Kvass recipe?

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Pivzavod

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Summer time is coming up and I want to try to do some Kvass which is a Russian ale and its very low in alcohol (no more then 1%). Here is a recipe that I found that is targeted at a home brewer, all others are for smaller quantity and it requires baking.

Home brewer:

Ingredients
Age all wines one year or more.

* 1 lb loaf rye bread
* 1/4 cup light raisins
* 2 cups granulated sugar
* 1 package ale yeast
* 1 gallon water

Chop or tear bread into small pieces. Place in a straining bag. Put bag in primary fermentor.

Boil water and sugar together. Pour over the bread and add raisins. Let sit overnight. Add yeast.

After 24 hours, remove bag of bread.

Stir daily for two or three days, until frothing stops.

Siphon liquid into loosely capped containers and refrigerate. It is now ready to drink.

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Ingredients:
400 g black bread
3 l water
several raisins
1/2 tsp yeast
3-4 tbsp sugar
1/2 c sour berry juice
crushed mint
If some of the units look unfamiliar to you, click here for conversion tools

Method:
Slice the larger pieces of bread thinly and let the bread roast in the oven until it`s completely dry and gives a strong smell of rye.
Put in a large utensil, pour over the boiling water. Dont`t mix. Let stand for at least 3 hours, or overnight (in a cool place).
Strain off the bread through a cloth, try not to disturb the bread too much, so it would not give off the gluten into the liquid.
Heat the liquid to a lukewarm, add the yeast, mint and berry juice and let stand for 6-8 hours approximately, covered with a towel. Kvas has to be monitored at this point. When a thin layer of bubbly froth appears on the surface, pour it into bottles through a cloth, drop a raisin into each bottle and cork the bottles well. Put into a cool place (2 C is best) for at least 2 days.

What do you guys think? This is a very delicious drink that I remember from my childhood. The recipes are very different and instead combining them and creating a Frankenstein I would prefer to ask the experts :)
 
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I have no idea what the traditional method entails, but soaking bread in some sugar water, then fermenting it doesn't sound particularly appetizing. However, I like that the intent is low alcohol, so it doesn't scream hooch, either. I'd explore doing a partial mash with some rye, followed by the raisin/sugar addition.
 

pjj2ba

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I don't make a Kvass, but I do make a beer where half of the fermentables are from homemade rye bread. I use some 6-row and some pale malt (plus some specialty malts). I turn the bread into crumbs and add it right to the mash. I found this results in a fairly light beer, as only half as much malt is used so there are less malt flavors. If you want something a bit fuller, then some specialty grains are needed.
 
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Pivzavod

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Kvass is the best, its very refreshing and since its low in alcohol the whole family can drink it.

For the first recipe that is targeted or homebrewers what kind of yeast would I use? I could multiply the recipe to make it into 5 gallon batch.

I believe the tradional method is the 2nd one.
 

bierhaus15

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I tried making kvass last summer after drinking loads of the stuff in eastern Poland. The recipe I used had me bake whole rye bread into croutons then ferment them with water and sugar (I used Nottingham yeast) and before bottling, flavor it with mint leaves. The result was OK, but not as good as the stuff I had in Poland.
 
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Is 1% alcohol enough to kill off all the bad bugs like a regular beer does? Ya know, so we have something to drink if we can't drink the water when the zombies come?

(serious question though)
 
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Pivzavod

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I tried making kvass last summer after drinking loads of the stuff in eastern Poland. The recipe I used had me bake whole rye bread into croutons then ferment them with water and sugar (I used Nottingham yeast) and before bottling, flavor it with mint leaves. The result was OK, but not as good as the stuff I had in Poland.

This is the tradional way they make it. I would not add mint leaves, I dont think I ever tried kvass that was minty.

The reason why its better in Eastern Europe is because the bread uses different grains that came from different soil and used different water.

Can you tell me the recipe that you used and if you did 5 gallon batch?
 

bierhaus15

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Can you tell me the recipe that you used and if you did 5 gallon batch?

Hmm. I don't have the exact recipe I used, but I know the recipe called for a loaf of a particular type of rye/buckwheat bread (had a long russian name) that took me forever to find. I eventually found it at an Ukrainian deli... though I would assume that any preservative-free rye bread would work. I made 1 gallon of the stuff.

The directions were pretty much the same as these:

1. Preheat oven to 200°F. Spread the cubes of bread on a baking sheet and place in the for about an hour, or until the bread is fairly well dried out.
2. Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Remove from heat and immediately stir in the bread. Cover with a clean towel and let rest in a dark, cool place for 8-10 hours.
3. Pour the liquid through a fine-meshed sieve or strainer, gently pressing the bread to get the liquid out. Don't press too hard, or your kvas will turn cloudy.
4. Mix the yeast with the warm water and a pinch of the sugar. Set the yeast mixture aside for 10 minutes to proof until foamy. Stir into the strained liquid along with the 1 cup of sugar until the sugar is fully dissolved. Cover again with the towel and let set another 8-10 hours.
5. Strain the liquid again through a fine-meshed sieve or strainer and pour into a 1-gallon pitcher or container. Add the raisins and cover tightly with plastic wrap and a rubber band. Set in a dark, cool place for 1-3 days and the yeast sediment has settled to the bottom.
6. Carefully pour off the clear liquid into a clean container or individual bottles, taking care not to disturb the yeast sediment.

I fermented it with 1/2 packet of Nottingham and added mint leaves to the final jar. I waited a little too long to drink the stuff... it should be drinkable within 2 days and keeps for about 3. Good luck! :)
 

Aspera

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Along with kombucha and kefir, kvass is one of eastern Europe's great gifts to brewers.
 
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Pivzavod

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Hmm. I don't have the exact recipe I used, but I know the recipe called for a loaf of a particular type of rye/buckwheat bread (had a long russian name) that took me forever to find. I eventually found it at an Ukrainian deli... though I would assume that any preservative-free rye bread would work. I made 1 gallon of the stuff.

The directions were pretty much the same as these:

1. Preheat oven to 200°F. Spread the cubes of bread on a baking sheet and place in the for about an hour, or until the bread is fairly well dried out.
2. Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Remove from heat and immediately stir in the bread. Cover with a clean towel and let rest in a dark, cool place for 8-10 hours.
3. Pour the liquid through a fine-meshed sieve or strainer, gently pressing the bread to get the liquid out. Don't press too hard, or your kvas will turn cloudy.
4. Mix the yeast with the warm water and a pinch of the sugar. Set the yeast mixture aside for 10 minutes to proof until foamy. Stir into the strained liquid along with the 1 cup of sugar until the sugar is fully dissolved. Cover again with the towel and let set another 8-10 hours.
5. Strain the liquid again through a fine-meshed sieve or strainer and pour into a 1-gallon pitcher or container. Add the raisins and cover tightly with plastic wrap and a rubber band. Set in a dark, cool place for 1-3 days and the yeast sediment has settled to the bottom.
6. Carefully pour off the clear liquid into a clean container or individual bottles, taking care not to disturb the yeast sediment.

I fermented it with 1/2 packet of Nottingham and added mint leaves to the final jar. I waited a little too long to drink the stuff... it should be drinkable within 2 days and keeps for about 3. Good luck! :)

Thats pretty much the traditional recipe that I've on many sites. I just got 2 1 gallon mason jars so I will try a small 1 gallon batch to see how it is. I have at least 5 different Russian stores within the 5 block radius of me so getting the bread is not a problem. I even heard from my mom that there is some kind of kvass concentrate mix that you can buy. I will try it the real way though, what fun is it to be a home brewer and make concentrated ales? :) Whats next - concentrated Belgian Wit? :)

What do you think of bottling kvass and adding some sugar for carbonation or use a TAP 6 litre bottle on it. That would be a nice batch of kvass to make and will last you a few days to drink.
 

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I LOVE this place!!

I had a friend over this evening who is originally from Russia and left in 90-91 (a bit of action around that time...). He asked me after seeing my fermentation cupboard if I had ever heard of, or made, kvass. I hadn't so he told me about it and I figured that I would make up a half batch for him for nostalgia. He had mentioned that he bought the concentrate but it wasn't the same so I'll try some as homebrew.

I'll try this recipe and see how it goes. He mentioned a couple of places where he has bought "the bread from his childhood" as he puts it which would be the bread that I would use for this recipe.

I'll do it and report back.
 

Shooter

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Enjoy, I made kvass a few months back...it's different. I've seen recipes using brown bread and dark rye. I used dark rye and spearmint, because I couldn't find peppermint. It was good, but the golden raisins floating around in the bottle were a little odd. Kvass has an oddly refreshing quality, but it takes some getting used to.
 
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