Angelina’s Easy Bread Kvas Recipe

Bread Kvas is uber popular in Russia and Ukraine. You might compare it to a sweet, non-alcoholic beer. Enjoy it cold on a hot summer day.

You’re gonna appreciate this; a simple, authentic bread kvas that doesn’t need a concentrate! My hubby’s cousin, Angelina, shared this recipe with us. We’ve made it with rye bread and with black bread and both were so refreshing! New favorite for sure – thanks Angelina!

This kvass lasts up to a week in the fridge (probably longer, but it might start tasting kinda strong). You’ll notice it loses sweetness daily as it stands. I think it’s best after a full day in the fridge.

Bread Kvas is uber popular in Russia and Ukraine. You might compare it to a sweet, non-alcoholic beer. From my research, kvass only has up to 1% alcohol content (still probably not recommended for pregos). The longer it sits in the fridge, the more slightly “alcoholic” it gets, but it’s still considered non-alcoholic.

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So if you drink it in the first day or 2, there is probably no alcohol in there yet. From what my readers have said, it’s best to store kvas in plastic soda bottles since they are designed to hold pressurized drinks. I like to release the pressure from my bottles 1-2 times a day because an over-inflated bottle just makes me nervous.

Ingredients for Bread Kvas:

2.5 gallons or 10 qtย of water
1 lb or 9 slices of classic black, dark or rye bread
1 handful of raisins
1.8 lb (4 cups) of sugar
1.5 Tbsp of active dry yeast
3 large plastic soda bottles

How to Make Russian Bread Kvas: (best if prepared in the evening)

DAY 1:

1. Fill giant stock pot with 2.5 gallons of water (or divide it into two large pots) and bring to a boil.

2. While waiting, toast the bread slices twice on the darkest toaster setting. Yes. Seriously. Darker bread makes darker kvass. Toast bread either outside or in your garage or your house will get smokey. We learned the hard way ๐Ÿ™‚


3.ย When water starts to boil, remove the pot from heat.ย Add a handful of raisins and toasted bread to the pot, cover with the lid and let it stay overnight or at least 8 hours.

DAY 2:

4. Carefully remove toasted bread and discard it.

5. In a medium bowl, mix together 4 cups of sugar and 1.5 Tbsp of yeast, add them to kvas mixture and stir.

6. Cover with plastic wrap or lid and leave the mixture on the counter for another 6 hours, stirring every couple hours.

7. Discard floating raisins by scooping them up withย a large spoon. Using strainer or cheese cloth, pour kvass into bottles, loosely cover with lid and refrigerate overnight. The following day once the bottles are completely chilled, you can tighten the lid.

P.S. According to my readers, it’s best to store kvas in plastic soda bottles since they are designed to hold pressurized drinks.

DAY 3: enjoy
DAY 4: enjoy
DAY 5: …..did it really last that long?

How do you make your kvass?

Angelina's Easy Bread Kvas Recipe

4.71 from 48 votes
Prep Time: 14 hours
Total Time: 14 hours
Bread Kvas is uber popular in Russia and Ukraine. You might compare it to a sweet, non-alcoholic beer. Enjoy it cold on a hot summer day.
Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $4
Servings: 20 -24

Ingredients

  • 2.5 gallons or 10 qt of water
  • 1 lb or 9 slices of classic black dark or rye bread
  • 1 handful of raisins
  • 1.8 lb 4 cups of sugar
  • 1.5 tablespoons of active dry yeast
  • 3 large plastic soda bottles

Instructions

DAY 1: (best if prepared in the evening)

  1. Fill giant stock pot with 2.5 gallons of water (or divide it into two large pots) and bring to a boil.
  2. While waiting, toast the bread slices twice on the darkest toaster setting. Darker bread makes darker kvass. Toast bread either outside or in your garage or your house will get smokey.
  3. When water starts to boil, remove the pot from heat. Add a handful of raisins and toasted bread to the pot, cover with the lid and let it stay overnight or at least 8 hours.

DAY 2:

  1. Carefully remove toasted bread and discard it.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together 4 cups of sugar and 1.5 Tbsp of yeast, add them to kvas mixture and stir.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap or lid and leave the mixture on the counter for another 6 hours, stirring every couple hours.
  4. Discard floating raisins by scooping them up with a large spoon. Using strainer or cheese cloth, pour kvass into bottles, loosely cover with lid and refrigerate overnight. The following day once the bottles are completely chilled, you can tighten the lid.

DAY 3: enjoy

Recipe Notes

P.S. According to my readers, it's best to store kvas in plastic soda bottles since they are designed to hold pressurized drinks.

natashaskitchen

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

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  • John
    June 8, 2018

    Howdy! I just had a question; I’m making a batch of Kvass myself, and I’ve seen you mention that if you let it sit longer, more sugar is consumed producing a less sweet kvass. I definitely prefer my drinks to be not very sweet so I’d like to leave it for longer.

    Just how long would it be safe to leave the kvass fermenting on the counter in that bowl? I’ve seen a day mentioned as making an enormous difference; have you ever experimented with leaving it out for longer than that?

    Thanks Reply

    • Natasha
      June 9, 2018

      Hi John, we really haven’t experimented leaving it longer since we enjoy it as is, but I would guess that an extra day would be safe.
      If anyone else has experimented, please let us know! ๐Ÿ™‚ Reply

  • Bui Dat
    June 5, 2018

    I’m Vietnamese. Thanks for your recipe. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      June 5, 2018

      Iโ€™m so happy you discovered our blog, Bui. Welcome! ๐Ÿ™‚ Reply

  • Adam Allen Semple
    March 27, 2018

    what does it taste like Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 27, 2018

      It tastes similar to kombucha drink, just a bit sweeter. Reply

  • Mikael
    January 23, 2018

    Not sure if using plastic bottle for storing fermented drink is best idea… Mason jar probably better alternative. But do whatever you like. Stay cheeki breeki Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      January 23, 2018

      Hi Mikael, most of my readers recommending plastic due to it being able to withstand pressure better than glass since glass. I have tried both and following the instructions have never had anything burst, thankfully! ๐Ÿ™‚ Reply

  • Muhammed Ali
    January 21, 2018

    Natasha I tried kvass in a restaurant and loved it. I normally was not raised drinking alchol, and really do not like it (raises my blood pressure among other reasons). However I LOVED kvass. It is far better than other sugar filled non alcoholic options.

    One question I have about your recipe is whether I can HALVE the sugar amount? Your recipe comes to about 20g/8oz of kvass. I personally think that is too much as the store bought kvass is very sweet at 17g. Then again it doesn’t taste nearly as carbonated or acidic as the homemade ones I’ve had in restaurants.

    How much of the sugar is typically used in the fermenting process by yeast, would you know that?

    Thank you! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      January 22, 2018

      Hi Muhammed, I don’t know the science behind your question – sorry I can’t be more help with that! The longer you let this kvass sit, the less sweet it will be, even a day can make a notable difference. It is less sweet because the yeast continues to work and consume the sugars in the kvass. I haven’t tried cutting the sugar in half so I’m not sure if it would turn out quite the same. Reply

  • Christopher
    January 16, 2018

    Hello,
    Nice recipe! As a diabetic, would it be possible to switch sugar with sweetener? ๐Ÿ™‚ Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      January 16, 2018

      Hi Christopher, I really haven’t tried that substitution so I don’t know how it would affect the overall fermentation process.
      Maybe someone else has experimented making it sugar free? I would love to hear your feedback and thanks in advance!  Reply

      • Connor
        April 15, 2018

        No, you need sugar to ferment. Sweetener is non-fermentable. Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          April 16, 2018

          Thank you for sharing! ๐Ÿ™‚ Reply

    • Ray
      February 28, 2018

      I haven’t made Kvas, and I am by no means an expert, but I know from other fermentation projects that the sugar is needed because it’s food for the yeast bacteria. If you switch out the sugar for something other than fruit (which contains sugar), you will starve the yeast and the fermentation will not happen. The longer you let a fermentation sit, the less sugar remains as the yeast eats it all up and converts it to CO2 and alcohol. I do not know what this means for someone who is diabetic, however, because I don’t know the rate in which the sugar is eaten. Reply

    • Arin
      March 2, 2018

      Probably not. It would be like making beer with sweetener. For fermentation to occur, you need sugar to be consumed by the yeast/bacteria present in the liquid to create the finished product and carbonate it (alcohol is yeast/bacteria waste). You could cut the sugar, which would mean less fermentation, less alcohol, and less carbonation, but possibly just result in boiled raisin and bread water instead of kvass. Assuming it consumes all the sugar, and is unpalatable for you, you could possibly add some sort of sweetener after it’s finished, either in your glass or in the bottle, but powdered/crystal substances can really excite carbonated beverages, so be careful you don’t make a mess. Reply

      • Blaine
        May 3, 2018

        I am a diabetic too, and have tried experimenting with non- sugar sweetener. Unfortunately, you can not have fermentation with out sugar, but that does not mean you have to use white sugar, or as much sugar as the recipe calls for.
        You can usually reduce the amount by about 1/4 without affecting the fermentation, at least in the Non-to-Low alcohol brewing, but it will affect the sweetness.
        Honey and Agave are two healthier alternatives to white sugar. While they remain just as sugary as white sugar, they are a more complex sugar that affects your body a lot differently than sugar.
        Also sweetening with 100% fruit juice works, but nothing with preservatives, they can affect the fermentation process negatively.
        I have heard, but been unable to experiment with it yet, but I was told if you use pure stevia extract, you can ferment with it, again nothing with preservatives or any other fillers. Reply

  • Allen
    December 11, 2017

    So I am a very religious person and have actually never had anything alcoholic and wish to adhere to said beliefs, so I guess I was wondering if this stuff has any real alcoholic content? I have read its very low at the most. I recently found out my Grandfather was Slavic, and sadly I never got to meet him, and thus I’m trying to explore the culture, and figure that the food may be a good place to start. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 12, 2017

      Allen, the production process is similar to beer making, kvas has very low alcohol content (0.05 – 1.44%) and it is considered a non-alcoholic drink. The main ingredient of kvas is rye bread, and the drink can contain unfiltered yeast in it. I hope this helps. Reply

    • David
      December 15, 2017

      Oy blyat slav food best, my mama is eastern european and her mama makes the BEST food. If you want a video tutorial, I suggest you watch this video on how to make kvass like a true slav https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1UTJKBMvgc Reply

      • J.
        February 17, 2018

        I see you know of the Slav King…. Stay cheeki breeki Reply

  • K. Przybylski
    November 26, 2017

    This looks delicious! It seems like the bread itself would be a little bitter after toasting it, but any thoughts on ways to reuse it instead of just discarding? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 26, 2017

      Hi K., The final kvas isn’t bitter, no worries :). I’ve never re-used it for anything. I’m not sure it would be useful for anything else after soaking. Reply

  • Yudhi Aryakusuma
    November 23, 2017

    Hi. I’m a gopnik wannabe and interested in trying this recipe. Can I use instant yeast and regular white bread or whole grain bread? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 23, 2017

      Hi Yudhi, I have always made this with regular yeast so I’m not sure if it would be as effective in the fermenting process to use instant yeast. Also, for color and flavor, black bread is best if you can get it or rye bread. Reply

      • Yudhi Aryakusuma
        November 25, 2017

        Dear Natasha,
        I got stuck on the bread part so I guess I’ll distract myself with the kompot & chebureki recipe which was successful. Disappeared off the table to soon to take pics, though. But I’ll post it next time. ะกะฟะฐัะธะฑะพ, ะะฐั‚ะฐัˆะฐ ๐Ÿ˜Š Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          November 25, 2017

          I’m so glad you loved those recipes! ๐Ÿ™‚ Reply

      • November 28, 2017

        Instant yeast works just fine. Use 25% less. Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          November 28, 2017

          Thanks for sharing! Reply

        • Yudhi Aryakusuma
          November 28, 2017

          Thank you, John. Now, about the bread. Maybe you also can help me with it. From where I come from, black bread or rye bread virtually doesn’t exist. Can I use regular white bread or whole wheat bread? Reply

          • Huck
            December 10, 2017

            If you can not get those specific types, the blackest bread available to you will work the best. Wonderful recipe by the way, although it should be noted that the drink might be alcoholic by U.S. standards for health and legal safety.

  • Jacky
    November 20, 2017

    Followed exactly as per recipe here, somehow, I don’t get it fermented enough to get the fuzziness. Should you leave it fermented for longer at warm place before straining? Thanks. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 20, 2017

      Hi Jacky, if everything was done per the recipe, they won’t seem fizzy until they are chilled and refrigerated. Reply

      • Jacky W
        November 20, 2017

        Hi Natasha,

        Thanks for getting back to me, I have followed the recipe and refrigerated it for a day, there is basically no gas in it at all. Should I leave it longer? Thanks.

        Jacky Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          November 20, 2017

          Hi Jacky, I think it’s worth a try, but did you possibly use a different kind of yeast? Or possibly cut out the sugar or change anything in the recipe? Also, did you let the mixture cook 8 hours before adding the yeast? Adding yeast to a hot pot will deactivate it. Was your yeast fresh and not expired? I hope we can figure out what caused it to go flat. Reply

  • Dzhon Pelosokowsi
    November 20, 2017

    When you first add the bread (Day 1, step 2) and leave it overnight, does it need to be left on the heat? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 20, 2017

      Hi Dzhon, The answer is in step 3: “When water starts to boil, remove the pot from heat.” ๐Ÿ™‚ Reply

  • Ray H.
    November 14, 2017

    Took a crack at it, tastes just like what my friend’s Polish mom used to give us. Never did get the recipe from her, but this stuff is identitcal. Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      November 15, 2017

      I’m glad to hear you enjoy the recipe! Thanks so much for sharing your great review! Reply

  • Max E
    October 9, 2017

    Thanks for this amazing recipe! Do you know if this can this be made with the dense black rye bread that you find in Eastern European supermarkets? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      October 9, 2017

      Hi Max, yes that should work well. ๐Ÿ™‚ Reply

  • E
    August 30, 2017

    Is this healthy/unhealthy? I feel slightly guilty because I had quite a bit. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 30, 2017

      Hi E, it’s kind of like drinking homemade soda – you probably don’t want to go overboard since it still has sugar in it, but the ingredients ARE natural ingredients without the junk in regular sodas so don’t feel too guilty! Reply

  • Mike
    June 12, 2017

    6 hours sounds like a very short time for the fermentation. I tasted it after 9 hours and it was still too sweet. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      June 12, 2017

      Hi Mike, it does get stronger in flavor and less sweet as it stands. Reply

  • No name
    May 27, 2017

    Letting kvass sit for longer is the only way to make it have higher alcohol percentage? Or are there more tricks to it? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      May 29, 2017

      I’m really not sure, as this is not intended to be an alcoholic drink. Reply

  • May 27, 2017

    Hi all,

    Have just followed the procedure.

    will update tomorrow the status of my kvass.

    Thanks. Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      May 27, 2017

      My pleasure! Please do! Reply

  • AR
    May 14, 2017

    I made a batch 12/16. I kept the sediment and just used that today to make another batch. Hopefully it will work. The bottles were very tense and a lot of gas escaped when I opened them today and they fizzed like crazy. Not sure how long I should let it sit. Btw there was some kvass still there that I tasted and it was just less sweet. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      May 14, 2017

      Thank you for sharing that with us. As long as the bottles made to withstand the pressure, kvass should be fine. We loosely cover it with lid and refrigerate overnight after first pouring into bottles. The following day once the bottles are completely chilled, you can tighten the lid. Reply

      • AR
        May 16, 2017

        I didn’t get the fizz when I opened the bottles like before when I used dry yeast. The bottles r tense. Would it take longer to ferment from the previous sediment? Or add some yeast? Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          May 16, 2017

          I’m not sure what you mean – are you re-using the yeast from an older bottle? I’m not sure that would be effective anymore. I have always started a completely new batch when the first one ended. Reply

          • AR
            May 16, 2017

            Yes reusing. Somewhere I read doing that like with a sourdough starter for kvass..
            I’d love to know if anyone has done so.
            Maybe I can still add the yeast if I take it out of the fridge.

  • Aaron
    April 24, 2017

    Does it have to be black rye bread? Could I use marble rye for instance? Having a hard time finding the black rye in my local stores. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 25, 2017

      Hi Aaron, the darker the better to achieve more color and flavor but if marbled rye is the only thing you could find, I think it would work fine. I haven’t tested it with marbled but I’m assuming it would work. Reply

  • Hector the Red Squrriel
    April 18, 2017

    I’ve never had Kvass before, but this looks simple enough that I might want to try it.

    But 4 cups of white sugar in 2.5 gallon batch sounds like a lot. Based on the calculations, the added sugar alone would yield 7.4% abv beverage when completely done fermenting. I’m guessing it’s okay to cut the sugar a bit?

    Also, I’ve read elsewhere that Kivass tastes slightly tart/sour (due to Lactobacillus fermentation). Are they usually that way or is it optional? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 18, 2017

      Hi Hector, I think it would be ok to cut the sugar if you wanted it less sweet but the longer the kvas stands, the stronger it gets in flavor and the sweetness goes away. I wouldn’t say it tastes tart or sour, but it does get stronger in flavor as it ferments. Reply

    • Tim
      August 18, 2017

      Some other versions prepared slightly differently have a slightly sour taste. This version does not taste like that, so it is perhaps not as old-fashioned. I wouldn’t cut any sugar, kvass cannot reach any more than 2% alcohol, at very maximum. I don’t know the details, but kvass is not made the same way as beer and so cannot be as alcoholic. Reply

    • JGinNJ
      August 18, 2017

      I would cut back on the sugar unless you own a dental practice. On the other hand every recipe I see on the web has too much sugar for my taste, no matter if it is for kvas, cookies, pies or jams. I guess most people like really sweet things. Reply

  • Erin
    April 9, 2017

    This sounds terrific! 10 quarts though maybe way too much for my family, at least before we know we love the stuff! Is it possible to halve or third the recipe? Will it still turn out? Thank you! Reply

    • Erin
      April 9, 2017

      Oops! Just saw your reply to this from a while back! Thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚ Reply

      • Natasha
        natashaskitchen
        April 9, 2017

        No problem! ๐Ÿ™‚ Enjoy!! Reply

  • David
    April 6, 2017

    I failed :(. Kvas is flat. Seemed the yeast had no effect. Followed all steps as printed. Not sure what happened. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 6, 2017

      Hi David, Is it possible your yeast was old? It’s best to store yeast in an airtight, dark container in the refrigerator. Once a yeast packet is opened, if it sits on the shelf at room temp for too long, it won’t be as effective. Also, just to be sure – did you make sure to add the yeast mixture to the cooled/room temp mixture and not into hot liquid – overheating yeast will deactivate it. I hope that helps to troubleshoot what might have went wrong. Reply

      • David
        April 6, 2017

        Thank you… The yeast is dated Sept. 2018 and it was added after about 14-15 hours of room temp (maybe too cold in house? about 60…). I have never fermented anything (on purpose :). My nephew is skilled and practiced and is coaching me. We will figure something out. Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          April 6, 2017

          It might possibly be the temperature of the room – our room temp is closer to 70หšF. Also, did you use active dry yeast and not instant yeast? Reply

          • David
            April 7, 2017

            Used active dry. Update! Last night I removed the kvas bottles from fridge, shook them and left them out over night. Lots of fix this morning! Good!

          • Natasha
            natashaskitchen
            April 7, 2017

            Oh that’s so great to hear!! Thanks for reporting back. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • TKobol
    April 1, 2017

    I made kvas two times, but when I pour the kvas into the bottle the yeast settles down at the bottom of the bottle and i can’t get rid of that with the cloth. How can I purify the kvas so it will not contain any yeast? I tried it with paper towel but i still had some yeast at the bottom. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 1, 2017

      Hi, with kvas, you will always have some sediment at the bottom of the bottle. That’s normal when it’s homemade and I’m not sure of anything besides multiple layers of cheese cloth over a very fine meshed sieve. Reply

    • Hector the Red Squrriel
      April 17, 2017

      Not sure if you want to just get rid of yeast or you want crystal clear drink, but anyhow.

      I’d try the homebrewing methods, there are number of ways to clarify the product.

      Usually, if you leave it alone long enough, things settle down enough to be clear. Then you siphon off the clear part. But that takes too long.

      One alternative is using gelatin as fining agent. You can google the method on homebrewing forums. Anyhow, it works by dissolving some unflavoured gelatin in water (don’t use jell-O and dissolve it well), then adding that to your fermented beverage. You mix that well again, so that the gelatin is homogeneously mixed with the beverage. This you stick it in the fridge and let it settle down. Gelatin will grab onto particles that makes the drink opaque (including yeast) and sink to the bottom. Then you siphon off (or very carefully pour) the clear liquid to a new container. Caution though, depending on what gelatin also removes, it could affect flavour in theory.

      Now, these clarified drinks will still likely contain trace amounts of yeast; so if the fermentation restarts, yeast will multiply again. Thus, you have to fine it once it is done completely (exhausted of sugar or add preservatives that stun microbes for good).

      However, sounds like Kvass requires bottle conditioning (i.e. fermentation in the bottle) for flavour and for the fizz. In that case, if you want it without yeast, you’d have enjoy the finished Kvass that’s mostly flat (without carbonation), unless you have CO2 carbonation equipment ready at home. Reply

      • Natasha
        natashaskitchen
        April 18, 2017

        Thank you so much for sharing your insights!! Reply

  • Dianne
    March 31, 2017

    Can the bottled kvass do well as aged kvass if it’s in a plastic or glass bottle? How long will it keep? I know things improve with age so I’m wondering. I don’t want a mess on my hands if something explodes. Thanks for the blog. Good info. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 31, 2017

      Hi Dianne, we’ve used both and never had any explosions :), but plastic is probably a little safer if you’re planning to store it longer. Keep in mind it gets pretty strong and less sweet the longer you let it sit. Once the kvas is completely chilled in the refrigerator you can tighten the lid. Reply

  • Scott
    March 11, 2017

    Hi! Great recipe! I tried it last night and found that my bread absorbed most of my water… and there was no ‘lifting’ it out as it was basically mush.

    Any thoughts? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 11, 2017

      Hi Scott, did you toast the bread until it was really dark as shown in the photos? Also, did you use the same proportions? Per the recipe, there should be substantially more liquid than bread. Reply

      • Scott
        March 11, 2017

        Hi! Thanks for the quick response. I did toast the bread and it was pretty dark and toasted. I also used 10 qts of water.

        Maybe my bread was too fresh? It is a pretty moist black bread to begin with… I’m going to try a denser rye next time.. Reply

        • JGinNJ
          March 11, 2017

          Scott – How many loaves of bread are you using? I have made kvas many times with different breads – the only thing they had in common was that I made sure the breads had no preservatives. But I can’t imagine 10qts of water being soaked up to form a mush.

          Actually you might be on to something, maybe you can invent a kvas infused cake, sort of like a rum cake, that would be interesting. Reply

  • Kristin
    February 17, 2017

    I make this all of the time, but I did not know it was kvass!! I have heard of kvas by name but not very very familiar. It was mine own recipe: raisins, bread, yeast, but I added sugar and sometimes ginger, sometimes another fruit if handy, but mostly raisins. My mother is the BEST COOK on this planet, and I learned many recipes from her, but this recipe I made up myself. I gave some bottles to my neighbor, he is Romanian and he said it was very very good! Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      February 17, 2017

      That’s great Kristin! Thank you for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚ Reply

  • Andrew
    September 11, 2016

    Hello! First of all thank you very much for this wonderful recipe. I was just wondering if Kvass ever goes bad or will it just turn into alcohol?
    Thank you! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 11, 2016

      Andrew, I haven’t maxed out the life of it but it first turns in to alcohol and becomes too strong to drink. Reply

  • Nicole Poirier
    August 6, 2016

    Follow up to previous comment: Both Sergey and I are totally flabbergasted by the delicious taste of this Kvass! Sergeys’ Doctor at the hospital is very interested so I will be giving him a bottle at the next visit. I also made Beet Kvass and Apple Kvass. All winners according to Sergey, the Russian expert! Ha! Ha! Bolshoi Spasiba!! Nicole & Sergey Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 7, 2016

      That’s so awesome! Thank you so much for sharing that with me. Reply

  • Nicole Poirier
    July 31, 2016

    I am going to try this tonight! I just moved back home in New Brunswick after retiring from the Federal Government in Ottawa. My Russian friend of 18 years is really going to appreciate this Kvass and so will I. There are no Russian stores here in Moncton, NB so this is the solution! At least we are beside the ocean, 15 minutes drive to get fish! Bolshoi Spasiba and God Bless You Both! I will let you know the results! Hugs, Nicole & Sergey Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 31, 2016

      I hope you love it!! That’s so awesome to be just 15 minutes from the ocean. Sounds amazing!! Reply

  • Rui
    July 24, 2016

    Hi! I wanna try this recipe but i dont really like raisins. I wonder i f the drunk itself tastes like it or not and if you suggest any replacements.
    I have heard of lemony kvass but i dont know, thank you and congratulations for the great post, very detailed and well explained. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 24, 2016

      Rui, you might try adding 1 lemon, sliced in rings with out seeds. Thank you for the nice comment ๐Ÿ˜€. Reply

    • JGlnNJ
      July 24, 2016

      Someone asked about whether raisins were necessary. I just made some with lemon, cranberry and chopped up fresh ginger. As I have said before, it is a very robust recipe, hard to go wrong. Leave the raisins out, or add a different fruit. Doesn’t matter. I used bottles that were formerly containers for sparkling water, both glass and plastic. Even in the refrigerator the fermenting goes on, so I got nervous and after three days let some of the gas out. Good idea to hold the bottle over a sink when doing this!

      I use half the sugar called for, make sure my water doesn’t have chlorine in it (bottled spring water) and make sure the bread doesn’t have preservatives. Not sure if it matters, but the results are reliable and it tastes great. Reply

  • Vikk
    June 29, 2016

    I do it like this ( note that i’m not Russian, but the owner/chef of local Russian restaurant gave me recipe. I’m from Slovakia and this is the second summer season i’ll be doing kvass) :

    For about 10 L of Kvass you will need:
    10L of water ( obviously)
    600-700 g of sugar (white sugar is fine, if you have access to malt, use it )
    At least 500 g of dark bread
    5-7 g of yeast (in the cube or powder, does not matter. I use the one in cubes)
    few raisins

    Part 1:
    Bring up the water to a boiling point or near boiling point and let it cool. Meantime prepare the bread, just slice it and bake in in the oven (on the electric grill function if you have it). It is best if you sliced it a day before and let it dry a little so it “gets” grilled a bit easier. Don’t be afraid to burn it a little ( for the color and taste).

    Prepare your yeast ( in a small dose of sugary water, just mix the yeast with a shot of water with a spoon of sugar and let it be on a counter for few minutes )

    When the water is cooled down to around 40 degrees Celsius, throw in sugar a stir it until it dissolves. Then add the rest of ingredients, bread and the yeast. Give it a final stir and let it sit it a warm room.

    I’m not sure if you should cover the pot (or where you are gonna prepare it ), but i usually leave it open, just covered with clean dish-towel.

    Wait for at least 12 hours ( sometimes more ) i usually leave it through night and the next day it is ready. usually it takes 16-20 hours ( if colder place, the whole day )

    Part 2:
    So you have your kvass ready. Now you need to collect the bread. Do it with sifter it will be floating on the surface. Throw it into the garbage. Be careful, try not to swirl the water too much, because on the bottom of a pot is the yeast, that we will collect later.

    Be sure the water was not swirled or anything, if you managed to swirl it a lot, wait additional 30 minutes or so, until all the yeast and “muddy” water will lay down. If the kvass is clear, pour it slowly and steady so only the surface is flowing away, not the bottom parts.

    The bottom part pour into separate jar or something, which you can store. That muddy, white yellowish thing at the bottom is the transformed yeast which multiplied. You divide the kvass and the kvass yeast, because in a first place, you don’t want to drink it, and secondly you can keep it in the fridge and the next time, you will you it instead of bought yeast.

    So that kvass you separated, the clear part, now pour into the bottles and add few (3-5) raisins into each bottle. Close the bottle and let it like it at the room temperature for couple more hours. You will feel that the bottles are getting hard when you try to squeeze it. Don’t be afraid when it will be so hard as rock ( The bottle will withstand it no problem) That is good. Congrats, your drink is now naturally carbonated (and tasty as hell).

    Only now put it into the fridge to stop most of the yeast processes. The raising will give it a final touch add a little bit of sweetness and throw in some kind of fruity fresh taste ๐Ÿ™‚

    Next time, you will do it use the the yeast which you collected from the batch of kvass and make previously. Each time use everything that you collected and always repeat. So each time you do kvass you are left with the yeast, which you will use to make another batch next time. And again and again. The longer you do it, the better the yeast is.
    To be honest the first batch is PALE compared with second and third if you use the same yeast. During that process, the yeast will adapt and transform. Since yeast are bacteria, they will mutate or what. Not sure how it works ๐Ÿ˜€ but it is like with bread. The best bakeries use the same yeas for decades. Basically it is a living organism that evolves for what you use it for. It is like that what they sell in shop is all-purpose, universal, some basic, which you will nurse or nurture for what you need. It is something like a starter.

    Notes:
    After the initial time i let it to ferment (part 2) I just take out the bread and pour everything into 3 big glass jars, each has about 3-4 L. So when it sits I can clearly see where is the yeast and how much I can later pour into the bottles.

    I also use stockings as a filter i put on funnel so i don’t have any bread crumbs in my final product in the bottles.

    I guarantee, that if you have a family, that 10 Liter will last you a week at max. It just taste so good and it is co great in summer when you are really thirsty. You don’t even have that weird film on your tongue or that weir after taste like you do when you drink coke or some other sweetened beverage. It has no stupid added acids, just what the yeast produced.

    Don’t forget you can alter the recipe. You can add more sugar or add less ( it will be bit more sour, like some lemonade) Or you can put it different dried fruit at the end. I trued cranberries, plums ( didn’t like it) etc.

    If you will decide to do it, i hope you will enjoy. And don’t forget that the second batch from your own yeast will be better than the first one from the yeast you bought.

    Enjoy and serve cold :)๏ปฟ Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      June 29, 2016

      Thank you so much for sharing that with us and for the detailed instructions. So awesome of you! ๐Ÿ™‚ Reply

    • Julie
      July 26, 2016

      Vikk, I noticed that you do more steps at once (compared to the recipe on this page and many others online). You mention adding the sugar and yeast at the same time as the bread, where others brew the bread overnight, remove it, and THEN add sugar and yeast. Does it make a difference? I’ve just decided to follow your recipe to see how it turns out ๐Ÿ™‚ Reply

  • Yuri
    June 18, 2016

    I have been meaning to thank you for this recipe for a while now! Nothing tastes better after a solid workout than a good glass of kvass, I find! I have been wanting to make something that was like kombucha (which my family has been making), and I found out about kvass through that research. Being a big fan of Eastern European and Russian cooking, I just had to try it.

    And I’m glad that I did! I put some mint into my initial batch, though not enough, and this second batch that I’m making will get a lot more. Absolutely delectable drink, I find! I do have one question though: Do you make kompot? There was a channel on YouTube that I watch called Life of Boris, and he talks about kompot quite often, even has a recipe. I was wondering if it was something you’ve ever made or thought about making.

    Kanpai (as we would say back home)! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      June 18, 2016

      I’m so glad to hear you enjoy the recipe and thanks for writing in :). I do like making kompot as well. Here is a recipe for kompot ๐Ÿ™‚ Reply

  • Greta Marlowe
    June 8, 2016

    So simple but So Wonderful, I was in the UK recently and some friends took me to a Lithuanian Restaurant where I had my first taste of Kvass. I thought I could make this at home and found this fantastic recipe. I’ve made a couple little variations but this recipe is really great and difficult to mess up. I’m not a cook so this was perfect for me. It tastes great I was really surprised because I’ve had difficulties in the past making home made brews but this turned out really well I highly recommend giving it a try. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      June 8, 2016

      Hi Greta! Thank you so much for the wonderful review ๐Ÿ™‚ I really appreciate it! ๐Ÿ™‚ Reply

  • Israel
    March 6, 2016

    Hi, I was wondering if I could use milk/water kefir (or grains) in place of the yeast?

    Thanks. ๐Ÿ™‚ Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 6, 2016

      Hi, without testing that, I’m not sure. I actually have never used that combination so I couldn’t really guess. Sorry I’m not much help. Reply

  • karolina
    January 26, 2016

    Hi, I was wondering if I can split the recipe in half? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      January 26, 2016

      Yes that should work fine. Reply

  • Wind Chapman
    November 22, 2015

    I loved this recipe! I used a left over whole wheat bread that I make because it was what I had on hand. It is going to be a staple in my house. I may experiment with citrus peel at some point. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 22, 2015

      Thank you for the nice review. After reading your comment, I really crave some kvass right now ๐Ÿ˜€ . Reply

  • Evgeni Brezhnev
    August 17, 2015

    Natasha kvass good but less sugar, horosh Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 17, 2015

      Evgeni, the kvass becomes more flavorful and less sweet the longer it stands. The yeast eats up the sugar, so give it another day or two and it will be less sweet :). Hope this helps. Reply

  • reed
    August 13, 2015

    Beware though: the chemical compound acrylamide (which has been linked to cancer) forms when foods are burned. The darker the toast, the more acrylamide has formed… and is going to end up in your Kvas. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 13, 2015

      Yikes! I’ll have to look into that. Thanks Reed! Reply

  • Olivier Corveleyn
    July 26, 2015

    I have made kvass using this recipe many times, and the result has always been great. I have played around with different parameters, and found that a starting sugar concentration of 12% gave me the best results. After 2 days I put it in brown plastic 2L bottles (3/4 full) with a balloon on top (sort of water-lock), to let it ferment another 1-2 days. This is a great way to help dissolve the generated carbon dioxide.

    A small note on the alcohol produced: it can be more than 1%. First I used bread yeast, afterwards I tried two types of Belgian beer yeast (habituated to wheat) and a type of wine yeast (Saccharomyces bayanus ; “Killer” strain – used for champagne). The result of the last experiment was naturally quite a high alcohol content but also a markedly slower fermentation, which could be speeded up by substituting glucose (aka dextrose) for table sugar.

    Now, I use a mixture of the three above, as I always take a good part of the bottom layer to mix with some fresh yeast every batch, as to habituate the yeast to it’s job of making kvass. Who knows by now a wild strain could also have settled itself into the mix, analoguous to what happens in homebrewing beer.

    The results taste-wise are optimal for me, I use Borodinskij type Latvian bread BTW (black, 50% wheat, 50% rye with some coriander seeds on top). Sometimes I swap dried cranberries for raisins, with good results, both can be added too.

    After 2 days I assume the kvass contains about 2% alcohol, but it is a little too sweet for me. Optimal is 3 days, followed by 1 or 2 days fermenting in a bottle.

    Today I distilled a 100ml sample (I am a qualified biochemist) and collected everything under 95ยฐC. 4-5ml were collected, so as it was not a fractional distillation, i’d say the kvass contains 3-4% alcohol. Note that neither the distillate, nor what was left in the flask, smelled of fusel oil (higher carbon alcohols which are mildly toxic and often the cause of nasty hangovers), and no oily drops were noted after collecting the alcohol fraction. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 26, 2015

      Wow! I’m impressed! Thank you so much for Sharing all of tips!! Reply

  • Oxana
    July 8, 2015

    We love kvass in our family but my dad could never quite pin it down.. The store bought to me always tasted like old non carbonated coca cola and when we bought the kvas molasses at the Russian store the results were disappointing.

    This recipe turned out amazing however on my secound round I will be leaving out one of the cups of sugar because it was to sweet for me and everyone who tried it although day 5 the last cup was perfect..
    We just can’t wait that long!
    To bitter it down the first two days we poured it over ice and squeezed a tad of lemon in! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 8, 2015

      Thank you for the great review Oxana :), I would love some ice cold kvas right now. Reply

  • June 10, 2015

    Natasha, thanks a lot for this wonderful recipe!! I’ve just done it and we are all really surprised!! We would have never ever believed the result of sucking some burned rye toasts in water! ๐Ÿ™‚ Wonderful!!
    I share it in my blog and it will be visible in a couple of hour! http://www.bruixesalacuina.blogspot.ch/
    Hava wonderful day!!
    Dolors Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      June 10, 2015

      I know, right?! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m so glad you liked it and thank you for sharing! Reply

  • Natalia
    June 6, 2015

    I remember having Kvas in Kyiv in 1992 during a visit there with my husband. Some of our local Ukrainian delis sell Kvas as well. This looks like an interesting recipe & one I will definitely try! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      June 6, 2015

      I hope it reminds you of the ones you tried in Kiev and I hope you love it! ๐Ÿ™‚ Reply

  • Olga
    May 20, 2015

    Natasha, Is there any way of preparing it without yeast? I am trying to stay away from commercially manufactured yeast.

    On the other note – I don’t see how the color effects the properties of kvas. Your picture looks like kvas my mom used to make. Doesn’t mean it’s not an authentic Russian recipe. I associate dark color with the commercially sold kvas. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      May 20, 2015

      Olga, I don’t haven’t tried making kvass without yeast. As far as the color goes, darker bread will make darker kvass. Reply

  • J P
    April 23, 2015

    I followed your recipe exactly. It was ready at 3 PM this afternoon and it is way too sweet for us to drink. Could I add more water to what I already have and perhaps a bit more yeast and let it ferment some more? This drink is new to us and I would really like to get it right for our taste. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 23, 2015

      Let it ferment more if you want it to get stronger and less sweet. ๐Ÿ™‚ Reply

  • February 25, 2015

    Hi natasha. after covering the pot & letting it stay over night do i have to put it in a warm spot or just leave it on the stove? well Natasha ur due date is coming up, may God bless u & give u strength & hope ur delievery goes good & fast. my delievery was almost 16hrs. cant wait till u post pics of ur cuttie pie. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      February 25, 2015

      Thank you so much for your sweet comment and blessings :). 16 hours!!! WOW! That is a major accomplishment. I bet you were exhausted after that kind of marathon but it’s all so worth it when you hold your new baby. :). At step 4, when you cover it with the lid, just leave it at room temperature overnight. Reply

  • Kurdjukov
    February 22, 2015

    Recipe of BRAGA. Leave this kvass for 2 weeks and you will get an alcoholic bevarage. But you should be careful, because there is a change to become fall asleep on the place of tasting. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      February 23, 2015

      lol wow that is quite a recipe! It does get stronger with time and I always wondered how much alcohol is actually in it after 2 weeks. Reply

  • Tee
    August 22, 2014

    Natashenkaโ€ฆI wonder if it is possible to make Kvass from a hearty multi grain Gluten Free bread, since it is not the gluten the yeast thrives on (I don’t think) but rather the starch or sugar in the carbs.

    The recipe looks wonderful!

    Reply

    • Ladykiller
      October 1, 2014

      Guys, just buy it on eBay. It is cheep and from Russia Reply

  • Biggy Wak
    July 12, 2014

    We have a similar recipe here in Quรฉbec that settlers used to make a long time ago. But there’s a twist. While the basic recipe remains the same, we add spruce tree extract (obtained by boiling branches and cones of a young spruce tree). You get the sweetness and a hop-like taste as a bonus. I’m gonna try your recipe pretty soon to compare both. Thanx for the sharing by the way! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 12, 2014

      That sounds really unique and interesting. I’ll pass that along to my husband. Thanks so much for sharing! Reply

      • Biggy Wak
        July 12, 2014

        I’ve read the presentation of your apple Kvas and it reminded me of what I mentioned above. I believe birch tree “juice” would do the same as spruce tree but with a more acidic taste. Well, I guess we have some experimenting to do now! Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          July 12, 2014

          We sure do! ๐Ÿ™‚ Reply

  • irina
    July 2, 2014

    Hi Natasha, im in the process of making ur recipe kvass, but with 4 cups of sugar, does that make kvass too sweet, can i cut the sugar recipe to 3 cups, bc i added 3 cups and it tastes pretty sweet to me! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 2, 2014

      With kvas, it does taste sweet at first, but as the kvas sits, day-by-day it gets stronger in flavor and less sweet as the yeast eats up the sugar. My family hasn’t complained of it being overly sweet, but I guess you could use a little less if you are planning to drink it all on the day it’s done brewing and is chilled ๐Ÿ™‚ Reply

  • Polina
    June 13, 2014

    I absolutely loved this kvas recipe! To me it taste like home ๐Ÿ™‚
    For people who don’t want 2.5 gallons, but less. Instead of boiling 2.5 gallons, I did about 1.6 gallons, which is 6 liters. So all the ingredients I added I divided by 1.5, so 6 toasts, about 2.5 cups of sugar and 1 tbsp of yeast. For the bread, I used dark ray, my kvas is very very dark. Maybe it does differ in taste, but I still love it!
    Natasha, thank you very much for sharing this with us! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      June 13, 2014

      Thanks for converting all that! I’m site someone else might be wondering how to scale it down. I’m so happy you enjoyed the recipe:-) Reply

  • Max Sashkov
    May 28, 2014

    you messed up you have 2 step 8’s. but over all your recipe is so good!! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      May 28, 2014

      I sure do! Thanks so much for catching that! ๐Ÿ™‚ Fixed! Reply

  • Alan
    May 24, 2014

    I wouldn’t toast the bread twice in the darkest setting. I did and it caught on fire… My bread goes like the toast in the picture after one toasting and not even on the highest setting. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      May 24, 2014

      You must have a better toaster than ours! It caught fire? Wow! Reply

  • Mary
    May 18, 2014

    You can make kvass in glass bottles with no problem. Like brewing beer, you just need to make sure you leave a bit of empty space at the top when filling the bottle. This will allow room for the CO2 that is produced when the yeast ferments into alcohol (the same CO2 that causes carbonation of the kvass, and the *pop* when you open the bottle). I filled my glass growler up till the neck. Reply

  • Mark
    January 9, 2014

    I made this recipe just to try it out, made a few adjustments. I used light brown sugar, brewers yeast, and golden raisins. Day 2 it’s awesome, my Russian friend will be over in a day or so to try it. See what she thinks of it…thanks for the recipe Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      January 9, 2014

      I like your adjustments! We’ll have to try next time. I bet the brown sugar gives it a nicer darker tint. Thanks for sharing! ๐Ÿ™‚ Reply

  • Dasha
    December 21, 2013

    what kind of raisins are used here they dont look like ordinary raisins Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 21, 2013

      I assure you they are ordinary raisins ๐Ÿ˜‰ Reply

  • Veronika
    November 23, 2013

    The first time i made this my family loved it. thank you. Is there a way to make the kvas darker after I remove the bread and find out that it if not dark enough? I did not toast the bread enough. ๐Ÿ™ Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 23, 2013

      Thank you for the good report Veronika. My husband made some this week. He toasted the bread 2 to 3 times on the toaster to make sure it was dark. At the end kvass did came out dark brown. If your bread is not black by the time its done toasting, toast it again. Hope this helps :). Reply

  • Lorado
    November 2, 2013

    I am going to the store to get the ingredients now. Can’t wait to make this. What I like to do with beverages I’m fermenting is place a balloon with a couple pin holes in it over the top of the bottle. As fermentation occurs, the balloon expands and excess gas is released through the pin holes. No explosions so far… Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 2, 2013

      That’s a clever idea, I should try using that :). Reply

  • RonB
    October 23, 2013

    Thanks much for your very easy recipe…I think it is fantastic!
    I use a non-caraway dark rye that a local Russian market sells. The dough is actually made in Germany & shipped frozen to the market where it is baked and sold fresh.
    I found cutting 1″ thick slices and thoroughly drying them a few days before toasting until very dark and burnt makes the most dark & flavorful Kvass. I also use ale or sometimes champagne yeast from a local homebrew store instead of bread yeast…either tastes way better. I often add other dried fruits to the raisins for variation, a few cut up prunes, a handful of cranberries or even apricots. Or sometime a tbsp of blackstrap molasses is nice, it also adds to a darker color.
    I use coconut sugar because of it’s low glycemic index and I like the “round” flavor it adds.

    This is a wonderful web site…very nice to visit, thank you.
    Cheers, RonB Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      October 23, 2013

      I really like all the suggestions and will have my husband test them out next time we make kvas which probably will be for Thanksgiving :). Reply

  • Stephen
    October 21, 2013

    I love this recipe. My girlfriend is from Kazakhstan and misses Kvas when she visits. I am an avid home beer brewer so Kvas is nice and easy. If you store it in a refridgerator for a few weeks it becomes rather entertaining. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I use a sack made from cheese cloth to soak the bread (makes getting it out super easy) and use raw sugar rather than white. We don’t get the dark rye breads here so much, so it means I have to almost burn the bread to get the dark colour, but that is not a problem other than the smoke.

    It is as good as the Kvas I bought while walking around Crimea in summer. I have a few Australians interested in Kvas now. ๐Ÿ™‚ Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      October 21, 2013

      I like your idea of using cheese cloth. Even though we buy dark bread, I still toast it until its almost burned :). Reply

  • Anastasiya
    October 3, 2013

    I was born in Russia and miss the kvas we had there (it’s the only thing I miss about Russia really) and your recipe looks exactly like the kind of homemade bread kvas I used to like. I will try it. Only thing is my grandpa used to add a little bit of whey in it (from cheese making) like a spoonful or 2 before storing it overnight to jump-start the reaction. I make cheese at home regularly and have lots of fresh whey all the time. How do you think it will effect my kvas if I add some? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      October 3, 2013

      I’ve never heard of that before, so I can’t really recommend it. But that does not mean it can’t be done. If you test it please let me know how it works out. I’m very curious! Reply

      • Anastasiya
        October 17, 2013

        Well basically what whey does is help speed up the reaction of the yeast. I followed everything but added whey before starting fermentation and with just 1 spoon of it was waaaay too alcoholic. I repeated the process and let mine sit just 3.5 hours and it came out just right. basically it just helps start and keep fermentation faster than it would have been. I like the way it comes out and how the reaction is sped up. But I also heard it depends on type and quality of whey. How clear it is, what kind of milk or cream you used to make cheese, what acid you added when making it. Personally I like whey that appears from citric acid (like lemon juice) and regular whole milk. it’s clear and has no extra taste or strong smell. heavy cream kind is a bit weird looking and has strong smell. And if you use acid like white vinegar there is too much vinegary taste. I am going to have to experiment in using different kinds of whey. But i usually cook with the clear kind. Reply

        • Anastasiya
          October 17, 2013

          BTW when you make your kvas, during fermentation process (the 6 hours after you add yeast and sugar) do you cover it up completely and let no gas escape or do you put normal lid on which can let some gas escape? My pots have a small hole in the lid designed to let extra water/steam escape. I did 2 batches so far and there wasn’t much problem with that but should i cover it completely instead? Reply

          • Natasha
            natashaskitchen
            October 17, 2013

            It doesn’t have to be airtight, just cover it to keep the bugs out ๐Ÿ˜‰

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          October 17, 2013

          That’s great to know! I have whey in the fridge right now. So it’s pretty potent after 3.5 hours with just 1 Tbsp of whey added? Reply

          • Anastasiya
            November 5, 2013

            Yes it is good to go already after 3.5 hours but i didnt freeze my whey. not sure what cold does to it. though either way with whey or not i added much less sugar. mine kept being too sweet. my dad liked both but me and my sister prefer the less sweet version. also 1 added 1tbs of whey for each pot. I separated all ingredients in half and did 2 pots since i didnt have a single pot that fit 2.5 gallons. and as for sugar i would recommend putting 1/2 of what is written in the recipe if you dont like sweet drinks. and also you can use glass containers IF you use 2 rubber gloves and and a rubber to close it. the rubber gloves (one in another to make sure they dont pop) would fill with the extra gas and it will not shatter the glass. (tip from my dad and my friend who makes beer a LOT) plus it tastes a bit better from glass because in reactions such as this plastic leaves aftertaste in the drink itself. barely there. but there is (also tip from them which i tested. put half of a pot in glass and half in plastic. for some reason glass one tastes better)

          • Natasha
            natashaskitchen
            November 5, 2013

            Thank you for sharing Anastasiya, I like the idea of putting rubber gloves on top of the glass containers :).

  • devon
    August 24, 2013

    how to increase the alcohol content in it ?

    by adding sugar only ? or also yeast ?

    and if left to ferment longer before putting it in the fridge

    will that help to increase also ?

    lovely recipe ^_^ Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 24, 2013

      Letting it sit in the fridge longer is what will make it stronger. You can definitely taste the difference between 3 and 7 days. Reply

  • Nelly
    August 20, 2013

    My husband has been asking me to make kvas for some time and I get so intimidated by all the complicated recipes! This one seems easy:) Except one question… after day 1 where you leave it for 8 hours with the bread, do you leave it in the fridge or room temp? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 20, 2013

      leave it at room temperature :). Reply

  • Trent Milam
    August 14, 2013

    I made this on Sunday and tasted it about 24 hours later. It was far sweeter and lighter/opaque than kvas I drank in Russia. Also, the alcohol content was REALLY high! I drank a 12 oz glass and had to sit down (and not drive). I watered further quaffs at a 2:1 ratio and it tasted more like kvas. I followed recipe, but let it brew for around 20 hours. Too long? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 15, 2013

      Really?! Usually the longer it sits, the less sweet it is since the yeast eats up the sugar. We make this kvas all the time and it’s barely alcoholic. We don’t ever drink alcohol and the kvas doesn’t affect us one bit. I’m thinking something went wrong… At what point in the process did you let it brew 20 hours? And you put the correct amount of yeast? Hopefully it wasn’t instant yeast. Reply

    • Steve
      April 25, 2015

      Thanks much.. I am so glad you like the homemade one better than the one with the concentrate. As a comment to readers.. a trip to the homebrew store or online will yield hygrometers if people care about alcohol levels ..and fancy bottles. I like the soda bottle idea .. safer..for such a drink Reply

  • Lindsey
    August 12, 2013

    Thanks for the recipe. I can’t wait to try it. However, I just don’t have the fridge space for 3 big jugs. Does anyone have any tips for scaling it down? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 12, 2013

      You cut cut everything in half and it should work just as well ๐Ÿ™‚ Reply

  • klaus
    August 11, 2013

    Hi Natasha,

    Just started my first batch using this recipe. I used high-end artisan 100% rye bread (unfortunately without caraway). Because it was moister, it didn’t brown as well, but it smells like I remember from Lithuania. I used two packets of yeast, and cut the sugar by half a cup, as it has to be ready for Ukrainian guests tomorrow!

    Regarding the rye and coloring, rye in the US simply isn’t as dark as in Europe. A German master bread baker told me that all dark rye bread in the US is colored using caramel coloring (usually artificial). This was confirmed when I browsed forums about baking European style dark breads. That probably is why the kvas in the US turns out much lighter than in GUS states.

    In really looking forward to trying this! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 11, 2013

      Oh that’s great to know! My hubby does buy the rye bread in the Russian store nearby and it is almost black. Thanks for sharing. The kvas does become stronger and tastier with time. Reply

  • Kirill
    August 1, 2013

    I made this Kvas several times now and here is what I found out through trial and error. I found that proofing the yeast and dissolving the sugar first will cut the fermentation starting time. I think that 6 hours is not enough time to ferment the kvas. It is still too sweet and not very carbonated. I go for at least 8 hrs before I put mine in the refrigerator. Another thing I found out is the quality of the ingredients which go into making kvas drastically change the flavor and color of the final product. I found that good quality borodinsky bread, raisins, dry apricots, whole dried cranberries and goji berries make a very authentic tasting dark kvas.

    Cheers,
    Kirill Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 1, 2013

      We will definitely have to try your version! Thanks for sharing!! Reply

  • Vadzim
    July 31, 2013

    It’s popular not only in Ukraine and Russia. In Belarus it’s one of the most popular drink too. Reply

  • Yasha
    July 27, 2013

    Great recipe! I think it’s a good way to use the heels of bread. Using a couple of different kinds of rye or black bread helps give it more flavor. Then I like to toast the bread and raisins together in the oven. The cheap beer yeast from the brewing store is worth a try too, as it gives it more flavor than bread yeast. Otherwise, you can leave it out on a mild day (60-70 F) to catch wild yeast;) Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 28, 2013

      Thanks so much for the tips!! Reply

  • Matthew
    July 22, 2013

    I made a half recipe of this by cutting all ingredients in half.

    Turned out fine, but I remember the kvas I had in Odessa to have a stronger taste. Which ingredients do I alter to increase that signature kvas taste? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 22, 2013

      How long has it been since you made it? The longer it stands, the stronger it gets. Reply

  • Kirill
    July 21, 2013

    I Love Your Very Simple Recipe. I am Only making 1.6 QT but think it should turn out fine as I altered the ingredient amounts. One thing you forgot to mention is to proof your yeast. Dry yeast needs to be proofed by adding it to a little bit of water with a 1/2 teaspoon sugar to make sure it is alive and you get a reaction. If the yeast is dead, then your Kvass will not work out. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 21, 2013

      I guess that’s a great way to make sure your yeast is good ๐Ÿ˜‰ Reply

  • Lena
    July 20, 2013

    The kvass was delicious! It taste just like the one they serve at weddings! Btw my mom says “ti maladetz” ๐Ÿ™‚ Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 20, 2013

      Music to my ears :D, I’m glad you liked it. Tell your mom, “Thank you”. Reply

  • dk.iv.gd
    July 19, 2013

    Greetings from Carolina! I’m bored to tears at work so I decided to check out your blog on my iphone during lunch break. I enjoy the information you provide here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home.

    I’m surprised at how fast your blog loaded on my mobile .. I’m not even using WIFI,
    just 3G .. Anyhow, great site! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 20, 2013

      Welcome to the site Lyda :). Reply

  • Irina M
    July 12, 2013

    I never really wanted to try making kvas with original recipe (it sounded so complicated) but as soon as I saw burnt bread in your pictures, I thought that’s something I can actually do :))))) been making your apple kvas recipe for while now, everyone loves it! Making this one right now, just burned the bread again, man, Im so good at this :))) Love your website!!! Keep up the good work!! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 12, 2013

      Are you saying you are good at burning bread? lol. Your comment just made my day. Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚ Reply

  • Lena
    June 30, 2013

    Hi,Natasha ! S 2,5gallons vody u menja poluchilos pochti 5 (2liters) butilok kvassa! Ja chto sdelala ni kak vse? U tebia napisano 3! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      June 30, 2013

      The bottles in the picture are 2.84L each, so it makes about 8 1/2 Liters of Kvass. Hope that helps ๐Ÿ™‚ Reply

  • Raisa S.
    June 4, 2013

    made kvas yesterday. the best taste. The most important is …. it remind me kvas I had when I was a child. easy to make. all family loved it. definitely will make again, and again. thank you for the recipe. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      June 4, 2013

      Thank you Raisa, I’m glad that your family loved it. I always like a good report especially when it reminds you of your childhood :D. Reply

  • Kandice
    May 20, 2013

    I can’t find ANY black bread! I live in Alabama and It seems no one even KNOWS what it is here! Can someone help? I’ve seen a recipe to make it on allrecipes.com but I can’t find any of the things on the list either! Someone please help ๐Ÿ™ Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      May 20, 2013

      You can use either classic black, dark or rye bread for this recipe. It doesn’t have to be black bread to work well ๐Ÿ™‚ Reply

      • Kandice
        May 23, 2013

        does it effect taste? Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          May 24, 2013

          You wouldn’t notice the difference! ๐Ÿ™‚ Reply

          • Kandice
            May 24, 2013

            Then I will try that! Thanks

  • Natalya
    May 14, 2013

    thank you so much for help, ya poprobuvala etot kavas and its taste the BEST OF THE BEST :), but for me just really bit sweet, so obezatelna ya bydy delat etot kvas more and more but with less sugar. Thanks a lot Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      May 14, 2013

      It will get stronger and less sweet as it stands. Reply

  • Natalya
    May 14, 2013

    Natasha izvini, y menya takoj vopros, skolko on mozhet xranitsya, mne etot kvas nyzhen na ety syboty ( ya ego zdelala razlila v takiye zhe plastikovuye bytulki kak y tebya ( ot sodu nety, nepokypayu sody) i postavila v xolodilnik, on y menya bydet stoyat, ya ne bydy yburat xolodilnik ( ny ne polopayut bytulki ๐Ÿ™‚ ). Pasibki, sorry asking tooooo much ????? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      May 14, 2013

      You might want to let out the pressure every couple days. It will be good on Saturday ๐Ÿ™‚ Reply

  • Natalya
    May 14, 2013

    Vchera zdelala na noch, sejchas zdem 6 hours i potom bydem probuvat.
    Kak tu dymaesh a esli on postoit bolwe nezheli 6 hours, a potom v xolodilnuk, kokoj on bydet? ili lytwe ne probuvat a to isportit mozna ๐Ÿ™‚ pervuj raz delayu kvas, i hope taste turn out great, my husband and brothers LOVED kvas, they always pokypayut v Russian store (monasturskij), so I hope they will enjoy this one. Thanks a lot for all your recipes ( made so many already, and it was always turn really YUMMY & GOOD). Thanks a lot for all your hard work …. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      May 14, 2013

      We’ve only tried making it one way and it works well so we haven’t tried to change it. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for your sweet comment! Reply

  • Natalya
    May 13, 2013

    Hi Natasha –
    Etot xleb eto tolko dlya kraski kvasy, ili on dayet kakoy to vkys ?

    bolwoye pasibki Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      May 14, 2013

      Bread gives kvas dark color and flavor, hope this helps. Reply

  • Connor Langlois
    May 9, 2013

    What is the maximum time for this to sit the first night? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      May 9, 2013

      8-9 hours Reply

  • Inna
    May 5, 2013

    A tip for those who like dark Kvas. Melt your sugar in the skillet and add it when it still hot so it doesn’t harden. Your kvass will be darker. That’s what my mom does and melted sugar also adds extra flavor. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      May 5, 2013

      I’ll definitely try that next time. I love learning from my blog readers ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for sharing!! Reply

  • Peter Ong
    April 21, 2013

    Wow,this seems a nice beverage. What kind of dry yeast to make kvass? Can I use baking yeast? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 21, 2013

      I use the Red Star Brand. It is an active dry yeast. Reply

  • DrWhodini
    December 27, 2012

    I’m in Georgia (The country, not the US state) and they sell Kvas (or Kvasi, as they call it) here in the summer from little kiosks, and it tastes somewhere between cola and weak beer. But it is perfect on a hot afternoon. or with a late meal in a restaurant.

    You CAN buy it bottled, but it is hard to find. And impossible in the winter.

    I tried your recipe yesterday, and am reaping the rewards today. Whilst not EXACTLY like the drinks I was buying (theirs is darker, more ‘malty’ and clearer), your recipe is a real taste of summer on this cold Tbilisi evening.

    Unfortunately, after a year here, I am leaving soon, but happier that I will be taking this taste back with me.

    Thank you! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 27, 2012

      Welcome to the site ๐Ÿ™‚ We make this kvas on the regular bases. If you toast the bread to black, kvas will be darker. I hope you’ll find more favorites on the site. Reply

      • DrWhodini
        December 28, 2012

        Thanks:))))
        I toasted mine well, but it was a little lighter than yours. I’m guessing your toaster has a higher setting.

        My local friends have looked at it with some trepidation, they are used to something clearer, but they liked the flavour.

        Your version continues to ferment, I guess. So to test just how much, I placed ONE 2L Coke bottle in the fridge to ‘kill’ the process with cold, and left another, 8L store water bottle (containing just 6L) outside, where it is warmer. Storing the kvas in a water bottle seems fine, but the gas builds up quickly, requiring a 1-2 hour ‘release’. I JUST forgot and 4+ hours later, the plastic bottle was a little more spherical than normal and the lid flew across the room after I released it ๐Ÿ˜€

        I’ll certainly be checking out some other recipes. ๐Ÿ™‚ Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          December 28, 2012

          ๐Ÿ™‚ Soda bottles are the best for kvas because they are designed for the higher pressure. The longer you let it sit, the more fermented it will be. Reply

  • October 15, 2012

    Hands down this is the best recipe I have found. Thanks for sharing as it makes the best, tasty kvass I have ever had. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      October 15, 2012

      You are welcome Alan, I’m glad that you like the recipe ๐Ÿ˜€ Reply

  • Volodya
    October 12, 2012

    We used to do this in a Army to make ”Braga”. Raising was much accessible than sugar. We were mixing Braga in old Soviet vertical washer with much more yeast and pack in empty fire extinguishers. Since it real cold in Siberia we had hide them inside baraks , replacing real fire extinguishers with ares. After a week or sow it get high in alcohol. Longer it stay stronger it get. Hit your brain like a sludge hammer. Never had a problem with eextinguisher burst. Never get busted by officers. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      October 12, 2012

      Oh my gosh. You made me laugh. That is quite the kvas adventure! Reply

  • September 11, 2012

    I’m a Peace Corps. volunteer and this is sooo popular in my host country (especially during the summer when it seems to be offered on every street corner in every major city). Such a refreshing drink during those hot summer months! Thanks for the recipe and I hope you won’t mind if I share it with others? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 11, 2012

      You are more than welcome to share the recipe Kim (as long as it’s not word-for word copy/paste; google will ding your site for duplicate content & I always appreciate a link back) ๐Ÿ™‚ , welcome to the site!  Reply

  • Serguei Filimonov
    September 10, 2012

    Hi Natasha,

    Really excited to try making this. Since it involves waiting for long hours, I was wondering: How would you schedule making this in the middle of the week around a workday? Would you start during evening of day 1, do next step next morning, step in the evening and have it ready on morning of day 3?

    Also, how sensitive is the recipe to temperature changes? I live in San Francisco, use a heater at night, so the temperature in the apartment falls and rises throughout the day. Any tips on that? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 11, 2012

      Best time to make kvass, is towards the evening, just like you stated. Serguei, I would recommend placing kvass mixture in warm temperature to help yeast ferment better. At night you might have to place it closer to the heater. I hope this helps. Reply

  • Danya
    August 14, 2012

    Has anyone tried Grolsh-style reusable seal beer bottles for kvass? Any danger in that considering that these bottles are made to contain fizzy beer?

    Thanks in advance! I can’t wait to try the recipe!

    Reply

    • stephen
      September 13, 2012

      I used a similar bottling method and it works fine but you really need to watch the built up pressure and release it every so often otherwise it ends up everywhere. Reply

      • Natasha
        natashaskitchen
        September 13, 2012

        I loosen it up all week long because it makes me nervous. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ Reply

    • John
      June 13, 2013

      Grolsch type bottles are good, but leave an inch and a half head room before sealing. It gives any additional carbonation some where to go. Reply

      • Natasha
        natashaskitchen
        June 13, 2013

        I’ll have to look into that. Where do you get them? Reply

  • Katerina
    July 2, 2012

    So much commotion on what kind of bottle to use, I think that you should just go on what you have used glass, plastic, aluminum….. it’s just like moms arguing about what diapers are best pampers leak, huggies give a rash wal-mart brand just falls apart. You just have to try it and if it doesn’t work for you it might work for someone else. I used pampers for 2 years while my sister in-law only used huggies because pampers were no good for her……..by the way I made this and my husband loved it and he was really impressed by my skills ๐Ÿ™‚ and I used a glass jar with a cheese cloth on top. Thanks Natasha ๐Ÿ™‚ Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 2, 2012

      Ha ha, you’re right! This is starting to turn into a diaper debate. Huggies gave my son rashes. I’m a pampers gal, but yes huggies are obviously still in business so it must be great for many babies. I guess I just need a disclosure that says, “caution, Kvas may explode”; and be done with it. I’m glad you and your hubby enjoyed the kvas and that he was impressed by your skills. ๐Ÿ™‚ Reply

  • nan
    July 1, 2012

    I’m trying your recipe for Kvass, and thought I would add the tip that I decided to toast my bread on the gas grill outside to avoid smoke in the house. Some of it got quite black – even flaming a bit. I did it late in the day, with not much light, so next time I may halt the toasting a little sooner. What we’ve sampled so far tastes really good, tho. Thanks! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 1, 2012

      That is a great tip! Sounds even better than toasting in the garage! Reply

  • Stephen Whitehead
    June 29, 2012

    I made this using a plastic juice bottle and found that it did not distort too much.

    I had a Russian visitor who loved this recipe and took a bottle of Kvas with him to drink on his travels!

    We both agree this tastes just as good as the Kvas that can be purchased on the side of the road in Ukraine!

    Well done a great easy to make recipe!! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      June 29, 2012

      Stephen, thank you! I’m glad you found it to taste authentic. Reply

  • stephen
    May 19, 2012

    Finished a Kvass with Anadama Bread last night based on this recipe. It turned out quite well I think. But I have no frame of reference as it was my first. In any case thank you for your help! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      May 19, 2012

      And it will change in flavor every day as it stands! I’m glad you like it and it’s good to know that other breads work well. Reply

  • Paul
    May 14, 2012

    This is the first time I had kvas and I liked it. It’s very different than American beers. The recipe was easy to do. But I thought the next time maybe I’ll try lemon peel or zest instead of the raisins. I think it may provide a nice citrus flavor. Any thoughts? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      May 14, 2012

      I’ve heard of lemon kvass but we haven’t tested it. I don’t see why not ๐Ÿ™‚ Reply

    • rob
      March 23, 2013

      use raisins they are like vitamins for the yeast, but you only need about 20 per gallon Reply

  • Inessa
    April 25, 2012

    Ok this is by far the best kvas I have ever made!!! Thanks so much for posting this recipe.. My husband said finally the real kvas ๐Ÿ™‚
    And thank you ladies for adding that little tip about blackening the bread in the oven (broiler) I was a little scared that it was too burned but turned out really good. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 25, 2012

      Inessa, that’s awesome!! I’m so glad you and your husband loved it! I’ll tell Vadim; he’s are resident kvas expert. ๐Ÿ™‚ The first time my hubby was making this kvas, I was also shocked that we had to burn the bread that much! I gave him a hard time over it and made him call his cousin to verify. Reply

  • Stan
    April 23, 2012

    Hi,
    I’m in the process of making kvas for the first time. For some reason I’m not getting the foam you’re getting on the photos. I’m already up to step 8, and still no foam. Did I mess up?

    Thank you. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 23, 2012

      It only foams when you stir it. The yeast is what causes it to foam like that when it’s stirred. It doesn’t really foam that way until you stir it. Does that help? Reply

      • Stan
        April 23, 2012

        Oh, OK. I thought my yeast were on strike or something.
        Thank you. Reply

  • Anastasia
    April 12, 2012

    Natasha this kvas is very good! My grandma makes the best kvas and this is very similar to hers, thank you so much! I’m going to ask her for the recipe and try and compare these two. This one is very good and so easy! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 12, 2012

      So glad you enjoyed it! ๐Ÿ™‚ Reply

  • Sonya
    March 30, 2012

    Natasha – thank you for sharing this recipe. Question – which kvas do you think is tastier – this one or the one from your original recipe here (https://natashaskitchen.com/2010/07/09/russian-kvas-recipe/) ? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 30, 2012

      This one is a little sweeter, but if it stands for a few days, it gets quite a kick to it! I really think they are equal in flavor. We have been making this one lately since there is no concentrate required. This is our favorite. Reply

  • KW
    March 12, 2012

    My friend (one has actually been to Russia and has tasted kvass before) has yet to try it. But, in my opinion, the kvass this recipe makes is sweet and refreshing! It’s the first time I have every had it, and I’m not disappointed at all!

    Oh, and there wasn’t any dark rye at any stores nearby, so I used a marble rye bread. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 12, 2012

      Thanks for the tip! It does get less and less sweet as the days go by. I’m glad you liked it! ๐Ÿ™‚ Reply

  • KW
    March 9, 2012

    How long should you stir the mixture after you add the sugar and yeast? Do you want to stir it until dissolved? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 9, 2012

      Yes, stir until they are dissolved. Reply

  • lidiya
    March 1, 2012

    I just made the kvas. and it turned out superrrrrrrrrrrr delicious!!!! Thank you so much for this amazing recipe=)) Reply

  • Olga
    February 29, 2012

    I live in Houston and have a hard time finding dark Russian style bread. I have to drive too far to the international store to get it. I bought some rye bread at our local grocery and toasted it. We’ll see what happens. As soon as I get a little better from this flu, I will make the Kvas. Can’t wait!!! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      February 29, 2012

      We also just used regular black bread with rye in it. Let me know hot it turns out and I hope you feel much better very soon. Reply

      • alla
        March 12, 2012

        My mama used to always make kvas with rye so that what I made my kvas/ your recipe with rye bread and it was really good. Thank you Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          March 12, 2012

          My husband just made it again earlier in the week, and it’s almost gone. I’m glad that you liked it. Reply

  • lidiya
    February 28, 2012

    Natasha…This looks soo good!!!! Can I use instant yeast? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      February 28, 2012

      I haven’t tried instant yeast so I really can’t say. I’ll ask around, but I have no idea. Sorry. Reply

      • rob
        March 23, 2013

        actually if you use ANY beer yeast your kvas is better than made with bread yeast, black rye that tastes of molasses and BEER yeast= BEST kvas.. Reply

  • Zina
    February 22, 2012

    Thank you for the recipe…babushka would make this with black bread but she would also make another version with raisins. Do you have a recipe without the bread? I will definitely try making this…as children we would sneak into the kitchen and steal the raisins floating on top….mmmmm! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      February 22, 2012

      That’s cute; the raisins ๐Ÿ™‚ I never thought to taste them! I don’t have one without bread. I’m still working on a lemon kvas though which doesn’t have bread and there’s the apple juice kvas that doesn’t require bread that I have posted. Check out the drinks section. Reply

  • Anjelina
    February 21, 2012

    Hey, sort of off topic, but do you know any recipes for poppyseed strudel? You should definitely make a blog post for it if you do! :j Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      February 21, 2012

      I don’t but that does sound really good! I’ll keep it in mind.:) Reply

  • chef
    February 21, 2012

    Do you have it covered when it’s sitting on the counter for 6 hours? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      February 21, 2012

      Yes, cover with the lid or plastic wrap. I added that little step to the post ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks! Reply

  • Julie
    February 20, 2012

    hey does it really matter what kind of name brand, of bread you use?? like the “natures own”, do you think that would be a good one? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      February 20, 2012

      Any brand is fine. I just picked a black bread from Winco. Reply

  • olga
    February 20, 2012

    does the store kind have slight alcohol in it too?? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      February 20, 2012

      You know, I don’t think so. I think homemade kvas becomes slightly, slightly alcoholic because the yeast settles at the bottom and the store one doesn’t seem to have that. The first couple days it probably has little-to-no alcohol content, but it does get a little stronger with each day because the yeast continues to work on the sugar in the bottle. But really, even after 5-7 days (if it lasts that long), it should still be less than 1%. Reply

  • Natasha
    natashaskitchen
    February 20, 2012

    Hi everyone, I added a tip up there if you’ve already printed the recipe: Toast bread either outside or in your garage or your house will get smokey. We learned the hard way ๐Ÿ™‚ Reply

    • alla
      February 23, 2012

      Ha ha ha i learned this the hard way all my smoke detectors went off and i have three downstairs and one upstairs. So i switched it up , I placed bread on a cookie sheet and stuck it in the oven broiler high for about 3-4 minutes pulled it out flipped them and then i stuck it back in the oven. Got them blackened all at once and took less time. And I used to always use Pepsi bottles. Yes they are made for drinks with pressure before i used a sturdy plastic juice bottle and it exploded my entire kitchen was covered in freckles. That was not fun mopping the ceiling. Reply

      • Natasha
        natashaskitchen
        February 24, 2012

        That’s a great tip to bake the bread. Oh my gosh!! it exploded? That’s wild. Ok, I’m going with all glass next time or pepsi bottles. Thanks for the tip. I wouldn’t like mopping the ceiling either!! Reply

        • Slavophile
          September 22, 2012

          Like Fritz stated above, it is best to use plastic bottles designed for holding pressure. If I remember correctly soda/coke bottles can hold up at least 10x more pressure than the carbonated drink contains, and that’s a whole lot more than a kvass recipe can produce. And if something should happen it will be the cap that pops off. So essentially the cap can be viewed as a safety valve similar to what they use in industry on pressurised reaction vessels.

          When in doubt point the top with the cap away from your face.. ๐Ÿ™‚

          It is no wonder that a plastic bottle designed to hold fruit juice or something similarly non-carbonated will rupture in no time. When using glass, I’d be careful only to use glass bottles designed for holding pressure, such as champagne/vin mousseux bottles (or high fermentation beer bottles but they are of course limited in volume). The glass is much thicker and the bottles are more sturdy than your average wine bottle.

          When I was a student I was experimenting with brewing herbal beers, and foolishly put the broth containing *way* too much sugars and yeast in individual beer bottles, some of the high fermentation type, and some were the ultra cheap type which were very thin walled. I put them inside a closet, luckily, about a week later when watching TV in the evening there was a sudden, loud explosion and there room filled with a penetrating fermentation smell. One of the thin el cheapo bottles exploded and the glass shards actually penetrated the wooded closet door.

          The high fermentation type held well, but when opened all the contents shot two meters high and none was left in the bottle.

          So all this to say: plastic soda/coke bottles are your friend here, don’t use glass if you are not certain they were designed to withstand pressure.

          Thanks for your delicious recipe btw! Reply

        • W.A. Hall
          August 11, 2013

          NOOOO!! Don’t use glass!!! That can be extremely dangerous. As a homebrewer who has exploded glass containers before, I can tell you, the plastic is MUCH safer and less apt to explode. I’ve had to pull glass fragments out of the wood of my cabinets, deeply embedded from the force of explosion. Reply

          • Galina
            January 9, 2014

            I’m guessing you could use glass bottles with a cork top? I would think the cork would pop out before the glass would explode….they sell these types of bottles at IKEA.

          • Natasha
            natashaskitchen
            January 9, 2014

            You know I haven’t tried that but I would hope it popped out before it exploded. :-O

  • alla
    February 19, 2012

    I just printed your recipe and so excited on trying to make it. But why cant i use pepsi plastic bottles? I will let you know how it turned out… Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      February 20, 2012

      I wouldn’t use pepsi plastic bottles. I haven’t tried using them but I’m afraid to. I think they’re too lightweight and have a higher risk of,… well, explosion. I’d either use sturdy plastic juice bottles or glass. Reply

      • Natasha
        natashaskitchen
        February 20, 2012

        P.S. I posted an extra tip on the recipe to toast the bread outside or in the garage or your whole house will smell like burnt bread. Reply

      • Natasha
        natashaskitchen
        February 20, 2012

        My other cousin tells me that he makes kvas in pepsi bottles and that they are made to hold pressure. I guess if you try it, do it at your own risk ๐Ÿ™‚ Reply

        • Olga
          April 3, 2012

          when my mom makes kvas and doesnt have sturdy bottles, she puts them in pepsi bottles. when she notices that the bottles swell, she simply opens the top to let the “gas” out for a few seconds and closes them again. overnight, she leaves the cap just a tad bit loose to let the gas escape and not explode. lol. but kvas doesnt last long in our house. maybe 2-3 days max, so its still pretty good even when she kept opening the bottles… Reply

          • Natasha
            natashaskitchen
            April 3, 2012

            I do the same thing; open the bottles when they get a little too inflated!

      • May 24, 2012

        The plastic Pepsi bottles are less likely to explode than that glass jar. The Pepsi bottle is designed to hold pressure, the jar is not. Also, it it does explode, the Pepsi bottle will just make a mess while the jar will send shards of glass flying. Putting anything that will produce pressure in a glass container that is not specifically designed to hold in pressure is dangerous.

        As for the recipe, I think I’ll try it out soon. Thanks for sharing. Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          May 24, 2012

          Thank you Fritz!! That is a great point. I’ll edit the recipe to reflect what you said. Enjoy the Kvas! Reply

          • Josh
            June 4, 2012

            Just reading through the recipes and comments here. And just so you know the glass jar won’t actually explode it will more likely crack and leak onto the floor or just break. The danger area is when you try to pick it up when the pressure is just under popping it and it breaks in your hand.
            I know this from experience. I have been making fermented beverages for over 13 years now. I started in college in my dorm room closet.
            Concerning soda bottles they will completely loose shape and won’t stand straight due to the bottom rounding out before popping and even then it will most likely shoot the cap of and that does go quite high and by then most of the liquid will have exited as well in the show.

          • Holgar
            October 1, 2012

            As Fritz mentioned glass bottles can explode violently… I experienced it. However I was lucky that nobody was in the same room when one of my bottles exploded because it was enough to spread shards of glass throughout a 15’X20′ room.

      • grassroot
        March 4, 2014

        You can get broken glass all over and the danger of it flying all over too.
        Should use a water/gas lock as used in fermenting wine or beer. The safest
        and preserves your alcohol content. Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          March 4, 2014

          As often as we make kvas, we should invest in that! Where can I find one? Reply

          • Bob stokes
            November 3, 2014

            You can puncture a balloon with a needle and simply use a balloon as a cap. It lets pressure out slowly but doesn’t let the drink oxidize and loose flavor. It will also allow you to use any container without fear of explosion of the vessel.

          • Natasha
            natashaskitchen
            November 3, 2014

            That’s a great idea! Do you have to puncture the balloon? Thanks so much Bob ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Natasha
    natashaskitchen
    February 19, 2012

    Elvira, we purchased the bread at winco; all the ingredients are easily accessible; that’s why I love this recipe!! Reply

  • February 19, 2012

    My husband attempted making kvass a few months ago…. It didn’t turn out too great. I think its because he didn’t use a good dark Russian style bread. We will have to try your recipe and see how it goes! Reply

    • Shaun
      January 21, 2013

      I tried making this recipe for Kvass and I skyped my Latvian and Russian friends a picture of what the kvass looked like and even a photo of Natasha’s kvass. They all said that it was too light in color and that it is not opaque in color. Here is a photo website they sent me to use for reference: http://www.photo-dictionary.com/phrase/4410/kvass.html#b

      btw they said that it should taste similar to coca-cola and it is carbonated. And for those who are wondering if store bought has alcohol in it…. Yes it does. Anytime you have active yeast in a drink, it’ll eat sugar and produce alcohol as a by-product. So yes kvass does have alcohol but very little unless you keep it fermenting for a week or two and add more sugar. The process for this recipe is similar to home brewing. So if you can make this then congratulations you made your first beer lol.

      Natasha’s recipe tastes good by the way. But according to my internet friends it doesn’t look like the real deal, homemade or commercial. And I personally don’t think it tastes anything like coca-cola. Reply

      • Natasha
        natashaskitchen
        January 21, 2013

        It does clear up as it stands, but we like to drink it sooner or it gets too strong. Reply

      • Galina
        August 4, 2013

        Kvas bought on the streets in Russia looks exactly like in the “Russian Kvas recipe” here, slightly lighter than this one thought. I’ve had it many times. I never though it tastes like coca-cola because it’s not so sweet and the flavour is different, completely unique. Looking forward to trying this recipe! Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          August 4, 2013

          Definitely nothing like coca cola and much healthier than a coca cola; you’re right there is less sugar and it’s unique in flavor ๐Ÿ˜‰ Reply

          • Marie
            October 26, 2013

            There are factory-made versions of kvas that do taste similar to Coca Cola, but they are not fermented but carbonated in the same way as most soft drinks. Natashas recipe results in real, homemade kvas. (I like both but prefer the homemade kind. I like the sweet, yeasty flavour).

          • Natasha
            natashaskitchen
            October 26, 2013

            I prefer fermented taste to carbonated as well :). My husband is going to make some again for Thanksgiving. He was planning on adding some dried apricots and cranberries besides just raisins to see what difference in flavor it will make.

      • Renate
        April 22, 2014

        It doesn’t seem as they describe because they describe manufactured kvass we can nowdays buy in any shop in Latvia, Russia etc. And they are right. But have to remember that there was a time when kvass was homemade drink and this is a way how our ancestry did it. Reply

      • Dasha
        October 5, 2014

        I’ve seen and tried a variety. There is a color spectrum when it comes to kvass. It all depends on the ingredients.

        I loved this one.
        Thank you Natasha! Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          October 5, 2014

          Thanks Dasha! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m so glad you enjoyed it ๐Ÿ™‚ Reply

      • Dasha
        October 5, 2014

        Shaun,
        You can add molasses to it to darken it.

        There are a lot of Russians in America (our recipes are considered authentic Russian too! ^-^). To have good kvass- an authentic Russian could prepare it, it doesn’t necessarily have to be made on the geographic region ^-^ Reply

      • Dick
        November 22, 2014

        Kvass in Russia has different colors from light to dark brown and in the dark ages use to be an alcoholic beverage too. Still alcoholic in communities of old orthodox refugees and baptists from Russian empire to the Northern and Latin America. Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          November 22, 2014

          Thanks so much for sharing! ๐Ÿ™‚ Reply

        • Olivier Corveleyn
          July 30, 2015

          I’ve tried several commercial kvas samples both in Russia and in the local Russian store. Because it is marketed as a soft-drink in most countries it cannot contain alcohol, even 1%. That is why commercial kvas nowadays isn’t even kvas, but carbonated malt extract. In the old days when they had the kvas-tanks outside it was real, fermented kvas. As is Natasha’s recipe. The more rye your bread contains (the blacker the bread), the darker the resulting kvas, but when you wait too long this will lighten too, such is the chemically reducing action of yeast.

          To compare: in Belgium we have a sort of table-beer (Piedboeuf) that only contains 1% alcohol and children are allowed to drink, and is by many considered more healthy than sugar-loaded cola. Reply

          • Natasha
            natashaskitchen
            July 31, 2015

            The children probably sleep well in Belgium. lol. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks for sharing!

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