Distilling Rum with Love

Distilling Rum with Love

There are certain attributes that a person can have that will make them more likely to succeed as a nomad of the sea. I think that’s not just because having those attributes makes one more suitable for the lifestyle, but also makes them more likely to desire it. One such attribute is self-sufficiency.

Distilling Rum is Not Just for Pirates Anymore.

Home-made rum from pot still

I suppose my desire for self-sufficiency could have been born out of the environment I grew up in. I learned at a young age that relying on others was not a good life strategy. Whatever the genesis, the need for self-sufficiency has been a prominent theme throughout my life and gets all the credit for our decision to start distilling rum.

We started distilling rum in 2015. We bought our first still from the website of Mile High Distilling and have been distilling "Spirit of the Infidel" ever since.

Life, however, is not without its challenges. After installing our LiFePo4 battery bank in 2018, we sold our Force 10 propane stove and could no longer use the pot still, because it is a stainless steel pot. In place of the propane stove, we installed an induction cooktop, and so our non-ferrous pot still no longer worked for us on Cosmic Debris. To overcome that hurdle, we bought an electric still—An Airstill.

Air Still
The Air Still and its Product

The only ingredients needed for distilling rum are water, molasses, brown sugar, and yeast. When we set sail for México, we thought we were sailing to the land of milk and honey, for distilling rum. What we found, though, was yet another challenge. We have been unable to find molasses, in México, in the quantity needed for distilling rum. Instead, we make it now, from a product called piloncillo (pronounced pee-loan-see-yo), a raw sugar from sugar cane. Where there's a will, there's a way.

However, we found the end product to be quite different from what we were used to, so now we are experimenting with bananas and coffee in our washes.
Early trials are very encouraging. We will keep updating this page with the progress of our experimentation.

Upcoming videos by the Sailing Infidels that are currently in the planning stages:

  • Comparison between Conventional Pot Still and the Air Still
  • Production Run and Recipes
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