Method

This simple white grain kvass is essential to the household, since it is drunk by the servants and used as a base (zakvaska) for borshch, shchi, etc., and for stewing beef. It is prepared as follows: Mix together 10 lbs rye flour and 1 lb each malt and buckwheat flour. Moisten with 1 garnets lukewarm water, mix, and pour on 1 garnets boiling water. After 30 minutes, add 2 more garnets boiling water. Do this 3 or 4 times. When a pail of boiling water has been added in this manner, mix and let cool slightly. Add ½ garnets or a little more kvass sediment [from an earlier batch], cover, and set in a rather warm place. The next day dilute the kvass with unboiled cold water, mix, and transfer to a cold place. Let it stand, and use as is or bottle. These proportions will yield 5 pails of kvass. When all the kvass has been consumed, set aside nearly 1 garnets of sediment remaining on the bottom for fermenting the next batch. Pour any extra sediment into the mash for the cows.

*This basic recipe for kvass is of mostly historical interest. For instance, one cannot tell from Molokhovets’ instructions just how much water should be added at what stage of the process. For more on weights and measures, see the Appendix.

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