Beet Kvass Myth Busting (& Recipe)

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Beet kvass - Holistic Squid

Have you been taught that you must use whey or another culture starter when making beet kvass? (You don’t.)

Are you dairy free, on a tight budget, on the GAPS or SCD diet and therefore cannot buy and use whey or other culture starters? (Don’t worry!)

Have you been taught that if you do not use a culture starter to make beet kvass, it must contain so much salt that it is not pleasurable to drink? (Not true.)

For these reasons or more, have you been living without the beauty of beet kvass in your life? These are all common misconceptions and I think it’s time we all set them aside and empower ourselves to harness the transformative powers of mother-nature.

Beet Kvass is comprised of simple ingredients and is simple to make through the process of wild fermentation. Fancy fermentation equipment is fun, convenient, and pretty but rarely a must.

Beet Kvass - Holistic Squid

What is Beet Kvass?

Here in my kitchen, we call it blood of the earth. Indeed I do taste the earth when I sip this crimson liquid. Beet Kvass is an age-old tonic associated with many health benefits including efficient hydration. Fermented beverages are the original sports drinks. Like other lacto-fermented drinks, kvass is more hydrating than even water. In order to remain hydrated, our bodies require a balance of electrolytes. Cultured beverages like kvass help restore this balance without the sugar and preservatives of modern “sport drinks”.

Beet Kvass is traditionally heralded as a blood and liver tonic. And indeed this ancestral knowledge is meted out in science. In fact, beets are high in betacyanin which can dramatically increase the oxygen-carrying ability of the blood.

Personally, beet kvass gives me a feeling of energy and clarity. I LOVE beets and the taste of beet kvass. If you don’t love the taste but do want the health benefits of this tonic, try adding it to a soup when serving or use it to make a virgin ‘dirty martini’ or ‘bloody mary’. The taste is perfect for these concoctions and a big hit at any dinner party I’ve ever had.

Beet Kvass - Holistic Squid

Beet Kvass Ingredients

  • Filtered water
  • 3-4 beets
  • 1 ½ tablespoon unrefined sea salt

Beet Kvass Method

  1. Wash the beets of any dirt but, do not scrub or peel the beets. Our aim is to keep the delicate bacteria on the skin of the beets in tact so that we can encourage their multiplication during fermentation.
  2. Chop the beets. I like a medium dice.
  3. Add the beets to a 1-gallon jar.*
  4. Add 1 ½ tablespoon unrefined sea salt
  5. Add filtered water to ½ inch below lid
  6. Affix lid tightly and label with date.
  7. Allow to ferment for 1 ½ weeks or more out of direct sunlight.
  8. You may strain through a cheese-cloth and decant into smaller containers, taking care to redistribute a handful of beet pieces into each bottle and then store in the refrigerator. Or feel free to store in the refrigerator as is.

Chef Notes:

*If you have difficulty successfully using wild fermentation methods in your environment/home, consider using a jug with an airlock affixed to the top to ferment beet kvass. This will mitigate the introduction of funky yeasts from your environment making a film on top of your fermenting kvass.

- This post was generously contributed by Monica Ford of Real Food Devotee. Monica’s recipes will make your mouth water and your tummy purr. If you’re lucky enough to live in Los Angeles, Real Food Devotee can make your life easier by delivering nutrient dense goodies directly to your door.

photo credit: An Eye Full Studio


Do you make your own beet kvass? What’s your favorite way to serve and enjoy it?

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  1. says

    Hi @Laura
    I’ve never have an issue with a tight lid breaking during wild fermentation of beet kvass but, if you’re concerned about this, go with a plastic lid instead. The lid will not actually touch your ferment and will be more flexible than metal:)

    • Joanna Novosedlik says

      This question was not answered, and I have the same question. I have some kvass from about four months ago – no scum, clear and jarred in the fridge all this time. Can I still drink it safely?

  2. Saeriu says

    I’ve got a couple of jars at home of beet kvass that I made this summer. It was way too salty and I just couldn’t bring myself to drink it. I love beets but more on the sweet side instead of the salty side. I’ll have to try this, since I have some beets in the fidge now that are begging to be used.

    • Cindy Green says

      I would love to know how you make this also. I also have a question about storage. You have a beautiful picture at the top of this post with lots of bottles. How can you possibly store all this in the fridge? I have a five gallon pail of beets to use up….I already made beet wine with one five gallon pail!!!

  3. says

    I have been such a chicken about trying wild fermentation. You make it sounds so easy, and I’ve got beets coming out of my ears. Sounds like a good time to take the plunge. Thanks!

  4. says

    I have health issues with my back and have pinched nerve in my neck and was getting head aches all the time and last fall I started using rejuvenate every day and my head aches disappeared . This is made by sprouting 1 1/2 cups of whole red wheat seeds to 1/4 inch tails and then adding 1 gallon of distilled water to it and letting it wild ferment for 2 days and then saving the juice off of it and doing it 2 more time with only 1 day in between . I will never give this up and I also do beet kvass and I do fresh pineapple the same way as the beet kvass . Last year my store started selling fresh whole raw milk and I do whey and cream cheese also . I also make my own sauerkraut and eat it raw . All of this I have learned on the internet and my over all health has greatly improved . If you take care of your stomach , your stomach will take care of you and this is also in the Bible ….. So try all these things …… michaelvangogh

  5. says

    I have health issues with my back and have pinched nerve in my neck and was getting head aches all the time and last fall I started using rejuvenate every day and my head aches disappeared . This is made by sprouting 1 1/2 cups of whole red wheat seeds to 1/4 inch tails and then adding 1 gallon of distilled water to it and letting it wild ferment for 2 days and then saving the juice off of it and doing it 2 more time with only 1 day in between . I will never give this up and I also do beet kvass and I do fresh pineapple kvass . Last year my store started selling fresh whole raw milk and I do whey and cream cheese also . I also make my own sauerkraut and eat it raw . All of this I have learned on the internet and my over all health has greatly improved . If you take care of your stomach , your stomach will take care of you and this is also in the Bible ….. So try all these things …… michaelvangogh

  6. Melissa Keaster says

    Is the 10 day ferment a hard and fast rule? I began my first batch of kvass one week ago today, and it’s very fizzy. Should I consider it to be ready or do I need to give it three more days? Thanks!

  7. says

    Hi @Melissa
    No. 10 days is not a hard and fast rule. You may take your kvass off ferment now if you would like or you may go for a month or more.
    I think you should take this batch off and begin to enjoy is earthy goodness! xo

  8. Rosann G says

    I’ve tried to make this using a Fido jar & Caldwell starter along with the salt. Organic beets. It got something filmy on the top, mold? Is there an optimal ferment temperature for beets? Any advice would be appreciated

  9. Erika says

    Thanks for the recipe! I tried it out (because I had leftover beets with no plans) and I believe it turned out well. (Did half recipe, fermented 10 days, got a little foamy on top..) However…this is my first time even tasting it, and I can’t say I’m a huge fan of drinking it plain. I mixed a little with some of my fizzy coconut kefir and that helped the medicine go down :) It made a fun, bright magenta color when the two mixed!

  10. Xandria says

    Hi! I just made some beet kvass and then I realized that I forgot to add salt! So it was just like soaking beet pieces in water for a day. Can i save it? What do you recommend?

  11. jorge manso says

    Hi everyone,
    One question if I can?
    First timer here, ok beet kvass is suppose to be a very beneficial drink and I agree with you, but there is one thing that I do not think is so good in this drink and that is the 1½ spoon of salt in it.
    Is there a way to ferment the drink without the salt or using less of it? Thank you for your help, and congratulations for the site…

  12. says

    Hi @Jorge

    Yes. Salt is needed if seek to create favorable conditions for lactic acid bacteria to ferment. If we were seeking to make an alcoholic fermentation, we would not need salt.
    Salt is one step toward preventing moldy bacteria from growing in a ferment during the initial stage of fermentation where the oxygen is used up and the lactic acid bacteria begin to reproduce. Since fermentation always occurs in the same pattern no matter what we’re fermenting, we use salt to keep the bad guys at bay until the LABs kick in and start growing like crazy.
    The correct salt concentration will encourage LABs to grow, giving them a competitive edge. Too little salt gives the icky bacteria an edge, which can lead to spoilage.
    Also, high quality sea salt (not our modern day processed table salt) is mineral rich and trace minerals are sorely lacking in present day soil, water and foods.
    So, drink up and enjoy! xo

  13. Angela says

    Hello, I have made beet kvass a few times with different recipes. Sometimes it is fizzy and some times it just goes bad (and everything in between). I am using your recipe because we are casin free and there are tons of tiny white bubbles so I opened it up expecting it to fizz and it still tasted flat. Should I let it keep fermenting? I really like it fizzy :) Thanks for all the advice in advance.

  14. says

    Hi @Angela
    How long have you been fermenting the kvass?
    If you’d like a sparkling kvass try straining and decanting you kvass into quart or smaller size bottles and add a little beet juice to the bottle (2 T/quart). Put the lid on snug and ferment for approx 24 hours (shorter time in warmer weather). It will become fizzy.

  15. drito says

    Question: Do you chop the beets or just throw them whole in the jar? I always followed the Nourishing Traditions’s recipe that calls for chopped and peeled beets.

  16. Jenelle says

    What is the waxy film that sometimes develops on top of the beet kvass after its been fermenting for several days? is it still ok to drink if you remove this?

  17. Tye says

    I made some beet kavass and it has been sitting in my frig for a several weeks now. When I check on it today it was a murky brown color at the top but the bottom of it was a deep purple. When I shook it everything blended together. Is this normal and is it still good?

  18. says

    Hi @Tye
    It is totally normal for most of the pigment in beet kvass to fall to the bottom of the vessel when undistrubed for days, weeks, months. Just give her a shake or a stir and drink up. Why is it sitting in your fridge? Drink. Drink! xoxoxo

  19. says

    Janelle asks: “What is the waxy film that sometimes develops on top of the beet kvass after its been fermenting for several days? is it still ok to drink if you remove this?”

    Hi @Janelle
    Go ahead and scrape off this film. And then (this is optional) you can strain your beet kvass through a fine mesh strainer or a strainer lined with cheese cloth when you bottle just before storeing in the fridge. Enjoy!

  20. joan says

    I have kombucha, water kefir, milk kefir and beet kvass on the go. There is only so much room in the fridge and only one person drinking these drinks. Is there another way to store these liquids? With the kvass I found it too salty. After I’d consumed about 6 ounces I added another beet and topped it up with water. The foam that formed was skimmed off and now the kvass is yummy. This was made in a quart jar.

  21. says

    Hi @Joan
    If you like, you can store your kombucha and beet kvass in a cool area of your home. Kvass was traditionally stored in root cellars.
    What size was your original vessel of kvass? Also a quart? How much salt did you add to the original batch? Happy fermenting!

  22. Jill says

    Can you save some of the kvass to use as a starter for more or as a starter for other fermented foods?

  23. says

    Hi @Jill
    There are differing opinions out there on this. My opinion is that you not only do not need to do this, it is not effective as bacteria go through a life cycle during fermentation.

  24. says

    Hi @Jo B
    As with any food, it’s very unlikely you’ll OD on it but, moderation is a good policy. So as long as the majority of your diet is not made up of beet kvass and beyond die-off or detox discomfort beet kvass there is no evidense of ill effects from beet kvass.
    Go slow when you start. 4-6oz in the morning is a great starting point.
    And drink in moderation there after. Listen to your body.
    The point of consumer probiotic foods is to consumer a varitety which builds stronger immunity through diverse probiotic strains. Enjoy!

  25. Blondie Marslender says

    My 2nd batch got a blue moldy film on top. It smells fine and looks fine after I skimmed it off. Do you think it is safe to drink?

  26. says

    I’m glad you’re making kvass @Blondie
    My official advice to you is to toss the batch. However, much of the traditional wisdom on this is to scape off the mold and drink up.

  27. Tracy says

    I have a few beets from CSA. The only jar I have is a glass one with metal lid that I use for my kombucha. Can I use this jar? Can I use water from reverse osmosis?

  28. says

    I just tried this out and after 2.5 days one of my beet jars is bubbling over and smells amazing and the other one has a couple bubbles here and there and smells very earthy, very beet-y. Does the second one just need more time? Is the first one ready to drink or should I hold off for the full 10 days?

  29. Christeena Dinehart says

    I let my kvass sit for about 2 weeks without looking at it and went to strain and pour it into other jars! YIKES! Ther was a putrid smelly mold on top and down the disposal it went!! What went wrong?? I followed your directions explicitly! This is the second time I have tried and failed! Please advse!

  30. says

    Thanks for your comment @Christeena

    If you have difficulty successfully using wild fermentation methods in your environment/home, consider using a jug with an airlock affixed to the top to ferment beet kvass. This will mitigate the introduction of funky yeasts from your environment making a film on top of your fermenting kvass.

  31. Kristine says

    I’ve been making and enjoying beet kvass for the last couple of months, but my most recent batch tastes musty. I don’t want to drink something that may be harmful – that defeats the purpose of drinking kvass in the first place! I use a large jar, 2 gal, and it doesn’t have an airtight lid. I clean it well before each use, and keep it covered with wax paper, a thin spongy placemat and a heavy book for the 3-4 days it takes to get dark in color. Occasionally I get a little white fur floating on top, which I spoon out before straining the kvass into smaller jars. Any idea what would give it the musty, almost moldy flavor? And is it ok to drink, or should I toss it and start a new batch?

  32. Russian Guy says

    OMG! as someone who grew up drinking real Kvass in Russia in the 70s this is SO NOT KVASS! This is closer to Korean fermented drinks… for the love of god stop calling this Kvass!

      • Angela White says

        There are different kinds of kvass!! Russian kvass is more of an alcoholic beverage and made differently. This recipe is your standard Ukrainian style kvass used in recipes such as borscht.

    • Hoick says

      @RussianGuy Учите матчасть. This is real beet kvass. Bread kvass is the most popular one, yet there used to be dozens of types of kvass: vegetable, berry, fruit, honey kvass. You’ll find it in домострой, Молоховец, any pre-revolution time period cookbook.

    • Myriam says

      I wanted to comment in reply to those saying their kvass smells musty or mouldy. I’ve had this happen. I have stopped buying beets in a bag. They are not fresh and have a mouldy smell right from the start. If you buy beets with green tops, you might find your problem goes away. It worked for me!

  33. says

    Hi @Jill
    Yes. YOu can use fewer ingredients in a larger contianer but, you must still fill the container with water as in the instructions above. YOur batch will be a bit more diluted but if you don’t mind, neither will the kvass.
    Yes. YOu can add carrots, ginger or cabbage.
    You may add cinnamon if you like but, only in whole stick form. Not ground cinnamon.

  34. georgina says

    I let mine ferment for almost 4 weeks. It is WAY too salty! Does it have any of the LABs in it if it is too salty or did that totally nullify the LABs cycle? If no LABs, I will toss it… but if it has any health benefits, I will add filtered water and drink it. Thanks for your help!

  35. Melissa says

    Hi Monica! I just tried my third attempt with this recipe and finally got it right (I think I was storing it too close to other ferments before, but found a new spot which seemed to help). Yeehaw!

    I have a couple of questions:

    1) does time make it saltier? Or does more salt make it saltier? I added the amount you listed above, waited two weeks and it’s tangy and not very salty. I remember yours being a little saltier (I loved it!) and you said you liked to wait longer, more like a month. Does more time remove some of the sharpness (tang)?

    2) Now that I’ve opened it to taste it, do I have to bottle it? Or can I leave it to ferment a little longer?

    Thank you!!

  36. Suzanne says

    Thank you for a dairy-free recipe! I’ve got my first batch brewing (it’s been about 5 days) and I opened it up to scrape off the abundance of foam on top and to give it a taste. It smells and tastes cheesey, it’s not bad, it actually tastes good, but I’d like to know if this is unusual and if it’s safe to drink. Any advice would be appreciated!

  37. says

    hi @Suzanne

    Thanks for your question and for adding more probiotics to the world.
    Yes. The previeling traditional wisdom on this is that the kvass is still good to drink. Just skim (strain through fine mesh strainer if you like) and enjoy!
    **If you have difficulty successfully using wild fermentation methods in your environment/home, consider using a jug with an airlock affixed to the top to ferment beet kvass. This will mitigate the introduction of funky yeasts from your environment making a film on top of your fermenting kvass.

  38. says

    Hi @Lynn
    Thanks for your question! I’m happy to see you’re fermenting. You definitely chop up and use the beet root and if you like, you can also chop up the stem and use it. No leaves tho:)

  39. says

    Hi @Joanna
    Yes. You may keep a fermented tonic in your fridge and drink for months or years as it matures just like a sauerkraut. The taste will become deeper and more sour. Obviously if it were contaminated by mold you would throw it out just like any other food. Glad to hear you’re fermenting and Thank you for your question!

  40. Jessica says

    I just started making Beet Kvass. I’ve made a couple batches, letting it ferment for 2 days in a relatively warm house (70 degrees). I fill the quart jar half way with chopped beets, add 1/4 cup whey and 1 Tbsp salt, and then top it off with filtered water. The first day I can see a few bubbles come to the surface, and the second day a few more (but it never goes crazy like my water kefir). On the second day a little mold usually starts to form, so I skim that off and then I strain the kvass and put it in the refrigerator. It’s never been fizzy at all. It just tastes like salty beet water. Is it possible that it didn’t ferment? Does it need to be fizzy for it to be probiotic?

  41. says

    Hi @Jessica
    Thank you for your questions.

    firstly, you do not need quite so much salt in a quart size jar.
    Yes, your kvass is fermenting. Though that is quite a quick fermentation time. The longer the fermentation time on beet kvass, the more the flavors mellow and marry. I love a long ferement kvass.
    No, it does not have to be fizzy to be probiotic.
    Why don’t you give the recepe above a try. I think you might be a little happier with the results. Enjoy!

    • Jessica says

      Thank you for your response. I will try your recipe next, but I guess the one question that remains is — what about the mold that forms after 2 days at 70 degrees in our house. I do not cut the beets small; they’re rather large chunks. Should I just scrape the mold off 2-3x per day and continue on to a long ferment, or?… what would you do about the mold?

  42. says

    Hi Jessica,

    Allow your kvass (with the recipe you described above) to ferment for 5-7 days. Skim at the end of the fermentation time and store in fridge. You can go one step further after skimming if you like and pour the kvass through a fine mesh sieve or cheese cloth, add the the beets back and store in the fridge. enjoy!

  43. David says

    The 1 ½ tablespoons salt you use appears to make a brine of .9%. Most kvass recipes Ive seen say to use 1.5% to 2% brine. Have you found that using this smaller amount of salt works better for you?

  44. says

    Hi @David
    You can use a heating pad if you like. I do find that beet kvass will still ferment though at a slower pace in the colder months so, I just ferment for longer. In face, I tend to really enjoy a longer ferment on the kvass. I’ve tasted it up to a year on ferment and it only becomes more subtle, rounder and layered in its taste.

    As for salt, I prefer the taste of 1 1/2 T salt per gallon kvass. I also, find that it works well in terms of fermentation success.

    Thank you for your questions and happy fermenting!

    • John says

      Your ratio of salt to purified water is the bomb. 6 months trying various amounts with and without whey recipies this is perfect. I put a clove of garlic and 2 sprigs of dill per quart and am perfectly content with the taste. Next I will conquer Kombucha.

  45. Steve K says

    I have bottled Kvass dated 62012 i found in basement. I guess i just made too much then.
    Is there anyway it could make me sick if i drink? i have not yet opened it.
    Thanks much,

  46. says

    Hi @Jan
    David is right, if you used only beet stems to make kvass, it would be quite weak. However, you can certainly add them in to your beet mixture for kvass (no greens:). Or you can use them to make a cabbage tonic. Same recipe as beet kvass but, in stead of beets you might use chopped beet stems, shredded cabbage and a little giner. A delicious kvass and makes for a happy tummy.
    For me, I love the chop the stems and cook them in bacon fat and a splash of apple cider vinegar. I cook them for a few minutes before adding the beet greens. Delicious! Let us know what you decide to do. xoxo

  47. Preston says

    Hi, I followed your recipe meticulously, after 10 days I tasted it, and the taste was bad, it had a sour and vinegar type of taste, any ideas of what I might be doing wrong?

  48. Angela says

    You have blown my mind. I used to make beet kvass two years ago and enjoyed it, but since then I’ve ended up with old yucky beets in my refrigerator because I can never bring myself to &*(!# peel the beets anymore. Now that I know I don’t have to, I’m ready to make some beet kvass today!! And I have a sharp awesome knife now, so it’s even better!

  49. Deborah says

    my husband keeps telling me there are no calories in beet Kavas. I’m skeptical since beets are high in sugar – he says the fermenting eliminates the sugars. Help!

  50. says

    I sounds like there is a little funky yeast creeping in. This could be because there was not enough bacteria present on the beets. This can happen if the beets are peeled, scrubbed, washed in chlorinated water, are not organic and have been exposed to strong pesticides. If non of these are the case, just remember that we each live in our own micro-environment.
    If you have difficulty successfully using wild fermentation methods in your environment/home, consider using a jug with an airlock affixed to the top to ferment beet kvass. This will mitigate the introduction of funky yeasts from your environment making a film on top of your fermenting kvass.
    Happy Fermenting!

  51. says

    Hi @Deborah
    You’re husband is right that during fermentation, bacteria convert sugars into vitamins more probiotics and organic acids. The brand of kvass currently on the market, called Zukay sells a 12oz bottle of beet kvass with 60 calories, 1 gram of protein, and 7 carbs. Enjoy!

  52. Heike says

    Hi, this sounds like a good recipe and I would look to try it, but how much are 3 beets? I have all sorts of sizes in my garden, from golf ball size to 3 or 4 times as large? Would anyone have a vague idea of the weight?

  53. Debbie says

    First timer here as well as a kvass maker. I’m going on 10 days today and in the beginning there were some tiny bubbles up top…now nothing. I opened it to check the taste and it’s quite salty. Having nothing to compare this to as it being my first time, am I too assume this is normal and may need to ferment longer? No sign of mold, funky smell, or other issues, just a salty beet taste and a strong beet smell. Normal? I’m using a mason jar, an organic beet, pink salt, filtered water, and some whey I collected by straining organic yogurt. Is there anything else I should be doing or is it just a matter of it needing to sit longer? Is whey good for kvass because I noticed your recipe doesn’t call for it? Thank you for any help.

  54. Debbie says

    I should have also included that some beets have floated to the top. Does that mean anything? I also know you can make a second batch with a little of the remaining first batch, but should I shake the jar before pouring the majority of the first batch or leave the sediment on the bottom for the next? So many questions when you’re a newbie. Glad there are helpful people like yourself to guide us. Thank you.

  55. Ema says

    Just wanted to pop in & thank you for this recipe!
    I’ve already made it once & I’m getting ready to make
    another batch! It is so quenching, like an electrolyte drink,
    but without the added dyes, artificial flavors and
    weird chemicals. My body craves it!

    I also wanted to mention to anyone going by the
    Nourishing Tradition guidelines that this recipe
    is SO much better. And because of the significantly
    longer ferment than the NT recipe calls for, you can’t
    really get a good second batch out of this recipe with the
    beets. But it makes more than the NT recipe so it really
    evens out, quantitatively. This one is MUCH better
    qualitatively, however. I’ll never go back to the recipes
    that use whey and short ferments!

    Thanks again for the recipe, Emily! :)

  56. Karen says

    I am keen to try this, but finding it hard to find a suitable gallon size jar. I am in Australia. Does it have to be made in a gallon size jar? I have found half gallon (2 liters) or 10 liters (obviously more than a gallon!)

    • Rebecca says

      Hi Karen, I am in WA and I tried this, 3 weeks on and its still fermenting. I tried some but it didn’t taste fermented, but just earthy and salty so I put it back to ferment longer. I put mine in a 5 litre jar and did the same ratio as recipe above. I just bought jars that sealed from Ikea. Let me know how yours go!

  57. Linda says

    Hi! I made this recipe dairy free, and I didn’t have any fuzz, just a little white in one jar, after 6 days. Is that long enough?
    It is salty, and I already refrigerated it, so do I need to strain it if I don’t see any foam or fuzz?


  58. Sarah says

    I am about to try this but was wondering if it’s ok to make it a sweet drink (adding stevia) instead of a salty one. I am not much for salty beets but rather have it sweetened. Would it still have the effects if I added stevia after pouring a cup?

  59. Sarah says

    Oh, I have another questions….. Instead of using stevia, or in addition to, can you mix the beets with some fruit, like berries? I was wondering if it would still have the same benefits. Thanks!

  60. Sunny says

    My NTP & I made this but added a few chunks of orange & ginger… she hates beets! But mine now has a white substance floating across the top & the liquid looks oily… it’s been fermenting in a quart jar for 10 days. I’m nervous to try it due to this white stuff which looks like mold. Even if i strain it, I wouldn’t be able to get the white stuff off the beets & orange chunks as it pours thru. Is it safe to drink?

  61. Yvonne says

    If I make a smaller amount in an airlock jar, do I just half or quarter everything? Or do I just use less water and keep the other amounts the same?

  62. says


    I have been making successful beet fermentations with peeled beets because there is no need for dirt in a ferment. You are not fermenting dirt, you are fermenting the organisms that are part of the produce. Any process that does not use an airlocked anearobic vessel is unscientific and unsafe.

    • Jeff says

      I use an air lock to reduce the chances of getting mold and yeast, but neither one is really dangerous if you use enough sea salt brine and keep the beets below the brine. I mainly do it because I like the taste better when there are no molds or yeasts growing on top. As far it being unsafe to not use an air lock. No it is not unsafe. Lots of people do all sorts of fermenting with just a cloth covering the fermenting jar to keep fruit flies out of it and it is perfectly safe (for example: kombucha and kefir and back in the olden days sauerkraut). The brine is what keeps it safe, and the lactic acid produced by the lacto bacteria keeps it safe. In reality, making it anaerobic could potentially lead to botulism if there wasn’t enough salt in the brine to prevent those types of bacteria from growing. Botulism only occurs in anaerobic conditions where there is not enough salt and where the weak brine is not acidic. Salt and acid are what prevent botulism.

  63. Sue Goldberg says

    In Nourishing Traditions the Beet Kvass recipe says 2 days at room temperture. Why is there a big difference in the fermenting time?

  64. UmmBinat says

    Delicious! I couldn’t wait so it wasn’t fermented the whole amount of time suggested in this recipe. I added a garlic cloves as I found out some people do. Made with all organic ingredients but with city water! I will use this recipe again. I find drinking some gives me energy.

  65. Alina N says

    I have just read a recipe at another website where they use only 1 to 2 tsp of salt per gallon. I am confused now!
    Thank you

  66. D says

    I used this method to make my first kvass. The only exception being I used a farmcurious lid. I feemented it for 4 weeks. Upon opening there was a some green spots on the lid and the glass where the liquid did not touch. The kvass tastes ok and didn’t have a bad smell. I’m assuming this was mold. If it was is that normal and or a problem? What do you recommend?

  67. says

    My friend just gave me a quart of kvass because I was feeling so run down. ( She made it) I’ve taken it three times on an empty stomach and I really feel less tired. Thanks for the recipe I’m going to start making my own.

  68. Jeff says

    I use a starter when I ferment beets because they have so much sugar I want to drive the fermentation in the right direction right from the start. I buy a jar of refrigerated beet kvass at the local health food store, and use 1/4 cup of it as the starter. Then I fill up the rest of it with the sea salt brine and beets. It works great every time. The store bought beet kvass is already full of the right bacteria that were previously feeding on beets, and they quickly wake up and start feeding on the new beets. I also use it as a starter for fermented shredded beets. I like this even better, because I eat the entire beet, not just the juice. I use a box shredder (the kind people use for making hashbrowns) and I shred the beets finely, and then stuff them down into the bottom of the mason jar. I then add the starter beet kvass and then add the sea salt brine. Then I put on the air lock and let it ferment for about a week and then put it in the refrigerator. It is delicious and nutritious and full of good bacteria.

  69. Ann says

    Ok, I’ve tried to make kvass, and the following things have occurred. Can I get some feedback please:
    1.) I didn’t seal my jar, i only put a coffee filter on top of the jar with a rubber band. My cubes are also about 1/2 inch, not 2 inches. Does any of this make the kvass undrinkable?
    2.) Now after 6 days on the counter, the chunks of beet have started to “swim.” They slowly ascend to the top of the jar and then slowly descend back to the bottom. It looks weird seeing them! That started happening yesterday. Is this stuff ok to drink?
    The recipe I used said it could take up to two weeks for things to happen. I didn’t have whey, so I used water kefir instead. My friend gave me some. Since I am new to all this fermentation stuff, the idea of poisoning myself has come up once or a hundred times!

    Thank you for your advice!!

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