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a jar filled with scraps of beets, salt and water to make beet kvass
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Scrappy Beet Kvass

Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • scraps and peels of 6 medium beets
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups water

Instructions

  • Place the scraps and peels of 6 medium beets in a clean large jar or divide them between two smaller jars. (You don't need to sterilize the jars.)
  • In a measuring cup, combine the ½ teaspoon of salt with the 2 cups of water and stir to dissolve.
  • Pour the brine into the jar of beet scraps, leaving three inches of headspace. If you have it, place a piece of cabbage over the scraps and push it down into the jar to submerge the beet scraps. If you have a small jar, place that on the cabbage leaf. Close the jar. If you don't have cabbage or a small jar, simply close the jar and stir the contents daily to help prevent kahm yeast from forming (see Note).
  • Close the jar and place on a plate to catch any gurgles during fermentation and allow to sit at room temperature to ferment for a few days.
  • Burp the jar (i.e., open it) daily to release carbon dioxide.
  • Taste the beet kvass on day three. It should taste tangy and slightly effervescent. If not, let it sit for two or three more days, until it has achieved the flavor you like. Strain out the beets, compost the scraps and store the kvass in a bottle.
  • To increase carbonation, leave the bottle at room temperature for two days before moving to the refrigerator, where the kvass will keep indefinitely.

Notes

Kahm yeast is a white powdery-looking substance that sometimes forms on top of fermented fruit and vegetables. It is not harmful but it is annoying. If you see it, immediately scoop off as much as possible with a clean spoon.
Left to its own devices, kahm yeast can turn into dreaded mold, which you would recognize: raised, furry dots of white, black, green or pink. According to fermentation guru Sandor Katz, in The Art of Fermentation, white mold can be scraped off. Compost food with mold of any other color. Use your best judgment.