How to make Beet Kvass! An Eastern European probiotic drink made with beets, sea salt and water. Full of healthy probiotics from the Lacto-fermentation, these probiotics are believed to help us stay well, and may even help minimize symptoms if we do become sick.   (Allow 2 weeks for fermentation- or see notes for 2 ways to speed up this process.)

How to Make Beet Kvass! A sparkly Ukrainian probiotic drink made with beets, sea salt and water. Full of healthy probiotics from the Lacto-fermentation, Beet Kvass is believed to help boost immunity.  It tastes slightly sweet, tangy, earthy and salty- but in a good way! With just 10 minutes of hands-on time,it is so simple- just let mother nature take its course.  (Allow 2 weeks for fermentation- see notes for speeding up this process.)

Here is a fun little recipe I’ve been playing around with for years now. Beet Kvass! If you are like me and crave drinking salty things like pickle brine, or kraut brine, this is for you. Now I know it sounds strange to some, but keep an open mind.

With just 10 minutes of hands-on time, it is so simple to make- just let mother nature take its course. I’ve been meaning to post this but kept putting it off for fear that no one would be very interested. But with the Coronavirus scare, this may be another useful tool to help us boost our immunity by adding more healthy probiotics to our diet.

What is Beet Kvass?

  • An Eastern European drink or tonic made of fermented beets.
  • Full of healthy, immune-boosting probiotics
  • Tastes slightly sweet, tangy, earthy and salty- but in a good way!
  • Kind of like pickle brine, but with beets!

It’s also a nice way to use up beets! And a fun project if you are self-quarantining. 🙂

How to Make Beet Kvass! A sparkly Ukrainian probiotic drink made with beets, sea salt and water. Full of healthy probiotics from the Lacto-fermentation, Beet Kvass is believed to help boost immunity.  It tastes slightly sweet, tangy, earthy and salty- but in a good way! With just 10 minutes of hands-on time,it is so simple- just let mother nature take its course.  (Allow 2 weeks for fermentation- see notes for speeding up this process.)

3 Ingredients in Beet Kvass!

It is a simple recipe like I said- the basic method only requires three ingredients:

  1. organic beets
  2. fine sea salt
  3. filtered water

***To shorten the fermentation process, you can also add whey ( the liquid from straining yogurt) or kraut or pickle brine ( the kind from alive cultures- in the refrigerated section of the grocery store, or homemade.)

But it has three stipulations: Use organic beets, filtered water, and unprocessed salt – sea salt or pink Himalayan salt).

How to Make Beet Kvass! A sparkly Ukrainian probiotic drink made with beets, sea salt and water. Full of healthy probiotics from the Lacto-fermentation, Beet Kvass is believed to help boost immunity.  It tastes slightly sweet, tangy, earthy and salty- but in a good way! With just 10 minutes of hands-on time,it is so simple- just let mother nature take its course.  (Allow 2 weeks for fermentation- see notes for speeding up this process.)

 

How to make Beet Kvass:

  • Dice or thinly slice, two organic beets (about two cups) leaving the skin on.  You want that bacteria from the skin, so don’t peel!  Place this in a sterile 4 cup jar. You can double this recipe and place it in a half-gallon jar ( like I usually do). Or use two 4-cup jars. 
  • Mix 3 cups water with 1 heaping tablespoon sea salt. Pour into the 4-cup jar, leaving an inch of headroom at the top.
  • If you need more salt water to fill the jar, use ratio: 1 heaping teaspoon fine sea salt per cup of water.
  • Feel free to add 1/4 cup of whey or kraut or pickle brine. ( which will shorten fermenting time-see notes)
  • Cover with a loose-fitting lid.  The salt will kill the harmful bacteria, but allow the healthy lactobacilli to flourish. 
  • Place in bowl or baking dish (to collect any drips) and then place in a cool dark place. Check weekly. After 1-2 weeks you should notice some slight bubbling. To get this even more bubbly and effervescent, tighten the lid, burping daily (or twice a day) for a few days.
  • Refrigerate (either strain, or leave beets in- I leave mine in) or, for a tangier flavor, continue fermenting for 1-2 more weeks. It will continue to ferment in the fridge, but at a much slower rate, developing more depth of flavor.
  • If you notice any white foam on top of your kvass it is most likely kahm yeast and harmless. Skim it off with a spoon.

Optional Beet Kvass Flavorings:

  • fresh dill (or fennel fronds), bay leaves, or other herbs.
  • pickling spices (fennel seed, dill seed, peppercorns, celery seeds, caraway, etc)
  • sliced onion and/or garlic
  • fresh sliced ginger or turmeric root.

 

How to Make Beet Kvass! A sparkly Ukrainian probiotic drink made with beets, sea salt and water. Full of healthy probiotics from the Lacto-fermentation, Beet Kvass is believed to help boost immunity.  It tastes slightly sweet, tangy, earthy and salty- but in a good way! With just 10 minutes of hands-on time,it is so simple- just let mother nature take its course.  (Allow 2 weeks for fermentation- see notes for speeding up this process.)

How to drink Beet Kvass:

I like to drink a few swigs in the afternoons for a refreshing pick-me-up.  If it tastes too strong for you, you can water down the portion you are drinking. Think of this like drinking fermented pickle brine. To some, this may sound like the strangest thing ever- but, trust me, it’s a thing people do!  A delicious thing.

Pickle brine (the kind in the refrigerated section of the grocery store) or the homemade kind- is FULL of probiotics too.

So is Kraut Brine. It’s all good. And good for the gut.

How to Make Beet Kvass! A sparkly Ukrainian probiotic drink made with beets, sea salt and water. Full of healthy probiotics from the Lacto-fermentation, Beet Kvass is believed to help boost immunity.  It tastes slightly sweet, tangy, earthy and salty- but in a good way! With just 10 minutes of hands-on time,it is so simple- just let mother nature take its course.  (Allow 2 weeks for fermentation- see notes for speeding up this process.)

 

Let me know how you like this Beet Kvass! Excited to hear how you make this your own with the optional additions.

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How to Make Beet Kvass! A sparkly Ukrainian probiotic drink made with beets, sea salt and water. Full of healthy probiotics from the Lacto-fermentation, Beet Kvass is believed to help boost immunity.  It tastes slightly sweet, tangy, earthy and salty- but in a good way! With just 10 minutes of hands-on time,it is so simple- just let mother nature take its course.  (Allow 2 weeks for fermentation- see notes for speeding up this process.)

Beet Kvass Recipe

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1 quart 1x
  • Category: fermented
  • Method: fermented
  • Cuisine: Ukrainian

Description

How to Make Beet Kvass! An Eastern European probiotic drink made with beets, sea salt and water. Full of healthy probiotics from the Lacto-fermentation, Beet Kvass is believed to help boost immunity.  It tastes slightly sweet, tangy, earthy and salty- but in a good way! With just 10 minutes of hands-on time,it is so simple- just let mother nature take its course.  (Allow 2 weeks for fermentation- see notes for speeding up this process.)

 


Ingredients

Scale
  1. 2 medium beets, organic (see notes for doubling, recommended) 2 cups diced or sliced, skin ON.
  2. ¼ cup pickle or kraut brine (optional, see notes)
  3. 3 cups filtered water ( tap water may have too much chlorine & inhibit fermentation)
  4. 1 heaping tablespoon fine sea salt, or Himalayan salt ( iodized salt will inhibit fermentation)

Optional Additions:

  • fresh dill ( or fennel fronds), bay leaves, or other herbs.
  • pickling spices ( fennel seed, coriander seed, dill seed, peppercorns, celery seeds, caraway etc)
  • sliced onion, shallots, and/or garlic
  • fresh sliced ginger or turmeric root.

Instructions

  1. Dice or slice, two organic beets (about two cups) leaving the skin on.  You want that bacteria from the skin, so don’t peel!  Place this in a sterile 4 cup jar. Add any optional additions. You can double this recipe and place it in a half-gallon jar ( like I usually do).  If adding kraut or pickle brine, add this now.
  • Mix 3 cups water with 1 heaping tablespoon sea salt. Pour into the 4-cup jar, leaving an inch of headroom at the top. ( If you need more brine: The ratio is 1 heaping teaspoon of salt per cup of water. Mix first, then add.)  The salt will kill the harmful bacteria, but allow the healthy lactobacilli to flourish. 
  • Cover with a loose-fitting lid. Place in bowl or baking dish (to collect any drips) and then place in a cool dark place. Check every 3-4 days. If you added the brine, you should see some action within 5-7 days. If not,  it may take up to 2 weeks -you should notice some slight bubbling when you tap the jar. To get this even more bubbly and effervescent, tighten the lid, burping daily (or twice a day) for a few days.
  • Refrigerate (either strain, or leave beets in- I leave mine in) or, for a tangier flavor, continue fermenting for 1-2 more weeks, burping often. It will continue to ferment in the fridge, but at a much slower rate, developing more depth of flavor. The sugar from the beets will continue to feed the healthy bacteria.
  • If you notice any white foam on top of your kvass it is most likely kahm yeast and harmless. Skim it off with a spoon and toss.
  • Store this in the fridge, strain into a cup, and drink a few ounces daily.

Notes

This will last indefinitely in the fridge.

I highly recommend making a double batch of this because of the longer fermentation time.

Flavor this up!!! I love adding onion, garlic and pickling whole spices.

You can speed up fermentation significantly by adding a 1/4 cup of fermented pickle or kraut brine (make sure it is alive and bubbly- from the refrigerated section of the grocery store) to the jar. Some people like to add whey, feel free. An easy way to get whey is to strain some yogurt- the liquid is whey! Fermentation should occur within 5 days- and you can tell by the bubbly action when you tap the jar. Then Refrigerate!

NOTE: Fermentation slows down in cooler places and speeds up in warmer places.

Yes, you can eat the beets!


Nutrition

  • Calories: 35

Keywords: beet kvass, How to Make Beet Kvass!

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Comments

  1. Thanks for the post Sylvia! My kvass has foam on top but its not really white. Its like a slightly creamy/pale pink. Is that the foam you were talking about? Also, the liquid is quite thick and almost gelatinous? What do you think? I didn’t read the recipe carefully and put a tight lid on it from the beginning :0 Thanks for the help!

    1. Hi Sofia- It doesn’t seem quite right to me. A tight lid is not good here. Sorry to say, but I would scrap and restart.

  2. hello good artickle about beet root kvass. we have to leave ir for 2 wk. ? i read on you tube 2 days?i think 2 wks better can we have measurements exact
    thank you

    1. Hi Ghazi- it depends if you add whey. Whey will make the fermentation much faster, but without it, yes it can take weeks. 🙂 There is no way to be exact with timing- as all environments are so different.

  3. I made kanji style by adding mustard seeds ,I have 4 beetroots and add almost 1 litters of water, or may be 1/2 litters, I add salt, I don’t like too much salted , just add 1 normal table spoon of salt, and it prepared within 2 days as in dubai weather is too hot, and I saw the bubling and white foam and after 2 days. bubbling has stopped and it turned into dark red kanji, kavaas. Do you think it is properly fermented as u use less salt. But when I drink it as salted and our without any pungent smell.

    1. Hi Asia! It is pretty important to use the correct amount of salt here to prevent any bad bacteria from growing. Does it taste slightly sour or tangy? Any bubbles when you tap the jar?

  4. I tried making kvass once, and after 5 days I saw mold on top! So I threw it away. How can I avoid that? Thanks in advance.

    1. hi Claudia! Mold can be due to the beets having contact with air- so make sure to weight them down, using fermentation weights, or not enough salt- so be sure to measure. Also, you want to keep them in a cooler environment- 60-65F is perfect.

  5. The recipe calls to put 2 cups of beets, 3 cups of salt and a spoon of salt to a 4 cup jar and left a cup of free space in it. It also states that the liquid should be prepared in cup of water to spoon of salt ratio. Which one is correct then? 1cup of water to one spoon of salt to 2 cups of beets or 3 cups of water to 2 cups of beets to 3 spoons of salt? Or is it something else? Do you even run your recipes through a reading process before publishing them?

    1. Hi there, sorry you are frustrated. It looks like you may be confusing the recipe and the extra brine (optional, only if needed). The recipe looks pretty clear, be sure to scroll down to the recipe card itself at the bottom. 😉

  6. Hi, thanks for the recipe. It worked great. I’m just wondering if you can use some of the kvass to make more kvass instead of the sauerkraut brine, as it would similarly contain the good bacteria already. And along this same thinking, could you just keep topping the kvass up with more filtered water as you drink it, instead of starting again from scratch?

    1. Hi Jean- I have not personally done this, but both of your ideas seem really good to me! Give it a go!

  7. Hi

    what would happen if you fill the jar more than 1/3 or if i cut the beets into 2-3 inch pieces? how would it effect the kvass?

    1. Hana- great questions. And I’m honestly not sure. I bet either would be fine- but have only personally tried it this way.

  8. Hi

    i have been successful making beet kvass the first 2 times.

    after that is that on day 5 it starts bubbling but then continues quite strongly -like fierce creating a thick white bubbling foam(not kahm yeast) and starts smelling like yeasty…

    i put in 2% salt t the weight of the beet, i use cooled boiled water, temperature doesn’t go above 72f,,,what am i doing wrong?

    thanks so much

    1. Hi Harry- I think it actually a 3% brine? That might be the problem? Also do you have a slightly cooler spot to place it?

      1. Hi

        thanks for your response.

        i was successful with 2% so what has changed?

        the temperature is between 67-72f most times not higher than 70f.

        is it not good if it foams so much?

        how long is it meant to bubble for?

        tks alot

        1. I’m really not sure. Was the temp similar the last time you made it? Could it have been cooler? I have never seen it “foam” before, so really not sure how to advise. How does it smell? In general, it takes me about 2 weeks to see bubbles. Sorry, I wish I could be more helpful.

    1. I always eat the beets, non go to waste. The are great to eat alongside any dish -getting extra probiotics with each meal! I slice my beets so they are perfectly fermented and a little crunchy. Even my other family members love it! I’ve shared this recipe with loads of friends and family, after they tried it.

    2. I blend the whole thing up and strain the pulp through grade 90 or 100 cheese cloth. You get a much higher yield, and more flavorful product (in my opinion). There is a lot of good stuff inside the beets. Gloves are a good idea.

  9. Have you ever had the water on the top part turn muddy brown, while the rest stayed the purple color? I thought I scrubbed the beets enough before I made my ferment, but maybe I didn’t get all the dirt off. 🤔 I am wondering if it is still okay to consume.

    1. Oh interesting Sarah! I have not experienced that. I wonder if you could strain through a double or triple layer of cheesecloth, then check that color is gone? I don’t mind a little dirt – but this is totally your call. Does it look as if it is fermenting?

  10. Thank you for mentioning the kahm yeast. I’d made Beet Kvass before but thought it was mould on the top of the liquid so threw the batches out! Now I know it’s a normal part of the process, and skim it off, and get to enjoy the kvass! Many thanks.

  11. Hi..How is this good for nafkd if the liver is struggling. adding a fermented type beverage would cause harm to the over burdened liver?

    1. Hi Alison, I understand your concern. The fermentation here is not like alcohol. Beet Kvass is considered a safe tonic for the liver, but please, as always, research for yourself or check with your doctor or healthcare provider.

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Hi, I'm Sylvia!

Chef and author of the whole-foods recipe blog, Feasting at Home, Sylvia Fountaine is a former restaurant owner and caterer turned full-time food blogger. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest and shares seasonal, healthy recipes along with tips and tricks from her home kitchen.

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