Bread Kvass

Russian peasants made bread kvass when they didn't have beets to make beet kvass with. It would make a good beverage to drink with supper. A child might take pride in making their own food. I added a little cinnamon and honey to mine when serving.

1 slice of stale, dark bread or a handful of crusts
1 teaspoon of cornmeal [optional, but improves flavor]
1 cup of water
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 tablespoon of starter
1 raisin

Put the bread and cornmeal in a glass jar
Add the cup of water
Cover with a piece of cloth
Secure with a rubber band (or tie with a piece of string)
Let set for a day
After bread has soaked for a day, strain it out by squeezing it through the cloth. (The mush can be re-used to start another batch.)

As you go along, you can re-use the strained material to either start more beverage or add it to a batch of bread dough. If you use it to start another kvass, you can top it up with a piece of bread crust or some more cornmeal as the bread and cornmeal is depleted. The more cornmeal you add, the better it will taste (to my mind at least, ymmv). You could have used all cornmeal to begin with, but it would have needed to soak about a week longer. Bread kvass is "instant beer".

Add sugar, yeast starter and raisin to the filtered liquid. (You can substitute a pinch of bread yeast, but it will take longer to ferment)

Cover with the piece of plastic and secure with the rubber band. (This makes an airlock. See Airlock for substitutes.)

When the raisin floats to the top and is pushing against the surface, transfer to plastic soda pop bottle and screw top on tightly.

The raisin can be added to another brew along with the sugar and yeast starter, as it will contain both sugar and live yeast.

When drink has become fizzy, the bottle wiil be firm to the touch and cannot be squeezed..

This bottle can still be squeezed and is not ready to drink yet.

     The more cornmeal to bread ratio you have, the better it will taste but the longer it will take to brew. If you make it with all cornmeal, do not strain it out before adding the sugar and starter. Leave it in during the fermentation period and just pour the fermented beverage carefully into the plastic bottle leaving the cornmeal behind when it is ready to bottle. The dregs can be reused for 2 or 3 more batches and can act as the yeast starter so the tablespoon of yeast starter is not needed. This mild beverage is very similar to what would be called near beer.


Lacto-fermented kvass
Same recipe as above, but substitute a tablespoon of kefir whey or cold milk culture whey for starter.

Malt Beverage
Same recipe as above, but add 1 tablespoon of malt extract when adding sugar.

Lacto-Fermented Malt Beverage
Same as above but substitute whey for starter and add tablespoon of malt extract when adding sugar.

Full Moon Feast by Jessica Prentice
This is a good book if you like learning about indigenous customs and following natural cycles. Includes using coconut oil, a rootbeer recipe that calls for only 2 tablespoons of sassafras and easy and delicious corn fritters.
Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz.

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