Blog_SourdoughStarterKvasswithLemonGingerandHoney_03.13.14_Shannon_1 I’m always trying to keep up with our family’s need for more cultured foods. This is particularly important when we don’t have a mother culture like kombucha, water kefir, or milk kefir brewing. But, it does offer up an opportunity for me to be creative and use what we do have. Fermented vegetables are always on the table, pun intended. But I wanted something fun and fizzy, without having to go to the store for ingredients I didn’t already have. I also needed something dairy-free for those in the house who can’t have it. I decided to dip my toes into the grain-based kvass world by making a light kvass from the rye sourdough starter I had on hand. Here’s how it went. Along with the sourdough starter, I had some lemons, ginger, and raw honey so that is what I used for flavoring. You could substitute honey for sugar, lemons for any other citrus, and forgo the ginger. You could also change up the flavors and make something fun like Erin’s berry soda. Now, let’s get to the recipe and the results.

Sourdough Kvass With Lemon, Ginger, & Honey


  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 4 small slices of ginger
  • 2 Tablespoons sourdough starter
  • additional water as needed


  1. Get out four pint bottles, or two quarts, that utilize air-tight lids.
  2. Whisk together the lemon juice and honey with 1/2 cup of water. Take this one cup of lemon-honey mixture and divide it evenly (1/4 cup each) amongst the four pints. Add a slice of ginger to each bottle.
  3. Dissolve the sourdough starter in enough water to make one cup of total liquid. Divide this liquid amongst the four pints (1/4 cup each).
  4. Top up your bottles with enough water to fill, but be sure to leave a bit of head space for carbonation purposes. Seal the lid and leave on your counter top to culture for 2-5 days, depending on the temperature.


The Results

After a few days it was carbonated and we opened one of the bottles. At this point it had a lovely bubbly zing to it and was still just a bit sweet. After two more days I opened another bottle. This time it was even more carbonated and the aroma was much more of a fermented grain/beer quality than the first bottle which smelled a lot like fruitier water kefir. This longer fermented bottle was also dryer in flavor, but both were delicious. Blog_SourdoughStarterKvasswithLemonGingerandHoney_03.13.14_Shannon_3 I did wonder how the sourdough starter would mix in with the water and worried a bit about the texture. Happily, the flour portion simply sunk to the bottom of the bottles and could easily be left at the end of drinking or pouring. This has me itching to make more carbonated lacto-fermented beverages and continue to experiment with different starters, flavors, and combinations.