Ingredients: Organic Beets (peeled and chopped into 2 to 3 inch cubes)
Brine: (2% brine [20 grams per liter of filtered water])
Optional: Ginger (peeled and sliced into 1" pieces)
1/8 teaspoon or less cayenne (optional, added after primary fermentation)
Fresh beets should be large and detached from greens for at least a week to concentrate the sugars.
Try to choose beets that are at least the size of your fist.
Make sure the beets are not cut too small, or they will ferment too quickly.
Vary the color and flavor of the final kvass by choosing different varieties of beets. Golden beets result in a beautiful orange tonic, Chioggia or striped pink/white results in a light pink tonic, and the traditional purple beets results in a deep wine colored tonic. The chiogga and the golden beets are milder in flavor or less "beety". They're all delicious!
The key is to fill the jar half way with beets, not less.
- Place clean, peeled chopped beets into The Probiotic Jar, filling it half way to the top.
- Add a few 1 inch chunks of peeled ginger.
- Make a 2% brine. Dissolve salt completely.
- Fill brine almost to the neck of the jar. Float the Brine (Submersion) Bowl on top of the brine. Add airlock with water. Ferment away from direct light at room temperature.
- Ferment in a warm place (mid 70ºF to low 80ºF) for 7 to 9 days. You may see bubbles forming on the top. This indicates active cultures are thriving. Taste after several days. Mine usually takes at least 8 days, maybe longer in cooler weather.
- It should not taste like salty water.
Salty tasting ~ keep going with the primary fermentation.
Not salty tasting ~ then proceed to the second fermentation or drink as is. I prefer the deep rich flavor that comes with the second ferment.
Secondary Fermentation (for fizz and depth)
Strain the beets and/or ginger and add the juice to a flip-top glass bottle. (Caution: Placing any fermenting food or liquid into a pressure building bottle has the potential to break the bottle if the conditions are just right and the glass is weak. Therefore, it may be advisable to burp the jar to prevent excessive pressure buildup.)
Optional: Add less than 1/8 teaspoon cayenne or another flavor listed below, seal and let it ferment for several more days at room temperature ~ even weeks. If it tastes good, then go ahead and move it to the fridge ~ it gets better over time. It will become richer, deeper in flavor, and perhaps fizzier. Some of my best kvass is several months old! I prefer to drink it cold.
More Flavors: Try adding other herbs such as rosemary, turmeric, or even lavender during the second fermentation. Feel free to experiment!
Beet kvass is known for several health enhancing properties. Anything a beetroot can do, beet kvass does better! We keep this tonic on hand and enjoy a glass of it every day.