Sima is a Finnish drink made from honey and/or other sweeteners, lemons, and yeast. It only takes a couple days to a week to make this sweet, fizzy, barely alcoholic beverage that is very tasty! My friend shared with me a more "traditional" way of making it but I modified it for use with home brewing equipment since her way of doing it could cause exploding bottles if not done right. What follows is my version of Sima and pics taken throughout the process.
After it was chilled, I poured some to enjoy :) (note the carbonation)
· 14 cups of water
· 2 whole lemons (sliced)
· 1 cup raw wildflower honey (I used Naked Wild Honey brand)
· 1 cup dark brown sugar
· 2 - 1 oz boxes of raisins (I used golden raisins because that's what I had on hand)
· dry yeast (any kind will work but I used ½ packet of Lalvin EC-1118 because that's what I had on hand, it really sped up the process too!)
Bring 14 cups of water to a boil, remove from heat and stir in the sliced lemons, brown sugar, and one box of raisins.
Wait till the water temp gets below 160F to add the honey. Let the mixture sit and cool.
Rehydrate your yeast according to package directions (you can dry pitch too but I prefer to rehydrate first).
Once the lemon/honey/water/sugar mixture has cooled to below 80F, transfer it to the carboy (I used a 1 gal and it was almost too small but it does work!) and shake vigorously to aerate.
Pitch your yeast, set up your airlock, and let it sit in a dark area overnight (or at least 8 hrs).
The next morning (or after 8+ hours has passed) rack to a new carboy for "secondary" fermentation and add the remaining box of raisins. Set up your airlock and let is sit in a dark area, checking in on it at least once a day.
Once the raisins have all floated to the top (the time it takes will vary based on the yeast you used) it is ready to cap/cork, refrigerate, and enjoy :) You can let it go for day or two more after the raisins float but I wouldn't let it go much longer since the goal isn't to make a strong alcoholic beverage but rather just a fizzy, tasty, refreshing beverage. Whenever you decide to cap/cork it, make sure to refrigerate soon after to cold crash the yeast and stop fermentation so you don't explode your carboy.
Make sure you drink it within a week because since there is such a low alcohol content the beverage could easily mold or get funky.
The Night it was made
The Next Morning
After it was racked for secondary ferment
After the raisins all floated (it only took a few h ours with the EC-1118 yeast lol)
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