Great Grains for a Great Beer

Great Grains for a Great Beer

Great grains for a great beer is one of the primary ingredients that a beer maker needs to get a grip on, an understanding what the various grains can bring out in the beer flavors.

One of the great reasons for learning to brew your own beer is to learn more about the various grains and ingredients that makes one beer better than another one. When you first start your hobby of home brewing, you no doubt got connected to a local club or association of home brewers. They can help you learn the lingo and how to tell what the best grains are to use in your beer. But before you go to the first meeting, it might speed things up if you knew the basics.

Great Grains for a Great Beer

Great grains for a Great Beer using malt

The use of malts is at the heart of how grain contributes to a great beer. The difference between a light beer that doesn’t have a heavy malt taste and one that virtually tastes like a loaf of bread all go back to what malts you pick and the process that is used during the malting and brewing of your beer. There are actually a big variety of different grains that people commonly use when brewing their own beer and you may have to take some time to brew up a few batches using different grains to see which ones capture what to you is the perfect beer taste that will make your home made beer unique. But understanding how malting works is a good first step.

Now as a home brewing enthusiast, you will probably not actually take grain through the malting process yourself. But you should become familiar with how malting works and why there is so much variety to the outcome of the malting process. In that way you can use that knowledge when buying the malts for your beer so you can get a malt that will give you the flavor, color and intensity of beer that you are looking for.

Great grains for a great beer malting process

The malting process starts with the grain to be used. The most common grains are barley, wheat or rye but others can be used from time to time. The grain is used from the seed form and steeped and germinated which gets the active part of the malting and brewing process underway. Germination, which from your high school science class you know is what happens when a seed sprouts out to become a plants, releases the store energy of the seed that was put there to jump start the growth process. We are going to use that energy and convert it into malt mash that you can use to brew your beer.

What happens during the germination process of those grains is that the stored energy in the seed is changed as it is released. When the starches in the seeds changes into sugars by the enzymes that are active part of the germination process, those sugars give us one of the core ingredients for great beer. It is at that exact moment that the germination process is suspended using kilns to dry the grains and all of that good sugar and enzymes that became active remain in the malt for use during the brewing process.

Obviously this description of the basic malting process is simplified but for our purposes it gives you a background into what happens before you buy the malts you will use in your home made beer. But based on this description, you can go on to get a feel for the wide variety of malt types. The more you know about malt, the better informed you will be about what malts you wish to use when you brew your beer. And those decisions will have a big effect on the taste of your beer. So for great tasting beer, use great malts and knowing one malt from the next is the key to knowing which to use for the best home made beer possible from your home brewing efforts.
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Getting Set Up to Make Beer

Getting Set Up to Make Beer

Getting set up to make beer can open the understanding to appreciate the fine drink that beer is, it does have some challenges in the production to get it just right and consistently the same every patch.

The hobby of brewing your own beer at home is growing steadily as more people discover how much fun they can have making their beer at home and how great absolutely fresh beer can be. There may be no more gratifying moment for a home brewer than to serve your own fresh beer to your guests iced down in your favorite beer mugs and hear the rave that your beer is as good as the store bought beer they like best or maybe even better!

Getting set up to make beer

Getting set up to make beer with great success

Part of the reason for the huge popularity is that getting set up to make beer and finding good supplies and equipment is neither difficult nor overly expensive. You can find or create the equipment fairly easily or get it discounted from others who have retired from the brewing business. And right now there is probably a home brewing store in your town ready and able to provide you with the ingredients as well as instruction books and recipes for all kinds of wonderful tasting beers you can make right at home. And with the explosion of web sites, eBooks and articles out there on the internet about home brewing, all the help you could ask for is at your fingertips to help you get started.

Getting Set Up to Make Beer with different International beer FLAVORS

The reason different people get into home brewing vary. Some love the social aspect as you join a large local and international community of brewers. Another reason is that it is just great fun to assemble the equipment, learn the recipes and take a stab at making your own home grown batch of tasty beer. Even if you “botch” a batch of beer, its all in the spirit of learning and it just drives you on to learn from your mistakes to make even better beer next time.

A third great reason is you have so much more control over your beer when you brew it yourself. Because you are not dealing with a beer that is mass produced and shipped from hundreds of miles away, you can control the taste, the consistency and even the level of alcohol to make your beer as strong or mild as you want it to be. And you can make changes with each batch with virtually endless variations on the recipes that are available to the home brewing community.

Getting Set Up to Make Beer with new equipment

The supplies you will need to get started are easy to find and not very expensive either. Probably the best way to get a feel for what the best equipment is and who are the suppliers to favor would come from becoming a regular at home brewing clubs and gatherings and making some friends there. If you make it well known that you are a “new recruit” and need some mentoring in how to get set up, you will be overwhelmed with offers for you to sit in on a brewing session or two to get a feel for the process. If you take advantage of their zeal to help you get started, you will be way ahead on the game when you go shopping for the stuff you need to get set up to make your own beer at home.

The equipment you will need is pretty much only used for brewing beer so you will need to think of storage. The pot for boiling your initial wort and the equipment to handle the beer, filter it and ferment it are all made in sizes and at prices to encourage the home brewing markets. You can find them at retail prices at your home brewing retail outlet in town. You can use the internet and shop second hand shops to get better prices. But many like to patronize the home brewing store that helped them get their start just to make sure they stay in business to keep selling you great fresh ingredients.

That same retail outlet will be a good source for the grains, yeasts and hops you need for the actual production of beer. Freshness is the key so communicate with the management of the store to learn of just how fresh those things are. As with the equipment, you can buy these things from the internet and that is fine. But get to know your supplier whoever you use and make sure you are confident you are getting the highest quality materials to make your home made beer. It will make a big difference.
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A Brewing Society

A Brewing Society

A Brewing Society article information of the many benefits and reasons the hobby of home brewing is so popular is that you are not just taking up a pastime, you are becoming part of a closely knit society of home brewing that has its own culture, language and social structure that is unique to brewers alone.

Of course, the social aspect of drinking beer is well known. The infrastructure of pubs and bars that offers to patrons a place of comfort, friendship, fun and relaxation is about a lot more than just tipping back a delicious drink,. It is a part of our social fabric that goes back to revolutionary times when our most important documents were hashed out over a beer. And the importance of sharing a beer is just as powerful today as we all enjoyed thinking about that bar where “everybody knows your name” called Cheers.

A Brewing Society
Beer glass and cheers!

A Brewing Society enjoying the pleasure of a cold beer

So just as the social aspect of enjoying a beer with others is strong and well entrenched in our culture, so too is the art of making beer a deeply rooted part of society that goes back generations. That popularity has regular revivals and we are seeing a surge of interest in brewing today as all over the country brew pubs are springing up around delicious home grown beers that in many cases are far better than the mass produced beers that are heavily advertised during the Super Bowl.

This well developed and sophisticated brewing subculture not only will be of great help to you as you start to learn about becoming a home brewer yourself, it will become a society that is a lot of fun to be part of and where you may make friends for life as you share with others your love of making your own beer. In America the grass roots level subculture of home brewing is growing fast. This is no small concern to the big retail brewers who cannot possibly make the quality and rich kinds of beers that can be made at the local level. But this is a natural evolution as we follow our cousins in the UK where keg beers made locally dominate the world of beer consumption in a culture where pubs are a central part of the fabric of society.

A Brewing Society with diversity

One reason home brewing has such an appeal is the tremendous diversity of beers you can produce and the control you have over flavor, consistency and alcohol levels. In most cases, once you have your basic equipment for brewing beer, it is cheaper to make your own beer. And there is something satisfying about brewing up a big batch of beer to put back to ferment as you enjoy a five gallon batch you made last month. Beer brewers can become quite obsessed with flavor, color and “punch” and always be looking for new ways to become better at this fun and interesting hobby.

Whatever level of involvement in beer making appeals to you, you can probably find new friends in the beer brewing society that you can share your hobby with. There are beer brewing radio stations and ham radio channels devoted to helping amateur brewers share their secret recopies and solve each other’s problems. And there are home made beer competitions that can really put some challenge that all on you to make that blue ribbon beer that rally makes the judges sit up and take notice.

So as you find yourself getting more and more enthusiastic and “caught up” in the fun of home brewing, don’t be embarrassed by that because you can find a diverse assortment of other beer making enthusiasts to share your hobby with. So have fun, make friends, make good beer and above all, share your beer and your knowledge with others. Because beer is about more than good drink. It’s about good times with good people as well.

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Systematic eradication of the Inkeri people

Systematic eradication of the Inkeri people

Systematic eradication of the Inkeri people has been real over many times in the past 300 year history.   The original peoples of the area were not left in peace and allowed to enjoy the land that they had pioneered and discovered. The outsiders that came much later, encroached and forced the original inhabitants to move out by force. This type of manipulation is not unique, it has also happened at many other parts of the world, but that does not make morally acceptable. The Natural law is what rules in the hearts of the human race, like no other law can or will ever do. It is by teh spirit of the law that humans obey the laws of morality.

Systematic eradication of the Inkeri people
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The destiny of the Ingrian Finns has been seriously affected by the location of the Russian-Swedish border on the Karelia Isthmus, after the Great Northern War, which separated them from the rest of the Finns. Yet 300 years of community life and work passed before the Ingrian Finns were labeled strangers, and that their own land was being claimed as having been historically Russian. The Soviet regime started implementing resolute measures:

  • 7th century Ingria came under Swedish rule. Immigration of Finnish peasants.
  • 1702 Russian czar Peter the Great gained access to the Baltic Sea and a new capital St. Petersburg in Ingria.
  • 1920 Ingria was recognized as a part of Soviet Russia by the Peace Treaty of Tartu.
  • 1928 collectivization started the first mass deportation.
  • 1929-1936 The majority of the Ingrian Finnish were deported to Siberia, Central Asia and the Kola Peninsula.
  • The territory was resettled by newcomers from Russia. 1932 – Religious practices are forbidden.
  • 1937 – Cultural activities in Finnish are forbidden.
  • 1939 – At least 13,000 Finns are murdered, and another 37,000 are taken to concentration camps.
  • 1942 – Almost 30,000 people are deported to Siberia.
  • 1943 The population in the part of Ingria occupied by Germans was evacuated to Finland.
  • 1944/45 – 55,773 Finns who were evacuated and return home are dispersed in the provinces in Central Russia. (Source

Stalins iron fist.

During the 1930s, the Ingrian’s suffered from Stalins totalitarian regime:

  1. Most farmers were deported.
  2. Finnish language was prohibited, and the speaking intelligentsia was annihilated.
  3. Ingrians were shipped off to prison camps or deported to Siberia and to central Russia.
  4. Very few remain, outnumbered by Russian population.
  5. The violence began in 1928 with compulsory collectivization.
  6. Around 18,000 people were deported from Northern Ingria to East Karelia,
    Central Asia and elsewhere in order to frighten others into accepting collective farms.
  7. A further 7,000 were deported to the Urals and to the coast of the Caspian Sea in 1935.
  8. 20,000 Ingrian people sent to Siberia and Central Asia in 1936.
  9. Four parishes of Northern Ingria were totally emptied of Finns,
    Which added more tensions to the later Finnish-Russian war?
  10. All churches and religious societies were closed by 1932.
  11. All Ingrian cultural and social activities were brought to a halt by 1937.
  12. The national district of Kuivaisi (Toksova) was liquidated in 1939.
  13. By 1929, at least 13,000 Finns had been killed, and 37,000 were suffering in Russia. ( Wikipedia.Population transfers in Russia).
The Border karelia.

BorderKarelia belonged to Novgorod, and later for Russia seen to belong Kakisalmi County and moved to Sweden with the peace Stolbova 1617. Sweden lost the region to Russia in 1721, after which the area was read as Old Finland or Viipuri province. In 1812 was incorporated into the Grand Duchy of Finland.

The Municipalities of the Karelian Border.

Border Karelia is a historic area, which includes the northernmost part of Lake Ladoga Karelia north of Lake Ladoga. Border Karelia belonged to Salm district municipalities; Impilahti, Suistamo, Soanlahti, Salmi, Suojarvi and Korpiselka.

BorderKarelia Karelian language commonly spoken,and the majority of the population was Orthodox. Today, the former border of Karelia belongs to the Russian Republic of Karelia Suojarvi and the Long Beach districts.

The Karelian Border Finns former municipalities were:

  • Impilahti
  • Korpiselka
  • Salmikunta
  • Soanlahti
  • Suistamo
  • Suojarvi

The Winter War of 1939.

The Second World War broke out in Europe, August 1. 1939, when Germany invaded Poland.

The political process in 1939, with the Baltic States and Russia, including invitations and propositions in Moscow, from the foreign minister Molotov of the Soviet Union, and Joseph Stalin. The Soviet Union also demanded that Finland dispose a large islands of the Gulf of Finland and Karelia, part of the back log of the Pechanga, the Arctic Ocean from the beach and renta a part of Eastern Karelia area for compensation claims received. They were at the Lake Repo municipality. WhenFinland was not able to agreed to that, the Soviet troops invaded Finland 30 November,1939. The Winter War had then broken out. But in reality the Political process was a farce, because at that point the Russian leader Stalin, and the German leader Adolf, with their foreign ministers had already signed the Molotov & Ribbentrop pact, which included a secred clause for the sharing of land, territories and Baltic countries, the egg had already been laid by Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin.

As early as the beginning of October in 1939, when the Soviet Union invited the representatives of the Finnish area of the negotiations in Moscow, those that had lived in the border region, thousands of Karelians evacuated.

The threat of war had grown so large that the officers of the Isthmus, and the border villages, as well as the islands of the Gulf of Vyborg, the residents were invited to move away from their homeland. Before the Winter War broke out, was about 45 000 Karelia’s left homes and evacuated. When nothing seemed to appear/take place, many of the evacuees returned back to their homes. Thus, only a couple of days before the outbreak of the Winter War the schools began to evacuate several municipalities.

When the war broke out, then 30 November 1939, many had to leave the villages on the border of Karelia at breakneck speed. According people could not take much, only personal belongings than that which they continuously could carry with them. Group evacuation was not preplanned enough. Thus, not all of them had time, to even go back to home. From Suojarvi, (Swamp Lake) the easternmost municipality and furthest village into East Russia had many prisoners of war, because they did not have sufficient time to evacuate and some of them died in prison during the Soviet invasion.

More than half of migrant Karelia’s was a farmer population, and they had to find new premises elsewhere in Finland, after the reluctant Moscow peace agreement of 1940, that had threats of continuation of war from Soviet Union hanging overhead. The Parliament enacted a quick settlement law. When most of the Karelia’s were forced to leave the territory ceded to the entire property, the parliament enacted the Liability Act. According to evacuees was paid compensation for property losses. A new war began, however, in the summer of 1941, and the implementation of the laws remained in practice between.

Of the evacuations of more than 400 000, Karelian returned 70 percent, or about 280 000 back to their homes by the summer of 1944 at the latest. The war at the front line was still ongoing, and as soon as a new departure and this time the final.

The Stalin Moscow Extortion in 1940.

The Soviet Moscow Peace Treaty demands in 1940 were extreme, Karelia territory to be surrendered to Soviet Russia. Taking into account that it was the Soviet’s that had violently invaded Finland territory in November 1939. There was no provocation from Finland to cause war. Joseph Stalin had the backing of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime to make extreme claims on land and territory. Poland was invaded and shared between the two rogue leaders without any consideration for the Polish people.

Under threat, ceded Karelia

Finland lost the Karelia with three cities to the Soviet demands:

  1. Viborg
  2. Sortavala
  3. Priozersk and two commodities, Primorsk and the North Bay.

In addition, Finland handed over the whole 39 rural towns as well as some areas in 21 municipalities. The Karelian region total land area, was approximately 24,700 square kilometers, about one tenth of the entire Finland land area from 1939. Finland had to invest a total of some 430,000 refugees; the displaced were forced to move out of the town of Pechenga and part of the Salla district and the Kuusamo, a population total of 23,000 people. In addition, Finland was forced to rent a port in the Gulg of Finland, to the Soviet Union, an area which is near Helsinki, named “Porkkala” for 50 years, then the Porkkala local residents were forced to evacuate. Porkkala, however, was returned to Finland in 1955.

Immigrants were 11 percent of all Finnish residents. About the placement of a sizable crowd, was quite a large operation yet the war-torn country. Finland carried out its international recognition as nurse responsible manner.

The facts are well known today. We know what happened to Poland, Latvia and Estonia. Did they provoke the Soviets to invade their territory? No, or offer their land to USSR and submit it into a puppet state? No, they did not. The Soviet Russia did, with Joseph Stalin and Molotov making a Pact with Ribbentrop, they had it all planned out in advance; when, how and where to invade; Poland, Finland, Latvia, Estonia. The Moscow Peace Treaty was a farce; there was no legal basis for it. The actions that Soviet Union took in November 1939, was immoral crime against peace. There was a tremendous cost as, as the result of the Soviet invasion in November 1939.

It was a Crime against peace; it was a preplanned International crime. There was the perversion of justice, with lies and cover up. There was extortion by the Soviet Union, using violent, threats to continue the war and invasion deep into Finland, if they did not agree to the demands of Moscow to surrender territory and property including many train cart loads of legal property documents.

The Soviets also demanded that Finland build a railroad from the city of Rovaniemi (Far north) to the township of Salla (Far East), at their own expense. The reason given was that Soviet Union would have a railroad ready from Murmansk – Salla by the summer of 1941. And then the Soviets would use it to transport minerals from Sweden to Soviet Russia. Just like that, no negotiations or trading, just a cold demand order to do it. The work did commence, and it was almost complete. The Soviet side did get there locomotives from Murmansk to Salla in spring 1941.

That was also part of the Soviet plan to invade and occupy Finland. And how much easier that would be for transporting troops/supplies into Lapland and the Kemi area.

There were 39 municipalities in the Finnish Karelia that were extorted from the Finnish Government, by the threat of the continuation of war and occupation that was started by the Soviet Union in November 1939.

The names of the ceded Municipalities are:

Antrea | Harlu | Heinjoki | Hiitola | Impilahti | Jaakkima | Johannes | Kanneljarvi | Kaukola | Kirvu | Kivennapa | Koiviston maalaiskunta | Kuolemajarvi | Kurkijoki | Kakisalmen mlk | Lavansaari | Lumivaara | Metsapirtti | Muolaa | Pyhajarvi Vpl | Rautu | Ruskeala | Raisala | Sakkola | Salmi | Seiskari | Soanlahti | Sortavalan maalaiskunta | Suistamo | Suojarvi | Suursaari | Terijoki | Tytarsaari | Uusikirkko | Valkjarvi | Viipurin maalaiskunta | Vuoksela | Vuoksenranta | Ayrapaa

Further five municipalities were partially ceded and added to others:

Jaaski | Korpiselka | Palkjarvi | Sakkijarvi | Vahviala. (Wikipedia, Winter War 1939)

Sources: Ezine Articles. 

Wikipedia. (N.d.). Population Transfers in the Soviet Union. Retrieved November 11, 2011, from Wikipedia:

Wikipedia. (N.d.). Soviet Invasion of Poland. Retrieved November 11, 2011, from Wikipedia:

Wikipedia. (N.d.). Casus Belli. Retrieved November 11, 2011, from Wikipedia: /wiki/Casus_belli

Wikipedia. (N.d.). Winter War. Retrieved July 2012, from WIkipedia: /wiki/Winter_War

The study of history is interesting, often challenging, it is a vehicle for traveling back in time to real events in the past. There are the Imperial Nations with their blinkers on, self serving and only seeing their own biased version of events and actions. Those characteristics are very common by the past Imperial powers e.g. England, Soviet Unions, America, France.

The Stone Age

The Stone Age

The Stone Age is the early of human discoveries of the basics of stone, wood and fire, and later on led to the bronze and Iron age, where more elements were discovered and became to be used for the production of tools and weapon production.

The oldest signs of human movement in Finland are 10000 years old. The first residents have arrived here from the south and east. The wild Forests had plenty of the game such as moose, bears and beavers. Waterways provided an opportunity for fishing and seal hunting. Wild fowling was also prominent. The Nordic Finland was inhabited throughout the year.

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Amazon Kindle eBook.   Inkeri Land.  Click this link to see eBook.

The Nordic stone age.

Geographical Inkeri, and the indigenous people of the Inkeri nation.

Inkeri-land is the geographical area, located at the east end of the Gulf of Finland, and the Lake Ladoga (Karelia Isthmus) along the Neva River, Narva River and Lake Peipus. The area that the Inkeri-ethnic group of the Baltic Finns historically lived from around 2000 BC to 1920’s. The name Inkeri is in Finnish. Izora is Russian. Ingria in Latin, and Ingermanland in German language. There are many theories where/how the name originated, and most likely had many applications: It is the derivative of the Baltic Finn tribe (Izora) name, which was likely adopted from an Inkeren (Izora) river that flows from Lake Ladoga to Neva, and to the Gulf of Finland.

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8 Castles and Fortress Hills

8 Castles and Fortress Hills

8 Castles and Fortress Hills of the East European hot spot surrounded by the waters of the Gulf of Finland, Lake of Ladoga and the Karelian Isthmus land bridge between the indigenous peoples that created the tribal peoples of Suomi and the land of the East from Neva River Eastward.

The Ingria land people saw the long boat traffic start, Viking ships entering in and out of the Neva River, starting around at 800AD. They were unchallenged on their journeys to the lake Ladoga and beyond. They also saw the transformation of the environment that took place over time with the swampland at the mouth of the Neva River.

Later on in 1611AD the Swedish built and controlled the Nyenschantz Fortress, a Swedish fortress built in 1611 at the mouth of the Neva River on the Swedish controlled the water access to the Gulf from Lake Ladoga.

The conflict was rooted in the Viking Age when the Varangians setup a trading outpost in Ladoga and controlled the course of the Neva River. The Slavicization and Christianization of Northern Russia accounted for the deterioration of relations between the Vikings and Novgorod at the turn of the 11th century.

  1. Ladoga Castle (753-950 AD).
  2. The old Ladoga.
  3. Tiurin Castle (1100-1200AD).
  4. Vyborg Castle (1293AD).
  5. Kakisalmi Castle (initially known as Korela castle).
  6. Pahkina Saari Castle (1323 AD-Oreshek).
  7. Nyenschantz Fortress (1611AD).
  8. Shlisselburg Castle (1702).
  9. Old Ladoga Castle.

Article Source:

Inkeri Land, Amazon Kindle Ebook.

According to the legend a Varangian leader named Ruruk went to the Ladoga in 862 AD and established it as his central capital hub. And two years later he moves to the Novgorod in 864 AD. During the 753 – 950 AD Ladoga was one of the most influential trading ports of the Eastern Europe. It was a Water highway from the Baltic Sea up the Neva River to Lake Ladoga, from there to Constantinople and Caspian Sea. It is also known as the Trade Route from the Varangians to the Greeks. The original Finnish name of Ladoga was Alode-joki/Alajoki, meaning: the lower River. (Wikipedia, Old Ladoga).

Tiversky or Finnish: Tiurinlinna).

Its heyday happened during the crusades period (1100-1200 AD). Was a medieval Karelian fortified settlement 215-300 metres long and 40-56 metres wide in theKarelian Isthmus. It was situated on an island of the River Vuoksi, which became a peninsula after 1857.

Vyborg fortress.

It was started and built in 1293, by orders of Torkel Knutsson, the Lord High Constable of Sweden who made in 1290s a so-called crusade to Karelia. The so-called Third Finnish Crusade actually aimed against Russians. Novgorod. He chose the location of the new fortress to keep the Bay of Vyborg, which was a trading site used by locals already for a long time. From the bay, a river way goes inland, ultimately connecting the place to several districts, lakes, and indirectly also to rivers going to Ladoga.

Kakisalmi Castle.

The center of the hub From the Middle Ages, Priozersk was known as Korela to Russians and Kakisalmi to Karelians and Finns. The Swedes captured Korela twice: in 1578 for seventeen years and in 1611 for one hundred years. The main landmark of Priozersk, Korela Fortress, has historically been the center for the Karelians of the Karelian Isthmus; and from time to time been the northwestern outpost of the realm of the Russians or the eastern outpost of the realm of the Swedes.

The name Rautu meaning (Arctic char) is a former municipality of Finland in the Karelian Isthmus, it was invaded by the Soviet Union in 1944. The original Finnish municipality had an area of 339.6 square kilometers and its population of 5 989 (1939). The Rautu namewas renamed Sosnovo by the Soviet Union in 1948.

The first fortification was built in 1299 by Lord High Constable of Sweden Torgils Knutssonbut was lost to the Novgorodians in 1301. A wooden fortress named Oreshek (also Orekhov) (“Nutlet”) was built by Grand Prince Yury of Moscow (in his capacity as Prince of Novgorod) on behalf of the Novgorod Republic in 1323. It guarded the northern approaches to Novgorod and access to the Baltic Sea. The fortress is situated on Orekhovets Island, whose name, refers to nuts in Swedish and (Pahkinasaari, “Nut Island”) in Finnish and Russian.

In 1702, during the Great Northern War, the fortress was taken by Russians under Peter the Great in an amphibious assault: 250 Swedish soldiers defending the fort for 10 days before they surrendered. The Russian losses were 6000 men against 110 Swedish losses. It was then given its current name, Shlisselburg, a transcription of Schlasselburg. The name, meaning “Key-fortress” in German, refers to Peters perception of the fortress as the “key to Ingria”.

The Karelia with links to neighboring community areas were strong, also the Karelian people conversion to Christianity starting in 1100 AD, giving people an alternative to their previous pagan beliefs and practices.

Nyenskans Fortress.

In 1611 Sweden built the Nyenskans fortress on the Shore of Neva River, on the bank where the river is at a narrowest point. It was a strategic position for Sweden to control and stop any Russian Battle ships entering into the Gulf of Finland. The fortress stayed in Swedish control until 1703.

Lateron the Pahkina-saari (nut-island) Peace (1323), the border follows the line from Rautu to Hiitola, following the most uniformly populated area along the west coast shore line of Lake Ladoga, of the border during the Crusades. See the following Wikipedia for maps:

On May 1, 1703, during the Ingria campaign of the Great Northern War, the fortress of Nyenskans was taken by Peter the Great and renamed Shlotburg. It was called the neck town, because of the shape of the long narrow channel, at that point in the Neva River. There was geographical funnel shape, a neck or a narrow lane like a chimney. And it was steadily built into a foreign, town centre that became a city, and continued to grow around them and eventually become the city called Petersburg.

1713-1728 AD, and 1732-1918 AD. Petersburg was the Imperial Capital of Russia. The city was built by conscripted peasants from all over Russia; Ingrians, a number of Swedish prisoners of war were also involved in some years, under the supervision of Alexander Menshikov. Tens of thousands of serfs died building the city. The Moscow political powers that formed the Stalinism that followed with its idealistic totalitarian goals and Mega Mania objectives as tall as the pyramids of Egypt. The grand plans of mega maniac leaders like always are in conflict with the values and principles of the local indigenous and the rural people. A rural community of people working the soil of the earth that’s under the common sky. They are forced and submitted into slave labor, to realize the dreams and future plans of the militarily power of Russia and the Soviet Union.

The reasons being; they were a minority group, a rural indigenous community, they were inconvenient obstacle to the ambitious communist conquerors, but they did have a claim on their land and territory by their indigenous rights. Also because of their roots, their ancestry, belief, Natural law, myths, tradition, and the Christian values. That eventually brought increasing persecutions from the foreign Bolshevik and Stalin ideology. So the Communist Stalinism of the Soviet Union drove out the indigenous Ingria-land people from their ancient homeland by brute force, forced evacuations and cruelty that obliterated their traditional communities.


Wikipedia. (N.d.). Old Ladoga. Retrieved November 11, 2011, from Wikipedia: wiki/Staraya_Ladoga.

Glacial Maximum Y90K BC

Glacial Maximum Y90K BC

Glacial Maximum Y90K  BC was the mighty glacial period that occurred during and approximately 110,000 to 10,000 years ago. The scientist that study Geology report that around Norway, Sweden, Finland, and north Europe was covered with a thick ice sheet, directly above the current Bothnia Sea the ice layer over land was 2-3 kam thick at the max, around 90 000 BC. The glaciers depressed the earth, and the water eroded it, as the glaciers melted. When the glaciers melted they released a lot of fresh water which turned into high inland lake before it was released out to the oceans. The last sight of the glaciers is estimated to have been around 11000 -10000 BC. Some of the antiquity finds in Finland are pieces of pottery, flint; quarts chips at old camp sites are estimated to be 6000 – 8000 old, and other cave paintings that are estimated to be from around 10 000 BC.

Glacial Maximum Y90K BC

Glacial Maximum Y90K BC effects

The Boreal season, was a warm season shortly after the end of the last Ice Age about 10500 to 8000 years ago, the early Holocene glacial ice sheet melted away from Europe. The weather was dry and warm. The temperature was pretty close to the present. In this case, the Nordic countries were a spread of mixed forests, which were made of birch and pine. Pine became common in the Central Lapland. The Boreal period was much drier in southern parts of Finland at the end of the period it was up to 1 degree warmer than the present, and it produced warmer climate species of flora plants.
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The Vikings between year 80 – 120.

Viking Age is the term for the period in European history, especially Northern European and Scandinavian history, spanning the late 8th to 11th centuries. Scandinavian (Norse) Vikings explored Europe by its oceans and rivers through trade and warfare. The Vikings also reached Iceland, Greenland, Newfoundland, and Anatolia. Additionally, there is evidence to support the Vinland legend that Vikings reached farther south to the North American continent. (Wikipedia, Norse)

Norsemen is used to refer to the group of people as a whole who spoke what is now called the Old Norse language belonging to the North Germanic branch of Indo-European languages, especially Norwegian, Icelandic, Faroese, Swedish and Danish in their earlier forms. (Wikipedia, Norsemen).

It was during the Viking era that the significance of the Karelia Isthmus in the Baltic Sea and the lake Ladoga area grew. As the industrial commerce of weapons, tools and goods increased the abundance commerce increased. People from the west of Finland also wanted to take part in the increasing East trade.

People also from Karelia and from the Inkeri community went with the Vikings Eastwards as the interest in the traffic route grew. The Karelian journey Eastward was most likely during the Vikings trading, like a commerce road East wards, along the south of Lake Ladoga and south-eastern side of the trade centers.

The ancient Karelian heyday occurred in the Crusade period 1100 to 1200 AD. Population growth and prosperity based on the development of agriculture. During the Crusade periods, the Karelian core area consisted of the area downstream from the Vuoksi River, it is part of the Karelian Isthmus and Ladoga northwest and north coast.

According to the earliest East Slavic record, the Primary Chronicle, the Rus’ was a group of Varangians among others like Swedes and Gutes who lived on the other side of the Baltic Sea, in Scandinavia and as far as the land of English and French.

The Varangians were first expelled, then invited to rule the warring Slavic and Finnic tribes of Novgorod:

“The four tribes who had been forced to pay tribute to the Varangians — Chuds, Slavs, Merians, and Krivichs drove the Varangians back beyond the sea, refused to pay them further tribute, and set out to govern themselves. But there was no law among them, and tribe rose against tribe. Discord thus ensued among them, and they began to war one against the other. They said to themselves, “Let us seek a prince who may rule over us, and judge us according to custom”. Thus, they went overseas to the Varangians, to the Rus. These particular Varangians were known as Rus, just as some are called Gutes, and others Normans and Angles, and still others Gutes, for they were thus named. The Chuds, the Slavs, the Krivichs and the Veps then said to the Rus, “Our land is great and rich, but there is no order in it. Come reign as princes, rule over us”. Three brothers, with their kinfolk, were selected. They brought with them all the Rus and migrated”.

(Forbes., 1914).

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Bothnia Ice Lake

Bothnia Ice Lake

Bothnia Ice Lake that formed from the ice melt of the huge glacier areas over the Nordic areas long time ago, at the time of the Stone Age, when the early  humans ventured on teh water and along the shores of the Bothnia Ice Lake around 10,000 yrs BC.  It was most likely during the spring or during the summer season. Travelling on waters by boat or canoes for the convenience of easy travel and transportation of the animal furs and the meat they hunted and caught. Like many other human endeavors searching for food and clothing materials: they went out hunting, fishing, foraging and trapping into the Nordic/Arctic region.

Bothnia Ice Lake
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Bothnia Ice lake pioneers

How far and how long time their endeavors lasted per trip is unknown, within a small community, there was no need to be gone for a long time. Food supplies and clothing materials for a small group could have been serviced within a comfortable radius.

During the Bronze Age (4000 to 3000 BC), the world population rose from 7 Million to 14 Million and grew further to 30 Million during the 3000 to 2000 BC. On the center stages of the world civilization at the time, e.g. Iraq and Egypt the rise of intellectual writings/knowledge and physical architecture often was a source of friction on a political stage.

Bothnia Ice Lake waters were calm during the winter.

Many rising rulers at the hub of the world civilizations explored the world and sought after for more resources and power. Along came leaders with huge egos, passion for personal power, and ambitious plans for bigger and better architecture, imperialism, organized absolutism and internal revolution. The 120+ discovered pyramids, built in Egypt between 3000 BC 1000BC were mostly built and used as tombs for the nation’s Pharaohs and their consorts during the Old and Middle Kingdom periods. Grand plans require enormous effort and sacrifice from the labor sources that produce them.

Bothnia Ice Lake shores with pockets of nomadic tribes

The nomadic tribes that ventured into the Nordic region at the same time were free and naturally interacting with the surrounding environment. It required a strong spirit, alert and observing the surroundings environment, efficient hunters and many food preparation skills. They needed to find food to eat, cook food and store the food items, both cooked and raw ingredients. They much depended on their fishing skills, hunting skills, spirit, physical strength, nutrition, health and stamina.

Their purpose in life was not to build pyramids in the heat of Egypt, but to travel and to boat along the unknown wilderness of their Nordic region. At the same time as the Biblical Abraham was a lad, and learning to run like boys do, there were young children running around also along the banks of the Ice Lake.

Bothnia Ice Lake and Baltic finns

The Baltic Finns had a call of the wild in their blood, and the excitement of adventure, to go out and explore the wild North of the Nordic region. There were many real dangers lurking in the dark of the backwoods of the Nordic region. The flat terrain of the lake country with peat covered swamps and bogs, surrounded by thick forest cover and thickets, spring and autumn fogs, winter darkness, possible early snow falls and the bitter cold, it all increased to the risk of getting lost.
The elements of nature and also natural predators; roaming brown bears, howling wolves and the charge pointed antlers of a wounded deer, was a real life threatening challenge during the Stone Age, when they faced the wild predators with the burnt sharp tips of the wooden spears, hefty clubs, bone edge knives and stone tipped arrows.

Their natural instincts came to the forefront, to search and to hunt, to fish and to find a suitable protective location where they and family, tribe and community would survive in relative comfortable conditions. Their journey along the meandering shorelines of endless lakes, peat bogs, marshes and swamps.

There was a time for chopping down trees, building houses, building rafts/boats, and a time for planting seeds and a season for picking berries and mushrooms. Also, time for catching fish, hunting and trapping fur animals, and exploring the unknown, not knowing what lay on the other side, and making sure to survive at times of danger and through the extreme cold of the sub-Arctic winter.

The many islands on the waters would have been attractive place to go to during the spring and summer season. Fresh water supply, fishing and migrating birds with their supply of eggs, swans, geese, ducks and many other water birds to loot and hunt. Nomadic tribes moving on as nature provided and supply needs demanded.

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Geological change

Without a doubt, the most spectacular natural geologic change was the glacial maximum (Big freeze), and how the surrounding ocean levels dropped dramatically. It was followed by the global warming and the retreat of the glacial ice cap, and it caused the dramatic transformation of ice into the water, which in effect created the inland Ice Lake at the current Sea of Bothnia.

The slow ebb and flow of water over land, over the glacier depressions, wet lands, marshes, peat bogs, lakes, ponds, dams and the moss covered grounds in the forest. What followed was a quick release of the slow invasion of water over land. When the dam walls broke the water level started to go down gradually, and over time, the geography was changed forever. (Gothenburg)

The land bridge (Karelia isthmus) was submerged by the rising Ice Lake waters, covering the Bothnia Ice Lake to the Lake Ladoga, release of the natural dam, Ice Lake water dropped and the land appeared once again with dead trees and layers of silt from the decayed flora and runoff from the melting glaciers. The force of gravity was once again pulling on the waters of Lake Ladoga down along the Neva River, the birth and the subsequent drainage of Lake Ladoga that caused a ten meter drop in the water level, the recent/new studies show that took place several thousand years BC.

The Paleontology research on the interaction between humans and Nature during the prehistoric era in the Karelia region was not being extensively studied until the 1990s, when Heikki Simola in Finland led a series of research projects, a new chapter on the Karelian study of geology. Heikki Simola article “Karelian Nature and man”. The research results reveal that some of the oldest land marks range from the Bronze Age to a few hundred years BC. There are signs of agriculture in the middle Iron Age AD 400 to 600, and discovering the beginning of agriculture in the Karelian region on the north coast of Lake Ladoga to the Viking era until the 1000 AD. Archaeology finds range from the Stone Age more than 10 000 years ago, to the Crusade of the Karelia during the early Middle Ages 1300 to 1400 AD. (Ojala, 2001)

The geological change that occurred controlled the waters of Lake Ladoga through the Raja-river (Rajajoki = border river) and the larger Neva-river between lake Ladoga and the Gulf of Finland.

The first residence of the Stone Age study was conducted in Finland in 1892 and 1900, Räisälä the first half-century studies of the city of Vyborg and Häyrynmäellä (Häyry hill) Kaukola were long the most extensive carried out in Finland. (OKSANEN, 2002)