What I Love – Beet Kvass Recipe – Nourishing Drink From Eastern Europe

You might already know that I just LOVE lacto-fermented foods and drinks. Sauerkraut and pickles in salt brine is what I grew up with in Poland and now I’m just expanding my fermented repertoire. I am a regular reader of Dr. Mercola’s newsletter and yesterday he shared a very interesting article about how our gut flora influences our health (you can read the article here). There was a paragraph in it about importance and benefits of lacto-fermented foods. They are a powerhouse of goodness and just a mouthful provides trillions of beneficial bacteria—far more than you can get from a probiotics supplement. That article inspired me to share another lacto fermented recipe with you. Today you will learn how to make beet kvass – a drink that is as delicious as it is healthy. Just google “beet kvass benefits” and see for yourself. It helps that it’s also super easy to make.

This beet kvass recipe is for one quart jar. You’ll have to multiply everything accordingly if you want to make more at the same time. I usually make at least 3-5 jars.

beet kvass ingredients

What you’ll need:

  1. A quart jar with a lid
  2. 1 medium beet cut into one inch chunks
  3. quart of filtered water
  4. 2 teaspoons of sea salt or other unrefined salt
  5. 2-3 bay leaves
  6. 1/4 teaspoon of allspice berries
  7. 1 bigger or 2 smaller cloves of garlic sliced into 3-4 pieces

You can skip the bay leaves and allspice berries if you don’t have them at home but they do add to the flavor. If you normally don’t use these spices you may buy just as much as you’ll need from bulk bins at Whole Foods Market or my favorite store Willy Street Coop in Madison. It will cost just pennies.

How to make beet kvass (without whey):

  • wash the jar well
  • add beet chunks, sliced garlic, bay leaves and allspice berries

beet kvass without whey

  • in a separate container add salt to water and stir to dissolve
  • pour water into the jar with beets, almost to the brim, stir
  • screw on a jar cover tightly and put aside on the counter for 3-5 days

beet kvass no whey

  • Once a day open the jars lightly to let the gas out and then tighten the lids again.

  • After about 5 days stir the liquid in the jar and then transfer into a fridge.

You can now start drinking your beet kvass or let it ferment a little longer in the fridge. It will keep getting darker in color and the flavor will be more intense. Here is how my kvass looked after two days, after stirring and after a month.


Beet kvass tastes best when it’s chilled. You don’t need to drink a lot of it, 2-4 ounces a day is a perfect amount. I also love to use the beet chunks from the jar. They are delicious grated in salads. I hope this recipe sounds easy enough and that it will inspire you to make your own beet kvass. I’m pretty sure you won’t regret it. Just recently I shared mine with several neighbors and they all loved it (and I honestly don’t think they were just trying to be nice 🙂 ) I also must admit that I had no success so far in trying to convince my kids to drink it. Maybe some day… For now I’m glad that they love drinking our homemade kombucha and are getting their probiotics this way.

how to make beet kvass

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18 Responses to “What I Love – Beet Kvass Recipe – Nourishing Drink From Eastern Europe”
  1. Kasia says:

    Aniu! Najbardziej zaskakujace sa nakretki od sloikow ;-)))))))

  2. Ania says:

    Kasiu, zrodlem sloikow sa polskie sklepy w Chicago 🙂

  3. Iren Kun says:

    Thank you very much Ania for the recipe!
    I will show it today for our GAPS Group in Bristol (UK) and I have tweeted it.

    Have a nice weekend!
    Iren Kun
    (originally from Hungary)

  4. Ania says:

    You’re very welcome Iren 🙂 I’ve been reading a little about GAPS Nutritional program and Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride on mercola.com and it all makes a lot of sense to me. I’m so glad that you want to share my kvass recipe, it’s really easy to make. One important tip to make sure it turns out good is to cut the garlic cloves. I didn’t when I was first making it and sometimes the kvass went off. Now when I slice the garlic it always ferments great 🙂 Enjoy!

  5. ML says:

    Do you peel the beets first? I’ve made this before but not with the garlic, bay leaves and all spice. Hopefully this will taste much better than salty beet water!

  6. Ania says:

    No I don’t peel the beets, just scrub them well. Now with the summer one thing I would pay attention to is the temperature, because if it’s too hot the fermentation may happen too fast and the kvass could be off. At the beginning a lot of my batches were bad, but it changed when I started slicing garlic (vs putting whole cloves before). So just keep an eye on it and you may have to put it in the fridge sooner than after 5 days. Good luck!

  7. Thanks so much Ania! I love this recipe so much that I have it on my blog! I am presently on the GAPS diet and beet kvass and other fermented foods are staples in my diet! Beet kvass is so easy to make and sooo good for you!

  8. Ania says:

    Thanks for sharing Danette! I love beet kvass and it’s great to hear that the recipe works for others. You can check this link to explore my other lacto-fermented recipes 🙂

  9. I used this recipe to make kvass for the first time. I tasted it after four days of fermentation at room temperature, and it didn’t taste very good. I let it ferment longer, for a total of ten or eleven days, after which I put it in the refrigerator. Even then, it really only started tasting good after about a month. I also found an improvement from adding a small splash of vinegar to my glass just before drinking. The next time I make kvass, I may cut down on the amount of allspice berries. Anyway, I don’t mean to sound too critical — this was good stuff, and I’ll be making it again. Thanks for posting the recipe.

  10. Ania says:

    I also think that the kvass is better after at least two weeks of fermenting, but I never kept it on the counter for that long as i don’t want it to go off. In the fridge you can keep it for a very long time and the flavor intensifies significantly. Thanks for trying the recipe, Alex!

  11. amber b says:

    ok, this is my first time making beet kvass…i made this about 3 weeks ago and just now strained all my little jars so i could just store one large jar with all the kvass in it. However, only one of my jars seems normal (i made 6). The one smells great and is a normal consistency, but the other 5 smell like pickles, have a syrupy consistency that will hardly go through my strainer, and have a have a shine floating on the surface. Any idea what i did wrong? i’m so sad, i strained the bad and good jars together before i realized what was happening 🙁 it smelled great, but i didnt get to try it! Any trouble shooting tips would be great!

  12. Ania says:

    Hi Amber, did you keep all the jars on the counter for 3 weeks? I’m not sure from your description, but if this was the case then it’s probably why they went bad. I keep my jars on the counter up to 4-5 days and then transfer to the fridge. I also don’t strain the beets that way they keep fermenting and make the kvass more potent. When I need them I take a few chunks out and use them in salads. hope that helps 🙂

  13. amber b says:

    they were only on the counter for 4-5 days also! sorry, i should have mentioned that! do you think my jars didn’t have a good enough seal or something? that was the only thing i could think of…

  14. Ania says:

    Hmmm, I’m not sure what went wrong then… My kvass does smell like fermented pickles but it never gets thick like syrup. One possible option might be that it didn’t turn out well because you used conventional beets. I had that happen with a batch of cucumber pickles, I made several jars at once and they all went off. If it’s off the smell is really stinky, though… Don’t give up though and maybe try one jar at a time next 🙂

  15. Ania says:

    I forgot to mention that the super tight seal is not that important if you keep it in the fridge.

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] feel brave and want to try something completely different (but still lacto-fermented) check out my beet kvass recipe. Have fun […]

  2. […] to help. And if you like the results you may try my other lacto-fermented recipes for kombucha, beet kvass, lacto-fermented vegetables or water kefir. […]

  3. […] to experiment more with beets I invite you to try this healthy, lacto-fermented drink called beet kvass or borscht recipe. […]

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