Bread Kvass




In this instructable I will show you how to make Lithuanian nacional drink kvass
( in Lithuania we call it gira but kvass is more international name for it )
its easy and cheep to make in large quantities , just perfect for feasts.

the dink is made by burning black bread then breawing it with hot water
and fermenting with sugar and cooking yeast for three days in room temperature.

kvass consider to be non alcoholic, but
ferment it for week and a pitcher will get you dizzy.
because some alcohol will buildup from 0.05 to to 1% by wikipedia
I never mesure the percentage my self, but I would say its from 1 to 2 %
these alcohol percentage seams not mutch but the brew is not just water an alcohol
impurities allso add up to the dizzyness,
add hops and you got yourself a cheep homemade beer like drink in a week.

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Step 1: Ingredients

I usualy make 25 liters of kvass ( pictures are from 25l bacth)
but will make this instrucable to make it in one liter bottle
so that you can first make small amount
and see if you like it or not

You will need for 1l bottle

water  800ml
yeast  1 teasoppn ( dry for small amount because you dont need much,
live for big amount because its cheaper )
sugar about 40g more for more alcohol
black bread about 50g or just use one slice
the numbers dont have to be perfect

for 10l you will need

700g black bread
500g sugar
20g  yeast ( if useing live yeast dissolve it in tepid water with a little sugar )

almost any think with flavor can be added I tried it with lemon, rasins, hops (almost tasted like beer )

for one liter but you should make more

twist cap botle 1l ( some air space will be needed about 1/6 )
or other pressure tight container like keg

Step 2: Burning

burn your bread literaly, I usualy put my bread in oven with max heat till some smoke apears
but if you are makeing less than 10l this would be impractical
bread has to be compleately dry ( to give all the taste) and burned (gives a nice collor)
you could just burn it on dry pan or any way you like.

Step 3: Brew

my teabag metod is put burned bred in a sack and boil it in a pot wich is mutch easier for bigger quanities

brew burned bread with boiling hot water and wait for water to get nice dark collor
the procese can be repeted for more collor and taste
ti would require less bread but I am too lazy to brew it more than once because the water takes long time to boil.
you dont need all water to brew, if you are makeing one liter it can be done in a cup  later simply add more water

Step 4:

let the brew cool down till its tepid (becouse hot brew would kill the yeast) ,
pour it into bottle add some water if needed  (leave airspace about 1/6)
add yeast sugar, cap it and shake ot dissolve sugar and yeast

If you would like to add some flavoring like herbs, hops, mint, lemon peal  or anything you like now is the time
but  for the first time I sudgest to make it with no flavoring
If you decide to add hops brew it with boilig water, filter then pour into kvass in small portions stir up and taste to get any bitternes you like, remember its very easy to put too mutch and ruin it all 
put the cap on top but dont seal it, the gas need to get out fot the fist day
if you are makeing big amount
the first day of brewing can be done in a bucket or barrel, then jut pour it into bottles and seal

after one day seal the cap tightly it will create pressure for the kvass to carbonate

by the third day slowly open the cap to let all the pressure out and taste
I usualy taste it earlier but the tase is the best after three, four days,
after a week it would be realy strong

keep it in the fridge when it reatched the taste you like
it will slow down the further fermentation

more sugar could be added before drinking ( dont add  all sugar at once because
yeast will react and make bubbles witch could rise over the top)
but dont sweeten big amounts becouse in time it will turn into alcohol

there are many other species of kvass but I haven't tried to make it from anything other than bread

I think i have said everything
but If you have any questions feel free to ask.

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    26 Discussions


    Question 1 year ago on Step 4

    Is the burning of the bread purely for the colour. Can I just use burnt sugar or what is called Browning? Thanks.

    1 answer

    Reply 1 year ago

    burning helps dry and get more color, if you got some completely dry bread, you should get pretty similar results with taste


    Question 1 year ago on Step 4

    if i have 1.5 l of water how much frest yeast do i need

    and how do i prepare it?

    1 answer

    Reply 1 year ago

    1 gram baking yeast should do, no preparation is needed, just don't kill it with too much heat, let the brew cool, then add it.


    Reply 3 years ago

    I have tremendous admiration for anyone who speaks a more than one language and can write in a different alphabet! English spelling is difficult even for native speakers. Thank you Batonas!


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Sounds yummy. About how long does the dread soak in the hot water? Also, do you soak the bread while boiling the water or do you turn the boil off?

    3 replies

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    I put the bread in cold water ant then put it on fire, bring it somwhere near boil and leave it there for as little as 3 hours, the longer the more you wait tha more taste wil get released to water, some people like it strong, but I dilute it and its ok, there can be some variations, like use less bread for longer time or use more but boil it for a few times to get all the taste out, its all trial and error, good thing someones had passed trouhg all of this, fell free to ask if theres some more questions :)


    Reply 3 years ago

    How long must it sit in the boiling pot after boiling 3 hours? Some recipies say 6 hours? What if I am making 1 liter of kvass?


    Reply 3 years ago

    with 1l its much easier, you can crush your bread and stir to soak it quickly, when its dark thats all you need, filter it out with some mesh and your redy to go.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    I have tryied to make it. It wasn't so good as I think. Then I decide to buy true kvass on Ebay. Guys, it is really good. From Russia. I'm not a spammer, just recomended.

    1 reply

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    its bread kvass, there are many kinds, I've tried malt kvass and its really good, everyones have different tastes.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Hi and thanks for this recipe
    I made 1 liter. When i open the bottle after 3 days and taste it, it have nice taste. after drink and test it i seal the cap tightly. but after few hours after oppening the bottle it taste change to putrefaction. and after 1 week it strongly have putrefaction taste and i can't drink it. what's wrong here? how i can have nice kvass?
    please help me.

    1 reply

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    The gross flavor comes up when the yeast shows up.

    You may need to use brewing yeast, stop a little sooner, or let the yeast settle out for a few weeks, then add a shot of sugar and refridgerate.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    that's up to maker, sometimes I add rasins, lemon peal, hops, but here my goal was jus to show the pure basic, If I add something to my kvass I tie it all in roll bandage, so that I can remove it later on and dont have that stuff in my drink, since it's all tied up you can simpley remove it when it tastes good, and stuff like hops have to be broth, one more tip, if you decide to add strong flavored spices like hops dont add it all at once, add a little, taste, add more if needed.


    5 years ago

    Don't people normally add spices or fruits or something to this.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    you see I've been makeing this kvass for a long time with the same recipy, I havent changed it a bit the only thing I experiment with is puting some lemon, rasins or hops, havent herd anyone useing flour for makeing kvass, it should be messy becouse you would get somthing like a dough wich would clog any filter, they use coarse grinding grains for beer but thats a bit different. try wheat bread, no need to invent something new here :)
    P.S. sorry for the grammar, you should get the point.