Beet Kvass, Take 2

BeetKvassTake2

Customer Support at Cultures for Health likes to help people make and eat fermented foods.  Today, Jerri shows the adventure that came out of a simple question, “So I was wondering if you could help me make this stuff taste good?”  Join her as she takes a second look at Beet Kvass.

Note from Shannon: Please welcome Jerri, Cultures for Health Customer Support Rep and Cultured-Kitchen Keeper.


Beet Kvass was something low on my list to ever try fermenting, again. I tried it rather unsuccessfully several years ago when I began my journey of fermented foods. It was awful, and I am sure I did it “wrong.” The recipe was stored away and remained hidden until a customer recently called in asking, “So I was wondering if you could help me make this stuff taste good?”

Taste good. Hmmmmm.

Out came the recipe, and scrutinizing ensued. How would you make this taste better, especially if unsure it even worked the first time? I decided to check our Cultures for Health recipe: http://www.culturesforhealth.com/beet-kvass-recipe/. After making sure the customer’s procedures were correct, I gave my best suggestions. Then we started corresponding after I decided to give it another shot, so we could compare notes.

Stage 1 Beet KvassCollage

It was perfect timing, as I just received not only a larger Fermented Vegetable Master, but the new ceramic weights! I prepared the beets and put them in the FVM, letting them do their thing over the next few days. Such a pretty sight, and I hoped it would taste good too. I had a feeling I was going to use this result as my baseline, and not get discouraged if it didn’t taste ok. I would have to experiment further.

After Day 3, I decanted my kvass and tasted it. Although I knew I was successful, I was not impressed with the taste. They were definitely fermented salty beets! I thought some time in the fridge might help, so I let it chill a few days. I tried it again, and found that it was better, but still tasted like fermented salty beets. I found there are things I can try to add, like ginger, to make it taste better…but I’m not sure if I am ready to give it another go. The bottle of kvass is still in my fridge, and I am slowly making my way through it (a shot here and there, and just yesterday I poured a bit into my smoothie).

Stage 2 Beet KvassCollage

As for the customer? He was very pleased with the changes he made, and his family no longer had to plug their noses when drinking. I, however, don’t think I’m a beet kvass person. But that’s ok, there’s a whole world of other fermented goodies out there!

Jerri

Jerri

Jerri is a wife and mama. Her culturing adventures began several years ago with other moms who were seeking a healthy way of feeding our families. Together they dabbled in milk kefir, yogurt, sourdough, kombucha and sauerkraut. In the past year she's expanded from sauerkraut to other vegetables, and has grown a passion for water kefir!

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Comments

  1. Becky M says

    I just made my first batch and I feel the same way. I don’t really like it. I did put a tiny bit of stevia in it just to try to get down. Looking for ideas too!

  2. Mike says

    I noticed the same thing the first time I made beet kvass, it was to salty after three day. Letting it ferment longer, in my case it took a week and the excessive saltiness went away. It could have been the temperature, tool cool that took it a little longer. Either way it turned out OK. It’s recommended that you dilute it a little with some some clean fresh water before drinking. Add the water to the kvass you poured in to the drinking glass, not the large container of kvass.

  3. says

    I LOVE the beet Kavas. I use it every morning for the salt in my veggie smoothy.
    This makes a green smoothy a blood purifying probiotic SUPER drink!
    Cultured foods are meant to be a condiment people….. For your HEALTH.
    Food is not your friend it is for fuel and supporting your life. Tough it up… the benefits of
    this amazing cultured food are well worth it!

  4. tracie says

    I just completed your recipe for fermented salsa and the directions state to put the lids on tight- is this correct?

  5. says

    Kvass needs to be fermented for a long time. Fermenting for 3 days is just a waste of beets & time.

    For basic kvass:
    – Lightly scrub beets clean. Do not peel.
    – Cut beets into 1/2 to 1 inch cubes.
    – Fill the jar 1/3 to 1/2 full.
    – Fill jar up with salt water at a ratio of 1.5T salt per quart of water or to taste. You can go as low as 1T salt / quart and have the kvass turn out and as high as 3T / quart though most find that too salty.
    – Ferment in a dark place at room temp (or a little cooler) for at least 4 weeks.

    Don’t use whey. Don’t bother making a second batch from the same beets as the kvass will be weak.

    From there you can experiment with adding spices and other vegetables. Here’s a recipe that adds cabbage and onion – http://www.homemademommy.net/2013/08/how-to-make-beet-kvass-that-actually-tastes-good.html

  6. Greg says

    I’ve made a couple batches of kvass. The first was pretty beety and salty! Second using the same beets was better. Then I added 1/4 of an onion and a few cabbage leaves. That one was pretty good. The next batch will be made with 2 red beets and 2 golden ones, along with dill. I’ve found that mixing the kvass with mineral water in a glass along with some lemon juice makes it more palatable. I’ve developed a taste for the stuff! My gal (first generation Ukrainian) can’t choke it down though….сильні чоловіки п’ють квас!

  7. leona says

    I love my beet kvass. I got the recipe from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. Open four cardamom pods and grind the seeds, 1/4 cup whey or juice from last batch and 2 tablespoon salt per half gallon. Its been winter so I leave it out to ferment for a week then I leave it in my refrigerator for two to four weeks before I decant it. it definitely gets better with time so i usually make two half gallons at a time so i can wait to decant the second and let it sit in cold storage a bit longer.

  8. Deanna McIntyre says

    I had the same feelings about this drink. But I really think it’s good for you so I kept trying more flavors. What I ended up with was adding a teaspoon of Cherry Concentrate in my glass of beet kvass. (My grocery store only sells Nature Blessed Brand). Surprisingly enough the cherry flavor and the beet flavor blend nicely. Next time I may add it before putting it in the frig to save one step. I’m very pleased that it taste better so we can enjoy our 4 ounces in the a.m. and p.m. Cherry concentrate also works well in your second fermentation of kombucha.

  9. Irene B says

    I used to make Beet Kvaas and ferment it for 2 days. My husband and I were both taking l-glutamine at the time. I used to add the suggested amount of the glutamine powder to a wine glassof kvaas and it made a delicious pre-dinner drink instead of wine. The same colour as red wine too.

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