Ancient/Traditional Slavic & Baltic Fermented Drink: Kvass
Kvass is a fermented soda-like beverage usually made from bread or flour (barley, wheat, rye, and so on) and probably comes from the same heritage as ancient drinks like beer (Source).
A typical set of ingredients for a traditional Kvass would be:
- ½–1 pound (227–454 g) rye (or other) bread
- 1 gallon (3.78 L) water
- 1½ cups (300 g) sugar (brown sugar, honey, dates…)
- Small handful dried herbs, for flavoring
- 0.4 ounce (12 g) raisins
- ½–¾ cup (120–180 ml) wild yeast starter or commercial beer yeast
However, given that we had just a whole lot of cooked fruit leftover from our attempted jam, I decided to try something new (to me):
Wow, and as soon as I started researching about Fruit Kvass, I found out that Kvass has almost no limits - you can use a range of different ingredients to make it! From Sauerkraut to berries, from bread to simple flour. All you need are the essential ingredients water, (Kvass starter) yeast, and some sugar. Instead of sugar you can use sweet fruits, juices, cake, vegetables, etc… You can add herbs to make it taste better, or flour to let the yeast grow better if you think it is dying. But overall, the Kvass starter seems to be able to ferment easily without much care. This website has some wonderful selection of Kvass ideas - just switch the language the English if you can't read German.
The Fruit Kvass we made was out of cooked Mirabelle-plums which we collected by the lake the day before. We also used the Kvass starter which I had made earlier during my first experiment with Kvass in Kanthaus. It had first been a yeast starter from the shop, but it had been activated with water, sugar and boiled bread, and so it was a very active yeast already. I filled a couple of jars and pots with the fruits, the yeast culture, and some water. I added extra sugar in one of them to see how that one would be different to the others. I think it turned out a little more alcoholic…
After a day, all of them were already all bubbly and soda-like. After 2 days they were perfect and I filtered out the fruits and into big glass bottles to store in the fridge.
Any questions? :)