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Old 11-24-2009, 02:56 PM   #1
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Default Kvas

Has anyone ever had this? It's a Russian drink; basically a very small beer traditionally made out of ingredients from the home. SWMBO was born in the Soviet Union and moved to the States when she was ten. She always talks about kvas and standing in lines to get it at these carts they wheeled around which were basically giant kegs.

We have a kid on the way and I'm thinking of making the recipe Mosher included in Radical Brewing a few weeks before the due date. Since her family will be in town, I thought it would be a fun way to celebrate. Only problem is that I want it to be a surprise and have basically no experience with this drink. If you have any experience with it (tasting/brewing/whatever), I'd love to hear what you think about it in general, and any suggestions.

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Old 11-24-2009, 04:12 PM   #2
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I made some a long time ago as a quick drink to enjoy while I was waiting for my first homebrew to be ready. As I recall the recipe included toasted rye bread, mint, sugar, cream of tartar, lemon and bread yeast.

It tasted fine, if a little strange (also the bottles had over an inch of yeast on the bottom!). The worst part squeezing the liquid out of the wet rye bread through a peice of cheesecloth. It took forever and the whole wad looked like a dirty diaper.

But I'll bet Mosher's recipe is a lot easier, I can't remember offhand.

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Old 11-24-2009, 04:17 PM   #3
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My wife is into lacto-fermenting stuff like Kombucha and Kefir. We made some lacto-fermented beet kvass. I thought it tasted like pig sweat.

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Old 11-24-2009, 04:22 PM   #4
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I've had kvass from a local international market. It wasn't too bad. I was going to try the recipe in Cresswell's soda book at some point.

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Old 11-24-2009, 05:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppus_Poppatopolis View Post
I thought it tasted like pig sweat.
I've never had the pleasure.
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Old 11-24-2009, 05:28 PM   #6
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Especially since pigs don't have the ability to sweat........that's why they wallow in mudpuddles: to cool themselves off.

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Old 11-24-2009, 06:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Handle View Post
I've never had the pleasure.
Heh. Definitely doesn't sound like the wonderful drink from her childhood...although Russians do have some funky foods. (Do a Google search for "holodets" and you'll see what I mean.)
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Old 11-24-2009, 07:08 PM   #8
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I should be clear that I'm only talking about the lacto-fermented kvass that we made which may or may not be the "real" way to make it.
Other recipes might be delicious. I like beets but this tasted nothing like beets.

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Old 11-24-2009, 07:35 PM   #9
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I visited Russia a few years ago. I remember the kvass there being quite good, but I had some from a Russian market here over the summer and really didn't like it.

I remember them saying that it was fermented rye bread (or Russian black bread), possibly with raisins... not sure about the raisins.

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Old 11-24-2009, 07:41 PM   #10
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An amusing description and recipe from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica.

COMMON TABLE KVASS

Quote:
3 funts of rye malt and 1 funt of barley malt cooked in a
sufficient quantity of boiling water to produce a thick, but
pourable, gruel; mix to smoothness,put in a cast iron vessel
and place in oven for several hours for full infusion. Remove
and pour into a large pot, dilute with boiling water to the
desired consistency, allow to settle, and then decant. From
the decanted liquid, take 2-3 stakans, and dissolve therein 30
grams of yeast and 2 tbsp. of wheat flour, allowing the mass
to rise in a warm place, after which, pour back into the pot.
Add sugar to taste, 0.25 funt of raisins, 3-4 pieces of hops;
mix well and place in a warm room until the yeast and raisins
come to the top and form a hemispherical foam "cap". Remove
this with a perforated ladle, pour the kvass into bottles,
seal them and put in a cold place. The kvass may be drunk the
next day.
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