By Joe Cowan
Director of Operations
Kvass is a very basic fermented drink that is traditionally made with rye bread and flavored with fruit, vegetables, or herbs. I make a lot of rye bread, especially during the summer months so I don’t need to add a starter culture to my jars. The starter, mostly composed of rye flour, is entirely sufficient to get the fermentation going. At this point, I am simply choosing things from my weekly CSA to ferment or dehydrate. Beet Kvass is an easy choice since I love a glass mixed with sparkling water or made into borscht. I am also going to attempt a loaf of 20% rye bread with Beet Kvass as the liquid instead of water.
3-4 large red, chiogga, or gold beets, rinsed and chopped
2 tbsp salt
28 oz water
1 32 oz mason jar
1 bread towel
Optional: 1 tbsp starter or yogurt whey
- Place all the beets into the mason jar and add the salt. Stir together to coat the beets. Add the water and stir. Cover with the towel and tie the string around it tightly.
- Let the jar sit out on a counter in a cool, dry space with some airflow for 3-6 days.
- Each day, look closely at the jar observing color and smell. Taste the liquid after the third day, once bubbles appear at the top. Let it continue to ferment until desired sourness. If any mold appears at the top, skim it off and discard (the batch is not spoiled).
- Once a deep red or gold color is achieved and the batch is fully fermented to your taste, place the jar in the refrigerator to retard fermentation. It will continue to ferment.