Kvass was the first thing that I actually produced with fermentation. I nowadays set up every week two large Weck jars full of it and drink it every morning as breakfast.
But what is kvass? It's a ferment where actually the brine is the main ingredient, you could nearly imagine it as a vegetable infusion. When you make for example kimchi, the solid pieces are the main thing, the reason why you are doing it. With kvass it's the fluid, the brine. The most common kvass is actually not done with vegetables, but with bread. Personally I have never tasted it, or tried to make it. So I'm only describing how to make beet kvass, at least for now.
It is said that beet kvass is highly beneficial for your health:
It can't be unhealthy in any case, plus when I drink it in the morning it feels like it's cleaning me up from the inside, but I'm decently sure that it might be excellent with vodka.
Step 1 - Get the ingredients
You can use just normal beets, but you might as well try to get some that look a bit more interesting, e.g. golden or candy beets. Candy beets are less strong than the regular ones and they give a nice pink color. Try to get them from an organic source. You won't peel them and I personally never clean them too well.
You need as well an organic orange, an organic lemon, some ginger and some fresh turmeric (if you can't find that you can use the powder as well, did that once and it wasn't too bad). Sea salt and water is needed as well. The recipes that I've seen talk about not using tap water. They are all from american sources where I never had any tap water either because it was so full of chloride. The tap water in Germany is afaic really good and doesn't have any chloride in it, so I just use that. I tried it with spring water once and it didn't really make a difference.
I'm using a big Weck jar as container.
Ingredients for a good liter of kvass
- Roughly 5 to 6 organic beets, depends on size. Should fill two thirds of the container
- 1 organic orange
- 1 organic lemon
- some ginger, maybe 3cm
- some turmeric, same amount as ginger
- a teaspoon unrefined sea salt
You should wash everything.
Step 2 - Cut and grate
Cut the beets, not too small, not too big. I usually cut a normal sized beet in 12 pieces. Quarter the orange and the lemon. Grate the ginger and turmeric.
Step 3 - Assemble and squeeze
Add the beet chunks to the container. Squeeze the orange quarters over the beets, put the quarters in the container. Do the same with the lemon quarters. Add the ginger and turmeric.
Step 4 - Add water
Dissolve the sea salt in the water and pour it in the container. Leave a bit of space. Cover the container.
Step 5 - Wait and see
Let the kvass do it's thing for 4 to 5 days, maybe stir it gently every day. I'm not always doing that. After that time strain the liquid from the beets and store it in bottles in the fridge. There will be a bit of carbonation building up. Ideally let it sit for a bit more time before drinking.
And that's basically it. When I make my kvass all things usually vary a bit. I don't believe that's disastrous, so far they all tasted good. I'm going to experiment a bit more, specifically varying the ingredients. I read that kvass can be made as well with fruit and salad, will give it a try.