Whether you are are just starting out on your fermentation journey, or have been dabbling in the delights of beneficial bacteria for awhile now, making beetroot kvass should be on your to do list. Here’s a couple of quick wonderful reasons why.
It’s Easy- Really, dead easy. Doesn’t require any crucial measuring of ingredients and is incredibly satisfying seeing the fermentation process begin within a relatively short space of time.
Your Liver- Will thank you, yes it will. Lots of info on what it does can be found here.
Probiotics are your friend- That’s good bacteria in a nutshell. You want your gut full of this stuff, full of a wonderful diverse array of different bacteria and enzymes. (Anything naturally fermented helps with this.)
Now importantly how does it taste?
If you are already accustomed to the earthy tones of raw beetroot in fresh juices, this stuff won’t be pulling any surprises. Seeing as though I’m a relative newcomer to actually liking beetroot in it’s (ahem) uncanned state, to me it tastes like…licking dirt.
Being an avid fan of anything fermented though, I shall persist and my liver will thank me for it. (Or it had better, there has to be some perks of drinking this garden tasting juice.*)
3 medium sized beetroot
1.5 litres cool boiled water
2 pinches of salt
Peel the skin off your beetroot and dice them up, approximately 1cm squares, if they are 2cm it wouldn’t be a tragedy however.
Pop the beetroot in a large clean glass jar, something with a wide mouth. You need the air yeasts to get to the kvass, so a large wide mouth jar is great to use. Add your salt and water, give it a little swish around to make sure the salt is dissolved and cover with a square of muslin (or paper towel) and a rubber band. Now to get things cracking a little earlier, I did add about 1/4 cup of sauerkraut juice to kick-start things a little, you could also add whey (as per Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions) or nothing and just be dependent on the air yeasts that will get things fermenting.
Have a good smell of it before you put the muslin on. Your nose, eyes and taste buds are the key to great fermenting. Smell the changes as they take place, see them and lastly give it a taste test. Let those three things guide you.
I started seeing bubbles with 24 hours surprisingly, however I let it ferment for a further few days. The length of time is going to depend on the season and how warm it is in your kitchen.
If you are new to fermenting I highly reccommend Sandor Katz’s book The Art of Fermentation it’s easy to follow and really is a ‘forever’ book that you’ll keep dipping into dependent on what you’re interested in at the time.
* You can add ginger lemon rind etc as a second ferment to tweak the flavour a bit.