Kvass is sweet carbonated drink, product of wild fermentation.
While my peers in the United States enjoyed the taste of Coca-Cola and Pepsi, children born in the Soviet Union were happy drinking kvass.
And now as a parent I try to instill healthy habits in my children who were born in the United States and serve them healthy homemade kvass using an easy recipe that I am about to share with you.
But let’s first understand why kvass is good for you.
Kvass is a traditional fermented beverage having a similar taste to beer. Much like kombucha because of its fermentation process and probiotic benefits, it is commonly made from sourdough starter. You can learn how to make starter from scratch here.
Kvass improves digestion and boosts metabolism. It helps prevent infections and keep the heart and circulatory system healthy. Kvass simply makes one feel better as it contains lots of vitamins, free amino acids, micro elements and lactic acid.
Kvass offers a wide range of nutrients, including vitamin B12 and the mineral manganese. Here is the nutritional background based on a 10-ounce serving of kvass made with sourdough. Note that it may vary based on the ingredients, as the beet variety also offers a host of other critical nutrients.
- 76 calories
- 0.6 grams fat
- 114 milligrams sodium
- 1.1 grams fiber
- 1.6 grams protein
- 16 grams carbohydrate
- 0.72 grams of vitamin B12 (12 percent DV)
- 5.2 micrograms selenium (7.4 percent DV)
- 0.14 grams manganese (7.2 percent DV)
- 0.08 grams thiamine (5.0 percent DV)
- 14.4 micrograms folate (3.6 percent DV)
- 0.06 grams riboflavin/vitamin B2 (3.5 percent DV)
- 0.64 grams niacin (3.2 percent DV)
- 0.5 grams iron (2.8 percent DV)
- 0.05 grams copper (2.4 percent DV)
- 23 grams phosphorus (2.3 percent DV)
- 8.8 grams magnesium (2.2 percent DV)
Since kvass is considered one of the great probiotic foods, there are many benefits such as improving intestinal tract health and enhancing the immune system, which makes nutrients more available to the body. [draxe.com]
After we’ve learned about the health benefits of kvass let’s dive in to the recipe.
For starter (levain)
- 10g starter
- 30g rye flour
- 30g water
- 3 liters boiling water
- 100g brown sugar
- 70g barley malt powder
- 50g rye sourdough starter
- Set up rye starter and let it ferment for 10-12 hours
- Boil 3 liters of water.
- Add sugar and malt, mix well until dissolved
- Let it cool down to 36-40C/ 97-104F.
- Add starter and mix very well.
- Pour into a big jar, cover tight with lid, place in a dark warm place for 12 hours.
- In 12 hours you should see activity and air bubbles movements in the liquid.
- With help of watering can pour liquid into 2-3 glass or plastic bottles (try to keep as much of the leftover flour inside the jar as possible) screw the lids tight.
- Let it ferment for 8-12 hours at a room temperature.
- Then transfer to the fridge.
- Let it cool down
Please note, the salvaged flour leftovers could stay on the counter for up to 1 week. Before using it in the next batch, add 1 tablespoon of rye flour to it. This will become the starter replacement for your next batch of kvass.
Hope you find this recipe helpful and enjoy kvass as much as my family does 🙌🙌🙌
79 thoughts on “Easy Sourdough Kvass Recipe”
Whoa! This is great!
Appreciate your feedback 🙌
Whoa this just went top of the list of what to try next, instantly supplanting kombucha… Thank you!
Не видела этот рецепт ! Но вчера вечером начала готовить квас по рецептам из ваших сториз! А тут как раз опубликованный рецепт! Так что следующий на очереди)) спасибо огромное!
Спасибо, я очень рада 🙌
Hello! I’m Thiago from Brazil and found this recipe awesome!
I was wondering if it’s possible to add other ingredients, like fruit juice in this recipe.
Thank you! You can add any chopped fruit or berries during the fermentation stage.
Thanks Natasha I am excited to try this! I am doing water kefir and here in Malaysia it is hot hotter hottest!
I hope you like it.
It’s very refreshing 😊
Always a step ahead.. my friend !
Thank you 🙏☺️
Thank you Natasha for the recipe,. I never tried kvass with sd starter. But we used to make with borodinsky rye bread toast.
And I think this mothod is the popular in Russia. Any way will try your method. Any sub for malt powder?
Actually only malt powder gives that specific flavor.
I know my grandma used to do it with yeast and dark bread.
But recipe with malt and sourdough starter is much better.
Thanks for this recipe. I was wondering what is the benefit flavourwise of using rye sourdough instead of rye bread. Could you kindly elaborate on this? Why is it better, as you say? The result seems lighter in taste and colour than the bread-made kvass…
To make kvass active using only dark bread won’t be enough, you still will have to add yeast or starter to speed up the fermentation.
Dark bread will give the color, but malt is giving specific flavor, that Kvass has to taste like 😊
Also I was using barley malt powder, which is kind of light colored,
But if you’ll be able to find rye malt, you’ll get deep dark color.
Thanks Natasha, can I use barley malt syrup??
Yes, syrup will work 🙏
Tengo malta de cebada tostada, se puede reemplazar por misma cantidad o sugeris bajar la proporcion?
try to add half of the required amount, and see how color will change. if it still will be light, add more .
Gracias! Probaremos entonces. Saludos desde Argentina !
Hi Natasha, great recipe!
Could you explain a bit more how exactly I would use the left over as starter for the next batch?
Leftover liquid with flour and all the bacteria I’m keeping covered on the counter up to 1 week.
When you’ll plan to do next batch of the kvass, boil water, mix with sugar and malt, let cool,And add liquid leftovers from previous batch mixed with 1 Tbs of rye flour .
Then follow all the directions.
Every time you’ll have leftovers for next batch 😊
wow, never knew about Kvass. This looks very straight froward. Will make it.
It’s so refreshing and good for you 😊
Natasha, When pouring from container into bottles, should I just strain it?
you do not need to strain the liquid, when you pour everything into bottles, the sediment from the flour will fall to the bottom on its own.
It turned out really well, so have a second batch on the go.
Thank you for your feedback!
Second batch will taste much better. And it supposed to be more active 🙏
Наташа, скажите, а можно использовать вот такую malt flour: https://breadtopia.com/store/organic-diastatic-barley-malt-powder/ ? Очень хочется квасу выпить, вспомнить детство!
Я не пробовала, но думаю подойдёт.
Посмотрите пожалуйста в рецепте есть ссылка на malt, которую я использую.
Квас, это точно вкус детства 🙏
I lived in the USSR in the 80’s for a short while so I remember the big vehicle selling kvass (and the glass washing facility!). I will try your recipe soon as I always have starter but I need to buy malt powder.
The flavor is absolutely the same. You’ll love it 🙌
I have a question regarding the first ferme ration in a warm, dark room. How tight should the lid be? I am worrying about a too tight lid might build up some pressure in the jar?
First 12 hours there won’t be much pressure. So don’t worry, close lid tight.
Next 8-12 hours when you’ll pour Kvass in the bottles, more pressure will builds up.
You have to close lids tight too, if you want you drink to be carbonated 😊
Hi Natasha if I will replace malt syrup for powder the same amount?
Yes it should be about 60-70g for 3 liters of water 😊
Hi Natasha, Angie from Portugal!
First of all I want to thank you for your knowledge sharing!
I love all the recipes you post and the simple way to explain each detail!
One question, what is the shelf life for in the refrigerator?
Thank you! And continuation of good work!
Angie, hi! Thank you for your kindness a as me support.
It never stayed longer than 1 week in the fridge. So maybe it can stay longer, by my family loves it too much 😂
That looks awesome. I’ll definitely try it 👌
Thank you 🙏
Hi Natasha, can I use white sugar instead of brown?
Yes, absolutely 🙏
I’ve got a jar of malt extract. I wonder if I can use it in place of sugar and malt powder. What do you think? I live in England so you might call it differently.
You can substitute malt with your malt extract, but you’ll have to still add the sugar 😊
Thanks Natasha. But our malt extract in England is like honey.,.
Try to check in local beer stores, they might have malted rye or malted barley 🙏
Thanks a lot for sharing the recipe. This has been my favorite drink since you shared the recipe. My question is, can we use starter discard or 1 week unfed starter from the fridge? How will it affect the fermentation process?
Greats, thank you for your feedback!
I’ve never tried to add starter from the fridge , but you definitely can give it a try.
It should work 🙏
Hi what’s an alternative for barley malt powder? I live in a country where I cannot buy this. Thanks, exicted to make this if possible.
Trish , hi! How about rye malt, or maybe molasses?
Thank you for this recipe! Can I substitute barley malt powder for molasses? If so, how much do I use?
And for the leftover flour batch, do I add the tablespoon of the rye flour when I am ready to make the second batch?
Hi! I think you can try!
But make adds specific Kvass flavor.
Thank you for sharing. Really enjoy this recipe. I noticed the sediment getting more and more after each batch.
Do i just let it be or i need to dispose some of the sediment after awhile? Thanks
You can continue to use it, until season is over ☺️
How do you know the season is over? Thanks
Why did you choose to use non diastatic vs diastatic barley malt powder?
The one available was diastatic. And it worked very well.
Hi can I use barley malt syrup I stead of powder? And how much of it?
I’ve never used syrup, but i would go with the same amount as regular malt.
Is there any food safety concerns from using raw flour in the recipe?
It’s fermented flour, so it shouldn’t be a problem.
The only safety, i would suggest using plastic bottles. Because glass bottle might explode.
Could I use a sourdough starter that uses bread flour instead of rye?
You can, but with rye starter flavor will be better
Hi! I love this recipe and wanted to try it but I was wondering if the barley malt powder could be replaced or not used at all? I’m from Mexico and I haven’t been able to find it here unless I buy 5 kg at once 😅
Thank you very much for sharing your recipes!
Thank you for your message. Only Malt powder can add that specific flavor to a Kvass. Check your local breweries, they might sell you smaller amount of malt.
Hi, what does malt powder does in this recipe, was wondering if I can use malt beverage instead?
Do you strain it when drinking, I have lots of stuff coming out on top cause it has lots of gas when opening the bottle. I used malt beverage instead of the powder.
Hi! I’m a tad confused…. What is the 10g “starter” in the recipe to make starter?? So there is an ingredient that is a “starter” that is used to make the starter? And where do you get this 10g starter? Is it something we purchase, or if we have to make that too, how do we do it? Thank you! ☺️
Did you read the recipe from the beginning ?
I think you will have the answer 🤗
Sorry for confusion.
You can make your own starter
My first attempt I killed my starter because the liquid was too hot, and my second attempt exploded two glass bottles all over my kitchen. Hoping my third attempt is more successful!!
I’m sorry. Hope it will work out.
Thank you for your great content!
I followed the recepie exactly as written but its been already more than 24 hours of fermentation and no bubbles yet, any idea what did I do wrong? I don’t think it’s the temperature as I measured it to be 40 degrees..
Should I wait longer?
Just wait little longer, maybe your bacteria isn’t so active.
Hi, Thank you for this recipe !
I have 2 questions:
1) how important is it to close tightly the lid during the first phase of fermentation ? I’m afraid of pressure building up in a glass jar..
2) if I want to add fruit for alternative flavor, should it be during second phase ?
For first fermentation the pressure won’t be too high!
But for second fermentation , some people had problem with explosions of glass bottles ( pressure was crazy strong)
And yes, add fruit for second phase.
Hi Natalya thanks for the answer !
I have actually made this recipe ! But my result is underwhelming. The drink is just a little bit fizzy. It doesn’t feel sweet, I guess the yeast has eaten the sugar already. What do you recommend ? I need to try with fruits also but I am not sure actually because the drink feels a little bit like coffee ! My barley powder was very black also, not similar to Yours in your pictures !
First batch is always less fizzy, but if you’ll continue to make more, following batches will get more active and full of bubbles. Also maybe it’s not warm enough? Lower temperature can slow down the fermentation.
About sugar- you can add more , and adjust it to your taste.
Actually real Kvass has to be dark, like yours. At the moment when I was writing the recipe I had lighter barley malt.
If you don’t like color, add less of malt. And fruits at second fermentation.
I see thanks !
Well it’s cold in my house but I’m using a proofing box so temperature wise it’s good. I will continue to experiment!