Author Options:

Wanted Instructable Answered

In Poland I used to drink what in Polish is called kwas chlebowy and in Russian Kvass.The one which I bought was non-alcoholic. I tried to make some at home but it ended up very bad. So I ask you to please post a good recipe for it. I don't care whether it is alcoholic or not because I can find a way to get rid of the alcohol.
Wiki Definition of Kvass


You can make kvass (called "gira" in Lithuania) out of anything that has some sugar/starch in it. I have a copy of 1933 kvass-only recipe book, and kvasses are made out of either wheat or rye bread or rye malt, using Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast (that is, bakers yeast, or top fermenting brewers yeast). The thing to making good kvass is NOT ALLOWING IT TO FERMENT TOO MUCH. The basic recipe is like this: 10 l water 1 kg sugar 2 kg rye bread (you can use wheat bread, yet then the taste and colour will be weaker) 30 g fresh yeast (or 10-15g dried) 50 g raisins dry the bread out and roast until it gets darker in the oven. Boil some water and pour it onto the bread (in acontainer of some kind). Let steep for approx. 5-6 hours. Only the liquid is needed, so everything is filtered through a mesh of some kind. Add remaining water(boiled) to the steeped liquid, add sugar. After cooling to approx. 30 degrees celsius (a bit cooler than body temperature) add the yeast, then cover the container with a cloth. Let it ferment for 13-15 hours in a moderately warm place. After the fermentation, skim the foam and either bottle the kvass or keep it in the container, but move the drink to a cold place for storage. It will be good for a few days, a week maybe if stored properly, after that it overferments and gets bitter and develops some other "offtastes" and higher alcohol content.

I also have some books which have all sorts of Kvass recipes from Belarus, Lithuania, and Russia and made from almost anything from bread to apples and beets. Thanks for the recipe but I think I have another good recipe which doesn't use yeast but barley. I might post it once I perfect it.

A fermented drink cannot be made without yeast (except sake, which is fermented by a mold), if your recipe calls for no yeast, this means that your beverage will be fermented by wild yeast and/or various bacteria and this can render your drink unpalatable. If malted barley is used as the source of convertable sugars, the drink will be somewhat like beer without the bitterness of the hops, in my opinion, rye malt should be used instead of barley malt, it just tastes better. By the way, if you want your kvass to stay fresh a bit longer, siphon it off from the fermentation vessel as soon as it reaches the taste you like without disturbing the trub on the bottom of the vessel.

I am not sure how you made your brew, but I do know that:

#1: one needs to start with a proper yeast (not bread yeast, certainly it must be free of Wild or vinegar yeasts), so a brewer's yeast looks like it would work the best....to make the "starter" batch

#2: you can't let it ferment very long at all !

#2 is important, even if making good wine or beers. The hight the alcohol content of a "fermented" drink, the worse it will taste. Really good wines are rarely about 2-5 % content.

I hope that helps some. I have never tried to make Kvass though it does sound like something to attempt eventually here :-)

My grandpa has some brewer's yeast packets left from when he used to make wine. Also in my grandma's recipe book it said to let it ferment for about 3 days.

Ok....the yeast, if too old, will be mostly dead. . . 3 days? That doesn't sound like it is too long (my first batch of wine, I let it ferment until it STOPPED, giving the wine close to a 19% alcohol content, and making it taste like someone had made it in a garbage can (actually, I DID make it in a brand new plastic trash can)....I even left a few bottle to AGE for a few years.....still tasted like the garbage. My next batch, I stopped it in a few days and it was much better (unfortunately, I somehow bottle a centipede into one of the bottles and was kind of turned off to the whole process).

Well the Kvass isn't high in alcohol and in Russia was approved for children so it shouldn't ferment for too long. The yeast probably has died because it has been laying around for probably a couple years.

you can still try to make a starter with it (I am not sure how to make one for Kvass, but a bit of a recently fermented batch, is how it is done in baking circles).

It might work. On the batches I tried to make there was a foam thing on top of the fermenting Kvass.

Yeah, I started trying to make Kvass for an instructable once, but it was so terrible and nasty I just went back to buying it at the polish deli.