A Kvass is a naturally fermented drink, using the naturally occurring yeasts and bacteria present on the fruit/ flowers you are using.
Traditionally beetroot was made into Kvass, this is a lactic acid fermentation, and is made with salt.
A fruit kvass is made with sugar, so the yeasts dominate, creating an effervescent and rather delicious drink!
I have made many different types of kvass, the process is the same whatever fruits/flowers you are using. The amount of sugar added depends on how sweet your fruit is, and how sweet you want your finished drink to taste.
Rhubarb is extremely sour and teamed with elderflowers, make a beautiful flavour, but with little natural sugar. I add between 100g to 125g sugar per litre of water for this combination.
A strawberry/rhubarb kvass I add around 65g, but its personal taste.
Bear in mind the sugar is a food source for the natural yeasts, and most of it will be metabolised into lovely fizzy bubbles, leaving the finished drink way less sweet.
You can also add a couple of tablespoons of raw organic honey, which add to the flavour and the health benefits of the finished drink.
I tend to use white sugar, but you can also use cane sugar, brown sugar or maple syrup. Darker sugars will result in a cloudy appearance in your finished drink, but again its personal taste. They also impart a different flavour, whereas white sugar is more neutral.
One of the best tips for making bubbly kvass is to stir it vigorously at least 2 or 3 times a day, with a long handled spoon, almost creating a vortex , this prevents mould spores getting a hold and evenly distributes the fruit, which tends to float to the top of the jar.
Also cover the jar with a cloth to keep fruit flies and dust out. Leave it somewhere warm and you should start to see bubbles forming, indicating that fermentation is underway. This can take a few days, depending on the temperature so just be patient.
So here is what you need for Rhubarb/Elderflower Kvass
1. Fill your glass jar 1/4 to 1/3 full with your fruit and flowers.
2. Add sugar, I added 125g then added filtered water to within an inch of the top of the jar.
Or you can dissolve the sugar in the water, then pour that over the fruit/flowers. It depends what size of jar you are using and how much water you are adding so the ratio is around 125g sugar PER litre.
3. Give it a good stir, cover with a cloth and put it somewhere warm.
4. Give it a really good stir, at least 2 or 3 times per day.
5. When you start to see active bubbling, which can take a few days, then strain the kvass, compost the rhubarb, and transfer the kvass into strong clip top or plastic bottles.
6. Leave at room temperature for another few days to develop some fizz, carefully opening the bottles over the sink to check for fizz.
7. Once you are happy with it, transfer the bottles to the fridge and drink within a week or so for the best flavour.
The yeast will continue to ferment the sugar, so if you leave it too long, your drink will taste less sweet.
This Kvass makes a great mixer with gin!!
🍃 Health educator🍃