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How to Make Rum at Home: A Comprehensive Guide to DIY Distilling

If you're a fan of rum and have ever wondered how it's made, you might be surprised to learn that it's a relatively simple process. Rum is made from fermenting sugarcane juice or molasses and then distilling them to get that fantastic alcohol for cocktails or just over ice.

While the home production of rum is illegal in most states, it's still interesting to learn about the basic production methods of rum and the equipment you would need to start fermenting and distilling. This handy guide takes you through the steps of making rum, from choosing your equipment and ingredients to separating heads, hearts, and tails.

Choosing Your Equipment and Ingredients

Making rum at home is a fairly simple process, but you will need some specialized equipment to get started. A good sturdy brew pot, fermentation bucket, stainless steel pot still, hydrometer, and professional rum turbo yeast or distillers yeast are all essential.

You will also need cheesecloth for straining, an easy siphon, and several mason jars to separate the distillate. It’s important to make sure all the tools you’re using are clean, as any bacterial contamination can affect the fermentation process.

When it comes to ingredients, sugar and molasses make up the wash that you will be using as the foundation for your rum. You can easily use raw cane sugar or cane sugar juice to make rum, or even use a combination of both. Blackstrap molasses is typically used for a richer flavor, but if you can’t find it, regular molasses can be used as a substitute.

Preparing Your Sugar Cane for Fermentation

The first step in preparing your sugar cane for fermentation is to dissolve raw cane sugar and blackstrap molasses in boiling water.

Once the sugar and molasses mixture is dissolved, add the remaining gallon of water to bring down the temperature of the mixture. Cool down the rum wash to begin the next step of fermentation.

Fermenting and Distilling Your Wash

Once your rum wash has cooled to the appropriate temperature, add your rum turbo yeast or distillers yeast to start converting the sugars in your wash to alcohol. Keep your drink light by aerating the mixture, then pour the wash into your fermentation bucket. Seal the bucket well and store it in a well-ventilated and dark place for about two weeks.

During this time, you should be checking the air-lock on your set-up to ensure proper fermentation. At the two-week mark, you can use a hydrometer to check if your rum has generated the desired ABV. If it hasn’t, simply store it back for 2 to 3 more days for one more fermentation run. After fermentation, you can begin the distillation process to separate the different volatile alcohols found within the rum.

Separating Heads, Hearts, and Tails

During the distillation process, it’s important to properly separate the different alcohols found within your rum. The first 30% of your alcohol is known as the heads and contains volatile alcohol levels and chemical compounds such as acetone.

The next 30% of your distilled batch is the hearts, which represents the alcohol you’re looking for. The final 35% of your distillate is known as tails, which contain protein and carbohydrates from the distillate that you don’t want to drink.

You can identify these different parts of the distillate through their distinct smells and appearances. It’s important to isolate the heads and tails and throw them out, while keeping the hearts for optimal flavor

Aging Your Rum for Optimal Flavor

Aging is an essential step in the process of making rum. It allows the spirit to develop the complex flavors and aromas that are characteristic of high-quality rums. Aging also helps to smooth out any harshness or bitterness that may be present in the newly distilled spirit.

To age your homemade rum, you'll need to transfer it to oak barrels or glass containers that have been previously used to store spirits. Oak barrels are the traditional choice, as they impart unique flavors and aromas to the rum. However, if you don't have access to oak barrels, glass containers can also be used.

The length of time that you age your rum will depend on your personal preference and the flavor profile you're looking to achieve. Some rums are aged for just a few months, while others may be aged for several years. It's important to note that as the rum ages, the alcohol content will gradually decrease, so it's essential to monitor the alcohol content and adjust as needed.

Blending and Bottling Your Homemade Rum

Once your rum has aged to your desired level, it's time to blend and bottle it. Blending is the process of combining different aged rums to create a balanced flavor profile. This is typically done by mixing rums of different ages, with the younger rums adding sweetness and the older rums adding depth and complexity.

To blend your rums, start by tasting each of your aged rums and taking notes on their individual flavors and aromas. Then, begin experimenting with different blends until you find one that you're happy with. Once you've created your blend, it's time to bottle your rum.

To bottle your rum, you'll need to purchase glass bottles and corks. Clean the bottles thoroughly and allow them to dry completely. Then, carefully pour your blended rum into the bottles and seal them with the corks. It's also a good idea to label your bottles with the date of production, the blend of rums, and the alcohol content.

Troubleshooting Common Rum-Making Problems

Despite following the steps carefully, it's possible to encounter issues while making homemade rum. Common problems include off flavors, low alcohol content, and bacterial contamination.

If you encounter off flavors in your rum, try blending it with other aged rums to balance out the flavors. Low alcohol content can be corrected by adding additional yeast to the wash or allowing the wash to ferment for a longer period. Bacterial contamination can be prevented by ensuring that all equipment is thoroughly cleaned and sanitized before use.

Storing and Serving Your Homemade Rum

Proper storage is essential to maintain the quality of your homemade rum. Store your rum in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight and heat. It's also important to store the rum upright to prevent the cork from drying out and allowing air to enter the bottle.

When serving your rum, pour it into a glass and allow it to rest for a few minutes to open up and release its aromas. Some people prefer to serve their rum over ice, while others enjoy it neat or mixed in cocktails. Experiment with different serving options to find the one that suits your taste.

How To Make Rum In Mooshine Inc. Game?

The first thing you need, as usual, is the recipe. The recipe for rum in Moonshine Inc. looks like this.

A properly prepared batch should look like this.

Wanna try it yourself? Check it out in the Sandbox Mode.


  • To make rum at home, you'll need water, molasses, raw cane sugar, a brew pot, a hydrometer, fermentation bucket, yeast, and a stainless-steel pot still.

  • Sugar and molasses make up the wash that will become the foundation of your rum. You can use raw cane sugar or cane sugar juice to make your own.

  • After preparing the wash, the fermentation process begins. Fermenting takes around two weeks and requires yeast to convert the sugars in your wash to alcohol.

  • The distillation process separates all the different volatile alcohols found within the rum to create a clean spirit. Use a hydrometer to check if it has the desired ABV.

  • You'll want to properly separate the different alcohols found within your rum. The heads are the first 30% and contain acetone; the hearts are the next 30%, and the tails are the last 35%.

  • Age your rum for at least a year to give it its distinct smokey flavor, and consider blending and bottling your homemade rum to share with friends (but don't sell it!).

  • You can’t make rum in Moonshine Inc. so far, but you can try your best making different types on moonshine, vodka, brandy, and gin.

FAQ - frequently asked questions on how to make rum at home

What do you need to make rum at home?

To make rum at home you’ll need:

  • 6.5 gallons of water

  • 1 gallon blackstrap molasses

  • 8 pounds of raw cane sugar

  • Professional Rum Turbo Yeast/Distillers Yeast

  • Cheesecloth (for straining)

  • Easy Siphon

  • Several Mason Jars.

Is it legal to make rum at home for personal consumption?

The home production of rum is illegal in most states, so it's important to view any homemade rum-making guide as hypothetical. Check your local laws and regulations before attempting to make rum at home.

How long does it take to make rum at home, from start to finish?

The time it takes to make rum at home varies depending on factors such as fermentation time and distillation process. It can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months.

Can I use brown sugar or molasses instead of sugar cane in my rum recipe?

Yes, you can use brown sugar or molasses instead of sugar cane in your rum recipe. These ingredients can contribute to the flavor and color of your rum.

What kind of still should I use to distill my rum, and where can I buy one?

The type of still you should use to distill your rum depends on your personal preference and budget. Options include pot stills, reflux stills, and column stills. You can find stills for sale online or at specialty home brewing stores.

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