Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Finnish Homebrew: Kilju

Since this is a homebrew site on Finn Hill, I thought it would be good to give a mention to Finnish homebrew named kilju. The pronunciation is sort of like "killed you," as slurred together by a drunk.

Kilju is prepared by making a mixture of water, sugar and yeast; and allowing it to ferment. The making kilju out of sugar, water and yeast alone is illegal in Finland. Adding some sort of fruit will let you avoid legal consequences, but kilju also has a strong association with the Finnish anti-establishment types, so the fruit is often left out.

Theoretically Kilju would resemble low alcohol rum due to the use of sugar, but the taste and color are apparently closer to vodka. Yeast strains known as turbo yeasts are sometimes used to ferment it out in as little as three days. Baker's yeast is often used due to its cheapness and widespread availability. If you use something resembling good sanitation, it should ferment out clear. That apparently doesn't always happen, which probably results in people not wanting to waste perfectly good kilju that just happens to taste sort of like ass.

Due to its low cost and simple process kilju is a favorite of students and alcoholics. Probably the drink of choice for nearly all Finnish underage student alcoholics? I haven't tried making Kilju and probably never will, but in case you want to, here are your resources: Underground, Mainstream