Traditonal Sourdough Kvass

Sourdough kvass is a delicious, lightly alcoholic beverage that only takes 1 week to make.

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Sourdough kvass is made from sourdough rye bread. It is toasted to malt the sugars, the it is brewed with bread yeast. This Eastern European drink has a long history of being brewed at home. It is a sweet, sparkling and refreshing drink.



  • 1 lbs of dark rye bread (see notes)
  • 3 Liters of water
  • 1 cup of sugar (or honey)
  • 1 tbsp sourdough starter or 1 tsp bread yeast (see notes)
  • Flavours (see section below)


  1. Cut the bread into cubes and toast it in the oven at 350 F for 20 min. tossing halfway through. The goal is to caramelize the sugars, so toast as long as necessary.
  2. Combine 3 liters of boiling water with the dried bread in a bowl and let it soak for at least 4 hours (up to 24 hours). The goal is to extract the malted sugars into the boiling water.
  3. Strain liquid into a fermentation container and add in the sugar and yeast, along with any additional flavours that you want to use.
  4. Leave the fermentation container in a warm location to ferment for around 1 week. It will start to foam significantly after 6-12 hours.
  5. After one week, strain the kvass into beer bottles and store in the fridge. The kvass will continue to ferment and will build up pressure, so use appropriate containers, and release the pressure every few day until is stops building up carbonation.
  6. 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 it’s full alcohol content.


  • Traditional sourdough kvass is made with dark rye bread, however, even French bread will brew a delicious kvass. The only difference will be in the colour of the beverage.
  • Using sourdough starter will only result in 0.5%-2% alcohol. If you use bread yeast it could ferment up to 8% alcohol.
  • 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
  • The kvass with bubble as it ferments, so either use carboys with airlocks or fido jars (affiliate links) for the initial ferment. It’s the best way to prevent your kvass from spoiling.
  • Use plastic bottles or swing-top beer bottles for bottling. Both will be able to handle the build up of carbonation. However, if you are using bread yeast, you should release the pressure in the bottles every day for the first few days in the fridge, as it can build up a significant amount of carbonation.

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