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Homemade Christmas beer CHRISTMAS BEER
Traditional Finnish beer

This drink is supposed to taste slightly sweet. Increase or reduce the amount of sugar according to your taste. Note that because of the extremely simple preparation method, this "beer" has a rather bland flavour, not resembling true beer.

200 g powdered rye malt
50 ml coarse rye flour
100 - 250 ml sugar
5 l water
½ ml or less fresh yeast

Pour the malt, flour and sugar in a large and clean heatproof glass jar. Bring the water to the boil and pour over the flours and sugar. Mix thoroughly, cover loosely and let cool until the temperature has lowered to 37 °C.

Bottled beer Take a small amount of the mixture and dissolve the tiny piece of yeast in it. Pour this mixture in the jar and mix thoroughly. Cover the jar loosely with a lid and let stand overnight in a warm place. Stir the mixture every now and then. The mixture should begin to ferment within a day.

Strain the mixture through a sieve lined with clean, fine cheesecloth and pour in sterilized bottles. Seal the bottles with tight-fitting caps. Let the beer bottles stand in room temperature for about 3 hours before transferring in cold storage, a cold cellar or a very cold refrigerator.

The fermentation will continue in the bottles so it is advisable to store them in a cold place or else the pressure building inside the bottles may break them. If you suspect there might be too much pressure, it is advisable to open the bottles in a bathtub or some other protected area, loosely covered with a towel to prevent the beer from gushing out and spilling all over the walls and ceiling :-)

The beer will be ready to drink after about one week or two.

Note: In Finland, commercially sold beverages containing alcohol less than 2,8 % by volume are classified non-alcoholic. Store-bought beers suitable for all the family to drink typically have an alcohol content of about 2,2 % or less. Also homemade beer may contain a very low amount of alcohol, but when made following this recipe, it is still suitable for children to drink.

Recipe source: adapted from traditional Finnish recipes.


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