How to make Beet Kvass! An Eastern European probiotic drink made with fresh beets, sea salt and water. Full of healthy probiotics from Lacto-fermentation, these good bacteria heal the gut and support immunity.  Looking for more? Check out our Probiotic Gut Shot.

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!  Beet kvass is a fermented probiotic drink that hails from Eastern Europe that is tangy, earthy, salty and slightly sweet from the beets. Full of gut-healthy probiotics, it’s a simple way to add diversity to our microbiome and, in turn, support our immune system.

Why you’ll love Beet Kvass

  • Easy to make– takes 15 minutes of hands-on time before letting mother nature take its course!
  • Made with simple ingredients– just beets, salt and water!
  • Gut Supporting! Filled with billions of healthy probiotics in just one tablespoon!

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.) Kvass Ingredients

  1. organic beets- I love the color of red beets, but yellow works fine too! Use organic, unpeeled beets.
  2. fine sea salt- you want to use natural, unprocessed salt when fermenting.
  3. filtered water- chlorine in tap water can suppress fermentation, so use filtered if possible.

EXPERT TIP: To shorten the fermentation process, you can also add 1- 2 tablespoons of whey (the liquid from straining yogurt) or liquid from fermented kraut or pickle brine ( the kind from alive cultures- in the refrigerated section of the grocery store, or homemade.)

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) to prevent from floating, add them to the jar first.
  • 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 make Beet Kvass (instructions)

  1. Prep: Rinse and slice the beets into ¼-inch thick rounds, then dice them, leaving the skin on.  You want that bacteria from the skin, so don’t peel! Get a clean, 1-quart mason jar.
  2. Assemble: If adding any whole spices, add these to the jar first, then add garlic, onion or dill if using. Add all the beets overtop.  If adding whey,  kraut brine or pickle brine, add this now.
  3. Make the brine: Mix 3 cups water with 1 heaping tablespoon sea salt. Pour this into the  jar, leaving an inch of headroom at the top.  If you need more brine: the ratio is 1 heaping teaspoon of salt, per 1 cup of water. Mix it first, then add.  The salt will kill the harmful bacteria, but allow the healthy lactobacilli to flourish. 
  4. Remove any spices or seeds that float to the top. Anything that touches the surface can mold. I check daily for floaters! Cover with a loose-fitting lid. Place in a bowl or baking dish (to collect any overflow- a sign of fermentation!).
  5. Ferment: Place the jar in a cool, dark place 60F-65 F is ideal. Check every couple days, removing seeds if need be. If you added whey or brine, you should see some action within 5-7 days. If not,  it can take up to 2 weeks before you notice some slight bubbling when you tap the jar, indicating that it is fermenting. The longer it ferments, the more tangy it will taste, so you can ferment “to taste.” For an even tangier flavor, continue fermenting for 1-2 more weeks. Once happy with the flavor, refrigerate.
  6. Refrigerate (either strain, or leave beets in- I leave mine in). 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.

Storage

Store beet kvass in the fridge indefinitely! It will continue to ferment and develop more flavor at a much slower rate.

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

If new to fermented foods, start slowly. Drink a tablespoon first and see how you feel. You are adding millions of probiotics to your gut in just a tablespoon. This creates diversity in the gut, which is thought to be healthy! You could take a sip with every meal if you like, or take a shot once a day. I like to drink a shot 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. Yes, you can eat the beets!

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.)

Troubleshooting

  • If you notice any white foam on top of your kvass, or a cloudiness to the brine it is most likely kahm yeast and harmless. Skim it off with a spoon.
  • If you see any mold, I would discard the batch.
  • Beet Kvass should smell tangy and good like pickle brine – if it smells “off”, don’t drink it. A bad bacteria may have inadvertently been introduced – perhaps an unclean jar or utensils or dirty hands. It is easy to do.
  • If your kvass is not tangy, it has not been fermented or not fermented long enough. This could be due to not using the right salt ratio or chlorine in your water.

 

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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

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.8 from 20 reviews
  • 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

Units Scale
  • 2 medium beets, organic (see notes for doubling, recommended) 2 cups diced, skin ON.
  • 3 cups filtered water (tap water may have too much chlorine & inhibit fermentation)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon fine sea salt

Optional Additions:

  • 1/4 cup fermented pickle brine or fermented kraut brine, or 1-2 tablespoons whey (liquid from strained yogurt)
  • fresh dill (or fennel fronds), bay leaves, or other herbs.
  • pickling spices ( fennel seed, coriander seed, dill seed, peppercorns, celery seeds, caraway, etc.) Tip: to prevent them from floating, either add them to the jar first, place beets over the top, or place a small mesh bag. Remove any that float to the surface.
  • sliced onion or shallots
  • fresh garlic cloves
  • fresh sliced ginger or turmeric root.

Instructions

  1. Prep: Rinse and slice the beets into ¼-inch thick rounds, then dice them, leaving the skin on.  You want that bacteria from the skin, so don’t peel! Get a clean, 1-quart mason jar.
  2. Assemble: If adding any whole spices, add these to the jar first, then add garlic, onion or dill if using. Add all the beets overtop.  If adding whey,  kraut brine or pickle brine, add this now.
  3. Make the brine: Mix 3 cups water with 1 heaping tablespoon sea salt. Pour this into the  jar, leaving an inch of headroom at the top.  If you need more brine: the ratio is 1 heaping teaspoon of salt, per 1 cup of water. Mix it first, then add.  The salt will kill the harmful bacteria, but allow the healthy lactobacilli to flourish. 
  4. Remove any spices or seeds that float to the top. Anything that touches the surface can mold. I check daily for floaters! Cover with a loose-fitting lid. Place in a bowl or baking dish (to collect any overflow- a sign of fermentation!).
  5. Ferment: Place the jar in a cool, dark place 60F-65 F is ideal. Check every couple days, removing seeds if need be. If you added whey or brine, you should see some action within 5-7 days. If not,  it can take up to 2 weeks before you notice some slight bubbling when you tap the jar, indicating that it is fermenting. The longer it ferments, the more tangy it will taste, so you can ferment “to taste.” For an even tangier flavor, continue fermenting for 1-2 more weeks. Once happy with the flavor, refrigerate.
  6. Refrigerate (either strain, or leave beets in- I leave mine in). 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.
  7. 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. If you see mold, I would discard the batch.
  8. Store this in the fridge, strain into a cup, and drink a few ounces daily. Yes, you can eat the beets!

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 get small mesh cotton bags to put your spices in if you like, then no worries about “floaters.”

You can speed up fermentation significantly by adding a few tablespoons of whey ( liquid from strained yogurt) ¼ cup of fermented pickle brine or fermented kraut brine (make sure it is alive and bubbly- from the refrigerated section of the grocery store, not pickled with vinegar) to the jar.

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

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: ½ cup
  • Calories: 20
  • Sugar: 3.1 g
  • Sodium: 1202.8 mg
  • Fat: 0.1 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 4.3 g
  • Fiber: 1.3 g
  • Protein: 0.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

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Comments

  1. Hi Sylvia! My kvass turned out goopy—is that normal?

    Also, I started seeing bubbles pretty early on (2nd or 3rd day) and I skimmed off foam and a gelatinous layer. I left it for 2 weeks though to develop the flavour before straining and moving to the refrigerator. Might this have been too long?

    1. Hummmm… strange! Did you add whey or just the salt? or any other starter ferment?

        1. Hi Nayla- I personally would not risk it. Gloopy sounds not good to me- I’ve never had that happen. Maybe someone else out there knows the answer to this and can help?

  2. Any recommendations for keeping this at the ideal temp before refrigeration? I really want to make this, but my home gets up to 77 (Fahrenheit) right now (summer in AL, US). There are only a few months out of the year (maybe) that my home is under 70.

  3. I tried another persons recipe but she said to let it sit for 2-3 days. It didn’t ferment and is super salty. Will your recipe taste very salty?

    1. Hi Robin, yes, It generally takes longer than 2-3 days if you don’t add any fermenting agent. Ours is a “little” salty, it does need salt to prohibit the bad bacteria from growing, but I try to use it minimally.

  4. Mine molded 🙁 I looked up why and another site said to tighten down the lid and not to let air in. I’m going to try again this way to see if it helps.

    1. You could also try using an air lock- an attachment you can buy on Amazon, that you attach to your jar. It lets bubbles out, bu not air in.

    2. It is important to keep the beets submerged to encourage only good fermentation. I use a glass jar lid that fits inside the jar to keep everything below the liquid level.

    3. I’ve had good results keeping mold out of fermentation by keemping all solids below the liquid level and floating a layer of olive oil over the liquid.

  5. I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one who takes a swig of kvass for an afternoon pick-me-up! Thank you for posting. I lent my ferment book out and needed the basic amounts for kvass.

  6. Great recipe! Mine has already one month fermenting and is delicious.
    One question though, can I use some of this kvass to accelerate fermentation?
    Thanks!!






  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Be very careful when using juice from grocery store pickles. That juice usually contains vinegar and other undesirable (to me) ingredients. I have made Beet Kvass quite often and only use unpeeled beets, water and pure salt. I like the earthy taste of this drink just the way it is.

    1. Hi John- to speed things up we only add fermented salt brine here, not pickling liquid (like from vinegar pickles). It is not needed, but it does make this faster. I usually just use my own kraut brine. How long does it usually take for yours to get tangy?

  10. 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?

  11. 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.

      1. if the mold appears does it need to be thrown out? or can it be used at that point? mine also started to mold after 7 days. Can i still drink it?

        1. I personally would not. In the past, I have scraped off the mold, and just tasted it, and decided. But honestly, these days, I don’t want to risk it.

        2. I always just scrape it off and then strain the Kvass and put it in the fridge. My granny in the Smokies did tons of canning since they had a farm and they always scraped the mold off everything and ate it and no one got sick. Now if it tastes off I would probably ditch it, but otherwise I think it is just wasting it.

  12. 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. 😉

  13. 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!

  14. 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.

  15. 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.






      1. You may have cut the beets too small.

        Years ago (15+) when I made beet kvass I played around with the receipe some for a few years with my husband.

        I noticed when I cut the beets too small (one time I even diced them) then the kvass would seem more like syrup. I am not science type, but my husband was, he had the thought the syrup might be result of the timing for the sugar release.

        As far as the foam, we did darker foam & skimmed it off. No stomach aches but then again we could have just been lucky.

        We guessed the darker foam was due to how well the beets were washed before we cut them. It seemed to happen more when we were in a hurry.

  16. 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?

  17. 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.






  18. 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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