Beet Kvass

Beet Kvass is a liver tonic. Anyone can make this simple fermented drink! It requires only a few ingredients, and only a few minutes to “put up.”

Want to learn how? Good!

But first, some definitions:

  • Kvass: beverage
  • “Put up” a ferment: combine ingredients and set it aside to let it ferment
  • Sea Salt: unrefined salt, salt that is the same way it was found in nature
    • contains many trace minerals, depending on which type it is
    • Celtic Sea Salt, Real Salt, Himalayan Salt, others
    • most fermenting enthusiasts prefer Himalayan for fermenting (it’s a taste thing)
  • Shoulder of the jar: the area of a jar where the jar narrows to become the mouth

Ingredients & Supplies to Make 1/2 Gallon of Basic Beet Kvass*

  • 1/2 Gallon Glass Mason Jar
  • 1 Medium-large Red Beet **
  • 2 tbsp Sea Salt
  • Cold, Filtered Water

*To use a quart jar, simply halve the recipe!

** Check out our FAQs at the bottom of this page for why we recommend red beets.

Directions to Make Your Own Beet Kvass

Cut the beet into 1-2 inch cubes. Do not cut too small or shred the beet! Too much surface area and the beets will ferment too fast and create alcohol!

You do not need to peel the beets, just wash fairly well and cut off the top. A little organic dirt will add minerals and soil bacterium.

Place the cut beet in the mason jar. The beets should fill the jar about 1/4-1/3 of the way

Add salt to the jar. 2 TBS is the traditional amount when whey is not added.

Fill the jar up to the shoulder with cold, filtered water.

Seal the jar with a metal lid and ring, closing tightly.

Gently tip and swirl the jar to help the salt dissolve.

Set on the counter for 3-5 days, until the kvass is a rich purple color.

Move to the fridge (the beets stay in the liquid)

Consume daily!

You can use the beets for two batches. We do not recommend using the beets a second time because the second batch is never as strong as the first. However, you can if you need to. When the liquid is almost gone (about a pint left) then refill with water and salt. Set on the counter for another 3-5 days. When the liquid is gone the second time, discard the beets and start fresh.

Flavoring Beet Kvass

You can flavor your beet kvass by adding in herbs, fruits, and vegetables in addition to the beets at the time of the first ferment / when you initially put it up. The flavor combinations below are ones that have been shared with me from other people. Some of them worked better than others! Experiment with flavor combinations your family enjoys to see what you come up with!

When using additional ingredients, it is a good idea to strain your beet kvass and keep it in the fridge. The amount of time your kvass sits with the flavor combinations will potentially change the strength of the flavors. It would be helpful to track how much you put in and how long you leave on the counter to figure out what your family’s favorite flavors are.

We left these on the counter for a week and then moved them to the fridge before trying them. 

Flavor Combinations:

½ Gallon Recipes:

  • Ginger, Carrot, Apple: 1 inch Ginger, 3 Small Carrots, ½ Small Apple
    Carrot is the more prominent flavor than apple. But the variety of apple you choose will also affect the sweetness. This has a flavor that is similar to a mild Vegetable Medley and also doesn’t taste overly sweet. If you wanted it sweeter, you should do more apple. We recommend this if the unflavored kvass tastes too salty for your preferences, as this tastes less salty.
  • Garlic: 5 Cloves of Garlic
    This one tastes a little like fermented garlic! It makes the flavor of the beets much milder. This one felt thicker than normal beet kvass, which means it has good beneficial bacteria growth.
  • Cinnamon Clove: 3 Cinnamon Sticks, 1 tsp Cloves
    Mine developed a brown film on the top, probably from the cinnamon. The cinnamon and clove flavors can both be tasted. You can add more cloves if you want a stronger flavor. The cinnamon flavor was more prominent so I wouldn’t add more. The flavors and the smell distract away from the “beety ness” in the kvass.

½ Quart Recipes:

  • Turmeric Cardamom: 1 inch Turmeric, 1 tsp Cardamom
    The Cardamom is a more forward flavor here and the “beety ness” of the kvass is neutralized. It reminds me of a nice Indian curry.
  • Chai Spiced: 5 pods Cardamom, 6 Allspice Berries, 1 Small Nutmeg cut into three pieces, 1 Cinnamon Stick, 7 Cloves, ½ inch Ginger
    This one tastes a little saltier and with a milder beet kvass flavor than just the Cinnamon Clove. The Cardamom does make this taste very much like chai. 
  • Garlic Ginger: 2-3 Cloves of Garlic, ½ inch Ginger
    This one was good, but it took a few sips before I tasted the ginger. This one also tasted saltier than the others. Adding garlic to ferments has a strong effect on our yeast microbiome. Combining garlic and ginger is more mild than using garlic alone.
  • Thyme: 2 Large Sprigs of Thyme
    This one is delicious! There is very little beet taste with this one and the thyme makes it very mellow. This one was my favorite of the flavor combinations.
  • Lemon Cinnamon: Peel of 1 Lemon, 1 Stick Cinnamon
    This one was not my favorite. The lemon is not super forward and the cinnamon is overwhelming. The next time I make it, I would do less cinnamon and more lemon peel. However, I think it has potential – let us know if you perfect this recipe!

Tips and Tricks for Beet Kvass

  • My beets are floating!
    • It’s okay if the beets are floating. They often do, but will eventually sink. You don’t need a weight for this ferment.
  • How much salt?
    • The amount of salt largely depends on you–your taste, and your climate.
    • The salt is there to inhibit bad bacteria growth until the good bacteria are strong enough.
    • Beet kvass doesn’t seem to go bad often, especially in the dry climate of Colorado.
    • I use about 2 TBS salt and no whey, with no problem. No whey! Ha ha ha, get it?
    • People like their kvass with more or less salt, so see how it tastes best to you.
  • I have a white film on the top and/or the bottom of my kvass.
    • DON’T start over!
    • This is merely the hard working lactobacillus bacterium thriving!
    • You can shake or stir in the white film, or skim it off, if you prefer.
  • I have blue or black, or another color of mold!
    • This is NOT okay. If you find this, throw it out and start over!
  • How much do I take each day?
    • It is generally recommended that an adult take up to 4 ounces 2x/day. A child takes less than that based on their size.
    • As with all ferments, it is important to START SLOW and increase gradually.
    • It’s best to take this on an empty stomach, like first thing in the morning.
  • Can I use any color of beets?
    • Red beets are traditionally used in this recipe although theoretically, you can use any color of beets to make kvass. However, the specific nutrients and makeup of a vegetable give it it’s color, therefore red beets inherently have different nutritional properties than golden or any other kind of beet. Therefore, we recommend using red beets to make kvass as is traditional. If you don’t like the taste of red beets, try flavoring it with one of the recipes above!

Love beets?!?!?!?

Can’t get enough of them?!?!?

Check out our other beet recipes! Simple Roasted Beets & Warm Roasted Vegetable Salad

Happy fermenting!

Onward

Beet Kvass

Beet Kvass

Beet Kvass is a liver tonic. Anyone can make this simple fermented drink! It requires only a few ingredients, and only a few minutes to "put up."

Equipment

  • 1 Half Gallon Mason Jar

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Medium-Large Red Beet
  • 2 TBS Sea Salt
  • Filtered Water (cold)

Instructions
 

  • Cut the beet into 1-2 inch cubes. Do not cut too small or shred the beet! Too much surface area and the beets will ferment too fast and create alcohol!
  • You do not need to peel the beets, just wash fairly well and cut off the top. A little organic dirt will add minerals and soil bacterium.
  • Place the cut beet in the mason jar. The beets should fill the jar about 1/4-1/3 of the way
  • Add salt to the jar. 2 TBS is the traditional amount when whey is not added.
  • Fill the jar up to the shoulder with cold, filtered water.
  • Seal the jar with a metal lid and ring, closing tightly.
  • Gently tip and swirl the jar to help the salt dissolve.
  • Set on the counter for 3-5 days, until the kvass is a rich purple color.
  • Move to the fridge (the beets stay in the liquid)
  • Consume daily!

Video

Notes

To use a quart jar, simply halve the recipe!

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