killer yeast vvsvetlov at utmem1.utmem.edu
Tue Apr 23 01:14:43 EST 1996

In article <317B53A7.483C at mailbox.swip.net>,
ektorp.skolan at mailbox.swipnet.se wrote:

> Hi!
> I=B4m looking for information about a strange health organism called Kvass =
> or russian =
> Volga mushrom. What kind of species is it? =
> CU
> Anders Svensson

I'm not sure what you are talking about - kvas is a light low alcoholic
drink (I don't remember actual standard but it was somewhat less than 1%
v/v) made approximately like beer with yeast and rye grain, moelasses and
sugar. Just like with beer one can buy a kit "just-add-water-and-yeast".
There are some regional variations on the theme like white kvas that does
not contain moelasses and has wheat instead of rye, sometimes sugar is
substituted with berry juice etc. It is a functional equivalent of root
beer but I don't recall anybody claiming that kvas had any particular
health benefit. There are other drinks - usually produced by various
fermentations of milk - endemic to Russia and/or Scandinavia resembling
yogurt (e.g. kefir) that appear to have certain health benefits but no
relation to kvas. 
I have no idea what "Volga mushroom" is. I recall that in some areas
something called "mushroom" was used to produce a light alcoholic drink
with distinct acidic taste but it looked nothing like a true mushroom
rather like a bunch of filamentous fungi floating in the fermenter. I
don't remember any health benefits associated with this one either (or
good taste for that matter).
See if you can find some volganin (an aborigen of Volga valleys) to shed
some light on this. 
Now, there are huge health benefits from drinking vodka but that's
altogether another story... <G>
V. Svetlov

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