German Rum, Dr Kurt Brauer, 1922

Brauer K. Deutscher Rum, Chem. Ztg. 46 (1922), p. 161-163, 185-186; Z. Ver. Zucker-ind. 73 (1923), p. 332-333;

This paper is simultaneously significant and a bit of a mess so I omitted a bunch of the tables (but you can refer to the scanning). It is dawning on me that I do not have Arroyo’s bibliography and I think it was torn out of the copy of Studies on Rum that I scanned. This paper, or the thinkers related in it, must have had a big influence on Arroyo and I know he tracked ideas that would come after such as Dr. Luckow’s improvement on Micko’s technique. Brauer uses Micko’s technique very prominently here. We also see the viscosity test in use and get a better explanation of its science as well as the sulfuric acid test. Then there is a funky reference to pineapple rum and a seemingly approved style of adulteration.


Deutscher Rum.From Dr. Kurt Brauer, police. vereid. öffentil. Chemist to Cassel.

Recently, extensive work by Mezger and H. Jesser (1) as well as Haupt (2) has appeared on the German Rum. As I have already done at the general meeting of the Association of Independent Public Chemists to Jena, I have long been before the work of these authors made investigations of German rum, whose publication has been omitted as a result of the war. Since, however, these works may have attracted interest from other sources in connection with the above-mentioned investigations, I want to make up for this publication and at the same time make some recent investigations in this field. The production of these beverage products to be discussed is carried out by a company other than that mentioned in the above-mentioned colleagues’ reports, namely by H.A. Wilkelhausen, which was then in Prussian-Stargard, and their distilleries as a result of the assignment said place to Poland now to Stargard in Pomerania and Magdeburg under the company Winkelhausenwerke A.G. are laid. At the same time, the following account is very remarkable for the history of the “German rum” as it is now. The experiments were made with the Ministry’s approval, and the director of the aforementioned distillery himself had been to Jamaica some years before to study the conditions there. Initially, the rums were made from raw materials supplied to Winkelhausen by the island of Jamaica itself, and partly by other plantations in the West Indies. At that time the company started from the point of view that the same product can initially only be obtained from the same raw material. In addition, however, rum had already been made in the domestic experiment, of German beet molasses. This latter product was already recognizable at that time, but still had an unpleasant smell and aftertaste, as will be discussed later. In between, it is well known that this product from beet molasses has also been greatly improved.

The investigations at that time, the result of which was delivered on June 18, 1915, extend to the proprietary firing of the company Winkelhausen, as well as to a product, which represented a real Jamaikarum, and which was brought in with customs seal. In addition, a rum made from German Rubenzuckermelasse has been examined for comparison. In these investigations, the number of Lusson-Girard numbers has been determined, which, though not solely decisive, is nevertheless of great importance for the evaluation of the overall picture; but these figures have also been converted to Jonscher’s (3) evaluation figures, which, as is known, did not take full advantage of the value of acidity and higher alcohols, since only a part of them are suitable for flavoring purposes , Furthermore, physical investigations have also been carried out with regard to the surface tension. These studies are based on the work of Prof. I. Traube, who considers not only the chemical composition but also the physical properties, in particular the surface tension, to be decisive for the assessment of beverages. Lately, this evaluation of the surface tension has also been taken into account otherwise, such. B. only recently in the works Holdes on Ole (4). Below, I will now follow the results of the November 1915 tests:

[Here we see the origins of the surface tension tests that Arroyo performed. Traube’s rule describes how surface tension changes with carbon chain length. Surface tension tests could imply significant amounts of longer chain fatty acids not captured by titrating acidity as acetic acid. Very old school. This paper is a pain and the ass to translate, but this idea alone may make the effort worth it.]

[There is a bunch of data that is too tedious to translate and transpose.]

As already mentioned, the evaluation figures according to Jonscher’s rule (4) have now been determined. Thus, the higher alcohols and the volatile acids have not been used at their full value, since they easily give them a higher Lusson-Girard number, but the value of the rum in reality, as soon as they are present in larger quantities, rather diminished than can be increased. For this purpose, only 75 mg are taken into account in the evaluation figure, while the other minor components of the cooking are fully taken into account. Thereafter, the following evaluation numbers result:

[more omitted data. please reference the PDF]

From the investigations at that time, it was concluded that the rum of the company Winkelhausen, which was made of cane sugar molasses, that is, made of overseas material but fired in Germany, almost equaled the true Jamaica rum, which was examined for comparison. This was the case both in taste and aroma as well as in the chemical composition, in particular the value of the esters. The Eigen-brand rum had at that time even an ester value of about 840, as even in Jamaica only the finest rums have it. From a physical point of view, that is, with respect to the surface tension, the intrinsic fire volume was very similar to that of the real Jamaica rum.

The importance of a high rating, in particular a high ester number or an abundant presence of flavorings, is important in a rum, because it is almost never drank straight, but usually in the form of a blend. Yes, it happens that one who is not familiar with rum, often does not enjoy a truly genuine Jamaica rum because of the strong and obtrusive flavor, when in fact it is not. It is therefore quite important that the flavorings are in such a high amount in the rum, that even a relatively strong blend still clearly their spec. Give flavor, so the rum has a corresponding high cutting ability. This was definitely the case with the own brand. In a blend, which contains only 1/10 rum concentrate, was at the Eigen-brand rum still the spec. Taste and the bouquet of the rum clearly present. This was also evident in the ester content. The results of the tests of the blends were as follows:

[more data I did not transpose]

The tastes and odor samples of these blends, which are best carried out in this form, were to be said at that time about the fact that the brandy of Winkelhausen possessed a pleasant taste and a not unclean aroma, and it was to be assumed that this rum produced in Germany was even more close to the taste of the fineness of the genuine Jamaican rum due to the corresponding long storage.

As far as the rum from German beet molasses examined for comparison was concerned, it was not as complete then as it is now produced, and as will be shown below. At that time it could be said that it did not yet come close to Eigen-brand Winkelhausen from foreign raw materials. It especially left it’s taste behind this and the real rum, because it still had a certain, not pleasant aftertaste.

[another data table I’m omitting.]

Briefly, these investigations indicate that the scores were not as high as in previous analyzes, but the intrinsic scorching had become the same in terms of taste and aroma; This was analytically shown by the fact that the content of higher alcohols decreased and still the Lusson Girard number was relatively high.

Due to the longer duration of the war, these investigations were interrupted, only to be resumed in recent times. The situation had shifted due to the unfortunate outcome of the war insofar as the company WINKELHAUSEN no longer started to make a rum from foreign raw materials in Germany, but to form a domestic rum made of domestic material. As mentioned earlier, the rum in Jamaica is now made from cane sugar molasses, while in Germany only beet sugar molasses is available. Now that the two sugars from sugar cane and sugar beet are chemically completely equivalent, it was natural to think that you can make the same good rum from sugar beet molasses, as in Jamaica from cane sugar molasses. The experiments on this are already old, and in the works of MEZGER and JESSER, as well as HAUPT, the history of these experiments has been discussed in detail, so that they need not be dealt with again. In earlier times, these attempts were not particularly successful, what was more, we were able to introduce rum as a result of our then good exchange rates [my guess of Valutastandes]. In the post-war period, however, the need arose all the more to produce rum inland and from domestic material. The procedure, which was taken by the company WINKELHAUSEN, similar to that of HÜNLICH to the rum distillery in Jamaica. Since this has already been described several times in the other mentioned works, it should be mentioned only briefly that in Jamaica the juice pressed from sugar cane is heated, whereby with the foam a larger part of secondary components, the so-called skimmings, excrete. These skimmings are now mixed with the molasses remaining from the sugar cane even after the sugar has crystallized, after the skimmings have been subjected to a special fermentation. Furthermore, the residue (vinasse) from previous rum distillations is added, which is known as the name “Dunder” is called. The mixture of these three components, so Skimmings, molasses and Dunder, are now fermented and distilled, so subjected to the distillation by means of simple alembic apparatus. Thus, according to the official investigations of the German Reich Treasury, the Jamaica rum is produced as follows: A mash is applied with 500 gallons. Dunder, 300 gallons. Skimmings, 100 gall. Molasses and 100 gallons. Water.

Similarly, now the German rum from the beet sugar molasses is made. There are two separate fermentations made, the main fermentation is an acid upper yeast fermentation. The main value is also placed on obtaining a good fertilizer from nitrogen-free material, which is grown in particularly heated rooms and subjected to different types of fermentation, such. B. a more butyric acid bacteria fermentation, then again a formation of other organic acids and esters, etc. The two end products of the two fermentation processes are distilled together, as happens in the tropical countries. In this way, as described in the works of MEZGER and JESSER as well as HAUPT, a product has been achieved independently of the trials of the company HÜNLICH, which represents a great advance in our fermentation industry and above all a special advance compared to the above-mentioned first attempts several years ago to produce German rum from beet sugar molasses. How difficult the task was to produce a rum by fermentation is already clear from GABER’s words:

“It is not too much to say that cleverly portraying rum artificially is one of the most difficult tasks in the art of making liquors, and the greatest attention is paid to all work in this field to produce a useful product that really satisfies a connoisseur of the real product. The products that are now so often sold under the name of rum are, in most cases, nothing short of successful imitations that can only satisfy those who do not know how genuine rum tastes.”

[skipping a bunch of stuff]


(7) We have found that an even better evaluation of the results of the distillation according to Micko can be found if the various fractions collected are left for a few days; The alcohol lingers, but strangely, it does not contain the aromatic substances, which on the contrary are much more noticeable. [this note on Micko’s technique was a foot note]

and aldehydes does not show much difference. A greater difference exists only in the content of higher alcohols, but which, as already mentioned above, is not to be ascribed the decisive importance as the aldehydes and esters. Accordingly, the so-called congener coefficient (Lusson-Girard number) of German rum is relatively high and comes close to the average numbers for real Jamaica rum, as stated in the literature, even if it is not quite as high as in the examined simultaneously Jamaica rum. Both types of rum reach the figures of those products which in French trade were called “type supérieur”. Similarly, the German Rum behaves in the fractional distillation of MICKO; Here, too, much resemblance to the real Jamaica rum was found, in that the first fractions were clearly ester-containing, but the middle ones had no odorous substances. A difference and distinguishing feature of the German rum compared to the real rum, however, is that in the last fractions the typical flavorings are missing. The taste and smell test, which was carried out by me but also by different people, showed on average that the German rum quite rum-like and tastes good and also here is similar to the real rum, although he does not even match the best varieties of the same in taste, but the cheaper varieties of the same quite well achieved, it should be noted that the value of today available cheap varieties of real Jamaica rums still almost three times as expensive as the German Rum, so that one is actually better in the reference of German rum, since the only very few of the world’s first-class varieties of real Jamaican. It must also be borne in mind that according to the information given to me, the true Jamaica rum has been stored for a long time, whereas the German rum is a fresh product. It is to be assumed, however, that the smell and taste of German rum will be even closer to genuine rum when stored for a long time; In this respect, I disagree with Haupt, which does not attach any importance to storage in rum. Even according to the literature (8) storage seems to be of great importance. After that, young rum is colorless, rough and harsh and receives color and flowers only after prolonged storage in oak barrels. Incidentally, the effect of time should also occasionally be replaced by the addition of pineapple juice and staining with caramel even in Jamaica. MERCK’s Lexicon of Goods (9 [1919]) contains the following remark in this regard:

“The finest taste is created only by prolonged storage, while young rum tastes rough and pungent, strongly intoxicating and therefore in the English colonies the name Mordteufel [kill devil] leads. Incidentally, it is then added to the real rum in the distillation, with the exception of sweet-smelling herbs and bark, or after the same pineapple schnitzel in the barrels.”

If the influence of storage on German rum was finally proved by long storage experiments, it must be assumed on the basis of all other experience that further conversions take place during storage, and thus the pervasive connotation and the like changes and transforms.

It should also be mentioned that a personal visit to the Winkelhausen factory in Magdeburg showed that the production of German rum actually took place in the manner mentioned above and that the product was not obtained by artificial essences, but was a pure fermentation product. In the midst of the factory, a few samples were picked out indiscriminately, and in turn subjected to a detailed examination in my institute, which showed the following result, which for the sake of completeness was also listed here.

1. Fraction Strong after estery sweet
2.                   slightly sweet smell
3.                   slightly aromatic smell
4.                   likewise
5.                   only very faint smell
6.                   “after fermentation substances” [perhaps fusel oil fraction?]
7.                   slightly aromatic smell of fermentation substances
8.                  cloudy, clear smell of fermentation substances (butyric acid)

In the MICKO distillation, he also behaves differently than the previously reviewed rum, in which the last fractions this time still had odors, in which he compared to the previously reviewed product closer to the real rum, although the last fractions are not so pleasantly sweet smelt like the real rum (10).

The examination by concentrated Sulfuric acid by adding 4 cc concentrated Sulfuric acid to 10 cc of rum showed that this German rum still showed a clear aroma after 24 h, whereby it differs from artificial products and equals the real rum. Artificial essences could not be proven in any of the samples. The tastes and odor samples are the same as those of the previously tested samples, but the flavor was not quite as strong as in the previously tested sample.

[this test was first introduced to me by Arroyo, but here we are seeing it was known in 1922]

As far as a comparison with HÜNLICH’s product is concerned, this has not been examined by me. However, on the occasion of the general meeting of the ASSOCIATED PUBLIC CHEMIST in Jena, I had the opportunity to learn about this product by tasting it. As I argued in the discussion (11), I found this product weaker in flavor than true rum and also weaker than the samples of the above-mentioned German rum, although at first glance a less strong flavor appears pleasant, it should be noted that the real rum also has a very strong flavor and therefore, like most rum, is enjoyed in the form of the blend, so it is more of an advantage, as mentioned earlier, if the flavor of the varieties I studied is stronger because of it. This also explains why the German rums of the company WINKELHAUSEN which I have examined have a higher Lusson-Girard number in general than those of MEZGER and JESSER as well as of HEAD.

As far as the description is concerned, I am of the opinion that there is no objection to the term ‘German rum’ for this fermented product because it is not a substitute but a product which is quite similar to that used in the Homeland of real Rum is made, only that German raw materials are related, which is sufficiently expressed by the term “German Rum”. It is therefore by no means a Rumersatz or a so-called. “FaçonRum”, which latter is only a purely artificial product. The present German rum can therefore not be denied the term “German rum” as a pure fermentation product.

In summary, it should be noted that the German rum is really an advance in the fermentation industry and contributes to make us independent of foreign countries in this regard.

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