I love Beet Kvass. It's one of my favorite things to lacto-ferment, because it's so fast to make and you don't have to fuss with weighting anything down. You can also get two batches out of the same beets. And really, what's not to love about the nutritional profile of beets? They're amazing! For some people, beet kvass is an acquired taste, but after awhile, you may find yourself craving it's salty, earthy flavor. My teenage daughter loves it and insists on it before her sporting events.
Beets, About 1 1/2-2 Regular Sized Beets
1 1/2 tsp. Natural Salt
2 Tbsp. Starter Such as Whey, or Juice From Sauerkraut or Another Ferment (Whey will be more consistent and predictable) *optional, see notes below
1. Scrub your beets until clean, no need to peel. Cut off the top and bottom of the beet. Chop Beets into 1 to 2 inch chunks. If you shred, or cut them too small they will ferment too quickly and your kvass will not have a good flavor.
2. Put the beets into a quart jar. Your jar should be about 1/3 full of beets.
3. Pour 1 1/2 tsp. salt into the jar.
4. Pour 2 Tbsp. of starter into the jar.
5. Fill jar with water to the bottom of the neck; where the bottle narrows.
6. Place a lid on the jar and give it a good shake to mix the salt and starter. Loosen the lid slightly to allow pressure to escape.
7. Put a small plate under the jar, to catch any bubbling over or leakage that may occur and leave on the counter at room temperature.
8. I ferment mine for about 2 to 3 days in the summer and 3 to 4 days in the winter.
9. This will store in the fridge for a week, or two.
How to Know When it is Done
Taste the briny water before you begin your ferment. It tastes like salt water. Taste again after 2 days. If it tastes "pickled" you'll know that the lactic acid has taken over, indicating that the lactobacillus has done it's job. If it still tastes like sea water, let it go longer. Continue to taste it until there is a noticeable tartness to the liquid.
Strain the liquid off of the beets into another container and store in the fridge.
Return the beets to the jar.
Add the same amount of water, salt and *starter as indicated above in the recipe.
Ferment as directed above.
Discard beets after the 2nd batch.
You can make beet kvass without a starter, but you'll need to increase the salt. Use 3/4 tsp. per cup of water. This will take approximately twice the time to ferment. I don't use a starter in most of my ferments, but I prefer the flavor of Beet Kvass using a starter- I always use whey.
If you don't know how to get whey, here's instructions for making yogurt, or kefir cheese. This is the process by which you can also obtain whey.