Fusel alcohols in kilju

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Jul 22, 2019
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Okay, so, I've got a question about fusel alcohols and a Finnish "beverage" called kilju. It's basically sugar, water and yeast that are allowed to ferment. Assuming I made such a recipe, would fusel alcohols be a concern? Are there certain techniques (or rather mistakes) that might make fusel alcohols occur in greater amounts? Anything I can do to limit them?

I've got plenty of homebrew equipment (just not the ingredients for a batch) including a hydrometer. Ideally, I will stop fermentation at around 5-8% ABV.

I know that there are a few yeast strains like Turboyeast that are meant for high alcohol content in a short period of time, and I've heard that these strains create very high levels of fusel alcohols. This is precisely what I want to avoid. For the purposes of this experiment, let's just assume that I'm going to use regular baker's yeast from the grocery store.

I might go for straight up kilju, or I might do a sort of cross between kilju and juice wine. The kilju aspect of this rather than simply making a juice-wine is the fact that I am somewhat limited in terms of supplies.

Basically, I am looking to experiment with a batch for the hell of it. I know it's probably going to be unpalatable any way, but the goal of this is more of an adult-oriented science experiment (think Beakman's World) with a fun payout at the end.

I live in a rural area, and sometimes I run out of booze before I can make it back to town to get provisions. I just got to thinking about this concept while considering some of the alternative beverage types. I also pondered a sort of molasses/kvass beer-like beverage, but I'll leave that alone for its own discussion.

Anyways, just wanted some general input on how to make kilju (or something very similar) without going blind.
well i've been just boiling a lb or so of wheat germ, straining it into my fermenter, adding the sugar & yeast, then when it's done fermenting. topping a keg up with 1/2 gallon of orange juice? tastes fine....

i'm not sure if baker's yeast would be good, i'm using wine yeast right now.

turbo yeast taste foul...wouldn't recommend using them for an easy batch...
store bought apple juice.
Thanks, guys!

apple juice is expensive, and still hard to clean up, with all the jugs to throw away....

no problem, but to ferment sugar water, just keep in mind yeast need basic nutrition. just like people....and i never had luck with multi vitamins doing it, but wheat germ works like a charm....
Like has been said the issue is, like in a Mead, you've got a must that has very little to none of the nutrients yeast need.

I'd suggest looking into the TOSNA feeding style (for Meads), more for the amount of nutrient to use than the step feeding aspect. Figure out how much of your nutrient, get your hands on some (like Fermaid K or O) and give it a shot. Happy, unstressed yeasts don't produce as much sulfur or fusels.

Fermenting it inside of the temp range for your yeast, and at the cooler side, should help a lot as well. Or, try one of the Kviek strains if you can't keep it cool enough, or just want to watch it on your kitchen counter. (a dark place might be a bit better)

If you can't get those commercial nutrition products, as a desperation you could try boiling some baking yeast or such to kill it and using it as a (hopefully full range) food source. I've not seen as much info on that, though...