Kvass

Kvass

kvass

Kvass is an ancient Russian drink known and loved for well over a thousand years.  There are numerous recipes of kvass, and the term if often used broadly to cover all sorts of fermented beverages. Commercially produced kvass has even made its way to the shelves of some of the supermarkets in the US. Here is a simple recipe you can try at home to get started:

 

 

 

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds simple rye bread (no caraway seed, etc.)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 gallons water
  • 2 packets dry yeast
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 1 cup rye malt or barley malt (optional)
  • ½ cup molasses (optional)
  • ½ cup barley malt syrup (optional)

Directions

  1. Cut the bread into slices approximately ½ inch thick and arrange them on a baking sheet.
  2. Roast the bread slices at 400 °F until medium brown or darker if you prefer a darker color of the final product.
  3. In a large stockpot, combine the roasted bread and ½ cup of sugar.
  4. Add malt and molasses OR malt syrup. This will create a better flavor although you can still make kvass with just bread and sugar.
  5. Boil the water and add to the stockpot containing the roasted bread, sugar, and the optional ingredients. Cover and let cool to room temperature.
  6. Add the yeast. It may be more convenient to mix the yeast with a small amount of water first and then stir into the stockpot.
  7. Cover, but not too tightly to let the gas escape (you can use several layers of gauze or cheese cloth), and let ferment at room temperature for about 2 days. You can also use beer brewing equipment such as a Coopers Brewery DIY Beer Kit or any large glass container. You can use more than one container if the ones you have are too small to accommodate the entire amount of the brew.
  8. After two days, carefully remove the fluid trying not to disturb the sediment. Filter the fluid through several layers of cheese cloth.
  9. Save the solids and use them as a starter for future batches of kvass. Chances are, the subsequent batches will come out tasting better than the first one!
  10. Add the remaining sugar and raisin to the kvass. With some experimentation, you’ll find the right amount of sugar to add to strike the right balance between the sweet and sour flavor in the final product to suit your taste.
  11. Continue the fermentation for another 12 – 24 hours.
  12. Remove and filter the fluid leaving the sediment behind.
  13. If you have a beer brewing kit such as a Coopers Brewery DIY Beer Kit, you can now pour kvass in bottles, seal them, and let stand in the fridge for 24 hours before using it. Otherwise just leave the kvass in the fridge for a day after which it will be ready
  14. You can drink kvass as a refreshing beverage or use it to prepare a cold soup called okroshka.
  15. Don’t forget to save the solids and use them again as a starter for the next batch. The recipe is the same but you can use 1 packet of yeast instead of two. The flavor of subsequent batches usually keeps improving, so don’t stop making kvass!

 

Note on alcohol content: kvass typically contains a small amount of alcohol produced by the fermentation process, a lower concentration than you find in beer.  In Russia, it is often not considered an alcoholic beverage. Use your best judgment, however.

 

Kvass
Recipe Type: Beverage
Author: Russian Recipe Book
Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 72 hours
Total time: 73 hours
Serves: 10
Kvass is an ancient Russian drink known and loved for well over a thousand years. There are numerous recipes of kvass, and the term if often used broadly to cover all sorts of fermented beverages. Commercially produced kvass has even made its way to the shelves of some of the supermarkets in the US. Note that kvass typically contains a small amount of alcohol produced by the fermentation process, a lower concentration than you find in beer. In Russia, it is often not considered an alcoholic beverage. Use your best judgment, however. Here is a simple recipe you can try at home to get started:
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds simple rye bread (no caraway seed, etc.)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 gallons water
  • 2 packets dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1 cup rye malt or barley malt (optional)
  • 1/2 cup molasses (optional)
  • 1/2 cup barley malt syrup (optional)
Instructions
  1. Cut the bread into slices approximately ½ inch thick and arrange them on a baking sheet.
  2. Roast the bread slices at 400 °F until medium brown or darker if you prefer a darker color of the final product.
  3. In a large stockpot, combine the roasted bread and 1/2 cup of sugar.
  4. Add malt and molasses OR malt syrup. This will create a better flavor although you can still make kvass with just bread and sugar.
  5. Boil the water and add to the stockpot containing the roasted bread, sugar, and the optional ingredients. Cover and let cool to room temperature.
  6. Add the yeast. It may be more convenient to mix the yeast with a small amount of water first and then stir into the stockpot.
  7. Cover, but not too tightly to let the gas escape (you can use several layers of gauze or cheese cloth), and let ferment at room temperature for about 2 days. You can also use beer brewing equipment such as a Coopers Brewery DIY Beer Kit or any large glass container. You can use more than one container if the ones you have are too small to accommodate the entire amount of the brew.
  8. After two days, carefully remove the fluid trying not to disturb the sediment. Filter the fluid through several layers of cheese cloth.
  9. Save the solids and use them as a starter for future batches of kvass. Chances are, the subsequent batches will come out tasting better than the first one!
  10. Add the remaining sugar and raisin to the kvass. With some experimentation, you’ll find the right amount of sugar to add to strike the right balance between the sweet and sour flavor in the final product to suit your taste.
  11. Continue the fermentation for another 12 – 24 hours.
  12. Remove and filter the fluid leaving the sediment behind.
  13. If you have a beer brewing kit such as a Coopers Brewery DIY Beer Kit, you can now pour kvass in bottles, seal them, and let stand in the fridge for 24 hours before using it. Otherwise just leave the kvass in the fridge for a day after which it will be ready
  14. You can drink kvass as a refreshing beverage or use it to prepare a cold soup called okroshka.
  15. Don’t forget to save the solids and use them again as a starter for the next batch. The recipe is the same but you can use 1 packet of yeast instead of two. The flavor of subsequent batches usually keeps improving, so don’t stop making kvass!

Russian name: Квас

 

2 Comments

  1. Antonio_Montana says:

    Mhm, nice layout :).

  2. Randal Sontag says:

    Great stuff. I love beer.

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