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that the distillation of an average 1,200-gallon wash produced 300 gallons of a poor quality weak spirit called low-wine. The process was repeated making a total of 600 gallons of low-wine. Distillers returned 70 gallons of "weaker spirit" to the low-wine butt for the subsequent distillation while the remaining 530 gallons of low-wine was re-distilled in a smaller alembic, specifically made for the re-distillation of low-wine, to produce 220 gallons of proof rum containing 50% pure alcohol. However, in the final analysis, Edwards slightly increased the rate of rum yielded to 113 gallons of rum per 1,200-gallon wash, rather than 110 gallons. "Thus, two hundred and twenty gallons of proof rum are, in fact, made from 530 gallons of low wine; or about 113 gallons of rum from one thousand two hundred of wash." Using Edwards' figures for the availability of scum and molasses, and maintaining the principle of 12% sweets, there were enough sweets to make 115.7 washes. Edwards concluded that this level of sweets made 34,720 gallons of low-wine, which was re-distilled to produce 14,412 gallons of rum for a ratio of 4.5 gallons of rum per cwt. of sugar.
However, some problems arose when Edwards calculated rum production at the plantation level. According to Edwards, good soils produced rich sugar canes capable of producing 82 gallons of rum per 16 cwt. hogshead of sugar. Edwards' plantation, therefore, would have produced 16,400 gallons of rum, or 5.1 gallons of rum per cwt. of sugar. However, Edwards believed that 200 gallons of rum per three hogsheads of 16 cwt. sugar was more typical. This estimate produced 13,333 gallons of rum, or 4.2 gallons of rum per cwt. of sugar. Yet, as noted above, the wash model Edwards constructed based on the availability of scum and molasses produced 14,412 gallons of rum for a ratio of 4.5 gallons of rum per cwt. of sugar.
In the only modern study to seriously address colonial rum making in the New
World, economic historian John McCusker designed a new system for calculating levels of rum production. McCusker developed models for each Caribbean island and North