Friday, February 2, 2018

Who Puts “Muck” in Their Rum?

     The Jamaicans do., but what is this stuff that makes the Jamaican Rums taste that is unique to many of the rums that are produced in Jamaica.

Dunder Pit at Hampden Estates
     A “dunder pit” was essentially a hole in the ground, often deep in the jungle, that Caribbean rum-makers threw their distillery waste into—fruit, molasses, Stillage (what was left after distillation).
 “Dunder pits look as disgusting as you’d imagine.”    Once the pit underwent bacterial fermentation, it becomes something they call “muck,” the distillers would put a portion of it back into their fermentation tank. By the end of the fermenting process, the gross scent of muck would be gone and the rum would come out smelling like a fruit basket. 

"Thumpers" or Retorts of a Pot Still
    Here is some insight into exactly what makes up the muck.   Semi-solid materials settled at the bottom of the wash before distillation.   Semi-solid materials that are settled at the bottom of the wash after it’s distilled.   Cane trash–the field residue remaining after harvesting the cane stalk.   is the residue at the bottom of the still retorts or “thumpers.”  This is generally a hard and fast recipe for muck, but it is pretty much like a liquid compost pit, filled with bio-degradable materials.

     The Muck is the source of the esters that give the Jamaican rums their “funky” flavor that makes them so popular.  When you buy a rum from places like Worthy Park or Hampton Estates you will know what the muck really does for rum.