Monday, November 19, 2012

Rivers Rum Distillery

Established in 1785, Rivers Rum is the oldest distillery on Grenada.

The process starts with bundles of sugar cane.

The bundles are fed to the crusher via a conveyor belt.

Both the conveyor belt and the crusher are powered by a water wheel driven by a diverted stream.

Sugar Cane Crusher

Rivers Rum has not suffered much modernization since 1785.

Once all of the juice is removed from the cane, it is returned to the fields as mulch.

The cane juice is delivered to the boiling house via a wooden guttering system.

In the boiling house the cane juice is processed into syrup by being boiled in a sequence of copper pots and with the addition of lime as a purifier and to achieve the proper acidity.

The syrup is then placed in a tank and allowed to cool.

After two days, it is pumped upstairs to the tanks where the fermentation process occurs using yeast from the atmosphere.

The fermented juice is sent to the distillery which has three sections, the boiler, the vaporizer and the condenser.

All of the heat used in the process is produced by burning wood.

The final stage, bottling and crating, is all done by hand.

Rivers Rum does not have facilities for aging in casks so all they offer is light or flavored rum.  Their rum has a very high alcohol content.  I would rate it one step above moonshine, but their distillery was a fascinating step back in time. 

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