The main mistakes in the preparation of the drink. Why kvass cannot be made as it should be, the most probable reasons. What is important to know for a beginner fermentor?
Kvass is a very capricious drink that, depending on the ingredients used, their concentration and temperature regime, can ripen in different ways. It is difficult for a beginner kvass brewer to keep track of everything, so it is important to understand why kvass does not work, what mistakes are possible during its preparation, whether it will be possible to fix the drink and how to do it.
Related article: How to make oat kvass?
Typical mistakes in making kvass
White bread is not suitable for making kvass
Kvass is a live drink, the preparation of which is a rather specific process. There are many proven recipes, but at the same time, there are cases when it turns out to be tasteless. Let's find out what this is connected with.
Common mistakes in making kvass:
- Savings on products… The leavening process does not hide the use of bad, spoiled, cheap ingredients. This does not mean that you need to buy the most expensive products. It will optimally use the components of the middle price category.
- Unsuitable bread… There can be a lot of ingredients in a drink recipe that are responsible for its unique taste, but bread is the basis along with yeast. And it is important to choose it correctly. We need toasted crackers. It is best to make them from rye bread, drying thoroughly at a temperature of 200 ° C for about 10 minutes. Making kvass from burnt crusts will be a huge mistake. It is also not recommended to use white bread or varieties with rich additives and thickeners for this, otherwise the drink will not work.
- Incorrect temperature conditions… Fermentation does not take place correctly at all temperatures. If it is too low, harmful microbes will begin to activate, as a result of which mash is obtained instead of kvass. The high temperature for the drink is no less dangerous: the vital activity of the yeast slows down, and then it is very difficult to start the fermentation process.
- Bad yeast or excess yeast… This is the second main ingredient in the drink, so it is important to use a quality product. You can not make kvass using old yeast, spoiled, expired. It is important to strictly adhere to the recipe and take exactly the amount of ingredient that is required, since another unforgivable mistake when making kvass at home is an overabundance of yeast. As a result, they give a thick foam, a characteristic smell appears, the drink becomes unusable and dangerous to health, threatens indigestion and poisoning.
Too hot or cold water… It is of great importance what kind of water to fill in the sourdough during the preparation of the drink. At high temperatures, live yeast dies, and at cold temperatures they are not activated, so the fermentation process does not start. The water temperature should be no higher than 40 ° C, optimally 30-36 ° C.
What to do if kvass does not work?
The preparation of kvass cannot be called a simple process, despite the small amount of ingredients and minimal human intervention. Initially, it is important to select high-quality ingredients, prepare them correctly, and ensure the required temperature regime for the drink during the entire fermentation. However, even in this case, you are not immune from mistakes. Therefore, it is important to know what to do if the kvass does not work, whether it is possible to fix the drink or it is easier to prepare a new portion.
Kvass does not ferment
In the photo, yeast affected by mold
Kvass is a drink traditionally made by live fermentation. The technology for its preparation at home is simple and straightforward, however, even if you strictly did everything according to the recipe, you may encounter a situation where the drink does not work out.
Yeast is responsible for the fermentation process during cooking, so the main reason why kvass does not ferment is precisely the wrong choice or incorrect use of this ingredient.
Experienced fermentors advise using only live compressed yeast. A quality product has a uniform grayish-beige color and a plasticine-like consistency. If you find dents, mold, darkened or dried areas on its surface, refuse to buy. Also, a mistake in preparing kvass will be the use of a briquette, which crumbles or smears like a paste.
Yeast is a very capricious product to store. Choose a product with breathable packaging, but if the briquette is sealed, you should not buy it. Always check the expiration date: low-quality, spoiled yeast causes the kvass to fail and ferment. If you use a product that is not the first freshness to prepare a drink, then you will have to take it 1.5-2 times more than indicated in the recipe, otherwise it will not work to start the fermentation process.
Given the capriciousness of yeast, before making kvass, it is definitely recommended to check them. Dissolve a little product in a glass of warm water, add sugar and wait a couple of minutes for fermentation to start. Bubbles should go: this is evidence of the suitability of yeast for making homemade kvass. But the foam is not an indicator of the high quality of the product.
Another reason that the kvass stopped fermenting is the repeated use of the leaven. Remember: each time it loses its properties more and more. To fix the drink, if it did not work out, mix a fresh portion of yeast into it, based on the calculation of 10 g per 3 liters of starter culture.
In addition, in winter, kvass ferments worse than in hot weather, therefore, to improve its ripening, place the container closer to the battery.
Often, drinking is prepared on the basis of yeast-free sourdough: in this case, kvass ferments poorly, but this does not indicate that the process is going wrong. With yeast-free sourdough, fermentation takes longer - 2-4 days, but with the participation of yeast, the process accelerates and, depending on the amount of sugar and temperature, on average lasts 1, 5 days.
Boiled water also slows down fermentation, so for making kvass it is better to use spring water, filtered or, in extreme cases, from a water tap, having defended it a little.
Important! If the kvass has stopped fermenting, add a new portion of yeast.
Why is kvass cloudy?
Photo of cloudy kvass when using underdried crackers
Homemade kvass will always be a little unclear, this is due to the suspension of yeast involved in its preparation. To get rid of sediment, you can strain the drink several times, while being careful not to shake it. You can also put the container in the refrigerator, after a day the liquid will become more transparent.
In addition, another reason why kvass turns out to be cloudy is the wrong choice of bread type: half-dried crackers, a loaf, dried bread give a suspension. To get a clean drink, it is recommended to use rye bread toasted in the oven.
When using flour to make a drink, it turns out to be dense, opaque and is called "hearty kvass". Such a drink not only quenches thirst and refreshes in the summer, but also perfectly copes with hunger. In addition, it is recommended to be used as an ingredient in bread dough.
If a suspension in the drink appeared already during its storage, we are talking about bacterial contamination of kvass with wild yeast and putrefactive thermobacteria due to violation of sanitary requirements for processing raw materials, containers and storage conditions.
Wild filmy yeast is widespread in nature, is found in the air, and may be present in grain and malt. As a result of their attachment to the nutrient medium of the drink, kvass turns out to be cloudy, a sediment appears in it. Since pathogenic microorganisms inhibit the cultured races of yeast and absorb fermentation products, the taste of the drink deteriorates, an unpleasant aftertaste appears.Often, clouding is accompanied by the formation of a white folded film on the surface: this phenomenon is called mycoderma or tsvel.
Thermobacteria get into kvass from cereal grains, they can grow at high and low temperatures, and die only at 90 ° C. During the fermentation of kvass wort, the putrefactive forms of thermobacteria cause it to sour, as acetic acid is formed, the drink becomes cloudy, and a persistent putrefactive smell appears.
The kvass turned out to be thick
Kvass is obtained as jelly with an excess of sugar
Kvass is a drink that does not contain starch and gelatin. But, nevertheless, sometimes it becomes thick and stringy.
The main reason for this is considered to be the wrong choice of bread. White bread, loaf, varieties with rich additives and thickeners in the composition are not suitable for making homemade kvass, since drinking as a result acquires gelling properties. In order to make the drink for sure, it is important to use oven-baked rye bread crumbs. But just a dried product is not suitable for this business.
If you put a drink based on a dry concentrate, a sour liquid may accumulate at the bottom of the container, and the kvass turns out to be thick. This phenomenon is observed when malt is present in the starter culture.
Other reasons why kvass is obtained as jelly:
- Violation of the proportions of ingredients when preparing a drink;
- Too much yeast
- Excess sugar;
- Using sourdough on flour;
- The room temperature is too high;
- Direct sunlight.
In addition, kvass is obtained as jelly, when pathogenic bacterial microflora - leukonostok, potato sticks - is added to the fermentation process. Bacteria trigger slimy fermentation, in which dextrin is formed from sugar, which is responsible for the viscous consistency of the drink and its high density. Harmful microorganisms can penetrate into the drink with water, breadcrumbs, sugar, if the standards for processing containers and raw materials are not met. Leukonostok, for example, is so active that in 10 hours it turns the sugar solution into solid mucus.
Why is kvass sour?
In the photo acetic acid bacteria
Real kvass, which quenches thirst well, invigorates and tones up, has an amazing sweet-sour taste. However, sometimes the drink becomes frankly sour. In this case, with a high degree of probability, it can be argued that he fermented, infused for a long time at room temperature.
When making kvass, you should always try it. On the first day it will be sweet, on the second day it will normalize. As soon as the optimal taste is achieved, feel free to put it in the refrigerator.
If this is not done, the kvass becomes sour. However, it can be corrected with sugar or honey, adding ingredients to taste.
In order not to look for reasons why kvass turns out to be sour, you can use one trick. When preparing a drink, add birch sap, based on a proportion of 60 g per 1.5 liters. It is a natural sweetener, in addition, it will taste more original.
If you get sour kvass, it can also be used. This drink is an ideal base for okroshka or beetroot botvinia. It can be used as an ingredient in bread baking instead of water.
Important! Try to consume kvass for 2-3 days.
Another reason why the acidity of kvass is increasing is the vital activity of acetic acid bacteria, which suppress the activity of yeast. As a result, the alcohol is oxidized to acetic acid, the drink turns sour completely, and the aftertaste of sauerkraut appears. Also, a characteristic feature of the acetic acid souring of kvass is the formation of a thin film on its surface.
Bitter and tasteless kvass
Burnt crackers add bitterness to kvass
The main reason for the bitterness of kvass is the use of burnt rusks for its preparation.The bread should be dried in the oven until golden brown. The darker the pieces come out, the more bitter the drink will be.
Kvass turns out to be bitter and tasteless, with a persistent mash smell in the case of an excess of yeast or the use of a stale briquette with dents, mold, darkened areas, and plasticine consistency on the surface. It is important to buy a quality product that has been stored in suitable conditions and in breathable packaging. Strictly follow the recipe and take the amount of ingredients that is indicated: cooking "by eye" is fraught with the appearance of an off-taste.
If you use flour to make a drink, the reason why kvass turns out to be bitter is the low quality of the product. Perhaps it is spoiled, has a musty odor, is moldy, or contains wormwood seeds that may get into the container during grinding along with the grains.
Also, kvass acquires a rancid taste if fermented. More precisely, it will no longer be kvass, but a real mash, and it will not be possible to fix the drink.
Some homemade kvass recipes involve the use of enough original ingredients to improve its color - burnt sugar and coffee. However, the wrong proportions will easily degrade the taste of the drink. If you overdo it with these ingredients, the bitterness cannot be avoided.
Another reason why kvass does not work out, becomes bitter and unpleasant in taste, is associated with the ingress of harmful microorganisms into it. All pathogenic bacteria, be it leukonostok, potato bacillus, filmy yeast, thermobacteria, together with bitterness, lead to the clouding of the drink.
In addition, stale kvass that has been stored for too long is bitter.
Kvass is too sweet
Kvass tastes sweet on the first day
The taste of kvass depends on the time of its preparation. It will be sweet on the first day, and also if the sugar does not have time to ferment, but decomposes into simple compounds.
You can try to correct the taste of the drink: for example, add horseradish, after grinding it into a coarse grater, or a spoonful of mustard, so it will become more spicy.
If you don't know what to do when the kvass is sweet, throw raisins or dried apricots into it. It is enough to add a few raisins to a bottle of 1.5 liters. Also, if the drink is still fermenting, you can add dried beets to it.
Photo of empty kvass
Kvass has an empty, unexpressed taste when low-quality bread is used for its preparation.
If instead of kvass you get water with a barely perceptible taste, add a little sugar and put the container in a warm place so that the drink ferments. It is also important to add a few more rye bread crumbs. After about 12 hours, the taste of kvass will become more intense. You can bottle it and put it in the refrigerator.
In addition, an empty, almost transparent drink is obtained if you do not adhere to the recipe for making kvass, do not observe the necessary proportions of the ingredients, in particular with an excess of water. To fix it, dry 3-4 rye bread crumbs almost to blackness, pour boiling water over, cool and strain. The resulting dark infusion should be mixed with light kvass and sent to infuse, adding 1-2 tbsp for better fermentation. Sahara.
To improve the taste, before putting the drink in the cold, you can improve its taste by adding herbs, fruit leaves, berries, dried fruits, honey.
In order not to wonder why the kvass turned out to be not sour, not sweet, but like bread water, and how to save the drink, if it has a weak taste, use it to make okroshka or beetroot botvinia.
Why is the kvass not sharp?
Raisins add sharpness to kvass
If the kvass turned out to be not sharp and not strong, the reason lies in the fact that very little sugar was added when bottling. In order not to face such a problem, do not take the amount of ingredients "by eye", as this drink is very capricious.
To please your family with vigorous kvass with a rich taste that stings the tongue, it is customary to add raisins to the sourdough when preparing it. To increase the sharpness of the drink, you only need a couple of raisins per one and a half liter container.
If for some reason the kvass is not sharp, you can try to diversify its taste. To do this, use dried apricots, horseradish, mustard. Sometimes ferments can even add a grape leaf. After that, it is recommended to place the container in direct sunlight.
In the photo, still kvass in a bottle
It is worthwhile to understand right away that kvass is not Coca-Cola, so carbonated it will not work. Perceptible foam appears if you shake the container with a drink, and in a calm state, bubbles can only be seen on its walls.
The drink should be infused for 2-3 days, it is at this time that it acquires a bright taste and becomes effervescent. If the kvass turns out to be non-carbonated, add a few raisins to each bottle. They contain nutrients that revitalize the yeast.
If no bubbles are released during fermentation, kvass is peroxide. In this form, the drink will be fresh and not carbonated. To fix it, feed with sugar.
Another reason why kvass turns out to be non-carbonated is the leaky storage of the drink. If it is in an open container, the gas will escape. Add a few unwashed raisins, close the bottle tightly and refrigerate for 3 days.
Kvass turned out like home brew
In the photo, kvass is like mash
If instead of kvass you get a mash, it means that alcoholic fermentation has started. In this case, it will not be possible to fix it, and there is only one option - to put a new drink using other ingredients.
It does not make sense to store kvass for a long time. After 3 days, it loses all its beneficial properties and gradually becomes an alcoholic drink. Perched, it even raises the percentage of alcohol in the blood! Thus, if the kvass turned out to be alcoholic, you overexposed it.
Any kvass contains alcohol. Its percentage depends on the amount of added sugar and can be 0.5-2.7%. The average is 1.2%. If you want to make a drink with a minimum alcohol content, use a yeast-free starter culture and a minimum of sugar. In order not to increase the degree, add its main amount before sending the kvass to the refrigerator for storage: the fermentation processes there slow down.
Why is kvass light?
The photo shows too light kvass
A novice kvass brewer does not always manage to make dark kvass. If you are looking for a rich color drink, it is important to pay attention to the preparation of the bread crumbs. They should be lightly burnt.
However, it is important not to overdo it, since if you use too burnt bread, you will not be able to make the right homemade kvass, it will acquire an unpleasant aftertaste.
In addition, Borodino bread is ideal for obtaining a dark drink.
There is another way to help make dark-colored kvass - using burnt sugar. To cook it, add 1 tablespoon to the pan. product and wait until it turns dark brown. Next, gradually pour 100 ml of hot water into the resulting burnt and wait until the melted sugar dissolves. This infusion is added to kvass at the infusion stage, placing the container in the refrigerator.
Why homemade kvass does not work - look at the video:
If the kvass gives off an unpleasant odor, it means that the yeast died in hot water, as a result, rotting began. Moldy fungi contribute to the appearance of a moldy odor. The rotten liquid can be safely poured out.