Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Beet Kvass

Summertime at my house means beet kvass.

Got probiotics?

Kvass is the forerunner to a host of water fermented probiotic drinks such as water kefir and kombucha.  Kvass was traditionally made with rye bread (sometimes flavored with berries, raisins, or birch sap) in Russia and is still popular in places with a Russian influence.  Somewhere along the line, some poor sucker who couldn't afford bread made kvass with a beet.

Rye bread kvass was traditionally known as a peasant's drink, so beet kvass is even more 'low class.'  That's how we like it at my house!  Low class all the way.  Why is it that the more 'high class' you go, the worse the food is for you?

So, in keeping with Cool Cucumber's edict, we'll keep this recipe 'rough and ready!'

Making Beet Kvass:

Take 1 gnarly beet

Chop it up

Plop the beet chunks into a jug of water...

OK, now here's where it gets tricky...

You need to add some salt.  And cover.  And let it sit for 3-4 days, or longer, start trying it after 3 days.  When it's deep red and frothy, put it in the refrigerator.  Transfer to bottles if you like. 

After Four Days

OK, I know it's a little harder than that, for much salt?  Well, I don't think the salt is super important, you just need 'some.'  I normally use about 1TBS for my gallon jug.

With the batch in the pictures, I'm doing it a bit differently.  I'm going to use 1 cup of the juice from an actively fermenting batch of sauerkraut.  Another option you'll read about is using a whey starter.  I've never used whey starter in kvass or sauerkraut, just salt.  Maybe if you live in town and don't have a pile of rotten veggies in your backyard spewing bacteria everywhere you'll need whey starter.  I don't know.

I wrap a bit of cheesecloth around the mouth of the jug, some use a loose fitting cap, and others use fancy airlocks like you'd use in wine-making.  Just keep the bugs out.  The only requirement is that the lid needs to be able to breathe.

As easy as this is, most of you won't try it.  It just seems so 'weird.'  The first batch I made I was scared to drink...I didn't even know what it was supposed to taste like!  When I finally worked up the nerve to try, it was a bit of a letdown.  It tastes a bit like dishwater.  But saltier.  Foot-bath water?

No matter, you need to try it.  This stuff is sooooo good for you I can't even begin to tell you in a way that won't put you to sleep, but let me try.  Beets are a rich source of nitrates which have been shown to improve blood flow and exercise performance.  Beet kvass is a lacto-fermented beverage, meaning that bacteria which produce lactic acid have a hand in making it.  These bacteria, which are found naturally on beets, ferment the beet sugars and produce a weak alcohol and lactic acid solution.  The alcohol content of beet kvass is similar to kefir and kombucha (not much, <1%).  You won't get drunk.  Weston A. Price loved his lacto fermented foods. 

The ancient Greeks understood that important chemical changes took place during this type of fermentation. Their name for this change was “alchemy.” Like the fermentation of dairy products, preservation of vegetables and fruits by the process of lacto-fermentation has numerous advantages beyond those of simple preservation. The proliferation of lactobacilli in fermented vegetables enhances their digestibility and increases vitamin levels. These beneficial organisms produce numerous helpful enzymes as well as antibiotic and anticarcinogenic substances. Their main by-product, lactic acid, not only keeps vegetables and fruits in a state of perfect preservation but also promotes the growth of healthy flora throughout the intestine. Other alchemical by-products include hydrogen peroxide and small amounts of benzoic acid.

That's the science, here's the reality:

Tatertot Approved!
 OK, I told you how nasty beet kvass tastes.  Try this:  Beet kvass, lemon juice, stevia over ice.

The combinations are endless, but when you spruce this stuff up a bit, it is very, very good.  And that color!  Just looking at it makes me feel good.
If you are like me, you'll want to read up on it first.  Here are some great links that will tell you all you ever need to know.  But take my word for it...just do it!  Make beet kvass a summer tradition in your house.

Suggested resources:

Falling Into Grace

The Nourishing Cook

Living Maxwell

Wellness Mama

Plan to Eat

Herb and Gardener

Homemade Mommy 

Fearless Eating  (With a video)

So, who's going to be first?  Who's made it before?  Any Eastern Europeans in the crowd who can tell us about the kvass sold there?


From what I can tell, beet kvass is only supposed to ferment for 3-5 days.  Many commenters mentioned weeks long brewing processes.  While this may make a tastier, and even healthier beverage, it may defeat the purpose of the 'kvass' part.  All of the traditional Russian Rye Bread Kvass recipes use 3-5 days.  I'm wondering if it has to do with this:

Blue line is yeast living populations/red line is specific gravity
 This graph is from a beer making website, beer makers rely on specific gravity to tell them when alcohol is being made.  Lower SG=higher alcohol.  But also notice how quickly the yeast populates the homebrew mixture.  This is what I think beet kvass capitalizes on, as soon as the natural yeast populates the kvass and goes into its dormant state, the kvass is ready to drink.  If left to ferment longer, a completely different set of microbes and/or yeast types will begin to ferment the leftover carbohydrates in the beets, resulting in a different taste and probiotic profile.

For those of you that use a long-brew, I'd be curious to have you taste it at day 4 or 5.



  1. Great post!

    Gorgeous pics!

    Totally different beverage than I end up with!

    Just goes to show there's tons of room for creativity in the world of fermentation. I use more beets (way more beets), less water and ferment longer. My kvass tastes sweet and beety. But I'm thinking yours has more bacteria? So I'll try my next batch your way.

    Erlichda! Long live the beet!

  2. I had no idea this was so easy! I just started fermenting my own vegetables a few weeks ago. So far I've done cucumbers, carrots, and I have a jar of yellow peppers from the garden working its magic.

    Just got off the phone with my hubby. I asked him to get me some beets from the farmer's market. Gotta try this! My motto when it comes to food is "the weirder, the better."

  3. I have been making beet Kvass since the turn of the century(!). Started with Sally Fallon's recipe in Nourishing Traditions using whey, then moved on from there to a number of others. But when i tried this one from the Pickl-it people I stopped further experiments. This one is thicker, winey, rich, complex and just hits the spot.

    I have to add that although I have had good result fermenting all kinds of vegetables in a regular mason jar, my result have been more consistent using an air lock system

    3 litre pickl- it
    3 pounds beets in large chunks
    8 cups water
    19 g salt
    Leave on counter for 3 weeks covered with a cloth
    Decant and store in fridge
    Reuse beets one more time with the same amounts of salt and water
    The second ferment will be a bit thinner but still rather full and complex in flavor.

    1. And no, no, no! It should not taste nasty or anything like dish or footbath water. i usually serve it in my Grandmother's crystal sherry glasses. that is how special it is.


    3. Sounds great. Thank you!
      How many tablespoons does 19g of salt roughly equal?
      Also what is it like if you don't use the pickl-it jar? -- I'm on the other side of the world and not sure if you can buy them here.

    4. The thing is you must weigh it. That is why this recipe is so good. It is very precise. A tablespoons of one kind of salt will not weigh the same as a tablespoon of another kind.

      A kitchen scale that weighs in grams ounces etc is invaluable and not costly.

      If you can get any type of airlock that will fit on a jar it would probably work just as well.®-Fermenting/dp/B0053CDOKI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1409787215&sr=8-1&keywords=perfect+pickler

    5. I was just drinking a glass and trying to categorize the taste. I used to judge homebrew beer competitions, and the closest I could relate to that would be a 'yeasty' flavor. My kvass smells just like a fresh jar of baker's yeast or rising bread. In beer, this is an undesired taste/smell as it indicates improper filtering.

      I really need to dig into this beet kvass thing much deeper. I'm thinking that whatever is going on changes in stages. I'll bet we find that in the first 3-4 days, a natural yeast develops and quickly builds to unsustainable levels as the available sugars are depleted, this yeast goes dormant and sinks to the bottom, but now the stage is set for lactic acid bacteria and possibly alcohol producing yeasts to thrive on the denser carbohydrates of the beet..

      Elliebelly - you should taste-test yours at the 4 day point and see how it tastes, I'll bet you find it 'yeasty'.

      Most of the traditional recipes for bread kvass and the newer ones for beet kvass use a 3-5 day fermenting time. I'll bet letting it go longer turns it into more of a vinegar profile of microbes, not that that's a bad thing!

    6. My first batch a couple years ago, I used a jug with an airlock, 3-4 beets, and salt. The next day it bubbled up so hard it overflowed the airlock and went everywhere, it was crazy. I find 1 beet, medium sized, to provide just the right amount of bubbles and I don't fill the jug all the way up. I also stopped using the airlock, but I can see why you'd want to if you were going for a long time in the vessel.

    7. I think you are definitely right about the different stages, and that is why this recipe results in such a complex taste profile.

      But as far as tasting it earlier, l love the way it tastes at three weeks and while you now have me curious about the taste at three days I am pretty sure that since the airlock is part of this very precise recipe I am afraid that by opening it to taste I will mess up the entire batch.

      I do include beets in other vegetable mixtures that I make inThe Pickl- it and only ferment three or four days. The juice is very sweet. But not yeasty or complex like the kvass. But those also have a different brine.

      Okay, here is what is crucial...the ratio of salt to water. For most vegetable a 2% brine, for half sour cukes a 3.5% brine , full sour cukes a 5% brine and for the kvass a 1% brine. These are the ratios from the Pickl-it lady for use with her product. Without the air lock you generally need more salt. At least more than 2%

      All this is explained somewhere on the Pikl-it website. But that is badly organized and a mess to navigate and seems to be getting worse... So all I have are the notes I took a few years back.

    8. EllieBelly (and others) - Go check out the addendum I just put up regarding yeast populations and brewing times. I just spend 3 hours digging up kvass recipes (beet or bread) and could not find any (traditional) recipes that call for more than 5 days brewing time.

      That said, I would drink a glass of your long-brewed kvass any day! Don't change what works. I'd love to see you try a short-ferment batch once and tell me how it tastes. You will probably get my 'dishwater' and 'footbath' references, lol.

    9. Am cleaning up a gallon jar right now... Will try your recioe and tlet you know.

    10. ok. Thanks elliebelly! will hold off on your recipe for now though and try it just in a regular container.

  4. Isn't this just fermented beet? When I ferment vegetables (kimchi) I always drink the juice thinking that has health benefits too.

    1. Yes, but with a twist. There is something special about the beet that makes kvass particularly healthy. I think that beet kvass was originally made from its close cousin, the sugar beet, but later was made from beetroots, or the red beets we commonly just call 'beets'.

      You can ferment just about any vegetable and it will be a very healthy, probiotic type of food. Using beets seems to add a twist to it, I believe mainly due to a family of microbes or yeast (or both) that call the beet home.

      Plus, maybe it's just the right amount of sugar, nitrates, or what-have-you that make fermenting beets particularly healthful. Beets are kind of a super-food in their own right.

    2. Thanks Tim. The first question was really just about the semantics :)

      I eat a lot of fermented vegetables but I'll add in some beets the next time. They're in season here in Denmark so that's perfect timing.

  5. I ferment beets after dicing them pretty small and following instructions with a commercial vegetable starter including salt. Kraut Cap airlock system and a wide mouth mason jar at room temp for about three weeks then into the refrigerator. This helps push toward lactofermentation with such a high sugar vegetable that can go more to the alcohol side. Bubbly along the way and so earthy and tangy when finished. Lately I mix the beets with red cabbage kraut and a bit of beans, PS, psyllium, fermented salsa, and a few boiled okra on the side. I will give the kvass a try, also.

  6. what about giardinera? is that fermented or could a person ferment that kind of a mix of vegetables?

    i always thought those jars with cauliflower etc were delicious.

    1. Oh, sure, those are great, and healthy, and perfect probiotics!

    2. Wow, I had to look up giardinera, turns out that's what I've been making all along. Deeelicious.

  7. All this talk of beets and no one mentions "Jitterbug Perfume"?

    1. Googling now: OK, that looks freaky. Maybe I should have called this blog the "Bandaloop Doctors"

    2. C'mon! Those were too good not to favorites:

      "The beet is the most intense of vegetables. The radish, admittedly, is more feverish, but the fire of the radish is a cold fire, the fire of discontent not of passion. Tomatoes are lusty enough, yet there runs through tomatoes an undercurrent of frivolity. Beets are deadly serious.

      Slavic peoples get their physical characteristics from potatoes, their smoldering inquietude from radishes, their seriousness from beets.

      The beet is the melancholy vegetable, the one most willing to suffer. You can't squeeze blood out of a turnip...

      The beet is the murderer returned to the scene of the crime. The beet is what happens when the cherry finishes with the carrot. The beet is the ancient ancestor of the autumn moon, bearded, buried, all but fossilized; the dark green sails of the grounded moon-boat stitched with veins of primordial plasma; the kite string that once connected the moon to the Earth now a muddy whisker drilling desperately for rubies.

      The beet was Rasputin's favorite vegetable. You could see it in his eyes."
      ― Tom Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume

    3. Learning something new every day, really.

    4. I absolutely must find another copy of that book, it's one of those you can read over and over. I keep loaning it out, it never comes back. It has everything. Beets. Pan. New Orleans. Perfume. Bingo Pyjama...

  8. Is this with the skin (peel) on it?

    1. I just take off anything that looks funky. Skin on is fine, probably best.

  9. now i read something on fermented carrot juice. seems like you can ferment most vegetables and maybe their juices too.

    1. Oh, sure, you can ferment anything. But nothing will ever be beet kvass except for beets!

  10. I make my beet kvass in a fido jar. I reuse my beets 2x after initial batch. I add a reserve cup of kvass to new batch. I ferment mine for 10 days as I prefer a fizzier kvass. I drink 1/4 cup for breakfast and another after dinner everyday.

    1. That's great! Thanks. I see a common theme is that you don't need to drink a whole lot, just a few ounces a day.

  11. Started mine last night, and there are already some little bubbles forming. :)

  12. Tim,
    just found your blog and I am so glad you started your own blog!

    Question: What do you think of adding raw Apple Cider Vinegar as a starter to the soaking beans and beet kvass? Helpful or detrimental?

    Beet seems so easy to make...I am going to try it this weekend.

    Look forward to your results tomorrow.


    1. T-Nat! Wow, we been following each other around for years, eh? I can see no reason why you would add ACV to beans or kvass, it might make things worse. You are after nature taking its course, why jinx it? If anything, put finished beet kvass in a new batch or reuse the water that soaked a previous batch of beans to soak a fresh batch.

      I love making beet kvass in my big glass jug, it's a 2 gallon jug, but I only fill it 3/4. This usually makes about 7-8 pints that I store in pint Grolsch bottles, the ones with the ceramic flip top, I just keep them all in the fridge and drink about 1/3 of a pint nearly every day. Sometimes I'll make a second or third jug throughout summer, but I like to think of kvass as a summer treat.

    2. You can run but you can't hide :-) I got wind of your blog from Dr. Ayers site.

      Makes sense not to mess with the natural process- so I'll just stick to salt and water.

      I have a gallon pickle jar sitting idle. Looks like filter water is critical too as chlorine would kill the bacteria. I will post progress shots here.

    3. Tim curious to know whether you have noticed the gray hairs going after all that beet?

  13. Here's the recipe I use

    works great. I also found this interesting


  14. Okay tatsted my attempt at your version of Kvass. three days. Barely has any taste at all. i would say dishwater is close.

    1. Did it start to bubble or foam? I usually get about 1/2" of foam from the bubbles in 3-4 days.

      My first thought was 'dishwater', too. A bit of lemon juice and a packet of stevia do wonders!

      When I was working in Latvia, they sold traditional rye bread kvass on the streets. I didn't try it, wish I would have, but a guy I was with bought a glass, took one sip, said 'yuck', and tossed it in a trash can.

      The locals were all drinking it like it was going out of style.

      I think kvass is supposed to be 'young and yeasty'. Anything else is more a beet wine or beet kombucha/kefir.

  15. I would describe it as only a scant dusting of bubbles. Tasted it today and it has a bit more flavor. Gave it a stir and will taste again tomorrow, day 5.

    " Yeasty". does not sound like it would be good for me....had eruptions of facial rash from daily consumption of kefir, kombucha or mold ripened cheeses. ( three separate months long experiences until I figured out that the common denominator was mold/yeast.) All foods that are beneficial to many people for taking daily. But for me should be taken only occasionally. So if the version of kvass I prefer has gone past the yeast stage to a bacterial stage, that is probably the best way for me. And it is interesting that i prefer that taste, which I do think of as "winey"

  16. I started my beet kvass on Saturday evening. When I checked this morning, there was an occasional bubble or two.
    I plan to mix with ACV + Stevia if it is too yucky to drink by itself after 4-5 days.

  17. I was just thinking about all this. I'll bet if you tie the 'young and yeasty' kvass with the antibiotic stuff I talk about on Mondays, a clearer picture will emerge.

    When yeast first builds it's populations, the first thing it does is lay a thick carpet of antibacterial and antifungal chemicals down so that no one else can enter its domain!

    Young and yeasty kvass is probably chock full of natural antibiotics...the good kind we should be eating daily!

  18. Oh this IS interesting. The mold ripened cheese I was eating is by nature rather aged, and both the kombucha and the kefir i made myself and aged them thinking that would be better.

    Can't wait till next Monday to learn more about this

  19. Hi. I started mine Saturday morning and it's now Tuesday morning (uk). There aren't any bubbles. Is it safe to assume it's not working?
    How can you tell if it's actually fermented and live with probiotics?

  20. "I usually get about 1/2" of foam from the bubbles in 3-4 days."
    Gosh that is a lot of bubbles.
    I'm like others, just a little sprinkling of bubbles. Is there something else you are doing? Magic water? Or maybe it is the small neck of the bottle?

    1. I think if you see no bubbles, you are getting no fermentation. This is where the starter of whey, as used in many recipes, comes in.

      I think the difference may be that I am using freshly picked, minimally washed beets. Straight from the garden, dirt washed off under running water, sliced and put straight into the jug.

      Store bought beets may have been irradiated or sanitized.

      Where you guys using store bought beets?

      The first batch I ever made, I used 3 whole beets and it bubbled up or the top and spilled all over my garage! This is why I now use 1 beet and only fill jar partially.

      You can see in pic labeled 'Day 4' that the foam had gotten fairly thick, then subsided a bit. Look at stains on side of glass. That's the pattern I want to see. A good forming of foam on Day 2-3 and subsiding on Day 4, it fits perfectly with the yeast growth chart I added to the blog above (at the very end).

      Temperature-wise, I do this all at room temp. 68-72 deg F, roughly. Probably much colder than 65 and you will see lessened growth. But I think the range of 68-85 is just perfect.

    2. I'm using organic beets. But maybe they have been sitting on the shelf a little while. I do have some bubbles, just not that many.

    3. Mine were from the garden, but had been sitting , unwashed in a plastic bag, in the fridge for quite a while..... Will try this again in a month so when we harvest fall beets to see how the freshness impacts the result. Also will put them in a jug.

      I tasted again today and there was a mild, but pleasant earthy quality to it.

  21. Tim, here is a blog I follow about fermentation with recipes. Phickle's recipe for beet kvass uses no salt or just a pinch. I asked her about it and copied her response.

    "I think everyone uses more salt than I do! I really don’t think you need it and I don’t like drinking salt that much, so I skip it. In vegetable fermentation, salt does a lot of things: it slows the enzymes that break the vegetables down, it keeps the pectins in the vegetables strong so that the end product is crispy, it helps kill bad bacteria (although the natually occurring acid in ferments does that just fine on its own) and it can help prevent surface yeast or mold. I give my jar a little shake every day if I use no salt and that gets rid of the kahm/surface mold risk.

    Other than that, the reasons to use salt apply to vegetables you’re going to crunch in to. Since you won’t be eating these veggies, I see no reason for salt. So there’s my logic for you! If you’re especially concerned about surface yeast or your home is very warm, go ahead and throw a bit of salt in there. Otherwise, I just don’t think it’s necessary and I think it tastes better without it!"

    1. Great link, thanks!

      She said in her article that 'kvass' actually means yeast in a 'Slavic' language. And, she right! From Wikipedia:

      The word "Kvass" derived from Old East Slavic квасъ, kvasŭ, meaning "yeast" or "leaven".

      Gemma! Why didn't you tell us?

      I like her recipe with lemon juice, turmeric, ginger etc.. I'll bet it is super tasty!

      And, she only does 2-4 days as well. Having an explosion at one point like I mentioned.

      "One the beets have steeped to your desired acidity, 2-4 days, stick them in the refrigerator for an additional 2-4 days. I normally do 5 and 5, but given my last explosion, I’m going to start refrigerating earlier in the summer months."

    2. Oh, as to salt...I may try my next batch with none. I tried a batch of sauerkraut with no salt and it got moldy, so I just use it now.

    3. But isn't good sea salt full of minerals, and so that is a good thing.

  22. I though you knew what kvass means...

    "I really don’t think you need it and I don’t like drinking salt that much, so I skip it. "

    And now it starts to be interesting with these beets (or some other vegetables as well)?

    The beets are full of sugar (sucrose), why don't we get vinegar if no salt is added, and fermented longer? Anybody tried?

    Sauerkraut would turn into mush without salt, the yeasts would win.

    1. Yes, this just gets curiouser and curiouser.

      I had no idea that kvass meant's all making sense now.

      So the yeast builds its maximum population, then lies dormant in the bottom of the kvass, possibly still a few live ones swimming around. At this point, some bacteria may be able to invade and produce lactic acid and other characteristic compounds that contribute to 'body and flavor'.

      But, traditionally, kvass is all about the young yeast and its antimicrobial, antifungal, and other protective compounds. Right?

  23. 3 days in. Today was day 4 morning and I only have a few bubbles. I made the mistake of scraping the skin instead of just washing. Not completely removing but scraping it off a bit. I may also have cut them too small as some beet pieces are floating.
    Don't know how dishwater tastes but my kvass has almost no taste...just slightly salty tasting with a bit of smell. I am going to leave it outside for another 2 days and see what happens.

  24. Tim, or anyone else. Is it ok to put the entire jar with the beetroot still in it in the fridge after 4-5days? Obviously the fermentation will stop as it is too cold. But maybe the nutrients from the beets will continue to seep in.

  25. Today was day 5 for my first ever beet kvass experiment. Did not get as many bubbles as I was hoping for. Just had a spotty layer of small bubbles. I decided to strain the kvass at this point and start the second batch. I added some ginger and lime to the second batch with a bit of leftover kvass from first batch.

    I have just made myself and wife a kvass cocktail: 3 - 4 oz of kvass+ 1T ACV + 2-3 drops stevia over some ice and drank it with a straw. It was delish!!! I hope enough fermentation occurred to do us some good!

  26. I made one lot of beet kvass, and then refilled the container for a second batch.
    With the second batch it looks as though it has grown little mould spores which were floating on the surface.
    Has anyone else had this happen? I've skimmed them off, but not sure if it good bugs or bad bugs that were floating.

    1. If it's white and neither lumpy nor fuzzy, it's probably kahm yeast, which is common and harmless. Just skim it off.

    2. Thanks Heather! Great reference. Will bookmark it!

      It was small lumps, so probably mould. Will try to figure out why.

  27. Just made and tasted my first batch. Three day ferment with one day in the fridge. A fair amount of bubbles. I first tasted it unadulterated. Not terrible but fair from delicious. Then cut it with equal parts water, lemon, ice, and stevia. Much better! Actually quite delicious.
    Thanks Tim

  28. I allow my beet kvass to ferment for up to a month, after which it's a deep purple colour and tastes rich, slightly salty, slightly sour and deeply of beetroot. I use Fido jars (which allow for an anaerobic ferment) and follow these instructions:-

    although I use less salt.

    It's only my opinion (and I'm no expert), but I think there must be more benefit to a thick and rich beet kvass than one that tastes like dishwater.

  29. hey Tim,

    any chance to add a wiki and maybe a spreadsheet to your website?
    maybe people would add stuff like fermentation recipes, good places to buy supplements cheap, their health recovery story or the protocol they followed etc.
    if people contributed it would be kind of like free content or maybe your site would become a repository of info on restoring digestive health.

  30. What's the matter with dishwater?

    Great discussions! I would love to get a science lab to dissect all this. I think that beets allowed to ferment for a month or more are certainly quite healthy and have a much better microbial profile (probiotic) than those fermented for 4 days.

    As pointed out earlier in the comments, 'kvass' means 'yeast'. So, to be technical, it's probably not kvass after a week or so, more 'beet wine' or 'beet kefir'. Nothing wrong with that!

    The batch that I made for those pictures is about half gone now. I've stored it in pint bottles and keep in the fridge. I must say that the flavor mellows a bit with cold storage and now when I drink it (straight) I can really taste the beet flavor and the 'dishwater' aspect is not there.

    When I mix a glassful with stevia and lemon, it is extremely good, maybe one of the best things I've ever drank.

    I think that beet kvass, in its purest form, ie. 4-5 day ferment, is probably a good way to get a big blast of beneficial yeast. I look at it as a 'summer tonic' similar to my dandelion salads as a 'spring tonic'.

    I have a couple of big beets left in the garden and my jug is empty. Do I make beet 'wine' or apple vinegar? Hmmmm.

    1. Yes, my long-fermented beet kvass definitely has a sour rather than a yeasty edge - from lactic acid bacteria I assume. I'll have try a much shorter ferment, although I love the taste of what I currently make.

      That's a hard choice you've got to make there!

  31. My second batch is not looking very good after almost 3 days. I added lemon and ginger to the second round And left a little kvass from batch one. It is still looking rather colorless and no bubbles yet.
    Dont know if the aCid from lemons is preventing the ferment or what.

    1. I've never tried making a second batch. I would imagine it would be colorless, usually my beet chunks are very pale when I make a batch. I think I chop mine a bit finer than some do.

      Not sure about lemon juice inhibiting yeast, could be, good point. I seriously find it as easy as beets, salt, water.

  32. i wanna make root beer

    1. That's always been on my bucket list. I love trying designer root beers, there's a beer brewery near us that also makes root beer. I just find it too sugary for the most part, though. I'll bet traditional root beer made with fermented sassafrass roots and bark would be truly amazing and healthy...and probably nothing like what we think of as root beer.

    2. I've had real root beer. Nom nom nom. Also lucky enough to have tasted the original Barr's Iron Bru - a burdock and dandelion root concoction that's similar only darker and heartier.

      I've had nettle beer - I should ask my guy to try making it with the roots!

  33. I tried it with 1 Tbs salt maybe a 1/4 cup sauerkraut juice, with a air lock on poland spring 1 gallon field till the neck, after the 5th day nice color, but no fiz or gas during those days is that okay? do i need more Beets or salt ?

    1. Wow, strange! I tried that method and it went all over my garage! I usually use 1 whole beet, fairly large sized, (maybe 1/2 pound?) chopped into 1/4 - 1/2" cubes so they fit down the neck of the bottle and are easy to pour out. If you have to force them in, you'll never get them out, lol.

      Sound like you did everything perfect. Try again with just salt and no air-lock, only cover the opening with a cloth.

  34. Has anyone tried using the contents of a probiotic capsule as a starter for your Kvass? If so which brand and what were the results?