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Sahti beer: Use the right Juniper!

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SamBrewer

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Hi everybody!

I've recently saw one episode of brewing tv regardind the production of sahti, a finnish beer made with juniper. This video scared me a lot when I saw what kind of juniper they were using!
Than I saw also here that some people posted picture of the same kind of juniper, so I want to share you this information because I think is very important.

there are two kind of juniper that makes berry:

1- Juniperus communis: is the one used in kitchen or for the production of Gin,They are evergreen with needle-like and scale-like leaves. This one is good!
examples:
http://www.danish-schnapps-recipes.com/images/juniper.jpg

2- Juniperus virginiana is one variety of Juniperus Sabina and is compleatly different. You can easly recognise it by looking at the shapes of the leaves:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/eb/Juniper_berries_q.jpg

Compleatly different compared with the first one.


Pay attention that Juniper Sabinas is POISONOUS! You mustn't use it in any kind of recipe. it can cause: violent irritation of the digestive tract with sore mouth and throat, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain.

Please pay attention of what kind of juniper you are using, the Sabina one and the Virginiana are very similar! I don't know if the Sabinas doesn't grow in USA but here in Europe It's very common. We call It "witch plant" because of its dangerousness.
 

Reno_eNVy

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BorealBrewer

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Thanks for sharing the juniper info, SamBrewer!

Here in MB, we've got two species, j. communis, and j. horizontalis. Horizontalis is closely related to j. virgianus, making me think communis is the way to go as I look forward to brewing some springtime sahti!
 
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