FermentingOnce the vats are filled, seeding is carried out by use of saccharomyces cerevisæ yeast. In order that fermentation occur under optimal conditions, the vats are acidified to eliminate bacteria — the yeast doesn’t suffer and can still transform the sugar into ethyl alcohol.
For a period of twenty-four to forty-eight hours a slight bubbling develops due to the carbon dioxide activated by the yeast. It is during this phase that the alcohol and its aromatic elements are created, conferring their typical features on the finished product.
But the fermenting process raises the temperature which must be controlled: the vats are cooled by water trickling along the outer walls or by cold water circulating through integrated winding stainless steel pipes. As soon as the vat “drops” that is, once the surface is calm, the fermentation is completed. The strength of the cane wine is at this point four to five degrees — it is ready for distilling.
DistillingInvented at the beginning of the XIX th century, the distilling column gradually replaced the Labat or Privat stills. Each specimen, the pride of the rum producer, is meticulously cared for and is unique, bestowing upon the rum its very taste and the special aromatic notes.
The distilling process consists of heating the sugarcane wine in order to evaporate it and later condense all of the volatile elements: the alcohol, alcoholate, and certain non-alcoholic elements such as the esters and aldehydes. Hence the wine crosses the wine-heater to reach a temperature of sixty-five to seventy-five degrees Celsius. It is then injected into the top of the column while the steam is sent up from the bottom. Their paths cross throughout the process, creating a bubbling phenomenon Gradually enriched with all the volatile compounds, this steam, now in the form of alcohol is directed toward the condensers where it is cooled to room temperature. This is the rum known as “rhum de coulage” or unrefined rum
Upon leaving the distilling column, the rum is of seventy degree strength. It passes through a glass test tube enabling the distiller to control its alcoholic volume, limpidity and specific characteristics. Samples are then scientifically analyzed in order to evaluate its qualities.