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.
Richard Seale is one of the most knowledgeable rum makers in the world. His personal experience along with all of his research makes him one of the best sources for all things rum and the production of rum. I have found his discussions to be very well written and very factual.
I recently posted about those clever
Jamaicans and their Cousins process for super high ester rum, today I will
write about those clever Guyanese and their Wooden Pot Stills - the VAT STILL.Today we marvel at the two remaining wooden
pot stills but back in the day wooden pot stills, known as VAT stills were
numerous in Demerara.The pot/kettle
part of a pot still is unimportant (save for setting the volume) to the
character of the pot still.
Pot/Kettle Part Is Not The Still, It Is Just A Vessel.
Demerara's Double Wooden Pot Still
In a pot still it is the size and shape of
the reflux surface - the surface where the rising vapor has an opportunity to
condense - that decides the fundamental nature of a pot still. Reflux (the condensed
liquid on the side that falls back) affects the timing of the arrival of the
congeners in the final condenser and directly then the ability of the distiller
to “select” the spirit he/she wants from the wine being distilled. Generally,
large surface area, more atmospheric cooling, more condensation i.e. more
reflux.The material of the refluxing
surface is also vital because of the catalytic effect of copper. Copper
catalysis reactions which render unpleasant volatile sulfur compounds into
non-volatile sulfides which then do not distill over into our rum.
So the pot/ kettle part plays no role in
either critical part of distillation. It does get exposed to the boiling acidic
liquid and will eventually wear out and disintegrate making for an expensive replacement.
The clever Guyanese figured out that replacing the kettle with readily abundant
wood saved money and had no negative affect on the produced rum.
Stills Became The Norm
Today our friends in Guyana
promote a positive effect from the wood. Maybe. One thing is for certain, it
has no negative effect.Demerara was
also famous for adding the rectifier to their pot stills - that was the subject
of an earlier post.