Last year we grew 4 kinds of sorghum in our new lower garden. Aside from making a great wind break, we were testing various varieties for alcohol (ethanol) production.
On 9/25/11 we harvested a few stalks to see what we got. I chewed on a small stalk and it tasted just like candy, very sweet.
We watched several videos on making sorghum syrup, but of course we don’t have the equipment. Here’s a cool video:
The most important part is that machine they feed the stalks through. Everything else is fairly easy to do small scale.
We didn’t find much for smaller scale processing, but somewhere using a food processor was suggested.
So we peeled the stalks and cut them into 1 – 2 inch pieces and put them in our food processor. We almost killed the food processor, those stalks are HARD.
As you can see here, we cooked the processed sorghum and then put it through this strainer.
Then we cooked the liquid down to syrup and we actually ended up with about a cup and a half of syrup.
Since we didn’t want to break the food processor and we were rather busy, we decided to put the leftovers in a huge old pot and we set it in the greenhouse to see what would happen.
It started to bubble, so I suppose one could just cut up the stalks and put them in a big container for alcohol. We just threw it away eventually since we didn’t have a still. It smelled pretty bad when you took the lid off.
I liked the syrup and I’d love to make more next season, but we really need some better equipment to process it.
We’re not planning on acres of sorghum, but between its use as a wind break, getting some syrup, alcohol and seeds, it seems like a rather useful plant. And it grew a LOT better than the corn.