How to Make Beet Kvass

How to Make Beet Kvass and why

I must admit that when I first got the book Nourishing Traditions, Beet Kvass was one of the recipes that I glazed over and didn’t plan on making. I wasn’t a huge fan of beets and I didn’t even know what kvass  was, so I steered clear.

When I finally tried Kvass, the taste wasn’t as bad as I expected and the health benefits were more than I expected. I’m a big fan of fermented foods like sauerkraut and fermented drinks like kombucha and water kefir. Beet Kvass is a nice mix of the two…

Kvass is salty and earthy tasting and after a day or two adjustment, I found that I really like it and my body is now craving it.

What is Kvass?

Kvass is a traditional eastern European beverage that was originally made from fermenting stale bread. According to this article:

“It is also recognized that kvass is safer to drink than water. Tolstoy describes how Russian soldiers took a ladle full of kvass before venturing from their barracks onto the Moscow streets during a cholera epidemic. Because kvass protects against infectious disease, there is no worry about sharing the glass.”

“Kvass can also be made from beets. The result is not so much epicurean as medicinal, although beet kvass is often added to borscht. No traditional Ukranian home was without its bottle of beet kvass, according to Lubow A. Kylvska, author of Ukranian Dishes, “handy and ready when a pleasing, sour flavor had to be added to soups and vinaigrettes.”

Folk medicine values beets and beet kvass for their liver cleansing properties and beet kvass is widely used in cancer therapy in Europe. Anecdotal reports indicate that beet kvass is an excellent therapy for chronic fatigue, chemical sensitivities, allergies and digestive problems.”

Nourishing Traditions explains the Beet Kvass is:

“valuable for its medicinal qualities and as a digestive aid. Beets are loaded with nutrients. One glass morning and night is an excellent blood tonic, promotes regularity, aids digestion, alkalizes the blood, cleanses the liver and is a good treatment for kidney stones and other ailments.”

My kids love Kvass because of the color and it makes a beautiful addition to salad dressings, sauces or soups because of its bright hue.

I’ve found it easiest to make Kvass with whey (here is how to make whey at home– not the same as protein powder!) or the juice from sauerkraut, but it can be made with just sea salt, though it may take a little longer.

4.7 from 23 reviews
How to Make Beet Kvass
 
Prep time
Total time
 
An inexpensive health tonic of fermented beet juice that is a healthy, salty and earthy health booster!
Author:
Recipe type: Beverage
Cuisine: Eastern European
Serves: 6+
Ingredients
  • 2-4 beets
  • ¼ cup whey or juice from sauerkraut (here's how to make whey)
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt or himalayan salt
  • filtered water
  • half gallon glass jar
Instructions
  1. Wash beets and peel (if not organic) or leave skin on (if organic)
  2. Chop beet in to small cubes but don't grate.
  3. Place beets in bottom of half gallon jar.
  4. Add whey/sauerkraut juice and salt (If you don't want to use whey or sauerkraut juice, you can double the salt instead, though it may take longer to ferment)
  5. Fill jar with filtered water.
  6. Cover with a towel or cheesecloth and leave on the counter at room temperature for 2 days to ferment.
  7. Transfer to fridge.
  8. Consume as desired. I drink 3-4 ounces each morning and night.

Have you ever made beet Kvass? What did you think of it?

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Reader Comments

  1. Yay, another use for the gobs of whey I always end up with after making yogurt! I have always wanted to do something with beets, too, but have a harder time finding recipes for them. This is the perfect excuse to get some from the farmer’s market since they are in season now. I’ll make some this weekend and let you know how it goes. (^_^)

  2. Shouldn’t there be some water?

    • Yes, after adding all the ingredients, fill the jar with purified water. Then cover.

      Nourishing Traditions is, by far, the best cookbook/nutrition book available!!

      • So is it possible to use tap water? I don’t have access to a water filter (yet!) can I use water from the tap??

        • In Sandor Katz’s book he says that the chlorine and other compounds in tap water interfere with the fermentation. If you don’t have access to spring water, and don’t endorse the purchase of spring water in plastic jugs, ( which I do not), you might try boiling your water in a clean pot, and let it cool before making a batch. Let us know how it goes!

          • if you opt for only doubling salt, how many days until fermentation?

          • Jen –
            I use between 1 and 1 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt per 1/2 gallon jar. More in the warm months to protect the mix as it ferments faster. I’m sensitive to the amount of salt in my food, (or drink for that matter!) so the 1 to 2 Tablespoons called for in other recipes put me off. The down side to less salt may be the occasional formation of Kalm, (harmless white yeast that forms on the top). I just skim it off with a paper towel, and refrigerate that batch. I’m also watching the relationship between ingredients and Kalm, it seems like cabbage in the mix inhibits the mold, jury’s still out. Enjoy!

      • I have Himalayan salt, not the sea salt called for in N.T. I made the fermented carrots and they were way too salty. (I might have added too much without realizing it.) Is it okay to lower the salt in these fermentation recipes? Thanks!

        • Betsey –
          See my comment from Jan 14, 2016 in this thread concerning my experience with salt amounts. I’m kinda sensitive to saltiness of what I put into my mouth, so with my Kvass, I use between 1 and 1 1/2 teaspoon per 1/2 gal jar. More salt in summer or when it’s hot, ( like it is on this leap day of 2016 on the Central Coast of California, 88 degrees today!) Don’t use iodized or table salt, any other naturally occurring salt should be fine. Let us know how it goes!
          Allen Root

          • The central coast?? I grew up there. Where are you located? I am in Washington now, but lived in Paso, went to high school in SLO at Mission and lived in Pismo, SLO. Too cool.

          • Tammy, I’ve been living the good life in San Luis Obispo since 1965!

  3. I am intrigued…

  4. Thank you for sharing this great info, have never heard of it and can’t wait it to try it now!

  5. I made beet kvass for the first time last summer. I am still a beginner in the fermented foods department and had a very hard time swallowing it. Maybe I ought to try it again – I love all the health benefits of it!

    • If you find the flavor is too strong, try mixing it with other beverages. My favorite way to consume beet kvass is mixed about 50/50 with homemade ginger ale over ice and sometimes add a shot of master tonic. Top off with water to achieve desired strength.

    • Think I am going to make some this week and try it. The flavor of beets isn’t one of my faves so we’ll see. I do love my kraut juice tho….

      • Di Martin –
        Look up some of my earlier posts in this thread for some recipes and flavoring tips. I will be making a new batch of three flavors this afternoon!

        I’m bored by simple tastes, too, so I add things like lemon, ginger, fresh herbs, celery, mustard seeds to brighten flavors. I like a red beet, red cabbage, celery, orange, (a quarter with peel) and yellow mustard seed combo. Add 1t sea salt per 1/2 gal jar, and 1/4 C whey or kraut juice, and let it sit on the counter loosely capped for about 10 days. Tighten the cap a couple of times in the first few days and shake the jar to mix ingredients. Make sure to loosen the cap, Kvass builds lots of pressure in the first few days! Enjoy!
        Allen Root

  6. I’m curious about the liver cleansing properties of this. While I don’t like the smell of beets (they smell like dirt to me), I could probably choke down a glass of this in the morning to replace the (expensive) liver cleansing supplement my naturopath has me on.
    Anyone have direct experience??

    • I always have beet kvass handy — when the prior batch gets low, I start a new one using 1/4 cup of the old batch instead of adding the whey or sauerkraut juice. I also would use 3 beets + 1 small purple top turnip instead of 4 beets. After consuming about half the jar, I add additional water plus a small amount of salt (a teaspoon or less) for a second batch from the original beets/turnip. After the second batch is nearly done, its time for a new fresh batch.

      My favorite way to have beet kvass is to mix 3 oz kvass with 3 oz of pomegranate (or concord grape) juice. Great tasting pick me up in the morning.

    • Kvass is a light form of Beer. And like all alcoholic beverages should NOT be consumed by people with kidney stones, liver and gastric problems. Russians know about it but Americans got it all wrong. I am saying this because Russian is my first language and I just read an article in Russian about it.

      • Julia –
        I’m not sure why I’m just seeing this, given the date. I’d like to respond to your comments regarding Kvass being a “light form of beer”. I’m not an expert on whether Kvass is healthful for people with liver and gastric problems, I do know that beer and kvass are quite different.

        Beer, wine, grain spirits are all ethanol fermentations, where yeasts convert sugars into carbon dioxide and alcohol. Kombucha is a mystery to me as it is in the lacto camp, and does have a slight alcohol content.

        Lactic acid ferments include cheeses, kefirs, yogurts, kim chis, krauts, pickled vegitables, and kvass. These ferments use lactic acid bacteria to ferment foods while protecting them from spoilage from molds. Lactobacillaes are salt tolerant, where molds, (other bacteria) are not, which is why a salted environment allows the lacto bacterias prevail. There is no alcohol present in Kvass, unless it is employed in a Bloody Mary, which can be magnificent! I use whey, (acid or sour whey) 1/3 cup per 1/2 gal kvass mix to get the ball rolling. I encourage everyone to experiment with add-ons and spices…Fresh dill, parsley, thyme…mustard seeds, fennel seeds, celery seeds…onions, ginger, lemons…consider carrots and celery and cabbages…And share your results! Pregnant mothers or recovering alcoholics need not worry adout kavass.

        • When you say “add ons”, do you mean that you add these extra ingredients at the beginning of the fermenting stage, or after the fermenting stage has completed – when it’s time to put the liquid in to the refrigerator? Thanks.

          • Robert –
            All the recipies I found on line, or in a Katz book were just beets or just cabbage with water, salt, whey. I’ve been playing with different ingredients added to the cabbage or beets to boost flavor and add complexity. Some things, (fennel, parsnips, mint) weren’t that successful. In any event, I throw all ingredients in at the start, then blenderize in 10 days. After a strain, I discard the dry pulp, and then back onto the counter, just for a few more days. Watch for a white film forming on top, skim that of if it appears, (I use paper towel) and refrigerate. My oldest jar right now is about 80 days, and pretty tart. Have fun!

          • my mother in law made kvass for years,I am going to start again myself,but she used
            sodium citrate ( sour salt she called it) my question is I have high blood pressure can
            I cut down on the salt and still get a good sour, perhaps using whey? never heard
            about that before
            Thanks

        • Thank you, that’s very good to know! Is it okay to use the juice from canned sauerkraut or should it be from a glass jar?

          • Kathleen –
            You can certainly use kraut juice as a starter, but it must be active. Bubbie’s is probably the most prolific commercial variety. Canning in the usual fashion uses heat and will kill all the cultures. Live culture kraut juice is also advantageous for those who are lactose intolerant. Lots just save back 1/2 cup Kvass to start the next batch. I really like the strained yogurt as a potato topping, or spread on toast with some fresh fruit slices on top. Cinnamon under the fruit, a drizzle of maple syrup over, you’ll feel like you can go out and whip your weight in wildcats!

      • I’d like to try a reply to this…I believe that traditional kvass from Ukraine is made from wheat berries. I think it may have a little alcohol content, but I’m not familiar with the fermentation process. This kind, beet kvass is less common over there from what I could tell, even though they definitely love using beets for many things! Thanks for the warning, though as it could definitely be a problem if people thought they were cleansing their liver, and actually were taxing it! I find that I feel very good after eating beets. I think the beets are primarily where the liver cleansing/blood cleansing properties are. Whereas the sauerkraut juice or whey adds the probiotic punch and fermented quality. Ah, I just found a wonderful article that helped clear up the confusion for me! http://homestead.org/MicahJanzen/Kvass/BeetKvass.htm And, also I know this is quite some time since the original post, but I’d love it if you remembered and could link to the Russian article- my husband could read and translate for me! Very interested!

  7. Can the beet kvass be considered a probiotic?

    Another good thing to do with beet after it is boiled, to slice it and dehydrate it. It tastes a bit like chocolate! Good for replacing potato chips and keep for a very long time.

    • Why boil the beets before dehydrating them?

      • Technically, the kvass made from breads would be beer; the strength of that beer depends on what kind of grain, i.e., sprouted or not, how much bread – to – water, i.e., ratios that govern the specific gravity and extraction of starch and sugars into the wort (the liquid that you have after you strain out the bread crumbs and any “helpers” you may have added, especially raisins, and what kind of yeast you use, for some yeasts produce more alcohol per unit of CO2 than others, it appears, and how may acetobacters and lactobacters (bacteria that digest the alcohol or sugars to make it a bit sour) you may have in your culture. You would not likely have lactobacillus in your culture unless you deliberately added some, but if you are fermenting with only a cloth cover to start, then you’ll have some bacteria plus some wild yeast, most likely. Sprouted grains speed up the fermentation and favor more alcohol production, be they from barley, oats, rye, whatever your grain mix. Raisins have some enzymes that facilitate breaking down starches to ferment better, so the more raisins you have initially, the higher the chances that the brew would ferment past 0.5% ABV and get into the light beer realm for alcohol by volume. So, be careful in giving this to kids as a soft drink, unless they are receiving it with no more than a day’s initial fermentation, and then a second day in the refrigerator. Even then, I would not vouchsafe the ABV of your brew, for it would still be live, and if bottled, so that kids could drink it after one-three weeks could definitely be an intoxicating brew. Follow the instructions carefully, removing the friendly raisins within a day, etc., and get it into refrigeration, drink it soon, etc to avoid brewing something the kids shouldn’t have.
        The beet kvasses and others with fruit juice added to the wort or fermenting liquid without any lactic acid culture definitely will ferment to alcohol if the lactic acid fermentation doesn’t get started and an acetic fermentation doesn’t take care of the alcohol. ….not something like wine, however, but easily something like weak beer in ABV, so again, follow directions,
        Don’t depend on the liquid being a very effective killer of infectious diseases as some claim, and enjoy it for its flavors, if your health otherwise permits you to drink it. By-the-way, beers were used by many civilizations as a healthy way to drink water, but those tended to be weak beers. Also, the water and grains tended to be boiled as a wort, so that boiling killed bacteria and other biological sources of infection before the fermentation. Wines tend to be much higher in alcohol, so wines added to water by families and traveling armies appear to have made some otherwise untreated water safe to drink after the watered wine rested a while before being consumed. This would not be a universally safe way to treat your local stream water, however.

        • Paul –
          Thank you so much for this post regarding ferments! I get the grain and add-on worts you speak of,, and that is not my interest. As I think you have so clearly stated, the family of ingredients set to ferment without whey or a lacto starter liquid will convert to alcohol , an acetic ferment. Adding the active cultured whey, or live lacto cultured liquids to a batch of chopped vegetables will produce something in the Kim Chi/Kraut/kvass family, which do not contain alcohol. Does that align with your knowledge?

  8. Thank you thank you thank you for sharing this recipe!!! I have been wanting so badly to join the fermented food party but can’t seem to make myself swallow sauerkraut or anything else you’ve talked about, But guess what, I LOVE beets!! Thank you for your amazing blog! You inspire me everyday 🙂

  9. I’ve made ours with just a salt brine and fermented it for at least 2 weeks. It has a more pleasant flavor and less like dirt 🙂

  10. Yes kvass has got a very long tradition in eastern Europe and I would like to share my family’s delicious recipe.
    5-7 beets ( medium sized )
    2- 3 L ceramic jar or pot (the old fashioned one our grandmas used to use) don’t ask me why I just know it makes a wonderful kvass.
    Boiled salted water ( enough so it covers the beets and fills the jar to the top )
    Garlic and lots of it
    Ok so first boil the water and add salt ( I’d say 2 spoons ) set aside to cool down – you want your water to be at room temperature
    Peel the beets and cut into big pieces
    Peel the garlic
    Place your beets and garlic tightly in the jar and then pour the cooled water on top and cover with the plate. If the plate goes up cause your beets are floating don’t worry just place a small stone on top. Afterwards place the jar preferably on top of your kitchen cupboards ( gets sour quicker because hot air goes up so it is warmer there ) . If a little mould develops on top that’s perfectly fine just remove it with a spoon. When your kvass is ready you can strain it into a bottle and put in the fridge it will keep for 5-7 days. With this way you will need to be a bit more patient it might take between 5-7 days or more, but believe me it is worth it.

  11. What size beets should be used? The weight would be ideal to have if you could let us have it please xx

    • I would use medium sized beets. I think that would be between 500g-700g

  12. Can you do anything with the beets in the jar after the kvass has been made? Can it be eaten or only added to compost?

    • I read you can reuse them for a second batch. Not sure if it’s true thou.

      • Yes you can use it a second time, though it won’t be quite as potent as the first.

  13. These things never say how you know if yours is ready to use. it wouldn'[t be so intimidating to try at forst if you had some kind of picture of how it should look when it is ready to use.

    • The picture above is mine when ready to drink… it will be a dark red color and have a salty earthy smell…

  14. Hello Katie, I tried the recipe and just loved the result. I probably drank a full bottle over a 1-day period and really think the medicinal properties of the beet worked wonders for both my bowels and energy level. I have to be careful to drink the second bottle in moderation as I can easily become addicted to the drink and replace with my daily intake of water!!

    I found a recipe for a sweet potato fermented drink, at the link below, if you are interested in trying it. I have no idea how it will turn out, but I’ve started the process and only at Day 1 in the fermentation process. I had a taste of the liquid today and do find it a bit sweet for my liking, after enjoying the slightly salty taste of the beet kvass, but this is personal preference only, as I generally prefer salt over sweet. Depending on the outcome when I bottle on Wednesday, I probably can adjust the sugar content.

    I’ll let you know how it turns out. I find the most challenging part is finding a warm place for the container. I tried periodically heating up the oven on the lowest temperature and moving the container to the oven, but I could not possibly do this over a 3-day period. We’ve having a relatively cool spell now in Toronto, Canada, so it’s hard to find any warm spots at the moment.
    Cheers,
    Elizabeth

    • May I have the link to your sweet potato ferment? I don’t see the link anywhere. Thanks.

    • Old discussion, but for anyone needing an idea for keeping their ferments warmer, I use an electric seed starting mat. Works great for chèvre too!

  15. Hello Katie, I wrote a lovely note earlier telling of my experience making beet kvass. But it appears not to have been posted. Perhaps it got lost? t’s pretty hard to re-write the note with the same enthusiasm, but I’ll try. I loved the drink a LOT and went through a 450 ml bottle on Saturday. It did wonders for my energy level and I think my digestive system also loved it. I have a bias for savoury over sweet, so it didn’t take me much effort to get used to the slightly salted beet taste. I’ll have to go easy on my 2nd bottle and drink in moderation. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. This is definitely one that I’ll be making on a regular basis.

    I discovered another recipe for a sweet potato fermented drink and have prepared and will strain and bottle on Wedneday (day 3). I’ll let you know how I like this drink. It’s another easy one with grated sweet potatoes and spices. Here is the link in case you are interested in trying it.

    I continue to enjoy and look forward to reading and sharing your blog.

    http://creatingnirvanatoday.blogspot.ca/2011/06/sweet-potato-fly-fermented-sweet-potato.html

    Elizabeth

  16. Tried this for the first time…looks done but is it supposed to me bubbly?

      • It will be bubbly if fermented in an air tight vessel. This is ok and will also disipate fairly quickly.

  17. Is the beet kvass supposed to have a scum on top? Mine does after 3 or 4 days. Should I just throw it out and start again?

  18. Is it OK if I used too much whey and a little too much salt? I used 4 medium sized beets, a half gallon jar, 1 1/4 tablespoons of sea salt, and 1/2 cup of whey instead of 1/4. I hope it still works, I’m so bummed out that I’ve been waiting to make this all week and I accidentally put twice as much whey as directed! Thanks in advance for your reply.

  19. do you leave the beets in the bottom of the jar after fermentation?

  20. Hi I just wanted to answer a few questions that I’ve seen posted. Please note, these answers are based on about 10 other blogs with comments I’ve read researching this.
    Add more salt if you don’t want to use whey, about 1 1/2 – 2 tbs.
    Some people put a tight lid on others don’t. A lady from the Ukraine who’s family had made this since….a long time, said they just cover with cheese cloth and rubber bands.
    It is normal for it to be fizzy. I haven’t figured out if that’s from when there is a tight lid versus lose.
    Mold on the top is normal. Just scrap it off with a spoon. it’s part of the process.
    You can use any type of beets.
    If you use whey the fermenting process is shorter, if only using salt it’s about 10-14 days.
    I hope this helps and I can’t wait to try mine.

    • Its fizzy because the bacteria is eating the sugar and releasing carbon dioxide. Similar to beer and Kombucha. If it is fizzy then there is a lot of sugar that has been eaten. Maybe from a tight lid or a membrane unable to release the CO2. Its the process of fermentation. If there is no fiz then either the yeast or good bacteria is done eating or was killed by contaminants.

  21. I am in the process of making beet kvass. Tomorrow it will be ready for harvesting but I noticed some white spots on the surface (mold?). I hope my kvass isn’t ruined?

    Char

    • No, just wipe the mold off. No biggy. It won’t hurt you. If mold continues to grow on the lid, continue to wipe it off daily. As long as it isn’t floating in the kvass, you’re A.O.K.

  22. Can I leave cheese cloth on top or should i seal it with a glass lid? I am using a glass pitcher rather than a ball jar. should i transfer? Also, I had some at a friends and mine is less tangy…more like salty beet juice. Does it “cure” more in fridge?

  23. How do you replenish? Do I just start totally fresh when I finish one batch?

    • You can use the same beets 2-3 times, but each will be a little less strong. I read one guy who claimed to make 7 batches! He let’s each successive batch sit a little longer to compensate.

  24. I’m going to try this today, but I’m a little worried I’ll be grossed out by the flavor, although I’m sure I can find other uses for it rather than drinking it straight. Is there anything you would recommend I could add to make the taste a little sweeter? I was wondering about throwing in a couple slices of apple. I’m going to make this batch the way you have it here, but I might want to add something next time.

    Also, I’m new to your blog and I’m making several of your recipes! Thank you!

  25. Im making it for the first time now¡ its in the jar already and covered. Im reading through the comments, the recipe says that after 2 days it should be put into the fridge, but i read on the comments that it might take 10 days? I did mine with sea salt. Also what if i see mold or bubbles? Is that normal? How do you know you if you messed it up? Lol. Thankyou and greetings from Mexico!

  26. I’ve tried doing beet kvass twice now, didn’t work out either time. The first time was an “extra salt” approach, the second time I used 1/4 cup sauerkraut juice from a health food sauerkraut that describes itself as raw. In a week or two I’m going to make a third attempt using sauerkraut juice from my *own* sauerkraut so that I’ll *know* that it’s for sure raw and alive. Wish me luck 🙂

    • Hi! I have my first one going and tried it yesterday and was too salty for my taste, also im knda scared of salt bfore my period which is coming soon, i think i will drink it in small doses and see what happens, or maybe i can add more water to every glass i drink? Its fun to try this recipe!

      • did you add a ferment to it or did you go with the “extra salt” approach?

        • Extra salt,

          • using sauerkraut juice may make it less salty.. the recipe I use for making sauerkraut is four teaspoons of salt per two heads of cabbage inclusive of enough liquid to cover them. A 1/4 cup of juice from that should be a fair amount less than a full extra tablespoon as the recipe recommends if you’re taking an extra salt only approach

          • Great, i will try that next time, thank you so much¡ im noticing that as someone mentioned, the salty part is mellowing down, i think we might be able to drink it by the end of this week ¡ 🙂

    • Using juice from my own homemade sauerkraut worked great! I did another batch using the same beets and using a cup of kvass from the first batch as the accelerator. That batch worked out too, although it was weaker (which makes sense, since the beets were already used for the first batch and so presumably had less to “give”). I’ve got another batch going now again using kvass from the first batch (I don’t want to use second-batch kvass as an accelerator since tasting weaker probably also means it’s not as good of an accelerator). I have high hopes to be able to keep the cycle going purely on prior-batch kvass.

      On a side note, it’s tasty stuff. I’m not sure why some people find it hard to drink — it’s delightfully lemony (despite not using any lemons) and refreshing.

  27. Why is it necessary to use so much salt? Is it ok to use less?
    Thanks

    • Yes. Salt prevents bad bacteria from growing in a ferment during the initial stage of fermentation where the oxygen is used up and the lactic acid bacteria (LABs) begin to reproduce. Since fermentation always occurs in the same pattern no matter what you’re fermenting, you need the salt to keep the bad guys at bay until the LABs kick in and start growing like crazy.

      The correct salt concentration will actually encourage LABs to grow, giving them a competitive edge. Too little salt gives the bad guys an edge, which can lead to spoilage, especially if your container isn’t airtight.

      However, you can have ‘too much of a good thing.’ If you add too much salt, it will also cripple or kill off the lactic acid bacteria. Plainly put, if you make it too salty, nothing will live, even the good guys. If you don’t get it so salty that it kills all of the microbes off, certain yeasts can live, also leading to spoilage.

      • I fermented by kvass for 2 days before I realized that I had forgotten the salt! I tasted it and it was just bland, no obvious signs of “bad bacteria”, at least as far as taste buds are concerned. I belatedly added salt, but now my question is – should I take it out of the fridge and let it ferment a bit more?

        • The short answer is yes!

  28. Greetings, I am a high school culinary student out in Az. Just to get it out of the way, I LOVE beets, and i nearly fell off my chair when i found a beet drink. I am having a bit of confusion over the use of the whey and sauerkraut starters, since beets dont go too great with cabbage-sour and cheese-sour flavors (at least to my taste). Could it be possible to make a sweeter version with your ginger bug recipe?

  29. I have my first batch now brewing. I only had about 1/8 cup of whey when I began, so I used what I had and then added more the next day when my homemade yogurt had produced more – I hope that’s OK? Also the beets have white on top of them, even though I’ve stirred it a few times. I don’t know if this is undissolved salt, or some yogurt solids that snuck in with the whey or what, but I also hope this is normal. Finally since I began with less whey than the recipe called for how do I know when my batch is ready to drink? Right now it is the same color as your picture but more cloudy looking. Thanks!

    • I wouldn’t keep mixing the white film in. With less whey, it may be a mold film that can be skimmed off, or it might just be from the yogurt.

  30. Just made my first batch of kvass after doing a fermented foods class last weekend. As I’m starting from scratch, I used the salt only method. My sauerkraut will be ready tomorrow. Yay! Love the deep earthiness and also the salt. I left mine for 5 days on top of our gas stove (warmed by pilot light) and it was perfect. My teacher Jaqueline, recommended to use the beets again to make another batch, and then to toss in coconut oil and roast them. Yum!

  31. I am dairy-free and would love to know what to do to avoid the whey.

    • YOu can use double salt or the same amount of juice from a product like Bubbies naturally fermented sauerkraut

  32. I ferment for 2 weeks on the counter – it is a thick, rich and delightful ferment! I prefer it stronger and funny enough, everyone I serve it to likes it better than the quick ferments too. Try a longer ferment and see what you think. Yes you will need to scrape/peel mold layer off, but that doesn’t affect the taste unless you let the mold layer get really thick.

  33. Hello Katie
    So grateful for having found you! You have changed our lives around.

    Would like to know how long the Beet kvass can be kept in the fridge for once it has fermented.

  34. Can you use Bragg organic vinegar instead of whey?

    • did you try it? did it work?

    • Katie, How long does it last when kept in the fridge?

  35. Thank you for this recipe. It is delicious and feels wonderful.

  36. Great recipe! I make kvass all the time, however the only suggestion would be a longer ferment time since two days seems a bit short for all the goodness to happen. I might suggest at a minimum of four days to a week, and longer if in cooler room temps. Enjoy!

  37. After watching the Thyroid sessions and hearing mention of this, I’m glad to have a recipe! As far as probiotic use goes, could you combine a shot of this with a shot of kombucha for a little fizzy drink?

  38. My question for this drink, as well as the homemade lemonade is, do you have to make whey for every single batch of drink you made? Or is this like kombucha and water kefir, where you have a bug that you can transfer? Thanks!

  39. Thanks for your blog! I’m new to fermentation. I wonder if you or anyone else have tried using water kefir grain or komucha or milk kefir grain to ferment the beet? If so, how did it turn out? And, your recipe please. Thank you!

  40. I am dairy free so I can’t do whey and I’d prefer less salt. Could I use some kefir water to kick start the fermentation process instead? Has anyone tried it?

    • You probably could. But it’s really not necessary. The salt is consumed in the fermentation process; if it tastes too salty, it needs a longer ferment. Think two weeks instead of two days.

    • How do you make dairy free kefir ?

      • You can get water kefir grains! I make water kefir instead of milk kefir and I ferment it in coconut water.

  41. Thanks for the instruction. Does it only take 2 days to ferment? Is 2 days at any particular temperature, like around 75 degrees, which isn’t possible until you have air conditioning? For example, in the summer with average room temperature ~80-85, should that be even shorter?

  42. Could you juice the beets mix in water, fresh ginger juice, ginger bug, lemon and suger to make Ginger beets beer?

  43. What do you do with the beets after making kvass? Are they worth eating?

  44. I use the leftover beetroot to make this delicious dip: blend the beetroot chunks, microwave the blended pulp to cook it, add ground cumin and salt, pepper; add plain yoghurt and a swirl of sour cream for richness …… so yummy!

  45. Why would the beets be mushy after just 2 days, since the beets were raw to begin with?

  46. Can you use the same culture that you use for 3-day sauerkraut to speed up the beet fermentation process?

  47. Any idea in the carb count of beet kvass?

  48. Could you use beetroot powder? (I have that, but not actual beets…)

  49. i’ve been making the reciope with saurkraut juice (actually this batch i used fermented cortido so it had some kick! yum)but always get alot of mold on top. I also like to let it go for 5-7 days. It seems challenging to get the mold off the top, any suggestions? Also do you fill it to the top with water, ie no room for air?
    thanks

    • I fill the jars to near the top, ferment for 10 days, and have some white mold on the top, rarely. Most often this is when cabbage is not present, and is ambient temperature sensative. My experience is that when the mold forms on the ferment, tease it to 10 days, blenderize, then when the slurry settles, use a paper towel to blot the mold from the top of the liquid. Refrigerate, and you should be golden.

  50. Have you ever chopped up carrots or added berries to sweeten? Would it have the same benefits or even work? Would it be better to add stevia to it after pouring a cup to get the sweetened taste? I am not into beets unless it’s sweetened somehow. Thanks!

  51. Yay! My dad just gave me some beets from his garden. I’m not a big fan of beets, so I’m going to try this recipe. Thank you, Wellness Mama!! 😀

  52. For those of you who are wondering about mold growing on the jar, the kvass is still good as long as it isn’t floating in the liquid. Wipe off the mold and keep chugging.

  53. Hi, I’ve just made my first batch but I used a jar that only holds 1 litre, will it matter that it’s about half as much water as recommended? Can I just add extra water later on as I drink it? Or should I transfer it to a bigger jar? Thanks.

  54. I make my kvass sweet. I add salt when first starting the mother and then feed it daily, similar to a ginger bug, with sugar. It gets very effervescent and its very delicious!

    • Interesting! Beet champagne! I’ll try this. I’m close to posting my two front runner recipies here…imagine adding lemons, ginger, onion, carrots, celery, and various herbs to your ferment! Addictive tonics!

  55. While searching for reasons why my current batch of beet kvass was a thick syrup type liquid, I came across your post. I use a Pickl-It jar, and have made beet kvass in the past. I haven’t made it in quite a while so I don’t remember exactly what I did before. For my current batch, I used more organic beets than before (like a jar full vs. 1/2 jar full). I believe I also left it out on the counter longer. I don’t remember if I put it in the fridge after 2 days before, but this time I did not. I let it sit for a week. My resulting kvass was thick and either slimy or like a syrup. I am not sure which. It also had more foam on top. I found one site that said thick and syrupy/slimy kvass means you just have a ‘good batch’ and just dilute it with filtered water when drinking. Then I came across this podcast where at 19:31 a question is asked about thick kvass. The reasons given for the thickness/slimy texture is yeast, over fermentation, and too many minerals.
    http://gnowfglins.com/?powerpress_pinw=17441-podcast
    For me, I know I used more beets. I know I let it sit on the counter longer (a week?). When I dilute it with water, the kvass sinks right to the bottom. It takes some stirring to get it to mix with the water. When I drink it, it tastes like beet water with a little bit of a zip. The taste is fine. It smells earthy as it should. I don’t think it is quite as zippy as what I have made in the past, though.

    • Thanks for the info Rebecca. I was searching for an answer to this very same thing with my last couple of batches of beet kvass. The last batch i made was a little thick and foam on top but tasted fine. As per usual, i added some fruit juice on top after bottling and left it out on the counter to ferment a bit longer. However, when it did not seem to be producing any bubbles, i became leery & threw it out, even though it tasted fine. The batch i’m currently bottling is very syrupy & had the foam on top. I have heard the same thing about foam being yeast, which should be harmless. I’m pretty positive it’s not mold because i use an air-lock. I use sea salt with distilled or spring water and also add vital minerals for the bacteria to feed on; i have been adding extra minerals lately so i was suspicious that may have made it more slimy/thick & your comments just reinforced that. Plus, i do usually let it ferment for about a week (more forgetfulness on my part than anything). So i think i will try reducing the ferment time and a wee less liquid minerals added and see what happens. I think i’ll go ahead & drink this current batch as well…the minerals alone are super healthy.

  56. I’m new to fermentation. I made this with my homemade soukrout juice and added garlic as I read the ladies from where this drink originates do. I let it ferment 3 days (it’s not that hot here) I will try it the original way with just salt next time. I’m not surfeit was fermented enough. I had to use bad city (chemicals added) water.

  57. Why should you not grate the beets? Wouldn’t grating release more of the beet juice to ferment and more minerals, and more sugars for a faster ferment?)

  58. Ok, I tried making this week. Once again in a big glass jar and mold appeared on the top. I could not get a spoon into the jar to scrape it off so I poured it through a cheesecloth and the put the kvass in the fridge. Is this ok? I am just starting to try the fermented drinks and the mold thing is something I find harder to “get over.” I just want to make sure we don’t get sick trying it since I strained it with a cheesecloth with a bit of mold on top. Thanks!

  59. Let me first say that because of this website I am now pursuing a healthier way of life with knowledge of what I’m doing!! I absolutely love your posts and as a 17 year old weird hippie, this gets me excited to share these recipes and suggestions with my family and someday little ones of my own. Thank you so much for inspiring the younger generation to pursue a healthier lifestyle.

    Peace, Love and all that good stuff,
    Kat

  60. Hi, just found your blog through a google search for Kvass. Let me share my experiences. I’m currently looking at my fourth 2 gallon batch of Kvass working away on my kitchen counter. I use 1/2 gallon Ball jars, fill the jars to within 1/2″ of the top, cover with wax paper and a tight lid. The wax paper prevents rust on the lid, as I shake each jar twice a day and burp the lid. This batch has 2C chopped carrots, 1/4 yellow onion, 1/4 lemon, 3 stalks celery, 2 t sea salt, 2 thumb size slices of ginger and 1/4 C whey in each jar. I use spring water and let the jars sit for at least a week. I then put the entire contents into my Vita-Mix and blend on high for 5 minutes. I then pass the liquid through a wire strainer to strain out most of the pulp. This makes a fantastic light tonic! I also make the same recipie with the addition of 2C peeled and chopped beets. I share with two friends that suffer intestinal maladies, and we alll enjoy the benefits of drinking Kvass! Keep up the good work!

  61. Hi Katie,

    I was wondering if I could bottle my Kvass in the Grolsh Style Beer Bottles that have the airtight gasket?? I’m currently brewing my first batch in a wonderful 1/2 gallon jar with the airtight lid and have unbleached coffee filter with rubber band around it, can I close the airtight LID when I transfer to fridge? I Have looked the recipe over and over and no mention of that any where on NT and your WONDERFUL New COOKBOOK that I am enjoying Oh So Much…… Can I use either method.. Please Advise.. Thank You 🙂

    P.S. I have a warm heating mat under it. I’m in SoCal but not so warm in the 60’s in my area is that OK

  62. Rachel / Katie, If I might chime in. I’ve been fooling around with Kvass for some months now, having been a Kraut – Kim Chi – Sour pickle practitioner for several years. The lever capped beer bottles would work perfectly. What I’ve noticed with the Kvass as opposed to the drier vegtable ferments is that they will rust the jarlids with their salty liquid when I shake them daily. The most important factor is temperature. Taking your Kvass off the heating pad and into an environment where it is below 50 deg. will exponentially slow the fermentation process, and they will remain stable for weeks, probably months. The interesting thing is that the taste really rounds with some time in the fridge. I did a cabbage, onion, dill Kvass that after a week in the jars was sharp and gave everybody gas. After a month in the fridge, fantastic! Right now, I’m drinking a glass of carrot, fennel, onion, lemon, ginger Kvass, fantastic flavor, 8 days old. Another thing you might try is bottling, then placing on the counter for 1 – 2 days. The bottles will take the pressure, and your Kvass will develop a nice carbonation. Cheers! Oh, PS Check out Sandor Ellix Katz’s book: “The Art of Fermentation” one of my cherished possessions!

  63. Fellow Kvassers – Is that a term? Anyway, sharing my experiments, watch your Kvass while fermenting, and taste daily! I just tossed 1 1/2 gallons of beet, carrot, celery, as it had gone too long and the flavor is just too intense, too musty. I’m sure it’s wholesome, just too hard to drink!
    Cheers!

  64. I made this and split it in two 1L jars. I was very surprised at how quickly it ferments and builds carbonation.

    Thanks for the recipe.

  65. Hi,

    I have a question about making the second batch, I am not sure of I need to transfer the little liquid and beets to a new jar, add water and new salt to make a second batch, or only add water to the first batch in the same jar? Can you or someone clarify this with me. Thanks

    • Hi Jackie,
      I make about two gallons of Kavass a month, in pairs of 1/2 Gal ball jars. I blenderize after 10 – 14 days, (depending on taste), then pass through a wire strainer to take out most of the pulp. I then compost the pulp, and start over. I use about 4 1/2 cups chopped vegetables per 1/2 gal jar, with 2t sea salt, and 1/4 C whey. I’ve tasted just the liquid before blenderizing, to me the vastly richer taste and thicker body is really worth it!

  66. I made your kvass recipe yesterday. I used homemade whey that I didn’t separate well enough and some yogurt remained. My kvass has a foam on top and the beets look weird from the yogurt. Should I toss it ? How can I salvage it?

    • Judee –
      I’ve just had my first jug form some white mold on top, after probably thirty 1/2 gallon batches. Everything I’ve read says that the white mold forming on top is harmless, I have carefully skimmed, blended, strained, and refridgerated the results. It smells and tastes great. One thing I noticed about this batch is that some of the vegetables were protuding from the liquid. Fill your vessel to the top with spring water!

  67. can I use the whey from kefir?It is the first day of fermentation and already has a white film on top.Is this harmful?Is it ok to drink it after scrape it off?
    Thank you,
    Rebi

  68. This is absolutely delightful! Thanks for the recipe!

    I am not new to kvass, I am from Russia and in summer there rye bread kvass is simply a must. I can’t find any good quality sour dough type rye bread here, so had to go without any kvass but my taste buds crave that kind of flavor. I have never tried beet kvass and had no idea that it can taste so good. I did use whey from organic yogurt like you recommended and it fermented nicely, though I think I would add more whey in the future, I like the flavor to be even stronger. Mine turned out to be quite a bit darker with a very strong beet flavor. I guess I cut my beets too small. However, it didn’t hurt the overall flavor of the drink at all.

  69. Hello Katie and everyone,
    What a lovely drink indeed. And thank you for the easy recipe!
    I was just wondering if it is OK to drink it while breastfeeding? As it promotes detoxification and I know that moms should never detoxify if they are nursing as toxins can be released into the breast milk.
    Many thanks and warmest wishes to all,
    Emilia

    • Emilia,
      I think you have legitimate concerns, depending on what your normal and prenatal diet and consumption patterns are. I would err on the conservative side, and I’m certainly no expert. Congratulations, Mom!
      Allen Root

      • Thanks Allen! I eat organic whenever it is possible but sometimes its not, so you’re right, better opt for the conservative.

  70. I fermented my beet kvass for 2 months, similar to my kimchi, in the dark garage, I have pressure tops. OK to drink? it’s good!

    • Michele –
      I’d really be interested in tasting your 2 month fermented Kvass! I let a batch go that long here on the Central Coast of California, and it was too earthy tasting for me! I think climate, altitude, etc. has much to due with fermentation results. I always let taste, smell, and appearance be my guide, I’ve never heard of anyone being sickened by bad kraut, etc. Also with the pressure tops, you will get some carbonation. Let us know how it turns out.
      I’m trying a new recipie, 2c carrots, 3c yellow beets, 2c celery, 2c green cabbage, 1/2 lemon, 1/2 yellow onion. All that with 1 teaspoon salt, 1/3c whey, some fresh herbs, and 1/2 gal water. I’m on my third batch, and it is the most brilliant shade of orange you can imagine, with a taste to match!

      • Allen,
        Thanks for sharing your recipes. They sound delightful and I am inspired to do more kvass experimentation.

        • Fredrika, you are most welcome. I’ve always felt that something good I discover needs to be shared. Human beings are not engineered to horde discoveries or delights. I’m going to make 3 1/2 gal batches tomorrow evening. A red beet red cabbage; a green cabbage, celery, parsley; and a carrot, yellow beet based recipe. I add varying amounts of lemon quarters, orange in the red beet, onion, yellow mustard seeds, coriander seeds, fresh dill, rosemary, marjoram, (sparingly for the fresh herbs….Let us know how your food play develops!
          Allen

      • Could you share what herbs (and in what amounts) you use in your carrot/yellow beet kvass? Also, are the lemons simply quartered with the peel left on? Thanks. (ps…I just finished my first batch of this site’s kvass: tasty! But next time I will try your blenderizing tip…sounds interesting (and more nutritious.)

        • I keep trying to get the food production people at my local university to test what we are doing, so that there is more than a hunch about the nutritional benefit. I will stay on that, even as the effects of my consuming about 1 1/2 cup of one or the other blends each day, are remarkable, and noticed, I’m convinced. I’m just of a school that wants facts.

          Regarding the herbs, I approximate, and generally, 2, 4″ sprigs of rosemary in the red beet/red cabbage; 6-8 sprigs of marjoram in either the carrot/yellow beet, or the green cabbage. I have experimented with parsley and fresh dill in the green cabbage, about 1/3 cup chopped seems right. When I use fresh ginger, I count it in “thumbs”. A peeled “thumb” seems adequate for 1/2 gal mix. Try 1 teaspoon of coriander, caraway, celery seed, (especially in the green cabbage for the celery seed, I would think…) or mustard seed. The mustard seed in the red beet/red cabbage, with some rosemary and 1/2 an orange is sublime!

          Since my kids aren’t interested, I’m going to start trying some chili peppers, garlic, maybe turmeric…

          Make sure and taste your completing ferments. Temperature and amount of starter introduced will effect time to ripen dramatically. 10 days in Winter on the balmy coast of California, 5-6 in the summer. Also, the taste of the clearish but tinted non blended version can be quite different than the blended. Taste for yourself. I may be a bit nerdy about this, I keep a food producing log, with varying recipes, and after ripening, tasting notes. I include the skins of citrus, but not of the beets or carrots, I like the contribution of the former, not the earthy tones of the un-peeled latter.
          All the best ferments, my friends…If you are wondering about the wordiness of this post, I’m parked at my former wife’s kitchen table, waiting for my 15 yr old Glockenspeil player to finish Marching Band practice. It’s a longer story…
          Allen

          • Chili peppers, garlic, and tumeric all sound like tasty and healthy things to add at some point. I appreciate all your ideas so much. Good thing to note about the skins of beets and carrots; I hadn’t heard that before. I have made a bit of kombucha, kimchi, and sauerkrauts and such but this is my first kvass (currently in a dark corner near the woodstove). I am very much looking forward to the finished product! That would be really helpful if your local university were willing to do some testing… Do keep us posted.
            Cheers!

  71. Just made my 1st 2 batches!!! 1st batch i put in d fridge after 2 days and used a tight lid method… Looks food. The second i left for 3 days and used a coffee filter open method, looked good till this morning-day3! Had a white mold spot on top:(
    I skimmed the whole top and tossed the beet piece w the mold spot!
    BUT IS IT SAFE OR DO I TOSS THE ENTIRE BATCH?
    Tx in advance ima newbie

    • Hi I was just wondering if you ever found an answer to your concern from elsewhere, same thing happened to me. I feel bad about tossing the whole thing, but I prefer that to getting sick.

      • Sandor Katz says in his book entitled: “The Art of Fermentation” “The meeting at the boundary of the nutritious vegetable juices and the air encourages a rich biodiversity, where molds and yeasts frequently develop.Surface growth is common and normal, it should be removed, but is not cause for alarm and it does not ruin your fermenting vegetables.”
        What he recommends , and what I’ve done, is to carefully skim the white mold from the surface, and discard any vegetables that show signs of mold. Another technique that I have used while fermenting cucumbers and other vegetables in qt. jars, is to leave a bit of headspace in each jar, and place a brine filled ziploc baggie on top. This allows gasses to escape, and is an efficient barrier to the air.
        In another passage, Katz says: “As long as the mold is white, it is not harmful. If other color molds start to grow, do not eat them. Bright colors often indicate sporulation, the molds reproductive stage. To prevent spreading the spores, gently lift the mold mass from your ferment. Fortunately the colored molds I’ve encountered were cohesive and could be removed in their entirety.”
        I have never encountered anything but the white mold, not sure what I would do confronted with a bright colored mold. I also have used a paper towel to blot the surface of white mold.
        HAPPY FERMENTING !

  72. Thanks for posting this wonderful recipe! My first batch turned out great, and I just whipped up my second batch. :))

  73. I just made the kvass but was wondering do I store it in the frig with the beets still in it or do I strain it and store???

    • After fermentation has finished, you strain it to remove all solids, then store the liquid only in the fridge.

      • As I’ve mentioned here before, I blenderize before straining. It boosts flavor, I like the thicker texture, and I can’t imagine that it doesn’t boost nutritional value. I’d love to hear feedback if anyone tries this!

        • Sounds like a good idea. Will give that a try. BTW, in your last reply to me, there wasn’t a Reply link for me to click on, so I couldn’t comment on it, or say thanks, so here’s a thanks for that comment! 🙂

  74. I ferment for 6-10 days on the counter, blenderize, strain, then taste. Refrigerating will retard the ferment, and it can get too musty pretty fast. Just keep tasting, and know that the amount of starter, naturally occuring bacteria strains, and ambient temperature makes a difference.

  75. hey all
    i just started my first batch and it looks amazing! i did it on the counter for 3 days with a piece of cheesecloth to cover it. today i found it with mould along the top. i scooped out the mould, put the lid on tight and put it in the fridge.

    is it ok to drink now? or should i toss it? did it go mouldy because i left it fermenting too long or because i didn’t seal it with the lid?

    also, can i leave the beets in for extra flavour?

    thanks so much!

  76. How long does the Kvass last when kept in the fridge?

  77. Refrigeration will dramatically slow the process, I don’t think it stops. The flavor continues to shift, some of my blends are the better for it, some not. My batches never last very long, 1/2 gal is gone in 3-4 weeks, and none have gone bad. Kvass is quite similar to Kim Chi or krauts, and I have jars of each of those that are fantastic after 2 years in the back of the fridge. Enjoy!
    Allen

  78. CAN I PICKLE EGGS IN THE BROTH AND IF I DO, CAN I REUSE THE BROTH TO MAKE ANOTHER BATCH OF KVASS?

  79. That sounds amazing! When I was a kid, my Dad would take me to play golf on Saturdays in Cheyenne Wyo. After our arduous 9 holes we would retire to the club house for a beer and a Roy Rogers. On either side of the waitress station was a big bottle of pickled pig’s feet, and the other was a jar of pickled eggs. They had mustard seeds and garlic, and small bright red chiles in the jar. I say do it, and share your results!

    Maybe a 6min. egg, just translucent in the center, ( I think the eggs at the club house were peeled?) The only thing I would be concerned about is the sulfur content of the eggs changing the characteristics of the kvass for reuse. It may not be a problem, a trial will tell. I’ve actually been thinking of spicing up a batch of my carrot, yellow beet, onion, lemon, mix. Some coriander and hot fresh chiles….Please keep us posted about your eggy pickling. By the way, you may want to reach out to Sandor Katz, a fermentation guru who I highly admire….

    • PS, Thanks for awakening that fond Wyoming memory!

  80. Love pickled pigs feet too! lol Thanks for the info.

  81. Can I just confirm whether the “end product” is still suppose to taste salty? I did the whey option and after 3 days in tropical north Queensland (30deg+ days) it is still salty. I have decided to get going on it, and did a half and half mix with my ginger-flavoured kombucha to try to tone down the salt. Does it become less salty with a longer ferment? Thankyou in advance 🙂

    • It will taste salty even when done as it is a more savory drink than a sweet one…

  82. I made a batch of beet kvass, after 4 days on counter I transferred to the fridge (just the liquid, not the beets) After one week it is now brown, not pink. What happened? Is it still OK to drink?
    This was my first attempt at making beet kvass.

    • I always blenderize the mix, then strain, then refrigerate. The color does shift, but I can’t say it turns brown. What does occur sometimes is a film of white mold, (Kalm in German) on the surface, which I scrape/blot off. It’s harmless, but if you see colorful mold develop, toss the Kvass out. Let your senses guild you. If the smell is off, or you see colorful mold develop, toss it.

      • Timely reminder, Allen… I just went to strain my latest batch of kvass and there is green mold on the surface! I don’t know what I did wrong since the first two batches were fine, but I am disappointed I have to toss this one and start again. I have quickly grown fond of this beet kvass stuff and miss it when I go a few days without. 🙂

        • I know what you mean, Fredrika. I miss it and my body misses it if I run out of Kvass. I notice that the presence of cabbage seems to inhibit the Kalm, and I find that the amount of salt makes a difference. I use more salt and it takes less time in the summer heat, though I never put more than 1 1/2 teaspoons in a 1/2 gallon jar. Some recipes call for a table spoon or more! Also, make sure your vegetables are covered with the liquid. I use a lightly salted water filled zip-loc bag.

  83. Hello, thanks for the recipe!
    Can I use kombucha instead of sauerkraut juice?

    Thanks

  84. I am confused. The recipe doesn’t say to strain the beets out before put liquid in refrigerator. Are you supposed to take the beets out or not? I looked on the internet and it is listed both ways. Also, how long will it last in the fridge.

    Thank you.

    • Katie –
      You may look back and encounter other posts from me on this subject, I am a Kvass fan, drinking an ice filled glass as I type this. I blenderize the vegetables and the liquid after 10 or so days, and pass that back through a wire mesh sieve to take out the bigger chunks, as well as some of the volume. It comes out kinda like unfiltered apple juice. My thought is that the nutritional value is increased, and the taste is enriched tremendously by pulverizing the citrus, onion, herbs, etc. Try it both strained and blenderized and see what you like. I also do not refrigerate immediately, or automatically. Tailor your process to your climate and home environment. I leave mine out in the winter, when the temperatures are cooler, perhaps you have access to a cool, dark cellar? Back porch? 50 degrees seems to be the stability threshold for Kvass or Kraut. Let us know how it comes out!

  85. Why did my beet kvass turn brown? and is it ok to consume?

  86. I did my second attempt, 2 1/2 large beets, 1/2 medium onion, 1/4 cup whey, and 1 tablespoon hymilian sea salt. All in a 2 quart mason jar. Burped it once a day for a week, skimmed anything off the top. Ended leaving it at room temp 68 ish for 2 weeks. It was a deep red sour and very good imho. Hard not to sip more than 4 ounces at a time.

  87. Hi Katie,

    Can I replace salt with sugar??

  88. Hi, recently I made beet kwas following a polish recipe, they add fresh garlic cloves, whole allspice and bay leaves; it gives a very good aroma and taste, and on top they accustom to put a slice of sourdough rye bread,
    they say it helps with fermentation.
    Mine got a very deep burgundy color and a complex tasty flavor.
    In Poland they use beet kwas also for a Christmas Eve soup called borsch, it is very good.

  89. After you let the beets ferment in the solution (water, kraut brine, salt) for two days, do you then cover it and put it in the fridge. If so, how long do you let the tonic set before making a new batch. Thank you!

    • Joseph, I’ll respond, (others may join in), because I am such a fan of Kvass and I want everyone’s experience with it to be grand! I use 1/2 gal mason jars with the plastic lids. (No corrosion from the salty mix inside). I mix a lot of vegetables together, for example, right now I am drinking a glass of red beet, red cabbage, celery, onion, orange, with yellow mustard seeds and rosemary. Per 1/2 Gal., I use 1/3 Cup whey, and 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, clean non chlorinated water to cover the vegetables. I set the jars on the counter for ten days or so, depending on seasonal heat, while shaking the jars once a day for the first three or so, and burping the lids. The plastic lids seem to not seal very well which is good and bad. you may spill juice onto the counter top, the jars will never blow up due to pressure. I then blenderize the contents and strain out most of the solids. The texture is like V-8 or some unfiltered fruit juices. Sometimes I put that into the fridge to thwart mold (kalm) from developing on the surface, sometimes it is cool enough in my house to leave it on the counter till consumed. I start drinking it after the ten days, and the taste will evolve, especially if it’s not refrigerated. I now stagger batches to give me an unending supply. My household consumes approx. 2 1/2 Gal. per month. Enjoy!

  90. I accidentally made beet kvass in my fridge – I think.

    A few weeks ago, I blended some beet root with water and forgot it in my fridge. When I took it out to drink today, it was very fizzy and sour. I almost threw it away, then realized: Wait! this actually might be nutritious! So I did a search for fermented beet juice and found this site.

    So my question is, can I drink/cook/use this kvass that I made?

    Thank you.

    • Celeste –
      I often wonder how humans discovered the benefits of fermentation, you may have just modeled that! I’d say if there is no visible mold, and the smell and taste are not off putting go ahead and drink/cook/use it! My experience has been if the taste or smell is off, pitch it.
      Allen

  91. Hi all, I just made my first batch of kvass. I have had it before from a Cincinnati company called Fab Fermints and it was much better than mine. The biggest problem with mine is that it it completely bland. No saltiness, no vinegary-ness, just beet-flavored water. I followed the recipe on this site exactly, using whey I made from organic yogurt (also a first experience), etc. There were a few “islands” of bubbles floating on the top, but no odd smells or flavors. What did I do wrong?
    Chris

  92. Mine came out the same. It tasted like beet water. I used the whey from my yogurt and the salt. some posts have said to leave it out on the cupboard as long as 7 days or longer. Maybe it needs to sit out in a warm place longer. I also live in NY and it is not really warm in my house. I think I will try again and leave it sitting out longer.
    Katie

    • Thank you Katie. I realize now what I did. The “1/2 gallon”jar I used was actually a one-gallon jar. So, I’ve diluted my first batch. Any advice on what to do now? I was thinking about dumping it, except for the beets and starting over.
      Chris

      • Sure, start a new batch with the beets. I use 1/3 C whey and 1-11/2 teaspoon sea salt per 1/2 gal jar, more salt if you live in a hot climate. I leave mine on the counter for 7-10 days, then blenderize and strain, then keep an eye,( or more accurately a tastebud) on it. Refrigerate when you like the taste, and watch out for a white film that may form on the surface while the jars are on the counter. It’s not harmful but will effect the taste so skim it off. Also, feel free to add dill, onion, citrus, peel and all, mustard seed. I also add red cabbage, celery, and carrots. Experiment!

  93. I have a 2 year old jar of beet kvass it looks the same as it did 2 years ago. I opened it and it smells and taste like kvass and beets look like they were just put in the jar. Is it safe to consume kvass that old ? I sipped it and it taste find.

  94. I have kept many ferments for years in cold storage, ( refrigerated in my case), sometimes the age will vastly improve the richness and flavor, sometimes not so much. I left some kvass out for a few months, maybe 6, and it was way too strong and musty for my taste. I say let your taste be your guide, and don’t consume any ferments that have colored molds growing on them.

  95. Is it necessary to keep the beets submerged below the water or can they just float naturally?
    If so, what are some methods to keeping them submerged?

    • Ben –
      Any vegetables protruding from the liquid are susceptible to mold. Most of the time it is not a problem, but in my last batch of green cabbage, a clump of vegetables was above the liquid and I didn’t catch it. There was a vigorous growth of blue mold covering the clump. I carefully pulled it out, skimmed the surface of the liquid and there seems to be no lasting effect. I’ve consumed about a quart of it so far. A very easy way to submerge the contents is to leave a bit of headspace in the jar, and top your mix with a zip lock bag partially filled with mild brine. The brine is in case the baggie is not sealed, the spilled contents will not dilute your Kvass. The baggie also allows any gasses to escape. Good luck!

  96. Hello, Katie. Thanks for all the research you put into your posts. Is there any alcohol content to the Beet Kvass as a result of the fermentation process? There was reference to it in an earlier post but I wanted to hear directly from you as the author and creator of the recipe. I avoid kombucha because it has a trace amount of alcohol in it. Is there any trace amount in the Beet Kvass?
    Thanks.

    • I haven’t personally tested it so I can’t say for sure…

  97. Can I drink this while I’m pregnant?

    • I’m not any kind of expert, ask your OB GYN, and I can’t imagine any harm coming from your consumption of Kvass while pregnant. It’s nutrient dense and rich in probiotics….How could that be harmful?

  98. Hey Guys
    Thanks for the recipe. Added whey (from live yoghurt) as instructed and after 5 days on the counter (its about 20C here at the moment) there was still no sharpness to the taste so I added some sauerkraut juice and keft it a week more.
    I did this in a jar with a piece if kitchen roll over the top fixed with an elastic band like I do my Kefir, is that bad?
    I read the comments further down the page later and noticed the bit about removng the froth. Maybe you should add that to the original instructions, I ate some froth in tasting. I’m ok though, it was 5 days ago ?
    With fermented food it can be tough to be confident that what you’ve made is ok to eat (safe). I have read of the fight between good and bad bacteria during the first few days, does that mean its unsafe to taste til its gone sour tasting (tastes a bit like sauerkraut I guess?).
    Thanks everyone, especially Wellness Mama also Allen for the informative comments above and sharing recipes.

  99. Look up FRUIT KVASS!!!! It’s awesome and just as easy to make. You can find recipes on you tube?

  100. Can you use the beets for anything else after the Kvass is ready?

  101. Hi guys! I’m from Poland and I can share with you my great-grandma’s recipe for an excellent and super healthy beetroot kvass 🙂

    1kg of beetroots and two litres of water (boiled and allow it to cool)
    1 head of garlic (yes, one full head – it will not only add an amazing flavour but also as we all know – garlic is super healthy)
    2/3 whole allspice berries
    Around 5 black peppercorns
    2/3 bay leaves
    1 spoon of marjoram (optionally)
    2 spoons of salt (1 spoon per 1 litre)

    You can use a big glass jar. Rinse it with hot water before putting any ingredients into it to get rid of some bacteria (prevents the mould to develop). Thinly peel beetroots and cut them into 2/3 pieces (2 pieces for small beets and 3 pieces for bigger beetroots). Place beetroot in the jar, add garlic and all spices in between them, Add cool water and cover with a cheesecloth. Put in a warm place (next to refrigerator or in the kitchen). Leave it for 3-5 days (the longer it stays, the more sour it becomes). Don’t worry if there’s some foam at the top after 1st day or 2nd – this is normal and will disappear, you can always get rid of it if you want. The spoon has to be very clean, though, as we don’t want to add any bacteria to it.

    The kvass can make bubbles (like champagne) – it is a very good sign.

    If there’s some mould then something must have gone wrong and you need to throw the kvass away and star all over again. Please remember to use clean utensils.

    Smacznego 🙂

    Marta

  102. I have some bottles of organic beet juice that I’d like to try an make kvass with. The straight up beet juice is too rough on my stomach but I’ve had good luck with kvass in the past and I’m hoping the fermenting will help with the stomach issues. Can this be done? Can I just add salt and whey and make kvass or is it going to haywire on me? Thanks in advance, Jerry

  103. Jerry –
    I am an enthusiastic kvass maker, if you browse this thread you will find several of my posts. What you are suggesting makes sense to me, although I have no experience starting with juice. You may want to cap your jars with a brine filled baggie to exclude air, and consider adding some herbs or aromatics to brighten the taste. Some citrus or Rosemary. A chopped onion, or some garlic. Celery leaves. Please let us know how it goes.

  104. Will this work with beets frozen fresh from the garden (after thawing), or do they need to be used fresh?
    Thanks!

    • Brittany –
      I have never used previously frozen beets, and I can’t imagine it would make any difference. In my experience, freezing/thawing affects texture of fruits and vegetables. In this case, texture is of no consequence, in my opinion. Let us know how it turns out!

  105. When you put the Kvass in the refrigerator do you put a regular cap on it? or do you leave the cheese cloth?

    Thanks

      • Thanks for jumping in, Wellness Mama! I’m pretty active in this conversation, as I’m sure you know, and just want to say how much I appreciate your interest, labors, and most of all your willingness to share with us out here! I’m going to be mining your site, as well as others, as I have a health crisis to attend to. Thanks again…

  106. It would be helpful if you gave a weight instead of “2-4 beets”. I have beets ranging in size from golfball to softball size. And it would be better to give a weight to the salt addition. Some salt has more volume than others and you shouldn’t use measurements like a tablespoon but rather in grams or ounces. Thanks.

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