How to Make Beet Kvass
Makes about 1 pint
- 12 ounces
- 1 to 2 teaspoons
sea salt or kosher salt (see Recipe Notes)
Optional flavorings: ginger, lemon, orange, spices
Cutting board and knife
Clean 1-quart jar with canning lid or plastic lid
Bowl or plate to place under jar during fermentation
Clean and trim the beets: Scrub the beets. Trim the tops and tails, but leave the skins on.
Dice the beets: Cut the beets into 1/2-inch cubes. It is not necessary to cut precise shapes and sizes; you just want to give the beets enough surface area to ferment. However, avoid finely chopping or grating the beets, which can lead to very rapid fermentation and alcohol production.
Place the beets in the jar: Place the beets in a very clean jar.
Add salt: Add salt to the jar. If you wish, you can also add flavorings like ginger, lemon, orange, or spices.
Add water: Cover the beets with water, leaving at least 1-inch of headspace at the top of the jar.
Cover the jar: Cover the jar tightly.
Let it ferment: Let the jar stand at room temperature. You may see bubbles inside the jar and brine may seep out of the lid; place a bowl or plate under the jar to help catch any overflow.
Check it daily: Open the jar once a day to taste the liquid and release gases produced during fermentation. If any mold or scum has formed on the top, simply skim it off.
Strain and refrigerate: When it tastes strong enough for your liking, strain out the beets and transfer the kvass to the refrigerator. You may drink it right away, but it's often best after a few days. As a fermented beverage, this kvass will last for quite some time, at least a month or longer.
Salt: Use salt that is free of iodine and/or anti-caking agents, which can inhibit fermentation.
Water: Chlorinated water can inhibit fermentation, so use spring, distilled, or filtered water if you can.
Making another batch: To make another batch of kvass, leave a little brine in the jar with the beets, add a teaspoon of salt, fill with water, and proceed as before. Second and third batches can be made this way, though they will taste weaker than the first.
Scaling up: This recipe can be easily doubled for a half-gallon jar or quadrupled for a gallon jar.
Adding starters: If you'd like to speed up the fermentation process, you can add a tablespoon or two of whey to the jar. Some people add sauerkraut or kimchi juice for the same effect.