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Classification: kvass, rye, bread

Source: Lee Katman Issue #827, 2/19/92

There are many ways of making kwas. The method varies with the locality. In Bukowina, a province of Austria where there are many Slavic folks, kwas was made with apples and had a pleasant cidery, slightly sourish taste.

I have chosen the simplest of the recipes, and you can try it, making it once for the sheer novelty of it. It is modified from a recipe of Harry Rubin and Vasily Le Gros, of the Monastery of Our Lady of Kursk, about a mile from my farm. The kwas is made at the monastery by one of the monks.

At the monastery, the priest makes it somewhat differently, using little syrup and no raisins. The result is a very sour drink.

In Bukowina, small whole apples were put in the water before boiling it, and one was put into each glass of kwas when you bought it.



Cut the bread into small pieces and put them into a crock or barrel. Boil the water and pour it over the bread. Add the cut-up raisins. Cover the crock well with a tablecloth and let the liquid stand untilit cools. Filter it through a napkin or towel, but do not squeeze it. Pour into the liquid the molasses (or honey); use a greater amount if you want a sweet wine. Mix thoroughly. Dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup warm water and pour it in, and also add the flour.

Cover and place in a warm room (65 - 70). Let the must stand until it starts fermenting, then filter it. Pour it into bottles, putting two raisins into each bottle. After a few days, it should be good to drink.