How to Make Kvas/Kvass From Concentrate at Home

Updated on November 29, 2016

Kvas Recipe Preparation - UnCola!

Kvas can be inexpensively prepared at home with minimum effort. It costs me less than 10$ for all the stuff needed to make 6 gallons (in 24 hours)!
Kvas can be inexpensively prepared at home with minimum effort. It costs me less than 10$ for all the stuff needed to make 6 gallons (in 24 hours)!

What Is Kvas?

Kvass or Kvas is a traditional Russian drink made from fermented rye. Depending on the method of fermentation, it can have a 0.4-4% alcohol content, and the average alcohol content is at around 1.2%. Generally, the less oxygen is present during fermentation, the higher the alcohol content. Because of the low alcohol content, the drink is suitable for children

The drink is rather different from other soft drinks out there because:

  • It tastes somewhat like beer.
  • It has a little bit of alcohol.
  • It has a stronger flavor.

Making It From Concentrate

Traditionally, kvas was made from rye bread which was soaked in water and that water, along with sugar, is fermented to produce kvas. This is a complicated and long process that stopped a lot of people from making the drink at home.

There's a better solution! A kvas concentrate is available at some online retailers which eliminates the complicated process of creating the rye base for the drink. It is sold as "kvass concentrate" and comes in a rather unassuming can with a Russian label and a rather poorly translated nutritional information facts label in English on the back.

Upon translating the label, I learned that this is not a true concentrate, but rather is a base for the fermentation. Because I normally do not carry yeast or sugar at home, I had to do a quick trip to Walmart.

The little 550 gram can boasts that it can produce 25 liters or over 6.5 gallons of Kvas.

The instructions on the can translate to the following:

For making 5 liters or 1.3 galons of Kvass:

  1. Use warm 35-40C water (100F).
  2. Dissolve 8-10 tablespoons (110 grams) of kvas concentrate in 5 liters of water (1.3 gallons) of warm water.
  3. Add 6-7 grams of activated yeast (1 packet).
  4. Add 1 2/3 cups of sugar.
  5. Mix, shake well.
  6. Keep in a warm place (25-30C) (77-86 F) and let it ferment for 18-20 hours.
  7. Filter the kvass, leaving yeast sediment on the bottom of the fermentation container.
  8. Store in a refrigerator.
  9. Serve cold.

Visual Step-By-Step Preparation

Kvas recipe, all required ingredients, found at a local walmart
Kvas recipe, all required ingredients, found at a local walmart
It took me a while to find yeast in a Walmart. The good thing is that they had activated yeast in 7gram packets in the baker's isle
It took me a while to find yeast in a Walmart. The good thing is that they had activated yeast in 7gram packets in the baker's isle
Activating yeast in warm water
Activating yeast in warm water
Measuring pure grain sugar. 1 cup is used for one gallon
Measuring pure grain sugar. 1 cup is used for one gallon
Measuring 9 tablespoons of rye kvas concentrate
Measuring 9 tablespoons of rye kvas concentrate
Mixing yeast, water and sugar together. Water is added later
Mixing yeast, water and sugar together. Water is added later

Recipe

Because I do not have a 5 liter vessel, I opted out to use 1 gallon water jugs.

Ingredients that I used:

  • 2 one gallon jugs of water from Walmart - 2x 1$
  • 1 bag of pure cane sugar from Walmart -2.44$
  • 1 550gram can of kvas concentrate / base - 3$
  • 2 x 7gram packets of activated baking yeast - I (got 3 strips of 3) 3 x 1$
  • A measuring cup
  • Tablespoon
  • Filtered water - free

Instructions:

  1. Begin by activating the yeast - stir in the yeast packet in a little bit of warm water and add a tablespoon of sugar.
  2. Fill the jugs halfway with water. I used cold water to start with and warm it up later.
  3. Add 1.5 cups of sugar to each jug
  4. Add 8-10 tablespoons of kvas concentrate to each jug
  5. After 10 minutes, of when you are done preparing, pour the yeast into the jugs
  6. Add water, leaving some room for the air.
  7. Gently put on the lid, but do not tighten it as fermenting results in a lot of gas. It is a naturally carbonated beverage!
  8. Leave the jugs in a warm spot. I put them in a box outside my apartment, it is 75F inside and must be 80F outside. Avoid direct sunlight, as it will kill the yeast.

Afterword

I will continue to experiment with this beverage, adding a straw and a glass of water would allow to reduce the oxygen content and increase alcohol content. Having 6 gallons of beer for under 10$? Sign me up!

This drink tastes quite different from all store bought sodas. I'm tired of sodas, and this is a nice "uncola" move!

Completed Kvas

The completed drink is brown in color and is lightly carbonated (depending on whether or not you shook the fermenting container)
The completed drink is brown in color and is lightly carbonated (depending on whether or not you shook the fermenting container)

Questions & Answers

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        david fuchs 

        8 years ago

        great stuff. but being in the u.k my chances of finding the concentrate is limited.

        do you know how to start from scratch and supply all the wonderful information you supply in your, making it from a concentrate/

        regrds. david

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