Polish Recipes/ smoothies and beverages

How to make beet kvass

18 December 2019 | Last Updated: 30 November 2021 By Aleksandra

Beet kvass is a natural beverage made from fermenting beets. In Polish cuisine, it is most often used to make Christmas Eve borscht but many people just drink it on its own because it’s extremely healthy. You only need about 5 minutes to make it (yes, it’s that simple) and then you need to leave it for a minimum of 6 days to ferment.

beet kvass in a jar and a glass, Christmas tree in the background

Ingredients:

beet kvass ingredients
  • This is a basic beet kvass recipe. You can add some additional flavorings like rosemary or thyme.
  • You don’t need an exact beets to brine ratio. Important thing is, that the brine covers all the beets + there is 1 inch (2-3cm) water over the beets. Beets can not float to the water surface! They need to be completely submerged in brine (otherwise mold will form). If they float you need to press them down with a heavy object.
  • Water to salt ratio: it’s 1 tablespoon of table salt for 1 qt / 1 liter of water (4 1/5 cups).
  • There’s a lot of garlic (I love garlic), but don’t worry, the drink won’t taste too garlicky.
  • Many recipes call for adding a piece of sourdough bread. You can add a small piece of sourdough bread’s crust if you have a good quality sourdough bread (preferably homemade, without any preservatives) otherwise mold can form! The addition of bread only accelerates the process of fermentation, but it is not necessary so I don’t add it.

How to make it step by step:

Start with preparing the brine: bring the water to a boil, add the salt and stir until it’s dissolved. Leave to cool (it doesn’t need to be cold, just lukewarm, but it shouldn’t be warm).

Prepare a glass jar (2 qt /1.8 liters): pour boiling water into the jar (do not use metal or plastic containers). Discard the water (the boiling water is used to disinfect the jar).

beet kvass preparation steps

STEP 1: Peel the beetroots and cut into large 1.5 inches (4 cm) pieces. Wear gloves! Peel and cut the garlic cloves in half.

STEP 2: Arrange the beets in the jar, alternately with the chopped garlic cloves and spices.

beet kvass preparation steps

STEP 3: Pour over the cooled brine.

STEP 4: Close the jar tightly and set aside in a warm place for a minimum of 6 days (it can be longer, for up to 14 days). After this time, strain the beet kvass and pour it into a clean jar. The beet kvass is ready to use. Store it in the fridge for about a week.

Enjoy!

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How to make beet kvass

You can use the beet kvass to make beetroot soup or just drink it on its own – it's extremely healthy.
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a big jar and a small glass filled with beet kvass, Christmass tree in the background
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Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
fermenting time 6 days
Total Time 6 days 5 minutes
Servings 1 qt / liter of beet kvass
Calories 120kcal
Author Aleksandra

Ingredients

  • 2.2 lbs beetroots (1kg)
  • 1 qt water (1liter or 4 1/5 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon table salt
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 4 allspice berries
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 20 black peppercorns

Instructions

  • Prepare the brine: bring the water to a boil, add the salt and stir until it's dissolved. Leave to cool (it doesn't need to be cold, just lukewarm, but it shouldn't be warm).
  • Prepare a glass jar (2 qt /1.8 liters): pour boiling water into the jar. Do not use metal or plastic containers. Discard the water (the boiling water is used to disinfect the jar).
  • Peel the beetroots and cut into large 1.5 inches (4 cm) pieces. Wear gloves!
  • Peel and cut the garlic cloves in half.
  • Arrange the beets in the jar, alternately with the chopped garlic cloves and spices.
  • Pour over the cooled brine.
  • Close the jar tightly and set aside in a warm place for a minimum of 6 days (it can be longer, for up to 14 days).
  • After this time, strain the beet kvass and pour it into a clean jar. The beet kvass is ready to use. Store it in the fridge for about a week.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • After 5 days of fermenting, you can start to taste the beet kvass. Take a clean teaspoon and brew it with boiling water. Try to taste if the kvass is already sour enough and you like its taste. The more days it ferments the stronger the flavor will be.
  • This is a basic beet kvass recipe. You can add some additional flavorings like rosemary or thyme.
  • You don’t need exact beets to brine ratio. Important thing is, that the brine covers all the beets + there is 1 inch (2-3cm) water over the beets. Beets can not float to the water surface! They need to be completely submerged in brine (otherwise mold will form). If they float you need to press them down with a heavy object.
  • Water to salt ratio: it’s 1 tablespoon of table salt for 1 qt / 1 liter of water (4 1/5 cups).
  • A foam will form on the kvass’ surface – this is ok. It should start to disappear after a couple of days. If you see mold, you need to discard the kvass! (no, it can not be salvaged).
  • If the kvass’ flavor is too strong for you to drink you can dilute it with water.
Course non-alcoholic drink
Cuisine Eastern-European, polish
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