90
molasses. Using the standard of sweets, Edwards' original estimate was accurate. Edwards argued that, 28,000 gallons of scum and 12,000 gallons of molasses produce 16,666 gallons of sweets. Maintaining the 12% principle, there were enough sweets to produce 115.7 washes, which, in turn, produced 34,720 gallons of low-wine. This lowwine, in turn, produced 14,412 gallons of rum for a ratio of 4.5 gallons of rum per cwt. of sugar, a full gallon more per cwt. than that produced using McCusker's model.
In summary, while Edwards estimated that a sugar plantation producing 200
hogsheads of sugar at 16 cwt. produced 4.5 gallons of rum per cwt. of sugar, McCusker devised a new method for calculating rum yields that resulted in only 3.5 gallons of rum per cwt. of sugar. However, McCusker's new model failed to account for the 3,500 gallons of redistilled low-wine. It also rigidly adhered to an average wash proportion on a wash-to-wash basis, which limited the number of washes to 100 and further reduced rum yields. Moreover, McCusker's new average wash recipe overstated the use of molasses and removed a considerable amount of scum from the rum-making equation. Although the new model corresponded well with levels of rum production "demonstrated" by Long in the period 1768-1772, a wash proportion standard based on the level of sweets would have been more appropriate.
Rum Yields and Rum-Making Efficiency in Barbados and Jamaica
In the eighteenth century, Barbados and Jamaica emerged as the two leading rum producers in the Caribbean. A comparison of these colonies in table 5-7 illustrates two contrasting approaches to rum making. The differences reflect distinct economic strategies that highlight broader themes of economic efficiency. Analysis of these two industries also offers insights into issues of rum quality and further exposes the weakness of trying to build comprehensive models of rum production.
Sugar planters in Barbados clearly expected to produce a greater proportion of rum and believed that high rum yields were well within their grasp. Ligon estimated that a sugar