View Full Version : Mjöd/sima season

21-04-04, 21:31
April 30th and 1st of May are nearing. The Valborgsmässoafton/Vappuaatto and Valborgsmässodagen/Vapun päivä. This is the time when spring is officially here in the whole of Scandinavia (even though we sometimes get snowshowers on the very days).

It is a tradition to drink the wikings party beverage numer one: mjöd (or sima in Finnish.(

You can buy it at any food store which is not recommendable or you can make it your self, which almost everybody does. Is is easy:

Boil one gallon of water. Put about one pound of brown sugar in a bucket together with oune pound of white sugar. Pour the hot water into the bucket.

Stir the water until all the sugar has dissolved into it. Then pour one gallon of cold water into the bucket. Add the juice from 2-3 lemons. Finally add a couple of teaspoons of yeast. Put a loose fitting lid on the bucket and keep it 3-4 days in room temperature.

After that the mjöd has fermented somewhat. Then you pour into bottles with tight corks. Empty Coke bottles are fine. Before you close the bottles you add a teaspoon of sugar and a few raisins.

The fermentation continues in the seald bottles and create carbon dioxide (bubbles).

At first the raisins drop to the bottom of the bottles. after a while the float up to the surface and then they drop again and float up.

Now you put the bottles into your referigerator for a couple of days. The fermenting stops and the excessive yeast gathers on the bottom of the bottles. The mjöd becomes clearer and NOW you drink it.

Be careful when you open the bottle. There is pressure in it and you can get a full champagne effect with half the content in the ceiling.

Due to the fermentation the mjod contain a small amount of alcohol, but so little that it is fit even for children to drink.

Adding more sugar and more yeast and using more time you can of course brew something quite intoxicating, more wiking style. But I think that it's not worth it due to the gigantic hangover it probably creates.

Glada Vappen/Hauskaa Vappua


Gita Wiklund
24-04-04, 20:24
Hej Sune,

Tack för receptet, har önskat ett länge!

It brings back good memories to me from my childhood. Try this! It tastes good and is easy to make.


June Pelo
24-04-04, 20:44
Here's an easy recipe from my Finnish cookbook:

5 liters water
2 lemons
1/4 kilograms granulated sugar
1/4 kilograms brown sugar
2 deciliter syrup
1/4 tsp fresh yeast or pinch of dried yeast
(1 bottle of beer)

Peel lemons taking off rind and discarding white layer. Cut lemon and peel into slices. Place lemon and sugar into large bowl. Bring water to a boil and pour over the lemon and sugar. Let the mixture cool, and when it is lukewarm, add the yeast, dissolved in a bit of liquid. Let mixture ferment at room temperature overnight. Pour through a sieve and then bottle it. Put a few raisins and a teaspoon of sugar into each bottle before closing. Keep bottles at room termperature for a few hours, and then store in a cool place. The drink is ready to serve in a few days, but is best in a week.


22-04-07, 12:24
Soon we will have "Valborgsmäss", ie. the first of May and maybe this thread needs to be on top of the list of new messages again.

Some links to you all to explore about this fine beverage. The mjöd I remember is quite similar to the recipe Sune posted in this thread but many of the links on the WWW describe different honey based mjöd versions.
gudarnas mjöd (http://wadbring.com/historia/undersidor/mjod.htm) in Swedish
A Guide To Mead (http://www.rabbitsfootmeadery.com/CAGM/guide_to_mead.html)According to the WWW different mjöd beverages can be found around the world For some reasons the names seem to show similarities...

sima Finnish mead
mjød Danish and Norwegian mead
mjöd Swedish mead
aguamiel Spanish mead
chouchen Breton (France) mead
hidromel Portugese mead
hydromel French mead
idromele Italian mead
madhu Indian Sanskrit word for mead
mézbor Hungarian honey wine
med Ukranian mead
meddeglyn Welsh spiced mead
mede Dutch mead
medica Slovenian mead
medovina Bulgarian, Czech and Slovak mead
medovukha Russian mead
medu German mead (historical name)
meodu Olde English mead
met German mead
midus Lithuanian mead
miòd Polish mead
mõdu Estonian honey beer

24-04-07, 02:41
I brought 5 gallons of this excellent refreshment to the SFHS Annual Meeting in March 2007. I hadn't known it by any name other than Sima, since my father made it during my childhood and he is a Finnish-speaking Finn. One of the members asked if she could take one of the half-full gallon bottles home, and of course, I told her that was fine.

I saw her yesterday and she said it has been refrigerated since the meeting. She wanted to know if it gets "stronger" as time passes. I did tell her to make sure that she opens the lid to let some of the gas out of the bottle (to prevent an explosion), but I don't know the answer to her question about alcohol content.

Thanks for any help you can provide. Some of my fondest childhood memories include Sima and many people celebrating.

Debbie ;)

24-04-07, 07:23

I'm fairly convinced that the alcohol content will get higher, of course depending upon how much sugar was put into the brew. The fementation process continues as long as there is free sugar in the liquid. The fermentation is of course slower in a cold refrigerator than when the bottle is in room temperature.

In my opinion mjöd becomes undrinkable after a while. The taste is not at all nice after a too long time in the fridge. If this is the result of a too high alcohol content or of other reactions in the liquid I don't know.

Don't wait too long before you drink it!

25-04-07, 12:56
Notice that in June Pelos recept there's only 1/4 teaspoon
fresh yeast for about 5 litres or little more than
a gallon. It is enough and the final taste is better.
Alcohol will be in sima about 0,5 to 1,0 % I think.
Sometimes we add also dried blackurrant leaves
or some tea in it, if we want something different.

Frilunds opinion on sima/mjöd

27-04-07, 04:27
Thank you for sharing information about yeast and alcohol content. In each of the gallon bottles that I prepared, I used a "rounded" 1/4 teaspoon (a bit more than 1/4), and I think it turned out pretty well. Because I have diabetes, I don't personally drink much mjöd, but I still enjoy preparing it for others and I fondly remember it from my childhood! I like to uphold traditions that make people smile.

Debbie ;)

27-04-07, 08:36
While the sima/mjöd is being fermented,
here is something to read about Vappu/Valborg