Every country in the world has a staple drink, something that is really so unique to them that it embodies the culture as a whole.
Made from various bases, they vary in taste, abv, non-alcoholic, pop soda, or just flavored waters.
In the Baltic and Slavic countries, there is a drink called Kbac(traditional drink) and if you have never heard of it, take a look at what the Kbac drink is.
Kbac is very similar to a dark beer or beet kvass stout but with almost no alcohol content.
Apparently, when you leave it in the fridge longer and ferment more, it will become a more alcoholic beverage because of its alcohol content.
Making rye-based drinks like Kbac is a traditional beverage or favorite drink that was created during the middle ages and is very similar to other malt-based fermented beverages of the early Egyptians.
Let us explore this exciting Soft drink more in detail;
The History Of Kbac Russian Drink
The Slavs invented kvass.
During the middle ages around 996, the phrase KVASS was recorded in the Primary Chronicle, outlining the events that took place in the Kievan Rus.
The word was mentioned in English texts around 1553. Kvass was a national drink in Russia and was drunk by all social classes.
On average, a Russian consumed between 200 to 250 liters of kvass per year!
What Is Kbac Soda Made From
Kbac has a base product that is usually rye bread.
The traditional type of Kbac usually uses dark or black bread or Russian-style bread which tends to give it a richer flavor other than fruit juices.
You can also use croutons if you cannot find traditional rye or Russian-style bread or brown bread.
You can use barley or rye for the lighter varieties, which gives it a less wild taste.
Several different fruits are used to give Kbac its flavor.
Popular fruits or fruit juices include apples, berries, and raisins for fermentation.
There is always a yeast starter added for the fermentation to start.
If fruits are used, then cane or other sugars are usually left out.
Traditionally Kbac or traditional drink would be made by heating the ingredients until it forms a mash and then subjecting it to heat for several hours.
After it has been heat-treated, it is then diluted with warm water or warm tap water.
The yeast and flavoring are added and then left in a warm place for several days to continue the fermentation process.
It is lautered like beer once ready.
And a portion of the mash is kept as a starter for the next batch.
Kvass is never boiled, and it is this critical aspect that distinguishes it from traditional beers as it contains microorganisms that are responsible for Lacto fermentation.
Is Kbac Alcoholic?
Kbac is not alcoholic, containing 1% alcohol, which is solely due to natural fermentation.
When it is placed in the refrigerator, alcohol content can increase the percentage to around 2.5% or maybe 3-4% alcohol. Although, it’s not an alcoholic drink.
Russian Kbac beer is drunk by children all over since it is considered to be Non-Alcoholic.
What Does Kvass Taste Like?
Kvass has a very distinct wild taste.
Some say it tastes sour and bread-like, while others say it tastes yeasty, picky, and stout.
It reminds me a bit of a good milk stout but definitely with a rye undertone.
The darker rye bread kvass tends to be on the more accessible side, while the lighter wheat or barley-based kvass is fruitier, yeasty, and has sweet or brown sugar content.
The authentic Russian kvass has to be sour to be genuine; it also has a slightly bitter taste to it, like a weak beer.
Is Kvass Fermented?
Kvas is traditionally made by fermenting rye bread or the blackest bread, Wheat Bread or barley, water, sugar content, and bread yeast.
The more traditional recipes in Latvia and Russia call for a fermentation process to be at least between 2 to 8 days.
The fermentation is done at room temperature, and then the kvass should be stored in the refrigerator.
Some kvass flavors made from beet, for example, can last for almost two months in the fridge.
The longer the kvass is kept, the more alcohol percentage or alcohol content (3-4% alcohol) it will gain.
Is Kvass Like Kombucha?
Kvass and kombucha are not the same at all.
While both are fermented drinks, kvass relies on the Lacto-fermentation process depending on the added or natural sugars to ferment.
Kombucha relies on the SCOBY for its fermentation process.
What Is A SCOBY?
A SCOBY is an acronym used for Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast.
It is like a cellulose mat, a rubbery and alien-looking round disc of goodness that floats inside the liquid and ferments various styles of drinks like kombucha and foods like kimchi.
Is Kvass Popular In America?
Since around 2010, kvass made its appearance in the USA, there was one producer, and while not sure that Americans would be tough enough or brave enough to drink kvass, they stuck it out.
Today there are more than ten commercial kvas manufacturers in America, and its popularity is steadily rising as a health drink than spring water.
Kvass is full of probiotics and is said to be a healthy drink to drink.
Popular Kvass Brands In America
Currently, you are able to buy Kvass or Kbac under the following brands.
- Iggy’s Beet Kvass
- East End Session
- Jester King Kvass
- Fonta Flora Chicken Bridge
- American Solera Ryemera
Although you will not be able to walk into any corner store and pick up a bottle of kvass, you are able to source these brands online, or if you are fortunate to have a Balkan-style deli near you, chances are you might be able to find some imported brands of kvass.
They usually sell for around $ 15 plus.
The Health Benefits Of Kbac/Kvass
Beverages that use a Lacto-fermentation process are full of enzymes, micronutrients, antioxidants, and probiotics that are known to be very beneficial for gut health and full-body healing.
Beet kvass, in particular, is the most popular variety of kvass that is recommended for healthier living.
Beet contains all the best natural sources of antioxidants.
It is considered a blood tonic, promotes regular bowel movement, cleanses the liver, and aids in digestion.
Beet kvass has a rich earthy taste.
Beet kvass is one of the longer-lasting varieties and is commonly flavored with mint for an exceptional taste.
Can You Make Your Own Kvass?
Yes, you can make a wide variety of flavored kvass drinks; several recipes are available that you can look at.
They range from the very traditional dark rye, beet, and the lighter fruitier varieties that are sweet and slightly tarty.
Always follow the recipe instructions carefully, and you will be well on your way to the first batch of Kbac.
Now that we know precisely what kbac or kvass is and how healthy it is to drink.
It is not hard to see why Russia and the Balkan countries consume so much of it annually, and even children enjoy drinking it regularly.
Although it is not well known in America and readily available commercially, it is so easy to make at home.
You can decide on a recipe that will suit your taste palate and give it a try, whether a dark rye style or blackest bread, a rich red beet, or a crispy transparent apple, mint, and ginger batch you need to try it at least once and decide if the fuss is worth it.