Sorghum molasses was traditionally used as a substitute for sugar, especially in Southern states. Today, however, there are very few producers of sorghum molasses. Most sorghum molasses are made by families, and are used for personal consumption. There are very few delis and grocery stores today that carry sorghum molasses. If you want to create your own sorghum molasses, however, here are some steps that you can follow.
- Build the fire. First of all, you need to create a wood fire in your backyard. When making sorghum, it is best to use wood fire just as how the molasses was traditionally made in the past. Wood fire has a bigger flame that works well with the large metal evaporator pans that are used for making sorghum molasses. If you choose to use a stove, make sure that your stove is large enough to carry the evaporator pan. It is best to cook the sorghum outdoors, too, because you will need to thicken the sorghum juice, which will take hours and which can leave a stain in your kitchen walls.
- Bring the juice to a boil. After building your small wood fire, the next step is to take the evaporator pan and add the sorghum juice. Evaporator pans usually have various compartments or pockets inside them, so that you can make the sorghum in batches. If you don’t have an evaporator pan, however, you can simply use a very large stock pot to create one large batch of molasses. Sorghum juice is very rare as well, but you can sometimes buy these from online delis. Allow the juice to boil, which will take around ten to thirty minutes depending on the size of the pan and the fire.
- Simmer. Now that your sorghum juice has come to a boil, reduce the firewood so that the juice just simmers. Do not put the lid in the evaporating pan, so that as much steam can get out as possible. This will help to dry out the juice very quickly, so that your molasses will finish cooking faster. Usually, the simmering stage will last for around two to three hours, depending on how large your pot is.
- Skim the skin. As you simmer the molasses, you need to check the consistency of the liquid. At first, the sorghum juice will look cloudy and thick. But, it should eventually clear up and get a dark brown color. When it is as clear as honey, this means that the sorghum molasses is already done cooking. Throughout the simmering process, a layer of skin will form at the top. You need to use a ladle to remove the skin and keep the sorghum molasses clean.
Once the molasses has formed, remove the evaporator pan from the heat
and allow to cold down. Once the sorghum molasses has cooled down, you
can use a large ladle to spoon out the molasses and transfer them into
bottles. The sorghum molasses will last for up to several months,
especially when stored in a cool dry place or a refrigerator.