Updated: Feb 23, 2021
Molasses has been used as a sweetener at least from 1582, and is a must-have addition to the home brewer’s kit. It is the original sugarcane sweetener, and you will find it called for in plenty of cake recipes. It’s also a core component of rum, and is perfect for porters and stouts. You can also use it to de-ice roads in Northwest United States (seriously!) but you’ll need a fair bit more than our 14kg Bundaberg food-grade Molasses for that!
So how is Molasses made?
Molasses is a thick liquid made by refining sugarcane. The sugarcane plants are crushed to extract the juice, which is then filtered and boiled off, crystallizing the sugar, which is then removed. The substance left after all the sucrose has been removed from the sugar syrup is called molasses.
This can vary significantly by amount of sugar, method of extraction, and the age of the plants used. Light molasses will be more transparent, while dark molasses will look brown or even black, and be almost completely opaque. Food grade molasses has a minimum 40% sugar content (although our current batch has approximately 55% sugar).
What Can I use 14kg of Molasses For?
Aside from de-icing roads, molasses is primarily a sweetener in foods, where the dark, slightly smoky flavour can be desirable. In the early 20th century it was a very popular sweetener in North America, though it has fallen out of favour. Great for older recipes, molasses adds a nice full flavour to holiday goods like gingerbread. The strong flavour also makes it perfect for darker, denser recipes like barbeque sauce.
And of course, Molassesis used in brewing. The same dense sweet flavour makes it perfect for the brewing of darker, heavier beers like porters or stouts. You can either add it as a replacement for the sugar during the fermentation period, or add molassesafter fermentation. If you want a sweeter beer, add it after so the sugar content isn’t used up in fermentation, but the dark flavour of molasses will be present either way.
If you don’t already have a brewing set-up, our popular starter kits come with everything you need to get going, keep in mind our molasses for your darker beers, so check them out now.
But where is The Rum?
Since the 17th Century, molasses has been the key ingredient of rum, a drink you can now make at home with our distilling range! Again, if you haven’t already got a set-up, our Still Spirits Air Still Essentials Kit will get you up and running right away so you can start making your own rum (don’t forget to apply for a license with the ATO).
Rum is surprisingly simple to make, and you can get all the ingredients direct from 41 Pints of Beer.
All you need is:
And 7kg of Raw Sugar (get it at your local super market)
If you are ready to start, check out our distiller’s range booklet for the full instructions, plus recipes for other spirits like whiskey and gin.