|Mockbac Russian Rye drink, can|
(Russian fermented rye beverage)
Kvas (квас) is an ancient and beloved beverage from Slavic Europe. While it is basically a low-alcohol beer, it is enjoyed as a soft drink, even by small children. Factory-made versions have been available for some time and many are quite good. But homemade will always be best. Often spelled "kvass." Here is a recipe using actual dried rye bread.
|Kvass Rye Drink for Home Brewing|
A fizzy bread drink sometimes referred to as Russian cola, kvas literally means “leaven.” Its origins go back fifty centuries (fifty is not a typo!) to the beginnings of beer production. Kvas was first mentioned in Old Russian Chronicles in the year 989. But how the recipe was discovered and by whom remains a mystery to this day.
Some say the drink was invented by mistake. According to one legend, a bag of grain got wet and the grain started to grow. A farmer decided to save the product and make flour out of it. He couldn’t use it to make bread and instead, invented malt. He added some water, let the liquid ferment and created the first ever kvas.
Making your own
Kvas has been consumed in most Slavic countries (Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Lithuania, Poland) as well as in ex-Soviet states since ancient times. In some countries one can still see kvas vendors on the streets. Similar beverages around the world include Malta, Chicha, Ibwatu, Pulque and Rivella. There is a famous saying "Bad kvas is better than good water."
House kvas is made with black or rye bread baked into sukhari (croutons), yeast and zakvaska (kvas fermentation starter). The taste depends on the proportions of these essential ingredients. There are numerous variations of the following basic recipe.
Rye Bread Kvass
2 g (10 l) hot boiled water (70-80 C, 158-176 F)
1 lb dried rye bread slices
1 lb sugar
1 pack yeast
For better taste, add mint, raisins, and/or black currant leaves
Dry the rye bread slices in a warm oven, then cool. Place in a large, deep glass or enameled dish, and cover with 1 g (5 L) hot water. Let sit for 1-2 hours at room temperature. Stir 2-3 times. Sift the liquid into a glass or enameled dish, keep it and the soaked slices.
Cover the soaked rye slices with the other 1 g (5 L) hot boiled water, and let sit 1-2 hours at room temperature. Then, sift the liquid into the previously sifted liquid and keep it but not the rye remains.
Let cool to room temperature, add the yeast, sugar, and (optional) mint, raisins, and/or black currant leaves.
Let sit at room temperature for 8-12 hours, or overnight.
Sift, pour into bottles, and place in a cold place (or in a refrigerator) for 2-3 days.