Rafael Arroyo’s Lost Papers on Rum

[UPDATE! I have Arroyo’s birectifier glass laboratory still and I’m working with it as well as bringing to life other tests he used. I’m even working with someone to build an automation kit for operating the still (which otherwise takes two hours of active time.]

But what is this all about? Through a grant from the U.S. government Arroyo set out to do detailed studies of rum production and he created new techniques in fermentation that revolutionized how rum was made. Even in Jamaica, which is known for dunder pits and muck holes, the leading producer, Appleton, likely favors the Arroyo method. I’m sure if you are here, you already know a little about Arroyo.

Not much happened with Arroyo’s work until decades later because of the timing of WWII (this was explained in Rum: Yesterday and Today), but everything was given an update with Puerto Rico’s Rum Pilot Plant and those agricultural bulletins are mostly lost as well. The RPP works are a series of twenty something bulletins and are in both English and Spanish because of how they were funded by the U.S. government. These documents transformed how rum is made around the world and were supposed to be shared and accessible, but somehow they’ve become elusive and even the most serious PhD spirits researchers do not cite them in bibliographies.

I have collected probably all of Arroyo’s citations from the journals they were originally appearing in mostly courtesy the bibliography of the late John E. Murtaugh who was one of the great distillation educators as well as a significant contributing author to the Alcohol Text book. [I should also note that German globe trotting sugar technologist, Hubert Von Olbrich, also lists most of Arroyo’s original citations in his Geschichte der Melasse, 1970. He only misses a few.]

Arroyo R., Circular 106, Rum Manufacture, 1938
[This is a block buster paper which I translated from Spanish. It is possibly the single greatest short read on rum production any new distiller can do.]

Arroyo R. , Manzano M. Jamaica Type Rum in Puerto Rico. University of Puerto Rico, Agr. Expt. Station Report for 1937-38, p. 26-27; rev. : Facts about Sugar 35 (1940) , no. 4, p . 38.

Arroyo R., Marrero F., Haravidez L. Rum Types and the creation of new rum types from cane juice. Report University of Puerto Rico Agricultural Experiment Station, 1939, p. 43-44, rev. : Facts about Sugar 35 (1940) , no. 11 , p. 37.

Arroyo R. The Aroma of Rum : The influence of pre-treating the raw material. Revista agricultura industria commercio; Puerto Rico 32 (1940),
no. 2, p. 284-286; rev. : Facts about Sugar 35 (1940), no. 11 , p . 37.

Arroyo R. 1940. The Problem of the Ripening of Crude Rum. Revista de Agricultura del Puerto Rico, volume 32, pages 588-591. [my translation]

Arroyo, R. 1941. The manufacture of rum Part I. Sugar

Arroyo, R. 1942. The manufacture of rum Part II. Sugar

Arroyo, R. 1942. The manufacture of rum Part III. Sugar

Arroyo R. 1942 The manufacture of rum Part IV. Sugar

Arroyo R. 1942 The manufacture of rum Part V. Sugar

Arroyo, R. 1942. US Patent 2,295,150. Ethanol Fermentation of Black Strap Molasses.

Arroyo R. Dilution Problem in Rum Manufacture, Sugar 38 (1943), no. 7,
p. 25, 26.

[I haven’t requested this because he covers it so well in the 1945 text.]

Arroyo R. Genuine and spurious Rums, Sugar 38 (1943), no. 8, p. 25 , 27.

Arroyo, R. 1945. US Patent 2,386,924. Production of heavy rums.

Arroyo, R. 1945. The production of heavy bodied rum. International Sugar Journal 40(11):34-39.

Arroyo, R. 1945. Studies on rum. Research Bulletin
No. 5 (University of Puerto Rico, Agricultural Experiment Station, Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico), December. [I have this but have not shared it!]

Review of Studies on Rum, 1946, International Sugar Journal, June 1946: 163-164

Arroyo, R. 1947. The economics of rum production. International Sugar Journal 49:292-294, 325-327. [part I, part II]

Arroyo, R. 1948a. The production of straight light rums from blackstrap. International Sugar Journal 50:150-152.

Arroyo, R. 1948b. The flavour of rum – recent chromatographic research. International Sugar Journal 50:210.

Arroyo, R. 1948c. Simultaneous production of light and heavy rum. International Sugar Journal 50:289-291.

Arroyo, R. 1949a. The Arroyo fermentation process for alcohol and light rum from molasses. Sugar Journal 11(8):5-12.

Arroyo, R. 1949b. A new rum distillation process. Sugar 44 (7):34-36.

Arroyo, R. 1949c. Rum distillery yields and efficiencies factors affecting them. International Sugar Journal 51:163-169, 189-191.

Arroyo, R. 1950. Advanced features in rum fermentation. International Sugar Journal 52:42-44.

Arroyo died in 1949 so a few of these would have published posthumously.

13 thoughts on “Rafael Arroyo’s Lost Papers on Rum

  1. There is a copy of “Studies of Rum” available much closer than Australia: http://id.lib.harvard.edu/aleph/005603695/catalog. The book isn’t available for ILL but supposedly they will photocopy books which might be easier than tracking down all of the other articles?

  2. International Sugar Journal is held at the University of Louisiana so those should be easy to get and arrive rapidly. I just requested:

    Arroyo, R. 1948a. The production of straight light rums from blackstrap. International Sugar Journal 50:150-152.

    Arroyo, R. 1948b. The flavour of rum – recent chromatographic research. International Sugar Journal 50:210.

    Arroyo, R. 1948c. Simultaneous production of light and heavy rum. International Sugar Journal 50:289-291.

  3. Marc David Revilla Schulze December 30, 2016 — 8:28 am

    Have you fi I shed your pdf?

  4. Hi Marc, what are you looking for specifically?

  5. Greetings, How is the work on the .pdf going. I would happily assist you if you need some help or perhaps I could just get a look at the copy? I am quite interested in his usage of dunder in the dark rums.

  6. Hi there.
    Arroyo never used dunder and was all about the alternatives. Hopefully all the links are solid on the PDFs to his other papers but they mostly serialize the book. You may enjoy this article which gives some comparison to a dunder and non dunder process: https://www.bostonapothecary.com/rum-osmotolerance-and-the-lash/

    Where Arroyo over laps with the Jamaican rums is promoting Schizosaccharomyces Pombe as a yeast which is still barely acknowledged. He was also not in pursuit of esters, but rather focused on rum oil which is still a barely acknowledged congener class.

  7. Thanks very much for your thoughful reply…
    Where can one procure a culture of Schizosaccharomyces Pombe? I am in the caribbean and will certainly make an effort to find some.
    I am not really sure about centrifuging molasses but I happen to be in charge of a 400l /hour alfa laval. I am sure that some plate spacing and some heat would have to be introduced.
    I am more interested in inoculating my dunder ( I wont call it dunder, how about lee’s) and then boiling it and using it as a ph correction. I would then think the addition of my rum oils on the spirit run.

    Would it be possible to get a copy of the Arroyo book from you or perhaps the segments dealing with rum oils?

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