hist-brewing: Gira (Kvass)

BrewInfo brewinfo at xnet.com
Wed Jul 2 13:35:23 PDT 2003

My grandmother used to make what she called "gira."  She was nearly 100%
Lithuanian.  Gira is the Lithuanian equivalent to kvass.  My cousin and
I got the recipe from her and, foolishly, I let him take the only copy home
with him, which he subsequently (predictably) lost in his apartment. He
never throws anything out, so it's still in his posession, but he couldn't
actually retrieve it on demand.  So, "misplaced" may be more accurate.
>From memory, the basic recipe was something like this:

1 loaf of pumpernickel bread
a bunch of water
a handful of raisins
a handful of sugar
a cake of red star bread yeast

* let the bread dry out and then smash it up
* soak the ingredients, for a while, in a bowl with a cloth over the
top of the bowl
* pour through a fine cloth (linen is very popular with us Lithuanians...
I'll bet my grandmother would have insisted on it being a linen cloth)
* store in a pitcher; serve cold, fresh

The largest bowl she had was only about a gallon and a half, so I think that
a loaf of bread was probably not used for more than about a gallon of gira.

I recall that it was very slightly carbonated, orange-coloured,
somewhat cloudy, slightly tart, and was generally consumed within
two days or so.


P.S.  I would like to request that everyone try and quote as little
as possible in your posts.  The last few digests contained at least one
*complete* copy of a previous digest.

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