Sima – a tasty traditional Finnish homebrew

Here is the way our friend Saara of Endor makes sima. She says “It’s fermented, but not alcoholic, at least not beyond a percent or so, if that”. “First we have the ingredients: 8 liters water (not shown) 1/2 kg sugar 1/2 kg brown sugar 2 lemons (organic since rinds are used) 10 hops flowers 1 bottle pilsner 1/4 tsp yeast raisins & more sugar Boil the water, mix in the sugar, and add the lemon rind, sliced lemons (pith and pits removed) and hops. When this mixture has cooled, add in the yeast and beer. Let ferment for one day. Strain into bottles. Into each bottle add 1 tsp sugar and a few raisins. Cap bottles and store in a cool location. Sima is ready to drink in one week.”
Further commentary from Saara: “Here is the mixture cooling. No beer and yeast have been added yet. I’ll drop in the hops tonight and let it cool until morning. I’ll have to split it into a couple of pots when I add the beer and yeast. Apparently I thought a 9 liter stock pot would be enough. Unfortunately, I don’t have bottles, a capper, and all that. 2 liter pop bottles would work great…” “Here we were bottling the stuff. A couple of rinsed raisins in each bottle (I was generous since they’re a favorite treat), teaspoon or so of sugar (depending on bottle size) and strained into the bottles. “
Apparently bottled sima can explode at random, so might be best to use glass coke bottles or what we’re planning to try, champagne bottles with wired-down corks.


Stay tuned for a pictorial update of our “vacation” week. We’ve been working on Ryder’s new quarters (with a spare stall for any pony we might happen to find), plus trying to fill our new garage with hay for keeping a milk cow, beef steer and bull in good shape all winter. Not to mention the usual garden frenetics. The current heat wave is good for growth, but means lots of watering. We managed a break to take the dogs swimming at Birch Bay, and to sit under the seven trees of Seven Trees with a beer and relax. The heat has been hard on all the beings here, but food comes from sunlight, one way or another, so as the saying goes – make hay while the sun shines….

6 thoughts on “Sima – a tasty traditional Finnish homebrew”

  1. You had a pretty interesting recipe for sima here. I really like the stuff and was surprised to come across it in your blog. I am living in Finland but from the US (Montana). I have never heard of adding beer. I am not sure I’d like the taste it gives. But with the amount of sugar you used, I bet its good! I like my sima on the sweet side.

  2. yummy yummy…if it weren’t for all the work you put in to just get this stuff made someone could mistake you for decadent.I can imagine you spending a well-earned half-hour sitting on the front steps having a sima or brew, and someone driving by looking at your place and thinking, “privileged…”.Heh. They don’t get up to milk a cow before work…

  3. Not to take unearned credit – the sima recipe & pictures are from a Finnish friend who makes sima. We haven’t tried making our own yet, but soon!We’re hoping to get enough apples for a batch of cider though….

  4. Thanks for the great recipe~ works well… a little too well!Happy 4th July~ humans at Seven Trees…

  5. We learned this time around to add the priming sugar to the whole batch and not just the bottles. Slightly less explosive that way. 😀 The sima is ready to move from the bathtub (or wherever you stashed the bottles) to the fridge once the raisins float. The longer you keep it, the more reason to open up over the sink and pour off immediately.

  6. Sounds like our latest batch of milk stout. We must have not got the priming sugar stirred evenly, and some need to be opened over a sink.The raisins sure are yummy!

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