Northeastern Kvass

Northeastern Kvass

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Credit: Pascal Baudar
Sizzle, Spring 2018

From the Chef

“Recipe from The Wildcrafting Brewer. This recipe is based on the forest I like to hike in Vermont. It’s a mix of pine and root flavors, a bit like a kvass root beer. It’s quite enjoyable and nutritious. The method is a bit different, as the pine branches and spruce are not boiled. Of course, maple syrup is the source of sugar for this fermentation, and the wild yeast is from a dandelion flower starter.”


1/2-1 pound (227-454 grams) rye (or other) bread
1 gallon (3.78 liters) water
1 1/2 cups (335 milliliters) maple syrup
2 tablespoons (10 grams) sassafras root bark
1 tablespoon (5 grams) sarsaparilla roots (optional)
1 tablespoon (5 grams) chopped dandelion roots
1/2 teaspoon (1 gram) dried wintergreen leaves
Handful of turkey tall mushrooms (optional)
Small piece (3/4 – 1 inch) ginger (optional)
A couple of small spruce or white pine branches, or any lemony-tasting pine needles (or a couple of lemons)
1/2 -3/4 cup (120-180 milliliter) wild yeast or commercial beer yeast.


Use a similar brewing method as Traditional Kvass. The main differences are that you can place the turkey tail mushrooms in the water from the start (at the same time as the sugar) so they boil longer than the other
ingredients. The spruce or white pine branches are added when the liquid is cooled down and the yeast goes in. It’s a personal choice, but I don’t like the flavor of boiled spruce/fir/pine. Don’t forget to cut the top of the needs so the flavors can be extracted. Because I use lots of barks, dried leaves, and roots in this recipe, I don’t place the pot in cold water but simply set it outside. The warm water cools slowly, and I extract
more flavors that way.


6 servings


Beverage, Sizzle

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