How to Make Rum

Rum 1Rum is one of the more distinctive alcoholic beverages because of its variety of flavors, and rum brands such as Bacardi are some of the more popular ones in the liquor store. It’s a big product in the Caribbean where most of it is made and plays a role in the culture of the West Indies.

It’s even found in the history books because of the part it played in the English slave trade. It was also one of the more popular items with the pirates of the 17th century, who frequented the Caribbean and the Indies regions.

Manufacturing Rum

Rum 2It’s quite difficult to manufacture rum on your own, especially if you don’t find yourself the owner of a distillery or some other sort of processing facility. Developing your own blend and mix for rum could also take a lot of time because of the number of factors involved in creating the final flavor of the rum. It is made even more difficult by the fact that there is no set recipe or specifications for rum and that the institutions that make rum predictably keep their methods a tightly guarded secret.

Making Rum – An Overview

Initially, rum was made from molasses, one of the substances that get left behind when sugar is made or processed. As rum-making developed, it has also become common to add other byproducts from the processing of cane sugar.

Once the molasses and other ingredients have been procured, the fermentation process is begun, commonly with the use of yeast. While wild yeasts can be used, many manufacturers prefer to use a particular strain to make the results more predictable. The yeast used is one of the major factors in determining the taste in the rum because a longer fermentation time makes for rum with a more full-bodied taste.

The fermented product is then distilled with the use of stills. There are two kinds of stills that can be used in producing rum – pot stills and column stills. The type used is another determining factor in the taste. Pot stills tend to leave behind more impurities in the distilled product, giving it a richer flavor.

The distilled liquid is then put in casks to age. Using different types of casks will result in different flavors, ranging from new casks for lighter flavors to heavily charred casks for richer tastes. The aging process can take anywhere from two to seven years. Many factors can affect the aging process, such as the climate and other additives (like caramel) that were used in the rum.

If you’re interested in and serious about making your own rum, be prepared for a major investment in terms of time and finances. You’ll find that manufacturing rum will be difficult but can also be very rewarding.


  1. I am serious about setting up a Rum distillery in a high sugar cane producing region of the world with a water purification plant and a processing plant for green fuels. The three part system is new to the industry, I would be very interested in finding the right Rum Master with qualifications to assist. It will be a project focusing on the 7th or 8th poorest country in the world and very rewarding for humanitarian reasons in addition to a fine product. Can you give advice on finding a qualified consultant in this field.

  2. claudia says:

    i am making my own homemade rum
    i already have the first wash
    ( the molasses, water and yeast) aka. the fermentation process
    what i dont know though is how to distill it
    ?? any advice

  3. build a pot still using a pressure cooker and a 15′ plastic toob

  4. i would like to start my own distilary in please tell me how to much will be needed for investing.what is pot still.please explain

  5. i live in guatemala and interested in establishing a new distillery for the export market down here. I see the marketing oportunity but don’t have the know how or the initial investment to produce it. I plan to start SMALL… Any advice on how to beginn the production process?

  6. Rich (FL, USA) says:

    Claudia, that’s awesome. Try Smileys Home Distilling. Look under Distillers and Parts. The Essential Extractor Pot Distiller-Complete $275.00 US
    Good luck everybody

  7. Distilling is pretty simple. What you need is a pressure cooker, 15 to 20 feet of COPPER tubing, a bucket of ice, and a jar to catch your alcohol.
    You need to coil a section of your copper tube, I suggest using sand as a filler for the tube so it doesn’t kink while you are coiling it. The tube should be around 1/2 an inch wide. Rinse the sand out of the tube when you are done. After you make that pour off the liqud from your mash into your pressure cooker. The lid of the cooker needs to have a hole that will fit your coil. There should be enough pipe left over after you coil it to put the coiled part in the bottom of you bucket to. Seal the long end into the hole you drilled into the cooker. After that you need to heat the mash to roughly 173* F. That is the temperature alchol evaporates. The coil is put into the ice bucket with the end of that poking out of the bottom so the alcohol will drip out. Use a hydrometer to check what proof you have.

    It’s not the best instructions but I’m not a teacher. There is probably a better way as well but thats how i do it at home for really small batches but you get the main idea.

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