This is a blog that will take you through the Rum lifestyles of a fine group of people that enjoy the fun and pleasure of fine rums. We will travel to distilleries, partys, and Rum Events to bring you the Rumstyles of all those we come in contact with.
It's one of
the most divisive areas in spirit making. Fermentation, by either wild or with
industrial yeasts, has become synonymous with the battle between all that is
natural, and the convenience and consistency of man-made machination.
For some, the thought of using "industrial"
yeast cultures to ferment spirits is truly faking it.They
claim that adding these yeasts, deliberately bred to impart desired flavors to spirits,
is a betrayal of the concept of terroir - the concept that spirits should taste
of the place the sugarcane is grown.
that the risks involved in allowing "natural" yeasts to carry out the
ferment are unacceptable, and can lead to faulty or weird spirits. They scorn
the idea that native yeasts are part of terroir, arguing that most wild
ferments are carried out by commercial strains resident in the distillery.
Comercialy Produced Yeast
forget that, like cheese, spirits are a microbiological product. The Molasses
and other materials get all the glory, but that isn't very fair.Spirits are a product of fermentation.The process by which yeasts turn sugar into
alcohol and yields energy. Afterward,
there's a second bacterial fermentation, called malolactic fermentation, that
exists in most spirits. This adjusts their acidity and makes them more stable.
tiny. We can't see them, and the only evidence of their activity is a steady
stream of small bubbles of carbon dioxide rising to the surface of fermenting wash.
But what they do is astonishing.They transform simple, sweet-tasting sugars
into something much more complex, a liquid that has the potential to be
profound, and which, with its alcoholic content that after distillation will
become your favorite spirit.
harvested sugar cane or molasses contain pretty much all that is needed to make
a great wash. They have enough sugar for yeasts to make enough alcohol to keep
the wash stable, and enough acidity to make it taste fresh and preserve it.
yeasts, a midcentury modernization of 19th-century pure starter cultures, took
off soon thereafter, especially among New World distillers. They took a lot of
the risk out of fermentation and, in the New World, where spirit production was
accelerating, the demand was for clean, attractive spirits commercial yeasts
promised distillers a much clearer route to this goal than relying on the raw
I'm glad that
wild fermentations are more common these days, and that there is a link between
the organisms that carry out these fermentations and the farms that produce the
raw materials. But I'm also grateful for
the sophisticated microbiological work carried out by yeast researchers,
resulting in interesting products, such as specialty yeast strains and even
cultured non-Saccharomyces yeasts for those who want wild ferment character
without the risk. Both are necessary, and in the right hands can help make more