The production of Rhum Agricole
How do we pass from the sugar cane to Damoiseau Rhum Agricole
Rum and sugar are extracted from cane juice (vesou) which is obtained by pressing the stalks of sugar canes that have been cut into pieces in a cane cutter. The juice obtained comprises 70% water, 14% sucrose, 14% fibres and 2% impurities.
The cane passes through a series of roll mills, which each have three cylinders, to ensure optimum pressing. The extremely fibrous residue which comes out of the final roll mill is known as Bagasse; it is used as fuel and supplies the industrial site with its energy requirements.
Bagasse can also be used to fertilise the sugarcane fields if mixed with the organic matter (vinasse) produced during the distillation process.
In this way, all the waste products from sugar cane are used profitably.
The pressed juice is filtered and sent for fermentation. Yeast is added to facilitate this procedure which lasts between 24 and 36 hours. Fermentation produces a wine known as a Grappe which has a strength of 4 to 6°. The next stage involves the work of the column still (tray column). The colourless rum thus produced is known as Grappe Blanche and has a volume of 60 to 80% alcohol.
This rum is left to mellow in oak barrels for approximately 6 months. During this time, certain aromatic compounds evaporate and aeration and homogenisation also take place.
After mellowing, the rum is either diluted with demineralised water to its saleable alcoholic strength (from 40° to 50° depending on the tastes of clients on different markets) or stored for ageing.
Rum stored for ageing acquires tannins and woody notes from the barrel to become Rhum Vieux or "Old Rum". A minimum of three years storage in oak barrels is required to produce Rhum Vieux.