In this short, sweet, and a bit tangy article, we'll go into why you should consider making some Kvass for yourself. In essence, there's a multitude of benefits, and it tastes great too (particularly if you're a beer drinker, I guess).
First, What is Kvass?
First and foremost, Kvass is a grain-based fermented drink with a minuscule amount of alcohol. At its core, one uses stale rye bread in combination with sugar, water, and a sourdough starter or yeast. The drink has its roots in Russia, Eastern Europe, or Ukraine, depending on where you read. But what is safe to say is that it isn't from Silicon Valley.
Common Knowledge - People Drank Beer in the Middle Ages
Whenever something is considered "common knowledge" I tend to take a step back and reconsider the situation.
For many many years, it seemed that absolutely everyone just "knew" that people used to drink beer (read: higher alcohol content) in the middle ages in Europe, as it was a safer bet than drinking possibly contaminated water. While this can still be true, it strikes me as odd that there weren't other options for drinking safer water (read: lower alcohol content).
Since discovering Kvass it dawned on me that perhaps it was a range of lower alcohol-content fermented drinks which brought about this "Common knowledge" in favour of beer and the related breweries.
So, Why Drink Kvass?
- It has probiotics that improve nutrient absorption and limit gut inflammation
- It has the highest diversity of probiotics compared to other probiotic-rich foods! (literally true)
- If you want to avoid alcohol it is a great substitute
- Even a BSV investor can afford it (made from old bread)
- It's a drink that both Russians and Ukrainians love ❤️
How to make Kvass?
Excellent, so you're interested in the health benefits that Kvass can bring to you? Or you'd like to experiment with drinks while you're having fun staying poor? Here's what you do:
- Collect 400g of old rye bread
- Place old bread in the oven for 25 minutes at 180°C
- Then place the now crisp rye bread into a pot with 3l of boiled water
- Leave the pot to settle for 8 to 24 hours
- Strain the water from the pot into a glass jar
- Add 100g of sugar and 50g of sourdough starter (or equivalent)
- Mix well and cover with a cheesecloth (or some other form of breathable material)
- Patience, patience my friend
After the above process is finished you will begin to see bubbles and "activity" in the jar. This in essence means that the wild yeast and bacteria are doing their thing and converting the sugars to beneficial substances. From this point forward, you can take daily taste tests to decide exactly what taste profile you prefer.
Based on your preference you can then bottle your Kvass and store it in the fridge where it will also gain more carbonation/fizz. The longer you allow your Kvass to ferment the more flavours will develop, but this will also increase the bacterial count not to mention increase the alcohol content (which should still remain rather low).
Have fun staying poor (but healthy) guys!