birch whisk used in sauna (vihta)
Hello, I like having a sauna with vihta. I use to make vihta on summer and often use it when having a sauna. However, I found that some vihta have good smell, some have not. Is there any hint in making vihta (for instance: right type of birch? right time of making?...) Thank you!
The best time to make vihta is about from mid-June to mid-July.
We have two types of big birches in Finland; rauduskoivu (silver birch) and hieskoivu (downy birch). Rauduskoivu comes into leaf earlier and the leaves are stronger. On the other hand leaves of hieskoivu has this nice stronger aroma. You can use rauduskoivu and ad few twigs of hieskoivu into the middle of the whisk.
You´ll identify rauduskoivu by its triangular and saw-edged leaves. Hieskoivu´s leaf is more circular.
You should keep a birch whisk in a pail filled with cold water when not using it.
It is also possible to freeze a birch whisk so you`ll be able to enjoy one during the winter time:
Put a fresh whisk into the plastic bag, press air off it and pull it inside the cardboard tube. Then put it into the freezer. It takes couples of hours to melt.
Or you can dry one up:
Put the whisks hanging into airy, cool and dark space. Before using, put a whisk into warm water.