Have yeast sitting around? Why not use it for something? Why not kvas? Probably because you don’t know what kvas is. All over Eastern Europe, kvas has been a staple for ages, sold in bottles and from kvas carts. It’s made by steeping bread in water, adding various other stuff and fermenting. It’s sweeter than beer, with a lower OG as well, and hence ends up with only a little alcohol in it. I expect the reason attenuation is low in kvas is the absence of important yeast nutrients that are contributed to brewer’s wort by malted grain.
Flavour-wise, kvas tends to be polarizing. I love it, and a few of my friends think it’s great, but in general it’s not always well received by the western palate. We’ll see if I can convert anyone.
The procedure is simple enough. Find a loaf of dark bread with as much rye flour content as possible, and toast it. Add the toast to a pot of boiled water. Leave it for a while. Remove the soggy toast and add sugar. Boil and cool the water (or don’t boil at all). Add yeast and let it ferment. Once yeast activity peaks out, bottle it in 2L soda bottles. The timing varies widely between recipes, and dried fruits and herbs are often added to steep with the toast.
Note that I’m massively overpitching, and I have no idea how the timeline for fermentation and carbonation will go.
Protip: The bread will soak up a lot of water, so start steeping with much more liquid than you intend to ferment.
Batch Size: 2L
Boil Time: 5 min
8 Slices 100% Rye Sourdough (Toasted)
230mL Turbinado Sugar
30g Leftover Crystal 120 (Pulverized with a Hammer)
Handful Dried Cranberries
Boil 3L of water. Remove from heat and immediately add the toast and cranberries. Throw in the pulverized malt (in a cheesecloth sac) when the temperature drops below 75C.
1/3 Vial WLP001 (Woken up with a tiny starter, crashed for a few hours, then pitched)
18.02.15: Pitched yeast and went to bed, temp at around 17C.
19.02.15: No signs of fermentation? Tablespoon dry bread yeast pitched at noon.
19.02.15: Dry yeast took right off, fermented for eight hours right in the pot, then bottled. Left for three hours more while periodically off-gassing by hand, then put in the fridge.