Traditional Bread Kvass

How to brew bread kvass - a simple alcoholic beverage

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Bread kvass is an Eastern European drink that has a long history of being brewed at home. It is a sweet, sparkling, and lightly alcoholic drink. See the section above for flavor suggestions.


Units Scale
  • 1 lb of bread (see section above)
  • 3 liters of water (chlorine-free)
  • 2/3 cup of sugar
  • 1 tsp instant bread yeast (see section above alternatives)
  • Flavors (optional, see section above)


  1. Cut the bread into crouton-sized cubes. Toast them in the oven at 350 F for 20 min. Toss halfway through to ensure even browning. The goal is to caramelize the sugars, so toast as long as necessary.
  2. Place the toasted bread cubes in a large bowl. Bring the water to a boil, and pour it over the bread. Let the bread soak for at least 4 hours (up to 24 hours). You want to extract the malted sugars into the boiling water.
  3. Strain liquid into a fermentation container (see notes for options). I recommend doing this by pouring the liquid through a cheesecloth-lined strainer, then wringing the wet bread to get all the liquid out.
  4. Stir the sugar and yeast into the liquid. Add any additional flavors at this point.
  5. Leave the kvass to ferment in a warm location to ferment for around 1 week. It will start to foam and bubble significantly after 6-12 hours.
  6. After one week, strain the kvass into plastic pop bottles or swing-top beer bottles and store them in the fridge. The kvass will continue to ferment and will build up pressure, so use bottles that can handle the carbonation. Pop the lid every few days to test the carbonation.
  7. It will be ready to drink after 3 days in the fridge. However, it will continue to ferment for another 1-2 weeks until all the sugars have been consumed by the yeast. At that point, it will no longer be sweet and it will have reached its full alcohol content. I recommend drinking it within the first 3 to 7 days for the best flavor. 


  • If you plan on drinking your kvass within 2 weeks of making it, you probably don’t need to worry about sanitizing. However, if you are keeping it any longer than that, I recommend sanitizing everything to ensure the best flavor.
  • The kvass will bubble as it ferments, so either use a jar with a loosely-tightened lid (so the gas can escape), a carboy with an airlock, or a fido jar for the initial ferment. 

Keywords: beer, alcohol, pop, sourdough, bread, rye, vegan, vegetarian, fall, winter