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Kvass Two Ways: Brine or Honey

How to ferment kvass with in brine or honey. This fuss-free ferment needs minimal maintenance. Choose your own kvass adventure with any combination of vegetable, fruit, herbs and spices, salt, and/or honey. Below are recipes for beet brine kvass and peach honey kvass to get you started!

Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Russian
Author: Sabrina @ Straits Road Kitchen
Ingredients
Beet Kvass in Salty Brine
  • 227 g (1/2 lb) beetroot, peeled and diced to 1.3 cm (1/2 inch) cubes
  • To taste herbs or spices of choice (e.g. ginger, cumin, mint, dill)
  • 60 g (1/4 cup) starter culture (e.g. sauerkraut juice, whey, kefir, kombucha) (if not available, increase the brine concentration to 1.5%)
  • 0.3% brine, sufficient to fill fermenting jar (3 g Himalayan salt + 997 g filtered water)
Peach Kvass in Honey Water
  • 227 g (1 1/2 cups) ripe peach, pitted and sliced
  • To taste herbs or spices of choice (e.g. ginger, basil, mint, fennel)
  • 2% raw honey water, sufficient to fill fermenting jar (20 g raw honey + 980 g filtered water)
Instructions
  1. Wash and sanitise all your fermentation equipment (fermenting jar, knife, cutting board) and dry well with kitchen towels or air-dry.

  2. Place the cut vegetable or fruit, and any desired herbs and spices, into your fermenting jar. It should fill approximately one-third of your jar.

  3. For brine kvass, add the starter culture into the jar.

  4. Pour the 0.3% brine or 2% honey solution into the jar, leaving about 5 cm (2 inches) of headspace to allow for pressure buildup during fermentation.

  5. Seal the jar with the lid and gently shake to combine the ingredients. Leave to ferment at room temperature, away from direct light and heat, for 2-3 days for fruit kvass or 4-5 days for vegetable kvass. Give the jar a gentle shake daily to reduce the likelihood of Kahm yeast growth. If you see Kahm yeast, use a clean spoon to skim it away. Also loosen the lid to burp your kvass or release pressure, then reseal it tightly; do not fully open the lid.

  6. Check and taste your kvass periodically to determine if the sourness is to your liking. If it is not sour enough, reseal the jar and leave it to ferment for another few days, then taste again. When you are satisfied with the acidity your kvass, strain it through a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl. Discard the solids or reserve them for another use.

  7. Transfer the liquid into bottles, seal, and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months. Alternatively, for a fizzy pizzaz, proceed with a second ferment. Drop a few dried fruit (raisins, goji berries, chopped figs or apricots) into the secondary ferment bottle (preferably a swing-top grolsch), ensuring 5 cm (2 inch) headspace. Leave the bottle to ferment for another 1-2 days at room temperature, then shift to the refrigerator for long-term storage.

Recipe Notes

Fruit kvass flavour ideas:

  • Korean: Fuyu persimmon + omija (schisandra) + chrysanthemum
  • Southeast asian: Mango + lemongrass + pandan