the effort of improving it with enzymes likely isn't going to change their operations much. However, on a smaller scale, maybe it can provide a little more bang-for-your-buck, especially if you are paying a high price for it.

    Enzymatic hydrolysis of molasses by Ghasem D. Najafpour, Cheong Poi Shan (PDF)

    MolassesBioresource 2003.pdf
  • There are some other patent documents I ran across that show some benefit of xylanase and cellulase enzymes, but these are much less common in our world. Seems that most of the patent docs focus on the creation of specific enzyme blends.

  • edited April 2016

    @FullySilenced said: you should have just saved the trub and reused it in the next wash...

    In fact I used new yeast for wash numbers 1, 3 and 5, recycled yeast for numbers 2 and 4. I found the recycled yeast produced the same sort of attenuation figures as new, so presumably there's enough enzyme in the package to do at least two fermentations. Incidentally, for what it's worth, after a year in an oak barrel, the resulting rum was no better and no worse than any other I've made, another reason why I'll be going back to bread yeast next time round.

  • Nearly all bread yeast is manufactured on a molasses feedstock - it's not such a stretch.

  • @Burtonian , did you pre process the molasses? Clarify it to get rid of some of the thick sludge that is sometimes found in feed grade molasses? Un fermentables can lift the final SG a few points.

  • edited April 2016

    I've never tried clarifying molasses @Myles. I'll probably have a go at it sometime just to see if I can detect any difference in the end-result. Reading around is, as you'll be aware, a bit confusing - some people say it's essential to do it, others say it doesn't matter. Incidentally, the 'Bako' product is catering grade rather than feed grade and doesn't seem to have a great deal of 'sludge' in it.

    Changing direction very slightly, whilst looking around for the absolute cheapest source of molasses in the UK, I came across Molassesfeed - J.E.Morten Ltd, who'll do you 1,000l of feed grade 'straight molasses' delivered in an IBC (intermediate bulk container) for £375. I make that 27p per kilogram! I might try getting in touch to see if they'd be prepared to sell me a smallish quantity just to see if it makes a decent product. They're based in north Derbyshire, which is not too far from where I live.

  • Couple of things:

    Buying in bulk is an awesome way to purchase molasses if you can. In my area, it dropped the price from $16 a gallon for fancy (all that I could find) to $1.05 a gallon straight from the sugar cane processing facility. One thing to keep in mind; one gallon of it weighs 12 lbs compared to roughly 8lbs for water. Seriously heavy shit. When I bought bulk, I could only buy about 150 gallons for my tote because that's all that my tractor will lift.

    I've tried the clarifying thing and unless you are set up for it on a big scale, it is a monumental PIA. I did it to remove propionic acids that were fucking with my yeast. The stuff I get now has zero additives which saves me the hassle. It still might clean up my ferment a bit but I'm really liking my end result so there's more reason to not do it.

    As far as reusing trub, I've heard that its fine unless you are using live dunder. If you are, then you will start a primordial soup for the next one. I dump and start new with every wash because I am using live dunder.

    Good luck and keep us posted.

  • I know a place that makes world class that said they mix 2 parts of hot water with one part of molasses and spin in a conical and rack liquidoff the 'sediment', then mixes 2:1 again before fermentation...

  • I think that's the way that a lot of commercial (Siesta Key) guys do it. I know that Siesta Key racks off the sediment before fermenting and Troy definitely is doing it right. I'm just not set up to do that.

  • edited April 2016

    Does anyone have a ballpark figure for the sugar content in the cane molasses from UK Bako South East......?

    If you're still interested, I came across the attached document that gives the information you were after.

    OR11 Organic Blackstrap Molasses Specification (PDF)

    Ragus Molasses Specification.pdf
  • edited April 2016

    @FloridaCracker said: I'm just not set up to do that.

    Why not? Just do it in a drum, siphon off the top.

    You don't need a conical.

    Looking to start doing this as the molasses trub post fermentation makes recycling yeast difficult.

  • Well, I have my system pretty much dialed in now and don't really feel like adding another step. I might try it when I have a little more time.

  • Ragus seem to have changed their molasses range now @Burtonian? I'm looking at using Bako Western (local to where I live) who supply "Ragus Cane Molasses Tm03" for £20.20 for 25kg. On the Ragus website, I can only find reference to "Cane Molasses". It doesn't mention OR11 or Blackstrap for that matter, but hopefully it will do the job. Apparently there are further discounts with orders of 10+ so I'll be exploring that option too :-)

  • @grim said: Looking to start doing this as the molasses trub post fermentation makes recycling yeast difficult.

    We have the steam eductor heating the molasses to 180-185, then adding filtered water to bring it down to about 110, stir and let settle overnight and rack off at about 90 and pitch.... you might want to pump instead of stir for a large volume... we are doing 2 50 gal sanitary drums now for 100gal ferment. moving to a 5bbl letina soon, if it works, will get a second one for 250bbl batches

    @FloridaCracker said: Well, I have my system pretty much dialed in now and don't really feel like adding another step. I might try it when I have a little more time.

    You need to see the steam heating and settling... works like a charm, takes about 20-30 min of time over a 2-hour period to do it...

  • @CothermanDistilling How has the faster/hotter been working from a microbiology perspective? The quasi-pasteurization helping?

  • zero problems if we keep it warm enough to ferment out in 3 days! (blankets on plastic conicals in Florida is kinda strange...)

    even stranger was using a heat exchanger to warm stalled wash back up to 93 using hot backset... then finally putting a 9kw three phase element in where the racking port was and wiring the phases in series to make a 1kw heater to keep one batch at 90... saved notes for next winter... here is the graph of that one:

    RUM 21a (BLUE TILT) @ Google Sheets

    Here is how the gravity looks when we hit it right:

    RUM 20a (PINK TILT) @ Google Sheets

  • Side note, we had a green tint in the spirit run when we had the infected batches, so if you get that, you know you are not making good Rum!

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