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March 26, 2013
Last updated

How to Make Rum - Rum Recipe

Kyle Brown
Owner of Clawhammer Supply
Here is a recipe for authentic, molasses rich, pot-distilled rum, made just like they did in the colonial Caribbean islands. As opposed to some types of rum, this recipe is "pot distilled," meaning that it's distilled in a pot still, as opposed to being distilled in a column still. Pot still distillation creates wildly different characteristics than column distillation because more of the original mash is carried through to the final product. The recipe is also scaled down to 10 gallons for the purpose of commercial testing on a 10 gallon pilot system.

Before we get started, a reminder: Distilling alcohol is illegal without a federal fuel alcohol or distilled spirit plant permit as well as relevant state permits. Our distillation equipment is designed for legal uses only and the information in this article is for educational purposes only. Please read our complete legal summary for more information on the legalities of distillation.


  • 12.5 pounds raw cane sugar
  • 9  gallons water
  • 160 oz. unsulphured molasses
  • Yeast

Mash / Fermentation

Heat water to 120 degrees Fahrenheit stirring sugar in a pound at a time. Add molasses, a jar at a time, once most of sugar has been dissolved. Stir thoroughly while adding so molasses does not burn. For a more mellow, smoother finished product, allow to cool to 70 degrees Fahrenheit and add bread yeast. Aerate, then transfer to carboys. For a higher yield (but a more unpredictable finish) use "Super Start" yeast and ferment at 90F. Install air lock and allow to ferment for at least 2 weeks.


Distill using a copper pot still.


Age in a Bourbon cask for a more mellow drinking experience.

Again, distilling spirits for personal consumption is illegal in the US without proper federal and state permits. Click the "legal stuff" link at the bottom of this article for more information.

Kyle Brown
Kyle Brown is the owner of Clawhammer Supply, a small scale distillation and brewing equipment company which he founded in 2009. His passion is teaching people about the many uses of distillation equipment as well as how to make beer at home. When he isn't brewing beer or writing about it, you can find him at his local gym or on the running trail.
  • For the guy (jputt1973) that said iit’s legal in Aust and NZ, no it’s illegal in aust but legal in nz.
    Don’t comment if you don’t know

    Posted by Sandgroper on August 15, 2022
  • This is a nice site. I’ve been making, beer, wine, and no trying rum.
    I had pressurized chardonnay for years. And draft beer . My grandfather had the biggest still in Pinellas county Florida after WW2,
    For years. Was found out and had 30 days to get rid of it . The still is buried at sand key bombing range in the 50,s. I was in the truck.kk

    Posted by Ken on June 20, 2022
  • let’s try and see what comes out

    Posted by safari cedric on May 16, 2022
  • Isit necessary to syphon it before distill or can i pour it directly into still

    Posted by Alex on May 16, 2022
  • Bud it is legal in Canada to make it, just not able to sell it without proper license. Anyone over legal age can make it though

    Posted by on May 03, 2022
  • to guy that said legal in canada, no its illegal in canada, its legal in new zealand and austraila

    Posted by on April 11, 2022
  • it says it is scaled to 5 gallons but then calls for 9 in the recipe. So what is the correct ammount of water in this recipe.

    Posted by shane on March 28, 2022
  • I got it!

    Posted by Theresa on February 21, 2022

    Posted by Jekko on December 28, 2021
  • You don’t say how much yeast.

    Posted by on November 16, 2021
  • Please give me some guidance; what is a good %abv to ditule to before starting the rapid ageing process of rum with oak blocks?

    Posted by on November 13, 2021
  • I’m getting ready to run a small batch of banana/pineapple rum, using grandma’s molasses, corn syrup,brown sugar, and oats to spice it up a bit. Do you think it will work out,and or, have any tips or suggestions tha can help?

    Posted by Jason Simmons on January 26, 2021
  • hi just love stilling

    Posted by attie on January 20, 2021
  • What I’m doing the distilling of the rum, am I doing a strip run and then a spirit run? Or do I just do one distilling?

    Posted by Tina on July 31, 2020
  • I made a molasses and sugar wash and after 48 hours it stopped bubbling. What does it mean .

    Posted by Andre Liebenberg on June 01, 2020
  • News letter or books

    Posted by Dorothy Reece on May 11, 2020
  • I just ran a rum wqsh made of broiwn sugar and mollasses.half way through the distillition the achol ran brown..any idea why?? the pot temp was about 185.thank you

    Posted by frank johnson on February 10, 2020
  • Hi we have just grinded our home grown sugarcane. Made our usual sugarcane syrup. And we have 5 gallons left a want to make some rum. We dabble a little with wine making and just bought our first distillery. So hoping you can tell me the steps with raw sugarcane juice.

    Posted by Toni on November 28, 2019
  • I have a package of Fast 48. I was wondering if that would work to cut back the fermentation time. Also any tips on converting this to 6 gallon instead of 9?

    Posted by Ray on February 05, 2019
  • alcohol will kill the yeast when done fermenting all you beginners need to read about brewing its more than dumping things together

    Posted by mike on December 27, 2018

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