Löyly – and the feeling they create.
What we at Juup call “The Finnish

Throughout the history and culture of Finland, the sauna has been a
very centric place in our daily lives as well as festivities. The most
important element and key of saunas though are löylys. A good
löyly is truly indescribable, but how do Juup sauna stoves produce
their löylys?

How are Juup stoves löylys different from others?
You could easily imagine that since löyly really only is evaporated water, thanks to it
hitting a hot surface and thus turning into steam, that there isn’t really a big difference
between löylys? But you could not be any more wrong.
If you have ever been more than once in a sauna, you have more than likely noticed, that
sometimes the löylys feel soft and humid, but other times hard and dry. This is a result of
many different factors, but the biggest and most important one is how the steam is produced.

Not to get too scientific, but steam (löyly) feels hot on your body although in reality it actually cools down the sauna room. The hot feeling is a result of the humid, steamy air penetrating the small layer of air that is hovering above your skin, functioning as insulation. If the sauna room has low humidity, the löylys feel hot and dry, since this insulating layer is low in density, and if the sauna room has high humidity, the löylys feel softer since the insulating layer is high in density, and makes it harder for the hot steam to penetrate it. Low humidity can be a result of many factors, but the most common one is that the stove is heating the room, thus drying it. Paradoxically, this is actually something that we are using as a strength in our sauna stoves to enhance the löylys.

Conventional stoves heat the stones, which in turn heat the sauna room. This oftentimes
causes a layered temperature inside the sauna. Therefore the rule of thumb usually is, that the lower bench should be at the same level as the stones since that’s where the heat rises from. Juup stoves’ primary function is to heat the sauna room, and secondarily heat the stones from where the löylys come from. Our stoves are technically just a tall fire cylinder surrounded by a mantle. This causes the fresh cold air by the floor to get sucked in between these two, heats up, and blows hot out from the top and circulating the heat throughout the sauna room. This way the temperature rises and settles evenly and does not cause layered temperature.

The second thing that we like to do differently, is how we produce the löylys.
Most sauna stoves have their stones placed around the fire chamber and around the flue.
This is a very effective way to heat the stones, but when you throw water on them, only parts of the water evaporate into löyly and the rest just drips down to the floor. One reason for this is also because of the leidenfrost effect, but we won’t go into that. Juup stoves on the other hand have their stones inside a steel “pot”, so every single drop of the water poured evaporates into löylys. And since the pot is placed directly above the fire chamber, the stones heat up quickly and stay warm during the whole sauna session, while requiring a smaller stone mass.

This also enables different löylys, since the stones on the bottom and around the walls of the pot heat up to high temperatures, but the stones in the middle of the pot don’t.
If you pour the water on the sides where the hot stones are, you get hot and sharp löylys
because the water evaporates quickly. But if you pour the water into the middle of the pot, where the colder stones are, the water drips down to the bottom of the pot and evaporates slowly. Now, this is where things get exciting; since the hot stones are on the bottom, and the colder stones are in the middle, the water evaporates in the bottom, but condensates slightly again in the middle. This causes a reaction of water evaporating, condensating, and evaporating over and over again, which makes the löylys last longer and are more humid and softer. But most importantly, keeps the sauna room nice and humid for a longer time period. The most relaxing moment a Finn can experience.

If you are familiar with the Finnish culture, you probably know we have our own words to
describe various very Finnish situations and states of mind. The most famous one you
probably heard about is the word “Sisu”, the concept which is described as stoic
determination, tenacity of purpose, grit, bravery, resilience, and hardiness. You’ve probably even heard about the word “Kalsarikännit” which literally translates to underwea
drunkenness and means to drink alone at home in only your underwear. To our knowledge, there is no English (or in any other language either) word that would equivalently describe these feelings or moments. Therefore we at Juup found it very confusing that we do not have a word that would describe that feeling that every Finn knows and has experienced. That moment you step into the sauna after a long day and leave all your worries behind and you’re no longer accessible to the outside world. You are completely disconnected from the electronics-filled everyday life, and you are fully present. The moment when the sigh of the first löyly echoes in the sauna room and the warm steam embraces your body. This is the moment when everything is okay. This is what we want to call “The Finnish moment”.

Needless to say, Juup stoves are a tribute to this moment and emotion. Our stoves are
Finnish sauna innovations that have been designed, developed, and built by sauna
enthusiasts – for three generations.

Read more about our stoves and feel free to contact us!

Article provided by Juup.

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