Making dark rum.....

Most rum produced is made from molasses. Within the Caribbean, much of this molasses is from Brazil. A notable exception is the French-speaking islands, where sugarcane juice is the preferred base ingredient.

Yeast and water are added to the base ingredient to start the fermentation process. While some rum producers allow wild yeasts to perform the fermentation, most use specific strains of yeast to help provide a consistent taste and predictable fermentation time.

Dunder, the yeast-rich foam from previous fermentations, is the traditional yeast source in Jamaica. Distillers who make lighter rums, such as Bacardi, prefer to use faster-working yeasts. Use of slower-working yeasts causes more esters to accumulate during fermentation, allowing for a fuller-tasting rum.

Making rum is not difficult, this recipe is for 2-3 liters (0.528-0.793 gallons) and it takes about 2 weeks to make a basic rum.

  • Molasses or Brown sugar (5 kg or approx. 11.023 lbs.)
  • Water (20 L or approx. 5.28 gallons)
  • Hydrated Yeast (1.5 ounces)

Let's get started!

Rum: is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from sugarcane byproducts such as molasses, or directly from sugarcane juice, by a process of fermentation and distillation. The distillate, a clear liquid, is then usually aged in oak barrels.

Rum can be referred to in Spanish by descriptors such as ron viejo ("old rum") and ron añejo ("aged rum").

The process of making rum

  • Sterilize the fermentation vessel using hot water or good cleaning material..
  • Begin by placing 20 L of water in boiler.
  • Dissolve 5 kg of brown sugar or molasses in 20 L of water.
  • Cool solution to 30 °C (86 °F) and add hydrated yeast.

  • Allow solution to ferment at 25 °C until airlock stops bubbling. This should take about 24-48 hours for airlock to stop bubbling.
  • Once airlock has finished bubbling, allow solution to sit for 3-7 days, so the yeast can sink to the bottom.

  • Now siphon the solution into the still (leave as much yeast a possible behind in teh fermenter).
  • Once solution has started distilling:
    • Discard first 100mL (3.38 fl. ounces).
      • This is an overestimate and will contain all methanol, which is lethal when ingested).
    • Collect the next 2-3 L of distillate

    • Stop collecting once temperature reached 96 °C (204.8 °F)

  • Use water to dilute alcohol to expected proof. Depending on reflux still, solution can be up to 95% alcohol, i.e. dangerously strong for consumption.

Fermenting molasses


Rum is usually aged for at least one year. In many places, the aging time is up to twelve years. Unfortunately home distillers who make rum don’t want to wait this long to enjoy beautifully flavored aged rum.

Rum is commonly aged in in wooden casks made of bourbon or oak. Using different types of casks will result in different flavors, new casks for lighter flavors to heavily charred casks for richer flavors. It’s often blended to improve quality and flavor.

Light rums can be filtered to remove coloring, while caramel may be added to darker rums to perfect the shade.

Spiced Rum

Making spiced rum is a fun experience for the home distiller. It allows you to create the perfect spiced rum by aging the rum distillate (rum straight from the still) with a chosen blend of spices and berries.

Spices Rum Ingredients

  • 1 Liter of rum distillate (fresh rum)
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 1 cinnamon stick, chopped
  • 5 whole allspice berries
  • 5 whole black peppercorns
  • 1/2 star anise (licorice taste)
  • 1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 3 2-inch pieces ginger
  • 2 3-inch strips orange zest


  • Mix your favourite spiced rum ingredients as suggested above with 1 Liter of light rum/rum distillate in a glass carboy or wooden barrel.
  • Age at least 5-15 days depending on desired taste and strength.
Important note:

It is a federal felony to actually use this information to build your own still and produce alcohol. The information presented here is simply for informative, educational and game-use only. In no way is this document meant to persuade people to actually produce illegal alcohol.
It is ill advised to do so, but if you must, there are legal ways to do so