Estonian Koduolu
Homebrewing in Estonia, Part 2

The Finnish Homebrewing Association (FHA) arranged an excursion to Saaremaa island in western Estonia in mid August 1995. This document describes what we found there during the 2.5 day visit.

Tasting three different Koduolu in Saaremaa

After visiting the brew house at about noon in northeastern Saaremaa the trip continued to town of Kuressaare, the province capital of Saaremaa island. The medieval town is situated at the southern coast of the island.

In the evening on 12.8.95 we headed about 10 km to the countryside out of Kuressaare. There we settled down in an inn. We met three brewmasters with their samples of Koduolu.

Arvo Paju

Mr. Paju owns the inn we stayed in. He also brews Koduolu, the process being the following:

  • barley malted by Mr. Paju himself, drying after germination in 60 deg C
  • infusion mashing with 98 deg C water, poured slowly onto the bed of crushed malt, mashing takes about 3 hours, 36 kg of malt to give 70 liters of wort (total 100 liters of water used)
  • hops boiled separately for 3 hours, 250 grams of self grown hops (however in summertime the dosage is 350 g)
  • lautering through juniper twigs and straws
  • brewing takes place once per month
  • fermenting with ordinary baker's yeast

The brew was light in colour, easy to consume and had a noticeable apple flavor.

Aarne Trei

Mr. Trei brews Koduolu this way:

  • water is boiled before use
  • the malt is added to 75 - 77 deg C water
  • mashing takes 3 hours
  • juniper twigs used in lauter tun, lautering in three hours
  • hops added to clear wort running from lauter tun
  • 50 kg of malt
  • 100 g of hops
  • 150 g baker's yeast
  • 150 liters of wort
  • OG about 1.064
The brew was light yellow in colour.

Viivo Naalik

Mr. Naalik (the surname escapes me...) described his brew briefly this way:

  • he buys malt in the continental Estonia, no possibility for malting himself
  • temperature control is not very important
  • mashing is continued until the mash no more forms a film in wire loop immersed in the mash
  • 100 kg malt
  • 200 - 250 liters of wort
  • 500 g hops
The Koduolu was quite tasty. The colour of the product could not be judged due to nightfall.

All the three samples had an obvious taste of iron. The brewmasters explained that the ground water in Saaremaa contais quite a lot of iron. This explains the slight metallic taste of the brews.
Koduolu was stored and transferred in this kind of home welded stainless steel kegs. The garden party at the inn in the evening with plenty of Koduolu.
Koduolu is served in huge two liter mugs made of wood or tin. The author of this document, Ari Järmälä, enjoying Koduolu.

(C) Ari Järmälä, 5.9.1997