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Beet Kvass

By Sally Fallon

This drink is valuable for its medicinal qualities and as a digestive aid. Beets are loaded with nutrients. One glass morning and night is an excelent blood tonic, promotes regularity, aids digestion, alkalizes the blood, cleanses the liver and is a good treatment for kidney stones and other ailments. Beet kvass may also be used in place of vinegar in salad dressings and as an addition to soups.

  • 3 medium or 2 large organic beetroot, peeled an chopped up coarsely.
  • 1/4 cup whey made fresh from raw milk, leave raw milkon the bench it will turn to cheese and whey within a few days (if fresh whey is not available just add another tablespoon of sea salt)
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • filtered water

Place beetroot, whey and salt in a 2-quart glass container. Add filtered water to fill the container. Stir well and cover securely. Keep at rooom temperature for 2 days before transferring to refrigerator.

When most of liquid has been drunk, you may fill up the container with water and keep at room temperature another 2 days. The resulting brew will be slightly less strong than the first. After the second brew, discard the beets and start again. You may, however, reserve some of the liquid and use this as your inoculant instead of the whey.

Note: Do not use grated beetroot in the preparation of beet tonic. When grated, beets exude too much juice resulting in a too rapid fermentation that favors the production of alcohol rather than lactic acid.

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Sally Fallon is founding president of the Weston A Price Foundation, a non-profit nutrition education foundation with over 400 local chapters and 9000 members. She is also the founder of A Campaign for Real Milk, which has as its goal universal access to clean raw milk from pasture-fed animals. Author of the best-selling cookbook Nourishing Traditions and also of Eat Fat Lose Fat (Penguin), both with Mary G. Enig, Phd, Sally has a encyclopedic knowledge of modern nutritional science as well as ancient food ways. Her grasp on the work of Weston Price is breath taking and her passion for health freedom, inspiring. In each edition of Nourished Magazine Sally answers your questions about nutrition, health, food and medical politics. Send us an email with your question and we'll put it to her.

COMMENTS - 126 Responses

  1. The recipe for Beet Kvass recommends using fresh whey made from raw milk. If you can’t get this you suggest adding another tablespoon of sea salt. Do you mean add whey that is not freshly made and another tablespoon of sea salt.

  2. Sue,
    whey powder is most often dried at very high temperatures under extreme pressure. This denatures the proteins creating neurotoxins.

    Mercola’s whey healthier is the only exception I know of. If you find any whey powder in Australia that has been prepared properly, please let us know.

    You can use whey from a yoghurt that is live. Just scoop the watery substance that settles of good yoghurt. Make sure it’s live though.

    You don’t need whey for this recipe. You can add extra salt and it should be just as good. You can also use a starter from the last beet Kvass or some Grainfields. Grainfields is the only commercially available non alcoholic, non dairy fermented drink. Check it out, its great.

    Let us know how you went.


  3. 3. Cheryl Turner
    Nov 21st, 2006 at 3:57 pm

    YOur site, and others, have recipes referring to “beet”. Is this sugar beet? If so, could you send me a picture of this vegetable please. We have beetroot (red tuber) and silver beet (green leafy)but I think sugar beet might be used for cow fodder here and noone I know has ever seen it or can describe it.
    Many thanks
    Cheryl Turner
    Eden, Australia

  4. Cheryl

    It is Beetroot. I’ll change that in the recipe to avoid any further confusion. Thanks.


  5. Hi,

    I have made beet kvass in the past and I have learned to love it. I now drink it every morning. However, the last few times I have made a batch, it is thicker than it has been in the past and I do not like it as much in its thicker form. In the past I have used Celtic Sea Salt, and now I am using Himalyan Crystal Salt. Could this be the reason for the thickness? It is also not a salty using the Himalyan Crysta salt.


  6. Beet Kvass is one of those recipes that seems to turn out differently just about every time. I love it when it’s sweet and sour and bubbly. I haven’t made a batch that turned out thick. Maybe the different constituents in the salt made this difference. All I can say is keep experimenting.

  7. Hi Joanne,

    I tried this recipe this week but am not sure if I got it right. I halved the recipe, and it didn’t really seem to have done anything after 2 days so I left it for another 2 days before straining. Even then it was only slightly bubbly on top. I used whey from my raw milk homemade yoghurt but maybe I didn’t use enough.

    What is it supposed to taste like? Mine tastes like beetroot and salt. It’s very intense and tasty but doesn’t seem fermented. Also it’s probably too salty to drink very much. Is the salt meant to get less if the kvass is fermented properly?

  8. Beet kvass never seems to turn out the same. Sometimes it gets very bubbly, sometimes it gets quite thick, and sometimes it simply develops a kind of tang. It should taste like salty beets. If you don’t like the salty taste, you can cut back on the salt and use more whey.

    If it does not seem to be fermenting at all, the first thing to do is look into the quality of the beets–the better the beets–they should be organic and grown in fertile soil–the better your kvass will be.

    Best, Sally

  9. Kate
    I have discovered beet kvass is not so good when the beetroot is old. The fresher the more fizzier.

  10. The beets were organic, from good soil, and had been dug a day or two before. I think I’ll try the less salt and more whey.


  11. In the recipe it doesn’t say to remove the beets after making the Beet Kvass. Do you remove the beets?

  12. Jana
    Keep the beetroot in the bottle. It will continue to ferment and be useful when you finish the first batch and refill. I’ve noticed that beet kvass gets better with age in the fridge.

  13. I made my beet kvass and it came out perfect! I made it with organic beetroots that I purchased from my local health food store. I used 1/3 cup kefir whey and only 1 tsp of celtic salt (total). I had to let it sit for 3 days before I saw some bubbles on the top. It does have a slight tang to it and it is thin not thick at all.

    Question: How many times can I make beet kvass from this recipe? I know I can make it at least one more time but can I make it again from my second batch?

    Thank you for your help.

  14. Okay…..Now this is what I call a weird recipe…one that I am going to try for sure, but yikes! its so different. I’m inspired by you, Jana, and will just “go forth” and make some too.

    I’ve bought about 5 bottles of Kombuchka at $3 a bottle which I find expensive. I want to figure out how to make it too.

    Interestingly enough though, I can make the bottle last all day usually and don’t want another one for a week. I found out the hard way NOT to carry it around, leave it on the patio [even in the shade] and think upon opening it, it doesn’t act like champagne and go everywhere! ha! It did. I guess that means its “alive.”

    Thanks for the inspiration! Uh, Would it be okay if I ended up ‘inspired’ to send this recipe to my husband? :-) His sense of adventure is different than mine and he would go after this like a little detective, finding all the ingredients and then making it very well. *chuckle* I’ll let you know.

  15. “I made my beet kvass and it came out perfect!”. Yes, but how do you know that it is perfect? ;)

    My first brew of Beet Kvas was ready yesterday.

    It sounds bad, it tastes bad but at least it looks pretty!

    It’s not too difficult to drink I suppose. It wasn’t fizzy though. It tasted like salty, cheesy beetroot water. Maybe I did something wrong?

  16. Improving fizziness of beet kvass:
    1. more beetroot, the sweetness feeds the bacteria which excrete the lactic acid and gas
    2. leave it longer, especially in winter as the lower temperature makes the fermentation process longer.
    3. make sure the beetroot is very fresh

    It should taste a little sweet, a little sour, a little salty and quite fizzy.

  17. Thanks Joanne. Going on that description, I don’t think it had fermented sufficiently.

    Next lot I’ll try keeping it on the bench for 3 days and use 3 beetroots (they weren’t big ones).


  18. Hey Everybody,

    I found this blog by accident while searching for some different beet kvass recipes. Just like most of you, I wasn’t sure if my first one came allrite and safe to drink in larger quantities (instead of keep taking tiny sips for exploratory purposes :)). Now I know that there is no single standard taste/texture for the beet kvass and it does have a soury and salty taste. Mine is very similar to these descriptions. Two reasons why I was little nervous because I forgot the mixture outside for another day, so 3 days instead of 2 days (which now I know that thats not a big problem), also I used goat whey rather than cows whey. What are your comments about goats whey for fermentation? I got this product from Santa Monica farmers market, same people who make those nice goat cheeze balls that look like doing squba diving inside an olive oil jar :) So I know it’s a good quality, and comes from healthy animals.

  19. Welcome Serkan, Your beet kvass and Goat’s whey sound delicious. How lucky are you to have such an awesome product at your local markets. I certainly hope you subscribed to Nourished Magazine. This month you could win $150 dollars worth of Nui coconut oil skin products. Love to hear more about your culinary adventures.

  20. Dear Experienced Kvass makers…I am about to pop down to the organic shop to buy three organic beetroots but does it matter if I use normal salt instead of sea salt? The mercury detox I am on at the moment does not allow anything from the sea.

  21. Sure Rebecca, it will work fine. Only buy a small amount though. I wouldn’t use it in the long term. Here’s a comment I made recently on a blog about salt:
    Ancient humans traded salt, traveling for miles to ensure they had adequate supplies for their people. This was not just for taste but was to provide them with trace minerals necessary for good health and fertility (according to their lore). Salt was made principally from brine on the seacoasts and salt flats in the interior. Salt-rich blood from game was collected and used in food preparation. In Africa, ashes of sodium-rich marsh grasses were added to food. Peruvians traveled down the mountains to the West Coast of South America to trade for dried fish eggs (also a source or valuable iodine).

    These traditional salts were a far cry from what is found in modern processed foods.

    Namely 99% sodium chloride. The rest is made up of potentially dangerous preservatives.
    Calcium carbonate, magnesium carbonate, and aluminum hydroxide improve the ability of table salt to pour. These ingredients are dried at over 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, the excessive heat alters the natural chemical structure of the salt.

    Sea Salt, a condiment used for thousands of years is made up of:

    55% Cholride
    30.6% Sodium
    7.7% Sulfate
    3.7% Magnesium
    1.2% Calcium
    1.1% Potassium
    0.7% Minor Constituents

    For those with heavy metal toxicity problems, choose natural sea salts that are more white in colour to avoid more naturally occurring heavy metals.

  22. What about the Himalayan salt - would this be a good choice?

  23. Sure would

  24. Hi, I’m not sure where the best place to post this is? Sorry.
    We’ve been making kefir for about 5 months now, with raw cows milk. Recently the granules have got a lot smaller in size. I was wondering if the number of beneficial strains of bacteria are reduced over time, as they can be when making yoghurt from the same batch all the time?

  25. Hi Joanne,
    I would like to tell of my experience with common table salt. About 7 years ago I started to get the most appalling headaches and general ill health including a variation of Menieres disease’s which meant no salt in my diet. After finding out from Dr David Brownstein’s site that Celtic Sea Salt is a very natural product I twigged that maybe it was the processed salt that could be causing a lot of my health problems. So I took the plunge (without medical advice), switched to Celtic Salt and haven’t looked back. My headaches have gone and and am not taking cortisone meds any more and my problems with hay fever and sinus have largely alleviated. I find if I don’t have 1/2 teaspoon of Celtic Salt in warm water every night, the symptoms come back slowly. Celtic sea salt has many medicinal properties as well as being very tasty. In Ancient Roman times, the highest quality salt was given to the best fighters and used as salary, it was so highly prized.
    Thank you for such an informative blog.

  26. I made this beet kvass this week and it turned out quite well. It’s pretty salty but it seemed to ferment well with some nice bubbles coming up. I actually left it out for about another 10 hours and it’s gone a little more sour but I like it like that - it’s actually very slightly fizzy.

    ps Wes/Joanne, is there any way I can upload an image into the post? Would be great to contribute examples and visual progress of making things like this.

  27. Bizinozi, I’ve asked Dom from Dom’s Kefir insite to respond to your comment. After all, he is the expert.

  28. Hi bizinozi,

    The same kefir grains will last a life time without change in beneficial organisms, as they have till this point in time. To give some idea, kefir grains have been in existence for at least 1,500 years. Size of grains is no indication of strain-type of organisms, beneficial or otherwise. Grain size has more to do with culture-conditions, such as temperature, and how long the grains are left in the same milk before recycling in new milk, including how much milk is used with the amount of grains.

    Generally, leaving the grains in the same milk for longer than normally required, say for 3 to 5 days per batch, will influence smaller grains, *over time*. And so does warmer conditions. However, this has little effect on strain types, although such conditions will influence a larger population of yeasts over lactic acid bacteria. Even in such cases though, reverting to more regular milk change, or culture-cycles will also revert the organisms so that a larger number of lactic acid organisms are brought back into the picture.


  29. Thanks Dom, be sure to pass your Nourishing Newsletter forward so you can go into the draw to win a batch of Kefir grains.


  30. 30. Dominic N Anfiteatro
    Nov 3rd, 2007 at 11:18 pm

    It was a pleasure to be of some service, Joanne. Since this topic is in relation to beet kvass, I would like to add to this in that for those who prefer a vegan kvass, and to extend on the traditional recipe, water kefir can be used in place of kefir-whey or whey as suggested by Sally Fallon. What this means is that a strained, ready-to-drink water kefir which is prepared according to the traditional recipe [5-10% sugar/water slice of lemon and dry fig, fermented with water kefir grains for 24 -48 hours and then strained], is used in place of whey and water in the suggested recipe. Water kefir used like so will start the fermentation process, and a kvass will be ready within a shorter time frame. It shall have lots of fizz and good flavour, including probiotic strains, or at least one can be reassured that good bacteria and yeasts are to be found in the kvass.


  31. Can beet kvas be consumed by those who are allergic to diary? I know that whey is used, but is it converted / used up in the process of fermentation?

    Thank you!

  32. This is amazing! SO happy there is a forum, magazine, website, and chat! This whole food thing of Nourishing supports what I have always believed and properly educates me to doing it right! Thank-yoU! Brought here seeking proper Beet Kvass taste. What a nice surprise, thank-you all!

  33. Welcome Jane. Look forward to hearing about your Nourishing adventures also.

  34. How long can the kvass last in the fridge? Mine is starting to get a little globby, I can tell the whey is at work, I jjust wonder is there a point where I need to toss it if I don;t drink it all first? I made a double batch because of the size jar I had.

  35. I am just about to make some beet kvass. Do you drink it immideately?

  36. Billie

    Best to ferment for two to three days then fridge it for a week.

  37. Thanks for the information. I don’t see many bubbles on my beet kvass, and this is the 2nd day
    Should I leave it out another day?
    Thanks so much for your answer. We have to travel quite a few miles to even get organic beets, or anything else organic.

  38. Hello again, I apologize for having to ask so many questions,—but again, do I stir the beet kvass before putting it in the refrigeator. —-and leave it two weeks in fridge before drinking.
    Thanks so much for being so patient .
    Thanks, Joanne

  39. No need to stir. The thing with any form of fermenting is the variables. There are so many. It’s more like an artform than a science. General rules are:

    more heat = faster fermentation
    more beets = more bubbles
    sweeter beets = more bubbles
    fresher beets = more bubbles

    You’ll find your way and it will work well for a time then suddenly a batch turns out pale and tasteless. Rest assured it is still nourishing and it will be different next time.

    BTW the small white bits that sometimes form on the surface are harmless mould/bacteria colonies. You can drink or scoop out.

    Good luck and let us know how you went.

  40. Thank you so VERY much. This is the 2nd day , so I believe I will wait until toomorrow before I pput it in the fridge for a week, then start to drink. Right?
    Thanks , Billie

  41. Joanne , I put the beet kvass in the fridge today, 3rd, and I skimmed some “mold” looking stuff off the top before I put it in the fridge. I tasted it , and it did not taste like it was fermented. Should I just wait a week and go ahead and drink it, even if it did not ferment? Is is alright??

  42. Is it alright to drink the beet kvass, even though it may NOT have fermented?

  43. If you will tell me if it is alright to drink the kvass, even though I don’ think it fermented, I will not bother you again.
    This is my first time ever to make it.
    Thank you,

  44. Sorry to have bothered you, again. Just want to thank you for all your time and information.

  45. You’re more than welcome Billie. Your questions will help others. Please let us know how your beet kvass adventures turn out. When you get it right, you’ll know. Good beet kvass is exquisite.

  46. HI all, ive just tried my first experiment with beet kvass, using grainfields liquid. Fingers crossed it will ferment nicely and taste great…will keep you posted.

    The other day I also made some coconut water kefir, from a young coconut, as outlined on the body ecology website. It took a little longer to ferment due to the cooler temperature in sydney at the moment, but i just tried some and i think most of the sugar had disappeared, and it was quite fizzy so I am happy! also tried the coconut milk kefir cheese, not as tasty but it had a fizzy tang so i think it worked.

    in the process of making some fresh goats milk kefir too….

    just want to thank everyone for their questions and posts as they all help me to get clearer about what to do!!

  47. I have just made my 2nd batch of beet kvass. I threw out the first, because I didn’t think it fermented. Now—this is the third day, with the 2nd batch , and I see very few bubbles, and some of the chopped beets are floating to the top. Is this normal???
    Can anyone tell me, is this alright? Should I just put the kvass in the fridge and drink it anyway???

  48. Hi,
    I made Kvass this week, but it is not very bubbly or tangy either. It just tastes like beet juice. I used whey from my homemade Kefir and organic beets. I am thinking that I did not chop the beets small enough. Okay, this may be a dumb question but how small should the pieces be? I dont want to drink it unfermented because I dont want to ingest all that sugar. I made it in a ball jar and when I open it there is a very little pop and some small bubbles on top, but again no tang in the flavor.

  49. I have made beet kvass 3 times, most recently with beetroot straight out of my organic garden and whey from raw quark. Yet again it simply formed a white mould on the top and was not bubbly at all. It just tastes like salty beet water. Like Billie, I would really like to know if there is any value in drinking this and if it is in fact fermented if there are no bubbles. Thank-you to anyone who can help on this.

  50. What do you think would happen if instead of whey I used acidophilus or raw apple cider vinegar? Would either of these begin a beneficial fermentation process?

  51. Not sure about your suggestions Scott but I know “Grainfields” will innoculate.

    Rhonwen, James, Billie - Best I can say is keep experimenting until you find the right combination. You may need to let it ferment for longer (like way longer) if you live in a cold climate. Generally the smaller the beet chunks the quicker the ferment. Not too small or alcohol will be formed, not very tasty. The bacteria need salt to protect them from being overtaken with putrifying organisms. They need sugar from the beets (enough to help them grow but not too much or they will grow too quickly - alcohol). They need warmth to grow and will take longer in colder conditions.

    I’ve been known to make a Kvass and be very unimpressed with it’s taste then place in the fridge only to find it 4 months later tasting superb. Other times 2 days is enough. Other times, no matter what I do I just get salty beet water. Luckily Beetroot is so cheap it’s not costly to experiment.

    It may help to acknowledge the fairies and devas of your kitchen as you cook. My ancestors called him “The Bryjie Man” the fairy who came and fermented the beer. Start to form a relationship with the hidden powers that do all the work. Best not to sterilize your kitchen and offend the fairies, know what I mean.

  52. I just opened a half gallon jar of Beet Kvass that had been sitting my frig for at least 6 months. It wasn’t getting carbonated early on so I just let it sit in there and actually forgot about it. When I opened it, there was so much carbonation, I had a huge purple head of foam emerge and pour over the sides. It is so good!!!


  53. 53. Cathy Mifsud
    Apr 26th, 2008 at 9:42 pm

    Wow, all this great conversation on Beet Kvass! I’ve finally got it now, I think. Going to try again on Monday, last two batches just tasted like salty beet water. I’m looking forward to getting this one right. Fermenting is so EXCITING! My two 1/2 year old loves fermented veg and this makes me so happy. At Nina’s age the only veg I ate was white potato!

  54. Hi all, I’ve got my first-ever batch of beet kvass fermenting (hopefully) on the counter.
    I used 1/4 cup of kefir (not whey…I didn’t have any whey handy). Will that work? The recipe said you could use “coconut milk kefir” instead of whey, but I didn’t have any of that handy, either, so just used regular milk-fermented kefir.
    Is this safe? And is it fermenting? It has a lot of white stuff in it (obviously, probably the kefir itself).

  55. Joel - I’ve never heard of Beet Kvass being made with kefir before. All you need to do is filter the kefir through a cheesecloth (even a teatowel or other fine thread cloth) to separate the curds from the whey. It’s best to have a clear liquid to ferment the beet kvass with. I’m sure it’s safe and it would be definitely be fermenting but it sounds strange! Well, maybe you’ve invented a new drink?! Let us know how you go!


  56. 56. lila prins
    Jun 14th, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    Hi Joanne,
    I just made my first batch of beet kvass. On first taste I expected it to be a bit fizzier. By second taste I love it . After reading this web site I decided to let it go another night for more fizz.I have 2 questions - 1- can you drink too much of it, is there too much of a good thing. 2- I also made green cabbage kvass which wont be ready till tomorrow. Are there other recipes ? Other vegis I can use. I just saw a guy on you tube making beet kvass adding ginger. I’m so excited !

  57. Do the beets in beet kvass have to be peeled? Could they be just well scrubbed before cubing?

  58. Nancy, I made a few batches of beet kvass earlier this year when we had beetroot in the garden and I decided against peeling them because they weren’t that big and I didn’t want to do any extra work. They worked fine. I decided the only reason the recipe would say to peel the beetroot would be to increase the cut surface area that is in contact with the water/whey/salt mixture, so I cut my beetroot into smaller pieces. Yummy stuff! It reminds me of canned tomato juice. We’ve planted lots of beetroot but have to wait until they mature. I always prepare the kvass as soon as I’ve harvested the beetroot for maximum nutrition. I also use goat’s milk kefir whey.

  59. Hi All
    I live in Sydney where the temp is a bit chilly at the moment. Anything that I’m fermenting this time of year goes into the oven (turned off of course) with a hot water bottle. The oven is insulated so it prevents the heat generated by the hottie escaping. Keeps things warm enough for everything to ferment nicely.

  60. I’m so excited to try making some of this on my own. Just had one question to clarify: Since where I live, raw milk is illegal to buy and sell, I’m not sure if I can get any fresh whey; however, Sally’s recipe calls for extra salt if this is the case. I understand that the increased salt will further inhibit undesirable microorganisms, but I do not understand where my lactobacilli culture will come from to carry out the fermentation. Sorry to ramble. I guess my question is will the fermentation still work without a starter culture? (ie. using only beets, sugar, and salt?)

    Thanks guys!

  61. Kelsey, I’m thinking that the lactobacilli are actually in the beetroot. From my understanding it takes a bit longer to ferment. If you can’t get hold of raw milk to get your whey, I’m wondering, if you made some kefir from organic pasturised milk and then leave it for a week or so at room temperature until it separates, whether the whey would have the right bacteria then? The fermentation process with kefir adds bacteria, yeast and enzymes to pasterised milk so it could work. Might be worth a try then your kvass won’t be too salty. I’m sure if you asked Dom on his website (all about kefir) he would know.

  62. Thanks Robyn. I ended up filtering some natural yogurt from my organic supermarket through some cheese cloth, and my first batch of kvass is now sitting on my counter. I’m assuming the whey from yogurt will serve the same purpose. I can’t wait to see how it turns out, although I am a little nervous that I’m not going to like it. Either way, I’m really excited to try it and have to resist the urge to bust into it now! I really don’t know anything about kefir, so I’ll definitely have to check out that website you mentioned. Thanks!


  63. Good luck with it Kelsey! Let us know how it turns out. Have you read Sally Fallon’s description of how it should taste in Nourishing Traditions? The good news is that if this batch works you can use some of it to inoculate the next, so you won’t have to muck around with getting whey again!

  64. Alas–day two, and so far all I’ve got is “salty beet water”. It’s been raining quite a bit, so maybe the cold weather has affected the fermentation. I think I’ll leave it one more day and try it again :)

    also, Robyn, I was wondering if you could give me the link to that website on kefir. Thanks!

  65. I live in Tasmania and it always takes a bit longer to ferment anything here. I have a slow combustion stove and a couple of shelves above it so I usually ferment my kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha and kvass on the shelves and transfer them to a cooler room after a few days (and the fridge for kvass).
    Here’s the address for Dom’s Kefir In-site:
    It’s very comprehensive and a very enlightening read. (He sounds like a really nice guy too.) If you get into kefir, once you’ve got an excess number of grains, it’s worth trying water kefir too (using honey). Dom has a recipe on his site.

  66. Can you successfully make beet kvass using apple cider vinegar instead of whey? I know you can use Molkosan but that cost alot of money per bottle!

  67. can you accomplish making beet kvass without the salt and whey? I make fermented cabbage juice all the time with no salt or starter. so is it possible?

  68. Has anyone aged this like kombucha — in a grolsch style bottle? Also, should it be covered with the regular metal jar lid, or with a filter so it can breath?

  69. Mine has been in the fridge for 2 months now and looks great. I’ve read from other peoples experiences that they like it better after it has aged. Mine is covered with screw on jar lids in the fridge.

  70. Hi,

    I started my first-ever batch of kvass on Saturday. Tonight my son asked me, “What’s this bowl with moldy stuff on top?” I left it for three days instead of two and I have no idea when the mold started to grow. Can I just take it off and refrigerate the rest and know that it’s okay? Has this happened to anyone else? Is it because I had it in a place that gets a good deal of sun? It was in a glass bowl covered with plastic wrap. Thanks for your help!

  71. Amy,

    I’ve always read that if it’s moldy, toss it!!! Mine never had mold; only a layer of white bubbles on top.


  72. 72. Cathy Mifsud
    Aug 27th, 2008 at 10:37 pm

    My beet kvass finally worked. It took 4 days in a warmish spot. Its delicious. I imagine its going to be a real favourite in summer.
    Fermenting is so exciting!

  73. Hello again,
    When I skimmed off the mold, I realized that it was from the starter I had used: whey from some commercial yogurt (and there was a string of yogurt in it when I skimmed it off). I wonder if that will solve the problem? Thanks, Christine, for your comments.

  74. could someone please answer question 67 or at least try to, thank you.

  75. How do you make the fermented cabbage juice shane?

  76. 76. Cathy Mifsud
    Aug 28th, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    Shane I wouldn’t know myself. I know you can make it without whey. You can just add your celtic salt or any good whole sea salt.
    Not only will salt protect it from going bad but it adds important minerals. Any reason you want to make it without salt?
    Fermenting is about experimenting, give it a go and let us know. Its easy to know if its good or not just follow your nose.

  77. Shane, try adding your last batch of Kvass to innoculate the new batch.

  78. Shane, I’m would think that you need the salt to stop it going off. It would be worth trying it without whey. Beetroot is a brasica (like cabbage) I believe, so they may have the same bacteria in them. The best way to find out is to give it a go. Your nose and taste buds will tell you if it’s off, I would think. Have you read Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz? Both books have heaps of information about fermentation and great recipes.

  79. i make fermented cabbage juice simply by putting about half a cabbage or more into my vitamix (or blender) with water, mix it untill it is liquid like and then put it into a gallon glass jug, there should be about a gallons worth of liquid total, water/cabbage mix. you can either cap it up or put muslin over the top, and then you just let it sit for 2 to pref 3 days and then refrigerate. it will last a coulpe of weeks in the fridge. the result should be a dull pale yellowish liquid that smells like potent funky saurkraut, it won’t be fizzy most of the time, you can add salt to the begining process if you like, but it will inhibit the bacteria growth although keep longer. if you want to strain the cabbage pulp from the juice you can, but i just mix it up and drink it thick style to get all the goodness. thanks for all the help ladies, i appreciate it.


  80. Beetroot is not a brassica like cabbage. It is a member of the chenopodiacea family to which silverbeet and spinach also belong.

  81. Sandor Katz I believe has tips for salt free kraut on his Q and A section on his website

  82. I’m on a candida cleanse diet but love my beet kvass as a daily supplement. Do you know if I should avoid drinking beet kvass during my cleansing period (which is quite long)? I’m avoiding all sugar, fruit, fermented items such as cheese, and items that contain yeast. I understand beets have a high level of sugar and that this is a fermented drink, but I’m hoping it will not contribute to my candida overgrowth, since it is a blood alkalizer. thanks.

  83. Mindy, go for it, the sugar is all eaten up by the bacteria and the lacto-fermentation makes good gut flora you want when you’re killing off the baddies. Plus it will help your blood cleanse while in the die off phase.

  84. Gonna try my second batch of beet kvass, since my first never fermented. I was wondering if I can use some kefir started that I bought but haven’t used yet? If so, how much should I put in there?


  85. I have a question about beets. What is the difference between beetroot powder and beets/beetroot? I have read that if you mix the powder with water to create a drink, it helps with stiffness. I don’t suppose you could substitute it for the beets in a beet kvass recipe, could you?

  86. As long as it has some sugars in it, I think it would ferment. I would imagine fresh beets are way healthier than beetroot powder though.

  87. it may ferment too quickly in powdered form and form alcohol then vinegar rather than lactic acid.

  88. 88. tori stewart
    Feb 27th, 2009 at 5:16 am

    I’ve made some beet kvas in the past, and while it turned out good, i have a few questions. I know when you make sauerkraut you are supposed to weight the ingredients below the surface of the liquid, is it the same for beet kvas? Also, is it normal for the beet peices to turn an alarming shade of grey? Liquid still tasted fine though not as sour as i wanted. And last but not least, what is the recommended size for the peices, i think maybe my idea of roughly chopped was too big. how about pea sized? Thanks for any help you can give me to make this better , i love this stuff, thanks!

  89. I have been making beet kvass for several months now. My last batch had some white mold looking things floating on top. Is this safe to drink? Also, I have a batch that has been in the fridge now for at least2 months. How long can this keep before it needs to be tossed?

  90. Hi
    What is live yogurt? Does than mean home made or is the jalna bio-dynamic yogurt ok? I just used this yogurt to drain the whey and make yogurt cheese. I’m hoping this whey is ok for beet kvass? I also would like to know, how long drained yogurt keeps for? The book said a few weeks, but if it is from store bought yogurt, do I go by the use by date (which is sooner)? Thank you. Jules.

  91. 91. Cathy Mifsud
    Apr 24th, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    Jules don’t buy yogurt that has milk solids added to it. These milk solids are really bad. All of the Jalna range has milk solids added. The only two yogurts that don’t (that I know of, there way be more) are Marrook Farm and Paris Creek, both are BDynamic.
    I doubt the solids will effect the whey but you want to be able to eat the yummy curds/cheese after you separate it.
    Better cheeper option is to make your own.
    If you feel like it, contact Jalna and tell them they should remove the milk solids from their yogurt;

  92. Thanks Cathy, I had no idea about the milk solids. Well, I made the beet kvass with the whey from that yogurt, and it looked like it fermented ok (took about 5 days). It had a small amount of bubbles on top and was a nice deep red colour. Then I put it in the fridge and a few days later it has turned a muddy brown colour. Even the beets at the bottom are brown. Is this normal? I expected it to stay the nice beet red colour. Do you think it didn’t ferment properly and has gone rotten? I used very fresh, organic beets, but perhaps the whey was no good.

  93. 93. Bruce Winter
    Jun 19th, 2009 at 6:26 am

    When the liquid got below the top of the beets the beets got mouldy, is this a problem?

  94. What should beet kvass look like after it’s been refrigerated for a few weeks?

    Mine is kind of cloudy/muddy/brown. It was red when it went in.

    Is it safe to drink if it’s brown?

    Would love to hear what others kvass looks like, as I’m just about ready to give up on the kvass for fear of not fermenting it properly and poisoning myself :0)

  95. 95. peterlepaysan
    Jun 20th, 2009 at 11:27 pm

    It has been interesting reading the queries.

    Actually making beet kvass is the same as making sauerkraut.

    Traditionally chopped/shredded cabbage was pounded and salted.

    The shredding and pounding (amongst other things) provided a liquid cover from the air.

    The salt inhibited airborne opportunistically lucky bacteria except lactobacter exploiting this
    food mine.

    Because there is damn all sugar available in cabbage airborne yeasts had little chance of taking hold
    of this food source. Never tried cabbage wine/beer.

    Lactobacter prevails in salty anaerobic environments.

    Once made sauerkraut was put away in a cool dark corner for at least a month (preferablyseveral).

    Any “alien” bacteria showed up as “floaters” on the surface of the brine and can be safely flicked out.

    I do differ with Sally Fallon (whom I greatly admire).

    Grated/shredded beetroot soaked in whey (lactic acid) is not going to ferment into alcohol, also yeast does not do well in a salty environment.

    I always grate my beets when making kvass but I always use whey from my own yogurt.

    If you use whey from kefir make sure you use salt, there are yeasts in kefir who would deal to the sugar in beets
    big time.

    Mind you I’d be surprised if you noticed the alcohol, it would be minuscule.

  96. 96. carolina smith
    Jun 27th, 2009 at 6:32 am

    Is it ok to eat the beets after you make the second batch of kvass? I’m waiting for my first batch of kvass to be ready. and can’t wait. Carolina

  97. 97. carolina smith
    Jun 29th, 2009 at 10:54 am

    My first batch of kvass tasted like salty beet water too. I had left it out for 3 days hoping I would see a few more bubbles, but there are just a few. I’m going to leave it in the refrigerator while I go on a month’s vacation and see what happens when I get back. The second batch I’ll try putting in the oven with a hot water bottle like someone suggested. I think the first wasn’t warm enough. Wouldn’t our ancestors smile how we are learning to make something that was probably in their bones!

  98. 98. Bruce Winter
    Jul 7th, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    Still wondering about the layer of mould on the top.

  99. Hi Bruce & Carolina,
    You’ll find answers to yr. Q’s at
    They’ve got full discussions on everything to do with fermentation, NT, etc., there.

  100. Tried my first batch of beet kvass, after reading your website, I’m still not sure if it’s ok to drink it if it tastes like salty water or throw it out? It’s fermenting a little on day 2 , will leave longer. thanks Joan

  101. 101. Cathy Mifsud
    Jul 8th, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    If the beets are mouldy throw them out.
    To make your second batch of kvass with the same beets you need to top them up before the juice gets too low.
    Hope that helps, I’m no expert on kvass.

  102. 102. Bruce Winter
    Jul 13th, 2009 at 7:30 am

    Thanks Anita
    onibasu dosn’t work though.

  103. Hi Bruce,
    Try this link-
    Then, use the Search function, for ‘beet kvass’, in NT. Hope it helps, Anita.

  104. 104. Bruce Winter
    Jul 26th, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    Thanks Anita, it worked.
    Evidently the mold is harmless.
    Mine has never become spritzy either, no matter how long I let it go.
    It’s just salty beet water.
    On we go…..

  105. 105. Lynne BDV
    Jul 29th, 2009 at 5:42 am

    A happy surprise to find this blog after ( googleing ) ” beet kvass ”. This is my very first entry into the blogosphere. !! I found the courage to open a jar in the fridge with the B. Kvass after 2 months. The colour is such a dark beet colour, intense magenta, almost a pure pigment ….. smells good, had already drunk it months ago, but now …. it is so viscosey …. glutinous , my first thought was to toss it, then wondered if it would stay in the compost or make it’s way upstairs in the middle of the night. Having decided NOT to put it in a baking tray on a slow oven …. to make a stunning yoga mat, I am currently holding it in a glass jar in the fridge. Would anyone like to encourage me to drink it ? will it poison me ??? will I spend the night hallucinating ?? It could be the beet kvass to end all B. K.’s …… or maybe not . feedback from more experienced fermenters please.

  106. hey all, read all the posts. I just made my first batch of beet kvass.
    Results: very red and salty, I have got a few mold colonies on the top, no fizz at all. I assume this means it did not ferment. I left it out for 2 days, temp was from 70 to 80 inside for this time. Beets were from a local farm, not cert. organic but farmer said he does noes not use pest./chemicals.
    question : no fizz = no ferment. is this correct? What is / is there a way to tell if the kvass fermented?
    I did try a few sips, tastes like salt and beets, but no fizz.
    thanks and ferment on!

  107. I wanted to say thanks for the info on how to make a proper beet kvass. After reading all of the posts/messages I know that my kvass didn’t ferment since there is no fizz BUT that has not stopped me from still drinking it. It’s salty beet water but still really good. I’m going to make a new batch up and hopefully get better results. I think this last one had to do with me not letting my raw milk separate for very long so I don’t think I had a good batch of whey…can that affect it?

    thanks again for the info, so helpful!

  108. 108. carolina smith
    Mar 15th, 2010 at 2:54 am

    Could someone comment on question 31 please? Thanks, Carolina

  109. Carolina,
    If you’re allergic to dairy, you could use Dom’s suggestion of water kefir can be used in place of kefir-whey or whey as suggested by Sally Fallon. What this means is that a strained, ready-to-drink water kefir which is prepared according to the traditional recipe [5-10% sugar/water slice of lemon and dry fig, fermented with water kefir grains for 24 -48 hours and then strained], is used in place of whey and water in the suggested recipe. Water kefir used like so will start the fermentation process, and a kvass will be ready within a shorter time frame. It shall have lots of fizz and good flavour, including probiotic strains, or at least one can be reassured that good bacteria and yeasts are to be found in the kvass.
    I believe fermented foods build you up, & give you a greater resistance to allergies, as I’ve found in my experience.

  110. 110. Tracy in NC
    Apr 4th, 2010 at 7:48 am

    I made some beet kvass several months ago and put it back in my fridge. We tried it once and decided to let it go a little longer. We promptly forgot about it. It has been in the jar in the back of my fridge for about 6 months. Any thoughts on if it is still good or not? I hate to think of throwing it away.

    Tracy in NC

  111. 111. Charlotte
    May 7th, 2010 at 7:35 am

    How much Beet Kvass should be drunk each day to get the most benefits?

  112. so, i am wondering if how much you tighten the jar has anything to do with whether it molds, or ferments?

  113. I made the kvass and it turned out fine, but flat. I’m looking for something fizzy to replace my old Diet Coke habit. Would mixing the kvass with a little sparkling mineral water (e.g. Gerolsteiner) do any harm to the live probiotics?

  114. I bought some organic full fat yogurt and strained it. They whey was milky and thicker then ordinary whey. I made the beet kvass today and it looks cloudy because of the thicker whey. Will it still work??

    The last time I made beet kvass from my own yogurt that I made and it was not cloud/milky looking.

  115. 115. Gwen in NC
    Jul 13th, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    I’ve enjoyed reading this beet kvass blog! I’ve tried and tried again to get a fizzy beet kvass and now I feel confident to try again! Thanks.

    Glenn, if you are looking for a coke alternative try homemade Kombucha! lots of fizz! My favorite flavor add ins are peach and blackberry.

  116. 116. Lisa Duhamel
    Jul 29th, 2010 at 6:29 am

    I’m confused! I grew regular beets in the garden and tried to use them for the kvass. Beets=beetroot??? Also, my product tasted like salty beet water without any fizz and a white mold formed on day two. HELP! I’m hoping this drink will help my son with constipation.

  117. i just was looking for a way to make beetroot probiotic and came across your blog - just have to try, thanks for your article!

  118. Thanks for sharing! I’m still fermenting, but hope to try mine today or tomorrow! I posted a link to this recipe on my blog, please check it out if you’d like!

  119. When making a fresh batch, should the filtered water be all the way to the top of the jar? Will the process not work as well if there is an ‘air pocket’ at the top of the liquid?

  120. I made my first batch of beet kvass about a week ago (used two tablespoons of celtic sea salt, no whey). I used a two-liter bottle and after approximately 56 hours I moved it to the refrigerator. I waited another day & a half before drinking any. Now that I am halfway through the bottle, the top of the beets are no longer covered with kvass. Is this ok? Is it time to start the second batch? How much kvass should I keep as starter for the second batch? Help is appreciated.

    On another note, I saw that a company named Zukay makes carrot ginger kvass. Has anyone tried it? Do any of you make a kvass like this? If so, please describe your recipe.

  121. Is it very important to use filtered water? i have tried making beet kvass with our tap water (here in Melbourne) as i don’t have a filter yet, and i wonder if chemicals in the water have interfered with the fermentation process?

  122. 122. Nancy Rudy
    Dec 3rd, 2010 at 7:46 am

    Can you use frozen beets for beet kavas?

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