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Kvass (Russian Fermented Rye Bread Drink)

December 3rd, 2011 in Beverages, Non-alcoholic by
Total cooking time: 2days 12h
Kvass (Russian Fermented Rye Bread Drink)

Kvass (kvas, quass) is probably a bit of unusual drink to this part of the globe.

Indeed, if you read ingredients list: dried rye bread, water, sugar and yeast – it probably will not strike you as something delicious. However this is one of soft drinks which is, according to Wikipedia, popular in Eastern Europe countries, especially Russia, since ancient times.

It is not hard to prepare kvass at home: you just need 2 big cooking pots, a funnel, cheese cloth, rye bread (which can be a bit of challenge to find) and about 3 days. Any type of rye bread will work.

I recently discovered good borodinsky bread in nearby european store, we liked it a lot and now buying pretty often. I dice the bread leftovers and heels and dry them for 10-15 mins in oven; that way I always have dried rye bread for the next patch of kvass ready to go when I need it (and I also don’t need to throw bread out).

Prepared kvass can be stored bottled in fridge; serve it as soft drink or use to prepare okroshka soup.

Ingredients:


How to prepare, step-by-step:

  1. Prepare ingredients: any kind of rye bread will work good for this recipe, just dice and dry it out while storing before use:
    Kvass (Russian Fermented Rye Bread Drink) Recipe: Step 1
    Kvass (Russian Fermented Rye Bread Drink) Recipe: Step 1
  2. Crumble dried rye bread in blender (or manually, if you don’t have one):
    Kvass (Russian Fermented Rye Bread Drink) Recipe: Step 2
    Kvass (Russian Fermented Rye Bread Drink) Recipe: Step 2
  3. Pour about a cup of rye bread crumbs into big cooking pot, if you don’t like kvass to be bitter reduce amount to 3/4 of cup; increasing amount of bread crumbs will make color darker as well:
    Kvass (Russian Fermented Rye Bread Drink) Recipe: Step 3
    Kvass (Russian Fermented Rye Bread Drink) Recipe: Step 3
  4. In another big cooking pot bring to boil 1 gallon of water (I usually measure amount of water with bottle(s) I am going to store kvass in, that way I am always sure bottles and content volumes match):
    Kvass (Russian Fermented Rye Bread Drink) Recipe: Step 4
    Kvass (Russian Fermented Rye Bread Drink) Recipe: Step 4
  5. Pour boiling water to the cooking pot with bread crumbs and set pot aside at room temperature for about 2-2.5 hours, stir from time to time:
    Kvass (Russian Fermented Rye Bread Drink) Recipe: Step 5
    Kvass (Russian Fermented Rye Bread Drink) Recipe: Step 5
  6. After 2 hours, when bread and water mixture isn’t that hot anymore, mix dry yeast with about 3 tablespoons of warm water:
    Kvass (Russian Fermented Rye Bread Drink) Recipe: Step 6
    Kvass (Russian Fermented Rye Bread Drink) Recipe: Step 6
  7. Stir all sugar in to the bread and water mix:
    Kvass (Russian Fermented Rye Bread Drink) Recipe: Step 7
    Kvass (Russian Fermented Rye Bread Drink) Recipe: Step 7
  8. Add yeast:
    Kvass (Russian Fermented Rye Bread Drink) Recipe: Step 8
    Kvass (Russian Fermented Rye Bread Drink) Recipe: Step 8
  9. And mix:
    Kvass (Russian Fermented Rye Bread Drink) Recipe: Step 9
    Kvass (Russian Fermented Rye Bread Drink) Recipe: Step 9
  10. Cover with clean cloth and leave in warm place for 10-12 hours:
    Kvass (Russian Fermented Rye Bread Drink) Recipe: Step 10
    Kvass (Russian Fermented Rye Bread Drink) Recipe: Step 10
  11. After fermentation for about 12 hours kvass mix will look like this:
    Kvass (Russian Fermented Rye Bread Drink) Recipe: Step 11
    Kvass (Russian Fermented Rye Bread Drink) Recipe: Step 11
  12. Strain kvass from bread crumbs into clean big cooking pot, use several layers of cheese cloth and colander:
    Kvass (Russian Fermented Rye Bread Drink) Recipe: Step 12
    Kvass (Russian Fermented Rye Bread Drink) Recipe: Step 12
  13. You will get something like this:
    Kvass (Russian Fermented Rye Bread Drink) Recipe: Step 13
    Kvass (Russian Fermented Rye Bread Drink) Recipe: Step 13
  14. Now pour kvass into bottle(s) using funnel (plastic bottles are the best choice here because they can handle increasing of pressure during kvass carbonation):
    Kvass (Russian Fermented Rye Bread Drink) Recipe: Step 14
    Kvass (Russian Fermented Rye Bread Drink) Recipe: Step 14
  15. Leave about 1/8 of the bottle empty:
    Kvass (Russian Fermented Rye Bread Drink) Recipe: Step 15
    Kvass (Russian Fermented Rye Bread Drink) Recipe: Step 15
  16. Add few dried raisins and screw the lid down tight:
    Kvass (Russian Fermented Rye Bread Drink) Recipe: Step 16
    Kvass (Russian Fermented Rye Bread Drink) Recipe: Step 16
  17. Leave closed up bottle(s) with kvass at room temperature for 2-3 hours, then put to fridge for 2 days, after that kvass is ready: carefully pour it to glasses (don’t mix sediment and remove raisins) and enjoy:
    Kvass (Russian Fermented Rye Bread Drink) Recipe: Step 17
    Kvass (Russian Fermented Rye Bread Drink) Recipe: Step 17
Enjoy!

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19 Comments on "Kvass (Russian Fermented Rye Bread Drink)"

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Miklós Kosárkár
1 year 8 months ago

I’m from Ukraine but i’m not in Hungary and i miss kvass. To be honest i don’t know if the original kvass tastes like the one we always bought in the store because what i know as kvass is dark brown almost black.

Miklós Kosárkár
1 year 8 months ago

*now
(and its 2am here in Debrecen)

Phil
2 years 4 months ago

Does the kvass have to be stored in plastic bottles? or can mason jars be used with tight seals? As long as the pressure build up isn’t too much, should they be fine, or is there too much danger of an exploding glass jar?

Fred Harrison
2 years 8 months ago
TWEAKING THE RECIPE On the second batch I made these changes; 1. A 50/50 mix of commercial rye and sprouted wheat breads were used. The rye bread had wheat in it. 2. Bread crumbs were not crumbed, but left cubed 3. Only 3/4 cup of sugar was used 4. A packet of activated dry baker’s yeast was simply sprinkled on top of the wort and not stirred in 5. A crock was used instead of a stainless steel pot 6. Filled bottles were left out half a day before refrigerating The result was a lemony sour beverage more in keeping… Read more »
Fred Harrison
2 years 8 months ago
This quick and easy brew turned out very nice, but I am going to fiddle with it some to see what can be done with various grains and breads, and the addition of hops and other bittering agents. Also, I will try cutting down on the amount of sugar used to make it, and substitute various other kinds of yeast-friendly sugars. I have a dislike for using plastic containers, which leach unhealthy chemicals into foods and beverages, and so used recycled 15 oz. tea bottles (Taoz), filling them 80% full at 12 oz. These bottles have 3/8″ wider openings than… Read more »
Fred Harrison
2 years 8 months ago

This recipe turned out very nice, but I am going to fiddle with it some to see what can be done i had no problem with bottling it in recycled 15 oz. tea bottles (Taoz) with screw on caps, filling them 80% full at 12 oz.

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