Making Fermented Smreka
Updated: May 7, 2021
How fun is the name Smreka! Our favorite thing each morning and evening is our "Smreka Check". I'll explain.
I've always been interested in, and afraid of, fermentation. How is fermentation ok and leaving other food out on the cupboard bad? It's confusing and I've feared making my family sick. So I have always avoided fermentation. Until today. I ran across this method online and most people credit Sandor Elix Katz as the founder of the recipe.
I took the best methods and came up with this. Many recipes include a lemon wedge or two in the jar while fermenting. I prefer to add lemon juice to taste at the end because I am concerned that the lemon skin may have mold spores or other bacteria so I'm not adding.
The dried juniper berries have wild yeast on them which makes this process happen.
Smreka is supposed to be a slightly sour drink, almost like lemonade. We love lemonade.
Juniper berries are reported to have many healing qualities such as being a diuretic, an aid against stomaches aches and UTIs, and because it's fermented, it should bring gut health, which we need.
The other thing I love is that this is a very easy beginners recipe.
A quart hard with a food safe lid.
4 cups of non chlorinated water.
1 to 1 1/2 cups organic dried juniper berries.
2 to 4 weeks of time.
Fill your jar with your water. Add the dried berries. Close the jar (finger tight). This is a good time to write the date on the jar somewhere. Place the jar on your windowsill or a sunny place.
Now, each morning and evening is Smreka Check. 2x per day you gently shake up the jar so that everything gets moved around. This prevents mold from forming. Every 2 days you also burp your jar by opening the lid for a moment. This allows excess gasses to escape. Fermentation causes gases to form. This drink is supposed to be mildly carbonated because if this. I also believe that there may be an extremely small amount of alcohol because of fermentation. This should be negligible.
You will notice that the berries sink and float again over time. At the end of this, most berries should have sunk. Some people say they drink their Smreka after 2 weeks. Some wait till 4. I will be testing mine at the 3 week mark.
When you're ready, you use a strainer or cheese cloth or a sprout screen to strain the berries from your beverage.
We will be adding lemon and lime juice, organic local honey, and a pinch of salt to ours.
Are you ready to try Smreka? Want to Smreka Check with us? Tell us if you are trying it. We are excited to see.