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Old 04-11-2008, 11:12 AM   #6
Edward Hamilton
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Join Date: Mar 2007
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Thank you for that interesting article Mr Fjeld. The effects of sulfur on the still in the whisky and rum industries are similar. The biggest difference however is that sulfur content of the raw material. For rums made from molasses the effects of sulfur are much more dramatic and can often be tasted as a sharp note in the finish of the spirit.

During the sugar making process, sulfur, potassium and other compounds are concentrated in the molasses as the crystalline sugar is removed. Sugar cane is grown on volcanic soil often has the highest sulfur content so the effects on the still are the worst.

Unlike stainless steel, copper is sacrificed in the still, so even in column stills made of stainless steel, there are usually copper plates or a copper condenser. In some cases, chemicals are added to the wash that form compounds with the free sulfur which can more easily be removed during the distillation process.

Besides the sulfur content of the raw material, how much the still is in use obviously makes a big difference in its useful life.
Edward Hamilton
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