Prep 288 hrs
Cook 1 hr
Kvass is an ancient beverage consumed in Russia and throughout the Slovic regions. It is low alcohol, similar to beer, and is much loved. It is also used when making a traditional Borscht. This recipe takes several days to complete.
- 1 lb dark rye bread, stale and cubed
- 3 quarts water
- 1⁄2 ounce active dry yeast (2 1/2 teaspoons)
- 1⁄4 cup water, lukewarm (110 degrees F)
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons raisins
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees F and spread bread cubes on a baking sheet; bake until the bread is fairly dried out, about 1 hour.
- In a large pot, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil, remove from heat, and stir in bread; cover with a clean towel and let rest in a cool, dark place for 8 to 10 hours.
- Pour the liquid through a fine meshed sieve, or strainer, and gently press bread to get the liquid (don't press too hard or your finished product will be cloudy).
- Mix the yeast with the warm water and a pinch of sugar; set aside and let proof 10 minutes.
- Stir into the strained liquid along with 1 cup sugar, stirring until sugar is dissolved; cover and let stand another 8 to 10 hours.
- Strain again and pour into a 1 gallon container; add raisins, cover tightly with plastic wrap and a rubber band.
- Let stand in a cool, dark place 4 to 5 days until the yeast sediment has settled to the bottom, leaving a clear liquid.
- Carefully pour the clear liquid into a clean container or individual bottles, trying not to disturb the yeast sediment.
- Chill well.
- VARIATIONS: add 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves with the yeast and sugar. Or substitute 2 to 3 cups of berry juice for some of the water to give it a fruity flavor. It can also be served with the yeast sediment. This gives it a richer flavor and more vitamins.