Kombucha Journal

Online since 27 years. Founded 1996 by Günther W. Frank

Rye-bread Kvass - Brot-Kwass

      Bread Kvass - Brot-Kwaß       

The recipes are compiled from the Homebrew Digest and the rec.crafts.brewing newsgroup. The original posting author is always listed in every recipe and any question about how the recipe was made or how the kvass turned out should be referred to the author. Unfortunately I did not succeed to contact all the original authors and ask for their permission to put the recipes on my WebPage. So I hope they will not mind publishing it.

Kvass 1

Source: Ronald Leenes Issue #819, 2/7/92. He wrote: “I got this recipe from a book called dinerparty a la perestrojka. I tried it once, it tasted terrible, but that was probably due to the fact that the rye-bread was almost burned. This is more or less the description the book gives. Remember this is a recipe for non-brewers. It is a cookbook after all. ”


  • 500 grams Rye-bread
  • 8 litres, water
  • 25 grams yeast (the book mentions yeast to make bread)
  • 225 grams sugar
  • 4 spoons of luke warm water
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 spoons of raisins
  • 2 branches of peppermint


Put the slices of rye-bread in the oven (200 degrees Celsius) for about 45 mins, until they're dried. Boil the 8 liters of water. Crumble the dried rye-bread, put it in the boiling water for about 5 mins. Let it the water, and rye-bread rest for 4 hours, covered with a tea-cloth. Crumble the yeast, 15 mins before the 4 hours are over. Mix the crumbled yeast with some sugar and the luke warm water. Let it rest for 15 mins. Filter the water-rye-bread mix in a kitchen sieve. Carefully extract all water from the rye- bread. Wash, and peel the lemon. Add the lemon-peel, the sugar, the yeast and the pepermint. Stir the solution, and let it rest (covered) for 8 hours. Sieve the solution (tea-cloth). Bottle it.Put some raisins, a bit of lemon-peel, and a fresh leaf of peppermint in every bottle, close the bottles, and keep them in a cool place.

Ready when the raisins start floating.

Sieve the stuff one more time in a tea-cloth.

Put the Kvass in the fridge 4 hours before drinking.

Kvass 2

Source: message header lost, posted to rec.crafts.brewing newsgroup, 2/11/92 This recipe is from the book "Wines, Beers and Spirits by Maurice Hanssen and Jacqueline Dineen, Baronet Publishing Co. New York, 1978.

Kvass is very refreshing on a hot summer's day and is quickly made from black bread and yeast. It is quite like weak beer and is fermented and slightly alcoholic, but must be stored in the refrigerator using corks, not screw-in stoppers or else it will go on fermenting and blow.

This, to me, looks very similar to the Sumerian recipe which Anchor Brewery of San Francisco recreated a couple of years ago.

Ingredients: (for 10 bottles)

  • 1 pound (1/2 k), Dry Black Bread
  • 24 cups, Boiling Water
  • 1 1/2 lbs (3/4 k) Sugar
  • 2 ounces (56g), Fresh Compressed Yeast
  • 1/2 cup, Sultanas (yellow seedless raisins)


Put the bread into a large container and then add the boiling water. When the mixture is lukewarm squeeze the liquid from the bread very thoroughly, making sure that the bread itself does not come through because this clouds the drink.

Add the sugar and yeast, mix, cover and leave for ten hours. Pour the drink into clean bottles, and three sultanas to each, put the corks and tie them down---then refrigerate immediately.

Kvass 3

Source: Lee Katman Issue #827, 2/19/92 There are many ways of making kwas. The method varies with the locality. In Bukowina, a province of Austria where there are many Slavic folks, kwas was made with apples and had a pleasant cidery, slightly sourish taste.

I have chosen the simplest of the recipes, and you can try it, making it once for the sheer novelty of it. It is modified from a recipe of Harry Rubin and Vasily Le Gros, of the Monastery of Our Lady of Kursk, about a mile from my farm. The kwas is made at the monastery by one of the monks.

At the monastery, the priest makes it somewhat differently, using little syrup and no raisins. The result is a very sour drink.

In Bukowina, small whole apples were put in the water before boiling it, and one was put into each glass of kwas when you bought it.


  • 3 pounds, stale well-baked rye bread
  • 5 gallons, water
  • 3 pounds, raisins
  • 2 pounds, dark molasses (or honey)
  • 1/2 ounce, yeast (2 packs)
  • 1 tsp., whole wheat flour


Cut the bread into small pieces and put them into a crock or barrel. Boil the water and pour it over the bread. Add the cut-up raisins. Cover the crock well with a tablecloth and let the liquid stand untilit cools. Filter it through a napkin or towel, but do not squeeze it. Pour into the liquid the molasses (or honey); use a greater amount if you want a sweet wine. Mix thoroughly. Dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup warm water and pour it in, and also add the flour.

Cover and place in a warm room (65 - 70). Let the must stand until it starts fermenting, then filter it. Pour it into bottles, putting two raisins into each bottle. After a few days, it should be good to drink.

Kvass 4

Source: rec.crafts.brewing newsgroup, November 17, 1994 These are from the Old Country, so use at your own risk. When I was an undergraduate & Bud came out with the screwtop quart, kvass had a brief vogue, but real dark rye was hard to find!

Ingredients: (for 1 gallon)

  • 1 loaf dry dark rye bread (approx 24 slices)
  • 1-1/2 gal boiling water
  • 3 c sugar
  • 2 pkgs yeast
  • 1/4 c golden raisins


Put bread in a tea towel & tie bundle securely with string. Put bundle in crock & pour in boiling water. Cover & let set until water is lukewarm. Remove bundle & let drip into clean pan. Pour drip water back into crock, making sure no bread is in the water. Add sugar, then yeast, stir & cover. Set in a warm place 10 to 12 hours.

There will be a slight yeast settlement. Pour the clear liquid into a jug & add raisins. Cork the bottle or put a lid on the jar, but not too tightly, or the cork will blow. Refrigerate for 5 days, then strain before serving. Yield will be about a gallon.

Kvass 5

Source: rec.crafts.brewing newsgroup, November 17, 1994


  • 1 lb dried out sliced black bread
  • 24 c boiling water
  • 3 c sugar
  • 2 oz fresh yeast
  • 1/2 c golden raisins


Put bread into a big pan or earthenware crock & pour boiling water over it. Allow to cool till lukewarm, then carefully squeeze the liquid from the bread & strain the liquid through a muslin cloth so the kvass will not be cloudy. Add the sugar & yeast, stir & cover. Let stand 10-12 hours.

Pour the kvass into clean bottles & add 2 or 3 raisins to each. Cork & tie down & refrigerate immediately. If not chilled at once it will continue to ferment and shatter the bottle if it cannot blow its cork.

Kvass 6

Source: rec.crafts.brewing newsgroup, November 17, 1994


  • 2 lb dark rye bread
  • 1 oz yeast
  • 8 oz sugar
  • 1 oz mint
  • 2 oz raisins
  • 16 pints water


Cut the bread into slices & bake in a moderate oven until crisp. Place bread in a large saucepan & pour in boiling water. Let stand for 3 to 4 hours. Strain off liquid & combine with yeast & mint. Cover with a cloth & allow to ferment in a warm place for 6 hours. When the first froth appears, strain again & pour into bottles containing 1 or 2 raisins in the bottom. Cork firmly (or use beer bottles with screw caps) & store in a cool place for 3 days before serving.

Mint Kvass

Source: Dave Vaness, rec.crafts.brewing newsgroup, September 22, 1995 The following quotation and recipe are from "Russia" of the Time-Life Foods of the World series.

"For drink the peasant diet had kvass, which was much like the 'small beer' of Western Europe. It could be made from grain and malt, but was often made from leftover dark bread soaked in hot water and allowed to ferment for a few hours; sugar, fruit or honey was customarily added as a sweetener. The finished brew could be drunk on the spot or bottled for later use; in some households a part of the brew served as a fermented stock for soups. Homemade kvass is somewhat effervescent and only slightly alcoholic. It has never enchanted many non-Russians, but it had an important place in the peasant diet. It was cheap and the yeast suspended in it, like the vegetables in shchi [cabbage soup] or borshch (beet soup), formed a nutricious supplement to a limited diet."

Ingredients: (for 6 cups)

  • 1 pound day-old black bread or Danish pumpernickel
  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water (110 - 115F)1/4 cup lukewarm water (110 - 115F)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves or 1 tablespoon crumbled dried mint
  • 2 tablespoons raisins


Preheat the oven to 200F. Place the bread in the oven for about 1 hour, or until it is thoroughly dry. With a heavy knife, cut and chop it coarsely. Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in an 8-quart casserole and drop in the bread. Remove from heat, cover loosely with a kitchen towel, and set it aside for at least 8 hours. Strain the contents of the casserole through a fine sieve set over another large pot or bowl, pressing down hard on the soaked bread with the back of a large spoon before discarding it.

Sprinkle the yeast and 1/4 teaspoon of the sugar over the 1/4 cup of lukewarm water and stir to dissolve the yeast completely. Set aside in a warm, draft-free spot (such as an unlighted oven) for about 10 minutes, or until the mixture almost doubles in volume. Stir the yeast mixture, the remaining sugar and the mint into the strained bread water, cover with a towel, and set aside for at least 8 hours.

Strain the mixture again through a fine sieve set over a large bowl or casserole, then prepare to bottle it. You will need 2 - 3 quart-sized bottles, or a gallon jug. Pour the liquid through a funnel 2/3 of the way up the sides of the bottle. Then divide the raisins among the bottles and cover the top of each bottle with plastic wrap, secured with a rubber band. Place in a cool -- but not cold -- spot for 3 - 5 days, or until the raisins have risen to the top and the sediment has sunk to the bottom. Carefully pour off the clear amber liquid and re-bottle it in the washed bottles. Refrigerate until ready to use. Although Russians drink kvass as a cold beverage, it may also be used as a cold-soup stock in okroshka (chilled vegetable soup with meat) or botvinia (green vegetable soup with fish).


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