Recipe Development Rig

Given I am soon to have a 300L, 4 plate rig with 22kW of power.

Would a T500 boiler with a Baby Crystal Dragon with a 4th bubble section be a decent recipe development rig for rum?

Or is a 30L kettle a better fit given it can have more power?

I have a 100L kettle but feel this is on the large size for developing recipes.

Comments

  • For aged product, my preference is to do recipe development full scale, as smaller-scale development isn't representative when scaled up (barrel sizes, still differences). Yes, it's expensive. However, it forces you to invest far more time into considering the recipe and methodology up front.

    Unaged product scales much easier I think, given similar still types and heating methods.

    100L is not too large for recipe development if 300L is your production rig. Also, realize you can run that 300L with a smaller charge as well.

    I wouldn't waste my time doing anything on a T500.

  • @grim said: For aged product, my preference is to do recipe development full scale, as smaller-scale development isn't representative when scaled up (barrel sizes, still differences). Yes, it's expensive. However, it forces you to invest far more time into considering the recipe and methodology up front.

    Unaged product scales much easier I think, given similar still types and heating methods.

    100L is not too large for recipe development if 300L is your production rig. Also, realize you can run that 300L with a smaller charge as well.

    I wouldn't waste my time doing anything on a T500.

    I had in the past few hours moved away form the T500 but considered a 20L boiler with 3kW and 4 x 2" bubble caps.

    Appreciate the candid advice @grim and that things don't scale.. I have a few (maybe 6) months to experiment before I move premises and commission the 300L still so wanted to get ahead is all..

    So far I've read the distillers guide to rum, been in contact with a yeast company to discuss various yeasts for my type of flavour profile and contacted a UK firm that supplies molasses to identify what they can supply. AND of course read plenty on this and other forums.

    I have made some hobby rum in the past and really enjoyed the process, such an energetic ferment, such a filthy still! rum certainly doesn't come easy. I have much to research and learn still of course.

  • to add, I have considered if aging would be required with the correct protocol and the ambition of a light bodied rum that would be coloured with cane caramel and spiced.

  • edited October 20

    @needmorestuff. You really need more stuff.

    I can't agree enough with @grim about recipe development time and getting to know your own procedures (and screwing up some times). I am on the back end of that period and have probably done over 500 x 200L ferments. Now my practices and procedures are down pat (in my humble opinion) but are no way near some of the professionals on this board.

    There is no substitute for experience.

    And even getting a helping hand here the fantastic knowledge base here you still have to do it yourself. One thing that keeps surprising me is the amount of questions you get from people when they are in front of your still or drinking a glass of one of your creation and they will say what about this, how did you do this, what is this process.

    I should say I live in wine country so when most people come to my house they already have a pretty good idea of making booze. I went to a parents party once for the school my kids attend and between the 60 parents. 15 were winemakers, enologists, and another 10 either worked in or owned large wineries. One woman was the head of quality control for the 3rd largest winery in Argentina. Its a tough crowd.

    And one more thing I would say if your going to get into aged spirits, that's where you need lots of experience. There is a point where the wood is just about to overwhelm the whisky when you need to pull it off the wood, and finding that point takes multiple attempts. Each barrel is different and ages a little bit differently. About 12 months ago I got 6 French oak barrels, three were over-toasted and dead, two were average but one had an excellent chardonnay in it before it was shaved and toasted and the light Irish whiskeys it made were something else. I have put two batches through that barrel and I am saving it for its best vintage.

    Anyway good luck Need more stuff. Practice practice practice.

    I would say go with the 100L. If nothing else your mates will like getting drunk for free or cheap.

  • @DonMateo said: needmorestuff. You really need more stuff. I would say go with the 100L. If nothing else your mates will like getting drunk for free or cheap.

    Indeed they will, indeed they will!

    100L it is. Thanks for the steer gents.

    In regards learning, experimenting - this is what I love. Bring on the mistakes.

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